God Bless You

What IS a blessing?  Well, the kind of blessings we’re talking about today are the invoking of God’s favor upon a person.  While I’m not big on the luck of the Irish, I love Irish blessings!  No country invokes God’s favor upon others quite like the Irish!

Since it’s just one day past St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to invoke God’s favor upon you!  Fasten your seat belt…  here we go!

28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  – Genesis 27:28-29

Isn’t that a beautiful photograph?  It was taken by our friend and fellow poet, David Catherwood.

Is there a wedding in your future?  Here’s a beautiful marriage blessing:

OH…  written in the key of E…  ugh.  Good for a guitar player – difficult for a piano player.  LOL!  I could play it…  but I wouldn’t LIKE it.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

We are blessed by God and in turn we bless others.

Near Powerscourt Castle in Ireland

And last, but certainly not least – this beautiful Irish prayer.  I pray this for each of you!

I hope and pray you have a wonderful, blessed week!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

My folks never purchased a security system for their house.  I grew up in a different time…  dare I say, it was a simpler time.  Yes, in the 1970’s we had BTK running around killing people, but I was taught to check the phone just as soon as I walked in the door after school.  My parents drilled it into my mind – they said if I pick up the receiver and the line was dead – I was to run like the wind to the neighbor’s house and call the police!
When I was growing up, a security system meant that you had an attack dog.  Well, maybe not an attack dog, but at least a dog who would bark loudly when strangers came into the yard.
Now I live in an area where we are required to have security.  It’s a good thing, and it lessens our insurance rates too.  Security in our day and age is so important.  Thieves are all around us.  They’ve always been around, but it seems they are closer these days than ever before.  Most of us not only fear the loss of our material possessions, but the loss of something as intimate as our identity.  If ever we needed services like Lifelock, it’s now!
This portion of Scripture reminds us that we need security, protection and hope!  The Lord Jesus Christ is our source of spiritual security.  He is a reliable source of strength and our hope in times of trouble.  We know that His commands to us are not only for His glory, but for our own good.  He wants nothing more than to protect us because He loves us so much.
May we seek His will for our lives as we rely completely on His protection and thank Him for the security He provides for us spiritually.  When we have the courage to do that, we will have the ability to ignore all the false voices that try to talk us out of God’s best in our lives.  The enemy of our soul would like nothing better than to lure us away from our Father and His plan for us.  As long as we delight in our Father’s ways, we will not only survive, but we will thrive because that is God’s desire for us!

I want to live life there!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I understand the concept of adoption because, well – I was adopted.  I know that sometimes parents choose to keep that information from their children – then later in life the kids find out and it becomes a big blow out.  I remember the story being told to me in the form of a bedtime story at night – with the emphasis always being on how much I was loved – at first sight – and how I was chosen and was special to my parents.

There’s not much I remember about my mom’s funeral, but three things come to mind.  Everyone wore her favorite color (turquoise), there were the most beautiful black butterflies with turquoise on their wings, (a gift from God because I’d never seen them before), and I told a handful of people, “I was not spoiled, I was just sincerely loved.” 

If you are saved, you’ve been adopted into the family of God – that’s for keeps.  A social worker will never visit your house and tell you that you have to leave the nest for any reason.  Once you are part of the family of God…  you are – on that you can be sure.  Speaking as a sister in Christ, I’ll do my best to sincerely love you with the love of the Lord.

I like this poem by Lucinda – MY INHERITED LIFE.

Through adoption, I was actually the child of my adopted parents.  I became a member of their family.  Nobody called me the adopted cousin – I was the cousin.  I may have even been the weird cousin, for all I know.  My point is, there was no distinction – except for the fact that everyone in my mother’s family was six-foot tall, and here I stand at five foot two and a quarter.  I can’t blame that on my adopted family, though, can I?

We don’t deserve Heaven, but because of God’s wonderful grace and mercy, we have inherited Heaven, and a great deal more!  So, we pray for stronger faith to trust God every day in this life, and we pray for courage and rest in the next life.  I’d rather trust His plan and be right than not trust His plan and be wrong, wouldn’t you?  Eternity is a very long time…

I keep seeing this on my facebook newsfeed:

Stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.

You know, I’m betting it doesn’t.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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“For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.  ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;  BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.  ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’  – Acts 2:25-28

Our focus today is on verse 26:

“Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will live in hope;  – Acts 2:26

Is your heart glad and your tongue exulted???  Are you living in HOPE today?  If your answer is YES, let God know why.  So many times we know we have joy and hope from the Lord, but we forget to be grateful and thankful to God for it.

Praise God today for the blessings in your life.  The book of Acts is called that because it’s about the acts of the Apostles.  Part of putting feet to your faith is being honest with God in good times, bad times and everything in-between.

Are you living in the land of HOPE?  This sermon was preached in 2014 – but the meaning is still the same.  I HOPE it will be a blessing to you as it was to me.

Have you taken your life, and the fact that you have had the opportunity to live it a good long while – for granted?  Today’s post is a reminder to let God know you appreciate His blessings and that you acknowledge that it is HIS grace and mercy that has brought you this far.  He has a wonderful plan for your life – so live your life with renewed strength and courage.  God has good things in your future and mine.  Live in the land of HOPE because that is God’s will for you.  🙂

 

GALATIANS 2:20 ON 2/20

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I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.   – Galatians 2:20

The first step toward understanding the narrow path that we’re called to walk is understanding Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  In the 20th verse we read that there should be Christ-centered living.  Our Savior lives in us and we live by faith in Him because he loved us and gave His life for us.

Paul emphasizes how life with Christ is so much better than life under the law.  The law could not make men righteous before God, yet in Christ they were made righteous.  By dying to self and embracing Christ, clinging to Him rather than cold, empty law…  they were able to rise to a new spiritual life as they fixed their eyes upon the cross of Christ.

The “old man” – dies to self and the old sin nature – and is given a life of close and intimate communion with God through Christ Jesus.  Faith in self turns to faith in Him, His way, His peace and His love.  We rely fully on Him for pardon, righteousness, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation.

In Paul, the old law lost its power and ceased to influence him.  That means that he declared himself divorced from such things as the LOVE of money, the PRIDE of life and the DOMINION of hateful and evil passions.  These things that are so meaningful in the world around us, ceased to influence him – and were also crucified with Christ.

While we still live in these bodies of flesh, our spirits are renewed and recharged daily by the Lord.  We’re not given a pass from sufferings, grief or loss in life – but we know that our Lord is there to help us through them.  🙂

 

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

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 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  – John 17:20-26

Our Lord prayed for His believers to be as ONE.  He wants us to be united as He and His Father in Heaven are ONE.  It’s no secret that America is more divisive now than it’s ever been.  If you can imagine a way to divide us – we’re divided.  Age, race, weight, height, religion, and on and on it goes.  God’s not pleased and Christians should lead the way in healing the scars.  The healing begins with prayer and studying God’s Word.

Read your Bible and pray.  That’s what it takes to be a true Christian.  – Harold McKay

My friend Harold also told me another “secret” to success as a Christian.  He said as long as you’re sincerely praying for someone, there’s no way you can hate or even dislike them.  In life, if we could just learn to pray for those who irk us in life instead of fighting back – it’d be wonderful.

Of all the famous quotes from Dr. King, this is my favorite:

mlk-quoteIn this world, we are “beholden” to one another.  We’re fools if we think we’re not.

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We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is also devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I vote for LOVE and FORGIVENESS as a Christian nation in 2017!  May we strive for unity in America this year.  Let’s make God smile.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.  – Proverbs 21:30

God has impressed on me to ask everyone to pray for the President elect and pray for America.  I know most of us have been doing that for a very long time, but when God gives me a job to do…  I do it.

prayGod does not care which side of the political fence you sit on – and neither do I.  We need to unite and pray as God’s children – it’s as simple as that.

On January 20th, the President elect will become the President.  He has so much work to do in his first 100 days – I certainly do not envy his position.  Let’s come together and pray for God to give him the courage, strength, humility to lean on Him, and especially wisdom to do the right thing for Americans everywhere!

Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?  – 2 Chronicles 1:1

So that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.  – Ezra 6:10

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.  They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  – Romans 13:4

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.  – Jeremiah 29:7

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.  – Proverbs 21:1

 

Our Heavenly Father,

We humbly bow before You to ask Your blessings on our President elect, Donald Trump.  We pray that you would endow him with Your wisdom and knowledge as he makes decisions that will affect Americans everywhere.  May he execute justice for everyone equally.  We pray that You would build a hedge and surround him with angels at all times.  Keep him healthy and safe please.  Help him to stay focused and energized from above.  May he stay encouraged and positive about the direction America heads from now on.  Please help him to pursue peace and prosperity for Americans as he has promised to do.  Above all, we pray for Your perfect will to be done in our country, Lord.  May we be a blessing to You every day as we are showered with blessings every day.

We ask all of this in the precious name of Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

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During this administration, it’s my hope and prayer that our country will turn back to God and understand that it’s HE who will make America truly great.  May He guide and direct our new President and keep him as only He can.  🙂