FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS

There’s just something about fall…  we want to spend more time in the house nesting, baking, pumpkin spicing EVERYTHING!  We get out long enough to enjoy a tailgate party and watch a football game – but even then we’re snuggled up in a stadium blanket.  It’s time to slow down and rest.  Are you weary and burdened?  Jesus says He will give us rest!  We can trust that promise to be true because Jesus doesn’t lie.

The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale.  – Cornelia L. Tuthill, “Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke,” 1840

It’s about time for me to change from plain cotton sheets to cotton flannel sheets.  They’re so soft and comfy and surprisingly cool.  I used to think they would be too warm, and I’d end up too hot at night, but that hasn’t been the case.  They’re perfect for the fall and winter months.

As I begin counting my blessings this year, at the top of my list is the way Jesus brings sweet rest to my weary and burdened spirit.  Along with the theme of rest, I will include the set of new flannel sheets on the bed.  The house is slowly transforming into a warm and cozy oasis from a cold and cruel world.  Isn’t that what home should be?

[T]hat old September feeling… of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air…. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer.                 – Wallace Stegner

So many people get the urge to do a deep cleaning in the spring – we’re bombarded with magazine articles about spring cleaning.  I’ve always been prone to do my deep cleaning in the fall.  Don’t ask me why, but I have more energy and the spirit seems more willing, and if there’s one thing I know about myself – I have to strike while the iron’s HOT.  I know that energy won’t last.

I say a little prayer, then I’m off to the races, cleaning out closets and cupboards, scrubbing and mopping, sweeping and dusting.  When I’m finished, I’m more than ready to ask Jesus to give me that rest He promises.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time out shopping and fighting off the crowds of people so I could find some bargains.  I had people to buy gifts for, so I was part of the crazy rat race!  These days, I opt for a warm spot, hot tea, cozy slippers, and a laptop.  It’s a blessing to have a time of rest and renewal.  The older I get, the more I appreciate rest.

What’s at the top of your blessing list?  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

 

A home with a little dust and a lot of laughter will win the heart of God…  every time!  – Unknown

MERRY CHRIST-MAS EVE!!!

Jesus, the Light of the World,

As we celebrate Your birth . . . . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding You give us.  As You chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship You in meekness of heart.  May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.  Help us to embrace a comfort Christmas instead of a commercial Christmas.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

We’ve attended the parties and hosted a few…  we’ve designed and decorated and shopped and wrapped and worked like crazy to make memories.  So…  here we are.

Let’s say a little prayer that the Lord will bring to mind anyone we have problems with – that we will somehow be able to forgive them, or ask them to forgive us for transgressions.  Let’s focus on LOVE on this last Sunday of Advent.  There’s nothing more important to our Lord than love – for Him and for each other.

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 
3And everyone went to their own town to register. 
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 
19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  – Luke 2:1-20

I hope and pray you are enjoying a COZY, COMFORTABLE CHRISTMAS.  Comfort is followed by joy, remember?  Live in the moment today and let your mind wander to all the wonderful Christmases past…

Did you know that reminiscing helps you stay warm?  It gives a sensation of well-being that actually warms your heart and body.

Nostalgia can lead to the physical sensation of being snug and cozy.  – T. Wildschut, Ph.D.

I’m interested in a cozy, comfortable Christmas followed by the joy that Jesus brings.  I’d like to share with you some of my favorite Christmas photos.

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Christmas 1971 (2)

 

Christmas 1971 (3)

 

Christmas 1972

 

CHRISTMAS 1983

 

CHRISTMAS EVE 1982

 

CHRISTMAS EVE 1983

 

CHRISTMAS IN THE 1970'sThat last photo…  that’s the one that makes tears well up.  Look at all those Christmas cards from friends and family!  There’s just one stocking – for their one and only child – yeah, that’s me.  That is home and always will be.  Home is where we all want to be on Christmas day.  These photos are heart warming and provide great comfort to me, which is followed by coziness and the joy of the LORD.  There is just one thing that will be better yet…

https://youtu.be/fwBIUC0deLE

What a wonderful day it will be when I get to heaven and we celebrate for eternity! 

I love this beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Before I say good-bye, I want to share this writing from John Minton.  I hope it blesses you as it blessed me!

THE GOSPEL IN A NUTSHELL
Gospel means good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of what Jesus did in order to save our souls from death and hell. It is a REVEALED Mystery which was kept secret since the world began. If it was revealed before it happened then Satan would have kept The Lord from being crucified. Here is some of this mystery that I see in a nut shell…Jesus came to earth in flesh and blood just like ours. Born under law. He was the public man. He represented the whole human race. God considered all of us to be in Him so that we would personally benefit from everything He did. In the beginning we were all in Adam’s loins in the form of His seed so that when Adam sinned we sinned too. We were partakers through him.
Because of the Virgin birth Jesus was holy and without sin., and without a sin nature. So because He came in our bodily likeness and in the stead of each of our individual persons, and because we were considered by God to be in Him, therefore when He flawlessly obeyed the Law, SO DID WE. We were partakers of every righteous act that He did because we were in Him. Now check this out….When Jesus sanctified Himself we were actually sanctified as a result because we were in Him and part of Him.
I, Paul, have been called and sent by Jesus, the Messiah, according to God’s plan, along with my friend Sosthenes. I send this letter to you in God’s church at Corinth, believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He’s their Master as well as ours!  – 1 Corinthians 1:2
 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”  – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5
Jesus said, “Marriage is a major preoccupation here, but not there. Those who are included in the resurrection of the dead will no longer be concerned with marriage nor, of course, with death. They will have better things to think about, if you can believe it. All ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. Even Moses exclaimed about resurrection at the burning bush, saying, ‘God: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob!’ God isn’t the God of dead men, but of the living. To him all are alive.”  – Luke 20:34-38
We are children of the resurrection (think about that).  
 Ok, now comes our ascension. We even ascended to Heaven with Him.
 It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  – Ephesians 2:1-6

I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

The God of Glory

3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.  – Ephesians 1

That’s where we sit right now in Christ.  God has gathered us together and hid us in His very presence like a hen gathers her chicks under her wing for protection.  This is a glimpse of the Gospel of our salvation that if a man or woman believes from the heart, will make them righteous by believing it.  We are to be unshakable in the faith.  A faith that rests in the truth of this message that was delivered to us by angels and by God Himself.  It’s a faith and belief in the truth that God has already saved us in this prescribed way. And so we just rest and forever rejoice in this wonderful free salvation that He has ushered in for us with everlasting shouts of joy. The Bible says that God has reconciled us. It says “BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD. Reconcile means to “restore friendly relations between“, so just be the friend of God that He now says that you are. That’s what it means when He says “BE YE RECONCILED” .just be the reconciled friend that He says you now are. PRAISE GOD! I’M RECONCILED!!! I’M GODS FRIEND!!! In a nutshell, in order to be saved, all we need to do is just accept God’s offer of friendship and just be friends with Him.

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”  – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

HE presents you holy – NOT YOU!

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.  – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

All that’s left is for us to decide whether or not to be friends with Him.  If we do, He will send His Holy loving Spirit to live in our hearts which proves that we are His and that we are His friends.  And it will guarantee our entrance into His Heavenly Kingdom – Into the glorious celestial city…Because God has taken away everything bad that stood between us and Him, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love!
Thank you so much, brother John!  We wish you and yours a cozy, comfortable Christmas filled with warm memories and the joy of the Lord!  Let’s all have the desire to share the love of the Lord with those we meet.  ❤

ROMANS 5:5 ON 5/5

ROMANS 5 5 ON 5 5

CHOOSE HOPE

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  – Romans 5:5

There’s a high quality of hope from God’s Holy Spirit that gives us a literal supernatural boost to fly in the right direction.  If we seek hope from any other source, we will be disappointed in the end.  The superficial brand of hope offered by sources on planet earth is thin and short-lived.  For instance, last night I was sitting in front of my T.V. when a familiar weight loss company’s commercial played.  I listened to the words closely.  The spokesperson made many promises including, happiness, health, longevity and even a better love life.  In other words, they promised to give a sense of well-being and hope!

The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life.  – Ana Jacob

The hope that God’s Holy Spirit freely pours out into our hearts promises to never disappoint!  It is HOPE for any situation and it is custom-made just for you from God Himself!

All it takes is one bloom of hope to make a spiritual garden.  – Terri Guillemets

I may need hope from God for one thing – and maybe you need it for another.  I don’t know about you, but I refuse to accept cheap hope from worldly sources.  I want the good stuff that only God can give me!

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.  – Christopher Reeve

Today if you feel a bit hopeless and need your tank filled, don’t settle for anything less than the Holy Spirit’s own brand of hope!  It’s a matter of exercising your faith and trust in Him.  As we extend more faith, He pours His hope on us and the result will be miraculous and that custom-made, cozy coat of hope will give us just exactly what God wants us to have – because He loves us more than anyone!  🙂

 

 

SANDWICH DAY

TL 11-3 SANDWICH DAY

11-3 FOODS THAT BRING COMFORT

 Worries go down better with soup.  – Jewish Proverb

Either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, it’s a fact that food provides a certain degree of comfort when we are faced with circumstances that we have no control over – such as a death in the family.  What do people automatically do when they hear a friend or neighbor has lost a loved one?  They show up – with food.  It’s a thoughtful gesture and so nice because then you don’t have to worry about preparing meals for the relatives that will surely come to park in your house for a few days.

I’ve always been an emotional eater.  Today my dad has been in heaven for 26 years.  You’d think after such a long time I’d be “over” it.  Well, I’ve moved on, but I still miss him like crazy – and newsflash – I always will.  I’ll be an unapologetic emotional eater today with a grilled cheese sandwich (or two) and tomato bisque soup on the menu for lunch or dinner for sure.

Today is SANDWICH DAY!  When my dad died, the rest of the family rallied around my mom and I like real troopers.  We had the entire Park City Nazarene Church helping us and that was great.  Two memories have stuck with me as I think back.  The church planted a tree in my dad’s honor – it was so little 26 years ago.  Today it’s a large shade tree in front of the church.  The second memory is my husband making grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato bisque soup for our lunch the day after the funeral.  Everyone shows up for the funeral and the funeral dinner – but the day after is when things begin to hit home – and you really begin to feel the loss.

As you can imagine, my mom didn’t want to eat much and really I didn’t either.  There is just something so comforting about a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque soup.  I’ve been married to a man who will not prepare one without the other, therefore, I can no longer eat a grilled cheese sandwich without tomato bisque soup!  The sandwich is  gooey and fun like fuzzy socks on a hardwood floor and the soup is so cozy and warm, like an old comfy sweatshirt.

I remember being so grateful to be taken care of like that – and it meant the world to me that my husband took care of my mom.  He made sure we were both keeping our strength up.  I guess that’s what love does, isn’t it?  ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (12)

NEW YEAR NESTING

Around the first of October I began feeling it; that indescribable urge to nest. I wanted to feather my little nest with fluffy cuddly cozy things and stock up on wax melts for my Scentsy. I started scattering little table books around. It would be awful if I sat in a chair and did not have a book to pick up and look at!

Now that it’s wintertime, my need to nest has intensified and I’ve begun hoarding coffee creamers from my favorite restaurant. I think they are on to me, but I don’t think they really mind. Our favorite waitress brings extra French Vanilla coffee creamers just for me! I drink more coffee in the winter than in the summer, as I think most people do.

I was thinking today about the preparations we make for the cold winter months. This phenomena we refer to as “nesting”. How do we nest for our spirit? Do we need to nest for our spirit? Obviously the immediate need is physical. We have an immediate need to stay warm, but to neglect your spirit’s need to stay warm would be a real shame.

Here are just a few simple things you can do to “nest” for your spirit. Most of these items are available at a discount bookstore. I rarely visit a bookstore that charges retail prices. I enjoy Book-a-holic.

1. How about buying a new devotional book? The book I purchased last year was a used book, but of course it was new to me. Since I only use them for a year, I don’t see the point in paying retail. The idea is for the book to bless my soul, not empty my pocketbook.

2. Keep an item such as “Testamints” around the house. Our local Christian resource center always has these nifty little mints on sale the first few days after Christmas, so I stock up! Not only are these good to have around for when someone has low blood sugar, but they have a scripture printed on the wrapper! It’s a fun way to read God’s Word. Who says you have to get the big bulky family Bible out, dust it off and do devotions the old-fashioned way? I don’t and have not for many years!

3. I have not done this myself but my friend has her favorite scripture permanently placed on the wall in her stairway. She is more brave than I am! There are kits available at our local hobby store. I look at them when I’m there, but have not bought one yet. She has Jeremiah 29:11 displayed on her wall and it is beautiful. It warms her home and makes everyone love to congregate there.

I hope this has given you some idea of how you can do some “nesting” for your spirit as well as the traditional type of nesting we do to meet physical needs. May God bless you today in an extraordinary way! ❤