A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard a Christian say they regret inviting Christ Jesus into their heart and life?  Neither have I – and I don’t imagine I ever will.  We make hundreds of decisions daily, but that is the only decision that will matter beyond this life – what will you do with Christ Jesus?

Sin is fun…  for a season.  It makes your heart beat a little faster and there’s a bit of danger involved and so much risk.  Get caught and you could lose everything.  How much do you want to gamble away?  Even Christians sometimes listen to the enemy when he says it’s not going to really hurt anyone and there’s no risk involved.  It’s a lie.  Be on guard against his lies and ready to tell him to get away in the name of Christ Jesus.

There’s a time when every Christian has to stop playing church, walking the fence, dabbling in the things of God – and get real.  That’s what it means to count yourself DEAD to sin.  Don’t even go there.  Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and make your faith real.  Until you do that, you may be fooling many people – but you know you’re not fooling God and you’re actually breaking His heart.

Once you know that you know you’ve made a decision for God and God alone – get baptized – get washed clean and live for Him.

To be truly ALIVE in Christ is the best!  Once you’ve put all your past sins on the altar and asked God to forgive them, He will – and He remembers them no more (it’d be nice if people would forget, wouldn’t it?)  Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive yourself for your past sins, but think of it this way…  if Almighty God says He’s going to forgive and not bring it up ever again, who do you think you are to hang on to those sins of the past?  You have to forgive yourself and it’s not easy – but if you ask God to help you, He’s faithful to help you forgive yourself.

Once forgiveness takes hold, you can be ALIVE IN CHRIST!  That’s the best life because it’s honest and simple.  Sin keeps us in chains, but life in Christ sets us free!  No lies to have to remember, no sneaking around doing something you shouldn’t be doing, no more drama… just freedom and joy in Christ forever!  🙂

 

 

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IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  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.”  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child…  – Luke 2:8-17

Every time I read this passage, I ask myself, “What if the angels had shown up, made the amazing proclamation, then left – and the shepherds had NOT gone to Bethlehem?”

We can get messages till the cows come home…  but if we don’t get up off our behinds and exercise our faith and take action…  what good does it do?  In Christian circles, that’s referred to as “putting FEET to your FAITH” – and it’s important to do that on a regular basis.

one-bright-night-in-bethlehemThe shepherds made a decision – a choice – to go to Bethlehem.  Of course, God knew they would, but you know ultimately God has given each of us a free will to embrace or ignore His message.  In other words, the proverbial ball is in your court, my friend.

If you read God’s Word and want to embrace it, God is sure ready to give you a brand new life through His Son, Christ Jesus.  I hope you will do that today.  It’s really simple to accept God’s wonderful gift, His Son, Jesus, into your heart and life.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. In Your name, Amen.”

Have a wonderful and blessed day.  Start flexing those faith muscles.  🙂

 

MATTHEW 10:14 ON 10/14

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Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.  – Matthew 10:14

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How much time, talent and treasure are you prepared to spend on a person when their eternal destination is uncertain?  When is it time to stop trying and walk away, shaking the dust off your feet (or sneakers) as you leave their house?

I struggle with this because I’m an eternal optimist!  I don’t believe God gives up on anyone…  ever – so therefore, who am I to give up?  But then I see this verse and I’m reminded that not everyone is going to accept my message.  I might add, in this modern age, very few will accept it…  sadly.

There’s a commercial playing on TV that reminds me of this Scripture – an advertisement for Choice Hotels:

https://youtu.be/EZVxDzDUXNY

Or there is this one – I’ll post it just as soon as I quit laughing – it’s so funny…

https://youtu.be/YtvFhC1vmDo

Just a quick note…  I had that job – and I think I remember that guy picking on his toes – I think he was in the cubicle next to mine.  Yeah…  what a memory!

But when we are doing our best to share the gospel with others, how do we know when it’s time to stop?  I often wonder if I stop too soon.  Once in a while I wonder if I lingered too long, though.  How do we know?  I mean, this is their soul hanging in the balance – ya know?  It’s important to stay long enough – but to know when to walk away.

There are entire groups of folks that I cannot even begin to talk to – they know who they are.  Atheists, for example, usually don’t receive me, let alone hear what I have to say.  I always leave a conversation letting them know I will pray for them.  They don’t accept that either, but they can’t stop me from praying for them.  When I walk away, I am not angry or discouraged.  I’m sad.  I pray that someone gets through – at that point it’s all I can do.

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I think as long as people are open to hearing me, I’ll keep sharing my faith.  It may seem like a painfully obvious answer, but I think it’s the right one.  A few times I have received a sort of intercession from the Holy Spirit that lets me know I need to leave it – it’s like He’s telling me that this person is not “ready” to accept Him yet.  It has only happened a few times.

I guess I just want to make sure I stay long enough.  I never want to walk away too soon – but I don’t worry about it because maybe I’m not the one who is supposed to help them pray.  Maybe I’m just the one to plant one of the seeds along the way.  I’m sure that God knows how long I’ll stay to help and I have full confidence in Him – that He will bring the next person along to plant more seeds.  That’s what we do as Christians.  We plant seeds for the lost and sharpen iron with the saved.  Don’t you love God’s plan?  🙂

ROMANS 10:9 ON 10/9

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 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  – Romans 10:9

https://youtu.be/a5V6xqc0RkE

We live in a society that thinks it is ENTITLED to everything.  We deserve everything for doing nothing.  We put in very little effort or none at all.  That tiny word “IF” really bothers some people.  IF they have to put forth one iota of effort, forget it – they don’t want it.

When it comes to your eternal life, don’t you think it’s worth investing some time, talent and treasure?  The Savior of your soul, Christ Jesus – He invested more than you ever will.  He willingly gave Himself – literally – painfully – lovingly.  So, IF you think the conditions are too strenuous or too demanding, I suggest you take a look in your Bible at the account of Christ’s crucifixion.  You know, if He had not followed through (and by the way, He most certainly would not have had to), where would you and I be?  We would be lost for all eternity – and that’s not a thought I like to dwell on for very long.  Eternity is forever…  jus’ sayin!

We should be praising God and humbly thanking Him every moment of every day for the sacrifice He made so that we could have life everlasting in Paradise!  So many think they have found Paradise on this earth, but just wait…  the best is yet to come!  Sometimes I envy my family because they are already there.  I’m still stuck down here where there is anything but peace!

I guess God’s not done with me yet.  I guess I’m still here to write about God’s plan for man.  His plan for our salvation and eternal life.  Life forever with the Savior of the world.

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… So I will declare with my mouth that JESUS IS LORD and believe in my heart that God raised Christ from the dead and He now sits at God’s Right hand!  I believe that one day I will be in Paradise, Heaven, God’s perfect place where there is no war, no racial tension, no financial concerns, no sickness, no pain, no more separation from loved ones and no more death!  In God’s Heaven there is joy, peace, contentment, wellness and one dandy reunion with loved ones – and we get to cast whatever crowns we’ve gotten in this life at the feet of Christ – which is totally cool.  It’s ALL about Him because if it were not for Him…  I wouldn’t be there!

Who would not want that???  I guess those who have a problem with that little word…  IF.  🙂

COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY

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7-3 A WELL DRESSED HEART

As you begin your day, look in your full-length mirror (go ahead, it won’t break – trust me).  Can you look at the one and only body God gave you with an attitude of gratitude?  Give it a shot today because it is COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY.

We’re all under construction – constantly.  I like the term “reinventing” because that is what we do throughout our lives.  While we are striving for a better body with diet and exercise, let’s be grateful for some things that we may now be taking for granted.

  • If you are standing in front of your mirror, that means your legs work.  Even if you have thunder thighs like me – be grateful to God that your legs hold you up and you’re able to stand.
  • Your hair may be a mess, but hey – you still have hair to get messy, right?  A little TLC will take care of those wild tresses – it’s nothing to get all freaked out about.
  • Is your skin looking dry?  Moisturize.  Does it look oily?  Wash thoroughly and hydrate.  In this heat – don’t forget the SPF to protect it from sunburn.
  • Did you mess up yesterday?  Are you still reeling over it?  If you gave it to God and asked for His help to do better, then it’s really time to let it go.  Brand new mercies are set aside for this day.  Today will be a better day because God will help you through it.
  • Maybe you’re like me – you’ve used food in the past to comfort yourself, only to discover it caused a whole host of new health problems.  God knows all about it.  Hand it to Him and He will help you overcome your addiction to food!  Learn what triggers your binges and you can stop the addictive behavior in its tracks.  God will help you find a more healthy way to deal with the rough patches in life.  Overdosing on Twinkies is not the answer.

As Christians, what were we taught from the time we were little?  It’s what’s inside a person that matters the most!  God looks on the heart and we should do the same – to others and ourselves.  The prep talk you give yourself in front of the full-length mirror each morning can either build you up or break you down.  It’s the first decision you have to make every morning.  Will you be your own best friend, or your own worst enemy?

See the good in you – love the person in the mirror.  God does!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Does your happy place involve a certain place or a certain person?  Maybe both!  I feel sorry for folks who are ultra high-maintenance.  It seems they are not happy unless they are going to some far away place – and once they have been there, they don’t seem to be much happier for having gone.  What was the point?  :-/

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that happiness is not about our environment – but it is really an inside job!  It’s about a word I have embraced since childhood – SERENDIPITY.  Wherever you are, whoever you happen to be with – you can be happy inside because you make a decision to be happy inside no matter what!

Out of curiosity, I asked the group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, a question:  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WORLD?

If we would dare to be just a bit self-indulgent, where would we go and with whom?  The answers were varied as I expected, and some thought of an actual physical place while others thought of the person they’d like to be with – it was interesting.

  • Pat said, “In my husband’s arms!”
  • John said, “Since I haven’t seen the World, I’d have to say, walking along the sands of one of our nearby beaches.” 
  • Kelly said, “My living room.”
  • Richard said, “My recliner within easy reach of my laptop.”
  • Ally said, “Bike path in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, near the Verrazano Bridge or where the professional kite fliers are. That or if I had the money, the Lacoste – for now I settle for eBay or thrift stores.”
  • Tom said, “Warwick Castle, Great Britain.”

Where is your happy place?  I’m still recovering from surgery on June 3rd and have discovered how little it takes to make me happy!  Today I sat up on the side of the bed with very little pain – what a victory!!!  That, my friends, made me very happy!  I look forward to an outing on Friday.  My husband will be driving me, since I’m still taking pain medication.  But the point is – I’m going to get out of the house for a short while.   God has helped me embrace SERENDIPITY…  I’m open to happy accidents around me.  I’ve decided to be happy in any circumstance!  Wink!  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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When I get up in the morning, I don’t think about all the things that are going to happen, whether it’s good or bad.  I say to myself, “This is going to be the best day of my life.  – Tao Porchon-Lynch

DROWNING IN ABUNDANCE

Today I felt fat.  Some of you know what I’m talking about.  None of my clothes fit quite right and when I looked in the full-length mirror, I looked fat.

On the up side, I had an extremely good hair day.  When the cashier at my favorite restaurant complimented my hair style today, I can’t even begin to tell you how much that lifted my spirits – but I digress…

When you have a “fat day”, it affects your mental health, your mannerisms, your attitude toward others and you are literally your own worst enemy.  Am I right?  Yes, I am – thank you.

I spent the entire morning telling God how I wished I was in someone else’s body – anyone else’s body!  I complained about being too short and suggested that if He had made me taller, this weight issue would no longer be – well – an issue.  Have you ever made such suggestions to the creator of the universe?

Let me tell you – when you gripe and complain to God, you may think that He just listens without any reply.  I guess He knew that I needed a major attitude adjustment today – and He gave it to me.

After I finished breakfast and left the restaurant, I headed home as usual.  It was a nice day, so hubby and I decided to drive around and go to a few estate sales.

I love vintage clothing and if I find my size at estate sales I buy it.  At the first sale, I found size 5x.  Well…  I asked the lady in charge if there were any smaller sizes and she told me that these were the clothes that she used to wear – and she is in a 2x now.  It was as if God was asking, “Linda, are you paying attention?”  I walked into one of the bedrooms where there were no other people – looked up and said, “Yes, Lord – I’m paying attention.”

Estate sale number two.  God had softened my heart and got my attention – but He was far from finished.  This house was in a completely different part of town, but there were some beautiful clothes for sale.  A pretty pink dress caught my eye.  I looked at the size – you guessed it – it was a 4x.  Again I inquired about the clothing.  I heard about another successful weight loss.  That lady is now wearing a size 18.

God seemed to impress upon me that if women wearing those sizes could lose weight, I can too.  Again, I found a quiet place where I was alone – I looked up – raised my hands and thanked God for encouraging me as only He can.

We moved on to the third and final sale.  I couldn’t wait to see what lesson was waiting there.  I was grinning from ear to ear as I walked back to the bedroom to look in the closet.  It was as though I knew what I would find!  I was not disappointed because God doesn’t leave any lesson unfinished.  Once He starts to teach you a lesson – He teaches it to the end!  You may as well just hang on and enjoy the class!

I was almost laughing by the time I reached the clothes closet.  The clothing wasn’t funny but the lesson was cracking me up!  God was showing me what HE can do if I will just ask…  how do I know that???

At the third sale, not only were the clothes size 5x, but on a table beside the closet was a collection of books.  One of them was a book I’m quite familiar with called “The Weigh Down Diet”.  Written by Gwen Shamblin, it’s a book that reminds us that God provides us with more than enough, but it’s up to us to make a conscious decision about how much is enough and how much is too much.  She encourages us to eat only the most choice bites and leave the rest.  She reminds us that it’s not a bad thing to feel hunger before eating.  We are supposed to feel true hunger before we eat.  The first few bites always taste the best – when it doesn’t taste as good, it’s probably because we are no longer hungry and it’s time to stop eating.

God seemed to say, “Now you understand, don’t you?”

I said, “Yes, Lord – I sure do.” 

I forgot that His provision of food for me is so abundant – and it’s up to me to know when I’m consuming too much.  It isn’t God’s fault for making me too short – but my fault for not knowing when to stop eating.  From this moment on, I only want what I need.  I no longer need what I want.  I know the difference – now I remember. 

Thank You, God, for Your lessons.  🙂