A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

PROVERBS 10-8 BANNER

PROVERBS 10-8

I confess:  I am an ID (Investigation Discovery) addict – a closet addict – well, former closet addict.  Now the world knows!  Seriously, I see people make the worst decisions of their lives on this network – and end in ruin.  You don’t have to look very far to see examples of chattering fools who are living in the fast lane and crashing into brick walls at a young age!  When you live in the fast lane with no compass, it never ends well.  People who take the lives of other people always think they’ll get away with it – and they never do.

No fast lane for me, thank you!  It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I have chosen to listen to God through His Word.  He knows what I need and exactly when I need it.  We have choices to make in life – and I choose a slow, steady, joy-filled life – with God in the center of it.  I love His Word and His ways.  I’ve been teased about my beliefs by others, but so what?

When this verse says ACCEPT COMMANDS, does that mean we listen to anyone who gives a command?  I don’t believe it means that.  God gave us an ability to discern good from bad, and you can bet that there will come a time when you are commanded to do something that goes against God’s Word and His ways…  when that happens, choose God’s way.  I’m not going to jump off a cliff to my death if I’m commanded to do so.  Um…  nope.

Of course, the commands in God’s Word are there for us to obey.  If we are wise, we won’t balk at them, but work throughout our walk with God to embrace His ways.  We learn that His ways will keep us filled with His joy and we know that Jesus loves us and wants His best for us.  If we are wise, we want His best too.

In the end, remember that God’s going to prevail.  Why would we not love Him and His ways?  He wants to help us with every aspect of our lives – the big things and the small things.  God is love and He loves you so much.  His Son, Jesus, died on a cruel cross just for you.  His commands (not just the ten) are there to protect us.  I hear so many say that the Ten Commandments are there to keep us from having fun.  Not true – they’re there to help us stay out of trouble.  I need all the help I can get.  Just sayin’…  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is faith?  Well, there is a particular definition that I learned from the time I was very small.  It’s a verse I have had memorized for years!

That’s not the version I memorized as a kid – I know the King James version:

 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  – Hebrews 11:1

We’re to have this faith – this confidence in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We are to be assured of that which we do not see.  We walk by faith – and not by sight.  We can only be God’s child by faith.

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.  – Helen Keller

Just as time away from the gym can show fairly quickly on the scale, time away from God can show fairly quickly in our lives.  Some folks refuse to have faith while others say they do, but they don’t take the time to exercise it.  Something in the name of this video caught my eye – it says, Allow Me, I Will Heal Your Soul” – and that’s significant – we have a choice to allow the Lord to help us or not.  We’re given the free will to make the choice for God or against Him.

God wants to give you opportunities today.  Will you trust the path He has for you to walk, or will you ignore Him and go your own way?  Work that faith out a little bit…  think about the substance of things HOPED FOR – expecting in your heart to see the evidence of THINGS UNSEEN.  Why are people so surprised when God answers their prayers?  Maybe it’s because they didn’t think their faith was as strong as it really is.  Just a thought.

We don’t see the wind in Kansas, but I’ll tell you what – we feel it!  The limbs on the ground are the evidence of the wind that blew them off the trees!  We see the evidence of the wind everywhere.  In the autumn, the Kansas wind blows the leaves off the trees and as we rake the leaves, we’re reminded that once again the wind came to visit.  Do you have to see to believe?  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

We all make choices in life, and with those choices come consequences – good or bad.  It’s interesting that on this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany.  We all saw how that turned out – a very bad consequence – for everyone.

Hitler ruined that mustache for everybody. [I]t’s an interesting mustache, and now nobody can wear it…  – Larry David, Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer

Also on this day in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.  Such a peace-loving individual whose life influenced countless others – definitely a good consequence – for everyone.

Let’s make good choices in life that lead to good positive consequences.  You may think that what you do with your life is nobody’s business.  It’s only true to a certain extent.  A person who is determined to self-destruct almost never keeps their plan to themselves.  What you do with your life will eventually affect others in your family or your circle of friends.CHOOSE YOUR ROAD (2)

It’s interesting that there are almost no references or quotes from Hitler, but I see Gandhi quotes everywhere.  The world needs to be influenced by good, peace-loving people.  We want to hear what they have to say so that we are encouraged on our journey.

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.  – Mahatma Gandhi 

There are no common traits between Hitler and Gandhi except they both lived as men on this planet.  The compare portion of my essay would almost certainly be the shortest part of the paper.  They were born, they lived, and they died – one by his own hand because he was about to be found out and one much more innocent – at the hand of an assassin.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.   – Mahatma Gandhi

Why are the guilty left to injure others and the innocent killed by assassins?  God has the answer – I sure don’t.  :-/

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12-25 MERRY CHRISTMASI wish you a very Merry Christ-centered Christ-mas!!!  We have made preparation for this day and we have one last thing to pray for.  Today we will pray for kindness to all people – along with goodness in our actions, strength against temptation, wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, pray for love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace!  Whew…  it’s a tall order, but we serve a mighty and gracious God, don’t we?TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

What is kindness???  Some synonyms are:  benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, tenderness.  It’s a good turn, to look for the very best in every soul you meet.  Kindness is completely color-blind.  It does not see economic status.  It forgives over and over again.  True kindness comes straight from God’s Holy Spirit.  There’s a discernment that comes with kindness.  Kindness knows when it’s being taken advantage of – and knows how to lovingly let people know that it is not stupid – but wise.SHOWING HIM KINDNESS

Here are a few ideas to show kindness today and from now on:

  • Donate to a charity or food bank
  • Give up your spot in line
  • Help someone with a chore
  • Shovel snow for a neighbor
  • Donate pet supplies to the shelter
  • Pick up litter – but make sure you wear gloves
  • Donate books
  • Send a get-well card to someone who is sick
  • Visit a shut-in
  • Tell a family member a joke (a good, clean one please)
  • Buy someone a cup of coffee
  • Send cards to service men and women.  They need encouragement year around
  • Donate a pair of new pajamas for foster kids
  • Leave a gift basket for a neighbor to find

Let God guide you down a path of kindness in life.  There are so many suspicious people who waste precious time and energy being unkind and looking out for number one.  They miss out on the best blessings from God and that’s sad.A PROMISE KEPT

Tomorrow we stop preparing for Christmas, the birthday of Christ – for it is here today – and tomorrow our lives will go back to the way they were before…  or will they???  Take some time to go to your prayer closet and pray about it.  Pray that God will make changes where they need to be made.  He is faithful to help you if you will ask.  Merry Christ-mas!  🙂

AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂

MATTHEW 7:25 ON 7/25

TL MATTHEW 7 25 ON 7 25

 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.   – Matthew 7:25

Jesus closes the Sermon on the Mount by letting us know it’s not good enough to just hear His words…  they must also be obeyed.  He refers to the man who would hear and obey to a man who built his house on a rock, and the man who hears and does not obey to a man who built his house on sand.

Palestine was a land of hills and mountains.  It was subject to sudden and violent rains.  The Jordan became rapid, so the streams running among the hills, whose channels would have usually been dry, became suddenly swollen with the rain.  It would quickly pour down into the plains below, sweeping away everything, including poorly built houses.

If a house was built on sand or shaky base, obviously it would not stand.  The rising, bursting stream would cause the house to fall.  SPLAT…  as the song says!  Rocks in that country were common, and it was easy to secure them to build a solid foundation.  Those who are wise did so.

This was a comparison that every Jew could relate to.  They understood exactly what Jesus was saying.  If you are wise, you will not only hear the teachings, but obey them.  Foolish men will listen but not allow the words to speak to their spirit.

Just as they were given a choice then, we are given the same choice today.  We can be wise and obey the words of Christ, or we can continue in our foolishness.  Will we stand on the Rock or will we build on sinking sand?  🙂

 

TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY

TL 4-15 TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY

As we all know, today is National Tax Day, but if you are tired of adding up rows of figures to come up with exact answers, the day we’re celebrating will give you a break – it’s also TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY!!!

There are no prizes to be won for guessing correctly, but it should give your mind the break it needs.  Take a chance and take a wild guess today.  Make a bet with a co-worker about something – like is it going to rain???  Pretend you are the great Sherlock Holmes and use your powers of deduction or act on a hunch.

Jim Barber created this day and wanted it to coincide with National Tax Day.  He had a hunch the day would be a great success – and his hunch paid off!  Many people have enjoyed celebrating this wacky holiday in the past.

The whole romance of  [Dirty Harry] is the fact that he’s a guy who hates bureaucracy.  Well, who doesn’t hate bureaucracy? …  You go to the [DMV and] fill out form after form…  That’s part of the bureaucratic nightmare that mankind has made.  – Clint Eastwood

I’m not a huge “Dirty Harry” fan – it’s not really my style, but that famous line from the movie really is appropriate for today – “Do you feel lucky, punk???”

For some serious fun, you could fill a mason jar with jelly beans (counting them as you fill it) and have co-workers guess how many jelly beans are in there.  Or – if there is a pregnant co-worker or the spouse of a pregnant co-worker, you could have everyone guess the sex of the baby if they don’t know already.  How about using that great intuition of yours to scout out a great new place for lunch?  Act on a hunch and choose a place for lunch.  LOL…  yeah – I’m a poet.  🙂

Guessing is really a part of everyday life, when you think about it.  We venture into uncharted territory almost daily, hoping that our senses are not going to let us down.  This is the day to really tap into that sixth sense and shine as a great guesser.

Yep, it’s tax day.  Some of us paid in with no promise of a refund, while some of us paid in anticipating a refund.  No matter what your situation is today, at least there is some comic relief in sight.  Just have some fun, let your imagination go a little crazy and take a wild guess…  about anything!   🙂