A SUMMER OF PSALMS

America is about to celebrate another birthday!  Time and again throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is strong and we are not.  We are constantly urged to lean on Him, not only when we feel weak, but at all times.  Our Lord is not to be a last resort, but a first resource!  May we always turn to Him first instead of waiting for a situation to reach a breaking point or a crisis level.

Sometimes we think we’re just pluggin’ right along on our own, don’t we?  It seems like we have a pretty good handle on everything – but then WHAM!  Life has a way of turning very quickly.

We’re told to glory in the Lord and rejoice as we seek Him!  If you are doing that, then you won’t be stressed out about how to deal with this problem or that one.  You’re trusting in God because you know that He will work your problems out for you.  I know that God’s solution will be much more creative than any idea you would come up with.

This seeking must never cease–the more we know the more we must seek to know.  – C.H. Spurgeon

It seems as though we’re to pray without ceasing and seek without ceasing, doesn’t it?  Actually, the two go together.  You can’t really be in constant communication with the Lord without a desire to know Him.  I just want everything that God has for me.  If He wants me to have something, I want it too.

Here in Kansas, we’ve prayed for rain!  It’s been so hot and dry all summer.  Our prayers were answered last night.  My friend John caught some footage of the beautiful rainbow that followed the stormy weather.

Isn’t God good???  He still promises not to flood the earth ever again – and has kept that promise for a very long time!  He’s good to His people.  May we seek His presence continually!  May we bless Him at all times!

A wise teacher once told me that we make time for the ones we care most for.  How can we claim to belong to God and want Him to be the Lord of our lives and not carve out any time for Him?  For some reason, we just put God on a little shelf and tell Him to sit there while we go off to do other things.  I guess those other things mean more to us than our Heavenly Father does.

We need to hear His voice in ways He tries to communicate with us.

He is there with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.

God will be the Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all.  There is no gray area.  It’s an all or nothing choice.  Bless God, America!  🙂

 

His Breath

The last sentence of this quote made me cry!  God is love – He’s not like love…  He IS love, yet to Him, I’m so beautiful that I take HIS breath away???  Wow…  just WOW!  Little ol’ me does that?  Incredible!  Thank You, Lord! 

Sometimes I do sort of think of God as a sort of “Wizard of Oz” kind of computerized being in the sky.  I know we’re made in His image, so why I think He may be computerized – I have no idea.  I blame it on living in Kansas.  I’ve actually walked that yellow brick road and have seen the movie a gazillion times.

In reality, our God is a loving and compassionate God.  He’s higher than us, yes – always.  His angels are a little higher than us – but He is way higher – that’s why we worship Him.  He alone is worthy of all our praise!

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  – Romans 5:8

I taught Kindergarten children in Sunday School for a long time.  I’ve probably heard every “How come” question you can think of.  How come grass is green?  I usually answered that ours is brown and the neighbor’s is green.  I don’t know the answers to most simple questions they ask.  The most difficult question is, how old is God?

How old is God???  Try explaining the inexplicable to kids with attention spans the size of sugar ants.  I never had to answer the question because by the time I gave it some thought, they’re ready to move on to something else – the puzzle or the flannel board.  Frankly, I’m thankful for the attention span of a small child!  I remember thinking, “Whew!  Dodged that bullet!”

I’m so thankful for God’s love toward His children.  I’m thankful for childlike faith because we all have questions – some will be answered on this side of Heaven, but so many will not.  May we know when to press for answers and when to set the question aside and accept that we won’t get answers until we get to Heaven – and probably by then, it won’t matter what the answer is.

Wow!  I’m beautiful to God…  that’s probably the most encouraging bit of news I’ve heard so far this year!  You’re beautiful to God too.  You take His breath away!  Yep, you do!  🙂

 

 

 

Seek Him

The last thing a Christian woman wants to be is unequally yoked.  No…  not an egg yolk, silly!  Yoked…  hooked together.  Till death do you part can seem like a life sentence in San Quentin if you’re pulling the wagon with the wrong partner!

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  – 2 Corinthians 6:14

I didn’t learn this until I was older, but now I know – as long as I keep my hand in God’s hand, He will set me on a joyous journey and my path will be straight.  The first time I saw this quote, I literally cried – it’s so true.  When I was younger and immature, I didn’t think about this at all.  Back then, I can’t say my heart was hidden in God – so there’s the first problem, eh?

How can a non-Christian man understand a Christian woman?  He can’t.  He may try, but all of his suggestions and solutions would be gleaned from the world, not from God’s Word.  Prayer?  He would not be a man of prayer.  Where does his strength come from?  If not from God, then from the Wall Street Journal, I guess.  Most Christian couples pray together, so…  that leaves you alone to pray – by yourself.  Soon you would feel resentment at having to bear the spiritual burden alone.

He could be of a similar mind to you in every other sense and still not make the cut.  He could vote a straight political ticket, be a non-smoker, go to the gym three days a week, drive a car made in America (wait – are there any cars made in America anymore?) – anyway – unless he is a believer in Christ Jesus…  nope – sorry – he would not be the man for a Christian woman.

If two Christian people can just come together and look to the cross of Christ Jesus – together.  Show devotion to Him – together.  Praise Him – together.  Seek His face and His grace in prayer – together.  Then…  they are equally yoked and the wagon’s pulled without one partner feeling strained or resentful toward the other.

Christians are not perfect people…  we embrace grace – God’s wonderful, amazing grace!  It’s as simple as that.  We need a life partner who wants that same thing in life.  We wilt and die without it – marriages end when God is not invited in.

If a woman will keep her heart hidden in God – the right man will know he needs to find God before he can get to know her.  Two people yoked together should be looking in the same direction – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  🙂

 

NUMBERS 7:1 ON 7/1

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When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils.  – Numbers 7:1

What if Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and not dedicated it to the LORD right away?  What if he had not instantly declared that it was GOD’S TENT?  What if…

When we are serving God in whatever way we serve Him – whether it’s through music or writing or…  do we get all set up to do what we do – and dedicate it all to Him immediately?

It is so easy to go through the motions without inviting God to be a part of it.  It’s easier still to leave Him out completely – it can become routine and familiar to us.  Yes – US – I’m talking to myself too.  Nothing is easier for me to do than play the piano, however, if I’m getting ready to serve the LORD, I’d better dedicate my service to Him – or it will be worthless. 

We dare not boast one bit about anything we do for God.  Without His presence, His love, His guidance – it means nothing.  The second we forget that and start making it about our own ability or skill – we’ve lost out on the blessing from God.  When we try to go it alone, that is when failure happens.

Moses teaches us to prepare to serve and be careful to invite God’s Holy Spirit into the service.  If He is part of the service – part of the process – then what you do must succeed because it’s backed by God Himself.  He can not fail and He will not let your plans fail – especially your plan to serve Him.

If you are serving the LORD and it seems to be more difficult than usual, ask yourself if you invited God to be in the midst of your efforts.  You may think it can wait – that you can take care of it later – but it can’t wait.  Before you begin doing what you do, ask God to do what He does!  He will bless your tiny efforts and make them huge!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GOOD MORNING!

Mornings…  sigh.  Are you at peace with your pace?  As a kid I woke up listening to my favorite music on my stereo.  Daddy used to come in my room and turn on KLEO – and my day would begin.  Once I was a married woman, I had an annoying alarm clock that made a very annoying buzzing sound to wake me up.  It didn’t even have a snooze button!

As I get older, I have a desire to wake up more slowly and with a greater sense of purpose.  I have the most wonderful and aromatic way of being allured to consciousness – I recently purchased a coffee maker with a timer!  I set the timer, the coffee is made and I smell it!  Ah… time to wake up – and I can handle that!

I asked the group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, how they deal with this common problem called – morning.  Here are some of their responses:

  • Coffee
  • Tea (hot and iced)
  • Facebook
  • Coke
  • Pepsi Zero
  • Exercise (most said a walk outside)
  • Meditation / Devotions / Prayer Time – to seek purpose and direction
  • Sunlight streaming through open curtains into bedroom
  • A glass of cool water to invigorate and prevent dehydration

So even if we are caffeine junkies (and most of us are), we should still begin with that glass of H2O because we need to be rehydrated.  We care for our physical, psychological and spiritual needs every morning.  It’s important to keep a balanced attitude toward morning – every morning.

Get a full 8 hours of sleep because it’s during that time physical repairs take place.   Choose a way of waking up that will make you happy to begin with.  No matter how you begin your day, make it a great one to whatever extent you can!  Your routine each morning should reinforce the joy you want inside that will spill out to others.

If you are still part of the workforce (not to rub it in, but I’m retired)…  here are some good tips for streamlining your work week:

Wow – that brings back some memories…  I used to plan my wardrobe a week at a time.  It really does save time in the morning.

Having my gallbladder removed has left me feeling SO much better with tons of energy!  It’s so weird – I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I felt really great!  Since the surgery on June 3rd, I’ve lost 12 pounds and a few inches off my waist.  This is my head start on significant weight loss!  I am so very excited about the future, and the future begins…  tomorrow morning!  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (7)

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Thank you, Veterans

On this day in 1782, General George Washington created the Purple Heart.  The Continental Congress had forbidden General Washington from granting any promotions or commendations to recognize merit.  Washington felt strongly that some token should be given, so his general orders established the Badge of Military Merit.

It was not until the 20th Century the name of the badge became The Purple Heart.  The entire design changed except the shape – it remained in the shape of a heart.  In the center of the purple heart is a profile of George Washington to honor him for creating it.

Why purple?  Why not blue or green, or my favorite color – yellow?

Obviously, yellow stands for cowardice, so…  that color is automatically eliminated.  Does it matter that purple was chosen for this great badge of merit?  I think so.

The color purple combines the calm stability of blue with the fierce energy of red.  It’s a color known for royalty, nobility, pride, peace, devotion, grandeur, dignity, wisdom, creativity, and power.

A moderate shade of purple can brighten a mood, calm the mind and nerves, enhance the sacred and bring about a general state of confidence.  I always feel more confident when I wear dark purple.  In fact, when people ask me what they should wear to a job interview, I suggest they buy an eggplant suit and accent it with a bright white shirt.  It lets your perspective employer know right away that you are confident in your abilities.  I have an “interview” suit, and yes, it is eggplant purple.  I got any job I wanted in that suit and an updated resume.

If a hue is too bright, it suggests you are wealthy and gives an air of royalty.  That is not an impression you want to give at a job interview.  That would leave the perspective employer thinking you don’t really need the job – that you are independently wealthy and think you are a little better than everyone else.

Choosing a hue that is too light can have the opposite effect.  It can make the perspective employer think that you are flighty, absent-minded or not serious about getting a job done.  A light purple is delicate.  If you are interested in romance, light purple is a perfect color.  It conjures up nostalgia and whimsy.

If the purple is very dark it can convey feelings of depression, gloom, sadness and frustration.  Again, this is not a good vibe to give to a prospective employer.

Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.  – James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Yes, a moderate shade of purple is the perfect color for the purple heart.  Brave acts of heroism should be honored in some small way.  We appreciate our military and the purple heart is just one way to let them know how much we hold them in high esteem for the sacrifices they make to ensure our freedom here in the United States of America. 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL DAUGHTER’S DAY

TL 3-9 NATIONAL DAUGHTER'S DAY

AN ADOPTION STORY

I’ve not started writing yet and my eyes are filled with tears. Today is NATIONAL DAUGHTER’S DAY and all day I have read the most heartwarming posts from mothers and daughters on facebook. It’s been my practice to pray and ask God to pass messages along to my parents. Don’t laugh – He’s God. Do you really think that’s completely absurd? I don’t – and if the belief that my messages get passed on keeps me happy and healthy and sane, then what’s the harm anyway? Once I’m reunited with them in heaven it won’t matter one way or the other, will it?

There’s only one way I can mark this special day, to write a poem about it. The day I went to live with the Turner family was the beginning of my very blessed life. The older I get, the more blessed I feel for having been their little girl. They did not spoil me, but they just loved me so very much. We spent so much time laughing and singing together. I felt as though I was on vacation every day of my life.

When I was 18 I decided to get a copy of my adoption papers. I was not unhappy with my life, but rather I was curious about things. I had a long talk with my parents before I drove to the courthouse. I wanted to make sure they knew I was not looking to replace them (like I ever could). It was a matter of curiosity and nothing more. Once I got my papers, I began to be even more grateful to God for the life I was given.

I apparently had 9 siblings and my birth parents were not educated. They had given up the last 5 of the 9. My birth mother was well over 40 years old when I was born and I suspect that is why I have a learning disability. My sweet mother was very savvy. She is the one that realized that if I could learn to read music, I could apply the same principles to learning to read words. She should have written a book about it. It’s fascinating how well that theory of hers worked!

I love my parents and I am a devoted daughter – even now.