A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

There are different meanings behind the word CHARACTER.  We talk about a character that is portrayed in a movie or program on TV.  Sometimes we refer to a person as a real CHARACTER…  it’s usually not a compliment.  It’s rare these days to hear that a person has a good CHARACTER, meaning that they can be trusted and live an upstanding life.

Which one of these definitions describe you now?  No, wait – don’t tell me.  The real question is, which one of these definitions would you like to describe you in 2016?

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.  – Cavett Robert

It’s going to sound like I’m trying to lay guilt on you, but which one of these CHARACTER definitions would Christ be pleased with where you’re concerned?  Hmm…  that puts it in a different light, doesn’t it?  I’m pretty sure He would not like for me to BE a CHARACTER – not in that way.  And I won’t be acting anytime soon, so…

There is just one kind of CHARACTER to be known as – that is to have a good CHARACTER – a good reputation, a good track record, as it were…  He is pleased when we are what we’re supposed to be as His child.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.  – Maya Angelou

Sadly, there are a ton of examples of Christians who put forth all the right stuff – or so it seemed – and in the end, they were not genuine in their relationship with Christ.  If we are going to claim Christ is our Savior, we need to tow the line in the relationship.  I’m not fussing at you, I’m talking to me too.

THE YEAR OF DAILY STEPS

We fail because we’re human, but we need to do our very best in spite of the times we fail Him.  God is so faithful to us and He does forgive when we ask.  In 2016, let’s put our best foot forward in our relationship with Christ and be people of good CHARACTER…  when the world sees us, may they say, “Yes, this is a little Christ…  a Christian with good CHARACTER.”  🙂

 

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WORLD HELLO DAY

TL 11-21 WORLD HELLO DAY

11-21 TELL THE WORLD HELLO

Today is WORLD HELLO DAY, a day to take time to say hello to everyone you meet!  Can you say hello without saying a word?

Now you know how I passed French in High School.  LOL!  That song is a good way to learn the numbers one to ten as well as a greeting.  I keep thinking one of these days I’ll find myself in France – at the Eiffel Tower – and need to know the language, at least minimally.  Hey – don’t deny me the dream!  I so want to see Europe one day!

How many languages can you say HELLO in? Well, of course!  Just as we can read our pets by their body language, we can read people.  Sometimes all a person needs is a smile to say hello.  How important is a HELLO from you?  It could make all the difference to someone you encounter, even if you don’t think it will.

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My husband and I discussed the other day a movie called “The Jazz Singer”.  I did a little research and learned that it’s been remade twice.  The original came out in 1927 and starred Al Jolson.  It was one of the first American musicals put on film.  The first remake came out in 1953 and starred Danny Thomas.  Because the film did not do well, Thomas vowed to never act in another movie and stayed focused on television shows.  The second and last remake came out in 1980 and starred Neil Diamond.

Yes, there’s a point here – (thank you for your patience).  In the 1980 movie, Neil Diamond wowed us with his musical talent.  I enjoyed the music so much that I went out and bought the album almost immediately after I left the movie theatre!  Three of the songs from the album became Top 10 pop singles, with “Love on the Rocks,” “Hello Again” and “America” reaching #2, #6, and #8 respectively.

Of the three, my favorite song is “Hello Again”.  I think listening to that today may give us the nudge we need to go out and say hello to everyone we meet!  🙂

  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  – Psalm 9:9

Each time “selah” appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, either to take a breath, or to sing a cappella or let the instruments play alone?  Perhaps they were pausing to praise Him about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship.

Last night as I watched the President’s address about immigration, I had a “selah” moment.  It’s as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I am to welcome all.  Now, I have not changed my mind about how things went down- and I likely never will.  It’s wrong for a President to try to make a law – and I’m so tired of the lying and proverbial pulling of the wool over “stupid” American’s eyes.  About those evil things – I pray.  About how angry those things get me – I pray.

But, God reminded me that I am to be Christ-like to people – all people.  That’s my job.  That is what I can control.

I was also reminded of a basic verse from Galatians:

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…  against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22

God does not see borders and He wants me to be His ambassador, His representative.  God does not like ugly – no matter what the circumstance.  God sees all people, and they are precious souls created by Him.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

ALMOND BLOSSOMS

The most obvious reference about almond blossoms is the famous group of paintings made in 1888 and 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh. The blossoms represented awakening and hope for good reason. The famous artist had just become an uncle! His brother and sister-in-law named their little bundle of joy after Vincent. The paintings were done with great joy. It’s no accident that he used this subject. Almond blossoms are the first to appear and announce that spring has arrived.

There are also a couple of references in the Bible about almond blossoms. Keep in mind that in the mind of the artist, the blossoms represented awakening, hope and renewal. The parallel between the Biblical and the secular applications is astounding to me.

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then said the LORD unto me, “You have seen well: for I am ready to perform My word.” – Jeremiah 1:11, 12.

Jeremiah was just a teen when God called him to be a prophet. He didn’t volunteer for the job, but he was faithful. He was known as the weeping prophet. God had a specific purpose for Jeremiah. He was a prophet during the reign of 5 different kings. But this was the beginning of the long road. This was the awakening, the renewal. Before Jeremiah spoke, he needed to see.

God doesn’t use visions to help us much anymore – or maybe I should say He hasn’t used visions or dreams to help me. But the beautiful almond blossoms helped the young weeping prophet learn the lessons he needed to learn at the beginning of his journey. What lesson is God teaching you right now? What is He using to help you learn the lesson? 🙂

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

 

I have enjoyed writing poetry using the pen name THE PRAIRIE LADY. The name came about as a joke, really. I was chatting on facebook with my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill (author of “Coffee with Jesus”) and we were discussing the regions we come from. I mentioned that I was a Jayhawker, which means I was born and raised in Kansas. One thing led to another and suddenly I was dubbed THE PRAIRIE LADY.

They say a person should write about what they know, which makes sense because that is the writing that flows and comes most naturally. Anything you try to write with little or no knowledge under your belt will feel “forced” when it’s read. I have a college degree in KANSAS and a lifetime of experience, having lived on the prairie my whole life. I embrace the simplicity and contentment this part of America exudes. We almost pride ourselves on being in touch with nature (ask anyone who has lived through an F-5 tornado).

The nicest comment was posted on facebook shortly after I shared this poem. It said:

“Your poetry is so beautiful as well as accurate.”

I thought that was simply wonderful and appreciate that assessment of it!

My grandpa Frank and granny LaVella had a working farm. I learned everything I needed to know about life at the farm. The early bird gets the chores done earlier and gets to do other things earlier. I don’t know about getting the worm, but this bird did learn that a good stiff cup of coffee helps just before you go out to get started on farm chores. That is especially true in the wintertime. There’s an old saying:

EVERY MILE IS TWO IN WINTER
I learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to work hard and get plenty of rest at night. Believe me, on the farm you have no trouble sleeping at night. You’re so tired, when your head hits the pillow – boom – you’re out!

It is my hope to eventually publish a book of poetry one day. I’d like to call it THE PRAIRIE LADY’S BOOK OF POETRY. Well, it’s a start, but it will take more than just a title to make it a reality. It will take hard work, but don’t worry… I’m a farm girl and I know how to work hard to accomplish a goal.

There’s no room for manicured nails here… lol. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GOD'S WORK ETHIC

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, then you will be fired with enthusiasm.  – Vince Lombardi

http://youtu.be/TmEwFVNlPhE

We work to honor God, not men. We want to do the best job we can because God has blessed us so abundantly.

I was only 2 years old when this woman began selling cosmetics door-to-door. Mary Kay Ash is now a household name, but back in 1963, she was doing some really hard work. She didn’t mind doing all that hard work because she not only believed in the product she was selling, but she had the right attitude toward her work. She did her work as though it was for God, not men.

She was in her mid-forties when she set out to make this dream a reality. Although I am older than that, it is my sincere hope and prayer that one day my hard work will pay off. I understand that the payment may not be monetary and that’s fine because I only want what God wants me to have, however, I do have a dream and enough enthusiasm and excitement in my heart and soul to keep writing!

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go farther than a great idea that inspires no one.  – Mary Kay Ash

That has been my prayer since I began writing. The first time I wrote a blog post a few years back, I prayed, “Lord, please let this be inspirational. Please sprinkle this with Your blessing, and Your inspiration.” Has it worked? I believe that God will do what He wants to do with it, when He sees fit. I wouldn’t have it any other way – His timing is perfect!

I hope and pray my blog posts and poems have been contagious in your life! I want the joy of the Lord to leap out and make you smile and begin singing praises to Him! This is me buckling my seat belt. OK, Lord, I’m ready – YOU do the driving… let’s GO! ❤

CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY

TL 9-9 CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY

This movie took place in 1900 when the iron horse was the mode of transportation from East to West.  But in the mid 1800’s it was one rough ride to get out west.

CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY is a legal holiday in the state of California.  California’s admission into the Union as the thirty-first state back in 1850 is being celebrated today.  As part of the Compromise of 1850 California was admitted to the Union as a free state after being ceded to the United States by Mexico at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.

You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person.  – Alec Waugh

The state of California offers any type of scenery you might like – from ocean to forest to skyscrapers in cities.  In the 1800’s there was a different reason for folks to take a wagon train headed west – GOLD.  Back then it wasn’t as simple as hopping in the station wagon and driving along highways.  It was a very rough ride in a covered wagon instead.  Some people did not survive the trip, as disease and weather conditions sometimes took lives.

If you want to get a good idea of what it was like to travel in a covered wagon along the Oregon Trail, there are excerpts from Margaret Frink’s diary online.  She was born in 1818 and married her husband in 1839.  They decided to head west to California in 1850.  They settled in Sacramento but lived in several parts of California.

http://www.oregontrailcenter.org/HistoricalTrails/JournalEntries/frink.htm

Of course there are several movies depicting the travels in the 1800’s out west.  We consider those folks pioneers and know their lives were not easy, but they hung on to hope and dreamed of a better life.  I admire those who hold on to hope and forge ahead regardless of the risk.  They kept their wits about them and held on to faith in God.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.  – Søren Kierkegaard

Along the way there was surely pain, suffering and loss.  Wives buried husbands, parents buried children.

Today we see forgetting the curling iron on a trip as devastating.  Really???  :-/

 

 

 

 

 

LIGHTHOUSE DAY

TL 8-7 LIGHTHOUSE DAY

Today we celebrate LIGHTHOUSE DAY!!! To be honest, I’ve never seen a lighthouse, except in photographs, of course. I’ve hosted parties with a lighthouse theme and I’ve read books and seen movies with lighthouses in them – but I’ve not seen a lighthouse – yet.

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I would love to say that I’m going to celebrate by traveling to the East coast somewhere to visit but that’s not going to happen. I’ll be here in Kansas – smack dab in the middle of the United States for the rest of the day. I’ll be doing laundry and dusting furniture – but my mind will be elsewhere and I’ll be dreaming of crashing waves and imagining myself sauntering along a sandy beach in flip-flops. It all sounds just lovely.

Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships. – Charles Simic

Of course, Jesus Christ is the lighthouse and may His light shine on me…  and you.

 

Have you ever heard the recordings that mix music with the sounds of nature? I have one that has the sound of the ocean with beautiful music. Maybe I will listen to that CD while I’m doing my chores today. I can escape Kansas just for a little while in my mind. But one day – it will be real. I will scratch that off my bucket list one day soon. ❤