MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

TL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAYPUTTING HOLES IN THE DARKNESSRegardless of the divisiveness in our country, we are to shine with the kindness, joy, hope, love and caring nature of our Lord, Savior and Master, Christ Jesus.  MLK QUOTE (3)

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  – John Wesley

At the risk of repeating myself…  GOD LOVES YOU!  It doesn’t end there…  He wants us to love one another as well.  That’s where, sadly, it gets tricky – and I’m not even sure why.  If we profess to have the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, it should be a piece of cake to love our brother, right?  :-/

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can show love to others – but it takes a lot of prayer beforehand.  Let’s get on our knees and pray today for the necessary tools so that we can show mutual respect for one another!  Once we’ve asked God to help us, let’s rise and be bigger!  I want to rise about petty behavior, don’t you?

LET'S RISE AND BE BIGGER

FORGIVENESSLove, forgiveness, showing interest in others in a genuine manner – that’s the blessing I want from God today!  I will ask Him to give me the gift of real compassion for all people.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  – Mahatma Gandhi

I want to exercise honest sympathy and true empathy in life.  Think of the sacrifice Christ made for all of us – then think of the way He wants us to live.  Let’s be the best representatives for Christ we can possibly be in 2016.LOVEThere is such darkness in our country – and in our world.  Let’s humbly ask God through Jesus for LIGHT and LOVE which pokes holes in the darkness.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  –  Paul Boese

There is hope for America!  If we each commit to a life of forgiveness and peace, wrapped up in God’s love and grace, He will guide us to a brighter place and help us to share this country in unity.  It’s my prayer that the words of Dr. King will resonate throughout the United States, especially at this crucial time in history.  May God Bless America!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

THE ESTATE SALE

Estate sales are so much fun because, like a treasure hunt, you never know what you may find!  There may be a house filled with things that you are sure you can’t live without at bargain prices, or it might be full of things that you can easily walk away from and leave behind.

All decoration is about memories.  – Mrs. Henry Parish

The last estate sale we went to left quite an impression on me.  There is a housing development just south of ours that we laughingly refer to as “the high rent district” because the homes sell for over $500,000.00 and the HOA dues are about triple what ours are.  We’re talking about a very nice area!

Ah!  There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.  – Jane Austen

I was first impressed by the landscaping as we approached the beautiful front door.  Obviously these people did not do it themselves.  It was professionally done.  At the door there was an intercom.  I suppose that is to announce your arrival.  We walked in the door and the foyer was lovely with tile floors and textured walls.  I turned to the left and saw the master dining room, separated from the living room by two columns!  Yes, I said columns!  Do you have columns in your house?  Yeah, me neither.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.  – Johann von Goethe

I thought about removing my shoes, but as I looked at others, I realized that I should probably leave them on or look like an idiot walking around in sock feet while everyone else was wearing shoes.

A little house, a house of my own, out of the wind’s and rain’s way.  – Padrak colum

The sale was fairly ordinary actually…  it would seem that even wealthy people use items such as cotton balls and heating pads.  I must admit, however, that the massive stained-glass window in the oversized master bath took me aback!  The his and hers walk-in closets made me think of our own closet space – and our bi-fold doors.  To those of you who don’t know – having bi-fold doors on your closet means that there are items in your closet that are hidden forever because you will never be able to reach them!

An open home, and open heart.  Here grows a bountiful harvest.  – Judy Hand

Back to the estate sale…  yes, let’s go back to those lovely walk-in closets!  I could see each item of clothing and for a moment I just imagined what that must be like.  I think I could stay there and find out…  her clothing was all too small for me, which came as no surprise.  Most rich women are skinny.  It seems so unfair somehow, doesn’t it?  To have money and be thin…  that’s just almost too much good stuff for one woman!

I wondered through the five more than adequate sized bedrooms, the fireplace room and a few rooms that I don’t even know what they were – not sure they knew either.  The man had a very detailed train set in a train room in the basement – it was marvelous!  The woman did crafts and sewed as there were supplies and some quilts that I’m sure she made.

In the very back part of the basement, I saw it.  That is when reality slapped me upside the head – finally.  The heart pillow – you know, that heart pillow that they give folks who have open heart surgery.  I recognized it.  I knew immediately what it was and what it meant.

Surely people with wealth don’t have health problems, do they?  Are they really human like me?  And, this is an estate sale, so…  either they are downsizing or they no longer need this beautiful home for some other reason.  Suddenly my discontentment was replaced by empathy and sympathy.  There’s a reason these things were being sold and a reason the house was being auctioned.

Isn’t it strange how we can look at things more than people?  I admit it – I had house envy and was jealous of the nice closets and the size and beauty of the place.  When I saw that little heart pillow, something clicked inside of me – because I remember our experience with our own.  My mind went back and I finally put two and two together.  Reality came rushing back.

May God help us all to look beyond the temporal to the eternal.  That house will crumble and fall one day, but those people will live for eternity.  No matter what background we come from or how much education we have, one day we will be called away from this planet.  May God help us to stay focused on the things that really matter – and those are not things at all.  ❤

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

GALATIANS 6 2 ON 6 2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂

 

ANOTHER LOOK UNLIMITED DAY

TL 9-2 ANOTHER LOOK UNLIMITED DAY

9-2 WHEN YOUR MAMA COMES TO CALL

Today is ANOTHER LOOK UNLIMITED DAY!!!  We are encouraged to rummage through our possessions and either give surplus items to charity or repurpose them in other projects in order to lessen the amount of garbage in landfills.  We can definitely do that with stuff – but not with the people in our lives.

Dealing with family is not so easy.

“My mom drives me crazy”, my friend vented to me one sunny summer day. As I held the phone and listened I watched the neighbors in their front yard playing with their grandchildren. Tears welled but I was holding it together.

I want her to talk with me about anything and welcome her without restriction of any kind. We talk about absolutely anything and that’s the way friendship should be. My Lord is also her Lord and our values are similar.

Have you ever prayed one of those really fast prayers before you speak – like LORD, PLEASE GIVE ME WISDOM, QUICK – ??? Well, I prayed and then I spoke:

I think your mom realizes that times have changed and that she doesn’t need to be so controlling, but it may be a struggle for her to feel as important to you as her mom was to her at your age. She may feel like you are slipping through her fingers and might be mindlessly putting you in a choke hold because she misses her little girl. When daughters grow up, mothers feel a real sense of loss and that sometimes manifests itself in some ugly ways. I don’t believe any mother deliberately pushes her daughter away. Sometimes a daughter needs to show some compassion instead of anger.

Promising to pray for both mother and daughter, I ended my little mini-lecture:

Make an attempt to put yourself in your mom’s shoes. Instead of meeting her anger with your own anger, try approaching her with a calm resolve and rise above the temptation to stoop to her level emotionally. Don’t try to talk her out of her feelings because she thinks they are justified. Just be calm and respectful toward her. Listen and sympathize whether you agree or not. It’s not about agreement, it’s about understanding. Even if the subject is YOU – she still needs to know that you will respectfully listen and honestly empathize with her. Don’t be condescending – but truly sympathize or empathize with her. Let her talk and you listen, nod and give her all the hugs she needs while she is visiting with you.

I added this P.S. in my own mind:

That’s what I would do if my mama came to call. Then I had to go cry. Yeah. 😦

I WILL MISS YOU…

TL A TRIBUTE

THE WORDS OF MAYA

Photo credit:  William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Photo credit: William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Where to begin? Maya Angelou was a great inspiration for the meek and the mighty! Entire nations listened to her words of wisdom and were moved to action by them. Her impressive list of accolades includes her popular book entitled, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, which brought about some controversy and was banned from some school libraries across America. Maya contended that the ones banning the book had not even taken the time to read it.

Her fabulous career began when she cut her first album in 1957, “Calypso Lady”. It’s reported that Billie Holiday told her that she would be famous, but not for singing. How right she was!

Between the fiction, non-fiction and published verse, she had more than 30 best-selling titles!

I will miss reading her writings, always thought-provoking, they encouraged me to grow. I believe that’s what good writing does, it makes a person think, take it to their own heart and life, and act on it. It makes us grow as a person and in the way we interact with those around us.

Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

WHEN GOD WHISPERS
Help people where they are.

God is not the author of confusion. If we allow His Holy Spirit to guide our lives, He is clear and concise in directing us. When I see someone in need I’m usually prompted to either say a prayer before taking action. A long time ago I heard God whisper to me and there was no doubt about what needed to happen.

She looked disheveled and frightened standing just inside the grocery store. The weird thing is, it wasn’t the grocery store I usually shopped at.  I recognized that demeanor because not long before I had been where she was. When I saw her I just knew I was looking into my own tragic past.

I didn’t always make great choices in life. I used to have a tendency to pick up strays – dogs, cats, men. I thought I could “fix” them. Who knows where that came from – but it was what it was. Oh, in case you’re wondering, you can change animals to some extent – but men?  Forget it!  Only God can change a human being.

I introduced myself and asked some questions. She was clearly cautious, which I can understand. You can’t be too careful because there are wolves in sheep’s clothing around every corner of this world – sadly. If my Lord would not have given me such a prompting to approach her, I might not have. She could have played me. But since I felt led to help, it was okay. I was praying as I talked with her.

With no mode of transportation, she had two choices. She could go with me or stay at the grocery store. I’m guessing she didn’t have anything but the clothes on her back, so she went with me.

It was late and I didn’t really want to take her home with me just yet. I drove us to a nearby fast food place so we could talk a little more. I had not let on that I knew her story even before she shared it – but as she told me what happened, it was as if she was reading my story back to me.

At that moment I realized that God had allowed the things in my life to happen so that I could help her. God sees the big picture while we’re stumbling around asking the big question – “why?”

She ran out of her house – no bag, no jacket (and it was pretty chilly outside), and no idea where she was running to. She ran without a plan. I asked if she had family and she indicated she didn’t have family that lived close by. When I was sure this was legitimate, I phoned my parents and asked if they would mind having her stay with us for a while. Mama said she thought that would be fine, so we headed there.

We helped her get back on her feet. She made arrangements to go live with her sister and promised she would divorce her husband. She’s doing well now and has found a good man (not a stray) and enjoys a better life. When God whispers and we obey, great things can happen! ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 34

TL THANKSGIVING

PRAYER ABOUT ANIMALS

If you have 5 good friends in the course of your life, that’s a good thing! People will come and go and not all of them will stay – and not all of them are keepers. When I am a friend, I try to be a good one. I pray for my friends and help as much as I can. I take friendship very seriously and expect nothing less from my friend.

Friends are the family we would choose for ourselves if we could. They are the people who are honest with us when no one else is. They are the ones who tell us when we have a price tag hanging from that new Christmas sweater at church (yes, that really happened – sigh).

I feel free to share nearly anything with my best friends. I ask questions of them that I would not ask anyone else. When I’m crying, they cry with me. When I’m laughing, they laugh too! We don’t hide emotions. There are no masks between me and my best friends. If I hurt them – they forgive quickly. If they hurt me, I forgive quickly. We work it out; then we move on.

Sometimes friends get called away for mission service or God has another place for them to serve. It’s painful to lose friends but with Skype and other technology, it’s easier to let them go, and of course we know that God has a great work for them to do.

The reality check I need comes from my best friends. They keep me grounded when I think too much of myself or my abilities. They encourage my spirit when I feel lower than a snake’s belly. Sometimes it cuts like a knife to hear the truth from them, but I know they tell the truth and I love them for it.

Iron sharpens iron… I believe in my friends and they believe in me. We all believe in GOD and that makes all the difference! ❤