A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23  

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Happy birthday to my daddy in Heaven.  I was thinking about all the great things he taught me and how many times I wish I could have another conversation with him.  I’d like to share part of a Father’s Day writing with you today.

Thank you, Daddy.  Thank you for showing me what it means to have a good work ethic.  Thank you for teaching me how to barter when I don’t have money.  I know growing up, we didn’t have more money than time, but there was always time for laughter, for listening, and for love.

Even though you built houses for a living, ours was the best one of all – not because it was more fancy, but because the love within those walls turned that house into a home.  I remember sitting in front of the TV in the family room listening to you laugh at some show.  I wanted to memorize that sound and tuck it in the back of my mind so I’d never forget it.  All I have left is that tape in my head… and I play it over and over again.  I would give so much to hear you laugh for real just one more time.  But you know what, Daddy?  One day I will…  yeah, I will.  – Linda Palmer

It’s always my intent to be a balcony person on this blog – an encourager and a cheerleader to folks – but I won’t be fake and pretend that everything is just peachy keen all the time, just so others will think well of me.

I believe there are moments when we are all balcony people AND basement people.  I believe that we sharpen one another’s iron – at all times.  I don’t believe that we are exclusively balcony or basement people.  I believe we are God’s children – and there are HIGHS and there are LOWS because we are all very HUMAN.  God knows us, and I don’t think it’s bad to admit that I’m not on the mountaintop every single day.

If and when I’m having basement moments…  I appreciate the balcony people who come along and encourage me in those times – but I also appreciate the basement people who are not ashamed to admit they’re struggling a bit.  If God puts a basement person in my path, it’s probably because He wants me to help them.

That’s what we do…  we help those who are going through a rough patch.  I help you…  you help me.  Iron sharpening 101.

We all want to be balcony people – encouragers – cheerleaders – energizers – affirming.  I’m no different – but if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all need someone to give us encouragement – cheer us on – energize us – and affirm us – once in a while.

The Bible tells us to sharpen one another’s iron – it’s a give and take – one day I encourage – and another day – I get encouraged.  It’s my intent to encourage and uplift others, using the wonderful Word of God; however…

If I have to be on a mountaintop 24/7 as I write this blog, maybe I’m not doing what I need to do.  If you expect this humble writer to be on a mountaintop 24/7, sorry to disappoint you.  If I’m not on the mountaintop, it does not indicate that I lack hope or peace in my life.  It just makes me human.  I won’t apologize for being human.  I won’t judge you for being human either.  🙂

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEARHAPPY NEW YEAR!!!photofunia-calendar-large-2017-01-01-01-11-44

As usual, I’ve seen the advertisements for fitness equipment, diet fads and all sorts of quick ways to lose tons of weight for the new year.  It’s a cycle, isn’t it?  We give ourselves permission to eat anything we want from Halloween to New Years – then BOOM – we’re supposed to be on this track toward nutritional nirvana or something.  It’s crazy!

I’m not going to give you more hype about how having a better body will magically improve your life.  It will make you more healthy – that’s all.  There’s more to having an improved life than a new diet and exercise routine.

For me, in 2017 it’s less about what I want to be and more about what I do NOT want to be.  I do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone else this year.  What IS a stumbling block?  There are several portions of Scripture that explain.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.  – Romans 14:13

It’s a decision – a choice – a will of the heart and mind… not to put any stumbling block or OBSTACLE in the way of a brother or sister.  Think and count to ten before you spew criticism out of your mouth to anyone.  You do realize that once those words are spoken, you can’t reel them back in, right?

That OBSTACLE can be verbal, it can be put in their way through actions or inactions on your part.  Your attitude or behavior could be considered a stumbling block to someone.  We have to be so very careful with each other because everyone is fighting a battle in life and we all come from different backgrounds.  We need to try to show more understanding.  I want to do that this year.

God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.”  – Isaiah 57:14

Instead of throwing rocks and stones at others, I want to help them clear them away.  I want to help others have a smooth path to walk.  I want to pray for them and let God do the work in their lives.

You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD.  – Leviticus 19:14

It’s possible that not everyone has heard the gospel of Christ.  Certainly there are those in our world who are blind to the truth of it.  I can’t believe in the place of anyone else.  It’s my job to share – not to beat anyone over the head with a Bible.  This year I want to pray for the deaf and the blind – and make sure my life is the way it needs to be.  Any prayers said for me are appreciated, to be sure.  I’m not perfect, but I sure do want to be the person God wants me to be.

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty.  – Malachi 2:7-8

Preachers and teachers should be especially careful.  What you’re preaching and teaching should not cause folks to stumble.  Sometimes the truth can hurt, but it should never be delivered in such a way that it causes anyone to throw their hands up in defeat and give up. Pray before you preach and lean on God’s Holy Spirit to guide you.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  – Matthew 16:23

So now we know where these stumbling blocks come from, don’t we?  Big surprise – a stumbling block is one tool in satan’s tool box.  He gets someone to put the obstacle in front of us, which in turn gets us discouraged and ready to give up – and if we quit – split-hoof wins the battle.  He doesn’t win the war – he’ll never win the war – but he can win small battles.

Don’t be angry at the person putting the stumbling block before you – be wise and look beyond what you can see.  Only our Lord can actually call His disciple out on it – but we can essentially do the same thing – take the stumbling block to your prayer closet with you – and show it to Jesus – and say “Get thee behind me, satan, in the mighty name of Christ Jesus, my Lord and King.”

It hurts when obstacles get thrown at us – the enemy of our soul knows it will – that’s why it happens.  If we’ll just lean strong on God and His Word, nothing that is thrown at us will make us give up and quit for good.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.  – 1 Corinthians 8:9

Let me ask you a question.  If you have a RIGHT to do something, but it infringes on another person’s BELIEFS, do your rights mean more than their beliefs?

HOW SELFISH if you answered yes.  We live in a country based on a Constitution and I’m so thankful for it; however, let me share a basic truth my parents instilled in me:

MY RIGHTS STOP AT THE END OF YOUR NOSE.   I’m a big fan of personal space, so my rights end a little further than the end of my nose – give me a couple of inches of personal space.

The right to swing my arms in any direction ends where your nose begins.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I’ve lived by that simple truth – and it is the truth.  Nobody’s rights mean more than another person’s beliefs.  Rights and beliefs can and should live in harmony.

Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  – 1 John 2:10

Ah-ha!  Did you read that?  I want that…  I want to live in LIGHT and LOVE with others and have nothing in me that makes me stumble – and …  nothing in me that will make anyone else stumble!

I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s resolution exactly…  but I sure would call it a goal.

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Oh Lord break my heart for what breaks yours. Let me love others as you have loved me.

Happy New Year!  Have a blessed 2017 in which you encourage and iron-sharpen to your heart’s content!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLDWIDE CANDLELIGHTING DAY

TL 12-14 WORLDWIDE CANDLELIGHTING DAY

 

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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4

This is WORLDWIDE CANDLELIGHTING DAY, a day that unites families and friends in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the young loved ones who left too soon.  It costs very little, yet means so much to the families who have been torn apart by violence in this world.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  – From a headstone in Ireland

Plan to light a candle to support these grieving families left behind to pick up the pieces.  We’ll light candles at 7:00 p.m. local time and say a prayer for those suffering loss.  This is the 18th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends.

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.  – Robert Ingersoll

Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  – Khalil Gibran

The Compassionate Friends and associated organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries and community centers.  Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.

 A human life is a story told by God.  – Hans Christian Andersen

Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book which will be available, during the event, at The Compassionate Friend’s national website  www.compassionatefriends.org

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
– Author Unknown

SOMETIMES

When our precious children are mourning they need for adults to be close at hand, but at times they need some solitude as well.

Children especially need solitude.  Solitude is the precondition for having a conversation with yourself.  This capacity to be with yourself and discover yourself is the bedrock of development.  – Sherry Turkle, PhD, sociologist

Since we can’t hug our friends, we will light a candle for them in honor of their lost loved ones today.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx