NUMBERS 7:1 ON 7/1

TL NUMBERS 7 1 ON 7 1

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!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

GOD'S FIREFLY

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.  – Meister Eckhart

We’ve all felt the sting of failure in our lives.  I’m the queen of failure at times – I flunked Shorthand I in college – 3 times!  Who flunks shorthand???  So much for that Associate Degree in Secretarial Science.  On the up side, shorthand was soon obsolete, so what difference did it make in my life?  Um…  not much!  I went out into the world and became a secretary without a piece of paper.  Even without a degree, I was secretary for a bank president – then took a few night classes at our local university and became an oil secretary in the early 1980’s.  I leaned on God – and I did okay.

Even when you think you have failed – God declares that you are His precious child – and you are a success!  It’s up to us to declare that we will be God’s Firefly – we will fly and we will shine!!!

I believe that we as Christians can share our hearts with God and He will make a way for us to get where we want to go.  He knows the desire of our hearts, after all.  It’s not always so easy to talk to family and friends about our hopes and dreams.  Sometimes they lack the enthusiasm we wish they would have for us.

Never cut corners.  Customers notice everything.  Take the time to do things right and to create the very best products that you can.  – Deborah Bauer

When I began giving piano lessons to pay for school books, I learned that I had to give my very best in every way – my attitude, my enthusiasm, my knowledge – it all had to shine forth for the benefit of my students, who were not always very sure of themselves.  When we serve others or create products for others to buy – it has to be the best.  Be genuine or be second best.

Ignore the naysayers.  I was told I was silly and that this wouldn’t be worthwhile.  Take the leap.  I’ve never been happier.  – Jada Aloisio

Once you have prayed and asked God for direction and help, make sure you stay on top of your trade.  Are there more classes you need to take?  Do you know the most advanced methods, or are you leaning on those you are familiar with (which may not be as good)?  If you are providing the very best to students or customers, don’t sell yourself short.

Charge what you’re worth.  People know quality and will pay for it.  – Kim Wollenburg

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So, whether you are making soap, designing jewelry, decorating cookies or teaching piano, seek help from your heavenly Father first.  Trust Him to make the path clear for your success and ultimately, His glory.  🙂

 

 

BLUE MONDAY

TL 1-5 BLUE MONDAY

 

WHEN CHRISTMAS IS OVER

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1-5 CHOOSE A SHADE OF BLUE

It’s BLUE MONDAY!  Now, how blue you allow yourself to be is completely up to you.  Choose your shade and rock your mood.  Why do we celebrate this day?  Well, there is no real scientific basis for it, however, it’s thought that a few factors lend themselves to a “let-down” blue mood:

1.  The Polar Vortex is bringing freezing cold temperatures to us.  Most of us don’t adapt to the cold as easily as we do to warm temperatures.

2.  We’ve been on a holiday high, celebrating Christmas with sugary foods we normally wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  Now most of us are saying we’re going to lose a ton of weight overnight – am I right?  That in itself is depressing.

3.  Speaking of those New Year’s Resolutions…  by now most of us have messed up and given up.  So, failure can obviously make us depressed.

4.  The bills are rolling in from all that Christmas fun!  I am taking all of my past-due bills and making them into Origami Cranes.  I may as well be creative while I’m waiting for money to fall in my lap, right?

5.  Most of us are heading back to work – back to the mundane routine of the 9-5 work week.  Well, we have to work to make money to pay for the Christmas fun – right?

Well – that was depressing!  Now, let’s look at this with an eye of rationality, shall we?

1.  God will see us through just like He always has.  We don’t have to be in a deep depression, so we can choose a lighter shade of blue today.  Remember that the Lord loves you and will take good care of you.

2.  It’s going to be okay.  If the weather is bringing you down, be thankful to God for your furnace and the warmth of a fireplace if you have one.

3.  If you made some resolutions for the new year and have been less than perfect – so what?  Is that a reason to give up?  Wow, I sure hope not!  Keep trying because that’s all anyone expects of you – don’t beat yourself up about that stuff.  Most resolutions are tough – or you wouldn’t have to make it every year (am I right?)  I make the same ones every year – because it’s where my weakness lies.  Remember – when we are weak – God is strong!  He is strong through our weakness.  Hang in there.  God will help you succeed – imperfectly.

4.  If you have a means to make money – a.k.a. – a job, be thankful.  If you have bills due and money coming in, it means you have friends and family you love and you’ve given them a token of that love.  You’ll get caught up financially because God will help you.  Ask Him and He will show you the way.

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Yes, you have to go back to work today – and some jobs are worse than others.  Just be thankful you don’t have this job:

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You have a choice – it’s okay to be blue, but I hope you will choose a light blue instead of a deep dark blue.  If you suffer from horrible dark blue mood today, maybe you should find a job you like – do what you love because life is just too short…  it is.  🙂

MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION DAY

TL 1-2 MOTIVATION AND INSPIRATION DAY

 

1-2 WHAT MAKES YOU

What we do online, and who we follow…  will say more about us than we could ever think to tell our shrinks.  Today, Freud would be a big data analyst, consuming all we post online as a proxy for our dreams.  – Mark Cuban

Today is MOTIVATION AND INSPIRATION DAY!!!  So let’s get busy making plans and setting goals to improve our lives.  What do you want to accomplish this year?  What changes would you like to make?  The only thing holding you back is the thought that you can not succeed.  It’s only a thought – a negative voice inside your head.  The first thing we need to do is ask God to diminish that voice and replace it with His comforting, encouraging voice!  God loves you and wants nothing but good things for you!  He wants you to succeed and will help every step of the way!

Much like setting a GPS before a road trip, we carefully, prayerfully and humbly map out a route for success.  If you already write in a journal, you will be familiar with this process.  If you don’t keep a journal, you might want to consider making it part of the planning process.  There is a sort of honesty in personal writing that comes to the surface.  It’s not for publication – but daily notes for your eyes only – and God’s eyes too, of course.

I find myself listing goals in my journal – but they are not general statements.  I’m specific about everything in my journal because I know I’m the only one who will see what I’ve written.  These resolutions, once written, remind me of the true desires of my heart – the deep conversations I’ve had with God.  Instead of writing “I want to lose weight”, I say “I will ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes and walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes, 5 days a week”.  By being specific, and asking God to help me keep those goals before me, I’m much more likely to stick with it – and see results!

Some may disagree with this statement (and that’s okay), but I can’t look too far into the future.  I have so much weight to lose, I can’t even imagine myself with it all gone.  I’ve been obese since the early 1980’s, so this weight has been on me for a good long while.  It seems to like me very much.  I have to pick one small, short-term goal for NOW.  Once that goal is met, I reward myself (a non-food reward, such as a chair massage or facial or something).  I have to take baby steps.  In the past I’ve tried to knock myself out – and end up injuring myself in the long run – unable to do any physical activity.  This time it will be different.

Goals are dreams with deadlines.  – Diana Scharf Hunt

When you plan a journey, there are often strict timelines such as flight times, show times and check-in times at hotels.  The same is true on this trip.  Deadlines are motivating, and setting a strict timeline fights procrastination.  In the past, I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  I can sit and think about exercising – and by the time I get done with my writing and posting and socializing via the internet, it’s too late to exercise.  I’ve written in my journal for 2015, and I declare to you this day, I will take better care of myself than I have in the past.  I will relax and drink my coffee in the morning, but then I will exercise because in order to be healthy, this weight has to go!  I know you all support my decision because you care about me.  Thank you for backing me up.

My mother and I were riding a trolley on a Saturday morning in West Philadelphia.  I told her how much my first-grade teacher Miss Invernessy loved me, boasting that I was the teacher’s pet.  I didn’t know that Miss Invernessy’s own mother was riding behind us.  She heard everything.  On Monday, Miss Invernessy kept me after class.  After she told me, to my total humiliation, what her mother had overheard, I expected her to scold me for my hubris.  She said, “The important thing is that you work for yourself, not for my approval.  If you feel that doing well matters to you, you become your most loyal fan as well as your most severe critic.”  – Judith Rodin, PhD

You wouldn’t take an extended trip without first carefully packing a suitcase.  So what will you pack in your suitcase for this trip through 2015?  I plan to pack some healthy recipes and discard the less healthy ones.  I plan to surround myself with more encouraging people through online resources such as Fit 2 me, positive facebook groups and Christian resources.  I plan to respect my body more than ever and nourish it instead of punishing it.  I plan to carry optimism and laughter and toss aside depression and tears, in Jesus’ Name!

Write every day – about what?  Write a prayer to God and pour out your heart to Him.  Tell Him how you feel and what you believe needs to change in your life.  Trust that He hears and will answer your plea.  Remember that He has a marvelous plan for your life and wants only good things for you.  He wants to walk through this year with you!

Here’s some motivation, inspiration and real beauty for the New Year!  The Grand Canyon is covered in snow!

Some days may not seem good, but we can’t get stronger without those not so good days.  We grow and build character through them and become better prepared for the future.  Some people say I am a character…  hmm…  is that the same thing???  😉

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Lucinda’s second book in the “Coffee with Jesus” series is out!   To get your copy, click on the link below:

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

 

 

PRO-LIFE DAY OF SILENT SOLIDARITY

TL 10-21 PRO-LIFE DAY OF SILENT SOLIDARITY

ABORTION QUOTE

If you met a pregnant woman who was considering abortion, what would you say to her?  While I would not want to judge her in any way because I am not walking in her shoes, I would like to be compassionate and kind as I listened.  I want to help her sort through the lie of the world and the truth of God’s Word.

I believe in families.  God had a good idea when He came up with that concept.  To accept abortion as an alternative is sad because it is basically embracing failure.  I know you think you will just get rid of the baby (the “problem”) and go on with your life, but it’s really not that easy.  That fetus is a part of you.  Please don’t buy into the lie that once the baby is aborted, life will just pick up where it left off.

It’s bad enough to miscarry a baby – believe me.  I think about those babies every day.  I know how old they would be and I know that now I would surely be a grandma.  But no…  it just was not meant to be.

Maybe I feel so strongly about Pro-Life because of the losses I’ve suffered.  I don’t understand why a woman would CHOOSE to kill a fetus (which is a life – because life begins at conception).  I’m sorry but according to God’s Word it is murder.  Last time I looked, that was listed in the Ten Commandments.  And no, I am not going to preach to the pregnant woman considering abortion.  I just want her to know all the facts.  To take a Pro-Choice stand is to be very selfish.  Whose life are you ending and whose life are you saving?  Life is a big deal to God – the biggest of deals!

I do not hate you for weighing your options.  I do pray for you and for the life you have been blessed with.  There is a lie in the Pro-Choice camp that wants you to see this as a choice for freedom.  If you kill this child, you will be tighter bound than ever.  It’s a choice that will haunt you for the rest of your life.  That’s not a lie – that is the real truth.

Have your baby.  Please consider adoption.  Let another couple raise and give that baby everything that you are not prepared to give it.  Adoption is LOVE.  Abortion is HATE.

I’m so thankful my birth mom chose ADOPTION.  May God help you choose LIFE for your baby.  ❤

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR FAILURE

TL 10-13 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAILURE

10-13 YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE

I’ve always felt that if I examine myself too much, I’ll find out what I know and don’t know, and I’ll burst the bubble.  I’ve gotten so lucky relying on my animal instincts, I’d rather keep a little bit of the animal alive.  – Clint Eastwood

Learning to fail well means overcoming our natural instincts to blame someone whenever something goes wrong.  People fail best when they err on the side of forgiveness.  – Megan McArdle

It’s INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR FAILURE. Wait – I think I messed up – hang on… yeah – yeah, that’s right.  Yay – I got it right!  Surprise, surprise!!!

Fail. How? Just fail. You’ll find our own personal way to do it. I usually fail when I write a blog without doing enough research, or when I forget to actually write something down because I can’t remember anything for more than two seconds. A June Bug on speed has a longer attention span than I do.

For it is not failure that stops most people, but rather the belief that failure is permanent.  Failure is nothing more than a storm in the weather forecast for the week – it comes and it goes, and it waters next season’s yield because it teaches us where we can improve.  – Jake Ducey

Apparently on this day we’re supposed to fail on purpose. Then we’re supposed to brag all over the place about it – like I read we’re supposed to cook something – burn it on purpose and then take a photo of it to post on facebook. Seriously???

Or, we’re supposed to do something really stupid, call it a failure and tweet about it. Hmm…

I don’t know about you, but I have epic fails almost daily. I don’t have to stage a fail. Not to brag, but in my world, this could be a daily celebration!

Failure is an event, never a person.   – William D. Brown, Welcome Stress!

The lady you saw walking along Main Street in downtown Wichita last week wearing one brown shoe and one blue shoe – yeah – that was ME. Oh, that’s not the bad news – no. The bad news is, I was going to a job interview. I didn’t get that job – can’t imagine why.

You see, I like to buy comfortable shoes in all the colors and… you know what – never mind.

The point is, if you can laugh more than you cry – you’ve got this whole “life” thing figured out! If we can remember that God loves us no matter what color shoes we are wearing – that’s really all that matters.

FAILURE

It was such a load off my mind to know I could fail and not be a failure. I can fail (and have, and do) in order to learn, study, reinvent myself and move on. Failing forward is not a bad thing. To fail and never try again – that is a tragedy. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

FRIENDSHIP

Whether we are good at making friends or not, we have a promise from Jesus.

Making friends is tricky.  I feel so v-u-l-n-e-r-a-b-l-e because I want friends.

Are you afraid to make new friends?  Are you good at staying in touch with the old ones?  Well, you’re not alone.  It would be so much easier to sit in my comfort zone and live my life. When friends hurt your feelings it really stings, especially when you have invested a significant amount of time in that person. Hopefully every time it happens my resistance gets stronger and my ability to forgive and move on gets faster. I don’t ever want to be completely tough skinned, but I would like to have a tougher skin than I have now.

The Holy Bible teaches that we are to be tender-hearted and kind. We are to be welcoming to our neighbor and forgive quickly when we are hurt. Well, I’m working on it… I’m working on it.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you try to make a friend, you are willingly placing your heart at their mercy. It will either be accepted or it will get stomped on. Sometimes I don’t think I can risk getting my heart stomped on again; then I realize that God wants me to welcome others into my life – into my world. I was made for relationship, not for quarantine. Christianity is not a club for those who never want to be hurt ever again. It’s not a “club” at all – at least it’s not supposed to be.

Church is not a building that welcomes only those Christians who have all their ducks in a row; quite the opposite. Church is there for the sick in spirit and the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness. That doesn’t mean we have our act together, but it means we are in the process of getting it together. None of us will ever get there, but we’re on the narrow road, traveling together. Friends in Christ are friends forever because we are so fast to forgive and keep moving in the right direction.

This Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have a sweetheart, please know that in church you can make some wonderful Christian friends. You may feel vulnerable when you try to make friends, like I do, but Christian friendship is the best.