A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

When God calls a person to do a job, He is very sure of Himself and knows who He wants and why.  There are people in history whose lives leave me smiling because there’s no doubt in my mind that God was right smack dab in the middle of their circumstances – working!

Did you know that Moses didn’t want to be a leader?  He argued with God about it – no, no don’t pick me!  I can’t be a leader ‘cuz see, I have this stuttering problem and it’s really going to slow Your plan down.  Well…  we see here what God had to say about that!  It didn’t do Moses much good to argue with God.

Helen Adams Keller was born in 1880.  She was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. Oh, did I fail to mention that she was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree?  Her life story has been the subject of at least two very popular movies that I know of – both starring Patty Duke, if I remember right.  Helen’s life seemed hopeless at first, didn’t it?  If a person ever offered hope and inspiration to the world…  it was Helen Keller!

Cornelia ten Boom (Corrie) was born in 1892.  She was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.  She and her sister and father were imprisoned in a concentration camp for their actions.  Corrie’s sister, Elisabeth ten Boom (Betsie) was born in 1885.  While incarcerated in Ravensbruck concentration camp, she died at age 59.  Corrie and Betsie’s father, Casper ten Boom died just 10 days after being imprisoned.

Corrie ten Boom’s famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal.  My dad bought the book for me, and in 1976 he took me to see the movie.  Did God use Corrie and her family?  I believe He definitely did – and that story still serves to inspire people all over the world.  My dad said at the very least, it reminds us of what we never want to see again in the world.  It also reminds us that no matter what the world says to do…  as Christians we are obligated to obey our God and do the right thing to honor Him.

If we will place our frail an imperfect selves in God’s very capable hands, trusting that He will work in and through us for His glory, we will be amazed and may even inspire others in the bargain.  I wonder if Moses had flat refused God – if he would have ended up in the belly of a whale – ???  Or…  maybe a camel or something – ???  Oh, it’s a good thing he was obedient, I think.  Yeah.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I look forward to spring for so many reasons, but I think my favorite one is that we will start grilling hamburgers outdoors!  I don’t mind turning the stove on when it’s cold outside because it heats up the kitchen; however, in the spring and summer I’d rather not cook indoors because, well, it heats up the kitchen.

How many hamburgers do you eat at one time?  There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s not a trick question.  The calorie police are all at the donut shop – so don’t weigh your answer.  Be honest – do you have one hamburger, or maybe a few?  What is your portion of ground beef on a bun?

I’m a career dieter…  that is, I’ve been on one meal plan or the other since I was about five years old.  I was the poster child to represent the one who could not climb the rope in P.E. class.  I’ve learned lessons through the years – the primary one being – you must use portion control when you eat anything – no matter what diet you follow.

When it comes to spiritual portions…  there’s never too much of God’s Spirit!  I’ll tell you, if I eat too many hamburgers (or anything, for that matter), it will show up fairly quickly.  When I depend on God to be my portion – every moment of every day…  it shows up also, but in a positive way!  He is so faithful to me, and I depend on His love and kindness to renew my soul – over and over again.

It’s taken a lifetime, but I’ve learned to rely less on the portion control in a diet, and more on the PORTION that is the Holy Spirit of God.  I’m not as quick to pick up a cupcake to deal with stress like I used to.  I choose to take a deep breath and seek God when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  It’s His will for my life – and it’s a healthy and good way to deal with stress.  The Lord is my portion…  and there are no calories or carbohydrates to count.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Great is HIS faithfulness!  Strength, hope and happiness are all from His loving hands.  Best of all…  He gave us pardon from all sin!

Most parents want the very best for their children.  As much as they want to do for them – and be for them, you can imagine how much more our Heavenly Father wants for His children!  If we understand God as a loving, kind, and protective Father, then we understand that He always has our best interest in mind.  That’s why sometimes we are forged in fire – it’s also why sometimes we feel a warm Heavenly embrace.  He knows whether we need to be kicked – or kissed.  Tribulation works patience, and patience will work experience, and experience a hope that leaves me unashamed.

God is merciful to us.  He’s patient when others would give up.  His mercies are new every single morning.  Each day begins a clean slate – and aren’t we thankful?  I can think of a lot of days I’d like to forget forever – days when I was less than stellar and more dense than I imagined I ever could be.  I’m just so human sometimes.  But God loves me and He helps me regain the courage I lose.  My best is what He requires – His best is what I’m so thankful for.

We can rest in God’s faithfulness.  We can rely on God’s guidance.  We can always know that tomorrow is a new day…  filled with brand new mercies from our Heavenly Father. 

It occurred to me that this passage says that God’s love is STEADFAST – it could have just said that God loves us – but it didn’t.  God’s love is described as steadfast.  Would you describe human love that way?  No, me neither.  God’s not going anywhere – His love is with you to stay – you can bet on it.

Tomorrow will be filled with brand new possibilities, new goals to meet and God’s blessings to boot!  Wake up, get up, make up and share God’s best with everyone you meet!  I know you can do it!  God’s got this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.  – Acts 13:22

God brought David from a shepherd boy to a great king, and called him a man after His own heart.  As we explore the heart of man, we need to ask a few questions:

  • How do I know I’m truly converted?
  • If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from my life, how long would it take me to notice?
  • How much alone time do I spend with God?
  • Do I practice obedience in the small things God gives me to do?

Every person who has a heart after God’s heart must walk with the assurance that they are truly converted.  Going to church every week and following the rules put forth by the church does not necessarily mean a person’s heart is converted.  Jesus must be your personal Savior and not your religion – those are two separate and distinct things.  ❤

When Christ was ready to ascend to Heaven, He left us the most precious gift of all…  His precious Holy Spirit!  Would you notice if He went away?  He will never leave you unless you tell Him to (who would do that?) – but seriously, how self-sufficient are we?  Scripture tells us to lean on Him and not on our own understanding.  The world would call Him a “crutch”, but I have a different take on it.  God’s Holy Spirit knows the future – I can’t think of a single “crutch” in this world that has that knowledge – I know some that claim to, but none that really do.  ❤

Devotions are not just about opening your Bible and reading two verses, marking your place and checking it off.  That’s certainly a start, but there’s really more to it.  There’s nothing wrong with following a prescribed outline such as Through the Bible in a Year, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll fall behind and feel guilty about it.  It’s better for me to let God’s Holy Spirit lead me to the things I need to see, read, and possibly write about.  ❤

When the Lord leads you to it, He most certainly will lead you through it.  Do you balk or do you obey?  Or, like me, do you sorta balk and stall, then obey?  Some changes are so scary, but if we will be obedient in the small things, God will trust us with the bigger things.  I mean, David started as a shepherd boy…  and what if he had not been obedient – first in the small things – then…  well, he ended up being a king!  ❤

I don’t necessarily want to be a king – but I sure do want to have a heart after God’s own heart.  One day I want Him to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  ❤

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.  – Psalm 31:9

God has shown mercy to us more times than we can count or probably recall.  I wonder if there are times He is merciful to us and we don’t acknowledge it.  Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we need to remember that God is good.  Life is not always going to go smoothly.  We will be distressed and feel weak with sorrow from time to time.  Grief over the passing of loved ones is a very real part of life, but we must not place blame on God for what we feel.  ❤

I don’t know a person who has “arrived” to the point where they separate their trials and temptations with how they’re feeling; however, I do know some pretty wonderful Christians who know how to feel what they feel without losing their grasp on their faith in God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  They see their circumstances – and they see their God.  Instead of telling God how big their circumstances are, they tell their circumstances how BIG their GOD is!  Ah-ha!!!  Now see…  that’s the kind of Christian I wanna be.  ❤thankful-still

Yes there will be some rough waters – but God’s grace and mercy in your life are there to help you through them.  Ask God to adjust your sails and set you on the right course.  I’ve never sailed, yet I’m using this analogy…  interesting.  I’ve heard some folks say you have to adjust your own sails – no – ask the Father to do it.  He’s more than happy to help you with that.  Lean and depend on His wisdom and His power because – hey – He knows the future.  Do you know the future?  I don’t.  ❤

We are blessed with God’s precious grace and mercy as we travel through life.  It’s not always smooth sailing (again with the sailing) – but I’ll tell you – the ANCHOR HOLDS.  I love that song and that truth.  ❤

I have journeyed

Through the long dark night

Out on the open sea

By faith alone

Sight unknown and yet his eyes were watching me

CHORUS

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered the anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm

I’ve had visions

I’ve had dreams

I’ve even held them in my hand but I never knew

They would slip right through

Like they were only grains of sand

CHORUS

I have been young but I am older now

And there has been beauty these eyes have seen but it was in the night

Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved his love to me

Christ will never lie – He will never play tricks on us – He is dependable and He wants only the best for us…  that much I know for sure.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  Praise His name!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW 6:26 ON 6/26

TL MATTHEW 6-26 ON 6-26

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  – Matthew 6:26

If you are feeling alone and forgotten today, this verse is just what you need!  We all need to be reminded that our God loves us more than anything!  In a world that seems to put less value and importance of the sanctity of human life – it does our hearts good to know that God values each and every one of us individually.

How can a great big God show such intimate and special concern for us?  I don’t have the answer to that question – but I know He does!

Our neighbors to the east have a bird feeder hanging on a metal shepherd’s hook.  They keep that feeder filled with bird food year around.  Sometimes I just stand at my kitchen window and watch the birds, especially in the wintertime.  I think of this verse and the old hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow”.  God provides for even the little sparrow – sometimes through folks like our neighbors.

My mom-in-love used to tear a slice of bread up almost every day to feed the birds.  She didn’t have much money, and I don’t think she ate very much herself, but she was bound and determined that the birds would not starve.  We used to remind her that God would take care of the birds, and she needed to take care of herself.  I don’t think she listened.  LOL!

It’s God’s desire to have an ongoing relationship with each of us throughout our life’s journey.  He loves us so much and cares about every little thing that’s happening in our lives.

HIS FAITHFULNESS RENEWS MEJust knowing that God takes such good care of the sparrows and cares even more about us…  makes me think that He will also cause us to soar like eagles!  With His help, we really do fly above the chaos that is life and run like an antelope without growing faint.

What’s stopping you today?  You are armed with the knowledge that the God of the universe favors you and wants to help you live life in a whole and happy way.  That leaves me feeling hopeful for the future.  🙂

GALATIANS 5:22-23 ON 5/22 & 23

TL 5-22 & 23 GALATIANS 5-22 & 23

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

Who IS the Spirit…  the Holy Spirit of God is part of the Holy Trinity.  God is One, yet Three – and no, I don’t know how to explain it – but He is God, so He can be anyone!  There is God the Father, God the Son (in flesh, Christ Jesus), and God the Spirit.  When God the Son ascended into Heaven, He did not leave us completely alone to figure this life out for ourselves – He left us God the Holy Spirit.  We know Him as the Comforter.  As we study God’s Word, we learn that God’s Spirit brings us everything we need to navigate this crazy life.  In this world that is increasingly filled with hate, we have God’s love; in a world filled with despair, we have God’s joy; in a world of wars and rumors of war, we have a deep settled peace that the world will never understand.  God’s Spirit helps us muster up patience when most people in the world want to be anything but… and how mean can people get?  God’s Spirit helps us be kind, good, faithful, gentle and exercise self-control.AN ADDED GIFT

Why would anyone not want that supernatural help???  Does this mean we’re perfect and will never mess up?  Well, sadly – no.  I’m never going to be perfect.  There are circumstances in this world that make me downright angry, but that’s when I have to remember that everything works for good and God has everything under control.  The enemy of my soul knows how to push buttons that make my temper flare, but that’s when I have to re-focus on Jesus and remember His sacrifice so that I can live – and I want to live with the attributes or fruits of His Spirit.

Aren’t we thankful that our Savior did not leave us alone?  I sure am!  Speaking for myself, I need all the HELP I can get…  and God’s Holy Spirit gives me all the HELP I’ll ever need.  He’s so perfect and righteous and Holy.  He makes my life so much better and I need Him every minute of every day.  It doesn’t make me weak – it makes me smart.  🙂