A Summer of Psalms

Do you remember the first Bible verse your teacher asked (more like challenged) you to memorize in Sunday School?  I do – and this is it!  Of course, I memorized it from the King James version which is:

WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.  – Psalm 56:3

Not to brag, but I was the first one in the Primary class to memorize it, and my teacher gave me a brown teddy bear wearing a little gold cross.  Of course, the best prize of all was that I had started the journey toward hiding the Word of God in my heart.  You see, when you hide God’s Word inside your heart, it’s like knowing there’s a fire extinguisher handy in case there’s a fire one day.  The verses we commit to memory come to mind just when we need them most.  God is faithful to bring them to our mind if we are faithful to put the time and effort into memorizing them in the first place.  One lesson I’ve learned in this life is – if you hold up your end of the bargain, God is more than faithful to hold up His end!

I can’t tell you how many times this verse has popped into my mind.  I’ve been afraid many times.  Most of the time, it’s not like being afraid at a scary movie, but more like being unsure of an uncertain future.  Fear is fear no matter what, and to conquer a fear of any kind, we need to instill some faith!  Faith is our fear extinguisher.   There are Christians walking around who don’t even know they need a fear extinguisher!  Amazing.

Fear by its very nature is a lack of faith in God.  It means we are not trusting Him as we should, and it’s a very dangerous place to find ourselves in.  When we feel completely overwhelmed with fear and know we are short on faith, that’s when we make stupid decisions and fail to rely fully on our loving Father.  We try to get out of messes on our own, relying on our own savvy, which pales compared to the Father’s plan for handling the situation.  If we keep depending on our own abilities and ignore God’s prompting in our lives, we can end up digging quite a large hole for ourselves – and then we have to hit our knees and seek the Lord and humbly ask Him to lift us out of the hole we dug for ourselves!  I can’t be the only one who has done that, right?

Save yourself some pain and hit your knees in prayer right away.  His will and His way are best.  Ask Him to cover your fear with more faith, then trust the Lord to work it out.  You can alleviate your fears completely with your fear extinguisher!  It’s filled with faith and it works instantly – believe me!  

I’m glad I learned this verse as a child.  Of course, when I was a little girl I said it as I walked through dark places in our house at night.  I was afraid of boogie men just like every child is, and used the verse to bring comfort and ease my childish fears.

Today I don’t use it in the same way (aren’t you glad to hear that?)  But this verse has reminded me to place more trust in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know there’s nothing He cannot handle.  I can sort things out because I know He sorts me out.  It’s a sorting situation, you might say.  🙂

 

 

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Father May I?

The mercy of our God is bigger than any sin you commit!  No matter how far you’ve strayed away from the Lord Jesus Christ, He is able to forgive and forget your transgressions IF you will ask Him.  You can be assured of salvation for eternity right now.  It’s not easy to follow Christ because you must take up His cross in your life.  Standing up for your faith and speaking your mind about your Christian beliefs is probably the most difficult thing one can do, but we have Christ by our side helping us every step of the way.

Will you trade your worries and cares for the Lord’s great mercy and grace?  You can experience His love, peace, and forgiveness of sins.  Just turn all the junk and your burdens over to Him.  Then give Him praise and glory because you have begun a brand new journey that is surrounded with faith in Christ Jesus!  God Bless you extra-special good as you start your new walk!

The word EVERYTHING is all-inclusive!  When God’s Word says everything, it leaves nothing out.  You could interchange the word WHATEVER because again, there is nothing excluded.  You can pray to the Lord about anything on your mind.  He wants to hear from you!

There is nothing that is off-limits with God.  He knows all about it to begin with, you know!  Even though He already knows, He still wants you to talk it over with Him.  Maybe you need advice.  Maybe you need forgiveness.  Maybe you just need to be heard without having something fixed.  He knows that too!

God, through His Son Jesus Christ, hears every prayer we pray.  He will lift every burden from you and act on your behalf.  He is not a disappointment.  He loves you so much!

Last week we were ready to put our spiritual chocolate chip cookies in the oven to bake.  You know, sometimes I get a little anxious when I am in the kitchen because I’m not what you’d call a cook that’s comfortable in the kitchen.  I’m awkward with a knife and I’ve peeled my own fingers with the potato peeler a few times.  I have other talents, but none of them are chef-related.  I’m not a chef – pampered or otherwise.  LOL!  

So as I put the spiritual chocolate chip cookies in the oven, I’m calling on my Father today, asking, “Father May I please use Your special timer so my cookies don’t burn?”

Dear Heavenly Father, I tend to get anxious and uptight when I’m expected to do things I’m uncomfortable doing.  I need Your timer to make sure these cookies do not get burned.  If I don’t have it, I could easily get distracted – especially when I put in the last batch.  I’m not sure why I always burn the last batch, except to say I do get tired by then.  I lose interest and if I don’t have a timer to remind me to get them out of the oven, pretty soon the smoke alarm does that job!  So, Lord please keep me focused on the task at hand.  I want my spiritual chocolate chip cookies to be pleasing to You!  Thank You in advance for helping me.  In Jesus’ Holy and matchless name I pray, Amen.

As we pray more and stress less, God will help us be our spiritual best!  His love has no limit and He wants to help us succeed in life.  We know that He has a place already prepared for His own in Heaven – so He’s seen to it that we are taken care of in the afterlife as well.  What is there to be anxious or upset about?  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Yes, I know this is not Sunday – LOL!  I’m interrupting this Friday the 13th, which is typically seen as the worst day you can possibly have, to bring you some GOOD NEWS!  But first, let’s review a few things that historians have claimed:

They claim that Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of Knowledge on Friday the 13th.  They also say that the great flood began on Friday the 13th.  And finally, the builders of the Tower of Babel started their work on – you guessed it – Friday the 13th.  And what about the New Testament?  Well, it’s notable that there were 13 people present for Christ’s Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the day before Jesus was crucified on Good Friday.  Now – was that a Friday the 13th?  I think not.

One Friday the 13th, I was watching a telecast of a sermon by Joseph Prince.  I don’t like to say I have a favorite TV preacher, but I enjoy listening to him.  He interjects interesting facts – and on this Friday the 13th, I was not disappointed.  Let’s take another look at this verse in Hebrews:

Let us go forth therefore unto HIM outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  – Hebrews 13:13

Well, the obvious thing is that this is the 13th Chapter and the 13th verse.  Joseph Prince also pointed out that there are 13 words in this verse – but wait, it gets better.  The word in the center of this verse is HIM.  I l LOVE THAT!!!  So, what is that take away?  If we have HIM, do we have to dread Friday the 13th as the world does?  NO!  No, we do not!  

I vowed that I would point this out to everyone here on the blog the next time we have a Friday that falls on the 13th.  I want to promote the positivity that belonging to Christ brings!  He brings His children joy, peace, love, and all the fruits of His Spirit.  Lucinda wrote a neat poem about Hebrews 13:13.  I know you’ll like it!

I wasn’t able to find the sermon by Joseph Prince, but Hebrews 13:13 means even more to me since I saw this sermon.  I hope you will watch with receptive hearts and minds.

So…  let’s keep the positive side of Friday the 13th in mind, and throw away the other stuff.  Oh, I do want to leave you with something that I think is HI-larious!  Frankly, this is what comes to mind when I think of Friday the 13th:

Isn’t that funny???  I’m rollin’!!!  😀

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

My mother used to tell me not to be such a worry wart.  I don’t hear that phrase used much these days.  Now people say “chill” or “no problem” to indicate they are not overly concerned about things.  Apparently, I am a worry wart.  Have you seen a wart?  They are not pretty, and we want to hide them.  Does it make a person ugly when they worry?  Does worry manifest itself in our appearance?  Does worry manifest itself in our health or lack thereof?

Maybe that’s why God wants us to have less fear and more faith.  He wants us to plan, but He wants us to include Him in the plan and rely on Him to guide us in the right direction.  We pray as we plan, trusting that He will help us in all ways.  Faith takes the pressure off of our shoulders – and lessens our fears.  When you pray instead of worry – what a difference it makes! 

In all matters – big and small – we seek God and trust His wisdom and His way to make things work out.  He’s so faithful to us every time.  Regardless of the problem, we know He will be there with us.  It’s been my experience that God’s way of working things out is so much more creative than anything I could think of.  So many times He has worked things out for me and I just smile and look up and say – “Lord…  I KNOW that was YOU!”  Don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for all the great answers He comes up with!  ❤

God wants us to have JOY in HIM…  and if we spend our days worrying about things, it steals that joy!  Don’t worry about anything – pray instead because God is listening and He can be trusted to handle the issues in your life.  Trade your worries for His blessed peace.  🙂

Why worry?  If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.  – Walt Disney

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  – Leo Buscaglia

I made this facebook cover.  If you want less fear and more faith, please feel free to snag it and put it on your facebook page!  Have a wonderful week!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you thought about what it means to be a Christian?  I’m sure we all know the automatic definition that we were taught from childhood – Christian means “little Christ” – and that’s true.  Here in Proverbs we’re given a recipe for good clean livin’ – but I will say these things are not easy to do at times.  So often we have to seek God’s help so we can be the kind of person our Lord wants us to be.  He loves us so much and wants to be our guide.

If we can learn to fear less and have stronger faith in our Father above – that’s the key – trusting completely in Dr. Jesus – believing that He has every situation under control.  God has been so faithful to me in every circumstance I find myself in – so why would I stop now?  His ways are the best ways, and so I will keep looking straight ahead at Him, waiting for His help.

God is more reliable than any GPS…  does your compass or GPS know the future?  God knows what’s going to happen before it happens.

I want to be on HIS side and in His boat – don’t you?  I may need to walk on water sometime – and yes, Lord, I’ll try to have faith to look at You instead of looking at my own feet.  God is my source for all the power and strength I’ll ever need.

While I’ve been down with sciatica (actually, this is the lowest I’ve been in quite a while), I’m trying to feed my mind with positive God-centered things.  Yesterday I watched “God is For Real”.  I love that we’ll get to meet our children that were miscarried – and I love that nobody in Heaven needs glasses – oh, and that everyone is young in Heaven!  I really like that!  If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  🙂

http://www.heavenlive.org/

I believe little Colton Burpo’s story – everything he talks about aligns with Biblical principles as far as I can see.  I know the book & movie have been out for about 3 years, but the story gives me chills every time I read it or see the movie.

Please keep me in your prayers.  I’m not able to walk far right now or sit up straight.  Sciatica is such a weird thing – there are days when the pain is just awful – then there are days that aren’t so bad.  It’s just a low point, but I’ve learned to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him for healing and to provide answers to my questions.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Fearless is not the absence of fear.  Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you.  – Taylor Swift

You know, if I looked like Taylor Swift and had her talent, I can’t imagine being afraid of anything, can you?  I’m encouraged to know that she feels afraid once in a while like the rest of us – just sayin’…

There are certain real dangers and situations in life that we need to fear.  I don’t roller skate down the sidewalk after dark because it may not be safe.  We know that bad things sadly can happen in the daytime, but chances are, if you’re going to be outside, being out during the day is probably a better plan.

Rational fear is one thing, but when irrational fear gets ahold of us, it’s something we need to ask God to help us overcome.  For some reason, God wanted me to hear a few things about fear today.  Here are a few examples:

I counted 15 separate advertisements for pharmaceuticals.  The drug companies have nearly taken over ad time on every cable network on television.  They want us to ask our doctor about a certain drug because…  oooooh – we may not be our very best without it.

They work the fear factor… sometimes to the point of exploitation in my opinion.  They’re so good at it!  If you’re a baby boomer, you really should be tested for Hep C because oh my…  you may need this vaccination.  Well, for years it’s not been prevalent and I don’t suspect it is now – but the drug ads put that doubt in our minds – that fear – that maybe, just maybe…  and speaking as a baby boomer, we’re not the most secure about health issues to begin with.  Seems a lot of things are falling apart…  so – these ads just want to make that a little worse for us so we’ll pay out $$$ for meds that we may or may not need.

And many pills would make all our lives better – better shapes with diet pills and better sex lives with other pills.  Make sure you don’t get them confused.  If you have a double chin, you’d probably better get that treatment done that will give you a better profile – even though there’s a laundry list of possible side-effects that would be way worse than having a double chin.

You do know it’s all about the bottom line, right?  But they play on our low self-esteem…  our fear of rejection from others.  It’s true!

The big pharma is making big bucks because we let them work on our fears (some rational but many irrational) – fear of not only sickness, but a less than perfect profile or imperfect skin.  Some diseases have to be treated with medication, but most of the advertisements for drugs and treatments are an attempt to make us feel as though we need whatever it is they are peddling in order to look or feel better.

Would Sero-Vital make me look and feel 20 years old?  I imagine at over $100 a pop, it would more than likely land me in the poor house – but hey, I’d look and feel better, eh?just-stop-and-believe

I like to watch Joseph Prince and enjoy his sermons.  I already had this thought about the drug ads running around in my mind – and what do you think he’s talking about?  Yep – he was talking about FEAR.

Babies are born with only two fears.  1) A fear of falling down and 2) A fear of loud noises.  Every other fear is learned.  – Joseph Prince

He emphasized the fact that medical and psychological experts have said this.  Then He shared the text:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  – 2 Timothy 1:7

Ah ha!  Fear is a spirit – a wicked, evil, paralyzing spirit that we can either choose to give attention to – or not.  The spirit God gave us is one of power, love and a sound mind.  He wants us to have a mind free of irrational fears.  How cool if we’d face our fears with bigger faith given to us from God’s Holy Spirit.  Yes…  we WILL overcome!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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uniquely-gifted

I went to the doctor yesterday to have my HA1c checked.  Three months ago it was 6.2.  This time it was 6.3 – and I was disappointed because I thought it would be lower.  While 6.3 is not bad, it means that it crept up in the past 3 months and I guess it scares me a bit.  Then my doctor reminded me that she cut out my insulin completely and cut my dose of Metformin in half.  I started to perk up some when she said that.  I’m starting to maintain a normal HA1c with no insulin and less oral meds.  Well alrighty then!  My hope returned at that point!

The doctor asked if I wanted a flu shot and I told her I did.  Those things sting like a son of a gun, but the flu is tons worse!  One of the MA’s took me to the procedure room.  She told me to hang my arm loose at my side because that would make the shot hurt less.  I did and got the shot.  It was fine.

The doctor said I needed my ears washed.  Well…  I balk at that procedure!  I had so many inner ear infections when I was a kid – always after going swimming it seemed.  I hate water in my ears!  I am such a baby while they’re trying to work – I literally shake.  I know that makes their job more difficult and I apologize – but it just feels so horrible to have water in my ears…  I think it always will.

So she put this long blue stick looking thing in my ear to scrape some wax off the sides.  She told me I have the smallest ear canals she’d ever seen.  I didn’t know whether to apologize or say thanks.  Then I felt a poke in my ear and flinched.  She seemed to be blaming me for it – she said, “When you flinched, your ear started bleeding.”  I’m like…  “OH great – please don’t burst my ear drum – I’m a musician – I need to be able to hear!”  I didn’t say it but boy I was sure thinkin’ it.  If she had not poked something and made it hurt, I probably would not have flinched – actually.

I ask you…  what on earth is the difference between her poking a little blue stick in my ear – and me poking a Q-tip in it???  They tell people not to do that, but HEY – at least there’s cotton cushy stuff on the ends of those!  I just don’t understand so many things.  I was angry and my ear hurt.  I was so done with this appointment – just finished.  This turkey was close to being cooked!

Oh but we were not finished…  no – wanted to be, but no, not done.

They needed some blood – oh joy oh rapture!  How bad could that be?  A poke – they get their blood and I get to go home, right?  Yeah…  no.

Apparently their problem with getting blood was also my fault – because I was apparently supposed to drink a gallon or two of water before the blood draw.  Well, it’s duly noted in my brain with indelible ink now…  because they poked my arm at my elbow and got nothing.  They poked the back of both my hands and got…  nothing.  They poked…  oh I don’t even remember where they poked – the point is…  if you try a few times and come up empty – you schedule the draw for another day – when I can get myself all nice and hydrated – you don’t keep poking the pin cushion!

I finally spoke up – I had been as kind and apologetic as I could be.  I apologized for my hair getting in the way of their squirt gun when she was cleaning out my ears.  I apologized for being dehydrated.  I apologized for wearing the wrong color of blush with my lipstick…  for Pete’s Sake – I’m sorry already!

I said, “Why don’t you guys get the doc to sign an order for me to go over to Lab Corp to get blood drawn…  that way you don’t have to keep trying.  And on the way over there I’ll stop at the store and get a few bottles of water and drink them.”

It was as if I’d just let the COMMON SENSE GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE…  she looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea!  You may just be going over to Lab Corp!”  You don’t really wanna know what thoughts were going through my mind then…  they weren’t nice.

My frame of mind was not in a good place.  The worst Monday of my work life was never this bad.  I worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for 20 years and never have I experienced such horrific treatment.  Once when she couldn’t hit a vein, I got an earful (yes, I could hear) of obscenities.  I don’t call people on that stuff, but I consider it to be quite unprofessional.  If anyone should be cussing – hello, I’m the one feeling it.

I waited and waited.  She had to wait for the doctor to finish with another patient…  I had all day, but they didn’t know that.  But – I figure it’s better to wait for the doc to sign the order than to have Laurel & Hardy poking me with a butterfly needle all day long!

My appointment was at 9:15.  I left there at 11:25.  I was angry, hungry, shaking because I was probably having a low – or it could have been anger…  and I was trying not to cry in front of any of the folks at the doctor’s office.  When I finally got to my car…

I bawled and cried and yelled and screamed and hit my steering wheel.  I asked God WHY OF ALL THINGS HE MADE MY VEINS SO TINY, MY EAR CANALS SO TINY AND WHY I HAD TO BE A STUPID DIABETIC AND HAVE MORE PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF IT – AND WHY DO I HAVE TO GET MY BLOOD DRAWN EVERY 3 MONTHS???

Miracle #1 – I looked at the appointment card in my hand.  My next appointment isn’t until April of ’17.  It’s not scheduled for 3 months out – but for 6 months out!

I was taken aback…  and a sudden glimmer of hope came over me.  My doctor thinks I’m on a good track and trusts me to stay on it for the next 6 months!!!  This is a good thing, right???

As I drove to Lab Corp, it dawned on me that God was helping me with diet, exercise and that was in turn going to make my HA1c better.  I’m going to be okay.

My make-up was a bit messed up, but I was composed mentally as I went in to Lab Corp.  I signed all their paperwork and had no idea that God had another miracle waiting for me.

Miracle #2 – I don’t know her name and I doubt that she remembered mine, but for about five minutes in a little lab cubicle, we had CHURCH together!  She asked how many sticks they tried at the doctor’s office.  I showed her the different places and she said, “Well honey, I don’t know if I’ll get blood either but we’re just going to praise Jesus anyhow…  just praise Jesus anyhow!”

I felt a calm come over me…  a calm that I so desperately needed to feel.  It was the presence of the Lord – His Holy Spirit had been invited into our presence – and He was so welcome in that place.  She prayed for me and asked God to guide her as she worked.  There was no hesitation about it – she prayed and God heard and God answered.

She got blood with one stick…  coincidence???  I think not.

If you belong to God and you draw blood for a living…  please don’t be ashamed of your faith in the workplace.  You never know when someone like me is feeling like they’re on the brink of crazy town and may just need a phlebotomist to pray for and with her – and pray that God will guide that needle into the vein it needs to go in.  Jus’ sayin’.

When I got to the car – I cried again.  I didn’t hit the steering wheel…  I lifted my hands and let God know that I understood why I needed to go to the lab.  I needed to have church – real church.  No fancy pews, no stained glass windows.  It was a Friday at work for her and a stubborn vein day for me – but it turned out to be so much more.  Praise You, Jesus, and thank You!  🙂