A SUMMER OF PSALMS

We used to sing that chorus every Sunday of the world!  I remember looking out at the congregation as we sang – and people were smiling!  It’s very difficult to sing that chorus and not feel joy!  Have you thanked God for this day?  Will you rejoice and be glad in it?

So, when a Sunday School teacher is late getting to church because her curling iron accidentally melted her hair clip and she had to find a replacement at the Dollar Tree on the way to church, and she feels all bummed and stressed out and knows she won’t have time to set her classroom up the way she planned to, does that mean she is not rejoicing and being glad?  Well…  yes.  Yes, it does.  And yes, that really happened.  You can’t make that up!

How about those times when you’re sitting in church service trying to concentrate on the sermon, but you keep thinking about all the paperwork that is waiting for you at work on Monday morning?  Oh, don’t tell me that’s never happened to you.

This verse does not tell us to dwell on anything that happened last week.  It doesn’t tell us to think about things that haven’t even happened yet – but will next week.  This verse is saying THIS is the day the LORD has made.  Today.  Now.  Present.  Live in this moment and rejoice in it.  Yesterday is over and tomorrow isn’t promised.  Leave all the rest of the days where they belong and rejoice.  Praise God because He inhabits our praise.  He delights in our praise.

We rejoice because of the blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation.  None of these things have anything to do with us, and everything to do with God.  He gives us His grace.  He is our peace.  He offers us pardon.  He is the root of righteousness.  He alone is the path to salvation.

This is the day the LORD has made.  Here.  Now.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Look in the mirror and know that you’re seeing salvation from the hand of God.  You have to feel joy when you realize that truth!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I love this!  If you belong to the Lord and you know He hears and answers your prayers, why would we see God in the shadow of our problems instead of seeing our problems in the light of God’s power???  Today’s post will hopefully serve as a faith booster.  Just as we need boosters for some vaccines, we need faith boosters along the way.

We are God’s chosen and He will hear and answer our prayers.  The Lord’s people will not be ignored.  David was king by divine decree, and we are the Lord’s elect in the same manner.  Never be afraid to ask God to defend you when enemies threaten to overthrow your soul.  There is power from God that He gives us when we pray and seek His face.  When we are on our knees and at our weakest, that’s when God’s strength takes over and we become inspired and filled with faith.

The way we look at our problems matters to God.  He wants us to consider His awesome power and the magnitude of it first – and see the LIGHT of God’s power before we look at our problem.  So many times, we look at our problems and of course they seem so huge – and we doubt God’s ability to fix it, so the problem seems to overshadow the power of God.  We all know that a problem can cast a large shadow, but we need to practice seeing the larger light of God’s power through our eyes of faith.

Problems make shadows.  Shadows are dark and creepy, not to mention depressing.  It takes zero faith to focus on problems.  Everyone has them, but only those who are set apart for God know that they don’t have to make their problems the main thought in their mind.  We have faith that God’s light and power are working in our lives.  When we hand our problems to Him – we know that God is working it all out.  Does that sound like something that is depressing?  Nope – it’s the opposite – that would be the JOY of the Lord…  the joy that the world doesn’t understand.  I’m so glad I know it – and I hope you do too.  Love, peace, mercy, grace and JOY from God.  I’ll take it!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in this world are knocking themselves out to stand out somehow – they want to succeed and rise above for all different reasons, be it fame, money, or just to feed their ego.  Christians have a different take on things – we want our God to shine through us – so that He may receive all the praise and the glory – and if there’s money, well – we share that too.  There’s a reason why we point to the sky and say, “All the glory belongs to Jesus” when we are complimented or recognized for accomplishments.  It’s not about us – it’s all about HIM.

Andrae’ Crouch wrote over 300 songs, and every one of them pointed to Jesus Christ.  Billy Graham called brother Crouch the greatest hymn writer of our age, the modern-day John Wesley,  What a wonderful talent this world lost – but how much more wonderful Heaven became, right?

We live by a simple acronym – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  JOY!  If you’re doing something other than showing others your Savior…  you should re-think your strategy.  Pray it through and get it straight.  I don’t say that to be mean, but to help.  If you have a living testimony to Jesus Christ, who is very much alive – then you have more JOY than anyone else.

Christians can’t change lives, but we can point to the ONE who can!  The most beautiful part about letting God’s light shine through your life is – HIS light does not depend on OUR circumstance.  It doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad day – because I know God is not.  I can depend on HIS JOY in my life all the time.

Have you ever met someone who wakes up in the morning, stumbles to the coffee pot for their first cup, sits down at the dining room table with the newspaper and reads their horoscope to see what kind of a day they can look forward to?  What kind of life is that?  God promises us ABUNDANT LIFE…  not wait and see life.

Lean upon the ROCK – the very large ROCK – Christ Jesus.  Get up in the morning and do a little calypso to the coffee pot (have someone make a video for facebook) – grab your coffee and your Bible – and read from Psalms!  Get some of God’s precious promises under your proverbial belt.  Take those promises with you throughout your day.  When God opens a door for you to share a promise with someone else, be obedient and do it.  Don’t be afraid to share your faith – especially when you KNOW that God wants you to.  He’s got this – it’ll be okay.

Live in God’s Son Shine!

Oh – and I won’t be making a video of my calypso to the coffee pot.  Watching a Baptist dance just isn’t a pretty sight.  Have a great day in the Lord.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.   – 1 John 3:1

Maybe you’re like me and this verse makes a familiar song pop into your mind.  It happens to me all the time – not just Scripture songs – but I get earworms about secular stuff too.  In this case, I’m thinking about this sweet little song:

If you have to get an earworm – that’s not a bad one to have.  I’ll probably walk around humming this all day long.  It’s good to stay focused on the love that God has for us, isn’t it?  There are so many negative forces at work in our world – and they seem to be everywhere, don’t they?  God wants us to think about HIM – think about HIS GOODNESS.  Oh wow…  another earworm:

Great is the measure of our Father’s love.  Not kinda sorta might be okay – but GREAT!  When the situations and circumstances in day-to-day living get overwhelming and stressful and negative…  think about the GREATNESS of God’s love for you!  He’s so happy when we think about His goodness and His mercy and grace.  Another earworm to think about:

Nothing injects a note of positivity into your day like taking a moment among all the burdensome situations in life to just meditate and concentrate on God’s love and goodness in our lives.  God gives His great and wonderful love in Jesus Christ, and all the gifts and powers which live in Him like fragrance in the rose. He has not failed you and He will never fail you – remember that.  One more earworm – I promise it’s the last one – well, it probably is – maybe:

God’s love is measureless and strong!!!  Keep your mind focused on His love for you today!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-45

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

If treasure is defined as money, then your heart (attitudes & actions) will be focused on making money.  Have you defined your treasure?  I think I’ve always pretty much assumed that treasure referred to money in this passage of Scripture, but now I realize it is not necessarily so…  what if your treasure was…  fast food???  What if your treasure was…  your child or another member of your family you hold dear?  ❤

No, stay with me here…  treasure is defined as:

noun:

1.  wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
2.  wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.

3.  any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

This book was his chief treasure.
verb (used with object):  treasured, treasuring.
4.  to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5.  to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
6.  to put away for security or future use, as money.
It is not sinful to treasure precious memories with loved ones – I want to make that clear; however, if that overshadows your relationship with God, it’s sin.  Anything that takes up more of your energy than the things of God…  it’s coming between you and the Lord and the priority needs to change.  Our God is a jealous God and always wants to be in first place.  Our hearts are to trust and delight in Him.  ❤
the-purse
Define your treasure.  All sorts of interests and activities can possibly become more of a treasure in our lives than they should be.  Ask God to “check” you about it.  I can’t tell you what you’re putting in first place, but I sure do know Who can.  Wherever your treasure is (and it’s different for every person) – there will your heart (attitudes & actions) be.  ❤
Jesus loved everyone, but His ultimate treasure was His Father, God.  He knew from whence came His power, His glory, His everything – just as we as God’s children do.  ❤
Don’t assume that treasure refers to money.  Treasure is anything that holds a special place in your heart.  You can’t separate your treasure from your heart because there is such passion associated with the treasure in your life.  Maybe your treasure is money – but let me remind you that money, while a necessary evil in this world…  will mean nothing in the afterlife.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Make sure your treasure stays tempered with the stark facts of reality.  Only what is done for Christ will last – those things will follow you into Heaven.  Chew on that for a while.  ❤

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEARI’m the only one in my family that eats black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  It’s a tradition that began when I was just a little girl.  Today I’ll eat a bowl all by myself, but I’ll be thinking of my parents, who put enough butter and black pepper on their peas to drown out the natural flavor.

Whether you eat black-eyed peas or not, this day represents the dawn of a free slate – a fresh start – a new beginning!  There are no mistakes in this day yet.  Well, unless you count that I forgot to put the cap on the toothpaste this morning – okay that was a goof.

But the point is, we have the choice to begin from here and LET GO of all our past transgressions and missteps.  Honestly, to hang on to that stuff – especially the things you will never EVER have the power to change – well, that can just make you bitter and angry and very cranky toward others.  Is that what you really want?  It’s not what I want! 

So today I want to encourage you to literally let the past go…  release it into the vastness of space where it can rise up so far that it eventually breaks into millions of tiny pieces and evaporates completely.  Life is too short to huddle up with past hurts and tons of regret that serve absolutely NO purpose in your life today.

Focus on this day – this present moment – this is what you have, and tomorrow it will be part of the past as well.  The older I get, the less I hang on to.  I just closely filter the things I choose to get my knickers in a knot over – and it’s never over anything that I cannot change.  I cannot waste my time and my energy trying to re-write history.  What’s done is done and it can’t be replayed with a different outcome – so why leave the tape in your head?  Get it out of there – and refocus your mind on the things of today – the new challenges and the new adventures that lie ahead in this new, fresh exciting year!

We have important choices to make in the future – we have to choose a president for our country!  We have new jobs to learn, new skills to hone, new paths to tread – and right beside us is our constant companion, God!  He will see us through anything He brings us to in life.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  God’s got this!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDI know that it’s more difficult to get into Christmas because of the terrorists attacks.  Believe me, I’m very saddened that once again our country has been a target – a soft target.  In spite of these happenings, we as Christians have a HOPE – in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is worthy of our praise and worship.  He came to earth to save us and we celebrate that fact.

Click image to enlarge

Today’s goal is to take some photos of God’s beautiful creation.  I find photographs of beauty soothe my troubled soul.  Let’s take a moment today to thank God for all the beauty around us.

I need this flower in my hair - and matching gloves!
I need this flower in my hair – and matching gloves!
What a lovely shot of the sun with the snow!
What a lovely shot of the sun with the snow!
Awe... how cute are they???
Awe… how cute are they???
Will you walk toward the sun or away from it?
Will you walk toward the sun or away from it?
When was the last time you made a snow angel?
When was the last time you made a snow angel?
The allure of this photo should seem obvious... COFFEE!!!
The allure of this photo should seem obvious… COFFEE!!!
A frosty pine tree branch. Isn't that pretty?
A frosty pine tree branch. Isn’t that pretty?
Isn't this nice?
Isn’t this nice?
Alpine... wow!
Alpine… wow!
Do you ski??? Not me... I'm not even almost athletically inclined.
Do you ski??? Not me… I’m not even almost athletically inclined.
I don't know much about birds, but aren't they pretty?
I don’t know much about birds, but aren’t they pretty?
Covered bridges are so romantic - even in the snow!
Covered bridges are so romantic – even in the snow!
I like that fence - it looks better covered with snow.
I like that fence – it looks better covered with snow.
Isn't God's creation majestic?
Isn’t God’s creation majestic?
This looks so serene.
This looks so serene.

grand-canyon-981717 grand-canyon-956723Did you know it snows at the Grand Canyon???  I didn’t – but then, I’ve never been there – not even in good weather.  It’s on my bucket list to visit – and I’ll get there someday – sure hope to.

This forest is a wonderland of snow.
This forest is a wonderland of snow.
They look like crystal, don't they?
They look like crystal, don’t they?

The last ice storm we had here in Wichita was back in 1993.  I remember standing outside where it was so quiet – then suddenly there would be a loud CRACKLING noise – the sound of branches breaking off trees from the weight of the ice!  It’s a weird sound to be sure.  The folks just northwest of us had an ice storm over the Thanksgiving holiday – just in time to mess up their plans.  😦

Hopefully these photos have helped us focus on God and have reminded us that He is in control – of nature, the climate, man and the future of everyone.  May God richly bless you today.  🙂