FATHER’S DAY

You know, it’s funny – I hear people say there’s so much DRAMA on facebook.  I guess I have the right friends, because we all post prayer requests and we pray for each other.  When it comes to prayer, I believe there is strength in numbers – and it’s great to know I have some 200 plus people praying for me!

This portion of Scripture appears right after the list of armor we are to wear every day:

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I’d love to have this to look at every day.  Do you have all of this memorized?  Sad to say, I don’t.  I can’t remember what I had for lunch today!  If we are wearing every piece of armor, we are in a great place to pray for others!  Some days there are so many prayer requests in my news feed – and I don’t say long, eloquent prayers – but I believe God hears the brief but sincere prayer for a brother or sister in Christ.

It’s a choice to drop the drama on facebook and pick up the armor and support someone in prayer.  God wants us to pray for one another.  Did you know when you begin to pray for a person, it’s impossible to be angry at them?  Pray for those who persecute you – it’ll really confuse them too – I like that part.  If you want to have even more fun – let them KNOW you’re praying for them.  LOL – mind blown!

I know some folks think of prayer as a last resort, but let me tell you – in my opinion, it’s the best thing to do, and should be the first option we think of.  We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but our God knows, and He wants us to keep Him in the loop.  I might ask friends for advice, and I may or may not take it…  but when I ask God for help, I have my eyes and ears open, eagerly waiting for His answers!  It’s a privilege to pray for a brother or sister, and I’m so thankful when they let me know they are praying for me too!

Happy Father’s Day!

My Daddy’s Bible

If you are able to hug your daddy – hug him twice!  Have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

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IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

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

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

iron-sharpening-sheep

We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  Obviously, today I am very thankful for…  FOOD!  Yes, family and friends make it all taste better…  but today is the day that is all about the big meal.  The day I allow myself to eat a hot roll and mashed potatoes.  I will – and I’ll enjoy every bite, thank you very much!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.   – Meister Eckhart

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for our meal today:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  – E.P. Powell

Of course I’m thankful for so many things…  so is Lucinda!

card-tables

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  – Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

I wish for you today fullness in a physical sense, of course, but also a spiritual sense of fullness.  I wish that you will not just see the blessings before you – food, friends, family, furbabies, shelter, warmth, love…  and yes, card tables.  But may you also literally feel a sense of thankfulness to God for all of it!  Have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving!  🙂

NATIONAL NUT DAY

tl-10-22-national-nut-daya-circle-of-nutsfriendsI think we can agree that some friends are a bit on the nutty side…  and they do come in all shapes and sizes.  I think we also agree that it’s perfectly okay!  😉

The nuts we want to focus on are the edible kind…  of course.  Nuts are low or no carbohydrates, so are very healthy for diabetics.  They are chock full of nutrients and healthy fats.  My favorite nuts are cashews, and I eat a few handfuls every day.  Our little nuthouse here in Wichita, The Nifty Nuthouse, has such delicious cashews, but at $9.00 a pound, I have to pace myself for sure.

Once in a while I get a craving for Chinese food, and my favorite recipe is for, you guessed it…  Cashew Chicken.  Here’s my simple recipe:

CASHEW CHICKEN (Makes 5 servings – 10 carbs each)

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame seeds
3/4 cup cashew pieces
salt and pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
Season your cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper…don’t over do it on the salt because the soy has enough salt in it.
Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
In the same pan, add the sesame oil and saute the garlic clove and ginger for 1 minute.
Stir in the Teriyaki, Oyster, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Once the sauce has come to a boil, add the chicken and stir to combine. Cook about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
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So today, give that nutty friend in your circle a phone call or send a note…  and celebrate the edible kind with this wonderful recipe.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

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Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

a-roller-coaster-ride

The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL 2-16 A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEARTYOU'RE THE SPRINKLES ON MY LIFEWho are the sprinkles in your life?  Who adds that special something to your everyday life?  Husbands, wives, children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren for some.  Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins.  What about friends?  If you have a best friend, you are especially blessed!

Are you a sprinkle to anyone?  God sprinkles you with His love and you sprinkle family and friends.  Have you ever thought of it that way before?  Don’t you love how God works???

At a potluck dinner in the fellowship center one Sunday morning after service, my pastor and I were standing in line looking at the desserts.  There was a very happy plate filled with cupcakes – topped with icing and sprinkles.  He laughed and said, “I like SPRINKLES – but not BB’S.”   I knew exactly what he was talking about.  If those cupcakes had been decorated with BB’s, forget it – I wouldn’t have taken one! 

1467492_771456416204141_1783276352_nJust as there are many kinds of toppings or decorations for cupcakes, there are many types of people in the world – and it made me ask myself – “What type of person am I with others?”  Am I a yummy sprinkle, or am I at times a tough little BB???  I so want to be a sprinkle!  I prayed that God make me a sprinkle.  What a prayer to pray, huh?

God allows so many opportunities every day for us to sprinkle, sparkle and shine!  As we receive His character traits, we share those traits with those in our realm of influence – or we should.  While we will never be perfect, with God’s help, we can be better than we were before we knew the Father.

Please Heavenly Father,

Help me to be a sprinkle to those around me.  Even when I’m having less than a good day, may I always remember to be soft, gentle, kind and loving regardless of my personal issues.  Keep all jealousy, envy, hate and negative, unproductive emotions at bay as I forge ahead to be Your child.  I truly am too blessed to be stressed, and I thank You for everything good in my life.  May I never take it for granted and may I never be unwilling to share.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

BB’s (fake friends, haters, negative people) are challenges that are bound to appear once in a while.  We have a choice at that point to be a BB or a sprinkle in return.  I sure hope God helps me to be a sprinkle.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

I believe the trend toward pitching a tent in front of an electronics store on Thanksgiving just to save your place in the ridiculously long line the next morning when the store opens – is finally waning – at least I hope it is.  Let’s just look at this thing logically for a minute.  We just spent a day around a table with loved ones, giving thanks to God for all of our many blessings – OH – but wait – we gotta pitch a tent so we can sleep on the sidewalk because there is a piece of technology I still need to possess.  WHAT???

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It’s insane…  and we all know the definition of insanity…  it’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result or outcome.  Look, there are two schools of thought about Black Friday – some people say we need to frequent the stores and the sales because the folks who are working need their job and don’t mind working on Thanksgiving and the day after.  Others, like me, believe that stores have no business being open on Thanksgiving at all – and should be closed the day after as well.  Those employees deserve a 4-day weekend before the Christmas nightmare begins!  I’m just one person with an opinion.  Will anyone listen?  Probably not – but that doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind.

RRiWcz1EgPbn7gcKacIg7nZTqgUYou know, God did not create us to kneel in front of the BEST BUY store.  God created us to praise and worship HIM.  He wants us to take time to sit and reflect on His Word and be quiet before Him so we can hear Him speak to our hearts.  Put your feet up by the fires of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we get so wrapped up in retail therapy that we can’t focus on anything except which stores we want to get to and when, then we are the ones who lose out.  I’m not saying that retail therapy is a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s so important to participate in Black Friday.

I’m not opposed to online shopping, and frankly I think most people would rather stay home and shop in their pajamas.  If consumers would resist the temptation to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, eventually the stores would not see the need to be open and employees could have the 4 day weekend they need – and more time with friends and family.  When did we stop thinking of others?  Wouldn’t you rather spend 4 days off than just one – and some don’t even get Thanksgiving off because stores are feeling like they need to be open on Thanksgiving.  It’s sad because everyone should be with family and friends – not co-workers – on Thanksgiving – and the day after and the weekend after that.  🙂