God Bless You

What IS a blessing?  Well, the kind of blessings we’re talking about today are the invoking of God’s favor upon a person.  While I’m not big on the luck of the Irish, I love Irish blessings!  No country invokes God’s favor upon others quite like the Irish!

Since it’s just one day past St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to invoke God’s favor upon you!  Fasten your seat belt…  here we go!

28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  – Genesis 27:28-29

Isn’t that a beautiful photograph?  It was taken by our friend and fellow poet, David Catherwood.

Is there a wedding in your future?  Here’s a beautiful marriage blessing:

OH…  written in the key of E…  ugh.  Good for a guitar player – difficult for a piano player.  LOL!  I could play it…  but I wouldn’t LIKE it.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

We are blessed by God and in turn we bless others.

Near Powerscourt Castle in Ireland

And last, but certainly not least – this beautiful Irish prayer.  I pray this for each of you!

I hope and pray you have a wonderful, blessed week!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s been a rough week…  physically and mentally exhausting!  We recently changed internet providers and have been unable to have the secondary account (that would be my account) added.  The account with our previous carrier has been suspended since the Friday before Labor Day.  I’ve been without access for a few weeks.  I think I’m experiencing a form of internet withdrawal.  Is there a support group for that?  I don’t think so, but I may start one!

Last Thursday a tech from our new provider came to set up our security system.  I asked if he thought he may be able to help me get that secondary account set up so I can get on the internet train once again.  He proceeded to tell me that he recently graduated from college with a degree in computer – and my countenance brightened immediately!  Hope renewed, I pointed out my sad little laptop and told him to have at it.

He asked if I had a Gmail account and I said I did (thinking that I definitely did NOT remember my password!)  He got my computer to use google chrome instead of internet explorer – and left the google logo where you search – displayed.  So…  I have a google logo where there once was Cafe Mahjong!  Is this progress?  Well…  maybe.

I was disappointed and a little angry.  They guy left and I’m still up a creek without a password.  I was actually shaking and I cried a little bit.  Does that help?  NO!  I calmed down some and went back upstairs, believing I’d play Bejeweled 2 for the rest of the evening.  Once I had calmed down, I looked at this passage of Scripture.  The words WISE, WISDOM, BOAST and KINDNESS, JUSTICE and RIGHTEOUSNESS jumped out at me.

Have you ever just got real with God?  I mean – at the end of yourself – at the end of whatever boasts you hear from others who claim to have the ability to help – at the end of it all?  I prayed that God would just calm my anxious thoughts, dry my tears and bring alternatives to my mind.  If God is ready and willing to do anything for us, it is to impress us with alternatives!   We serve a God with so many ways of solving problems – any problem!  

God told me to talk to Lucinda.  He often tells me to talk with her!  Did I do that right away?  No – because Linda pride gets in the way…  I sat and argued and asked God to just tell me what I should do – He said NOPE – you need to talk to Lucinda.  So…  I got on facebook and shared my frustration.  She made it all better when she said – CAN YOU SET UP ANOTHER ACCOUNT?

Well – suddenly it was ALL BETTER!  I didn’t have to remember the password – or click on “forgot password” knowing that I didn’t have a working email address for them to send a code to!  I’ll just start all over again!  The weight of the world was lifted and I thanked God for such a good friend (even though right now I’m pretty sure she’s laughing through tears!)  It pays to trust God’s way of problem solving instead of trusting your own wisdom – or your college degree.

When we know God, we will not be stranded without the tools we need to solve problems.  Sometimes, the tools He uses is a friend – so don’t be too proud to be obedient when God tells you to seek assistance from a friend.  We need to remember – friends who are true friends will understand!  Friends are KIND.  Lucinda has always gone above and beyond for me.  I’m so thankful that God let our paths cross.  I’m cryin’ again, girl.  ❤

We really are here to help each other – the body of Christ.  Don’t let pride keep you from being obedient to God – and get the help you need in the bargain.  I hope and pray I’m as good a friend to Lucinda as she’s been to me.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This is a great verse for Palm Sunday, isn’t it?  We all need to be reminded how this journey called Christianity is supposed to work.

We are to love one another – because Christ loves all of us.  Does that mean we always see eye to eye on everything?  No, it doesn’t.  It does mean that we show respect for one another, whether we are shown respect in return or not.  We’re responsible for our own behavior – not anyone else’s.  If each of us would do our very best to show the love of Christ, wouldn’t this world be a better place?  I think it would.  What if we were all a place of REST for each other? 

I love this poem in particular because this is exactly what God’s children need to be for one another.  Sadly, it often becomes a case of using instead of nurturing.  Sometimes we just need a friend in Christ to talk with about everyday things.  It may seem unproductive to some, but you have no idea how much it means to the one who needs to be heard and helped.  It’s sometimes a matter of letting a friend know that you are praying for them.  If we can listen more than speak and pray more than fret…  we’ll be a good representative for our Savior.

Here’s what we’re not – PERFECT.  God is perfect and only with His help can we love perfectly.  People – yes, even Christian people…  can be frustrating sometimes – yes, I can frustrate others too.  Here’s the deal – if we can just understand that our brothers and sisters in the Lord are imperfect human beings just like us – and if we can just be quick to forgive one another – which, again…  I’m not great at doing…  but I’m working on it – that is when we will love perfectly with Christ-likeness.  I hope others have forgiven me for mistakes I’ve made against them.  I try to forgive them as the Lord wants me to.  That’s how Christianity works, and it only works with Christ in the center.

Before I go, I’d like to remind you to look at my post on 4/5.  The story DAISY’S COLT, written by Lucinda Berry Hill and myself, with beautiful illustrations by Marian Poppy Ballestero is there.  If you have a little one in your life, it would be great to read this story to them.  Have a nice Palm Sunday!  🙂

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

tl-2-14-valentines-day-2So many folks are lonely on Valentine’s Day.  Today’s post will be less about the romantic side and much more about the reality that – YES – GOD LOVES YOU!77-flavors

a-blessing-from-goda-gift-for-my-soula-piece-of-heavena-prince-for-gods-princessa-song-of-loveeveryday-rewardsfourteen-years-of-lovegod-sees-our-possibilitiesgods-grace-makes-strong-loveheartsjohn-3-16kiss-and-make-upkisses-from-heavenlive-like-youre-lovedmr-rightmy-valentine-to-godthankful-for-my-husbandthankful-for-my-wifethe-invitationthe-same-spirit

to-be-a-bridewithout-his-loveI hope the poetry today from Lucinda Berry Hill has been a great reminder that God really does love you.  He gives us the best gifts possible as we live our lives for Him.  God gives us friends, family and other people to love and care for.

God understands our prayers when they don’t make sense.  When all we can do is cry and mutter and sputter…  God gets that because He sees our heart and knows our intentions.  Why?  Because He loves us so much.

As God loves us, we are to love one another.  Husbands and wives pray for one another and protect one another.  Real love cannot exist apart from God – He’s in the center of every good relationship.

God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time!  – Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Special angels???  Well…  sure – why not?  Billy Graham calls angels, “God’s secret agents” and we all need as much help as we can get, don’t we?  And yes, we should take notes the first time – but often we don’t, so they have to come back again.

God loves us, but sadly we don’t recognize some of the ways He shows His love toward us.  When was the last time you were driving and had a close call – nearly had a crash – but at the last second you stomped on the brake and everything turned out okay?  Did you thank God for that mercy, or did you congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back for having such stellar ability behind the wheel?

When was the last time you were awakened by the song of a bird outside your window and thanked God that it was that instead of the blare of a train or a siren of some sort?  These little blessings often go completely unnoticed and God gets no credit or praise or even recognition for His attempt to show His love toward us.

Every blessing we receive regardless of the size is God’s way of showing His love toward us.  If we fail to show gratitude for the little things, surely we should not overlook the reason we are saved…  the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, God’s Son – on our behalf.  It’s only because of His death, burial and resurrection that we are able to make Heaven our home when this life is finished.  God has surely shown His marvelous love to us in big and small ways.  Happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

 

 

 

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-11-24

It’s been said that some friends come into our lives for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime.  We don’t know why they show up, and we often don’t understand why they leave.  The thing I’ve never understood is why those lifetime friends want to stick around!  My lifetime friends are gluttons for punishment I do believe!  I am blessed to have a few of those friendships.  I try not to use them or take them for granted in any way.  I do definitely pray for them.  And I know they pray for me too.  Boy do I need it!

Speaking of prayer…  you know where this is goin’, right?  Let’s bow and pray:

a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.  – Douglas Pagels

im-full-of-thanks-and-givingIt’s so great to have a ministry for Christ – but so much greater when that ministry expands and strengthens with help from a friend.  I’m so very thankful for Lucinda!  You know how you meet someone and you realize you have so much common interests and you both serve the same God???  It’s just that iron-sharpening thing in action.  I hope I uplift and encourage her as much as she uplifts and encourages me.  She’s been such a blessing in my life and I pray for her and her ministry every day.

I just want to quick remind you of the SUPER MOON tonight!  It will be the largest super moon in 70 years!  Witness the beauty and glow that appears in the night skies – with a friend!  Let’s face it, doing cool stuff with our friends is something that makes us SHINE with God’s hope and peace in our lives.

I wish that you will have at least one close friend – a friend who judges less and loves more.  One that overlooks flaws as you overlook theirs.  If you have 5 good friends in this life, you are blessed indeed, but if you have one close friend, you are truly blessed.  🙂

 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

vintage-1171961_1280Today I’m going to post some writings about LOVE – a simple reminder that God IS Love…  and He loves you so very much!  Grab a cup of coffee and just take it all in…  ❤

THIS MOMENT

GOD'S GRACE MAKES STRONG LOVE

HEARTS

HE KNOWS MY NAMEMOURNING INTO DANCINGAMAZING LOVEI LOVE YOUJEREMIAH 31 3UNSHAKABLETHE ABC'S OF GOD'S LOVELOVEMOTHER TERESA QUOTEWHEN ALL ELSE FAILSTHE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVETHE LORD GOES WITH YOUMATTHEW 10 311 JOHN 4 19JOHN 15 13MEMOS FROM JESUSTHE BEATTITUDESGOD LOVES MEGOD ALWAYS HASFLESH MAY FAILTHE BEST LISTENERYOU KNOW YOU'RE LOVEDI WILL NEVER LEAVE YOUGOD LOVES YOUYOU ARE RICHGOD SEES YOUR POTENTIALFIRST LOVEHIS LOVE IS EXTRA-LARGEHE LOVED FIRSTHE IS FAITHFULLOVE'S IN THE MIDDLEI SUCCEED IN YOUWHEN YOU LIFT MY SPIRITGOD THE KNITTERGOOD GIFTSLET ME BRING YOUR LOVELIFE4FALL IN LOVECOME ALONGSIDEENCOURAGEMENTGOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURTHE CRIED WITH MEHE'S WILLING TO HELPABBA DADDYGOD CAN CALM THE STORMSGOD HAS YOU IN THESE CHANGESHE WANTS TO HELPI'M GOD'S SOMEBODYHE MADE ME TOUGHERIN HIS ARMSLET ME HELP YOUWHAT JESUS SAIDCHRIST TAUGHT MEMY TREASURE BOXTHE BEST HUGBEING CARRIEDGOD WHISPERS IN THE WINDHE'S ALREADY THEREALL I NEEDGOD STARTS BEFORE MEHIS FAITHFULNESS RENEWS MEMY THANK YOU NOTE TO GODWHEN I THINK OF YOUR GRACEGOD'S AWESOME PLANGOOD THINGS THAT GOD BRINGSLESSONS FOR MY HEARTTHANK YOU GODHOW CAN I THANK YOUTHE CLOTHING OF CHRISTTHROUGH GOD'S WINDOWWE THANK YOU FOR THATI HUG MY SAVIORI SEE GOD'S LOVE IN YOUIT CAME FROM HIMWITH HIMBECAUSE GOD IS LOVEFOR ALL YOU'VE DONEKISSES FROM HEAVENYOU ARE THE POETFOR ALL YOU'VE DONEGLORY TO MY PARTNERGOD'S THEREHE DIED FOR METHANKS FOR BEING THEREDOVES OF LOVEGOD SEES EVERY HEARTGOD IS NEARWILL JESUS BE THEREIMG_0024Smile…  God loves you!  The best part of all…  He loves you 24/7 – not just on Valentine’s Day!  🙂