A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

22 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  

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We wait and we seek the Lord continually.  We don’t do it just to be rewarded, but God is good to us in return, isn’t He?

As we wait on the Lord, seeking Him through prayer with diligence, with our whole hearts, He is good to protect us and provide for us in ways that are so creative.  How many times have you wondered how things would work out – and God makes a way that you would not have imagined?  It’s happened to me so many times!  His grace and mercy are given freely, and He assures us daily of our place in Heaven with Him when our life is over on earth.

Our God will never forsake us and He sees the work we do for Him.  We find His favor when we earnestly seek Him on a daily basis.  The world around us seems to be chaotic and crazy, but we believe that it’s all part of God’s big plan, so we don’t have to fear the future because we know God’s in control.  We choose God’s peace, love, gentleness and hope.

Will you choose the hope that God gives today?  Look to the Lord – the God of all answers.  He knows the future and He will guide you along if you ask Him to.

Dear Father,  As my Creator, You know me even better than I know myself.  Patience doesn’t come easy for me, as if I have to tell You that.  God, I’m so sorry for rushing ahead when Your hand hasn’t opened the door.  I’m sorry for complaining of boredom when being still is much more than sitting quietly.  You shape my spirit through the still and You mold my heart in the quiet.  Only then, am I ready to follow Your will.  Will You change my perspective of this season?  Will You rekindle my love anew?  For I know the wait is not without reason; may it draw me closer to You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

God bless you as you sit quietly, pray, trust and wait on Him.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Carry PEACE in your pocket.  If only we’d all do that, what a difference we’d see in this ol’ world.

I’ve known so many beautiful souls.  I’ll bet you know a few of them too.  The most wonderful thing about them is, they know they aren’t beautiful souls because it is their sheer determination to be nice or good.  They are beautiful souls because of their personal relationship with Christ Jesus.  They know that He gives them the ability to be compassionate, humble, kind, meek and patient.  God is pleased when His children are obedient, and even more pleased when He gets the credit – the glory – for it.

Lucinda has posted a verse about kindness every day – as part of Lent – she’s not giving something up, rather she is giving something – kindness.  What a wonderful idea!  I like it.  I thought this one was particularly nice for today’s post.Notice what words are used…  FILL, SHOW.  You mean these attributes don’t just magically appear once we’re saved?  Does a Father just automatically offer good gifts if their children never speak to him or offer some sort of effort in a relationship?  Well…  not usually.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to ask Him for what we need to be Christ-like in our lives.  We ask for His compassion, His strength, His mercy and then we ask Him to show us where these things need to be shown the most.

I’m not righteous in myself – nobody is.  It’s all about the LORD and nothing about me.  If there’s any redeeming qualities in me – I praise Him because it’s definitely not my nature.  If I was left to my own devices, I’d probably be the least patient person in the world.  I do literally have to ask God to help me when I’m standing in a long line or feel that twinge of impatience coming over me.  Part of it is because I have so much pain when I stand for long periods of time – but some of it is just that human nature wanting to come through.  God’s the only one who can keep it under control and surround me with His way – and His way is so much better.

 

 

 

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.  🙂

 

 

 

WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

TL 2-17 SORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

Today is WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY.  This holiday was started by Michael Levy of Point of Life in 2003 to promote a human spirit that lives the creative, peaceful, loving life that it was meant to live.  People all over the world are encouraged to take 2 minutes at 3pm ET to meditate and find the true spirit of freedom and peace that lives within each of us.

Of course, I’d say it would be a good idea to pray for those 2 minutes.  Be thankful to God for all the blessings He’s given you.  Thankfulness is not just for the month of November, you know!  It’s good to give thanks to the Lord year-around with a humble and contrite spirit.  That’s the way to find peace, love and compassion within.

PRAYER TO SEEK GODI PRAY BEFORE I PLAYThe most difficult part of being a pianist in church is playing the invitation hymn at the end of the service.  That is when God’s Holy Spirit speaks to everyone – it’s a solemn time and I was always afraid that I would do something to distract from that precious work – for I am so very, very human at times.

It’s good to celebrate the strength and courage of our human spirit – but how much better to acknowledge the source from which we glean those characteristics!  How much better our own spirits become when mulled with the precious gift from God – His own Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised us when He ascended into Heaven!

May we take 2 minutes today to bask in the warmth of His amazing love.  May we stay silent and listen to what He is saying to us.  May we willingly have our spiritual batteries recharged by Him and lift our hearts and hands in reply, letting Him know we love Him.

Join me today to celebrate the human spirit, yes – but more importantly, to celebrate the power source – God’s precious Holy Spirit.A BIG CUP OF A BIG GODIf God (and His Holy Ghost) came in a coffee cup…  hmm – interesting!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)I WANT TO BE FRUITFUL
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” My question is; what is your star? What is that thing that can force you to go to bed late and wake you up while many are in deep sleep? What’s it that can pick you up to walk again even after a frustrating fall? What’s it that gives you a smile in times of weeping? What’s that one thing that keeps you strong and gives hope in times of hopelessness? If you have it, then you have found that star he talked about. Keep moving! For as long as you have with you the three keys to personal excellence (The will to win, the desire to succeed and the urge to reach your full potential), you shall reach your star. I know that you know what I am talking about, but knowing isn’t enough, you must apply and do. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up on God’s gift to us; you must try one more time if you’re to succeed. Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities – for without confidence in your own powers, you cannot reach your star that God gave you as the guiding light in the darkest moments of your life.  Your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to God.  – Mark Farouk
We are only able to grow and succeed in life as long as we stay in God’s Word and pray without ceasing.  There’s nothing we can do on our own – and by the same token, there’s nothing that God cannot do through us!  He is the Vine and we are the branches…  our own ego must go on the back burner and we must fully lean on God to guide and direct our path.  God is our guiding Light – our Star – like the star that shone over the manger in Bethlehem for the Wise Men.
WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM
If we want to be wise…  we will follow the LIGHT, the STAR that will never lead us astray.  As He shines on and in us, we shine His love and peace to others.  I love how God works, don’t you?  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

Click image to enlarge

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

It may hurt, but a Christian friend will always be honest with you about everything.  Do I really want anything less?  No.  No, I don’t.  – Linda Palmer

IRON SHARPENS IRON

I cherish my Christian friends because of their honesty.  More importantly, I am so thankful for the tact and sweetness with which they convey that honesty.  When you love someone in the Lord, you always make the attempt to be loving and kind – so even when you have to be honest, it doesn’t have to be brutal.

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

Unfortunately, there is an over abundance of people who are brutally honest.  It doesn’t even bother me that they are that way, but it’s the attitude that underlies that brutality – like they are proud of the fact that they are brutal.  It seems so unnecessary and cruel to me.  It’s not God’s way of doing things.  There’s an old saying – “God don’t like ugly.”  To tell you the truth, He doesn’t like cruel much either.

If a person has to fling corrective criticism at me, I’d rather it be a fellow believer than not.  Sparing me of certain phrases and words from the sewer  suits me fine.  A sweet friend of mine once said, “If a person has to resort to language like that, they clearly lack imagination.”  Lee is long gone, but her wise words live on in my heart and spirit.

Many in the world and of the world have said they don’t “trust” the ways of Christ.  If a person is going to criticize, they think, it should be mean spirited – or the point will not get across.  They don’t believe the lesson can be learned without brutality and vulgarity.

I pity them because it takes so much emotional energy to be that way.  They refuse to cast their burdens on the Lord, so they still carry them around.  No wonder it’s easy for them to lose control of temper and lash out at others.  As Christians, we give our stress and anxiety to God, lighten our own burden, thus we’re able to be sweet spirited in any circumstance.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.   – Galatians 5:22-23

In all circumstances we portray the fruits of the spirit:

  1. LOVE
  2. JOY
  3. PEACE
  4. FORBEARANCE
  5. KINDNESS
  6. GOODNESS
  7. FAITHFULNESS
  8. GENTLENESS
  9. SELF-CONTROL

I’m so very thankful for my Christian friends.  In this mean, brutal, cruel world, we sure do need each other!  🙂

 

 

GALATIANS 5:22 ON 5/22

GALATIANS 5 22 ON 5 22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…  – Galatians 5:22

Ugh – longsuffering…  that’s like…  patience, right?  LOL!

Today I jumped through a hoop, hopefully on the way to gallbladder surgery.  I had to see my primary care physician today to make sure the increase of Lisinopril is bringing my blood pressure down where it needs to be.  The good news is – it has!

Now it’s time to do a little more waiting and praying.  I have a second appointment with the surgeon on the 26th, so until then I will just keep praying that the pain will be minimal (non-existent would be better – lol) – and that God’s Holy Spirit will guide me to do what I need to do.

Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer.  – Author Unknown

I can’t believe the outpouring of concern from my friends!  I’m humbled to have such great friends and hope I’m as good a friend.  The times you are forced to jump through hoops and play the waiting game are the times you learn more about who you are and how much your faith really means.

It gives the phrase “pray without ceasing” a new meaning – lol.  I continually pray that God’s Holy Spirit will give me the strength, wisdom and grace to get through this difficult time.  At this point, I’m practicing SPIRITUAL BREATHING.  Several times a day, I hear Him say to me, “It’s okay, Linda – just BREATHE.”

In much the same way I pray before driving my car – for traveling mercies – I am praying that I’ll be granted traveling mercies from this hoop to the next hoop.  Another week and then I will know more and hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel.  God’s grace is sufficient.

MASTER OF MY THOUGHTS

The quest for love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness and faith continues as pain makes itself apparent.  Oh – yes I did forget one – longsuffering.  Okay – I guess I want that too – wink!  😉

WOMEN’S DAY

TL 3-8 WOMEN'S DAY

The stronger the participation of the female characters, the better the movie.  They knew that in the old days, when women stars were equally as important as men.  Hepburn, Davis, Colbert:  They had great faces and great voices.  – Clint Eastwood

Today is WOMEN’S DAY! I’ve always celebrated womanhood, but there is one distinctive characteristic about some of us. Some of us are women of God. A woman who loves God is to be treasured, for she knows where her loyalty lies and she knows from where all blessings flow. It takes the pressure off a man to know that his woman does not depend on him for her contentment. She is fully and completely dependent on her wonderful, loving, gracious heavenly Father to supply every need – for her and her family.

3-8 A SALTY CHARACTER (USED 3-8-14)
3-8 PRAIRIE WOMEN

Women of God do not entertain petty thoughts. We do not do anything without a great deal of prayer. We lay up treasures in heaven because we know that the things of this earth are insignificant. At the same time, we know that money is necessary to survive, so we try to find creative ways of saving and we are smart about our spending. Some of us are coupon queens. I’m neither admitting nor denying that title. 😉

Our priorities do not include the latest flash-in-the-pan fashion or what color is hot for the season. We have bigger fish to fry that have eternal ramifications. We are not short-sighted, but we see the big picture – the really big picture.

If you have not been to a Women of Faith conference, I strongly encourage you to grab a girlfriend and GO! You will walk out a revived and refreshed servant of God.

An attitude of gratitude is more important than anything tangible. It’s important to eat food, but it will not bring us one inch closer to God. Only through Bible study and prayer can we establish a relationship with the Almighty. God does not honor a selfish perspective from us. He would rather we worship Him than spend the day out shopping at the local mall. Activities that take time away from my Father are considered vain. Vanity will disappear one day when this life is over. As the old song says, “Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

A woman of God understands all of this. ❤