A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

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

Your treasure – what you value most…  and your heart, are inseparable.  If your most precious treasures are the ones you can touch, those are also the ones that will one day rust or could be stolen.  The things of this world will not last.  Even money wears thin eventually – literally.my-treasure-boxWhat kind of heart do I want in 2017?  I want a heart that holds eternal treasures!  The hope of eternal life with Christ one day in Heaven.  The peace that only my Savior gives when things in my world seem chaotic.  A joy unspeakable at all times, under all circumstances.  I want to know that my actions and attitudes are pleasing to God, regardless of what others may say or do.the-treasures-i-lay-upThis year I want to be more of an investor and less of a collector.  I want to hug fewer things to me and hug more people.  I want to invest time and effort into mentoring and teaching when God opens the door of opportunity for me.  I hope to keep writing this blog.  I’ve gotten good feedback and interesting conversations started with it, and it’s my hope and prayer that it has uplifted and encouraged you.

The other day I was browsing in an antique store.  If you ever need to be persuaded that things turn to rust and dust – just visit an antique store.  I saw some old sheet music that I was afraid to handle because the paper was so delicate and frail.  The collections of antiques we acquire in this life…  they’re getting older every day.  Even with the best of care, it’s inevitable that they will turn to rust or dust – or both.

Maybe it’s not antiques you want to collect, but brand new shiny things.  Well, along with those brand new shiny things comes a different set of burdens – taxes, insurance, maintenance…  shall I go on???

Riches in Christ…  a heart rich with His grace, peace, love, mercy, and the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit…  those are the treasures I will seek this year.  That’s what I want most of all in my heart.  Don’t you?  🙂

 

 

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THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

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The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

ECCLESIASTES 11:6 ON 11/6

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Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.  – Ecclesiastes 11:6

As tempting as it is to snuggle under the comforter and sleep until spring…  we can’t do that.  We have seed to sow and work for our hands to do.  As Solomon says, we don’t know if the seed will grow or die – and we don’t know if the work our hands find to do will prove to be successful – but we do know if we give up…  nothing will be accomplished.  That’s not good and God’s not pleased.bless-others

http://keepfaithrunning.com/ Check it out!

Some commentaries associate the morning to youth and the evening to older folks.  The same rule of thumb applies – we work ’til Jesus comes!  We don’t do the same type of ministry in our 50’s that we did in our 20’s – that’s just the way it is.  There are more challenges as we age, but it’s not an excuse to quit.  Regardless of your age, you can ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity for you.  There’s work to be done, and maybe you’re the one for the job.

I’ve had such fun trying new ways to minister to others.  I like to write and help other writers by making designs, guest writing and ghost writing.  BOO!  😀

So even though the days are shorter and darkness falls so much earlier now, pray for ministry opportunities.  God will give your hands work to do for Him.today-is-tomorrow

A ministry doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be sincere.  Serving others for Christ is all that matters.  If you’re singing at a nursing home or helping in a homeless shelter or whatever your hands find to do…  do your best!  Trust that God will provide the increase through your efforts.dowhat-you-can

I have friends who have gone overseas to do mission work.  Sometimes I think, “Wow…  that is really putting feet to your faith!”  But do I know how much many seeds I sow decide to grow?  NO!  I write what I’m led to write and leave the rest up to God.  Isn’t that what a ministry or a mission does, whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad?  I’m so much more contented and focused in my ministry when I stop comparing the importance of my ministry to that of others.14962614_1839527242958404_872399760063475835_n

Be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit…  and you will be amazed (and a little surprised) at what may happen next.  It may become the great adventure of your life!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDonate to a local charity.  What a wonderful way to help out during the Christmas season.  Our local Disabled American Veteran thrift store has a shopping cart beside the front door.  It’s convenient to drop off a donation, and I try to give at Christmas time especially because so many folks do their Christmas shopping there.  Having choices is always a good thing – right?

Everyone has a particular charity they give to.  We have several local charities but there are also the more well-known ones such as The JDRF and The American Cancer Society.  There are so many needs, aren’t there?  Needs for research and unfortunately that takes a lot of money.  I can’t give to all of them, but just like everyone else, I do what I can afford to do.

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Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  It seems like every time you turn the TV on, you see an advertisement for a new charity.  I think we just have to pray and ask God to show us what to do.  Once in a while there are opportunities to volunteer with organizations.  Giving to charitable organizations does not always hit your pocketbook.  Sometimes it takes a little of your precious time.  I can’t speak for everyone, but often I have more time than money.

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Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Mary would have said NO – ???  I can’t imagine a humble servant of God doing that, but what if she would have?  Her obedience, considering her young age, tells me that she was well grounded in her faith.  When it comes to decision-making in our own lives, we’d be wise to learn to ponder things over more than we do.  Who to help and where to give – these are important decisions because not every charity is using your dollars the way you would want them to.  Get to know the charity you want to help before you give.

You may need a little nudge to donate your time to sing…  but it makes others smile.  This is what I’m talkin’ about…

https://youtu.be/wBnf0md-8Iw

Helping others is one of the greatest blessings God gives us.  When you give of yourself, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, you feel as though you are making another person’s life better.  In turn, your life gets better.  Don’t you love how God’s plan works in each of us?  Some need help – others need to help.  All needs are met.  🙂

 

MITTEN TREE DAY

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12-6 TEACH CHILDREN CHARITY

I think of all the wacky and unusual holidays on the books, this one is my favorite.  MITTEN TREE DAY is so much fun for children, but it’s a great way for adults to teach them about selflessness and  how to put the needs of others above their own needs or wants.  Have you heard the story called “The Mitten”? 

The timing of this special holiday is perfect since it’s so close to Christmas.  I used to have my Sunday School kids make an outline of their hands with their fingers together on colored construction paper – it looks like a pair of mittens.  Then they put their name on the “mittens” and decorate them with glitter or crayons.  Then punch holes in the top of each mitten and run yarn through the holes.  Tie a knot in the yarn and hang the “mittens” on a small Christmas tree.

Once you have a mitten tree and have read the story to the children, you can easily Segway into conversations with them about how blessed we are if we own a pair of mittens – and how it would be nice if we were to give someone a pair of mittens if they do not have any.  Children learn how to be charitable.  It does not come naturally.

We usually talked at great length about how the little boy’s mitten helped all those critters stay warm.  Then we discussed how God has provided warm houses for us to live in and stay warm.  It’s never too early to teach children to count their blessings and be thankful for what they have.

There’s such a tendency in our country to want more and not be content.  Stories like “The Mitten” help us to teach children to think of others and want to share with them.  Let’s teach them about charity instead of teaching them that the government will force them to share.  True charity should be taught and come from the heart of individuals.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  THAT is what Christians teach children – give from the abundance God blesses you with.

May we always be allowed to give of our own free will as God leads – not as government leads.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx