A SUMMER OF PSALMS

The “T” is allowed in the word COMMIT.  The “T” is allowed in the word TRUST.  The “T” is most definitely not allowed on the end of the word CAN.

We need to remember that there’s a right way and a wrong way to proceed.  When we charge off and try to be successful on our own without God’s help, that’s the wrong way to get where we’re going.  Giving the plan to God is key and makes everything so much easier for us.  We are nothing without Him and we can do nothing without His help.  In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him – only then will He work on our behalf, making our path straight and opening doors that would otherwise stay shut.

We know that it takes just a little faith to get going.  We’re told that it takes faith the size of a mustard seed.  When I was a teenager, I wore a necklace that had a mustard seed inside a glass case.  It was so tiny and lightweight, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Isn’t sign language beautiful?  The main point of this Psalm is that God wants the very best for us, but He wants us to keep Him in the loop, so to speak.  He wants to be a part of our decision-making process every step of the way.  Anything we do that is not within His will and His word – it’s not good and it’s not right.  We need to do things His way according to His will.

Do we always do that?  No – speaking for myself, I’ve not.  Those are painful lessons in life – but we learn the lesson (hopefully just once), and we ask the Lord’s forgiveness and then we get up and try again and with His help, we do better.  Grab on to your mustard seed-size faith and try again!  The second part of this passage says HE WILL HELP YOU.  Will you trust God to help you find victory in your life?

Is there a lasting victory for you?  Sure there is!  Our Lord is loving and merciful and kind and strong!  He wants the very best for you and wants to help you in every aspect of your life.  You CAN because He’s going to help you!  Just share everything you do, or plan to do, with Him!  Always give HIM the glory for the successes in your life!  

Remember to pray before you plan.  Make sure what you plan to do is God’s best for you, and His will for your life (as far as you can tell).  Keep reading your Bible and pray because you want to do things God’s way.  🙂

 

 

Big Decisions

When women are describing their dream mate, what is it they say – ???  Tall, dark, handsome, and non-communicative – right???  The sad truth is, most women don’t think much about how well a man can communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.  We find out after we marry just how important that quality is!  Frankly, in my humble opinion…  communication IS everything!

There’s a choice I had to make in college that I think may have altered the course of my life.  No, it’s true.  I had to choose between debate and interpersonal communication.  Well, no way was I going to get up in front of a bunch of talented speakers and try my hand at debate as a freshman!  It was a no-brainer…  interpersonal communication, here I come!  I don’t think I did myself a favor by going that way.  I should have thrown my shoulders back and charged ahead.  Now, I wish I would have; however, it does absolutely no good to second guess a decision that I made so long ago.

When one introvert meets and marries another introvert…  communication can be a bit sketchy for a while.  I’ve coined a phrase and use it often:

I am not a mind reader.  I’ve never been a mind reader.  I’ll never BE a mind reader.  Use your words so I will know what is going on.

Every decision as a couple needs to be discussed — not just the big ones.  It’s a matter of respect for one another.  With every year that passes, communication gets easier – you find your own way, and every couple communicates differently.  As long as it works – hey – that’s what matters!

Dear God, we know that marriage can be tricky sometimes because there are two people to consider.  Two sets of values, emotions, and baggage carried around from the past.  Help us to be considerate of one another and respectful in our decision-making.  Help us to make all moves together as a unit instead of as an individual.  You have declared that married couples are ONE.  Remind us, as only You can, that what You have joined together, no one can tear apart.  Thank You for being so good to us.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sometimes it helps to think about a couple that you really admire – and try to mirror some of their actions in your own marriage.  I loved being around my parents.  Those two could just give one another a look and they’d know and understand each other.  I want that in my marriage – and I think that’s the goal of most couples.  It’s those unspoken moments that we cherish the most, I think.  The smiles, grins, silly faces…  I love to remember all that!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I’ll bet I could have been a great in debate class…  I hold my own fairly well on facebook!  Ha!  Does that count??? 

Today is Superbowl Sunday, of course.  I have one thought to share about it. 

One more example of a big decision…  to get excited about Jesus, or get excited about football.  Is there room for both?  Well, yes, of course there’s room for both in our lives.  I’m still angered by the behavior of the players, so will not be watching the Superbowl this year.  I’d rather get excited about Jesus.  He never lets me down!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Great is HIS faithfulness!  Strength, hope and happiness are all from His loving hands.  Best of all…  He gave us pardon from all sin!

Most parents want the very best for their children.  As much as they want to do for them – and be for them, you can imagine how much more our Heavenly Father wants for His children!  If we understand God as a loving, kind, and protective Father, then we understand that He always has our best interest in mind.  That’s why sometimes we are forged in fire – it’s also why sometimes we feel a warm Heavenly embrace.  He knows whether we need to be kicked – or kissed.  Tribulation works patience, and patience will work experience, and experience a hope that leaves me unashamed.

God is merciful to us.  He’s patient when others would give up.  His mercies are new every single morning.  Each day begins a clean slate – and aren’t we thankful?  I can think of a lot of days I’d like to forget forever – days when I was less than stellar and more dense than I imagined I ever could be.  I’m just so human sometimes.  But God loves me and He helps me regain the courage I lose.  My best is what He requires – His best is what I’m so thankful for.

We can rest in God’s faithfulness.  We can rely on God’s guidance.  We can always know that tomorrow is a new day…  filled with brand new mercies from our Heavenly Father. 

It occurred to me that this passage says that God’s love is STEADFAST – it could have just said that God loves us – but it didn’t.  God’s love is described as steadfast.  Would you describe human love that way?  No, me neither.  God’s not going anywhere – His love is with you to stay – you can bet on it.

Tomorrow will be filled with brand new possibilities, new goals to meet and God’s blessings to boot!  Wake up, get up, make up and share God’s best with everyone you meet!  I know you can do it!  God’s got this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  – Psalm 27:14
Wow…  WAIT???  Huh, that brings to mind my favorite word – PATIENCE.  Ugh…  sets my teeth on edge.  I’m not big on patience and I don’t like to wait for anything.  Does anyone like to wait?  We don’t have to wait for much these days.  I mean, we can shop in our jammies, so…  seriously – we’ve gotten to the point where it’s pretty much instant whatever you want.  And when I say shop in our jammies, I’m not talking about the new socially acceptable dress code at the local Walmart.  I’m referring to online shopping in the privacy of my own  home.
We’re not only to wait, but we are to be STRONG and TAKE HEART and wait.  That sounds like multi-tasking to me.  Isn’t it good enough to just wait?  Must I be strong while I wait – and take heart?  Sigh – I have to have a good attitude and wait.  This may be too much to ask of me.  Does God have a reason for the specificity in this passage?  Yes – because if we wait but have a bad attitude, we will most likely miss the big picture.  Waiting and being strong and taking heart…  will assure that we will be better people as we look back.  Once we receive what we are waiting for from God…  and if we’ve had the right attitude – faith increases and that translates into more confidence in what GOD can do in our lives!
Sometimes the strength within you is not a big firey flame for all to see; it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘You got this.  Keep going.’  – Linda Lou
That inner strength is God’s Holy Spirit.  He’s the One who encourages us as we wait for His best blessings in our lives.  A strong heart that gives and shows love to others and prays, expecting God’s best with a good attitude…  it’s what I want for 2017!
If you had to choose an animal that is strong and loving – what animal would it be?  I’d have to say it’s a DOG.  So I guess one of my goals this year is to be more like a dog.  Yep.  Pretty much.  Patient, strong, loving and loyal.  I always want God’s Holy Spirit with me, helping me every day.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)There’s a particular number I want to see on the scale when I visit my doctor on the 14th – and when I weighed last, I was 4 pounds away!  I’ll be honest, I’ve been living on salads and doing workouts 3 days a week – with extra reps.  I want this so much!

Here’s the deal…  while I’ve been towing the line, I do still on occasion sit and daydream about what I may do when I leave the doctor’s office.  I’ve thought of going to the Dollar Tree to get a candy bar.  I’ve thought of getting a bag of marshmallows.  I’ve considered so many possibilities, but as I said…  these are thoughts.  The bad news is…  thoughts become actions.  That’s when I sabotage my own efforts and get angry with myself.  😦

I know what I need to do.  I need to add to my artillery. I need to reinforce the hem of my determination with prayer and faith.  I also wrote a new poem.  I hope if you’re fighting a sugar addiction, it will encourage you to stay on track.toadallyI’ve read so many articles that talk about sugar addiction.  It’s more difficult to break free from sugar than to break free from drugs!  It’s true, sugar is the most addictive substance.  This sweet stuff not only wrecks blood glucose, but it’s the stuff that cancer cells feed on.  Sugar’s the stuff that really ruins arteries.  When they told us it was the fat in our diets – that was incorrect.  It’s the sugar that does the damage.  For so many reasons it is best to lower or stop consumption of sugar.

As for the new ammunition…  I have compiled a list that will help me stay focused when I’m shopping.  I plan to buy just the things on this list:

  • eggs
  • peanut butter with no hydrogenated oil
  • celery
  • nuts
  • carrot sticks
  • ranch dressing
  • blue cheese dressing
  • low-sodium deli meats
  • cream cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • pork rinds
  • sunflower seeds
  • low-sodium jerky
  • turkey pepperoni slices
  • mushrooms
  • turkey bacon
  • dill pickles
  • tuna
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • 70% cocoa chocolate bar
  • beef
  • chicken
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • little smokies
  • Vienna sausages
  • bell peppers
  • Relish sweetened with Splenda
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower

My appointment is Friday, so I’ll have some idea whether I’m going to reach my goal or not because I weigh on Wednesdays.  I’ve sure been working on getting there.  If I make it, the nurses at the doctor’s office may see me do a victory dance!  If I don’t make it, I’ll know that I came so close to goal and determine that I’ll do better next time.13419107_1228329117211567_3612524694099834881_n-2

KETO ZONE www.fb.com/KetoZone

I’m determined to get this weight off!  It’s really as easy as having low-carb food to eat when I get hungry.  Being prepared by having a well-stocked pantry and fridge is so important if I want to succeed.  God’s gonna help me do this!  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL WALKING DAY

TL 4-6 NATIONAL WALKING DAY

WALKING

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages us to get out and walk today!  They hope that this will begin a good habit that will last while we have good weather.

Whether you are a seasoned walker or tend to waddle like me, today is the day to get out and motivate those feet – one in front of the other – for thirty minutes.  Some can do that all at once and some like me will have to do either two fifteen minute walks or three ten minute walks.  I was so happy to read that the results are the same regardless – isn’t that great?

Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.  – Gene Tunney

There are obvious benefits when you walk.  It strengthens your heart and lungs as your breathing increases, but it is good for your legs and helps define your muscles.  There are mental benefits that are almost immediate – a sense of well-being and accomplishment help you feel more positive about yourself and about other projects you tackle.  The human body was not created to sit around all the time.  You are worth a half hour of exercise every day – YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Some folks walk at our local mall every day.  I’d rather get outside to walk, but whatever helps you get started – do it!  Taking that first step in a very literal way is what matters.  It’s nice to get together with other walkers for support.  The time goes so much faster when you’re engaged in conversation along with jokes and laughter.  It’s possible to exercise alone, but it’s not as much fun.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.   Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  – Raymond Inmon

As you walk along, it’s amazing how many threads of inspiration are weaved together as you keep moving.  Most of my scathingly brilliant ideas come to me as I’m walking.  Some days I’m bombarded with creative notions just waiting to be launched.

Sometimes I take a camera with me on a walk, but that can slow me down if my goal is to realize health benefits.  A camera usually goes with me when I’m more interested in mental benefits and a little stroll.  Every bit of it helps.  Just get out and enjoy God’s creation.  It will make you feel better!  😉

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?  🙂

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY (2)

https://youtu.be/LGCjKPmegdU

No matter what type of diabetes we have, none of us want to be part of this “club”.  This is a frightening disease because it’s so unpredictable.  What will it attack next?  According to a recent study published online in JAMA, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and have so far managed alright.  My hemoglobin A1c is not at goal yet, but I’m working on it.  Diabetics can only manage symptoms now.  There is no cure for diabetes type 1, and if people like me with type 2 can lose weight, it’s possible to maintain a healthy blood sugar – but a type 2 diabetic will always be a type 2 diabetic regardless.

I asked the folks in my group, A Second Helping of Wellness… with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, if they had anything in particular to add to my post today.  Here’s the one response I received:

I think every day should be Diabetes Awareness Day. It is a work in progress for many of us. You have it on your mind all the time, and if you ignore it, it can cause so many complications.  – John Manganiello

Some of us express our thoughts and feelings through the designs we make.  I guess I’m in that category.  Here are a few I’ve come up with that say what I need to say:

AS WE MANAGE

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It hurts to be judged – especially when it is something as intensely personal as your body and your weight where your health is concerned.  I had a chiropractor ask me in a very flip and off-hand manner, “Why don’t you just lose the weight and get rid of the diabetes?”  I never went back to him.  I wonder why???

Judging doesn’t help!  People think they can shame a type 2 into compliance and obedience.  It works the opposite way for me.  I’ll speak for myself – but if someone belittles me all the time – nags me about my eating habits and crushes my spirit – I’m going to eat more.  No, I can’t explain it – but it’s true.  I suppose I just think “Well, I can’t do anything right, so why try?” 

Now…  encourage me and I’ll go the distance and I will reach a goal.  It doesn’t have to be much of a compliment – just a little one will set me in motion heading in a positive direction!  It’s how I’m wired – how God made me!  If I do good and I’m told it’s good – I’ll keep it up! 

I’m thankful for the support I get online and on facebook in the diabetic community.  They seem to understand and that really helps when I feel like I’m the only one struggling.  🙂

DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY

TL 1-17 DITCH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS DAY

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?  Well, now all the hoop-la that surrounded the fiery determination you felt when you made that promise to yourself has died down, and you have been sorely tempted to settle back into some old, familiar and let’s face it – comfortable habits and patterns that you know are not too good for you!

I’m not scolding you, I’m talking to myself too!  I told myself I would do a little exercise every day this year.  Frankly, with the colder temperatures and feeling a little under the weather, it’s been a lot easier to sit in my recliner watching DVD’s of “Touched By an Angel”.  I’m getting plenty of spiritual exercise, but that’s not taking my weight off.

To add further incentive, there is a new study that suggests it is not the weight we carry that necessarily harms us, but it is the fact that we do not do some form of physical activity every day!   They say 20 minutes of walking every day will do the trick.  It’s not the crazy one hour workout you do once in a blue moon that counts, but the consistent activity on a daily basis that will be the most beneficial.

January 17th is the most common date to give up on resolutions.  Today we acknowledge (notice I did not say celebrate) DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY.

I don’t have a gym membership.  I exercise with a recumbent bike, treadmill, free weights and bands here in my house.  I have a lovely area where I can walk when the weather is good.  I just have to make it a priority.

The message I want to pass along to you today is that God did not make robots.  There is not a button we can push to make us be perfect (I know because I’ve looked everywhere for it).  Now, it may sound like I just offered you a perfect excuse to give up, but I’m not finished.  Since we are not perfect, as we try to keep our resolutions we will not be perfect.  I have not exercised every day this year.  I missed yesterday, the 16th.  Does that mean I will give up completely – throw my hands up and say, “Well that’s it then – I’m never going to exercise again because I didn’t keep my New Year’s Resolution”  – ???

To quote the Apostle Paul…  HEAVEN FORBID!!!

I’ll simply pick it up today and look ahead.  Looking behind is not only a waste of time, it is totally pointless in every way.  Look back for what?  To beat myself up?  To heap a pile of shame on myself?  Shoot NO!  I had a good day yesterday and maybe my body needed a rest – but yesterday is over and today I need an attitude that is positive and says, “YES I CAN!”

1-17 CANS

Join me and be a part of God’s “I CAN CLAN”.  There is NOTHING we cannot accomplish with the Lord by our side, right?  Good talk!  Now – I gotta go exercise!  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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TAKE CARE

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I believe people mean well.  Most people have a kind of “sign-off” to their conversation that goes something like this:  TAKE CARE.  It’s a rhetorical comment, not something we are expected to respond to.  We’re just expected to smile, nod and say HEY, YOU TOO – GOOD TO SEE YOU, or something like that.

It seems like all I get done is taking care of myself.  Wouldn’t it be so nice if I didn’t have to think about every little thing as it concerns my health?  It’d be great if I was not restricted by diet, activity level and the style of shoes I wear.  When I was younger, I wore pretty shoes with a nice heel.  I wore pretty dresses or suits to work with open-toe sandals in the summer.  Today my feet are more delicate and particular.  I’m forced to wear a closed toe shoe with plenty of “wiggle room” for my tootsies.  When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

Type II diabetes is such a frustrating disease.  Everyone (including my chiropractor and doctor)  tells me  if I lose weight, it will magically disappear.  That is my only incentive for losing weight because I would love to be rid of it once and for all.  I stay active and I’d set my diet up alongside anyone else’s any day of the week – I eat a very healthy diet!  The weight will not leave – it will not GO!

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll make an exception this year.  If it’s true that weight loss would rid me of type II – then I simply have to resolve to get the weight off once and for all.  I’m doing 30 minutes of cardio in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  I’m not a couch potato by any means.

Friends, please keep me in your prayers.  Pray that I stay strong and achieve some significant weight loss and a drop in my A1c.  How great would it be to be taken off insulin and not have to take as much metformin?  Now I’m taking 4 250 mg capsules a day and 20-35 units of Levemir every night.

The weight seems to be glued to me – that’s the only way I know how to describe it.  It really likes me and wants to stay.  I really don’t like it and don’t want it to stay – LOL! 

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.   – Doug Larson

Living with invisible chronic health conditions is challenging.  I try so hard but the effort I put in is not always visible to others.  I’ll keep trying…. and do my best.   I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to TAKE CARE.  And I hope you will take care too!  😉

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

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