Always Remember

Well, it’s day number 7 of 2018 – how’s it going?  My new year is fantastic!  I went in for my final appointment with the surgeon – and I got cut loose!  I’m officially mobile and getting into trouble again on a regular basis.  It’s great to be up and going again!

God wants us to know that no matter what circumstances we face, He will be by our side, take our hand and guide us through it.  There are no endings while we rely on the Lord to lead us down the pathway.  There are only endings when we decide to let go of His hand and give up.

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  – Jeremiah 29:10-11

Have faith in God – you know He has come through in the past – so of course, He will make a way now.  He didn’t bring you this far to leave you alone!  I love the part of this Scripture that says, “I’ll SHOW UP and TAKE CARE OF YOU AS I PROMISED AND BRING YOU BACK HOME.”  I also love the reminder that He knows what He’s doing!  I sure do need to be reminded of that once in a while.

I love this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Our God keeps every promise He makes to us.  We know our joy is not dependent on our circumstances – but it hinges on our faith in the One who is worthy!  Thou art worthy, oh Lord!  

Don’t let the enemy of your soul steal your joy because you’re focused on circumstances instead of keeping your spiritual eyes open with your physical eyes studying God’s precious Word.  It’s through His Word and the time we spend with Him in prayer that keeps us filled with His joy, hope, peace and love.  Trust your relationship with Jesus, and the sovereignty of God.

Isn’t she wonderful and encouraging?  I hope and pray we all have a wonderful 2018, and that the sovereign God that we put our trust in no matter what – will bless us beyond measure in our lives.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We have inexpressible JOY…  you know what the world is asking right now???  They’re asking, “How???  Why???”.  Those who do not accept Christ Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives, do not understand inexpressible joy.  It’s only by accepting Christ Jesus by faith into your heart and life that you can experience a joy that can not be explained.  It’s better felt than telt…  because I can’t explain it with words.  Words are not adequate – but true faith in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus is how we experience His amazing joy, love, grace, and mercy.  And He rewards us with these things because He longs to have a relationship with His creation.  He wants to love us and for our love and faithfulness in return.  Sometimes our faith gets tested…  major big time!

You know about the fires in California, right?  Take a look at this photograph – everything around it is in ashes, but this cross still stands!  What a wonderful reminder that no matter what is being destroyed in our lives, Christ and His cross can never be destroyed if they are in your heart and life!  When I saw this picture, my eyes filled with tears and once again I prayed for the folks there whose homes are being destroyed.  May they have the joy of the Lord along with His strength and wisdom through this situation.  I pray God will bless them with everything they need – and I pray that God will bless with some wants as well.

We don’t follow a list of rules and get zapped by lightning if we step out-of-bounds.  We are obedient to God because we love Him and are so thankful for the horrific sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took the sins of the world – past, present, future – on His shoulders!  We are saved from an eternity in hell.  There is a reason we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  As the years go by and we see His marvelous works in our lives, we just love and trust Him more and more!  This is how we get the inexpressible, undeniable, precious JOY of the Lord.  What does the joy of the Lord do for us?  Why do we cherish it so much?  Well, a verse comes to mind:

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  – Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  It sounds like a GOOD thing to me – doesn’t it sound like a GOOD thing to you?  No matter what is going on in your life, the Savior of your soul can be trusted to make a way and provide answers.  The way and the answers may not be in your time, but believe me when I say, there will come a time when you look back and say, “Oh, now I understand God’s timing in that situation!”  That’s why the longer you trust God, the stronger your faith gets.  You’ve seen so many ways God has helped you in the past – so you know without a doubt that He has all the problems in the present and the ones coming in the future under control.

I’m assured that whatever comes along in my life, God and His precious Holy Spirit will pour out His love, peace and joy on me.  When we are fully trusting in the Lord, it’s not a superficial happiness that we’re given, but it’s joy that lasts in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  That’s why it’s called inexpressible – and to the world, I would go further and say they think it doesn’t exist.  Ah…  but if you know the Lord, you know better!

I want to show you a photo of JOY!!!  This is Madi, and I hope her middle name is Joy, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t..  If I ever get to meet her, she will be JOY to me!  She’s such a bright, shiny star and lights up any room!

I’VE GOT THE JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY DOWN IN MY HEART! DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Have faith, children of God.  Keep praying and keep showing the world the joy that God gives you to share.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I love Christmas so much, especially as a Christian!  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas lasts all month-long and rightly so since we have so much to celebrate!  We need a whole month to celebrate the reason for the season, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!  God’s plan was for His Son to be born in a lowly manger, to be the path to salvation and everlasting life for every one of us.  If that isn’t the greatest HOPE of Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5

There are so many situations that have happened in our world that can attempt to steal our hope.  We need to keep a firm grasp on Jesus’ hand and remember that He is the source of all the hope in our lives!  Let’s start encouraging one another with words of hope from God’s Word.  Let’s begin praying for one another, asking that God send bundles of hope into daily situations.  We don’t know what’s going on in a Christian friend’s life.  Most of us like to keep all the negative things happening in our lives to ourselves – we don’t want to be a “downer” to everyone else.  We should never assume that everything in our Christian friend’s lives is going well just because we’re not told differently.  Let’s ask God to heap blessings on one another!  The blessings from our Lord are the hope we count on every day!

I refer to Christian friends, but you know what?  I have some non-Christian friends as well – and whether they like it or not, I pray for them too!  God hears and answers our prayers.  He knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows the thoughts in our minds as we pray to Him for all people.  His desire for us is to love Him and to love each other.

 

I want to share this truth with you:  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  I offer these words of encouragement to you so you can find hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Because of Christmas, there was an Easter.  Because of Easter, there is eternal HOPE – and He holds us and cherishes us so much!

Let’s celebrate hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Ask Jesus to hold to you tightly and show you HIS HOPE!  He loves you and wants to do that for you.  ❤

 

 

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

If you’re a child of God, this verse offers a warm fuzzy feeling and you feel loved and protected.  If you’re not His child, it could possibly scare the hooey out of you – and for good reason.  It’s one more reminder that sitting on the proverbial fence is not an option.  You’re either God’s kid – or you’re not.  There’s no in-between.

Jesus loves you!  He does… and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

God is love, but don’t be deceived.  Our God is all-powerful and is in control of everything.  He is not a senile old man who puts up with sin and laughs it off.  He’s not going to give anyone a pass when it comes to transgression of His law!  Your earthly grandfather may do that, but the God of the universe will not.

When Jesus told the sea to be still…  it obeyed!  As I write this, I’m reminded of a song we sang in our youth group called “SEA WALKER”.  Some of you younger folk are gonna laugh, but hey…  I’m old.  LOL!

Who is Jesus?  He’s the only begotten Son of God.  He was sent by God to earth as a baby and was raised in a Jewish family.  Is there more to it?  Of course – so much more!  Without His teachings about His Father and our Heavenly Father, we would be clueless.  Without His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary…  wow – we’d be in such big trouble in eternity!  Many people have the idea that Christ HAD to die for our sins.  Um…  nope!  He could have changed His mind any time – He could have said we’re not worth His sacrifice.  Did He say that?  NO, He didn’t – and we should make it part of our daily prayer to thank Him for going through with it.

Lucinda wrote an amazing poem for today.  It’s enlightening and uplifting to my spirit!  I’m so happy to share it with you!

Jesus is our link to God, therefore, we are careful to end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name”.  If we take the time to study the Bible and get to know our Savior, Christ Jesus, we will get a glimpse at our Father God.  If we know Jesus, we basically know God.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible.  Study, trust and obey.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I doubt that we need to review examples of living according to the flesh.  It’s sad to see people get caught up in fast living, only to crash and burn in the end – sometimes literally.  Why does God want us to kill fleshly desires when they seem so attractive sometimes?  The answer is simple:  HE LOVES US!  He loves you and me so much – and He knows that those temptations are dangerous to our bodies and souls.  God wants to protect us – body, mind and soul.  We can’t overcome these things alone.  It’s only through God’s precious Holy Spirit that we can turn tail and run away from harm’s way.  He’s not trying to keep us from having fun!  He’s trying to show us a better way to live – and if we belong to Christ, we need to run into His arms and ask Him to show us His way of life.  Only with the Spirit’s help can we make wise choices.A relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit means that we have everything we need to avoid sin and win.  Of course, we have a free will to choose either way – right or wrong.  Nobody has always chosen the right – nobody that I know, anyway.  We’re not perfect all the time, but we know that if we choose badly, we can turn from that bad choice and ask our loving Heavenly Father, through Christ, to forgive us and forget our transgression.

One day I was driving home from work in a terrible rain storm.  I took an unfamiliar route because I was sure the regular route was flooded.  As I drove, I prayed aloud in the car, asking the Lord to protect me.  I was frightened, but confident that God would get me home safely.

There were not many cars on the road I took, which I thought was strange, but I forged ahead.  When there is water on the road, it’s difficult to gage how deep it is – or the condition of the street below.

The next intersection was full of water – the flash flooding was catching up with me… I felt led to make a left hand turn and go to the street just south of the one I was on.  I made the turn and ended up on a street that was a bit elevated and the water was running off.  I had a straight shot home.  I sang praise & worship songs and thanked the Lord for helping me get home.

I was curious about the flooded intersection where I made the turn.  I went back to look at it, and found there was a very large pot hole – and had I kept going straight, I would have gone in the hole and would probably have water in the car.

When we live life waiting for the next big thrill with no regard for the God who just wants to protect us, we end up being a slave to the very thing we thought was such fun at first.  I don’t understand why some folks think that Christians don’t have fun.  We have such fun – it’s just a different kind of fun.   God protects us and His Spirit helps us stay away from sin because all sin does is cause harm.  God doesn’t want us to be harmed – He wants us to be free!  And so we are.

Free from the law…  oh happy condition.  Jesus is mine, oh precious redemption.

A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST…  it can be yours!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This is a verse that is familiar to Sunday School teachers because at some point we work with kids to memorize it.  Some say this verse disproves the concept of the Trinity, but I don’t think it does.  I still believe in the three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Paul is addressing the question whether there’s more than one God because a pagan said there was.  On behalf of Christians everywhere, he’s affirming that there is only one God, creator and ruler over the wide universe!  The fact that he didn’t go on to say anything about the Trinity does not mean it doesn’t exist.

Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?  – Charles Spurgeon

When we praise the Lord, it’s the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.  – John Piper

As we trust more in the faithfulness of God, we are better able to open our hearts to others.  It’s amazing how much joy fills our lives as we put all our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s my hope and prayer that we all will believe in the blessed Trinity and lean fully on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.  Remember – the more we praise the LORD in His presence, the more of His power we will see in our circumstances.  He inhabits our praise and answers all our prayers.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

No matter how little you’re able to do, you can pray.  Pray for what, you ask.  I’m glad you asked.  Suppose an ambulance zoomed by your house.  Would you pray for the person or persons who are in crisis?  It’s important that we are tuned in to the activity around us because God wants us to care for others, even if we don’t know their names.  He knows their names and that’s all that matters.

Kindness is no virtue, but a common duty.   – Frederick Greenwood

Have you ever felt God prompting you to make a phone call to a friend?  Do you tell Him you’ll do it later?  Chances are your friend needs to hear your voice right then… so don’t put it off.  Pick up the phone and call.

Sometimes things happen in the world – and we feel so helpless, wondering what we can do to make things better.  When God gives me words to write – words of encouragement – I try to get them jotted down immediately.  Our words have meaning, and they have the power to make a change.  Inject the super power of God, and they will surely make a difference!

Be an obedient and observant child of God in your corner of the world.  There are so many people going through life wearing blinders.  They see the road in front of them, knowing only where they are headed – not concerned about anyone else along the way.  How sad! 

I often think of Shirley Temple, the bubbly, curly-headed blonde who took audiences to happy places, away from their bleak reality.  Christians should do for a hopeless world what Shirley Temple did for a generation of people living through the depression era.  If you are a Christian and you sit on the Gospel of Christ like it’s a special little secret just for you and a select few, then shame on you!  Shirley’s mom used a special word to turn on her little girl’s charm – that word was SPARKLE.  When Shirley heard her mom say that – she knew it was time to give it her all.  Does God need to come down here and whisper in your ear?  Do we need to hear the Almighty say SPARKLE to us today?

Let’s say He’s done that…  now do good, be kind, and SPARKLE for the Lord!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

 Forge the chain, the chain of imprisonment determined for them.  How long should a city wait and watch as bloody crimes take place – and the city gets more and more violent – and scary for the innocent citizens?  When should the authorities finally declare that the chain should be made?  Regardless of the lawlessness around us, and the disregard for others – or life itself – God is the final Judge of it all.  I don’t know about you, but I find a great deal of comfort in that truth.

Our God is love – but He is also the most fair of all Judges!  He will decide when the chain should be made – and He will determine who is bound and who is free.  Believe me when I say the freedom that God grants is the greatest freedom you can experience!  Did you know that once you ask God through Christ to forgive your transgressions, He not only forgives them, but He FORGETS them?  We’ve all heard the expression FORGIVE AND FORGET.  Sadly, the forget portion of that rarely, if ever, applies to other people.  But your Lord is willing to forgive and forget.  So – when the enemy of your soul tries to slap you in the face with your wrongdoings – and you ask God to forgive you for them again…  God’s going to say, WHAT SIN ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  Isn’t that wonderful?

When we see others causing havoc around us, we need to stop in our tracks and pray for them.  Nobody is beyond God’s reach – and He knows the motivation behind their actions.  It’s not up to us to say MAKE A CHAIN.  We can’t count anyone as hopeless, because God is the only HOPE they have – and He’s ready to help them when they’re ready to ask Him for help.

I’m not suggesting that laws should not be followed and observed.  I am saying that being violent toward those who are starting violence is not the right solution.  There’s one more old saying I’d like to throw out there for pondering…  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Being violent against a violent person is stooping to their level, don’t you think?  I’d rather take the violent person to my Father in prayer.  Only God knows their heart and mind.  He knows the motivation behind the act.  Let’s pray for the troubled in our midst.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I’m not sure why people think that destruction is a way to be heard.  Frustration, perhaps – but a better thing to do when you are frustrated is to pray.  It goes back to putting prayer in its rightful place – first place.  Make prayer your first resource instead of your last resort!  Will prayer make a difference?  I believe it does!  Will it change anything?  Yes, it will.  Prayer is an act of faith and trust in Almighty God.  It says you know without a doubt that God is in control and will see you through the difficult times.

It’s wrong to destroy property in an effort to retaliate against the status quo.  Fight the temptation to join in on such violence and vandalism.  When you’re frustrated, pray for God to intervene as only He can.  Trust in His answers in His perfect timing.  They won’t come in your time – but His.  I understand the feeling that maybe God is running late…  but the longer we live with Him walking by our side, the more we understand that God is not late – He is always right on time – never early, but His timing is perfect – always!

Keep loving and praying instead of fighting and fretting.  This is how to find the peace in your heart that God wants for you.  He loves you so much!  There was a song back in my day that I dearly loved.  A lot of my Christian friends in high school liked it too.  God bless PAUL DAVIS!  Turn it up – here’s DO RIGHT.  🙂

Only God knows why we have to endure injustice in this wicked world – but we need to trust Him instead of being part of a growing problem – it has caused division, sadly.  God wants all people of all races to be kind and love Him.  Take a look at this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Whether the advice is DO RIGHT from Paul Davis, or DON’T GO WRONG from Lucinda Berry Hill, the message is the same…  stay close to God – and PRAY without ceasing!  Keep the faith and know in your heart that God will see you through.  Trust Him for answers, and thank Him for each and every one.  🙂