A Summer of Psalms

If I read one more article or series of articles about how to be happy, I’ll go cross-eyed permanently.  Every writer on planet earth thinks they know the “secret” of happiness.  Here’s my take on all that…  first, it is not a secret!  It’s in the Bible for all to see, if they’ll take a moment to read it.  Second, it’s not a mystery, this thing called happiness.  God wants to help us be happy.  So, relax in the LORD and you most certainly can be happy.  It’s not difficult – it’s not as complicated as people want to make it.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the conduit, the go-between, the bridge, between fallen man and perfect God.  Through Christ, we can have a wonderful relationship with Almighty God (isn’t that a humbling thought?)  Believe it because it’s absolutely true!  Accept the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved and your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life forever.  It’s not written with disappearing ink.

There is joy in this life and real happiness, hope, and peace of mind and spirit.  Having said all that, I should add that this does not guarantee a life that is free of trials and tribulations.  This happiness the Bible speaks of is not magical.  In this life, we all have a set of challenges.  The great advantage Christians have is the Lord Himself!  He is in our corner as we’re fighting in the ring.  He has everything we need to fight the good fight!

There are some really tough circumstances in this journey called life, aren’t there?  I watched my mother accept a folded flag at my father’s funeral and didn’t think I’d ever seen a lower point in life; however, I could find joy and peace even in that situation because I knew my father was safe in the arms of Jesus and not in pain anymore.  I also knew that my mother was leaning on those same strong arms for her solace.  We hurt – oh, for sure; but, we knew that God through His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit would be with us while we mourned.

I clung to the Lord when my mother passed away fifteen years later.  There are people who say that my faith is nothing but a crutch, but guess what?  I could name some real crutches in this world, and my faith is not one of them.  To trust a loving and forgiving God Who will never change His mind about anything – a God on Whom I can depend brings me comfort!  Things change at a rapid pace in this ol’ world (and it seems they change faster as we get older) – but my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  I love that about Him! 

I find great assurance and stability in the notion that I don’t have to chase after the latest fad or gadget that the rest of the world has to have.  I’m less than impressed with the rich and famous, and in fact, I usually feel sorry for them.  To have your entire being wrapped up in things is very sad.  I know that happiness has nothing to do with owning the biggest and best toy.  Everything in this world is going to decay and turn to dust.  Everybody in this world will die and do the same.  Your relationship with Jesus Christ, His Father and the Holy Spirit is the only path to true happiness.  It is no secret what God can do!  Oh, that should be the title of a really great song!  Wink – I know, it already is!  Silly me.  🙂

 

 

 

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE

TL 10-2 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE

Nobody writes poetry from the heart like Lucinda Berry Hill. I’m blessed to call her my friend. God brought us together as writers and sisters in Christ. It was not until later in our friendship we discovered we have more in common. We both experienced abuse in past relationships. We want to come together today and not only tell our stories, but encourage those who are in an abusive relationship to get out of it. God loves you so much. You are important to Him. You are His precious child.

Lucinda is speaking out. She begins by saying, “Lately there’s a lot of talk about domestic violence. Football players are being found out and female celebrities are sharing their stories.” She continues on a more personal note. “So let me say, I too have been subjected to domestic violence for 8 long years. I used to say I could write a Stephan King novel with all that has happened to me. But now I write about God’s mercy, power, and His love.”

HE CRIED WITH ME
HE MADE ME TOUGHER
I'M GOD'S SOMEBODY

Shine in the midst of your troubles, proclaiming that God is able. – Judy Janowski

Hey, it’s me – Linda. My questions are simple: Why do abusers feel no shame? Why does society not hold them accountable for what they’ve done? Where is the outrage? Did it take a video in an elevator to make everyone speak up?

You know, abuse comes in a lot of forms. We think of domestic violence right away, with scars on the outside, but there’s an abuse called mental cruelty. It made me afraid to speak because I knew I would be shot down. It gave me a knot so big and tight in the pit of my stomach, I thought I might die from it. I second-guessed every little thing I did because he will surely find fault with it if I didn’t. Even if I did double-check what I did, it would still be wrong. Then I decided to do nothing and be quiet. It made me feel lonely and hurt – and I cried – a lot. I continued to do nothing because it’s never good enough. I felt paralyzed and stayed hunkered down and quiet because I never said the right thing. Pretty soon you developed an attitude that said, “I don’t care anymore – he’s going to shoot down whatever I do or say anyway, so who cares?”

Deep down I did care – and I knew I did. I just didn’t know what to do about it. I just craved – and I do mean CRAVED (there’s just no other word for it) a compliment, a smile, a hug, some positive affirmation from him. It never happened, but I kept hoping it would. I told myself, “That’s just not the way he shows his love for me. He shows love in different ways.” That’s the lie that got me through the days, weeks, months, years. Some days it worked. Some days it didn’t work. Some days I played Bejeweled 2 just so I could hear the words GOOD and EXCELLENT – the strong, booming voice on the game told me I was doing well. At least I knew I was good at something. Sometimes that was the closest thing to a compliment I got all day.

If you are a man and you abuse a woman, know this: God sees what you do whether other people see it or not. He counts that woman’s tears and keeps them in a bottle. He cries with her and holds her in the palm of His mighty hand. He will always protect her and you, my friend, are in big trouble. Think before you tear a woman down mentally or abuse her physically. You will have God to reckon with! You’d better think about how you will justify that behavior with Him. He won’t believe just any excuse you come up with. :-/

MENTAL CRUELTY

Today is INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE. It must stop. It needs to stop – now. ❤  If you abuse your significant other, be prepared to walk away, learn from your mistakes, get help, change your ways and start over.  No one will take you back having been abused by you.  If you get an opportunity to love again, make sure it is love.  Don’t mess it up.  A relationship is a precious gift from God.

If you are the victim of abuse, read this:

Become a Lake

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (2)

OBJECTS IN MIRROR
In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse.  They took with them a strong faith that everything would be alright.

Why are morning devotions so important? I mean, I don’t tell my husband I love him every morning, but he knows I do. Doesn’t God just automatically know that I love Him too? Sometimes I think we look at the concept of devotions the wrong way. We think it’s for God, but guess what? It’s for our benefit. It’s something we do for ourselves.

God already knows the standard – He IS the standard. He never changes and He never moves. We, on the other hand, do the hokey pokey, turn ourselves around and change is as constant in this world as can be! Do we need to be reminded of God’s standard? Ya think???

I can only speak for myself, but some mornings it’s difficult to look at myself in the mirror. Aside from the ten hours of sleep in which I toss and turn and who knows what else, which makes me look funnier than a circus clown, I see other things. I see the imperfections in character. The bad things are magnified in my reflection. I need to read God’s Word. I need to be forgiven, restored, assured that I am as close to my heavenly Father as I can possibly be.

We may argue that those negative things are amplified in the mirror because our enemy makes them larger. That may be the case, but regardless, I still need to meet with my Savior every day. I prefer to meet with Him in the mornings, but I understand a work schedule and how difficult that can be. I’m not critical of anyone who does not have morning devotions. For me it just gets my day off to a great start. I need Jesus. I need His love. I need His wisdom. I need His assurance and His strength.

A large cup of coffee and God’s love through His Son, Jesus.  As I study His Word and lean on Him it strengthens my faith.  It’s going to be a great day!