A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

How can such a large tree (if indeed it is a tree) come from such a tiny seed?  We’re told that faith the size of a mustard seed is large as well.  I don’t know whether anyone wears these anymore – but my mom and dad gave me a necklace that held a single mustard seed.  It was my high school graduation and I was anxious about leaving all the things that were familiar.  That little mustard seed went with me to college and beyond.  It meant so much to have that reminder as my companion.

I am small – but HE is so big!  In this case, however… I believe the example of the mustard seed was used for a couple of different reasons:

  1. The Lord wants us to know that Heaven is so much – not only larger than we can possibly imagine – but also He wants us to rest assured that it is so much better than we’ve ever known down here on earth.  On one hand, we’re urged to share our faith everywhere we go – but on the other hand, we’re invited to bask in the greatness of what Heaven will be – a place like we’ve never known and cannot imagine because our finite minds are not able to imagine – but our hearts long for…
  2. The kingdom of heaven is at its fullest in Christ. That is why wherever Jesus went, the sick were healed, demons were cast out, and the dead were even raised. Because none of those things exist in the kingdom of heaven and Jesus walked in such a way that He brought heaven to earth. He passed this authority on to his disciples, telling them to do the same thing. And He wants us to have an abundant life, which would require complete surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit (which would mean that God’s domain/kingdom is expanding in us). So, we too, are called to expand Christ’s kingdom on earth preaching and teaching His wonderful Gospel – reminding others that His kingdom is at hand.  We don’t know the day nor the hour of His returning – but until that wonderful day, we can try to imagine our Heavenly home – but that’s all we can do – we can only imagine. Thank you so much for joining me for this week’s Bible study!  Have a blessed week in the Lord!  🙂
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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Something special happens in Kansas in April… it rains – buckets!  I love the rain, but could easily live without the severe weather alerts.  What if I knew there was a big green cloud coming toward my house and it was definitely going to hail.  Would it make sense to get my car out of the garage and drive somewhere?  Um…  no!  That would probably be the dumbest thing I could do, wouldn’t it?  If you see a big green cloud on the horizon – you leave the car in the garage and ride the storm out – hail and all.

How many people read this portion of Scripture without taking God’s words to heart, following His commands, or even trying to take steps to live the abundant life God wants them to live?  They back the car out and drive straight toward the big green hail cloud.  Seriously?  I shake my head in disbelief when I hear them ask why things aren’t working out.  Common horse sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden.  God wants us to have sound judgment in life, based on His principles.

When I was a kid and for whatever reason made a mistake more than one time, my dad used to say, “Buy ya books, and buy ya books…”  In other words – I didn’t learn the first time – or the second time – and he hopes that I’ll read the instructions or the directions before I mess up yet again.  God wants us to read the instructions – the basic instructions before leaving earth…  the B.I.B.L.E.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say that there’s no instruction manual on how to live life.  What do people think the Bible is?  What do they think it was written for – or who it was written for?  Our loving Heavenly Father gave us an outline – a guide – a map to follow.  Yes, the path is narrow, but we have the best Guide ever!  God left us His Holy Spirit when Jesus ascended into Heaven – He didn’t just leave us to muddle our way through life.

I also hear people say there is not an instruction manual for parents – well…  again, I’d say God’s Word is helpful in parenting.  There’s not a part of life that the Bible will not help us navigate successfully.  We have to want God’s help and guidance though – God did not make robots, but human beings with free will.  It must be our choice to seek His will for our lives.

When you walk through puddles while it’s raining, will you put rain gear on – or just get your street clothes soaking wet?  Inviting God’s Holy Spirit to help us is like adding protection to your life so it won’t get wet and fall apart.  He can renew and restore faith and is more than willing to hear every prayer we whisper – long ones, short ones – and those two-syllable prayers that go something like this:  HELP ME!  We’ve all said that one.

We read our Father’s basic instructions before leaving earth…  and we know He has a wonderful plan for us if we will trust Him with our lives.  Commit God’s Word to memory so that you know it and don’t forget it or turn away from it.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Not all preachers stand behind a pulpit on Sunday morning at 10:45 am and again at 6 pm.  Anyone who claims the name of Christ is to be sharing the good news of His gospel with others in any way possible.  Sometimes it means writing a blog post every day, feeling humbled in your heart and a bit jumbled in your brain because of dyslexia.  God can use what I write though – not because it’s so riveting and exciting…  but because it’s what God wants me to write.  A wise writer once told me that I need to share what I write whether I think it’s good or not because God knows somebody who needs to read it.  He’ll make sure what I write gets seen by the right people.

Have you ever seen someone get reproved or rebuked by someone with patience?  It’s rare that a person can actually do that because there’s usually some degree of emotion involved and sadly, it’s generally anger.  But I got to witness a pastor reprove and rebuke someone on his staff once and by the time he was finished, I felt as if I’d been in the most wonderful class ever on diplomacy and tact.  I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was guiding every gesture he made and every word he said.  He got the point across and there were absolutely no hurt feelings and he didn’t have a bit of damage control to worry about.  Thank God! 

To exhort means to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.  It can be dicey to do this, but there are times when it’s necessary.  Again, if we will take time before rushing in to seek God’s Holy Spirit and let Him guide our words and actions, it’s amazing how much better things will go.  Nobody wants to hurt feelings, but when there are differences of opinion, rather than knock heads together as you’d do in your own wisdom – ask God to help you as you negotiate a compromise in the situation.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  There’s a blessing waiting for you if you’ll do things God’s way.  Have you read the story of Jonah?  I rest my case. 

I keep thinking about that last phrase…  with COMPLETE patience and teaching.  That’s impossible to do in our own strength!  The natural man has nearly zero patience.  If you don’t believe me, drive around downtown Wichita at 5 pm on any weeknight.  Horns honk and fingers flip…  um, exercise.  Yep – road rage…  the struggle is real, folks.

God gave His all for me – He just keeps on loving me.  He hasn’t given up on me, so I need to hang in there with others.  Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we develop COMPLETE patience and teaching.  It’s a preacher’s job to lead by example and while yes they’re human (we do get that) – but like every Christian who has been a Christian for a number of years, there should be that desire to be patient with the congregation.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it possible with God’s help?  Yep.

Today is the first day of CONSIDER CHRISTIANITY WEEK!!!  I hope you will accept Jesus into your heart and life today.   If you are a Christian, don’t forget to share your faith with someone this week.   

Well, 2 Timothy 4:2 is my birthday verse.  I’m 56 years old today – woo-hoo!  I wrote a silly little poem from my silly little heart.

I really do love the rain.  I loved it more before I wore glasses because the rain messes my lenses up – but I still love the rain.  I can remember having snow a couple of times on my birthday, which I’m not a big fan of – one time I had to cancel a birthday party because we had so much snow.  That was a major bummer all the way around.

You know I love donkeys, right?  Well – if you didn’t know before, now you do.  Look what I found…

Keep sharing your faith wherever you go, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you have COMPLETE patience and teaching with everyone.  Just plant the gospel seeds.  The world won’t be forced with an iron fist and we can’t yell anyone to the altar.  We just have to love folks and pray for them.  🙂

 

 

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

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The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  – Genesis 2:23

I could just leave this one alone and it’d be fine, right?  You know better…  I won’t do that.  Before I delve into this, I want to say that I believe if a woman does a man’s work, she should be paid the same amount of money for the work she does.  I’ve never disagreed with that.

Why do some women try to be men?  I don’t understand why there are women who think they have to dress and act masculine – when they are so uniquely female.  We’re women because we can do miraculous things that men can’t – well – most women can.  I can’t have babies, but that’s just me.

We’re unique in our emotions.  I’m convinced that we have that extra “sense” – you know the one I mean…  when you say “I have a feeling” – and you were right about something.  Guys don’t do that.  They just stumble around without a clue – sorry, but they do.

A man’s woman – his wife – is his helpmate – his sounding board – the one he depends on to tuck the tag of his shirt in when it’s sticking up in the back – you know the one I mean.  I cut them out – permanent solution – it’s how I roll.

It’s not even so much about the roles in the house – in our house my husband is the cook because I don’t know how to boil water.  I can write a five-page essay on why dogs have certain habits – but I can’t do a thing in the kitchen.  So guys…  just because a person is female, it doesn’t mean she’s automatically a good cook.

One thing women LOVE to do is…  STAMP.  Yes…  we love to stamp!  I typically do everything digitally these days, but I did find this to be very interesting.

Women are just here to help.  My husband doesn’t need as much help as some men.  He was a bachelor for 15 years before we married, so he’s pretty self-sufficient.  He does his laundry and I do mine.  But I’ve had opportunities to help him through the years – and I think those times bring us closer together.

Women are uniquely qualified for many things because God made us special.  God did not want man to be alone.  He knew they needed help.  Take that any way you want…  they do need us.  They know it – we know it.  We need them too, but we don’t want that to get out, right?  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  – Psalm 9:1

No, this is not November and it’s not a Thanksgiving post…  but – in 2017 I do want a thankful heart.  I will thank God – with my whole heart, and tell of all His wonderful deeds.  I hope and pray I have done that here on my blog every day.thankful

When I think of what I’m thankful for, it doesn’t seem to be a particular thing that comes to mind, but I am so thankful to God for finding me a family when my birth mother gave me up for adoption.  I could have been adopted by awful people, but God saw to it that I was placed in a very good family.  My parents raised me in church and taught me Christian values and morals.  I’m thankful for my upbringing.

A general sense of gratitude to God for the way my life has gone – that is how I’d describe it.  That’s what it means to have a grateful heart.  Have you given thought to what God has done in your life?  Have you thanked Him for it?

My friend Terri Boggs Rowe posted a poem she wrote on facebook.  She has graciously given me permission to share it with you on today’s post.

the-choice

I acknowledge God’s role in my life – He has seen to it that I was raised well – by God-fearing parents.  He’s protected me and for that I am so very thankful.

Lucinda is thankful for the way God answers.

thankful-for-the-way-god-answersA thankful heart is a happy heart.  I’m grateful for the way His plan works and for the way it continues to work for my good.  There is always ALWAYS  something to be thankful for.  We have no right to boast about any of the good we enjoy.  It’s only because of God’s grace we have all the good in our lives.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

broken-til-the-end

Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

a-roller-coaster-ride

The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂