PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

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As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

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RESPECT FOR PARENTS DAY

TL 8-1 RESPECT FOR PARENTS DAY

8-1 SHINE FOR GOD'S GLORY
If we are to respect our earthly parents, how much more should we be expected to respect and honor our heavenly Father?  What better way to do that than to shine – for Him?

You don’t have to be off the wall and dye your hair purple to stand out in kingdom work. I mean, if you want to, go for it. It’s not necessary and not mandatory. God can do amazing things through ordinary people because that’s what He uses – plain, run-of-the-mill people. Christians do not stand out in a crowd and we don’t wear capes or fly around the city setting trains back on tracks. We just pray and wait for God to open doors for us to walk through. When the time is right, we go. We shine because He is the light that shines through us. That’s how it works.

If you know God, you know that the good works you do here are never going to be enough. Nothing we do will “get” us any higher in God’s eyes. It’s ONLY through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary that “gets” us anywhere. On my works I can’t get to the parking lot – know what I’m sayin’???

Any “good” that is in us is a direct reaction to the goodness He gives. It’s not our “bend” to be good. In fact, it goes against everything natural to be good. We love because HE loved us first. It’s God that is good and true and perfect and faithful. Us? Hmm… not so much.

Shine today – but not that fake “put a smile on your face and grit your teeth” sort of shine (that’s annoying). Pray and ask God to shine through you. Be who you are – in HIM. That is what makes people wonder what you’ve got – and want it – and want to know Christ!

Do the best work you can do for Christ. When you pray and God opens a door, window or sunroof – go – move – DO what you’re supposed to do with the love and joy and peace in your heart that tells you that your Savior has your back and He won’t let you fall. SHINE – for HIS glory!!! ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

 

Bottom line: Be quiet, seek God, shun evil, embrace good, DO good. I could stop writing and call this blog post good. I COULD, but I WON’T. Yeah, you knew better…

We have all seen people do a good deed for a transparently selfish motive. Either they think we are just plumb dumb, or they are, or both. Those types of situations usually do not end well and the person ends up with a lot of proverbial egg on their face. No good deed goes unpunished – not those kind, anyway.

When you do good, be very careful how much of your hand you show. Remember that it is really God and the other person or persons involved that have to know much. There’s no need to take a megaphone with you or hire a band or rent a neon green and orange 18-wheeler for advertisement. If God is pleased, that’s what matters. If He’s happy with you, hey – that is the best reward of all, isn’t it? If you are rewarded in any way on this earth then that is all the reward you will receive. I want more, don’t you?

A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.  – Charles H. Spurgeon

It seems to be very easy to find need all around us. Those needs become quite obvious around the holiday season. Needs are out there year around, I assure you. One sure way of finding people who need your help is to pray and ask God to bring them to you. I know that sounds simple, but it’s true. Just pray and ask God to lay some soul on your heart to help. It may not be a financial need either – God sends folks along who may just need a hug. Maybe someone needs to talk. You may be the right one to listen. It’s not always a monetary need, and amazingly enough, it usually is not money that is needed.

Will you be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Get quiet before God and pray. Ask God to let your path cross with one with a need. That prayer will be answered – I guarantee. That is when you become a willing vessel. ❤

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL (2)
CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL (3)
CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL
My husband has groupies. The three little neighbor girls have taken a shine to him and it’s the cutest thing ever. They rang the doorbell just after suppertime today. I was downstairs so I couldn’t hear the conversation very clearly, but I got the impression that something good was happening.

I refer to these little girls as angels. They don’t come around very often, but when they do it is always at just the right time! This is the same angel trio that brought us “flowers” for Grandparent’s Day. These little girls are fantastic!

We don’t know why they latched on like this, but I thank God for them every time they do something sweet. It brightens our lives to have kids come around once in a while. I think it’s too funny that they brought Christmas goodies in Easter baskets! Well, I think they have the right idea. You really can’t celebrate Christmas without remembering Easter.

Our angels will come around again someday. When they do, I’ll let you know what they’re up to. Sweet little cherubs! May they have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Sometimes we try to separate the manger and the cross – Christmas and Easter. It’s difficult to talk about the birth of Christ without ultimately talking about His death on the cross and His resurrection – praise His name! Christ was born to die on the cross at Calvary for our sins. He was raised up by God and everyone who comes to that saving knowledge will one day live in heaven with Him.

I’m sure those little girls were not thinking about any of that when they packed the Christmas goodies in Easter baskets, but it sure made me start thinking! There are times when the actions of children – those most innocent among us, spark inspiration!

Do you know the Christ that was born as a baby in Bethlehem in a manger? Do you know the Christ that hung on the cross at Calvary to suffer and die for all our sins?

This year, have a Christmas with a little Easter mixed in!   Wink!  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (12)

https://youtu.be/W7t1XZcTNL0
How far-reaching are good deeds? There is not a limit to the amount of humanitarian work you can do. To help another is to help our Lord. I’ve heard that no good deed goes unpunished. That’s the newest of satan’s lies. Don’t buy into that. Good is good – period.

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

The rock group KANSAS is celebrating their 40th year as a band! While that makes me feel old indeed, it says something for the character and integrity of this group. It’s so unusual for any group to stay together for that long. When people travel together and see so much of each other, it’s almost like being married.

I have to say I admire this group to a large extent not only for their talent and determination, but for their humanity. On this day in 1978, members were named Deputy Ambassadors of Goodwill by Unicef. What an honor to have bestowed on you! Wow!

Go to You Tube and type in KANSAS and listen to some of their great songs.  To post here would be a copyright infringement.

KANSAS appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. Their talent speaks for itself, as they produced eight gold albums! When I was in high school I remember thinking “this music is ahead of its time and no two songs sound alike.” Their music offered fresh, new, different sounds and lyrics all the time.

From the beginning, we considered ourselves and our music different and we hope we will always remain so. – KANSAS

I have to say, I’m very proud of KANSAS, their music, their heart, and their legacy! This “garage band” from Topeka has really done well for themselves, and they have made all of us in Kansas very proud!

Happy 40th Anniversary, KANSAS!!! YOU ROCK!!!