HEBREWS 10:23 ON 10/23

TL HEBREWS 10 23 ON 10 23

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.  – Hebrews 10:23

Shared with permission.

My parents and I were living in a refugee settlement in Vienna after we left the former Soviet Union.  Everything was uncertain, scary, and pretty terrible.  This didn’t stop my dad from announcing one day that we were going to visit the opera house in Vienna.  I thought playing tourists was ridiculous – we had no money, no citizenship, and no home.  “We don’t know if we’ll ever be back here again,” my dad said.  “Life is short.  It’s stupid to sit here and wallow in our troubles.”  Now I realize…  he’s right.  – Nataly Kogan

When our president said that he would fundamentally CHANGE the United States, a cold chill went up my back.  Part of me thought, “Well, maybe I’m just getting old and this is not as bad as I think it will be.”

This is not a political blog, but having lived under the leadership that promised HOPE AND CHANGE, I’m really just praying that in 2016 we get FAITH AND TRUST.  I want to be able to trust that those who lead my country are on my side.  It’s time for a change from hope and change.

Faith is not about finding meaning in the world:  there may be no such thing.  Faith is the belief in our capacity to create meaningful lives.  – Terry Tempest Williams

How many people can you really trust?  Do you have to use both hands to tally it up, or will one hand suffice?  If you are having to take your shoes and socks off to count up your trustworthy peeps, you are blessed indeed!

In this verse, we are told to HOLD TIGHTLY WITHOUT WAVERING TO THE HOPE WE AFFIRM.  Does that mean the hope and change in America?  I really don’t think so.  It’s referring to the eternal hope we have found in our LORD, Jesus Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is a comfort to know that He has everything under control.

But this verse goes on to remind us that GOD CAN BE TRUSTED TO KEEP HIS PROMISE.  It is important to remember that even when we can’t trust our government or some people in our life – God can be trusted to keep HIS promise.  Every single promise He makes He will keep!  This includes His promise of eternal salvation for anyone who comes to Him and confesses Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, accepting Him into their hearts and lives.

At salvation, we become children of God and co-heirs with Christ. This means everything the Father bestows upon the Son, we will receive with Him. The Lord has sealed these gifts for us by the Holy Spirit and reserves our treasures in heaven.  – Charles Stanley

The times we live in are frightening, but we do not have to be polarized by our circumstances.  We cannot afford to stop dreaming, stop living and stop loving because the world around us is a scary place.  Find a way to hang on to God and trust Him to keep His promise.  In the meantime, live your life to the fullest because your life is in God’s hands and in His keeping.

We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change.  – Gretchen Rubin

I think in this day of uncertainty we need to know there is a God who understands our fears and sees every tear we shed in the privacy of our room.  Lean on Him because He can be trusted.  🙂

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

TL NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

AMERICA NEEDS YOU LORD

We have a day set aside in the fall to humble ourselves and give thanks for all our blessings – it’s called Thanksgiving.  But as life progresses beyond fall and we begin to shovel snow, we hang on to that feeling through Christmas as we celebrate the reason for our faith.  But winter passes and springtime comes along.  Ah – here comes Easter when we celebrate the last week of our Lord’s life, His death and resurrection.  Then we don’t have a major reminder to be grateful again for a while.  We do have another day that reminds us to be thankful for what God has done in our lives – and it’s also a day to pray for our country, for our government on federal, state and local levels.  The spring observance was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 as the National Day of Prayer.

I believe since this is an election year, I will take this opportunity to pray for the process.  It’s been different, to say the least.  It’s been predictable in some ways, yet there have been a few surprises.  If you enjoy following politics, it’s not been business as usual.  I wouldn’t say it’s rigged, but I’d say it’s important to understand rules that have been the same from the beginning.

The most important thing to remember is that no matter who the president is, Jesus Christ is still LORD!

On that note, let’s pray:

Our Father in heaven, we come before You today, acknowledging You as our Creator. You are the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac, the One who established Your chosen people and through whom You gave Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. You established the promised land of Israel and demonstrated time and time again that if Your people sought You, worshipped You, and obeyed You, that You would bless them with guidance, provision, and protection. But that if they turned away, then You would remove Your hand and allow judgment.

Lord, we also acknowledge that just as Israel was dedicated to You at it’s founding, that another country years later would also seek Your blessing and dedicate themselves and their land to You. The first president of these United States of America, on the day of his inauguration sought Your hand, Your guidance, and Your blessing on our new country, and the people prayed and celebrated in agreement.

In the following years, Lord, You did more for us than we deserved. You blessed us with military strength, economic strength, with inventions, medical discoveries, academic achievement and national prosperity. You lifted us up to lead the world as we proclaimed that our blessings came from You and that “In God We Trust”. Our constitution acknowledges You as our Creator and our founding fathers noted that our people should never be led without Your Word.

But as You blessed us, we eventually became prideful in our success, believing that it was also by our own hands that our nation was elevated, and that You owed us blessings and protection. In time a generation rose that became calloused toward You, Oh God, and we chose our own prideful logic above Your truth, abandoning You in our schools and ignoring You in our courts. Yet, You showed patience and mercy, and called out “Return to Me, America. Return to Me.”

But instead we embraced our sin, claiming we were Lord over ourselves. We abandoned You by giving credit to the creation of our world to astronomical chance, and began throwing out Your moral boundaries for our selfish pleasure. We oversaturated our hearts and minds on immoral entertainment until our conscience was seared, and began shedding the innocent blood of our unborn children who were an inconvenience to our lives. Yet You kept calling, “Repent, America. Repent and return to Me!”

But we responded that, “We’ve done no wrong.” And we justified our sin as our right and liberty. We chased money, physical pleasure, and the belief that we are entitled to what we do not deserve. And now we stand on the precipice of redefining what You have already called “sacred” for a definition of our own.

Lord, what You call wicked, we now call good. And we’ve now begun persecuting those that proclaim Your truth. You’ve sent warnings, allowing breaches in our security, and instability in our economy. You’ve allowed drought to begin touching our land, and civil unrest in our cities.

Lord, even the people who claim to still acknowledge You have become apathetic and complacent in our comfort. Our worship has been lukewarm and our prayers passionless. We shake our heads in shame as our nation weakens around us, instead of repenting of our apathy and inaction. Where are the people of God? Where are those that still cry out to You with broken and contrite hearts?

Lord, we deserve judgment. We deserve Your wrath, for we have sinned and sinned greatly. And we know that Your judgment starts in the house of God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and our hypocrisy as a cancer in our land. But we cry out to You, Lord! We have nowhere else to look but You! There is no other answer. Man cannot redeem us. Remember Your mercy! Remember Your compassion!  Break our hearts, Oh, God! Help us to love what You love, and to hate what You hate. Give us the courage to call sin what it is, and to define our lives by Your truth. Remind us of Your love for us, and call us to repentance. May every heart that knows You as Lord seek You this day! May we grieve over our sin this day; that You might show us mercy and forgiveness.

Lord, for those that heed Your words, and repent with open hearts, restore us to You. And unify those that love You. Raise up a generation that seeks You and worships You with their whole heart. Raise up a generation that is not ashamed of the gospel, and that hates to be lukewarm. Grant them faith, love, and courage to live according to Your Word, and to pray with power and to act with conviction.  Raise up leaders, Lord, who will not compromise when under pressure, or abandon You for the approval of men. Raise them up, Lord, that they may call upon Your name, and confess Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Break up the hard soil in our hearts, Lord, that You may take joy in our worship of You, and bless us again. Call us to holiness, that we would once again be the light of the world and draw all men to You. Awaken us, Lord! Rekindle our fire, and stir our hearts. We confess our sins, and we seek Your face.  Forgive us, Lord God, that we can again proclaim, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.

We ask for Your forgiveness and cleansing. We pray against those who reject Your truth. Turn their hearts to You or confound their logic. But don’t let wickedness take our land. Don’t let them succeed. Stand in their way, Lord. For America is Yours! And like Israel, may she remain undivided and in Your care. Keep our bond strong with Israel, Lord, and our leaders loyal. Or remove them from office. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.

– Alex Kendrick

May God bless America – and may His people continue to bless Him!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

This day’s goal does not seem that difficult – to smile and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to someone.

Maybe it’s because I’m old, but I used to hear MERRY CHRISTMAS more often when I was a kid.  Nobody thought of getting offended or being politically correct back then.  We didn’t give a hang what the government thought of what we said – or who we said it to.  I’m the first to admit we hung with like-minded people.  Our friends and neighbors were Christians and went to church – so saying MERRY CHRISTMAS didn’t seem like such a big whoop to us – it’s just what we did. 

As I got older, I became friends with people of many faiths through my workplace.  I’m still not a terribly diverse individual, but I am aware that not everyone is just like me – and I’ll add – whew – that’s a good thing.  Here’s the deal – I see every person on the planet as a soul that my Jesus died on the cross to save, whether they accept that fact is immaterial.  It’s a fact that Christ died for all.  I hope that the words MERRY CHRISTMAS do not offend anyone, but it’s what I celebrate.  To me, it’s the only reason to celebrate.

You know, the Bible tells us that if we are ashamed of Christ, God will be ashamed of us…  so – don’t be afraid to say MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Doing it with a smile is a good idea.  Yes, yes – I know it will take a great deal of preparation.  Drink your morning coffee and suck on a candy cane – it’ll be alright.   Just remember, your faith in God trumps anything the government says.  Don’t be scared to be what you are, or of offending others with what you believe.  Are they scared of offending you???  Um…  no – guessing they are not.  So, smile and SHINE!  We’re not being intolerant of other faiths, we’re just expressing our own – just as they do.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

https://youtu.be/tBkQAxt1JXA

COMMON CORE MATH

Logic:  a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something; a particular way of thinking about something;  the science that studies the formal processes used in thinking and reasoning

I sympathize with parents trying to explain common core math to their children because it clearly eludes anything that resembles logic.  Mathematics used to make sense, didn’t it?  Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  It was all very logical.  I mourn the loss of logic in the United States of America, don’t you?

Mind you, this is just a theory I subscribe to, and my opinion.  I think they have to find a new illogical method of mathematics to teach kids these days because if we were to look at the U.S. economy – i.e. the debt we owe – in a logical context – we would be forced to face reality and know without a doubt that our country is in serious trouble!

So the plan is to divert attention from the logical to the illogical.  If we just teach nonsensical mathematics to our children, they will be shielded from the cold hard truth of the matter.  Truth…  hmm – what’s that?

Next we will all be wanting a pet unicorn named Magic.

Jeb Bush supports common core.  I don’t endorse Jeb Bush.  Anyone who does not subscribe to logic is not a good candidate for President.  Again, it’s just my opinion.  Feel free to disagree.

I don’t often lean toward conspiracy theories, but where this so-called math is concerned, I see agenda written all over it!  If we make everything look more rosy, it will all just take care of itself…  magically.  How special is that?

You know, for the first time in my life, I can see how we will get to the point where the mark of the beast will come about.  I used to think, “There’s no way that could happen” – but now, oh yeah – I’m seeing the prophecy come to pass – big time!  Common core is just one more stepping stone…

In my house, if there is debt, we tighten our collective belt and tighten it up until it’s paid off!  That is logical problem solving in the real world.

America, let’s wake up!  Let’s take a logical look at problem solving in this country, starting with adding 2 with 2 and getting 4!  We have a whopping debt, but let’s cut government spending and shrink the government in half.  Doing that would be a start in the right direction.

COMMON CORE NEEDS TO BE DUMPED AND REPLACED WITH COMMON SENSE.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

May-Day is never allowed to pass in this community without profuse lamentations over the tardiness of our spring as compared with that of England and the poets.  – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “April Days,” 1861

In many countries, May first is a national holiday.  May Day is a day for a festival and a saint’s feast day.

These days we celebrate May Day by enjoying our surroundings.  Just like clockwork, the tree in our front yard is blooming and seasonal allergies have a firm grip on a percentage of my friends and neighbors.

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Part of the history of May Day includes a degree of protest and radicalism.  History has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism.  Did you know that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day?  Did you know that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend?  Victims of industrial accidents marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor – some as young as 8 years old.

The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.  – Engraved on the Haymarket Monument

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The rights we enjoy today were fought for and some gave their lives to ensure them for the rest of us.  We should not take these sacrifices for granted.  The dignities we enjoy today came at a high price.  If we take these advancements for granted, we will end up fighting for the same gains all over again.

So what is going on today – in 2015?

On May 1 — May Day — we will launch a platform to support the biggest citizen lobbying campaign we possibly can. Together, we are strong enough to create the political incentive for our elected officials to do the right thing and support reform. Ending the systemic corruption in Washington, D.C., will create space for fair, honest, and productive debate on the issues that matter most.

Citizens are launching a lobbying campaign against systemic corruption in Washington, D.C.  Wanna know more and get involved?

https://mayday.us/

Sometimes protesting and standing up for rights is a good idea.  What if people had not stood up for child labor and fought for 8 hour work days on a May Day long ago?  The American people deserve to have a smaller government that serves them without deceit and corruption.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I didn’t used to have to poke my finger every morning to test my blood.

When did I start having to make noises while getting up from a chair?

For the life of me I can’t remember why I came in this room.

I don’t remember my knees hurting before as I walked up the stairs.

Hugs didn’t used to hurt – but with fibromyalgia, they really do.

Acne and wrinkles at the same time…  now that’s just unfair!

There are more silver threads among the gold these days.

The weight I’ve gained these past few years just doesn’t want to go away.

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When [my old films are on TV]… I slide slowly under the table in embarrassment.  I cringe at having these huge heads of hair, big sideburns, and wearing some terrible bell-bottom pants.  – Clint Eastwood

Mr. Eastwood – be proud of your accomplishments.  Your movies have entertained us for decades and we all have photos we’d rather not display.  For most of us, the hairstyles of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s are not cool by today’s standards, but hey – back then all the girls wanted to look like Farrah and the guys – um…  well, I’m not sure what they wanted [I mean hairstyle…  lol] but those were good days – and your movies are timeless.

Back in the day, certain shirts, jeans, jackets – made me feel so cool and turned the darkest of days into great days!  There was a local clothing store called CRICKET ALLEY and when I close my eyes I can still see the shop and smell the incense burning!

I bought the coolest satin jacket there – it was a beautiful shade of blue with white trim.  I wore that thing everywhere – with a white tee and bell bottom jeans.  A lot of kids could wear the really big bell bottoms – but I was so short – I would have looked like some sort of freaky flying saucer if I wore them.

We wore patches on our jeans – my jeans were always brand new and never had holes in them – but I sewed patches on them – LOL.  I remember one of the patches my mom got for me – it had Smokey the Bear on it – and my poor mom misread one of the words.

It’s funny because my mom never swore – I mean if she said doggone it – you knew she meant business.  When she got the patch home and let my dad read it – he said there’s no way it was going on my jeans.  Mom was confused until dad pointed out the word that she was mistaking for another word.

By today’s standards, it’s not a big deal at all – but back then – it really was.

Smokey the Bear was saying…

HELL, DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO!

My poor mom thought it said WELL.

LOL – she spent a few hours working on that patch – making the H into a W.  It’s a funny memory – my mom, the sewing machine, the patch and a lot of red thread.

I got to wear it – for a good long while.  It was on the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans.

We also put patches on Army jackets – we had an Army Surplus store in our city where we’d go get the jackets – we wore them over tee shirts with jeans.

It was a simple time.  I don’t apologize or cringe with embarrassment because I was in great health then, I didn’t make weird noises like I do now.  I had blonde hair – natural blonde – untreated hair and lots of it.  I could hug without hurting and even though we had issues in the government like Watergate – it still seemed like a better time.

At least there were consequences for actions in Washington back then.  There are not even attempts to prosecute crimes in the government now.  There’s a scandal almost every day – and while that gives some news organizations a lot to talk about, there are no punishments for wrongdoing – and I’m scratching my head wondering why?  Isn’t anyone else scratching their head wondering why???

I miss the days when right was right and wrong – was punished.  🙂

 

MITTEN TREE DAY

TL 12-6 MITTEN TREE DAY

 

12-6 TEACH CHILDREN CHARITY

I think of all the wacky and unusual holidays on the books, this one is my favorite.  MITTEN TREE DAY is so much fun for children, but it’s a great way for adults to teach them about selflessness and  how to put the needs of others above their own needs or wants.  Have you heard the story called “The Mitten”? 

The timing of this special holiday is perfect since it’s so close to Christmas.  I used to have my Sunday School kids make an outline of their hands with their fingers together on colored construction paper – it looks like a pair of mittens.  Then they put their name on the “mittens” and decorate them with glitter or crayons.  Then punch holes in the top of each mitten and run yarn through the holes.  Tie a knot in the yarn and hang the “mittens” on a small Christmas tree.

Once you have a mitten tree and have read the story to the children, you can easily Segway into conversations with them about how blessed we are if we own a pair of mittens – and how it would be nice if we were to give someone a pair of mittens if they do not have any.  Children learn how to be charitable.  It does not come naturally.

We usually talked at great length about how the little boy’s mitten helped all those critters stay warm.  Then we discussed how God has provided warm houses for us to live in and stay warm.  It’s never too early to teach children to count their blessings and be thankful for what they have.

There’s such a tendency in our country to want more and not be content.  Stories like “The Mitten” help us to teach children to think of others and want to share with them.  Let’s teach them about charity instead of teaching them that the government will force them to share.  True charity should be taught and come from the heart of individuals.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  THAT is what Christians teach children – give from the abundance God blesses you with.

May we always be allowed to give of our own free will as God leads – not as government leads.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

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