A SUMMER OF PSALMS

This portion of Scripture came to mind a few years ago when my husband and I were catching a very early flight out of Wichita.  We aren’t frequent flyers, so we’re not acquainted with all the new rules and procedures that are in place since 9/11.  I understand the need for it, but it doesn’t make me want to fly on a regular basis by any means.

For people who know the Lord, this portion of Scripture brings comfort and assurance.  I could see where some could be a little freaked out by it – but regardless of which group you’re in, you must admit…  God knows where you are – all the time.  You can’t run from Him and you certainly can’t hide from Him.

I’m thankful for God’s guidance and His strength and support, particularly as I’m getting older and my strength is not what it used to be.  I love the Lord because His way of doing things is so much more creative than any ideas I come up with…  every time!   His way is always best and He never disappoints me!  

Have you ever been trying to figure out how to resolve an issue and as you pray about it, God just reveals the perfect answer to you?  I have!  It’s a moment when you want to sing praises to Him while doing a little happy dance!  I’m so glad His hand guides me – I welcome that guidance throughout my life.  I need His wisdom, strength, and support on a daily basis!

This is so beautiful – I have to share it with you!  Speaking of doing a little happy dance:

I wish there was a way for me to move this from YouTube up to my big screen TV so I could join them and do this praise workout!  I used to find Christian workout videos here in America – but I haven’t seen any for a long time.  😦

His strength will support us!  I think there are times we doubt that, particularly when we have weak days.  So many conditions can sap us of energy, can’t they?  Regardless of how we feel, we need to know by faith that our weakness is not the end of the story.  With humility, we cry out to God, and His strength takes over…  and aren’t we thankful for it?

Lucinda Berry Hill has written a perfect poem for this Psalm:

I’m reminded of an old song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  His Strength is Perfect.  🙂

What can Christ do through you?  I don’t know, but don’t doubt that His strength is perfect when your strength is gone.  He’s amazing in our lives!  🙂

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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

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

Great is HIS faithfulness!  Strength, hope and happiness are all from His loving hands.  Best of all…  He gave us pardon from all sin!

Most parents want the very best for their children.  As much as they want to do for them – and be for them, you can imagine how much more our Heavenly Father wants for His children!  If we understand God as a loving, kind, and protective Father, then we understand that He always has our best interest in mind.  That’s why sometimes we are forged in fire – it’s also why sometimes we feel a warm Heavenly embrace.  He knows whether we need to be kicked – or kissed.  Tribulation works patience, and patience will work experience, and experience a hope that leaves me unashamed.

God is merciful to us.  He’s patient when others would give up.  His mercies are new every single morning.  Each day begins a clean slate – and aren’t we thankful?  I can think of a lot of days I’d like to forget forever – days when I was less than stellar and more dense than I imagined I ever could be.  I’m just so human sometimes.  But God loves me and He helps me regain the courage I lose.  My best is what He requires – His best is what I’m so thankful for.

We can rest in God’s faithfulness.  We can rely on God’s guidance.  We can always know that tomorrow is a new day…  filled with brand new mercies from our Heavenly Father. 

It occurred to me that this passage says that God’s love is STEADFAST – it could have just said that God loves us – but it didn’t.  God’s love is described as steadfast.  Would you describe human love that way?  No, me neither.  God’s not going anywhere – His love is with you to stay – you can bet on it.

Tomorrow will be filled with brand new possibilities, new goals to meet and God’s blessings to boot!  Wake up, get up, make up and share God’s best with everyone you meet!  I know you can do it!  God’s got this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5&6

proverbs-3-56

This is one of my favorite Proverbs because it reminds me that I serve a God who can be trusted completely.  When we lean on God and His wisdom when we need to make good choices, His power when we feel so powerless, and His goodness when we feel as though nobody in our lives is good to us, it teaches us how to fully rest in Him.

trust-for-straight-pathsGod’s promises never fail and His provision is complete.  If we need direction in life, we know God is faithful to guide us in the best direction.  He wants to help us in our daily life and keep us from harm.  We don’t know the future, but our Heavenly Father does, and wants to guide and bless our journey along the way.

While some may put confidence in physical strength, wealth, or friendships, children of God know that these things can disappear.  Acknowledge His sovereignty, His wisdom, power and goodness, being careful to praise and glorify His name.  In return, God will direct our steps.  That is how we stay safe and happy in life.

We read the phrase “my son” in the book of Proverbs.  It’s like the father offering wise advice to the son.  There are uncertainties in the young son’s future, and the father just wants to save the son from learning lessons the hard way.  Of course, the son is getting bad advice in his other ear from his worldly friends – so the dad is diligent about emphasizing the importance of making wise choices in life.

By yielding the decisions of life to God, the son is saved from heartache.  He’s encouraged to trust in God with all his heart – and give God all his heart, not withholding any area of his life from the Lord.

It’s not okay to just forsake a few things that are unwise – make good choices across the board and please your God.  He wants your whole heart.  Be humble enough to understand that you are not wise enough to be your own guide.  God cares about us and our welfare.  He knows that life is challenging sometimes, but He can be trusted to guide us in the right direction and face every challenge that comes along.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety is something that many people struggle with – including me.  I’m not particularly depressed, but I have a black belt in anxiety.  God tells us what to do when we begin to have irrational thoughts and feel pressure as thoughts of the future seem to overwhelm us in the present.  We need to pray – be thankful to God and tell Him what we need.  If we will do that, He has promised to give us peace – the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.  It’s a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.2

I’m not boasting, but my doctor has asked me for years if I want some medication for anxiety – but I have said no.  I’m going to do what Dr. Jesus prescribes.  He has seen me through and has never let me down.  I want my heart to be less stressed, less worried, less overwhelmed and less uncertain about the future.  I want a healthy happy heart that prays and is thankful for the present.  God’s Holy Spirit is the present in my present.  He’s in control of today and tomorrow.  Yesterday doesn’t matter – it’s over.  No amount of thinking or praying, for that matter – can affect yesterday.

I’m also going to cut myself some slack about my anxiety issues.  I was reminded today that everyone has some degree of anxiety about the future – it’s a very human condition.  While I know the answer to anxiety is definitely prayer, I also realize I’m human – so human.  3

So…  I’m going to make a real effort to focus on RIGHT NOW.  Dr. Jesus says to lean on Him and not on my understanding.  He already knows about tomorrow and doesn’t think it’s necessary for me to know about future events.  I’ll tell you…  right now – I’m in a warm house with a computer that works.  I’m paying my bills on time and drinking a hot cup of coffee.  I’m saying a prayer of thanks to God…  I thank Him for right now.  He is good.  He’s always been so good to me.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  – Psalm 27:14
Wow…  WAIT???  Huh, that brings to mind my favorite word – PATIENCE.  Ugh…  sets my teeth on edge.  I’m not big on patience and I don’t like to wait for anything.  Does anyone like to wait?  We don’t have to wait for much these days.  I mean, we can shop in our jammies, so…  seriously – we’ve gotten to the point where it’s pretty much instant whatever you want.  And when I say shop in our jammies, I’m not talking about the new socially acceptable dress code at the local Walmart.  I’m referring to online shopping in the privacy of my own  home.
We’re not only to wait, but we are to be STRONG and TAKE HEART and wait.  That sounds like multi-tasking to me.  Isn’t it good enough to just wait?  Must I be strong while I wait – and take heart?  Sigh – I have to have a good attitude and wait.  This may be too much to ask of me.  Does God have a reason for the specificity in this passage?  Yes – because if we wait but have a bad attitude, we will most likely miss the big picture.  Waiting and being strong and taking heart…  will assure that we will be better people as we look back.  Once we receive what we are waiting for from God…  and if we’ve had the right attitude – faith increases and that translates into more confidence in what GOD can do in our lives!
Sometimes the strength within you is not a big firey flame for all to see; it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘You got this.  Keep going.’  – Linda Lou
That inner strength is God’s Holy Spirit.  He’s the One who encourages us as we wait for His best blessings in our lives.  A strong heart that gives and shows love to others and prays, expecting God’s best with a good attitude…  it’s what I want for 2017!
If you had to choose an animal that is strong and loving – what animal would it be?  I’d have to say it’s a DOG.  So I guess one of my goals this year is to be more like a dog.  Yep.  Pretty much.  Patient, strong, loving and loyal.  I always want God’s Holy Spirit with me, helping me every day.  🙂