A SUMMER OF PSALMS

I will never be perfect in this life, and guess what – neither will you.  We are all a work in progress, but at least it is progress which indicates we continue to learn lessons and grow stronger in our faith.  My 50 something mind does not resemble my 20 something mind.  I’ve matured and I see everything so much differently than I did 30 years ago.  Why?  Because I’ve finally allowed the Lord to work in my life.  In my 20’s I was not very good clay.  I was stubborn clay!  Nobody could tell me what to do, and they certainly could not tell me I was wrong about anything!

These days it’s different.  Yes, I could be wrong about most anything.  I want to do my best for the Lord and now my motives and actions are in sync.  It’s amazing how things change once you hand your whole life over to the Father’s hands.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is the only light that leads to eternal life in Heaven.  Once you hand it all over, you receive His joy and peace, which is better than anything this world has to offer.

I grew up in a church that believes in eternal security – once saved, always saved.  As an adult I attended other churches that taught that salvation can be lost.  I never argued the point one way or the other, but always thought if a person was to backslide that far, perhaps their experience with Christ was less than genuine to begin with.  Just a thought.  I’m not judging that person, just discussing a possibility.  I pray that salvation from the Lord is not so easily lost.  How awful to feel so insecure, wondering if your name is still written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  I don’t think there’s an eraser on God’s pen.

Human beings mess up.  We do.  It’s not an excuse to keep messing up… but it’s not a reason to beat yourself up for mistakes made decades ago either.  Put your mistakes – sins – under the blood of Christ, then do better!  You have a choice to be a bitter person or a better person.  Be better – do better.  Be the person you wish you would have been to begin with!  Let God help you.  He’s faithful and He will not fail you.  Let Him be the strength of your heart – even if your heart is less than strong.  He will be your strength and your song.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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New Habits

When I think of something working from the inside-out, my mind turns to a microwave oven!  I know – weird, huh?  Hang in there with me, I’m making a point.

Those little micro waves begin cooking in the center of whatever is in there.  Just as a microwave heats your coffee or cooks your bacon…  God works on us!  Now you feel like a cup of coffee or a strip of bacon, don’t you?  LOL!  I doubt that God sees you that way.  Nah…  pretty sure He doesn’t.

God begins His work with His precious Holy Spirit – in the center of our being – our hearts and minds.  Renewal begins to take place.  We love the things that God loves and hate the things He hates.  We have to be careful to never hate people – but behaviors we can definitely hate and refuse to participate in.

Because the enemy of our soul is still working in our world – it’s possible to slip and fall.  Even those who belong to God are to some degree vulnerable.  Actually, it seems the more you are trying to work for the Lord, the more that ol’ devil whispers in your ear – and remember – he copies everything that God does.  He’s a copy-catter!  He will do anything to get you off-balance.

God wants us to thrive in this life.  He wants us to lean on Him and learn His ways.  Remember when Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say No” – in her one woman drug campaign?  I was a young teen at the time and thought, “she didn’t go far enough.  You can’t just say no to drugs – you have to turn and say yes to Jesus!”  

There was a time when the 12-step program was centered around a faith and trust in God.  I think they tell you a “higher power” can be anything now – but it was originally all about God.  Lean on God instead of your addiction.  I’ve been through OA twice.  The second time, the leader explained the “higher power” as anything you place higher than yourself.  I wasn’t diggin’ on that, but I wasn’t the leader, so held my tongue.  I did – and yeah, it took a miracle.

Maybe your higher power is your cat…  but the only HIGHER POWER that you can always depend on to come through for you is Jesus Christ!  He will be by your side when temptations arise.

Let Jesus have your heart, soul, and mind…  let Him help you form some new habits – replacing your unhealthy and self-destructive habits.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

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

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

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

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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

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (24)1-peter-3-34Remember reading the stories about pirates and buried treasure when you were a kid?  The treasure was always gold coins and expensive jewelry.  The pirates could hardly wait to get their hands on it – not because they wanted to wear it, but because it was something of value they could sell or pawn for cash.

Most women have nice jewelry – because they like to wear it.  Some just feel better when they’re dripping in it, and others – believe it or not, are actually trying to hide behind it.  They don’t feel worthy enough without it.  The more expensive it is, the more they like it.  I have a friend who admits she used to be like that.  She was a bit on the heavy side, and thought if she wore large, gaudy, but real jewels, it would detract people’s attention from her size.

God wants you to know you are fine without the decorations.  He loves the you on the inside and couldn’t care less about all the trimmings.  He isn’t either impressed or intimidated by gold, silver, pearls, diamonds or any other gems you may want to name.  Heaven has streets paved with gold…  that should tell us something.  He uses gold to pave streets like Cornejo uses asphalt.  Ponder that for a while…

The Lord looks on the heart, not the wardrobe, jewelry box, or hair salon results.  Sometimes, the circumstances in life force us to change our priorities about vanity.  I hope you don’t look in the mirror and decide that you’re having a bad hair day, so you won’t leave the house.  My goodness, don’t let that stop you.  Put on your ball cap and GO!  Live as long as you have breath.  God loves you so much and has so much to show you – but much of it is outside your house, not inside.17101674_1899358353641959_272982276_n

If you really want to meet other people where they are, expensive baubles can hinder you from doing that.  Be genuine in your friendship, without pretense, and most people will respond in like.  When people put on airs, that’s when they soon learn that friendship can be difficult to gain.

I’m reminded of my favorite British comedy, “Keeping Up Appearances”.  Hyacinth is what I refer to as “high maintenance” –  but only in the most socially acceptable way, of course.

There are two points to be taken today.  The first is, God loves YOU – not what you adorn yourself with.  And, He doesn’t want you loving your adornments, or depending on them to define you.  He wants you to love HIM above all – and just be your genuine self.  You don’t need make-up, jewelry, a fancy hairstyle or designer clothing to do that.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.  – Psalm 29:11

heart-shape-1714807__340God not only gives His people strength, but peace.  Isn’t peace something we all want in our world, our states, our cities, our counties, our homes, and our hearts?  Speaking for myself…  yes.  Yes, I do!

God doesn’t want us to worry and fret; He wants us to pray.  Why do we feel so troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours?  Our peace comes from Almighty God!  What a blessing this is to my heart today!  ❤

With God’s peace in our hearts, we should be singing in stormy weather.  Can you sing while the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes?  If you claim today’s verse as your heritage, then surely it will cause you to sing no matter what is happening around you.  ❤

I’m praying for peace in this world, this state, this city, this county, this home and in my heart.  God is our peace and our strength in every storm.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

If treasure is defined as money, then your heart (attitudes & actions) will be focused on making money.  Have you defined your treasure?  I think I’ve always pretty much assumed that treasure referred to money in this passage of Scripture, but now I realize it is not necessarily so…  what if your treasure was…  fast food???  What if your treasure was…  your child or another member of your family you hold dear?  ❤

No, stay with me here…  treasure is defined as:

noun:

1.  wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
2.  wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.

3.  any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

This book was his chief treasure.
verb (used with object):  treasured, treasuring.
4.  to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5.  to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
6.  to put away for security or future use, as money.
It is not sinful to treasure precious memories with loved ones – I want to make that clear; however, if that overshadows your relationship with God, it’s sin.  Anything that takes up more of your energy than the things of God…  it’s coming between you and the Lord and the priority needs to change.  Our God is a jealous God and always wants to be in first place.  Our hearts are to trust and delight in Him.  ❤
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Define your treasure.  All sorts of interests and activities can possibly become more of a treasure in our lives than they should be.  Ask God to “check” you about it.  I can’t tell you what you’re putting in first place, but I sure do know Who can.  Wherever your treasure is (and it’s different for every person) – there will your heart (attitudes & actions) be.  ❤
Jesus loved everyone, but His ultimate treasure was His Father, God.  He knew from whence came His power, His glory, His everything – just as we as God’s children do.  ❤
Don’t assume that treasure refers to money.  Treasure is anything that holds a special place in your heart.  You can’t separate your treasure from your heart because there is such passion associated with the treasure in your life.  Maybe your treasure is money – but let me remind you that money, while a necessary evil in this world…  will mean nothing in the afterlife.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Make sure your treasure stays tempered with the stark facts of reality.  Only what is done for Christ will last – those things will follow you into Heaven.  Chew on that for a while.  ❤