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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Flowers are Coming Back

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  – Revelation 22:12-13

Maybe it’s just me, but winter seems to linger and last forever!  My friend Kelly is a gardener.  She has had her seed packets since February and posted one cold winter day that she is going to have to wait two more months to plant her seeds.  It’s excruciating, this time between winter and spring.  Here in Kansas, even when spring is officially here, we still have rain and chilly temperatures.  We don’t trust anything we plant to be protected before May.  Winter is the longest season – and we have no choice but to be patient and wait for warmer weather.  But the watchword is…  ANTICIPATION!  We prepare, then we wait!  

Sometimes I’m tempted to feel the same way about the second coming of Christ.  I want the Lord to hurry up – but He reminds me that not everyone is ready for His return.  It makes me feel selfish, to be honest, but once that feeling passes, I realize that it’s just a reminder that I need to get to work!  The Gospel is something to be shared, not hoarded.  Our Lord wants everyone to be ready to make Heaven their eternal home!

Remember the Great Commission?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20

I like the last part of this portion of Scripture:  I am with you always, to the very end o the age.  Do we know when that will be?  Nope.  Nobody knows except God Himself.  Even Jesus won’t be privy to that information until it is time!  So, while we’re waiting for the end of the age, we need to be busy in whatever way we can, sharing and caring for the lost souls around us.

Revelation says that Jesus is coming quickly.  I’m sure you think as I do…  “You call this QUICKLY” – ???  We’re not questioning God – we really aren’t.  We’re just saying that the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming to earth has been a very long winter…  but we wait with anticipation, knowing that one day the proverbial spring will arrive and we will be enjoying the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen.  The best news of all is that, we’ll never have to endure another winter again!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you thought about what it means to be a Christian?  I’m sure we all know the automatic definition that we were taught from childhood – Christian means “little Christ” – and that’s true.  Here in Proverbs we’re given a recipe for good clean livin’ – but I will say these things are not easy to do at times.  So often we have to seek God’s help so we can be the kind of person our Lord wants us to be.  He loves us so much and wants to be our guide.

If we can learn to fear less and have stronger faith in our Father above – that’s the key – trusting completely in Dr. Jesus – believing that He has every situation under control.  God has been so faithful to me in every circumstance I find myself in – so why would I stop now?  His ways are the best ways, and so I will keep looking straight ahead at Him, waiting for His help.

God is more reliable than any GPS…  does your compass or GPS know the future?  God knows what’s going to happen before it happens.

I want to be on HIS side and in His boat – don’t you?  I may need to walk on water sometime – and yes, Lord, I’ll try to have faith to look at You instead of looking at my own feet.  God is my source for all the power and strength I’ll ever need.

While I’ve been down with sciatica (actually, this is the lowest I’ve been in quite a while), I’m trying to feed my mind with positive God-centered things.  Yesterday I watched “God is For Real”.  I love that we’ll get to meet our children that were miscarried – and I love that nobody in Heaven needs glasses – oh, and that everyone is young in Heaven!  I really like that!  If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  🙂

http://www.heavenlive.org/

I believe little Colton Burpo’s story – everything he talks about aligns with Biblical principles as far as I can see.  I know the book & movie have been out for about 3 years, but the story gives me chills every time I read it or see the movie.

Please keep me in your prayers.  I’m not able to walk far right now or sit up straight.  Sciatica is such a weird thing – there are days when the pain is just awful – then there are days that aren’t so bad.  It’s just a low point, but I’ve learned to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him for healing and to provide answers to my questions.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I understand the concept of adoption because, well – I was adopted.  I know that sometimes parents choose to keep that information from their children – then later in life the kids find out and it becomes a big blow out.  I remember the story being told to me in the form of a bedtime story at night – with the emphasis always being on how much I was loved – at first sight – and how I was chosen and was special to my parents.

There’s not much I remember about my mom’s funeral, but three things come to mind.  Everyone wore her favorite color (turquoise), there were the most beautiful black butterflies with turquoise on their wings, (a gift from God because I’d never seen them before), and I told a handful of people, “I was not spoiled, I was just sincerely loved.” 

If you are saved, you’ve been adopted into the family of God – that’s for keeps.  A social worker will never visit your house and tell you that you have to leave the nest for any reason.  Once you are part of the family of God…  you are – on that you can be sure.  Speaking as a sister in Christ, I’ll do my best to sincerely love you with the love of the Lord.

I like this poem by Lucinda – MY INHERITED LIFE.

Through adoption, I was actually the child of my adopted parents.  I became a member of their family.  Nobody called me the adopted cousin – I was the cousin.  I may have even been the weird cousin, for all I know.  My point is, there was no distinction – except for the fact that everyone in my mother’s family was six-foot tall, and here I stand at five foot two and a quarter.  I can’t blame that on my adopted family, though, can I?

We don’t deserve Heaven, but because of God’s wonderful grace and mercy, we have inherited Heaven, and a great deal more!  So, we pray for stronger faith to trust God every day in this life, and we pray for courage and rest in the next life.  I’d rather trust His plan and be right than not trust His plan and be wrong, wouldn’t you?  Eternity is a very long time…

I keep seeing this on my facebook newsfeed:

Stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.

You know, I’m betting it doesn’t.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

The Christian race is compared to a race in the Bible.  I’m so thankful we don’t actually have to run a race…  am I the only one?  We’re instructed to overcome and stay true to God’s way and walk on His path throughout our lives.  Is it easy?  Not always.  Is it worth it?  Yes…  yes it sure is!  I’ve heard that stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.

Even if we didn’t have the promise of eternal life in Heaven, just knowing that God’s love and His protection in my life is worth it.  Because of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, those who were about to be spewed from God’s mouth are now invited to sit with Him on His throne.

If Christ is yours today, make sure to give Him praise for it!The gospel of Jesus Christ is not complicated – but He knows that we as individuals…  our thoughts and actions and wills…  they’re quite complicated.  God gave us free will because He didn’t want to be worshiped by robots – programmed to worship Him.  He wants us to have a desire to relate with Him.  That’s why prayer is such a precious gift – it’s our way of communicating with God through Christ.  And, yes, it is a two-way conversation.  We talk and we listen.

Because Christ was raised from the dead by God, people, though flawed, weak, stumbling and bumbling – are welcome to have a personal relationship with Him.  Will you choose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today?  I hope so.  When you ask Christ into your heart and life, with Lucinda, you can say, “You Are Mine” – praise God.

I like it!  I really do.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Before the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus…  all of mankind was in big trouble – by that, I mean we were lost – like, unbelievably, no GPS can help us…  lost!  Until Christ took the sins of the world on Himself – there was no hope of redemption.  That would be a very sad ending for us, wouldn’t it?  But God made sure we were not left hopeless.

Christians have good news to share.  The Savior was sent to earth by His Father – sent here to live, serve, teach and be the ultimate and final sacrifice so that mankind can make Heaven their eternal home.  That is what Easter is all about.  HOPE. It’s the greatest hope imaginable.  When God raised Christ from the dead…  HOPE was born!

Each person has a decision to make regarding the Lord.  You will either accept His gift of hope or you will reject it.  It’s not my job to judge anyone (and I’m quite pleased about that), but it is my job to share my faith…  and so I do.  There’s no fence walking allowed – you will either live on one side or the other.  God is not an elderly grandfather who winks at sin, making excuses for His children.  God is love, yes – but He is also fair and just.  You can’t pretend to be His and go on living like you’re not.

God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He wants us to grow in our faith and share this good news with others.  Being a good person and doing random acts of kindness is certainly commendable and so needed in today’s society to be sure, but a genuine walk with the Lord is what will get you through and to Heaven when this life is over.  Keep it real and honest because you know, God knows everything.

So…  you know which side of the fence you’re living on.  If you would like to meet this Generous Carpenter, it’s not that difficult.  Just have a little talk with Him.  Yes…  WITH Him.  Prayer is a two-way conversation.  Listen – trust me.  God talks back – He speaks to your heart.  Let’s pray:

Dear God,
I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

If you’re living on the wrong side of the fence (and only you know if you are), I hope you prayed this prayer and meant it.  I also hope that this is the first of many conversations you have with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you begin living your life for God, it’s a journey you’ll not trade for anything.  Putting my faith and trust in God through Jesus was the best decision I ever made.  God bless you.  🙂