MATTHEW 10:28 ON 10/28

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Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  – Matthew 10:28

Several friends and acquaintances of mine have recently been diagnosed with terminal illness.  I feel such sadness and heaviness in my heart for them – but I never know the right words to say.  I think back to the time when my dad had terminal pancreatic cancer.  He was dying and we all knew it.  I tried to remember what it was like to be on the other side of the situation – as a family member.  I don’t remember a lot of what people said – but I remember more of what people did.  It was the same thing when my mom passed.  People shared of themselves – they shared light and love when I was a mess.share-light-love

Everyone was kind and encouraging to me – but a few people actually DID things and I remember that.  When my daddy died, a sweet lady in our church not only sent flowers, she included a little ceramic pumpkin for me to keep after the flowers died.  I let her know I thought that was real nice of her.  When my mama passed, even though there were not that many people coming to our house, our pastoral family went above and beyond the call of duty to provide sandwich stuff!  Oh my we did not go hungry!  I remember my sister-in-law and brother-in-law washing dishes and thinking that was so kind of them.

If our loved one knows the Lord, we know they are going to be alright.  We know that they are going to Heaven where everything is just right.  The soul does not die – but lives on – but the family that is left…  well, they are left here to figure out how to begin a new “normal”.   I always ask God how I can help them do that.  I ask God, “What can I DO for them?”

When families suffer loss and are at their lowest, isn’t that when Christian folk can shine the light of Christ in their lives in a very real sense?  Words are fine, but actions are better and make more of an impact on their lives.  After a loss, everything is fuzzy when you’re trying to listen to kind words.  Most of the talk just flies over your head.  You hear what people are saying, but you’re just so grief-stricken, you can’t process what’s being said.

So – how do you avoid hell and make Heaven your eternal home?   Open the closet door where you keep the secrets and sins.  It’s not easy to show God what is inside your closet.  Think about this though – He already knows about it, so…  who do you really think you’re foolin’?  We are so human – but the good news is…  He is so GOD!  If you ask God, through His Son, Christ Jesus, to forgive you of your sins – He is faithful and just to do it.  Trust Him for the rest of your days – and for the time when this life is over.

whats-in-your-closetI pray that you know the Lord as your personal Savior.  This life is brief and these bodies are so very frail and fragile, aren’t they?  I also believe we are living in the last days (I see some of you rolling your eyes) – yeah, I know I’ve said it before – but I’m going to say it again.  Be ready, for you know not the hour.  Did you know that Jesus doesn’t even know?  He’s waiting for the Father to tell Him when to come get us outa here!  It would be selfish for me to say I hope it’s soon because many are not ready – and He doesn’t want any to perish in hell.  He wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and ask Him into their hearts and lives.  THEN – only then will the peace of God wash over you and your life will never be the same.  The peace of God surpasses all understanding.  I hope and pray you know HIS peace in your life.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Doing good things enriches the soul.  – Dustin James

There was a young lady standing by the roadside in 10 degree weather.  She was holding a sign that said “Homeless – anything helps.”  Dustin was prompted to go to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts to buy her a cup of coffee.  He said the look on her face was priceless.

Each one of us is God’s special work of art… a painting like no other in all of time.  – Joni Earreckson Tada

The Bible tells us that we may be entertaining angels unaware.  How many times do we cross paths with angels, but miss the opportunity to entertain them because we are too self-absorbed or think we have no time?  We’ve all seen people standing by the side of the road with signs.  We’re scared to stop or to get involved because there really are some evil people in the world who use that as a rouse to attract others for their own evil purposes.

The conversation goes like this…  “I’d help, but if you give them money, they’ll just go buy cigs or booze or something like that.”  That sounds weak to me.

There are smart ways to help others…

If I’m impressed to meet a need, I make sure my husband is close by and I don’t give anyone cash.  I ask what the need is – if it’s a meal, I’ll buy it – if it’s gasoline for their car, I’ll buy it.  That’s how we give – we provide the need at hand to help them along their way.

Sometimes the person isn’t standing there with a sign.  One Thanksgiving we were at a restaurant.  When the waitress came to take our order, I felt a nudging from God’s Holy Spirit.  I didn’t know what her issue was, but God did and that’s all that matters.  We’ll never know if what we did helped, but we trust that God helped her through her issues.

WHERE JESUS IS HEARD

When God’s Holy Spirit impresses on you to act – you act – it’s as simple as that.  I believe that He guides me quite literally through my life and lets me know when I need to help someone – and He also lets me know when I need to walk away from someone.  God’s Spirit keeps me safe and helps me live the kind of life that is pleasing to Him.  I don’t apologize for my lifestyle.  I believe it’s the best life a person can choose to live.

I was so encouraged when I read Dustin’s story today.  I pray that we all stop to see the signs that others are holding up – whether they are literally holding a sign up or not.  May we be more sensitive to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in 2016.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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There are different meanings behind the word CHARACTER.  We talk about a character that is portrayed in a movie or program on TV.  Sometimes we refer to a person as a real CHARACTER…  it’s usually not a compliment.  It’s rare these days to hear that a person has a good CHARACTER, meaning that they can be trusted and live an upstanding life.

Which one of these definitions describe you now?  No, wait – don’t tell me.  The real question is, which one of these definitions would you like to describe you in 2016?

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.  – Cavett Robert

It’s going to sound like I’m trying to lay guilt on you, but which one of these CHARACTER definitions would Christ be pleased with where you’re concerned?  Hmm…  that puts it in a different light, doesn’t it?  I’m pretty sure He would not like for me to BE a CHARACTER – not in that way.  And I won’t be acting anytime soon, so…

There is just one kind of CHARACTER to be known as – that is to have a good CHARACTER – a good reputation, a good track record, as it were…  He is pleased when we are what we’re supposed to be as His child.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.  – Maya Angelou

Sadly, there are a ton of examples of Christians who put forth all the right stuff – or so it seemed – and in the end, they were not genuine in their relationship with Christ.  If we are going to claim Christ is our Savior, we need to tow the line in the relationship.  I’m not fussing at you, I’m talking to me too.

THE YEAR OF DAILY STEPS

We fail because we’re human, but we need to do our very best in spite of the times we fail Him.  God is so faithful to us and He does forgive when we ask.  In 2016, let’s put our best foot forward in our relationship with Christ and be people of good CHARACTER…  when the world sees us, may they say, “Yes, this is a little Christ…  a Christian with good CHARACTER.”  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDonate to a local charity.  What a wonderful way to help out during the Christmas season.  Our local Disabled American Veteran thrift store has a shopping cart beside the front door.  It’s convenient to drop off a donation, and I try to give at Christmas time especially because so many folks do their Christmas shopping there.  Having choices is always a good thing – right?

Everyone has a particular charity they give to.  We have several local charities but there are also the more well-known ones such as The JDRF and The American Cancer Society.  There are so many needs, aren’t there?  Needs for research and unfortunately that takes a lot of money.  I can’t give to all of them, but just like everyone else, I do what I can afford to do.

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Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  It seems like every time you turn the TV on, you see an advertisement for a new charity.  I think we just have to pray and ask God to show us what to do.  Once in a while there are opportunities to volunteer with organizations.  Giving to charitable organizations does not always hit your pocketbook.  Sometimes it takes a little of your precious time.  I can’t speak for everyone, but often I have more time than money.

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Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Mary would have said NO – ???  I can’t imagine a humble servant of God doing that, but what if she would have?  Her obedience, considering her young age, tells me that she was well grounded in her faith.  When it comes to decision-making in our own lives, we’d be wise to learn to ponder things over more than we do.  Who to help and where to give – these are important decisions because not every charity is using your dollars the way you would want them to.  Get to know the charity you want to help before you give.

You may need a little nudge to donate your time to sing…  but it makes others smile.  This is what I’m talkin’ about…

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Helping others is one of the greatest blessings God gives us.  When you give of yourself, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, you feel as though you are making another person’s life better.  In turn, your life gets better.  Don’t you love how God’s plan works in each of us?  Some need help – others need to help.  All needs are met.  🙂

 

LUKE 11:13 ON 11/13

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 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  – Luke 11:13

Right away we are reminded that we’re evil by nature.  Indeed we are, but we still know how to be good to our children.  As parents we do our very best to make sure they are well cared for, yet our heavenly Father gives His precious Holy Spirit to His children because He loves us even more than we love our kids.

Do your children have to beg for you to feed them?  Did you know that you don’t have to beg God to receive His Holy Spirit?  He wants to give His Spirit to you – and He will give it to you gladly! 

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What a timely post since we are just weeks away from the largest gift-giving time of the year – Christmas!   We do give good gifts to children, but just imagine how much more God wants to give to you.  It boggles the mind to imagine how much the Father loves us and wants to help us every day!

Whether we know it or not, we need God’s Holy Spirit in our lives to guide us down the narrow road.  In this day we think we need fame and fortune, but we need to count those crosses along the way – Amen! 

So today, with God’s Holy Spirit living in our hearts, we have all the help we need to face our challenges.  We don’t even have to be afraid of Friday the 13th…  yes, that’s today.  No worries…  God’s got this!  😉

 

ROMANS 10:8 ON 10/8

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But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)…  – Romans 10:8

When life is difficult and the stress level is almost too much to bear, this is the truth we need to lean on.  God’s Word, the Bible – the infallible, unchanging, reliable Promises of our Lord.  The word of faith that we proclaim…  yes!

God and His Word are near to us – and we feel a comfort that is not understood by the world.  He loves us so much and wants us to know He is with us to sustain us through bad times – and He is also there for our good times.  He sends us angels often as well to help as well.

Angels are God’s messengers whose chief business is to carry out his orders in the world. He has given them an ambassadorial charge. He has designated and empowered them as holy deputies to perform works of righteousness. In this way they assist him as their creator while he sovereignly controls the universe. So he has given them the capacity to bring holy enterprises to a successful conclusion.  – Billy Graham

I’ve noticed a trend in recent years of angel worship.  Here’s the thing about angels…  they are real, but they are not to be worshipped or prayed to.  God and His Son, Christ Jesus are to be worshipped and prayed to.  Angels are God’s secret messengers – secret agents.  Created by God to help Him help us.  They have a role but are never to be put in a higher priority than God or Jesus.  They are not that high – they are higher than we are – i.e. they can fight Satan when we, by ourselves – cannot.  Always call for help before taking Satan on…  humans can’t fight him without supernatural reinforcements.

If we had open spiritual eyes we would see not only a world filled with evil spirits and powers―but also powerful angels with drawn swords, set for our defense.  – Billy Graham

I have Billy Graham’s book about angels.  He explains their role in the spiritual realm with great precision.

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We catch ourselves referring to our loved ones who have gone to heaven (especially children) as angels.  They are not.  Angels are created by God – they are created to be angels.  They are to help God, but it’s not because God cannot be everywhere at once.  Let’s remember that our God is omnipresent!  People ask me all the time – If God is omnipresent, why does He need help from angels?  My favorite answer is – Because He wanted to. 

We each have a guardian angel.  Have you seen yours in action?  I believe I have watched my guardian angel in action on more than one occasion.  There have been a few times when the prayer for traveling mercies were answered – and I believe my guardian angel interceded just in time!  I also believe that my guardian angel once had beautiful black hair, but now has gray hair.  He or she earned each one of them!

I have a stepping stone in my garden that says ANGEL LANDING ZONE.  I invite them to land at my house and stay close to me and my family.  I don’t worship them – I worship the same One they worship – God.  By faith, I proclaim that He is near me.  His Holy Spirit is near me.  His Word is near me.  His angels are close to me and I know no matter what happens, God, Jesus and the angels will never leave me.  It’s going to be alright.  🙂

 

MATTHEW 6:25 ON 6/25

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Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  – Matthew 6:25-26

We live in a world that seems quite focused on food, drink and fashion, don’t we?  It’s easy to become anxious about these things because they represent immediate needs – well – when it comes to fashion clothing – let’s get real – that’s more of a want.

The older I get, the less I stress out about superficial things – especially fashion clothing.  Frankly, at this stage in my life, I can’t tell you what the newest fashions are.  It’s great to get to the point in your life when you know what you’re comfortable wearing – and you don’t really care what anyone else thinks.

Stress and anxiety in life will happen.  It’s what we do with it that makes a difference.  If we as Christians can just remember to hand that concern over to God through Christ, trusting that He will take care of us, we will be so much better off in the long run.

The Bible tells us that God cares about the little sparrow – and if He cares about them, how much more does He care about us?

Know today that God will provide every need you have.  No, He may not do it the way you would, but that’s why He’s the all-knowing God and you’re not.  😉

We all have needs every day and God knows what they are and He will provide.  Yes, sometimes the needs all seem to crop up at the same time, but that’s when we need to keep trusting God to help us.  He cares about us – He really does!  🙂