OLD MAID’S DAY

TL 6-4 OLD MAID'S DAY

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Have you ever played the card game OLD MAID???

 

When I was a kid, one of the first games I learned to play was OLD MAID.  Today, however, we celebrate OLD MAID’S DAY – and it’s about real women.

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It takes a great deal of confidence to stay single.  There are a number of reasons women decide not to marry but most of the single women I’ve known throughout my life have been very successful in life.  Some of my teachers in elementary school were unmarried women.  A friend of mine worked with homeless children – talk about a calling!  Another friend decided to chase a very successful career with the U.S. Postal Service.

And if you think marriage is for you – adopt the attitude that IF IT IS MEANT TO BE, GOD HAS A PRINCE FOR ME.

A PRINCE FOR GOD'S PRINCESS

Not all women need a man and their own children to feel fulfilled or complete.  There was a time when it seemed odd or different for women not to be “settled down” and married.  Thankfully, those days are over.  There’s no longer a stigma attached to staying single.

Too many women jump into marriage with both feet without giving it much thought.  When you really stop to think about that vow you’re about to make – it’s a sobering thought – till death you do part.  That’s for the rest of your life – or his…

I tip my hat to the women who have forged their way through life without a man.  Leaning fully on the Lord and bravely facing each day with confidence, what special women you are!  I can’t even imagine because I’ve been married longer than I was single.  I’m not sure I would do well as a single woman, but God would help me, that much I know!

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.  – Psalm 121:1-2

Today we celebrate the courage and savvy of the unmarried women.  Let’s face it – marriage is not for everyone.  As long as we have help from God – whether we’re married or not – that’s really all that matters, right?  🙂

 

 

 

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

GALATIANS 6 2 ON 6 2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

 

Last week my husband and I were in Blackwell, OK, just about an hour south (via the turnpike) of Wichita.  He was getting gas at the Conoco station because it was 20 cents a gallon cheaper than gas back home.  We don’t typically drive an hour to save money on gas, but it was a nice perk since we were going that way anyhow.

I had nothing in particular running through my mind – (for all of you who know me in real life, this comes as no surprise) – then I saw a robin holding a very long blade of grass, hopping between two cars.  It struck me as funny – there were vehicles everywhere and there’s a bird – a very busy bird – making a nest in the eave of the building!  I felt privileged to be given the opportunity to witness it and thanked God.  I love spring, don’t you?

The sight took me back in time and made me think of something I have not thought about for a long time.  Tears began to stream, as they are as I write this now – but it’s okay because they are happy tears, the kind that come when a sweet memory is revisited.

When I was about 7 years old, I spotted a bird’s nest on a low branch of the pine tree in our front yard.  I excitedly ran into the house to let mom and dad know about my discovery.  Daddy sat me down to explain some ground rules.  I listened intently.

  • You can’t go too close to the nest
  • You can’t touch the nest (I remember thinking, “If I can’t go close to it, how can I possibly touch it?”)
  • You can borrow my binoculars to stand on the porch and look into the nest.  I felt so grown up.  Daddy didn’t let just anybody borrow his binoculars.
  • You can’t tell the neighbor kids about your discovery. (Did he KNOW those kids, or what?)
  • If you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t try to do anything yourself.  Find me or mom to help you.

Okey doke – I got that!  I used my daddy’s binoculars to check on the little nest every day.  The pretty blue robin eggs just stayed in one spot for what seemed like forever.  Then one day I checked on them – and the eggs had hatched – and there were 3 of the cutest baby birds!

Daddy wanted to name them Larry, Moe and Curly – but I wouldn’t hear of it.  They were Dexter, Samuel and Robbie.  No, I don’t know why – don’t ask me!

It was such fun to watch mama robin come back to the nest and feed them.  I’ve always been so impressed with the instincts and intelligence God endowed birds with – I mean, to me they are very smart!  I don’t understand people who use the phrase “BIRD BRAIN” – I take it as a compliment – LOL.

One day I peeked in on them – there were two baby birds.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to leave the nest yet – so I rushed in the house and screamed bloody murder to get someone’s attention.  Daddy was having his morning coffee but came running anyway.  I reported my findings to him with panic in my voice.  If that baby was not in the nest, it meant it had fallen out – and who knows if it was still among the living!

Daddy told me to stay in the house and he would go check things out.  He came in with the baby bird, miraculously breathing, in a small container.  He said, “Robbie fell out of the nest.  I think we need to help him, don’t you?”  I nodded my head in fervent agreement.  The task was at hand, and we were up for the challenge.  We prayed for our feathered friend and got to work.

We used a dropper to feed Robbie.  He did okay and I was tickled.  He grew and thrived!  I knew I could not keep him, but the day we had to set that bird free was the most difficult day.  Robbie knew he could not stay with us.  It could be my imagination, but I think he gave us a nod as if to say “Thank you for helping me” before flying away.  God answered our prayer.  Our baby was gonna be okay.

Once in a while, especially in the evening after working on the lawn, as we sat together as a family at the picnic table out in the back yard, my dad would see a robin and say, “Hey Linda, I think that’s Robbie!” 

Well, only God knows if our little Robbie ever really came back to see us, but I’d like to think he did visit us on occasion.  Wink!  😉

TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

TL 2-26 TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

My wife said she wanted a “fairy-tale romance,” so I’ve locked her in a tower.  – @TONYCOWARDS

Most of us grew up listening to fairy tales.  My favorite was “Jack and the Beanstalk”.  I imagined myself as Jack, climbing up the huge beanstalk that reached high above the clouds.  That’s really funny because in elementary school I was the kid whose feet could not leave the big knot on the rope when it was time to climb it.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.  She got her own TLC show.  The end.  – Ryan Anderson @KOLCHAK

Fairy tales take us to magical places where pixie dust flows freely and no one is ever cranky.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Oh, but I guess there were those few dwarfs in “Sleeping Beauty” was one of them cranky?  LOL – well I don’t remember – oh, I think it was grumpy.  Same difference…

So if we avoid grumpy we should be in pretty good shape.  Oh, but there was that Evil Queen chick – yeah.  Hmm…  this is sounding less like perfection and more like real life all the time.  What’s with that?

Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned her rags into a gown, mice into horses, and a pumpkin into endless lattes for her and her BFFs to enjoy.  – @THELAURENOBRIEN

There seem to be issues with all fairy tales.  Every one of them have something evil or malicious to be aware of.

I have never worked out the moral to Humpty Dumpty.  Is it, “Don’t let horses perform medical procedures”?  – Ricky Gervais

2-26 A FAIRY TALE

I’ll tell you my fairy tale…

Jesus and Me

Once upon a time, there was a happy baby.  She never cried but giggled all the time.  Her daddy said it was because she had gas, but it was because she was happy.  He should not buy into those old wives’ tales.  The baby laughed and giggled at everything.  She decided that nothing was going to make her unhappy.

One day in grade school she tried to read a book.  The letters on the page began to dance and it was very entertaining to the little girl, but she wanted to learn how to make the letters stop dancing so she could make sense of the book.  Her mommy and daddy enrolled her in something called special education.

The little girl paid close attention to the nice teacher and worked very hard with exercises and reading glasses.  She finally learned how to read the words by following them with her finger.  She didn’t enjoy reading at first, but the more she did it, the easier it got and the more she enjoyed it.

Nobody thought the little girl would graduate from high school, but she did!  She celebrated with all her friends and family, and her new best friend.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus helped the little girl with a lot of stuff that she could not have done by herself.

Jesus stayed with the little girl and helped her as she grew into a young woman.  He helped her land a really great job as an editor where she had to do a lot of reading.  Now the woman writes a blog for fun to encourage others to celebrate every day.

Jesus knew about the woman’s problem with reading, but nobody else did.  He will always be the woman’s best friend.

– The End

The Moral of the story is…  Jesus can help you overcome ANY obstacle you face!

Jesus cares and helps us with everything because He loves us so very much!  He is the great giver.  ❤

 

INCONVENIENCE YOURSELF DAY

TL 2-25 INCONVENIENCE YOURSELF DAY

I’ve had days when my ice cream cone slipped from my grasp, haven’t you?  When it seems like nothing is going right, it’s so nice when a person comes alongside to help me out.  A simple gesture of kindness goes such a long way in renewing my faith in human nature.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  – Ephesians 4:32

I have a friend who says she will be kind to others between the hours of 6 pm and midnight.  Of course, those are the hours that she is home from work and will not socialize or interact with any people.  I shoot her a glare of disapproval over my glasses and inevitably get a very large grin in reply.

Most of the world will not inconvenience itself to give a hand up.  That’s very sad because they miss a great blessing and the poor person needing help still needs help.  We need to be on the lookout for ways to show God’s love.  We need to be aware of our surroundings and ready to help.  We need to BE PRESENT.

BE PRESENT

Even if it inconveniences us?  Well…  yes!  YES, because although we are late getting somewhere or on our own schedule, it is God’s will that we stop to help another person.  You know, it could be an angel unaware.

 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  – Hebrews 13:2

Has it occurred to you that God may be detaining you to keep you out of harm’s way?  We see these inconveniences as hurdles when maybe we need to be thanking God for them.  Now, back to those angels.  Yes, angels come in human form and walk among us.

Listen to The Newsboys sing “Entertaining Angels” on You Tube.

Of course, an angel doesn’t really need our help, but God sends them here for us.  Think of it as an opportunity to be on your best behavior.

I understand that we have places to go and people to see and we all gauge our lives around the clock.  Today I want to challenge you to look at something other than your watch or the clock on the wall.  There is coming a time when time won’t matter – none of the things we put such importance on now will matter anymore.

The King of Kings will want to know…  Did you feed my sheep?

Was it too much of an inconvenience for you?  :-/

 

A DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE POOR

TL 12-12 A DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE POOR

https://youtu.be/K6g-vZHCffQ

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and Joy. Amen   – Mother Teresa

The International House of Prayer in Kansas City is hosting a day of prayer in December for the poor and suffering around the world and those who are giving their lives to helping them.  Please plan to join us for part or all of the solemn assembly. Get more info here: http://www.ihopkc.org

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.  – Psalm 34:6

What is Christmas all about?  One of my friends reminded me recently that it is not his birthday, but the birthday of Christ Jesus.  If we can keep it in perspective and teach little ones that lesson, it honors God.  Today I invite you to join me in prayer for those who are less fortunate.  We do what we can to help, but in addition to helping physically, we pray.

 O GOD, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let Your Fatherly goodness be upon all that You have made. Remember in pity those who are this day destitute, homeless, or forgotten by their fellow-men. Bless the congregation of Your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. For those who suffer innocently, I pray that You will sanctify their endurance of the wrongs worked on them, keeping their hearts free of bitterness. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and help those who are tempted into sin by their poverty; though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of Him, who for our sakes endured poverty and blameless suffering, Your Son, our Jesus Christ.  It’s in His Name we pray, Amen.

http://youtu.be/yI4oPRun6pU

 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.  – Psalm 102:17

We pray because we know our Lord hears us.  I hope you’ll join me and pray too!  ❤

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 

 

 

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀