A SUMMER OF PSALMS

I challenge you to name one thing in this world that never changes.  Time’s up!  Did you think of anything?  No, you didn’t – neither did I.  Everything changes…  EVERYTHING!  The foal in the photograph above is now a beautiful full-grown mare.  Living beings are born, they thrive and do what God intended, then they die and go back to God.  It’s the way God planned it.  The Bible tells us that our time is in HIS hand.  So you see, we don’t need to worry because God has us in His hand all the time.

God never changes.  His laws don’t change.  His justice doesn’t change.  His unending love never changes.  His peace is real.  The joy and happiness He bestows on our lives can only be described as dependable.  It’s honest and there’s no hidden agenda.  If He puts a rug on the floor in front of me, then asks me to stand on it, I know without a doubt He will not pull it out from under me, causing me to fall.  Can you say that about any person on this earth?  Get real – of course, you can’t!  

This body of mine has changed from the time I was in my twenties.  Anyone who is honest will say a great big AMEN to that!  These chan.ges are a huge challenge – but God’s got me, so I’ve got this!  

Changes are inevitable in this life, but it gets dangerous when we as people try to “overrule” God.  Do we rely on our wisdom more than we seek God’s laws?  We simply cannot say that some behaviors are not sinful when God has already said they are.

When pastors are motivational speakers instead of providing instruction and direction according to God’s Word, it’s not a favor to us poor sinners – any of us.  We all need to hear and know God’s truth – all of it.  I don’t hate anyone and care for everyone’s eternal soul.  For Pete’s sake, I’m not perfect and I don’t judge anyone.  God offers redemption for ALL through His Son’s death on Calvary’s cross.  He offers forgiveness for sin – any sin – take your pick.  They’re all alike in God’s eyes.  

Change.  God causes the seasons to change.  He helps sinners to change.  We find Christ, learn what He wants for us, and turn from whatever is not pleasing in His sight.  He patiently helps us to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  Our lives can be so rich and full of Christ when He’s in the center of it.  🙂

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Lucinda says it all here in her poem, doesn’t she?  Before we knew God’s way of living, we all dressed in dingy duds with holes in weird places.  We were unaware of anything better until we met Christ.  He stood us up, dusted us off, set us straight on the right path.  The clothes we wore before weren’t even good enough to give to charity – they had to be burned.

We have a brand new wardrobe, thanks to the mercy and love of the Lord.  He teaches us every day about His ways and His will for us.  He loves us just the way we are, but He loves us way too much to leave us there.  It’s His desire that we grow in our faith and discover all the opportunities He sets before us – and yes, some of those are very scary – but once you give it to God and trust Him for the outcome, it gets less frightening.

Remember when God told Moses to speak to the people and Moses said, “You got to be kidding, Lord – I stutter!”  It may be paraphrased – okay – it’s definitely paraphrased heavily…  but basically – isn’t that what he was saying?  He said there’s no way he could take that on because he was disabled.  Can a dyslexic person write a blog?  You wouldn’t think so…  but God has other ideas sometimes.

Once we burn those old duds and put on the ones God wants us to wear…  weird stuff happens – weird in a good way.  Miracles happen that you would not believe – except you do believe it because you know how good God really is.

As you take on the attributes that God wants you to have, you don’t look at what is best for you, but what is best for someone else.  How can I help?  What can I pray for on your behalf?  When do you need my help?  Who can I tell about Jesus today?  Where can I share my faith?  The answer to God goes from “I can’t do that” to “With Your help, I can do anything if it’s Your will for my life.”  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-2colossians-3-910Is a little white lie still a lie?  Does it really count?  What harm does it do?  If you omit information, knowing that it’s going to make a difference in the meaning of what you’re saying – is that considered a lie too?  When I meet a friend who has just gotten a new hairstyle – and she’s all hopped up about it – and I’m – well… less than enthused.  Is it okay for me to just be silent and smile.  Maybe I could say, “I’m so happy that this change has improved your outlook on life!”  Am I lying, or am I sparing her feelings and our friendship?

What is a lie?  Well – it is the absence of truth, obviously.  Lies are harmful, and too many lies told are dangerous.  Why does God have a problem with us telling lies?  Our Lord can’t be anywhere that truth doesn’t live.  Lies go against God’s very nature!  He is truth – He is light.  He’s about complete honesty and wants us to be that way too.

I enjoy Women’s Ministries.  Most women I know need a respite from everyday life – and Women’s Ministries is a perfect break for them.  Our group had secret sisters.  Yes, I know that it doesn’t always work out – there are some who give and give and…  as well as those who take and never give.  I’m familiar with the scenario.  That’s when you step in and do a little extra giving for those who just want to take.  At least that’s how I handled it if I was made aware of it.

At the beginning of each year, we filled out slips that ask basic questions about what you like and enjoy.  I was always tempted to write A MILLION DOLLARS on my slip – but never did.  There were questions like, “What’s your favorite color?”, “What do you collect?” – etc.  I have so many collections, not because I meant to do that – but because other people started collections for me.  Ha!  One lady began a PIANO collection for me.  Another started giving me BASKETS.  The only collection I started for myself was ANGELS.  So – I wrote ANGELS on my slip.

I had no idea who got my name, but I knew she didn’t know the difference between angels and fairies.  I got a fairy for every occasion that came along.  So…  amongst the angels, there is a little army of fairies.  My point is…  calling this sweet little lady on that would serve absolutely no purpose.  That’s not why we have secret sisters – we do it to remember one another – and I was remembered.  That’s all that matters.pray-for-your-heart

God wants us to tell the truth – but He wants us to be kind and compassionate and considerate of other people’s feelings too.  I actually love those little fairies.  If they were angels, I may not be reminded of her as often – and I may forget to whisper her name to the Lord when I pray.  She’s a precious soul to God and my very special sister in Christ.

We’re to be truthful – but not hurtful.  Ask God for the right words to say.  🙂

 

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICAINTEGRITY:  the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.  

As a female, Republican, conservative, Christian voter, I want to see our leadership in Washington have decency, honesty and INTEGRITY!  It begins with IN and ends with GRIT.  People with integrity are strong and courageous enough to stand against what is morally wrong.  Did you ever see the movie TRUE GRIT with John Wayne?  That kind of attitude without the whisky – sort of.  Wow…  let’s get some backbone in there mixed in with morals and values – wouldn’t that be fantastic?  I miss Ronald Reagan.  There, I got that out of my system.

SOUND MORAL PRINCIPLE.  Are we quite certain that this is what our Republican candidate has?  I don’t know, but I’m not sold on it.  Is he the lesser of two evils?  I don’t know that either.  I know for sure and for certain I will not vote for the Democratic candidate.  Will I vote at all?  I just don’t know.

Take a look at this link from Max Lucado:

https://maxlucado.com/decency-for-president/

It has occurred to me that if I don’t vote at all, I’m opening the door to the possibility that the Democrats will win.  I know our country can NOT continue its downward spiral under their agenda of redistribution of wealth and throwing other people’s money at every problem that comes down the pike.  And letting in thousands of refugees when we have homeless veterans on our streets makes me sick – literally sick.  Our vets deserve the best America has…  ugh.  Respect the veterans still living! 

unknown-soldier

So today we will pray a prayer asking God for clear thinking and wisdom.  I really need it, don’t you?

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,  We have read Your Holy Bible and we know right from wrong as we live our own lives; however, as we quickly approach November, we really need to think clearly with wisdom straight from You.  We don’t pretend to know these candidate’s hearts, values or motives.  All we can do is look at their past record of behavior.  We hunger and thirst for decency, morals, backbone, and sincere integrity.  Anyone can stand before a group of Christians and read a prepared speech filled with ear-tickling phrases that are specially written to persuade them to vote in their favor.  Lord, only You know who needs to be our next President.  We ask that You would please guide us as we decide who to vote for, or whether to vote at all.  Wisdom from You is the greatest tool in a Christian’s toolbox.  We need fresh wisdom, clear thinking, discernment, and conviction that we’re doing the right thing on election day.  We ask all of this in the precious and matchless Name of Jesus, Amen.

At this point I do want to remind you (and me too) that no matter who the President is, Jesus Christ is the KING!  As Lucinda and I chat, we are encouraged by those words, we hope you are too!  The Lord wants us to put HOLES in the Darkness!  We’re in the last days, I believe.  We know things will get more challenging, but we also know that God will protect us!

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)

How important is TRUTH to you?  Is there such a thing as a little white lie?  Well, what does God’s Word say about building a house on sand?

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  – Matthew 7:24-27

NO EVIL

One cannot build a lasting house of TRUTH using cement made with lies. We all have history but we cannot be captives of our history – for if we become slaves of our past due to simple things in life, we are destined to lose it all at the end. Whatever you build on a lie, you shall lose – for it lacks the blessing of GOD. We believe in the working God who never gives greatness to lazy and myopic multitudes, but to those few disciples who are willing to sacrifice present goodness, feel the pain and are willing to work hard for His blessings. Using the words of Martin Luther, “You cannot steal second base with your foot on first.” Today, decide to move forward; to accept to work hard for what you want; to sacrifice and sometimes feel the pain for what you love: desist from easy life and having free things – or else fulfill the saying that, “today’s easy gain is tomorrow’s hard loss.” My brothers and sisters, do not worry how long it is taking you to get to the promised land, simply walk and stay on track and one day, you shall realize that those who looked powerful before your eyes were the most weak in the eyes of God – for they were never truthful. Build your life; your business; your relationships; your marriage and your future on TRUTH no matter how hard, tempting and painful it can be – for you cannot build a life on lies because a time comes and the truth manifests itself before the eyes of men.  – Mark Farouk

 There are rewards for an honest life filled with hard work and good clean livin’…  may we embrace God’s way and be a good witness to the world around us.  🙂

NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY

TL 1-24 NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY

 

1-24 HOW MUCH WEIGHT

Children should be encouraged even when logic seems to dictate otherwise.  Now, I’m not saying that discipline is a bad thing, but if a child draws a picture and says that it is God – don’t scold that child for trying to express themselves with crayons.  After all, you don’t know what God looks like either, so just take a chill pill.  Jesus loves children – He REALLY loves children!  Don’t be a stumbling block to them.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel   – Maya Angelou

We’ve all received compliments – some are sincere and others, well, not so much.  Most of us can tell the difference, can’t we?  Empty flattery leaves us wanting to tell the person, “Just quit while you’re ahead” or “go away”.  I choose to think the latter. But when a compliment is heartfelt and sincere, ah…  it’s like a breath of fresh air!  We feel a renewed sense of hope and happiness.  If you have a spouse or friend who showers you with those kinds of compliments – hang on to those people!  They are rare in this life. I got one response to my inquiry, but oh what a great response it was:

A friend wrote a story About our friendship. Where I had always seen myself as a gray goose, she saw me as a silver swan. That changed my life and allowed me to see myself in a new way.  – G.E.

I’ll preach this until I’m lowered into the ground…  there is WEIGHT in every word you say.  Your words have the power to hurt or heal another soul.  That is why our words need to be filtered through God’s Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit of God can and will help us to choose the right thoughts, intentions and words if we will just ask Him for help. It seems to me that people are almost proud that they don’t have a filter and they are not careful about the words they choose to say.  It’s like they proclaim they are filter-less in the same breath they declare they have the right and are free to say what they want.  But that is not true freedom, for if you are stomping on another human being verbally, you are diminishing them – and what about their rights and freedoms? Isn’t it better to lift another up and have true freedom?  Freedom at the expense of someone else – that’s not freedom.  To be without the Holy Ghost filter is to be unwise and unkind.  I’ve heard some say awful things and then put their hand over their mouth with a false sense of shame and then say, “Oops – I have no filter!”  Everyone thinks that is so funny – why does everyone think that is so funny?  It’s a shame when people do that – not a false shame, a real shame! Once it becomes abundantly clear that God loves everyone, we tend to look at our thoughts, attitudes and actions with others differently.  We are each a precious child of God.  This sense of entitlement that people have nowadays is a disturbing trend.  Instead of having the attitude that you deserve good things, try helping someone else do better and guess what?  You will do better too – because God will see to it.  He blesses the ones who bless others.  That’s how it works!  We don’t do for others for that reason, we do for others because we have the mind of Christ.  What did Jesus do?  Well, He sure didn’t stand around saying He deserved more than everybody else because He was the Son of God.  I don’t read that anywhere in the Bible.  He went about doing good.

 I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. – Mother Teresa

Some folks that I used to work with accused me of being scared of people.  Non-Christians often mistake my silence for fear.  What they don’t realize is that I’m praying for right attitudes, good thoughts and a window of opportunity to say the words that will do the most good.  I’m not afraid of any man – oh my…  if they only knew how unafraid of people I am!  No, I don’t just ramble and let my words fly uninhibited – nor do I intend to.  My mom called that “filter” the “Holy Ghost filter”.  She never spoke without thinking and praying over her words because she knew the truth – that every word has power whether it is negative or positive.  Words can bring blessings to others or they can crush their spirit.  I believe that the words we speak have the potential to be a stumbling block to another person. Have you read what God thinks about folks who are a stumbling block to other folks?

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.  – Mark 9:42

A good thought becomes a good intention.  A good intention becomes a good word and a good word becomes a good deed.  You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.  That’s why every thought needs to be taken captive and every word needs to be weighed before it is said.  Once the words are out, you can never get them back.

Have a wonderful NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY!!!  You know what to do.  Follow the leading of God’s Holy Spirit – He won’t lead you astray. 😀

WORLD SMILE DAY

TL 10-3 WORLD SMILE DAY

There are scary things going on in the world today – so many things to be concerned about to be sure!  Today is WORLD SMILE DAY!!!  The good news today is that God loves you – and that should make you smile!

 May brooks and trees and singing hills
Join in the chorus too,
And every gentle wind that blows
Send happiness to you.
– Irish Blessing

How can you make someone smile?  Well, someone in your immediate realm of influence may need to be tickled.  That is one sure way to ease tension and get a family member to show their pearly whites!

 Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  – Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Chances are you probably work with some grumpy morning people.  You can bounce in the door every morning whistling and wishing everyone a good morning – but just a few seconds of bad attitude can limit your sunshine supply.  For these grumpy folk, you can do some simple things like hold the elevator door, take them a morning cup of coffee or my personal favorite, a homemade cinnamon roll and a morning cup of coffee.  It’s amazing how quickly those frowns turn upside down!

http://youtu.be/XvxZuzy5TBQ

It is tempting to isolate from society these days because of health risks alone, but we must not be afraid to help someone along in their journey.  A smile seems like a small thing, but when we smile it actually improves our overall health – mental and physical.

 When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.  – Author Unknown

When was the last time you reminded someone to breathe?  Tell them to take a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air.  Chances are you will get them to smile afterward.  Nothing feels better (especially if you are stressed) than to take a deep breath.

http://youtu.be/wAqhuajT9e4

Even Christians lose sight of the big picture sometimes.  We get just as wrapped up in the bad news all around us as everyone else – but we have a great hope in Jesus, don’t we?  That thought alone should make us smile.  That is the truth we need to share with each other on a regular basis – and the good news we have to share with everyone.

I’m here to remind you…  to SMILE!  God loves YOU!!!  🙂