A SUMMER OF PSALMS

God will never change and He will never fail!  His loving-kindness is the same always!  Do you trust Him today?

When you see or hear the letters OJ, what comes to mind?  I can honestly say that ORANGE JUICE used to pop into my mind.  To some sports fans, or true crime drama fans, the name O.J. Simpson may pop to mind; however, may I introduce you to another option?  How about…

ONLY JESUS!?!

Isn’t that a great poem?  Only Jesus will do when I rise, or when I’m resting, or when I’m working!  Only Jesus will do when I’m speaking, or when I’m writing, or when I need true wisdom!  We tend to distance ourselves from everyone when we’re sick or when we’re hurting, but even if we pull away from friends and family, those are times when we need to draw closer to our Lord.

We need Jesus to keep us strong and encouraged when we are crying, or singing, or praying.  The Lord gives us words to say when we pray.  He understands those prayers that are not intelligible by anyone else.  Those prayers that are just groans, because the physical pain or mental hurt we feel is so horrible.

I love this poem!  What a blessing to have this lovely lady in my life!  Her work blesses me every day!

You know, so many people ask me if I think it matters to the Lord whether we have devotional time early in the morning or late at night.  I tell them I don’t think it’s a command that we have devotionals in the morning; however, it really is a great way to begin your day.  Personally, I think it’s best in the morning because I see my life as a living sacrifice and I want to offer first fruits.  I want God to come first and this is part of putting Him first in my life.  🙂

 

 

SPRING INTO ACTION

 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  – Ephesians 4:32

It’s a calling from our LORD…  be light, salt, kind, loving, forgiving and tenderhearted.  Nobody wants to be tenderhearted because that means you are also vulnerable.  It hurts to make yourself vulnerable because to open yourself up to others has no guarantee of success associated with it.  God never said that being obedient to Him would result in automatic joy or happiness.  Does that mean it’s not worth doing?  No.  Does it mean that we won’t need to walk away from the ones who hurt and disappoint us sometimes?  No.  Is it a sin to walk away?  No.  It’s probably a sin to give up and not try again.  The sin is to quit trying.

We have to rely on God to help us forgive – and forgive as quickly as possible.  Forget?  Well…  not really.  It’s like you sort of tuck it in the back of your mind.  You don’t want to dwell on it, but you don’t want to forget completely so you aren’t that stupid again.  I don’t need to keep hitting my head against the same post over and over.  That’s just an insane thing to do!  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  I refuse to do anything remotely insane ever again.

Does that mean I don’t forgive past wrongs?  No.  I need for others to forgive me – and frankly, I need God to forgive me – so I will absolutely forgive others when I feel I’ve been wronged.  This ol’ world needs more kindness and less anger-driven violence, to be sure.  If you allow hurt feelings to fester and get infected, it affects all aspects of your life.

How can we shine for God and serve Him if there’s a cloud of hurt hanging over our heads?  We just have to ask God to help us through those hurtful times and be what He wants us to be!  I want to be light, salt, kind, loving, and yes…  even tenderhearted.  It doesn’t mean we are door mats.  It doesn’t mean we are stupid enough to walk back and take more.  We’re not.

We can conquer the hurt we encounter in this life with help from God.  We can conquer the hate we encounter in this life with help from God!

Are you ready to spring into action – and throw kindness into this wicked world like it’s confetti???  Instead of deciding to merely DEAL with the hurt in our lives, let’s trust God to help us HEAL from church hurt and other disappointments along life’s way so we can effectively SHINE for Him!  When we live in the complete freedom that Christ bought for us, it makes Him smile and it makes us whole!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Hate is such a strong word, isn’t it?  As Christians, we’re taught we should never hate anyone, yet that is the word that is used in this portion of Scripture to describe how non-Christians will feel toward Christians.  We’re told that this hatred is not because of us, but because of the One we serve.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  That’s why we need to try not to take this hatred to heart – we need to remember that Jesus still loves us and we need to keep striving for the prize – because we have reason to rejoice in the end, for in the end we gain Heaven!  Remember, there is still a hell to shun and a Heaven to gain.  It’s not personal when we are hated – and we need to get tough skinned, wear blinders and keep being the people we’re supposed to be.

Even when the world seems to be against us, God is pleased!

Speaking for myself – it’s really one more reason why I have to stay in God’s Word and shun other things.  I have to stay in touch with what the Lord finds acceptable and pray that He will help me be the person I need to be.  You know, I saw a post online the other day, and it fits perfectly with this subject:  We’ve all had moments when we feel misunderstood and abandoned by others.  We have to remember what Jesus went through to secure our Salvation – that puts all of our rough patches in perspective, doesn’t it?  I’ve not been abused like He was!  God is good all the time, even when people are not good.  We are commanded to go into the world and preach the good news – so we plant seeds of hope everywhere we go!  That’s all we have to do – what happens after that is up to God!  That’s how I look at it.  I do my part and God takes care of the rest!  

So there you have it!  If we will trust God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be our guide as we stay strong and endure in the faith, we will be saved and make Heaven our home one day!  God’s never going to steer us wrong.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

uniquely-gifted

I went to the doctor yesterday to have my HA1c checked.  Three months ago it was 6.2.  This time it was 6.3 – and I was disappointed because I thought it would be lower.  While 6.3 is not bad, it means that it crept up in the past 3 months and I guess it scares me a bit.  Then my doctor reminded me that she cut out my insulin completely and cut my dose of Metformin in half.  I started to perk up some when she said that.  I’m starting to maintain a normal HA1c with no insulin and less oral meds.  Well alrighty then!  My hope returned at that point!

The doctor asked if I wanted a flu shot and I told her I did.  Those things sting like a son of a gun, but the flu is tons worse!  One of the MA’s took me to the procedure room.  She told me to hang my arm loose at my side because that would make the shot hurt less.  I did and got the shot.  It was fine.

The doctor said I needed my ears washed.  Well…  I balk at that procedure!  I had so many inner ear infections when I was a kid – always after going swimming it seemed.  I hate water in my ears!  I am such a baby while they’re trying to work – I literally shake.  I know that makes their job more difficult and I apologize – but it just feels so horrible to have water in my ears…  I think it always will.

So she put this long blue stick looking thing in my ear to scrape some wax off the sides.  She told me I have the smallest ear canals she’d ever seen.  I didn’t know whether to apologize or say thanks.  Then I felt a poke in my ear and flinched.  She seemed to be blaming me for it – she said, “When you flinched, your ear started bleeding.”  I’m like…  “OH great – please don’t burst my ear drum – I’m a musician – I need to be able to hear!”  I didn’t say it but boy I was sure thinkin’ it.  If she had not poked something and made it hurt, I probably would not have flinched – actually.

I ask you…  what on earth is the difference between her poking a little blue stick in my ear – and me poking a Q-tip in it???  They tell people not to do that, but HEY – at least there’s cotton cushy stuff on the ends of those!  I just don’t understand so many things.  I was angry and my ear hurt.  I was so done with this appointment – just finished.  This turkey was close to being cooked!

Oh but we were not finished…  no – wanted to be, but no, not done.

They needed some blood – oh joy oh rapture!  How bad could that be?  A poke – they get their blood and I get to go home, right?  Yeah…  no.

Apparently their problem with getting blood was also my fault – because I was apparently supposed to drink a gallon or two of water before the blood draw.  Well, it’s duly noted in my brain with indelible ink now…  because they poked my arm at my elbow and got nothing.  They poked the back of both my hands and got…  nothing.  They poked…  oh I don’t even remember where they poked – the point is…  if you try a few times and come up empty – you schedule the draw for another day – when I can get myself all nice and hydrated – you don’t keep poking the pin cushion!

I finally spoke up – I had been as kind and apologetic as I could be.  I apologized for my hair getting in the way of their squirt gun when she was cleaning out my ears.  I apologized for being dehydrated.  I apologized for wearing the wrong color of blush with my lipstick…  for Pete’s Sake – I’m sorry already!

I said, “Why don’t you guys get the doc to sign an order for me to go over to Lab Corp to get blood drawn…  that way you don’t have to keep trying.  And on the way over there I’ll stop at the store and get a few bottles of water and drink them.”

It was as if I’d just let the COMMON SENSE GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE…  she looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea!  You may just be going over to Lab Corp!”  You don’t really wanna know what thoughts were going through my mind then…  they weren’t nice.

My frame of mind was not in a good place.  The worst Monday of my work life was never this bad.  I worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for 20 years and never have I experienced such horrific treatment.  Once when she couldn’t hit a vein, I got an earful (yes, I could hear) of obscenities.  I don’t call people on that stuff, but I consider it to be quite unprofessional.  If anyone should be cussing – hello, I’m the one feeling it.

I waited and waited.  She had to wait for the doctor to finish with another patient…  I had all day, but they didn’t know that.  But – I figure it’s better to wait for the doc to sign the order than to have Laurel & Hardy poking me with a butterfly needle all day long!

My appointment was at 9:15.  I left there at 11:25.  I was angry, hungry, shaking because I was probably having a low – or it could have been anger…  and I was trying not to cry in front of any of the folks at the doctor’s office.  When I finally got to my car…

I bawled and cried and yelled and screamed and hit my steering wheel.  I asked God WHY OF ALL THINGS HE MADE MY VEINS SO TINY, MY EAR CANALS SO TINY AND WHY I HAD TO BE A STUPID DIABETIC AND HAVE MORE PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF IT – AND WHY DO I HAVE TO GET MY BLOOD DRAWN EVERY 3 MONTHS???

Miracle #1 – I looked at the appointment card in my hand.  My next appointment isn’t until April of ’17.  It’s not scheduled for 3 months out – but for 6 months out!

I was taken aback…  and a sudden glimmer of hope came over me.  My doctor thinks I’m on a good track and trusts me to stay on it for the next 6 months!!!  This is a good thing, right???

As I drove to Lab Corp, it dawned on me that God was helping me with diet, exercise and that was in turn going to make my HA1c better.  I’m going to be okay.

My make-up was a bit messed up, but I was composed mentally as I went in to Lab Corp.  I signed all their paperwork and had no idea that God had another miracle waiting for me.

Miracle #2 – I don’t know her name and I doubt that she remembered mine, but for about five minutes in a little lab cubicle, we had CHURCH together!  She asked how many sticks they tried at the doctor’s office.  I showed her the different places and she said, “Well honey, I don’t know if I’ll get blood either but we’re just going to praise Jesus anyhow…  just praise Jesus anyhow!”

I felt a calm come over me…  a calm that I so desperately needed to feel.  It was the presence of the Lord – His Holy Spirit had been invited into our presence – and He was so welcome in that place.  She prayed for me and asked God to guide her as she worked.  There was no hesitation about it – she prayed and God heard and God answered.

She got blood with one stick…  coincidence???  I think not.

If you belong to God and you draw blood for a living…  please don’t be ashamed of your faith in the workplace.  You never know when someone like me is feeling like they’re on the brink of crazy town and may just need a phlebotomist to pray for and with her – and pray that God will guide that needle into the vein it needs to go in.  Jus’ sayin’.

When I got to the car – I cried again.  I didn’t hit the steering wheel…  I lifted my hands and let God know that I understood why I needed to go to the lab.  I needed to have church – real church.  No fancy pews, no stained glass windows.  It was a Friday at work for her and a stubborn vein day for me – but it turned out to be so much more.  Praise You, Jesus, and thank You!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

TL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAYPUTTING HOLES IN THE DARKNESSRegardless of the divisiveness in our country, we are to shine with the kindness, joy, hope, love and caring nature of our Lord, Savior and Master, Christ Jesus.  MLK QUOTE (3)

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  – John Wesley

At the risk of repeating myself…  GOD LOVES YOU!  It doesn’t end there…  He wants us to love one another as well.  That’s where, sadly, it gets tricky – and I’m not even sure why.  If we profess to have the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, it should be a piece of cake to love our brother, right?  :-/

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can show love to others – but it takes a lot of prayer beforehand.  Let’s get on our knees and pray today for the necessary tools so that we can show mutual respect for one another!  Once we’ve asked God to help us, let’s rise and be bigger!  I want to rise about petty behavior, don’t you?

LET'S RISE AND BE BIGGER

FORGIVENESSLove, forgiveness, showing interest in others in a genuine manner – that’s the blessing I want from God today!  I will ask Him to give me the gift of real compassion for all people.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  – Mahatma Gandhi

I want to exercise honest sympathy and true empathy in life.  Think of the sacrifice Christ made for all of us – then think of the way He wants us to live.  Let’s be the best representatives for Christ we can possibly be in 2016.LOVEThere is such darkness in our country – and in our world.  Let’s humbly ask God through Jesus for LIGHT and LOVE which pokes holes in the darkness.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  –  Paul Boese

There is hope for America!  If we each commit to a life of forgiveness and peace, wrapped up in God’s love and grace, He will guide us to a brighter place and help us to share this country in unity.  It’s my prayer that the words of Dr. King will resonate throughout the United States, especially at this crucial time in history.  May God Bless America!  🙂

NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

TL 1-9 NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

1-9 STUCK BY STATIC

Click image to enlarge

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.   – Samuel Butler

It’s NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY!!!  Trust me, (the one with baby-fine blonde hair…), I’m well aware of the effects of static electricity!  At my birthday parties, my friends thought it was funny to rub a balloon on the carpet and hold it above my head – just to see my hair magically FLY…  well, what are friends for?  Positive and negative forces, huh?  Well, the positive force was making my hair stick to the balloon…  but the negative force was when I punched their arms for doing it.  Wait…  did I type that out loud???  Oops!  Well, that’s ok – I hit like a girl!

I can usually explain things after researching them – usually.  If you need a scientific explanation for static, I can’t provide that.  I read and understood for the most part, but just in case I don’t understand completely, I’ll just leave some links for you to visit – how about that?

http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/national-static-electricity-day.php

Public Domain.

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, we watched these movies in science class – and my friends and I had more fun critiquing the men’s wardrobe and horn-rimmed glasses than learning anything about science.  Fortunately, now I’m mature enough to appreciate the actual subject now – well, sort of.  😉

OK, now that we’ve taken care of the technical stuff, can we get down to the FUN stuff?  Thank you!

Shared with permission.

We do have fun with static, but can these experiments relate at all in real life?  I think we can learn a lesson from them.  You knew I’d say that, right?

If you can’t hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry.  – Terri Guillemets

Some days we feel stuck in life because of fear and worry.  These best friends always travel together.  They are used in an effort to emotionally blackmail God’s children by the enemy of the soul – Satan.  I don’t like to waste a lot of my precious time talking about him or his sneaky ways, but it’s good to know when you’re getting spiritually stuck – and where the static is coming from – or more to the point, from whom it is coming.

If I mess up and I fear doing it again, that could paralyze me.  That in itself makes me feel miserable enough, but  if I begin to worry about messing up again, I’m nearly defeated.  Do you see what I’m saying?  It’s a cycle –  a vicious, pointless, waste of time.  But, if Satan can make us waste enough time beating ourselves up, he’s keeping us from doing good for others and serving God.  That’s worth his time.

Enough about the negative – what do we do about this cycle that has the potential to defeat us?  Pray the pain, fear and worry away!  Ask God’s Holy Spirit to remind you of who you are – in HIM – not who you are compared to another pianist, or another writer, or another Sunday School teacher.  Ask Him to remind you once again who you are – in HIM?  If you do that, He will remind you that you are HIS.  You are His very special creation – not because you have certain abilities or talents – those came from HIM to begin with!  He wants you to know you are His child and He loves you.  That puts everything back in its proper perspective.

It’s just a little observation from the one with baby-fine blonde hair that is easily affected by static electricity.  If you don’t want any spiritual static to hold you back this year, pray about what makes you hurt, scared and worried.  When you do, it will leave you because your Lord is bigger than either of these.  He really is! 😀

Public Domain.

Here’s an hour of hymns…  there’s no time like the present to ask God who you are – in HIM – through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Take time to pray then enjoy the rest of the day.  ❤

 

LUKE 6:22 ON 6/22

TL LUKE 6 22 ON 6 22

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  – Luke 6:22

Does it bother you to be excluded from the “popular” group?  Do you think co-workers or others in your class hate you, or at the very least misunderstand you?  Well – me too, but I want to encourage you and let you know that God is blessing you while the world turns its back on you.

When we trust Christ and accept His gospel, it means there is an automatic target painted on our backs.  We have to  keep the eternal perspective in mind and remember that God’s blessings on our lives is forever and the acceptance or rejection of other people – well, it’s temporary and means little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Really – sometimes when we are excluded from some activities – it’s nothing that we need to be engaged in to begin with.  God really does protect His children from harm and keeps us safe.  We have to lean more on Christ when we are feeling especially left out.  By the same token, we need to pray that God will provide a safe haven with like-minded friends where we can feel accepted and loved.

Why is church so important?  It’s almost like a support group of sorts, where we are not seen as the world often sees us.  Finding a group of believers where you can feel comfortable and at ease to speak your thoughts and beliefs means so much to Christians.

While we are not to spend all of our time hidden inside the church building with like-minded brothers and sisters, it’s good to have a soft place to land after we’ve done our best to share the good news of Christ with a world that does not even almost understand what we’re talking about.

At times, we will be hated and rejected in this world simply for what we believe.  We profess, preach, teach and believe the full gospel of Christ from beginning to end.  Our Messiah came in the flesh and was the Son of God according to His divine nature, yet the son of man according to His human nature.

He walked the earth doing miracles – doing good.  He suffered, bled and died on a cruel cross as the Lamb of God – the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of every man on earth.  By the power of God He arose from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left us a helper known as the Holy Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit helps us navigate this life and do what God would have us do.

One day God the Father will instruct Jesus to come back to earth to take those who love and trust Him to heaven to live forevermore.

MEET GOD AT THE DOOR

God blesses His children – even when others make fun of us, reject us, and intentionally hurt us because of our faith.  It’s my prayer that you will notice less of the temporary hurt and look beyond to the eternal blessing from your Heavenly Father.  🙂