A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Happy birthday to my daddy in Heaven.  I was thinking about all the great things he taught me and how many times I wish I could have another conversation with him.  I’d like to share part of a Father’s Day writing with you today.

Thank you, Daddy.  Thank you for showing me what it means to have a good work ethic.  Thank you for teaching me how to barter when I don’t have money.  I know growing up, we didn’t have more money than time, but there was always time for laughter, for listening, and for love.

Even though you built houses for a living, ours was the best one of all – not because it was more fancy, but because the love within those walls turned that house into a home.  I remember sitting in front of the TV in the family room listening to you laugh at some show.  I wanted to memorize that sound and tuck it in the back of my mind so I’d never forget it.  All I have left is that tape in my head… and I play it over and over again.  I would give so much to hear you laugh for real just one more time.  But you know what, Daddy?  One day I will…  yeah, I will.  – Linda Palmer

It’s always my intent to be a balcony person on this blog – an encourager and a cheerleader to folks – but I won’t be fake and pretend that everything is just peachy keen all the time, just so others will think well of me.

I believe there are moments when we are all balcony people AND basement people.  I believe that we sharpen one another’s iron – at all times.  I don’t believe that we are exclusively balcony or basement people.  I believe we are God’s children – and there are HIGHS and there are LOWS because we are all very HUMAN.  God knows us, and I don’t think it’s bad to admit that I’m not on the mountaintop every single day.

If and when I’m having basement moments…  I appreciate the balcony people who come along and encourage me in those times – but I also appreciate the basement people who are not ashamed to admit they’re struggling a bit.  If God puts a basement person in my path, it’s probably because He wants me to help them.

That’s what we do…  we help those who are going through a rough patch.  I help you…  you help me.  Iron sharpening 101.

We all want to be balcony people – encouragers – cheerleaders – energizers – affirming.  I’m no different – but if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all need someone to give us encouragement – cheer us on – energize us – and affirm us – once in a while.

The Bible tells us to sharpen one another’s iron – it’s a give and take – one day I encourage – and another day – I get encouraged.  It’s my intent to encourage and uplift others, using the wonderful Word of God; however…

If I have to be on a mountaintop 24/7 as I write this blog, maybe I’m not doing what I need to do.  If you expect this humble writer to be on a mountaintop 24/7, sorry to disappoint you.  If I’m not on the mountaintop, it does not indicate that I lack hope or peace in my life.  It just makes me human.  I won’t apologize for being human.  I won’t judge you for being human either.  🙂

 

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IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

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We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA13578954_1779017349009394_92059644_nChristians know that they are only strong as long as they take the time to kneel…  in prayer to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.  We believe that the time we take to pray is the most important time spent in our day.  Would you try to drive your car out-of-state after it’s dinged at you to let you know it needs fuel?  Um…  nope.  You’d pull into a gas station and fill ‘er up!  Prayer is spiritual fuel for our souls.  It is essential for our spiritual wellbeing.  God wants to hear from us and He looks forward to hearing from us on a daily basis – for me it’s like a pray without ceasing thing…  moment by moment.  It’s how I roll…

God sees how the wheels are coming off our world.  He is also in control, so America, we need to stand as a united front to the rest of the world, and the world needs to see that we are strong and our strength comes from God.  The one true God.  There’s only one.

Let’s pray for peace and healing in America:

Dear Heavenly Father,  We acknowledge You in all our ways and humbly ask for healing and peace in America.  There is division like we’ve never seen before, but we know that You are watching and You are more than able to work on our behalf and heal our hurting land.  We know that in this life we will probably not all hold hands and sing Kum-ba-ya, but we pray that somehow You would show us how to combine Republican ideology with Democratic ideology so that somewhere we can find some real middle ground and common sense solutions to the issues we need to fix in our country.  We need Your wisdom, Your Word, and Your will to be done in our lives individually so that it will be done in our nation.  Help us to begin to heal instead of fighting more.  Please Lord, grant us Your peace and Your love in America.  Make us the people You want us to be and guide us as we remember the golden rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Help us to treat everyone with dignity and respect even if we disagree with them about other issues.  We want to show genuine and sincere concern for our neighbors regardless.  We can only do this perfectly with Your help everyday.  May we learn well how to sharpen iron in this journey called life.  We ask these things in the altogether lovely Name of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, Amen.

landscape-1053346_1280 (1)hand-846092_1920hills-960126_1920hands-578917_1920hot-air-ballooning-436442_1920letters-709651_1920More peace, less war.  More love, less hate.  More healing, less hurting.  More unity, less division.  Yes, Lord, yes!  🙂

EPHESIANS 5:21 ON 5/21

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Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  – Ephesians 5:21

I’m such a believer in proverbial iron-sharpening!  What does that mean?  It’s the support of Christian brothers and sisters that propels their ministry, forwards my ministry and most importantly pleases our Lord.  We submit to one another because we love Christ first of all – also because our friends who are like-minded love and revere Him too.  It goes beyond positive thinking or random acts of kindness.  We’re friends in Christ and we minister together – with a common goal and purpose. 

Submission is not understood in our world today.  People today see being submissive as a definite sign of weakness, when in reality, as a child of God, it’s a choice we make because Christ did so much for us and we are workers together for His sake.  If we keep the proper perspective and focus on Christ and the sacrifice He made for us, it is possible to submit to one another.  We get that it’s not about us – it’s about Him.

We must be mindful to submit to one another and not make it one-sided.  We never want to make our friends feel as though they are doormats to be thrown on the porch for our feet to be wiped on.  I have learned it is not necessarily the wrong thing to say NO to anyone.  I am human, a fact that my Savior is all too aware of…  and there will be times when my ability to submit and support may be hampered due to a physical  limitation or even mental exhaustion.  I used to be afraid to let the flaws be known.  Now I’m not a bit shy about asking for prayer support – and for a postponement.  To avoid burnout, it’s important to view this as a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s a lifestyle, not a phase of life.  We are committed to our Savior forever.

While the context of this verse is directed toward behavior in a family unit, it’s true that the body of Christ needs to adopt similar attitudes and behaviors, don’t you agree?  God’s children have so many reasons to sing for joy – whether it is on pitch or not – strong or weak voice – it makes no difference!  I’m not dense enough to think the Christian life is all singing all the time – we are not always singing and are sometimes crying for any number of reasons.  Regardless of our circumstances, we should be always giving thanks to Christ for His sacrifice – and showing reverence to Him – and do our best to help in ministry and have others help in ours.THINK ABOUT JESUS

There’s a sign on the door at Planet Fitness – it says, “Check egos at the door”.  In other words – don’t think you are either better or worse than anyone else.  Wouldn’t it be great if the body of Christ had that attitude too?  We’re all on the same side – the side of Christ.  We all work for Him.  We’re all on the same team.  Think of what could be accomplished if ego got checked at the door.  Think about Jesus.

As His children we should first and foremost promote HIS glory!  It’s so easy to lose focus and make it about ourselves.  We really are so human but God knows that – and that’s why we need to get on our knees and humbly ask forgiveness – then try again.  I love do-overs and I’ve had a lot of them.

Iron-sharpening, ego-checking and do-overs.  I’m so very thankful that Jesus understands me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)How ornate is the door of your heart?  How inviting is it to God’s Holy Spirit?  When we say, “Come into my heart – the door is open wide…” What does that door look like?  Is it a beautiful door with lead glass or is it more of a solid core door that never lets the light in?

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We are so blessed because before Christ ascended into heaven, He graciously left us His Holy Spirit to help us – guide us – with wisdom and mercy and love beyond understanding.  Through God’s Holy Word, the Bible, prayer, and guidance by God’s Holy Spirit – the comforter, the light in our heart – every Christian can navigate this life the way God wants them to.  I’m praising God for His protection over my life today, aren’t you?  He means everything to me! 

p32gcd4Precious Lord,

Thank You for leaving Your Holy Spirit to comfort and guide our footsteps.  You did not leave us alone and for that we are grateful.  May the door of my heart be one that lets the light of Your love shine through.  May Your love shine through me to others.  Help me to show the fruits of Your Holy Spirit… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  Give me Your perfect love and the wisdom to navigate this life as only You can.  I love You and lean on Your counsel every day, Lord.  Please take my hand and walk through this life with me.  I can do nothing without You.  Please shine in my heart and help me to shine out to others. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

LET ME BRING YOUR LOVE

Christianity is about shining and iron-sharpening.  It’s about encouraging each other in the LORD…  there is so much division and hate in the world around us, but that is not God’s way!  We are called to be “apart” from the world – we are in the world, but not of the world.  Through God’s Holy Spirit we can be like Christ.  Read God’s Word, pray and watch God work in your life.  🙂

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

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Friends come,
Friends go,
But a true friend is there to watch you grow.  – Florence

I LOVE how God brings people together!  Christian friends have one best friend – Jesus.  Our Lord allows our paths to cross and great things happen!  Once you tell the Lord you will live your life for Him – and He brings others who have committed their lives to Him as well into your life – it is so cool.

I love it when collaboration mixes with divine inspiration to bring information to  the entire nation… I do – I really really do!!!  – Linda Palmer

What happens when we say YES to the Lord?  Doors open that would not have opened.  We grow in ways we could never imagine.  The more of God’s family I connect with, the better it gets.  I’ve had opportunities to help authors and artists and photographers who seek to honor God.  I’m tickled to be a helper – I really am!

I love the body of Christ.  We lift and encourage one another.  We see the best in each other and serve with the best we have to offer because we understand that what we do is not for men, but for God.  We don’t seek to please people – we seek to please God.

A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP

We are friends…  with creatures but also with other people.  Jesus is our best friend and our friendships center around Him.  People who believe that Christianity is just a religion really don’t understand the depth of our faith.  Love is the reason we do what we do and are what we are – the love of God through His Son, Jesus.

 Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to God for a faith lift.  – Author Unknown

It’s true iron sharpening when you have Christian friends.  When Christ is in the center and we leave the good times, the bad times and the in-between times with Him.  No judgments and no lectures – we just pray for one another.  We leave it all at the cross – and forgive.  🙂