A Summer of Psalms

Do you remember the first Bible verse your teacher asked (more like challenged) you to memorize in Sunday School?  I do – and this is it!  Of course, I memorized it from the King James version which is:

WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.  – Psalm 56:3

Not to brag, but I was the first one in the Primary class to memorize it, and my teacher gave me a brown teddy bear wearing a little gold cross.  Of course, the best prize of all was that I had started the journey toward hiding the Word of God in my heart.  You see, when you hide God’s Word inside your heart, it’s like knowing there’s a fire extinguisher handy in case there’s a fire one day.  The verses we commit to memory come to mind just when we need them most.  God is faithful to bring them to our mind if we are faithful to put the time and effort into memorizing them in the first place.  One lesson I’ve learned in this life is – if you hold up your end of the bargain, God is more than faithful to hold up His end!

I can’t tell you how many times this verse has popped into my mind.  I’ve been afraid many times.  Most of the time, it’s not like being afraid at a scary movie, but more like being unsure of an uncertain future.  Fear is fear no matter what, and to conquer a fear of any kind, we need to instill some faith!  Faith is our fear extinguisher.   There are Christians walking around who don’t even know they need a fear extinguisher!  Amazing.

Fear by its very nature is a lack of faith in God.  It means we are not trusting Him as we should, and it’s a very dangerous place to find ourselves in.  When we feel completely overwhelmed with fear and know we are short on faith, that’s when we make stupid decisions and fail to rely fully on our loving Father.  We try to get out of messes on our own, relying on our own savvy, which pales compared to the Father’s plan for handling the situation.  If we keep depending on our own abilities and ignore God’s prompting in our lives, we can end up digging quite a large hole for ourselves – and then we have to hit our knees and seek the Lord and humbly ask Him to lift us out of the hole we dug for ourselves!  I can’t be the only one who has done that, right?

Save yourself some pain and hit your knees in prayer right away.  His will and His way are best.  Ask Him to cover your fear with more faith, then trust the Lord to work it out.  You can alleviate your fears completely with your fear extinguisher!  It’s filled with faith and it works instantly – believe me!  

I’m glad I learned this verse as a child.  Of course, when I was a little girl I said it as I walked through dark places in our house at night.  I was afraid of boogie men just like every child is, and used the verse to bring comfort and ease my childish fears.

Today I don’t use it in the same way (aren’t you glad to hear that?)  But this verse has reminded me to place more trust in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know there’s nothing He cannot handle.  I can sort things out because I know He sorts me out.  It’s a sorting situation, you might say.  🙂

 

 

New Soul

I want a new soul – a soul that is more kind, more compassionate, and more obedient to God.  The opinion that others have of me pales compared to the opinion that God has of me.  I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into your rest.”

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  – Matthew 16:26

What good is a new year, a new beginning, if we don’t have a change?  Consider that the change does not have to be physical.  Yes, that’s what we see in each other – but what about a change of soul?  I know you probably don’t think much about your soul…  that invisible part of you; but what if I told you it’s well worth taking some time this year to ask your Heavenly Father what He would like to see changed in you.  There’s always room for improvement – in all of us!

A new soul…  a heart and mind like that of Christ Jesus, our Lord!  What does that look like?  It looks like moving forward in truth and right living, at whatever pace you can.  It looks like doing your very best in the face of difficulties that could slow you down.

Since New Year’s Day I’ve read and heard so many people teaching us how to be successful either financially or in our appearance.  It’s amazing how often we see these articles or hear these advertisements – but we don’t see or hear anyone emphasizing the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy soul.  Is any amount of money worth losing your soul?  Can a person lose all the weight they need to lose and still have an unhealthy soul?  Of course!

There is not a job, profession, time not spent in prayer, time not spent reading your Bible – that is worth it!  There are a gazillion ways to be successful here on earth, but be careful – because some of those methods involve the exchange of your soul.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and calling me crazy – but I’m right.

I know this is really long…  but take some time and take a look at this:

Oh I really like this!  

There is one way to be successful as God’s child.  Read your Bible and pray.  Does that mean you can’t have the best of both worlds?  According to God’s Word, it’s nearly impossible for a RICH man to make it to Heaven.  It likens a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Have you ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?  Yeah…  neither have I.  

Once we dedicate our lives to the cause of Christ, our priorities change.  We are not interested in the same things as those who are only after earthly successes.  We want different outcomes in life.  That’s why Christians are sometimes said to live IN the world without being a part OF the world.

The soul may be the most quiet part of you, but it’s not good to ignore what your soul needs.  Your soul longs for Christ and His love, peace and merciful salvation.  Let His amazing grace be your goal in this new year!

I invite you to take a look at this sermon on Philippians 2 from Darick Jones.  I worked with his mom, Pam, for several years.  Darick makes some good points here and I know I plan to glean and grow – hope you will too.  🙂

http://www.fbcclearwater.org/sermons-2/

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This ol’ world doesn’t feel peaceful right now, does it?  What is your idea of peace?  If I was to ask you what you think of when I say the word PEACE, what would you say?  Is peace the absence of conflict?  We hear so much talk about inner peace these days.  I guess the question I have about that is…  where is the source of your inner peace?  Do you gain inner peace by sitting cross-legged in the center of a tranquil atmosphere with your hands up with thumb and fingers held in a certain position, as you chant and empty your mind of everything?  Is that the way to obtain peace?  You do know that at some point, you have to stand up and get back to your real life, right?  Yeah – that’s the problem.

What if I told you that when God raised Christ from the dead, He left us a fantastic gift?  Of course, when Christ, the Son of God walked on the earth – He was there and available to the people, which was wonderful.  God is so good to us, because after He raised Christ from the dead, He left us His precious Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit of God is our source of peace!  He is our source of hope and joy, love and He is our conscience!  We pray to God, through Christ – for help from His sweet Holy Spirit.  Peace really IS an inside job!  That’s why Christians can say we are IN the world – but not OF the world.  Yes, we have to stand up and get back to our lives too – but we know without a doubt, our source of peace will always be with us.

On this second Sunday of Advent, may we be reminded of the peace within us – and be thankful to God for it!  God’s Holy Spirit, given to us by God Himself so we would not be left alone once Christ ascended to Heaven, will help us be more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We will have the fruits of the Holy Spirit as we lean more on Him in prayer and by reading Scripture from His Holy Bible.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  – John 14:27

I have a question – and maybe someone reading this blog can get an answer for me.  Do you remember when Sean Hannity ended his show by saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED – ???  Why did he stop doing that?  I mean, I don’t care if he quits throwing the football around – but I really was bummed when he stopped saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  Sean, if you’re reading this (yeah, right – he reads my simple little blog.  LOL!) – we need to hear your words of comfort once again.  Please start saying that to us again.  I don’t know if it helps anyone else who watches your show – but it helps me.

Sean Hannity has a facebook page – go to it and ask him to start ending his show with those words again.  Let him know we miss hearing it.  When you enter your comment, there will be a message that says that basically the folks who “filter” through his mail will read it – so I don’t know if it will help to give him several messages – but hey – it’s better than doing nothing – at least I think so.  😉

My facebook friend, Brenda Sue Adams, took this sweet photo of her granddaughter, Aylen. Doesn’t this just say it all? Let’s all strive for PEACE ON EARTH and GOODWILL TOWARD MEN. Peace to you and yours always! ❤

Have a Merry Christmas!

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I love Christmas so much, especially as a Christian!  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas lasts all month-long and rightly so since we have so much to celebrate!  We need a whole month to celebrate the reason for the season, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!  God’s plan was for His Son to be born in a lowly manger, to be the path to salvation and everlasting life for every one of us.  If that isn’t the greatest HOPE of Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5

There are so many situations that have happened in our world that can attempt to steal our hope.  We need to keep a firm grasp on Jesus’ hand and remember that He is the source of all the hope in our lives!  Let’s start encouraging one another with words of hope from God’s Word.  Let’s begin praying for one another, asking that God send bundles of hope into daily situations.  We don’t know what’s going on in a Christian friend’s life.  Most of us like to keep all the negative things happening in our lives to ourselves – we don’t want to be a “downer” to everyone else.  We should never assume that everything in our Christian friend’s lives is going well just because we’re not told differently.  Let’s ask God to heap blessings on one another!  The blessings from our Lord are the hope we count on every day!

I refer to Christian friends, but you know what?  I have some non-Christian friends as well – and whether they like it or not, I pray for them too!  God hears and answers our prayers.  He knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows the thoughts in our minds as we pray to Him for all people.  His desire for us is to love Him and to love each other.

 

I want to share this truth with you:  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  I offer these words of encouragement to you so you can find hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Because of Christmas, there was an Easter.  Because of Easter, there is eternal HOPE – and He holds us and cherishes us so much!

Let’s celebrate hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Ask Jesus to hold to you tightly and show you HIS HOPE!  He loves you and wants to do that for you.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23  

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

If you’re a child of God, this verse offers a warm fuzzy feeling and you feel loved and protected.  If you’re not His child, it could possibly scare the hooey out of you – and for good reason.  It’s one more reminder that sitting on the proverbial fence is not an option.  You’re either God’s kid – or you’re not.  There’s no in-between.

Jesus loves you!  He does… and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

God is love, but don’t be deceived.  Our God is all-powerful and is in control of everything.  He is not a senile old man who puts up with sin and laughs it off.  He’s not going to give anyone a pass when it comes to transgression of His law!  Your earthly grandfather may do that, but the God of the universe will not.

When Jesus told the sea to be still…  it obeyed!  As I write this, I’m reminded of a song we sang in our youth group called “SEA WALKER”.  Some of you younger folk are gonna laugh, but hey…  I’m old.  LOL!

Who is Jesus?  He’s the only begotten Son of God.  He was sent by God to earth as a baby and was raised in a Jewish family.  Is there more to it?  Of course – so much more!  Without His teachings about His Father and our Heavenly Father, we would be clueless.  Without His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary…  wow – we’d be in such big trouble in eternity!  Many people have the idea that Christ HAD to die for our sins.  Um…  nope!  He could have changed His mind any time – He could have said we’re not worth His sacrifice.  Did He say that?  NO, He didn’t – and we should make it part of our daily prayer to thank Him for going through with it.

Lucinda wrote an amazing poem for today.  It’s enlightening and uplifting to my spirit!  I’m so happy to share it with you!

Jesus is our link to God, therefore, we are careful to end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name”.  If we take the time to study the Bible and get to know our Savior, Christ Jesus, we will get a glimpse at our Father God.  If we know Jesus, we basically know God.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible.  Study, trust and obey.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I’m not sure why people think that destruction is a way to be heard.  Frustration, perhaps – but a better thing to do when you are frustrated is to pray.  It goes back to putting prayer in its rightful place – first place.  Make prayer your first resource instead of your last resort!  Will prayer make a difference?  I believe it does!  Will it change anything?  Yes, it will.  Prayer is an act of faith and trust in Almighty God.  It says you know without a doubt that God is in control and will see you through the difficult times.

It’s wrong to destroy property in an effort to retaliate against the status quo.  Fight the temptation to join in on such violence and vandalism.  When you’re frustrated, pray for God to intervene as only He can.  Trust in His answers in His perfect timing.  They won’t come in your time – but His.  I understand the feeling that maybe God is running late…  but the longer we live with Him walking by our side, the more we understand that God is not late – He is always right on time – never early, but His timing is perfect – always!

Keep loving and praying instead of fighting and fretting.  This is how to find the peace in your heart that God wants for you.  He loves you so much!  There was a song back in my day that I dearly loved.  A lot of my Christian friends in high school liked it too.  God bless PAUL DAVIS!  Turn it up – here’s DO RIGHT.  🙂

Only God knows why we have to endure injustice in this wicked world – but we need to trust Him instead of being part of a growing problem – it has caused division, sadly.  God wants all people of all races to be kind and love Him.  Take a look at this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Whether the advice is DO RIGHT from Paul Davis, or DON’T GO WRONG from Lucinda Berry Hill, the message is the same…  stay close to God – and PRAY without ceasing!  Keep the faith and know in your heart that God will see you through.  Trust Him for answers, and thank Him for each and every one.  🙂