REVELATION 2:19 ON 2/19

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 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.  – Revelation 2:19

I don’t pretend to understand the book of Revelation; however, I do speak and read English, and this looks fairly cut and dried to me.  There is a comfort in knowing that GOD knows – He knows it all.  Not everyone feels comforted by that fact – but I do.  Does that make me weird?  I don’t know – maybe.

Think about it – God knows your deeds, your love, faith, service and perseverance – and that you’re doing more now than you did when you first started your journey with Him.

God knows…  and if I said only that much, it would be enough.  He knows the good, the bad and the ugly.  Any effort to hide anything from Him is in vain.  So now that we’ve established that God knows – the ball is in your court.  What will you do with that information?

You’ve not gone too far in the wrong direction to make a U-turn in the right direction.  There is only one unpardonable sin – and that is rejecting Christ as your personal Savior.  Everything else (and I do mean everything) is negotiable.  If you need to have a heart to heart with the Father, He’s ready to hear from you.  It’s not too late until you die.

From the moment we receive Jesus into our hearts and lives, growth begins.  It’s continual and provides God’s own strength and courage along the way.

Can growth be stifled?  Yes, it can – but it would be the will of the person, not the will of the Father.  It’s always God will that we grow some every day.  He wants us to be mature in our walk with Him.

Their works had been recently more numerous and praiseworthy even than they had formerly been.  This tells me that it’s important to strive to do better deeds – not necessarily more deeds – but better ones.  Sometimes it’s a matter of having a forgiving attitude or be quick to pray for one who has hurt or wronged you instead of reacting badly.

Although this passage goes on to talk about the bad things going on in the church of Thyatira, our focus today was on the positive aspects – (vs. 19).

We can’t rest on the works (NOT that we are saved by works – clearly we are not – works are an outpouring of our love for Christ) of the past.  We need to keep growing in attitudes, actions and let the Lord strengthen our faith and resolve more every day.  🙂

 

 

 

JOHN 10:9 ON 10/9

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 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  – John 10:9

Christ Jesus is the way, truth, life…  and the gate.  Once we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we have true freedom.  I’m reminded of a butterfly when I think of real freedom.  They go where they want to go…  we’re like that – we have the freedom to be everything we can be in life.  Nothing can stop us from being the best beings we can be!  Let’s find pasture – be free…  FLY!

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You exist in perfect harmony. May Your Spirit dwell in us that the world might see You, and believe.  – Bobby Fulks

We need to ditch the stigmas and labels of society.  What happened to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  What has happened to us as a society?  I’ve decided there’s not a thing I can do about anybody else or their attitudes…  but with God’s help in Christ, there is a ton of stuff I can do to make my attitude SHINE.  I’m determined to be a shining example in a society that is clearly taking a turn in the wrong direction.

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I love butterflies because they remind us that we can change who and what we are simply by giving us the wings to fly higher and higher. Don’t allow others to clip your wings by the labels and stigmas they attach to you. Realize that you have the greatest power to change your destiny. Change may be tough but once you realize its worth there is nothing that can stop you from maintaining and continuing your journey upward.  – Ellen Sherman.

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Thank you, Ellen, for letting me share your quote and this lovely statue from your beautiful garden!  I’m so blessed to call you FRIEND.

I want to be God’s butterfly – rising above it all.  With God’s help, I’m determined to ditch stigmas and labels, knowing that God created all sorts of butterflies…  all sizes and colors!  He made each species and declared, “It is good.”  How boring would this world be if we were all the same?  What if there were only Monarch butterflies and no other species?  Ridiculous, right?  The same applies to us as people.  It’s our differences that make us so wonderful.  When will we learn that lesson?

When we learn to stop judging another person and begin to pray for them instead…  wow, what a wonderful world this would be!  Today I pray that you will fly like a butterfly…  free and unencumbered by labels or stigmas.  Instead of judging someone, judge yourself next to God’s Word.  When each of us stand before our Maker, that’s the only judgment that will matter.

I don’t know about you, but I want to hear my Lord say, “Well done good and faithful servant.  Enter now unto thy rest.”  I know the Bible tells us that there will be no tears in Heaven…  but I gotta say, how could I possibly hear those words from God Himself and not weep???  I’m crying now…  pass the tissues!

This butterfly just wants to fly to her final rest knowing that all is well between me and thee…  and me and my Father in Heaven.  Vertical and horizontal…  like the CROSS of Christ – the sign of the cross.  Keep the way clear – there’s nothing between my soul and my Savior.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Some folks go on diets to get a summer-ready body for the beach.  Others want to lose weight to get into a dress for a special occasion.  My reasons for dieting?  I either have to lose weight or spend hundreds of dollars every month on insulin.

I was sitting in my recliner watching TV and saw Marie Osmond talking about Nutrisystem.  No, I’m not going to do that – although that’s where my train of thought started.  I said to myself, half jokingly – “Well, I suppose I could pay those hundreds of dollars to Nutrisystem instead of the pharmacy – and eventually not have to take insulin anymore – when I get to my goal weight.”

The seed was planted in my brain – and something just snapped inside.  From that moment, I felt a determination to get healthy like I’ve never felt before.  I don’t want to have to take those shots anymore – I really don’t.

When I was in high school – in the late 1970’s – I kept my weight in check with the Weight Watcher’s points.  Nobody wants to be the big girl in high school, and thanks to this program, I was able to stay at 125-130 pounds.  I counted and wrote down every morsel of food I put in my mouth.  I never ate more than 20 points a day.

I was much more active back then, obviously.  Today I ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes every day.  According to the chart online, it will take 35 weeks to get to my goal weight of 125 pounds.  I’m ready and very excited to embark on this adventure.  I’m ready to get more healthy and be a controlled type 2 diabetic, but controlled with diet & exercise instead of pills and shots.

What’s your favorite Weight Watchers recipe?  Please leave it in the comments section.  I’m very interested in collecting them but I’m too cheap to buy a cookbook.  Here’s one we made last night for supper – and it was pretty good!

Weight Watchers Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 10 ounces lean boneless beef loin, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups small whole white mushrooms, woody ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon reduced-calorie tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

Directions

In large pot of boiling water, cook noodles 5-6 minutes, until tender; drain, discarding liquid. Set aside; keep warm.

In medium nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove beef from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set beef aside.

Spray same skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat. Add onions; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 7 minutes, until golden brown. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, 6 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove vegetables from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set vegetables aside.

In same skillet, melt margarine; sprinkle with flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling. Continuing to stir, gradually add broth, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Stir in sour cream.

Return cooked beef, onions and mushrooms to skillet; stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is heated through.

Divide warm noodles evenly among 4 plates; top each portion of noodles with one-fourth of the beef mixture. Serve garnished with parsley.

I’d appreciate your good vibes and prayers as I begin week #2 of this journey!  If you’d like to talk more about healthy eating (and sometimes eat some virtual chocolate) – come on over and join my group on facebook – A Second Helping of Wellness… with a dash of humor & a pinch of faith.

See ya there!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)AWell, we are nearly a month into winter and it’s not been too bad yet here in Kansas.  We’ve had a couple of earthquakes, but not much snow so far.  Every day that we have mild temperatures and no snow, I thank God because I’m not a big fan of ice and snow – at all.

LEFTOVER SNOW

But what’s Coyote John up to???  Looks like he’s LOST IN THE WIND!  That’s not difficult in Kansas – trust me!  😉

https://youtu.be/I5pE_T8dZh0

I enjoy watching videos on YouTube that my friend John makes.  He shows us the outdoors like nobody else does!  Most of us drive along the highway, passing by all that Mother Nature has to show us.  Let’s watch his most recent video recorded last December.

https://youtu.be/UuU6iLJif5o

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more          welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.  – Helen Keller

GOD'S THEREBetween RA, sciatica and type 2 diabetes, there are days when I can barely function.  I wonder if people like John know how much it helps to be able to watch their YouTube videos?  It’s the next best thing to getting out for a walk myself!

https://youtu.be/2SoMjOMfXrI

O, money can’t buy the delights of the glen,
Nor Poetry sing all its charms:
There’s a solace and calm ne’er described by the pen
When we’re folded within Nature’s arms!  

 – James Rigg, “Nutting Time,” Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

https://youtu.be/OE2SIy64oTI

POEM FROM THE PRAIRIE LADY

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  – Osho

A great big THANK YOU to John for showing us nature in winter – while we sit indoors all snug and warm.  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Today I want to share a praise report with you!  I’m so excited and grateful to God that my Hemoglobin A1c is 6.4!!!  I’m so grateful for His loving kindness and guidance on this journey!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  – William Arthur Ward

This is an actual surgery using the di Vinci robot.  Using a single port, it’s an outpatient procedure.  I was in surgery at 11am and going home by 3pm.  Amazing!

I think I had such a sick gallbladder for such a long time – it was really messing with me.  Now that it’s gone, the struggle to maintain control of my type 2 diabetes seems to be so much easier!

Since surgery I’ve very easily lost 12 pounds and a few inches from my waist.  It’s not about looks with me – but hey, nice side effect anyway.  The best news was my lab report – I never thought I’d be considered a controlled diabetic!  My blood pressure also went back to normal after surgery.

The surgeon said my gallbladder was red, swollen and angry.  I probably waited too long to get it removed.  I wish I had gone in for surgery sooner.  If I had known then what I know now, I surely would have!

I still have to eat right and exercise every day, but I refuse to look at the long-term – I choose to look at the moment and take it one moment, one food choice, one exercise choice, one hydration choice – at a time.  I want and need to be smarter – and keep asking God for help when temptation comes my way.

The most impressive part of this journey has been the incredible amount of energy I have now!  I feel so much better – it’s hard to explain, but every time I think about how much better I feel – it makes me cry because I was blaming so much on age.

I SEEK YOUR WISDOM

Diabetes will always be with me, but it sure is a great feeling to know it’s finally under control!  I’m not saying that everyone with a high A1c has a malfunctioning gallbladder, but in my case – it seems that was part of the problem.

Who knew?  Wink!  😉

 

Thanks Living Day 35

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Today I am thankful for God’s Holy Spirit.  He helps me choose wise words and checks me when I make questionable choices along life’s way.

What happens when flour gets sifted?  Why do we do that?  It makes it lighter and fluffy.  When our thoughts and motives are sifted through the Holy Spirit sifter, it’s the same outcome.  We become lighter and less burdened!

God’s Holy Spirit is essential for sifting in my life – it’s what makes what I do and say much better than it would be otherwise!

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Today the old hymn BE THOU MY VISION is running through my mind.  If you have a hymnal handy or want to look it up online, take a moment to read the words slowly and deliberately.  Take some time today to thank God for His wonderful helper, comforter, guide – His Holy Spirit!  ❤