A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the terms speck and bolt…  Don’t try to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye while you’re toting around a bolt.  It’s paraphrased – but short, sweet and to the point.  God doesn’t want us to judge others.  For one thing, it’s burdensome to take on someone else’s baggage and try to change them – and besides that’s not my job!  My job is to pray that God makes any changes in their life – and pray that He keep working on my life as well.  None of us have “arrived” and we never will – not until we get to Heaven.

How many of you watched the show NEWHART in the 1980’s & 1990’s?  Dick & Joanna Louden ran the Stratford Inn in Vermont.  Let’s take a look at the jury here – and the judgment.  In case Youtube takes the video down, this is episode 145 “Twelve Annoyed Men… And Women.” 

I like to “people watch” – it seems a harmless way to pass the time, and my husband would rather I sit on a bench and observe the activities of others at our local mall than spend money in a store.  LOL!  When we’re making those observations, we need to be very careful that our motives are right.  For example, if I see a young lady with tattoos, purple hair, and piercings everywhere , I should not assume anything beyond the obvious – those things are not what I like for myself, but I mustn’t say that God would disapprove, for we know that God looks upon our hearts and attitudes – not the color of our hair or how many holes or tattoos a person has.  I’ve seen some beautiful tattoos, but to be honest, I’m a coward.  I avoid needles at all cost.  I’ve actually started praying for the people I see…  I may be the only one to pray for them!  I ask that God be in their life.  It’s a short prayer – and even though I don’t know their names… God knows them!

I was raised to believe that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God – there is no degree of sin – one is as bad as the other, so why judge someone when you can just as easily pray for them?  To judge a person is your bad – to pray for a person is your good – and God smiles!  I don’t want to make God sad, do you?

In this journey called LIFE, I believe we are to help one another as we can, and pray for each other always.  Even though I’m not able to do very much right now, God reminds me that I can still write, and more importantly, I can still pray.  There is power in prayer and I’m making prayer my first resource instead of my last resort!  Prayer is the most positive force in the universe.

God can do all things in my life, regardless of my limitations and pain level.  He will do great things in His perfect timing, and He hears our prayers.  it’s up to us to be patient and wait for His answers.  We know that He will make all things beautiful in HIS time.  Please send some prayers up for me, friends.  Thank you!  God knows what’s going on. ❤

When you’re tempted to judge, resist the temptation and make a conscious decision to pray instead.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH

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After 5 miscarriages in the first 10 years of marriage…  I had some pretty heated conversations with God.  You know what I learned?  I learned that when you are in pain and you’ve suffered loss, God is a very patient companion.  He never judged me for being hurt.  He never judged me for being angry – even at Him.  He just kept loving me.  It was a loooooooooooooong road through the anxiety and depression, but with God’s help – I’m better.images14xaj8uo

Is it easy to see the women my age posting photos of themselves with their grandkids?  Oh no, it sure is not.  Sometimes today I still ask God why I wasn’t “GOOD ENOUGH” to be a mom – and apparently all my friends from school were.  I know that isn’t really how it works, but it sure feels like it is the way it works sometimes.  It feels like a punishment, to be honest.

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The proverbial lightning struck me…  ZAP – you’ll never be a mother, a grandmother, or a great-grandmother…  etc.   BOOM!  I felt done and I isolated myself on purpose from grandparents everywhere.  It was too painful to be around the fortunate ones.  Does anyone understand this?  If it really was a REAP and SOW type of deal, wouldn’t a lot more women be in this situation?  Jus’ sayin’…

imagesl0sp8xt1As awful as it was to experience disappointment x 5, I cannot even imagine the pain of a woman who has given birth and that child is stillborn.  I can’t fathom the pain.  I’m so very sorry to all who have gone through that.imagesy75lazb9

People say loss is loss…  not true.  I never met my children, so I suspect my life got back to “normal” much more quickly.  I know they are in Heaven being spoiled rotten by their grandparents.  I have a lot of hugs and kisses to give when I get there.  I’ll be very busy for a long time.  But I know they’re okay – so I’m going to be okay too.  I will.  God is good all the time.images-41

I’m not mad at God anymore.  That’s a losing battle anyway.  I got tired of feeling angry at my Creator for something I simply don’t understand and never will.  It stings to see all the grandma pictures on facebook – I won’t lie.  But it’s simply not God’s plan for me, I guess.

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1 in 4 women experience the loss of a child.  This month, let a grieving mom know that she’s loved.  Let her know that God’s sent angels to surround and protect her.  Remind her that God still loves her and is not punishing her even though I’ll bet a few still feel as though it is a punishment.  It’s not.  It’s really not.images-43

As strange as it sounds, it makes me feel better to know that my kids are with their grandparents – but especially that they are with Jesus.  We’ve all seen the sweet artist renditions of Jesus with the little children.  He loved them the best because they are the most innocent humans.  He loves them because they have not learned how to lie or steal or do bad things yet.  They speak only truth and although sometimes the truth they speak can be hurtful (I know, I taught Sunday School)…  they mean what they say and they won’t sugar-coat it.  That’s why Jesus loves them, and that’s why I respect them so much.images-44

We’re supposed to be training them up – but I think there’s a great deal we as adults could learn from them, don’t you?  🙂  images-45

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  – 1 Peter 5:7

Be sensitive to other women.  You may not have all the facts about the path they walk.  Don’t be so quick to judge them or dismiss them.  A childless woman has moments of jealousy because she wants what you take for granted.  When that happens, try to overlook it, but the best thing you can do is just pray for her.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I believe the book of James is probably the most difficult book in the Bible to read – not because the words are difficult to pronounce, and there are not any weird names to learn.  It’s difficult because it hits us right in the heart and mind.  The words are so clear – there is no room for misinterpretation, is there?  We get warm fuzzies when we read the book of Psalms, and we feel accomplished after we read through all the begets in some books – but James.  I read it and all I can say is…  OUCH!

The good news is, Jesus paid the price for all our sins long ago, and when I break God’s law (even the stuff found in the book of James), I have the privilege to ask almighty God through His Son, Jesus, to forgive me for my sins.  But I’m nobody special because the same opportunity is available to all who have accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

A LEAF IS A LEAF IS A LEAF (from Week 27 of “Coffee with Jesus”)

From a small bud

Grows a leaf.

It could be big.

It could be small.

It could be red, green or yellow.

But no matter what color,

Shape, or size it may be,

It is called a leaf.

 

It is the same with sin.

Whether it’s my sin,

Your sin,

Or the sin of a brother,

It is called sin.

We shouldn’t look at another

And think our sin isn’t as big;

Our sin is still our sin.

It is our wrong.  It is our debt.

It is our sin.

There is no sin too small

That doesn’t need confessed.

And there is no sin too big

That God can’t wash away.

 

Author Lucinda Berry Hill

www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

There is not a sin worse than any other sin, although as humans we are tempted to say that one is worse than another.  The Ten Commandments are all equal and they all apply to us.  It’s easy to think of one as more or less significant, but in God’s eyes, they are really all the same.  And here’s a newsflash…  it’s not my job to keep track of your sins.  I know that may come as a shock – but nope…  really, I have enough on my plate just keeping up with my own transgressions.

When I offer to share my faith, it’s not because I think I’ve somehow “arrived” and you need to catch up with me (oh pleeeeeze)…  not even close.  I just want everyone to know Christ as their personal Savior and make heaven their home one day – that’s all.

Dear Lord, I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. You did what I could not do for myself, and in humility I accept Your gift of grace. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

As we’ve discussed in the past, nothing in this world is going to fill that place in your heart except the love of Christ – that hunger in your heart, or HEART HUNGER can only be filled by Him.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”  If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a law-breaker.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!  – James 2:8–13

Today’s reminder is for all of us to show more MERCY and less JUDGMENT.  I need it, you need it, and I know with God’s help through Christ Jesus, we can do this.  When we show mercy to others, God is pleased and we sparkle and shine for Him!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I got dogged for writing about HALLOWEEN yesterday.  I was called a sympathizer for the devil, uncommitted to Christ and a false witness for God.  Well, say what you will of me – but I was raised in an age of innocence when going door to door saying TRICK-OR-TREAT was a wholesome, albeit calorie laden activity.  I was not raised to have anything to do with darkness, I assure you.  When I was a kid – it was all about the candy, homemade popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  THAT’S ALL it was about.  Now…  can we move on because boy do I have a testimony FOR THE LORD that will give the devil a BIG BLACK EYE!

You know I’m diabetic.  I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve been a type 2 diabetic since 1994.  I’m all too familiar with the dreaded HIGH blood sugar, but hardly have a LOW.  Yesterday, however, I was battling low blood sugar!  Since I’m diabetic, we chose not to buy any Halloween candy because we don’t have that many children in our neighborhood who actually Trick-or-Treat door to door.  They get together and go to the mall.

So I’m thinking, “Oh great!  I could legally have a candy bar – and we don’t have any!”  I try to keep glucose tabs in the house or gel, but I didn’t have either one.  Everything in our house is diabetic-friendly.  We don’t even keep a smidge of sugar here.

I hate low blood sugar – I can’t think straight and I feel as though my insides are just going to fall apart – some of you can relate.  I drank a little buttermilk and ate a piece of bread.  Usually bread or a carbohydrate will raise it up.  It just was not working.

Then I did something really radical…  I PRAYED.  Don’t laugh…  but I asked God for a candy bar.

I want you to know that God can use ANYTHING and ANYONE to provide.  He used the fact that it was Halloween to help me out of a real bind.  There are little girls across the street (we call them our angels).  They occasionally bring nice little gifts to our door – ring the doorbell – and RUN away!  It’s so cute!

I’m not joking – about 2 minutes after I sincerely asked God to help me out – the doorbell rang.  We opened the door, and there was a bucket full of snack-size Milky Way bars.  Attached to the bucket handle was a mylar balloon with a happy face on it!  A sweet card was stuck in the side of the bucket.  Our angels came through!

So…  for those who think my post yesterday was somehow evil – you know what?  You don’t really know me, do you?  Isn’t it amazing in this day of faceless, impersonal cyber communication, we feel we have the right to completely judge a person for sharing a few precious Halloween memories from a bygone era???  Really???  Well, shame on you!

When I was a child – I enjoyed the day, the candy, the popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  I refuse to apologize for the post.  I won’t.  God’s Holy Spirit has not checked me about the choice – and He won’t because He understands the MOTIVE behind what I wrote.  All you see is a kid in a costume.  I see myself and my dad having so much fun with my mom’s make-up and jewelry – trying to look like clowns!  Shame on anyone who would wag their finger at me for sharing childhood innocent fun!

I love the Lord with everything in me.  I intend to serve Him in any capacity I can no matter what circumstances I find myself in.  I wanted to share this special example of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS and HIS PROVISION in my life.  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

MATTHEW 10:26 ON 10/26

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But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.  – Matthew 10:26

This is the time of year when some folks gather with family and friends at the Field of Screams, a corn field turned spooky field.  I’ve not been there myself and will never go – I’ll just take their word for it.  When I was younger I had my share of spook houses and even helped put a few of them together for younger kids.  That sort of fear is all in good fun and we know that it won’t last – it will most assuredly pass and our lives will go back to normal.

When we are afraid of those who threaten us, it has the potential to be paralyzing – it can literally hold us back from accomplishing anything.  I have to confess that I am afraid that Hillary Clinton will be elected president.  I fear that she will make my quality of life drop to an all-time low that I’ve never known before.  I have to confess that fear to God every day and ask Him to take it from me.  God’s Word tells us not to be afraid of those who threaten us.  If I let that feeling creep in, I have to stop and confess it again – and hand it over to God.

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Does it bother you that she thinks she is above the law – and that folks think too much is being made of the email scandal?  It really bugs me!  And Benghazi is a real DISGRACE.  The families of those 4 men killed deserve answers – real answers.  It won’t bring their loved ones back – but that’s not the point.  Her response of WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE just made my blood boil.  So…  when she messes up we’re just supposed to say OH WELL and go on?

Then there are those who say BEFORE YOU JUDGE, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PERFECT.  Well – that’s not the point either.  She broke the law – and she will get away with it because she is above the law.  She thinks so and everyone else thinks so too!

Then we read on… everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.  We have to believe that even if American law fails to deliver justice, God will not. 

Hillary just does not pass the sniff test…  she just keeps getting away with things that are clearly illegal.  The Clinton’s just get away with anything – ANYTHING.  Then there’s that arrogance that goes along with it…  grr…  but – I have to hand it over to God.  His court is not fooled.  🙂

 

JOHN 9:25 ON 9/25

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He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  – John 9:25

I was recently called a hater – again.  Have you ever felt completely exhausted because you have been so misunderstood?  For the billionth time, whether someone else is a sinner, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!

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All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject Him.  So much of the negative stuff in our lives is self-inflicted.  What if we would ask God to help us before we just jump in with both feet – huh?  I’m talking to myself too.  But judgment – nah – that’s not what it’s about.  It’s about obedience to God – but if we don’t talk to Him about things, how do we know how to be obedient?

VICTORY WITH MY JESUS

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.  If you were blind and accidentally discovered that smearing sour cream on your eyes would restore your sight, would you keep that miracle to yourself?  I’m betting you’d shout it all over the place!  I would.

On a spiritual level, I’ve learned that through prayer and Bible study, our lives can be brighter and better.  I don’t want to keep that miracle to myself.  I just want to share it with anyone who will hear me.  That’s what we do when we witness.  It’s not about me saying I’m better – it’s about me saying I was once at the bottom, but when I accepted Christ Jesus into my heart and life and began to learn more about Him and His love, I was raised up from the pit and set on a solid rock to live my life in victory!

I want to share that…  of course I want to share it!  We’re all making life’s journey with different backgrounds and different challenges.  The good news (the gospel) is all about Jesus.  It’s Him and His sacrifice on Calvary which bridged the relationship between God and man.  Restoration.  Like refinishing an old piece of furniture.  I was the worst looking piece of furniture in the junk heap.  When I accepted Christ – He refinished me – restored me.

The laws are God’s, not mine.  Sin is still sin – and the Bible is still God’s Word.  This liberal upside down world does make me crazy sometimes.  When it makes me too crazy, I have to back up, breathe; close my eyes and ask God to give me the patience that He has with me.  Truth from God’s Word is hard to handle if you know you are so far away from it in your life and lifestyle.  May God bless His own as they minister.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  – John Quincy Adams

In a nutshell, God and His laws are how we measure our lives – and that’s a very high standard indeed.  So high, in fact, that nobody can achieve it.  He wants the best for us, which is why there are laws.  He wants to protect us.  God forgives sin through the blood of Jesus when we sincerely seek forgiveness.  As we depend on Him more and more, He helps us stay away from things that would cause us harm.  When we sin, He is quick to forgive our sins.  And – this is the part I LOVE about Jesus…  He NEVER brings it back up to us again – but the enemy will – like really often.  But – we can tell him to sit on a tack in Christ Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

There are two kinds of men who never amount to much – those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.  – Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Remember that you are not a robot and should not be afraid to show initiative in life.  Don’t be scared to step out and take action, but continue to be obedient to the Lord.  God wants all of us to GO AND SIN NO MORE.  God’s Word – His desire for us.  We all need God’s wonderful love, forgiveness and a lot of mercy, for sure!  🙂

 

HEBREWS 7:26 ON 7/26

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For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  – Hebrews 7:26

As Christians, we must strive to pattern our lives after our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is so far above us in His manner, His thinking, His wisdom.  He is sinless and holy and perfect!  He has no addictions or any sinful inclination.  He dwells in us! 

He is harmless and free from all transgression.  There is no deceit in his mouth and no false motives.  He is undefiled.  He is the one we look to and keep close to us to help us be better.

Purity is not a trait that comes naturally to humans.  We need help.  Christ is our help when we face temptations and His Holy Spirit helps us when we fall.  When we ask God, in Jesus’ name, to forgive our sins, He sets us back on our feet and tells us to go and sin no more.

When we face trials and suffering in life, He walks beside us.  When we come to the end of the road, He will be there to cross over with us, hand in Hand.  His precious, nail-pierced Hand will not let go.

I used to fear judgment day.  Then I heard the most wonderful explanation from a good friend and pastor.  He said, “When your name is called on judgment day, you point to Christ and say the name Jesus.  On that day, God will not see you, He will see Jesus in you.”  I will point and say, “That’s Him.  That’s my Savior.” 

He will be with me here and He will stand beside me through the judgment.  He is exalted above the heavens because He alone is worthy of my praise.

No matter who the president is, Jesus Christ is KING!  🙂