A SUMMER OF PSALMS

The “T” is allowed in the word COMMIT.  The “T” is allowed in the word TRUST.  The “T” is most definitely not allowed on the end of the word CAN.

We need to remember that there’s a right way and a wrong way to proceed.  When we charge off and try to be successful on our own without God’s help, that’s the wrong way to get where we’re going.  Giving the plan to God is key and makes everything so much easier for us.  We are nothing without Him and we can do nothing without His help.  In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him – only then will He work on our behalf, making our path straight and opening doors that would otherwise stay shut.

We know that it takes just a little faith to get going.  We’re told that it takes faith the size of a mustard seed.  When I was a teenager, I wore a necklace that had a mustard seed inside a glass case.  It was so tiny and lightweight, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Isn’t sign language beautiful?  The main point of this Psalm is that God wants the very best for us, but He wants us to keep Him in the loop, so to speak.  He wants to be a part of our decision-making process every step of the way.  Anything we do that is not within His will and His word – it’s not good and it’s not right.  We need to do things His way according to His will.

Do we always do that?  No – speaking for myself, I’ve not.  Those are painful lessons in life – but we learn the lesson (hopefully just once), and we ask the Lord’s forgiveness and then we get up and try again and with His help, we do better.  Grab on to your mustard seed-size faith and try again!  The second part of this passage says HE WILL HELP YOU.  Will you trust God to help you find victory in your life?

Is there a lasting victory for you?  Sure there is!  Our Lord is loving and merciful and kind and strong!  He wants the very best for you and wants to help you in every aspect of your life.  You CAN because He’s going to help you!  Just share everything you do, or plan to do, with Him!  Always give HIM the glory for the successes in your life!  

Remember to pray before you plan.  Make sure what you plan to do is God’s best for you, and His will for your life (as far as you can tell).  Keep reading your Bible and pray because you want to do things God’s way.  🙂

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Traditionally, we observe these events in the life of Christ on Passion Week:  His triumphal entry, His last supper, His death, burial and resurrection.  What is Easter all about?  We serve a RISEN SAVIOR!  God raised Christ from the dead on the 3rd day – and He sits at God’s right hand.  There’s something else that happened before Christ ascended to Heaven…  He left us the greatest gift – His Holy Spirit – the comforter and our guide through this crazy life.

The Holy Spirit of God is filled with goodness and wisdom.  God wants us to be kind and quick to forgive one another.  It’s only with His help that we can do these things.

We are loved by God – and are to be loving and kind to one another.  As we rely on God’s Holy Spirit to help us, we can accomplish so much as we plant seeds along the way.  It’s so nice to make friends with like-minded believers, knowing that no matter what, you can go back to the fact that you both have God’s Holy Spirit and can work anything out as you rely on Him for guidance and direction.

It’s nearly impossible to talk about God’s Holy Spirit without mentioning the fruits of His Spirit:

Does that mean that we will be perfect?  Um…  nope.  Does it mean that we can love perfectly?  Well, as we live by God’s precepts that certainly could and should happen.  If we will lean fully on God’s Holy Spirit, we can have some beautiful attitudes and be a blessing to others.  We want the fruits of the Spirit to be clear in our lives.  God’s more than happy to reveal to us how that can happen.

If you could imagine a pyramid in your mind – sort of like the food pyramid (which seems to be changing with every diet that comes along).  The good thing about this pyramid is that it never changes.

God’s Holy Spirit is at the TOP of the pyramid.  No surprise there.  At the other two corners are you and another person – any person you come in contact with.  God’s Spirit gives love, comfort, power, peace, wisdom and the ability to control things like temper.  Because He’s given us these things, we are able to share them with others in our lives, with evidence of the fruits showing through in the process.

Remember that the Lord did not leave us here as orphans to figure out how to live.  He has everything we need to live an abundant life…  if we’ll just ask Him to help us.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  – 1 Corinthians 3:7

I’m the first to admit that winter is not my favorite season.  Some of my friends think it’s the bees knees, but no – not me.  I’m simply tickled to see spring peeking around the corner, although here in Kansas we had a remarkably mild winter.  I’m not complaining! 

There’s nothing like that first time in the garden in spring!  Gardening just makes one feel so close to nature and more alive somehow, doesn’t it?  This portion of Scripture is not talking about literal gardening though – it’s talking about spiritual gardening.

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Who’s doing the planting?  All of us, as God’s children, need to be scattering “seed” – that is, sharing our faith, at every given opportunity.  It seems when I hear the word WITNESSING, my knees begin to buckle – but if I’m told to share my faith – that’s really more natural and makes me more comfortable.  Just tell your story – that’s about it.  I was blind – but now I see.  That is scattering seed.  It’s not complicated – but so often we make it so.

Once seed is planted…  who waters them?  Well, God sends the right people along to do that.  It could be any of us, really.  Again, watering seed is like sowing it – you just keep sharing your faith and be there to answer questions, read Scripture, and pray with folks.  Sometimes you share and get a door slammed in your face.  That’s okay because you did what you’re supposed to do.  If someone’s not ready, you’ve still planted a seed.  I might add, this is a big reason we should do our best to avoid being a stumbling block to those who are still on the fence.  We have to be so careful – we don’t want anything we say or do to be the reason someone does not come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.  I don’t have to remind you what God said about those who are stumbling blocks, do I?  No – that’s for another blog post.grow

Do we make the seeds grow?  NO WAY!  I can’t save anyone – this blog can’t save anyone.  Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ…  that can save everyone!!!  I pray it does.  How different our interactions with one another would be if we were all more kind, gracious, and sweet.  It would be so beautiful if every seed would flourish.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …   – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today is the 63rd day of the year.  Can you believe how quickly this year is going?  Wasn’t it just yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s Day?  Did you make resolutions?  How are they going?  Maybe you just want to go to sleep.  Yes…  that sounds nice, doesn’t it?

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This portion of Scripture reminds us that there is a season and a purpose for everything that happens in life.  It’s not really about the day you’re born or the day you die, but it is about the time in-between.  That dash on the tombstone really speaks volumes.

How do you spend your time, or more to the point, who do you spend it with?  People are here for each other and spending time with another person is never a waste of your time.

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We were put here to be a source of encouragement and support for one another.  I think it makes God smile when we are kind and loving – even when we’re funny.  Does God have a sense of humor?  Hmm…  well, I think He does!  How would we recognize a sense of humor if He had not instilled it in us?

Today’s post is to remind us (yes, me too) – we have 302 more days left in 2017, and we need to be more mindful of how we manage our time and who we spend time with – and how uplifting we are for others.  You’re welcome!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)

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Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  – Psalm 27:14
Wow…  WAIT???  Huh, that brings to mind my favorite word – PATIENCE.  Ugh…  sets my teeth on edge.  I’m not big on patience and I don’t like to wait for anything.  Does anyone like to wait?  We don’t have to wait for much these days.  I mean, we can shop in our jammies, so…  seriously – we’ve gotten to the point where it’s pretty much instant whatever you want.  And when I say shop in our jammies, I’m not talking about the new socially acceptable dress code at the local Walmart.  I’m referring to online shopping in the privacy of my own  home.
We’re not only to wait, but we are to be STRONG and TAKE HEART and wait.  That sounds like multi-tasking to me.  Isn’t it good enough to just wait?  Must I be strong while I wait – and take heart?  Sigh – I have to have a good attitude and wait.  This may be too much to ask of me.  Does God have a reason for the specificity in this passage?  Yes – because if we wait but have a bad attitude, we will most likely miss the big picture.  Waiting and being strong and taking heart…  will assure that we will be better people as we look back.  Once we receive what we are waiting for from God…  and if we’ve had the right attitude – faith increases and that translates into more confidence in what GOD can do in our lives!
Sometimes the strength within you is not a big firey flame for all to see; it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘You got this.  Keep going.’  – Linda Lou
That inner strength is God’s Holy Spirit.  He’s the One who encourages us as we wait for His best blessings in our lives.  A strong heart that gives and shows love to others and prays, expecting God’s best with a good attitude…  it’s what I want for 2017!
If you had to choose an animal that is strong and loving – what animal would it be?  I’d have to say it’s a DOG.  So I guess one of my goals this year is to be more like a dog.  Yep.  Pretty much.  Patient, strong, loving and loyal.  I always want God’s Holy Spirit with me, helping me every day.  🙂

LUKE 10:27 ON 10/27

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He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  – Luke 10:27

All means all – not just whatever part of your heart, soul and strength happens to be leftover after you’ve loved everything else that competes for your affection.  It’s so easy to love the things down here, isn’t it?  They are things we can see with our eyes and feel with our hands and sometimes smell a pleasant aroma.  We all have the struggle – at some time or another.  It’s a struggle to love God more than the people, places or things that surround us.  God is a jealous God and He wants all our heart, soul and strength.

share-a-smile-and-the-wayWe love God wholeheartedly by loving each other.  It’s so cool how that works, isn’t it?  We treat each other with mutual respect and with true love – an agape’ love that shows the love of Christ.

I met a sales person today at JC Penney that helped me above and beyond the call of duty.  She was not only doing her job, but I knew that she had a genuine concern for me as a person.  Maybe she could detect my frustration with the process of purchasing drapes – I don’t know.  It really can be frustrating when you need an economical solution for odd-sized windows.  I didn’t want to have to buy custom-made curtains.  Rich, I ain’t.

Between a couple of phone calls, she gave me her undivided attention.  She was patient and soft-spoken, which gave me hope that a low-cost solution could be found.  She was doing her job, yes – but she chose to do it with an extra dose of Christian love.  We all need to love God with everything in us and love people with the love that God gives us in return.

By the time my shopping excursion was over, we were laughing and chatting about all sorts of things!  The best news of all…  she helped me solve my drapery need for an odd sized window for under $20 including tax.  I was so very pleased.  I think I even jumped up and down – but I definitely gave her a big hug and thanked her.  I said, “God bless you” and that’s when I knew without a doubt that she and I serve the same Master.  How cool is that?

I wanted to invite her to my house for tea.  🙂