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.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Something special happens in Kansas in April… it rains – buckets!  I love the rain, but could easily live without the severe weather alerts.  What if I knew there was a big green cloud coming toward my house and it was definitely going to hail.  Would it make sense to get my car out of the garage and drive somewhere?  Um…  no!  That would probably be the dumbest thing I could do, wouldn’t it?  If you see a big green cloud on the horizon – you leave the car in the garage and ride the storm out – hail and all.

How many people read this portion of Scripture without taking God’s words to heart, following His commands, or even trying to take steps to live the abundant life God wants them to live?  They back the car out and drive straight toward the big green hail cloud.  Seriously?  I shake my head in disbelief when I hear them ask why things aren’t working out.  Common horse sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden.  God wants us to have sound judgment in life, based on His principles.

When I was a kid and for whatever reason made a mistake more than one time, my dad used to say, “Buy ya books, and buy ya books…”  In other words – I didn’t learn the first time – or the second time – and he hopes that I’ll read the instructions or the directions before I mess up yet again.  God wants us to read the instructions – the basic instructions before leaving earth…  the B.I.B.L.E.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say that there’s no instruction manual on how to live life.  What do people think the Bible is?  What do they think it was written for – or who it was written for?  Our loving Heavenly Father gave us an outline – a guide – a map to follow.  Yes, the path is narrow, but we have the best Guide ever!  God left us His Holy Spirit when Jesus ascended into Heaven – He didn’t just leave us to muddle our way through life.

I also hear people say there is not an instruction manual for parents – well…  again, I’d say God’s Word is helpful in parenting.  There’s not a part of life that the Bible will not help us navigate successfully.  We have to want God’s help and guidance though – God did not make robots, but human beings with free will.  It must be our choice to seek His will for our lives.

When you walk through puddles while it’s raining, will you put rain gear on – or just get your street clothes soaking wet?  Inviting God’s Holy Spirit to help us is like adding protection to your life so it won’t get wet and fall apart.  He can renew and restore faith and is more than willing to hear every prayer we whisper – long ones, short ones – and those two-syllable prayers that go something like this:  HELP ME!  We’ve all said that one.

We read our Father’s basic instructions before leaving earth…  and we know He has a wonderful plan for us if we will trust Him with our lives.  Commit God’s Word to memory so that you know it and don’t forget it or turn away from it.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)POSITIVE PLAN #3 for me is to listen carefully to others before I speak.  It’s the highest form of respect to hear others – not just sort of listen and immediately begin to speak.  We all want to be heard, especially by friends and family.  Would I be writing a blog if I didn’t want to be heard?  Well…  probably not.

To speak and to speak well are two things.  A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.  – Ben Jonson

Miscommunications can be avoided and hurt feelings are not as likely to be an issue if the people interacting are actually hearing one another before they speak.  I want to show more respect for my family and friends this year.  This is also helpful advice for those in the workplace.  We have relationships with employers, co-workers, vendors and the all important clients and patrons.  If we have good relationships with one another, regardless of the circumstance, it has a direct impact on the bottom line.

LISTEN BEFORE YOU SPEAKMost of us have a tendency to think of what we want to say while someone is trying to talk to us.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do that, but if you can focus more on listening to their contribution to the conversation and less on how you are going to respond, it would be a better idea.

Here’s a reason to listen intently…  you may actually LEARN something!  Yeah – it’s true.  What a concept!

I’m not suggesting that we ignore what’s being said to us on purpose.  I think it’s human nature to think ahead about what we’re going to say in response.  We don’t want to say anything that will sound stupid, so we scrutinize our response to ourselves to make sure it sounds reasonable and logical.

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.  – Doug Larson

Listening on purpose doesn’t happen naturally, rather it’s a learned behavior.  Fortunately, with God’s help we can re-train our automatic method of communicating and make it more effective.  Great bosses are good listeners and a pleasure to work with and for because those employees feel they are heard and understood; more to the point, employees believe the boss takes a genuine interest in what interests them.  It’s an all around good relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 1-7 IS SELF-UNIVERSITY WEEK

TL SEPTEMBER 1-7 IS SELF UNIVERSITY WEEK

Writers have a never-ending bent toward curiosity.  The most interesting part of writing is the research involved.  Hours of digging, as though part of an anthropology excursion!  By the time we’re finished, we hope we’ve made the world a better place and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Learning does not only happen within the walls of schools and universities.  We all know you can’t believe every word you read on the internet, but if we use trusted sources, we can relay information that is usually spot-on.

Click image to enlarge

If you have not darkened the door of a university for decades, that’s no excuse to stop learning.  Life itself is all about learning, and to stop that process is to cause premature mental decline.

Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go.  – Unknown

What can we do to maintain mental sharpness?  Keep learning!

  1. Learn a new word every day, then use it in three sentences.  If you watch The O’Reily Factor on Fox, you know that at the end of his show, Bill shares a new word with his audience.  I have a popular online dictionary in my favorites, along with a rhyming dictionary.
  2. Read something besides a magazine article once in a while.  I’m not knocking Reader’s Digest, but once in a while you need to open a real book.  I recently re-visited Henry David Thoreau’s writings.  Walden holds a special place in my heart, as you know.
  3. Driving is time wasted unless you have something to engage your brain.  I find audio books to be a good companion if I’m driving alone.
  4. We are a society of entertainment-seekers!  What happened to watching informative television?  Are we afraid we may learn something?  Oh, that would be horrible!  I like Fox News and Fox Business.  I find those programs to be fair and balanced.  Some consider them to be fake – not real news.  Well, that’s what the left would have you believe.  The truth hurts, as they say.
  5. Our local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle, has a section called The Opinion Line.  I enjoy writing letters to them, just to see if anything gets published in the paper.  It’s a good way to hone my writing skills and share my opinions on important issues.  http://www.kansas.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/  If it was a phone number, it would be on speed-dial.  Jus’ sayin’…
  6. I like to facebook or tweet with like-minded people about current events.  It’s especially neat when I find famous people who think the same way I do.  Hey, if you are famous and hold to a conservative, right-wing political view – like me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/linda.palmer.399041 or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/makemelaughnow1   I look forward to chatting with you!
  7. The newsgroups I follow on twitter and facebook are right-leaning.  It’s a quick and easy way to stay up to speed on what’s going on in the world and in the country.
  8. Since the 2016 election is around the corner (okay, we have a way to go yet), go to You Tube and find all of the Republican candidates’ speeches from the Iowa State Fair.  They all spoke – and they are on You Tube.  Listen closely to what each one says and let it sink in – and then pray about who you want to see as president.
  9. Sign up for a seminar or workshop.  Make sure it’s something that interests you.  If it isn’t, you’ll regret spending the time and the money on it.
  10. In the workplace, we sometimes get caught up in a routine.  We enter the office building and walk straight to our little world – our safe little cubicle or office.  Make a point to wander beyond your comfort zone.  Go to another department and have a conversation with someone you’ve seen around but have never actually spoken with.  It’s amazing what you may learn.
  11. Here’s a challenge for you:  Take ten photographs that represent who you are.  Take ten photographs that best symbolize your dreams for the future.  Make an album of these photos on facebook and share with your friends!
  12. Remember back in school when we had to write essays?  We chose one subject and just researched the heck out of it – then wrote an A+ paper?  That was my favorite thing to do back then, and I still want to write those essays today!
  13. Choose two prominent figures – one living and one dead (for example, rapper Kanye West and Mozart).  Find out as much as you can about their family lives and accomplishments.  Write a paper comparing and contrasting the two.
  14. It’s easy to ignore the library because it seems easier to research everything from the comfort of my own home.  This week I think I’ll venture out and go to the library and maybe a bookstore.  I may go to a section I’ve not gone to before.  Learning something new is the idea this week.
  15. Is there a lecture you could attend this week?  If it is something that interests you, take advantage of the opportunity.  If it’s not something that interests you, take a chance and go anyway because you might walk away surprised that you learned something new.
  16. The last movie I watched with subtitles was The Passion of the Christ.  Funny story – I didn’t know I’d have to read subtitles, so walked into the movie theatre without my glasses.  I often watch movies without them, and just assumed it would be fine.  My friend was so kind to whisper the subtitles in my ear, with the occasional comment such as, “I can’t believe you didn’t know you’d have to read subtitles!” 
  17. Go to Goodreads or a similar website and from there compile a list of books you will read during the harsh winter months.
  18. Make a list of the most inspiring books you’ve ever read, then share the list on facebook with your friends.
  19. Reread a book.  You’ll find something you missed the first time.
  20. Is there a book club in your area?  No?  Start one.
  21. Nothing is more fun than ghost writing.  Write an article for someone, using their name, for their company, institution or community organization.  Post the article on ezine articles.  Most people will pay for that kind of writing.  There is minimal research (the one you’re writing for will fill you in on specs), and you will get paid for your writing.  That’s something that blog writing does not do – pay.  😦
  22. Wichita has a wonderful art museum.  If you have one near you, visit it and choose your favorite piece.  Research it and write about how it makes you feel and why it is your favorite.
  23. Train or teach.  A sure way to learn more about something is to teach it to someone else.  Whether it’s Sunday School or piano – share your knowledge with someone.  Most folks are willing to pay for that as well – so that’s a good thing.  It may be time for you to learn how to play the piano.  Hmm…
  24. As I get older, I tend to have a sort of “Who the heck moved my cheese?” mentality.  I don’t adjust to change very well.  This week, I’m determined to practice the tutorials for a new piece of computer software.  May the force be with me…  :-/
  25. Part of the reason I write a blog is to document some of my precious memories.  I don’t want to forget my past, my loving parents, my roots or my faith.  Take a moment (okay it’ll take longer than that), to write a brief summary of your life.  You may discover the inner blogger or book writer!
  26. Update your résumé.  Even if you don’t think you’ll need it…  keep it updated.
  27. Do a computer search on a subject that interests you.  For example…  PIANO, or MUSIC.
  28. I took a creative writing course in college and was challenged to write my obituary.  Talk about a smack in the face!  There’s nothing like that to make you reassess your life and how you’re living it.  What goals do you want others to remember that you met?  How do you want to be remembered?
  29. I wrote articles for the high school paper.  Part of good journalism is asking the right questions.  I decided to visit a local nursing home and ask some of the residents about the major lessons they have learned from life.  We should listen to their answers – it could save us from learning lessons the hard way.
  30. Read important American documents with the anticipation of learning something new.  The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution still have much to teach America.
  31. Volunteer your time – somewhere – anywhere.  Find an interesting person or persons to spark your imagination in writing.
  32. Turn off the television, radio and internet for an hour a day.  Just think, journal, meditate and pray.  Let God’s Holy Spirit speak to you and inspire your writing.
  33. Write about the greatest errors and accomplishments of the twentieth century.  How can these lessons make life better in the twenty-first century?
  34. If you are in management, read a book about the health risks of your workers (carpal tunnel, obesity, etc.).  If you are a worker, read about the challenges that those in management face.  We need to understand one another.
  35. Memorize a piece of music, a poem or a passage of Scripture.  Hide God’s Word in your heart – and other things too.

Learning can be FUN!  The goal is to learn something new everyday!  See you again on the 8th of September.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

The LORD is never a disappointment!  His counsel is concise and clear.  His love is perfect and He is patient and kind.

WHEN YOU LIFT MY SPIRIT

Have you ever paid a large sum of money to attend a conference with the hope of coming away a more enlightened (maybe even smarter) individual?  I see you nodding in agreement.  Now, how many times have you gone to the seminar and been given an exercise in futility?  Oh, you’re still nodding!

We’ve all been there.  We have our notebooks, booklets and intend to soak up every bit of knowledge we possibly can.  We leave the building with more questions than answers and a notebook full of doodles we could have drawn while watching a daytime drama on television.

Isn’t it frustrating to pay money for something and receive nothing?  It’s especially bad when you’re in a forum that discourages questions from the peanut gallery.  You feel as though you just have to sit there and keep listening to the fingernails scratching the chalkboard.

Several years ago, I was at a lecture by a brilliant speaker, Nido Qubein, who said, “If you’re in the presence of a true expert, you will understand everything they say.  If you don’t understand what someone is saying, they are not an expert.”  Often when we don’t understand what someone who is claiming to be an expert is saying, we tend to blame ourselves.  Now my filters are simple.  I cut people off if they don’t make sense.  – Julie Morgenstern

Honestly, sometimes you are better off using google – or at least not any worse off.  Who are these so-called “experts” that seem to speak fluent confusioneese?  It seems to me if a person is a true expert in their field, they should be equipped and informed enough to break the information down into palatable bites for those of us who are anxious and have the desire to learn.

A student is not supposed to know more than the teacher.  With that basic fact in mind, teachers should be prepared to present lessons in easy to understand, simple language with illustrations for those of us who tend to learn visually (pointing to myself).  Wink!  😉

WORLD UKELELE DAY

TL 2-2 WORLD UKULELE DAY

2-2 THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A UKEToday is WORLD UKULELE DAY!!!  Like many of my generation, I think of the great Tiny Tim when I think of a ukulele.  It’s so wrong when a man can sing two octaves above where I can…  anyway…

You can change the world by playing your ukulele and teaching others to play.  How about learning “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”???  Grab your uke and let’s learn!

When I was very young in the mid 1960’s, an older lady in our church played the ukulele and shared special music once in a while.  Have you ever heard a gospel song played on a ukulele?  It leaves a lasting impression, that’s for sure.  Actually, when she played “In the Garden” or “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” it really was quite beautiful.  Sometimes the simple and familiar hymns are what God’s Holy Spirit can speak through best.  I remember saying the words in my mind as she played the tune.

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.  – Leopold Stokowski

The little mini-guitar became a symbol for the folks in Hawaii.  It was introduced there in 1879 by a group of Portuguese immigrants from Madeira.  The original name in Portuguese is the “braguinha”.  Aren’t you glad we don’t have to call it that?  The Hawaiians renamed it the ukulele, referring to the “jumping flea” as suggested by the jumping motion of the hands playing the instrument.  It was not introduced in the mainland until 1915, first being featured at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  Later the ukulele became popular in the U.K, Japan and from there around the world.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  – Berthold Auerbach

What do you get when you combine the most unassuming instrument known to man with the most powerful theme song ever???  Well, you get something like this – and it is really pretty good!  Kudos to the Brits!  The theme from “Shaft” performed by the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra.

If you own a ukulele, today is the day to play it and share your knowledge with others.  Change the world 4 strings at a time.

If you’d like more information about the ukulele, check out Ukulele Movement’s website.  http://ukulelemovement.com/

 The ukulele is a little bundle of joy that will guarantee happiness!  – Ukulele Movement

I’m a pianist, but have a great deal of respect for those who use their fingers to press on strings.  I tried to play the guitar, but I soon discovered my short fingers did not want to make all the chords and as my fingertips became more calloused, I completely lost interest.  Nobody warned me it would be that painful.  🙂

KID INVENTOR’S DAY

TL 1-17 KID INVENTOR'S DAY

 

1-17 IT TAKES A KID

We joke around about how it takes a kid to open a child-proof cap on a bottle of pills, but kids are really talented little beings – especially the ones born into technology!  They amaze me!

Today is KID INVENTOR’S DAY!!!  We old folks tip our collective hats to the younger and more technologically savvy in the world.  What inventions have kids come up with?  Well, I wondered about that too.  Here are just a few examples of what kids have invented.

  • Snow Mobile
  • Toy Truck
  • Crayon Holders
  • Magnetic Locker Wallpaper
  • Trampoline
  • Superman
  • Waterskiing
  • Television
  • Popsicle
  • Earmuffs
  • Braille
  • Calculator

Children are the most valuable asset we have.  Their imaginations run wild with creative thinking and if they are properly encouraged, the sky is the limit to what they can accomplish.  I suppose it’s because they are not yet saddled down with the responsibilities that adults have.  They are still free to explore and learn, compose and extract and experiment to their heart’s content.

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.  – Author Unknown

There are many more inventions that are not listed here.  Every day the patent office receives applications for new inventions from young people.

It’s one thing to invent and have all the pieces available – but it’s quite another to invent when you have to scrape and scrounge around for parts you need!  That is wonderful and shows great ingenuity to be sure!

 Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  – Rabindranath Tagore

If you have a child or grandchild, today is the day to encourage him / her to be inventive and creative.  Ask if there is something in particular they would like to improve or change.  If it seems like something unimportant to you, don’t let on.  Just be there to support the dream.  The final result may surprise you.

Inventors come up with solutions to life’s little inconveniences.  Back when I was in school we decorated our lockers with a lot of scotch tape.  Today there is magnetic wallpaper just for lockers!  Man, why didn’t I think of that?  Wink!  😉