A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.  We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.  There are may in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.  The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality.  There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”  – Mother Teresa, (A Simple Path:  Mother Teresa)

If the love of the Lord reigns supreme in our lives…  it can’t help but show in our lives and flow in our attitudes and actions.  Is His love perfected in you?  Only Christ can love perfectly, as we know – but making it a priority to love like He does is important.

The other day I heard my husband knocking on our front door with a sense of urgency.  I was confused because the door was obviously unlocked, so why was he asking me to let him in?  I grabbed the door knob and pulled…  to no avail.  The door was stuck!  No matter what I did, the door would not open.  Once he came in the house through the garage door, he started working on the door with graphite.

Just as the graphite fixed the front door so it would work properly again…  God’s love perfected in our hearts, minds and lives is what shows a lost and dying world the Savior – and that the love they desperately seek in all the wrong places can be found – in Christ.  As Mother Teresa reminds us…  people are lonely, desperate and feel hopeless much of the time.

If we stay connected with God in the way we should – and make an effort to connect with others with the graphite that is God’s perfect love…  what a difference we can make in this hungry world.  Without that graphite, the door of your heart can get stuck and the world doesn’t see the love of God in you.  As Christians, we need to show folks where love – real love – God’s love – His eternal hope, peace, and presence – can be found… at the foot of the cross.

We all have a heart hunger – and some look for the love they need in the wrong places.  I won’t review all the ways people seek love in this world…  but there is a cross-shaped hole in every heart, and that place can only be filled with this one piece of the puzzle.  The cross-shaped piece, shown to the world by one who shares with His perfect love.

The cross of Christ reminds us that Jesus showed perfect love to all of us.  His perfect love in our hearts and minds is what helps us to show true compassion for one another.  Instead of hammering a brother or sister, try expressing your point of view with love and kindness.  My mom used to say you get more flies with honey…  that’s not from the Bible – well, it’s not a direct quote from there anyway – but it’s a good precept to keep in mind.  🙂

 

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PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

Click image to enlarge

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

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

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS

TL 3-10 THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS

3-10 GOD'S AWESOME PLANWhy is THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS on March 10th?  Well, because it is Chuck Norris’ birthday (happy birthday!), and is a tribute to the awesomeness of the myth of Chuck Norris.  So when you think about how awesome you will be today, think of that myth.  Perform some awesome deeds and kick some butt.

 We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation.  – François VI de la Rochefoucault

The concept was apparently conceived back in 2007 by a group of co-workers while working on a project.  I’m guessing they got a little bored with the project and needed some diversion.  Hey, it happens.

 Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.   – Aesop

Maybe today is the day you discover your superpower.  Some people can make this statement: “I’m left-handed, what’s your superpower?”  My dad used to say that – but me – no, I’m right-handed, darn it.

 Every character has an inward spring; let Christ be that spring.  Every action has a keynote; let Christ be that note, to which your whole life is attuned.   – Henry Drummond

If you are a child of God, you are automatically awesome!  Awesome Christians can walk into a room and make everyone feel better!  They are like a happy ball of sunshine – except they are the first to tell you – it is SONSHINE.  Christ is our source of AWESOMENESS!

The creators of this day invite us to perform feats of awesomeness.  So, what feats of awesomeness will you perform today?  You may be thinking it has to be something big and filled with fanfare, but I think it can be as simple as visiting with someone who may be very lonely and not have anyone to talk to.

THE VALUE OF LIFE

Maybe today, on Chuck Norris’ birthday, you can visit a widow or widower.  Sadly, our society puts its elderly away and forgets them.

Head over to caregiverstress.com and laugh until tears run down your legs!  Just click on EXPERTS & BLOGS and laugh with Mary Maxwell.  She is a HOOT!  Her dead-pan delivery will crack you up, I promise!  Mary is my definition of AWESOME!

Be awesome and visit an elderly person today.  There is nothing worse in life than to be left alone when you had at one time been used to companionship.  Losing a spouse in death is the most devastating situation in life.  Loneliness can be overwhelming.  And who knows, those elderly people might teach you a new dance step or two!  Uh-huh…

 

I think Chuck Norris would approve of us using our day (his birthday) to uplift the most forgotten generation.  Awesome does not have to mean loud.  Our God is an Awesome God – and He spoke the universe into being.  He didn’t shout it into existence.  🙂

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

TL 9-10 WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

9-10 TIMING

Today is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY.  Christians are not immune from the feelings that everyone has.  We do have a friend to lean on – Jesus.  There are circumstances that seem overwhelming for all of us and everyone, even Christians, face challenges.  Jesus loves us so much.  Did you know He prays to the Father for us?  That’s huge!

Even though I’ve been a Christian for over 40 years, there are still some rough patches in life.  I can look back on those times and see how the Lord guided me through to the other side.  I don’t see how things will work out, but my Savior is already there and He knows how it will all resolve.

If you are considering ending your life, let me tell you – God sees your struggle and if you will pray to Him, He will help you through your situation, believe me!  God’s timing is not our timing.  His timing is perfect –  and we need to have faith and trust Him with our lives.  We are not our own, but belong to God.  It needs to be His decision to end our lives, not ours.

Every life is precious to God – yours and mine are no exception.  If you need a friend today, please send me a friend request on facebook!  Don’t go this life alone – please.  Life is tough enough, but to cut yourself off from civilization is not the answer.  Friend me – I’m a good listener.

I had dreams for my life too – they didn’t work out like I planned, but life is worth fighting for!  Believe today that God has a plan for your life and trust Him to use it for His glory.  Our Father knows the desires of your heart – and mine.  He knows what we want, but more importantly, He knows what we need.

I pray that we will learn to listen more closely to His prompting as we go through life.  Sometimes we just have to exercise our faith until we finally get through the dark passages and see the light of a new day.  I am in the palm of God’s mighty hand – and so are you.  ❤

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

WHILE IT IS STILL CALLED TODAY
Remember the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” – ??? Well, the same principle applies to people. We have a tendency to look at those that have nice things and think that they don’t need for any THING, so apparently they don’t need people in their life either. To quote my dear daddy, “People mean more than things.”

Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.   – Bill Bradley

Sometimes when people hold so tightly to objects, it’s an effort to find value in themselves. They think they have value because they own this or that. Most of us realize that stuff may have some value, but it does not define who we are as a person. Don’t dismiss people based on what they have or don’t have. A person could live in a mansion, but that does not mean they are happy there. If a person seems “rich” to you, look more closely. Maybe they are poor and lonely, hiding behind the gates of their mansion.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer

Of course, that’s not to say that the Holy Spirit of God goes away – that will never happen. I think everyone just goes through times when we feel a little encouragement would be nice. I can think of specific times when God has made it clear that He wants me to pursue someone for a friend. I’m not always obedient to His prompting, but there are many rewards when I am. God has allowed some wonderful people to cross my path.

Love people. Someone could be lonely and need your friendship.

LEFT HANDER’S DAY

TL 8-13 LEFT HANDER'S DAY

Money can’t buy happiness, love, smiles or laughter! – Linda Palmer

I’m sure when my parents adopted me in 1961 they had their share of mixed feelings about it. On one hand excitement of welcoming a new person into their lives. On the other hand the worries about finances and possible clashes in personality and so forth.

All morning I’ve tried to think of the perfect way to describe my parents to you. I’ve prayed and stewed over it, but I would describe these two as the easiest people in the world to live with! Not a day passed that was not filled with joy – happiness, love, smiles and laughter! We had it all – every day!

There were no hassles and no real fights. We just lived and loved and enjoyed life together. I really was a happy little girl. I miss them every day but in my writing I hope to keep them alive in my mind. Those memories and remembering the values they instilled in me are what bring a smile to my face today.

Today is LEFT HANDER’S DAY – but I know it as Southpaw Day. There are many famous southpaws in the world, but I do have a favorite. My dad was left-handed. He had such a great talent for art and used that talent in his construction work. I’ll let you in on a little secret though – my most fond memory of my dad’s talent is when he drew cartoons for me. Unfortunately I do not have them anymore (kicking myself) but once in a while I’d say, “Daddy, draw me some cartoons.” He drew the Peanuts characters as well as Schulz and if you saw his drawings of Popeye you’d think Sagendorf himself had drawn them! He could also draw any of the Looney Tunes just as well as Hugh Harman.  Hmm…  wonder if any of them were southpaws…

I miss you daddy – but I’m okay. It makes me happy to know you’re okay too – you’re with Jesus.

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (11)

Thank you, Lucinda Berry Hill, for this wonderful poem about my candy dish! ❤

During the grieving process, the senses surprise us at the strangest times.

When I was a kid, my mama had a red moon & stars candy dish. It was an anniversary gift from my daddy one year. Mama and I used to take a taxi to the Rexall drug store. She let me pick out a pound of candy for her dish from the Brach candy stand. I chose the candy very carefully (when you are little these are life and death decisions ). You know, some candy weighs more than others and you want just as many pieces as you can get in the sack because it doesn’t take very long to add up to a pound! Once I finally got the candy selected and weighed, we took it home and put it in her moon and stars candy dish.

It was a house rule that nobody got candy until after dinner. Once in a while I decided to risk breaking that rule. Rules were made to be broken, after all. I used to sneak into the dining room and try to lift the lid on the candy dish just as carefully and quietly as possible. No matter how careful I was, that dish made such a racket! It rang throughout the house! It was close to impossible to make a clean getaway!!! Sometimes I think mama heard the lid ringing but just chose to ignore it.

As mama got older she developed arthritis in her wrists and had a hard time hanging on to things with a firm grip. Well, one day she was dusting and somehow the lid to the candy dish got broken. She called me at work to let me know what happened and I could tell she was upset by it. To be honest it upset me a bit too because I thought of the happy memories associated with the candy dish.

When I got home that evening I told my husband about mom’s accident. He asked if she broke both the dish and the lid and I said, “No, I think it was just the lid.” He said, “I’ll tell you what – we’ll look around at some antique stores and try to get her a new one.” I thought that was a fine idea.

Well, we searched high and low for a red moon and stars candy dish. We found blue, green, clear, brown. No red. Oh – we did see a red one but it was not on the long pedestal. I knew if we were going to replace that candy dish it needed to be just like the old one. The search went on until…

One day close to Christmas time we were at an antique store and I heard a very familiar sound and my ears perked up!!! It was the sound of someone trying to put the lid back on a moon and stars candy dish!!! That is without a doubt the most distinct sound I’ve ever heard in my life. I followed the sound – racing and praying with every step – “Oh Lord please let it be a red one – let it be a RED one!!!”

By the time I got to the booth, the person who was looking at the candy dish had left. I thought, “Oh no, they took the dish with them!” I was still praying as I frantically looked around. There it was… and you will not believe this… it was RED!!!

I wanted to hear that sound just one more time before I took it up to the front desk. I lifted the lid and listened to the old familiar ring… suddenly I was six years old again, for just a second. We gave mama the candy dish for Christmas that year! It made her smile – and when she smiled, it made me smile! Since my daddy’s death some years before, smiles were few and far between. I was very glad that I could make mama smile!

Don’t let anyone tell you that your memories are silly – or that they don’t count – or that they don’t matter. They do – and they always will.

Mama is gone now. I still have that candy dish in my home. I never keep candy in it, but just between you and me, I still walk over and lift the lid and lower it just so I can be six years old again, for just a second! ❤