A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-48ecclesiastes-3-10-12 What God-given tasks are done every day?  Do you know a doctor or a nurse?  Certainly, what they do is very important to their patients – and praise God, He gave them the intelligence to take good care of sick people!  Do you know a clown?  What a unique gift to be given by God – the ability to make others forget their problems for just a little while – and make them laugh.  The list goes on and on…  do you know a pastor?  I couldn’t be a pastor – pastor’s are definitely called by God.  They are special people and are much more patient than me.

We call our jobs vocations or careers – but in reality, we choose to do what the Lord has given us to do – that’s why we enjoy what we do.  I’ve had jobs in my lifetime – and believe me, they were jobs – just a way to make a little extra money.  Now that I’m retired and writing…  I am so much more happy because this is what God wants me to do.  I don’t get paid – but payment comes in different forms.  Money really isn’t everything – we just need it to buy things.

It’s a wonderful feeling to submit to God’s will in your life and have a sense of accomplishment in the bargain.  Success isn’t always wrapped around a dollar amount.  Sometimes it comes in the form of encouragement or a simple “Amen” in the comments of your blog.  Bloggers need encouragement like everyone else.

Does the task you perform to make a living also make God smile?  If you’re just doing a job to make a little extra money, I want to encourage you to re-think the way you spend your time.  Is there more you want to do with your life?  I remember thinking that the time I spent sitting in a cubicle at the office was time I was never going to get back.  I decided my time is worth more to me than the money they paid me to spend it there.

Speaking of tasks…  with some help from my friends, Lucinda Berry HIll and Marian Poppy Ballestero – there will be a very special blog post on April 9th, Palm Sunday.  Please pray for this project, for I hope it is the first of many.  I won’t spoil the surprise – you’ll just have to wait.

To rejoice in the goodness of God and do good in life is what it’s all about.  I want to do tasks that use my God-given gifts, don’t you?  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

If treasure is defined as money, then your heart (attitudes & actions) will be focused on making money.  Have you defined your treasure?  I think I’ve always pretty much assumed that treasure referred to money in this passage of Scripture, but now I realize it is not necessarily so…  what if your treasure was…  fast food???  What if your treasure was…  your child or another member of your family you hold dear?  ❤

No, stay with me here…  treasure is defined as:

noun:

1.  wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
2.  wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.

3.  any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

This book was his chief treasure.
verb (used with object):  treasured, treasuring.
4.  to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5.  to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
6.  to put away for security or future use, as money.
It is not sinful to treasure precious memories with loved ones – I want to make that clear; however, if that overshadows your relationship with God, it’s sin.  Anything that takes up more of your energy than the things of God…  it’s coming between you and the Lord and the priority needs to change.  Our God is a jealous God and always wants to be in first place.  Our hearts are to trust and delight in Him.  ❤
the-purse
Define your treasure.  All sorts of interests and activities can possibly become more of a treasure in our lives than they should be.  Ask God to “check” you about it.  I can’t tell you what you’re putting in first place, but I sure do know Who can.  Wherever your treasure is (and it’s different for every person) – there will your heart (attitudes & actions) be.  ❤
Jesus loved everyone, but His ultimate treasure was His Father, God.  He knew from whence came His power, His glory, His everything – just as we as God’s children do.  ❤
Don’t assume that treasure refers to money.  Treasure is anything that holds a special place in your heart.  You can’t separate your treasure from your heart because there is such passion associated with the treasure in your life.  Maybe your treasure is money – but let me remind you that money, while a necessary evil in this world…  will mean nothing in the afterlife.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Make sure your treasure stays tempered with the stark facts of reality.  Only what is done for Christ will last – those things will follow you into Heaven.  Chew on that for a while.  ❤

 

 

 

NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

TL 8-17 NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

GOD'S THRIFT SHOP

Before we take a look at my thrift shop “finds” for this year, I want to remind you to watch for specials at the thrift shops in your area.  I look forward to this day so I can see what items have been reduced in price even more at my neighborhood Goodwill – yay!

It’s sometimes a matter of seeing items reinvented in your mind…  find something old and inexpensive – then take it home and have some fun.  Take a look at this transformation!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=433981.0#axzz357dKDcsN

I’m not artistic at all, so I’d have to depend on templates, but this is something that anyone with imagination could do.

What else can be repurposed from the thrift shop?  Let’s find out.

My big thing at the thrift shop is vintage clothing.  So let’s take a look at some cute finds:

I think she looks GREAT!  Why not look this great without paying retail prices?

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. – Luke 12:23

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  – Matthew 6:25

When I saw that gray sweater she wore, I thought of my mother’s sweater – the one I keep close to me.  It used to have the scent of her cologne, but it’s faded through the years.

I collect antique teapots and Longaberger baskets.  Do you know that once in a while I actually find these items at the thrift shop?  It’s not something that happens every day, but on occasion I do happen upon a Hall teapot or Longaberger basket.

Some people buy items at the thrift shop to sell for more money on eBay.  There are tons of videos about turning a profit that way, but for me the joy is in finding the bargain and enjoying the item in my home.

I hope you find that special something you are looking for today at the thrift shop!  🙂

 

 

 

JEREMIAH 6:16 ON 6/16

TL 6-16 JEREMIAH 6-16 ON 6-16

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’   – Jeremiah 6:16

If you travel much, you probably do a little planning ahead of time.  A few weeks before we head out, I see my husband studying his big Rand-McNally map.  The prophet says that the Lord wants us to ask where the good way is and walk in it.  It just makes common sense to choose a good way.  I’m sure my husband is not looking at the cow paths that will take us where we need to go.  He’s mapping out a route using interstate highways and byways.YOUR WAYS

So many in the world today are saying they will not walk in that good way.  They are so wrapped up in their rights, they are overlooking the wonderful benefits that follow when they submit to the God of the universe through Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah brings us words from God Himself, yet we still don’t heed them.  How do we find rest for our souls apart from walking the good way provided by God?  We can’t.  We think we can.

Oh – maybe we can find it in making lots of money.  Yeah – that must be the way.  Have you ever met someone who won the lottery?  I have.

We were going to a little church in a small community near our city.  My husband and I took care of the flower garden in the spring and summer months.  One Saturday, we were working in the garden when we heard some people driving by and they were just honking and waving and being crazy.  We knew what they were thinking – they thought we were the couple that won the lottery – but we weren’t.  The guy who did the lawn for the church about a block away had just won the lottery!  The last I heard, he had to sell his house, move without leaving a forwarding address, as I understand it he ended up divorced and basically miserable, wishing he had never played the lotto.  I’m guessing that money doesn’t buy happiness or rest for the soul.

I’ve heard people say that they feel wonderful when they are eating yummy scrumptious food.  Hmm…  this is a path I’ve trod.  The food you eat tastes so good, I’m the first to admit it.  You chew for about 30 seconds, then swallow.  You swap 30 seconds of wonderful for a lifetime of weight (fat, let’s face it) on your body.  Eventually, eating and overeating will catch up with you.  As little as two pounds of extra weight on your knees can do a number on them and a knee replacement is needed.  Disease such as type 2 diabetes can result from being overweight.  I’m guessing food won’t bring rest to our souls.  It’s not even an effective way to deal with anxiety or fear.  Stress eating doesn’t take stress away – it just makes it worse.

How about working out and making our bodies look perfect?  Yeah – surely exercise would bring rest to our souls!  Yeah – let’s just go to the gym every day and become gym rats.  We can get really fit and spend hours looking at our own reflection in the mirror.  Well, yes that’s going to help get weight off and yes that will make our health and overall outlook on life better, but that’s not what brings rest to our souls.  God does want us to take care of our one and only body – but no, it’s still the wrong path to receive rest for our souls.

See where this is going?  People turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, and all sorts of addictive behavior to find satisfaction for the flesh and a way to escape the stresses of life – but it’s not going to give rest for the soul.  It’s only when we get on the right path – God’s path and His ways that we find peace, joy, Agape love (God’s kind of love), and yes, rest for our souls.  🙂

 

 

GOOD DEALS FOR TODAY

TL GOOD DEALS FOR TODAYIt’s TAX DAY 2016…  I know – don’t get too excited.

I’ve been surfing the deals for today and found a few businesses that would love to have you spend some of your tax refund with them.

  • Great American Cookies – Stop by participating locations and grab a free regular chocolate chip cookie — no purchase necessary.
  • Staples – You can shred 5-lbs. of documents for free for another year at Staples.
  • Schlotzsky’s – All locations will be offering a free small original sandwich with the purchase of chips and a drink today.
  • McDonald’s – Buy one get one free French fries.  Some locations have free small coffee.  Some locations have 18 cent Big Macs & Quarter Pounders when you buy one for regular price.
  • Hard Rock Cafe’ – Tonight you can SING FOR YOUR SUPPER!  Sing your favorite song on stage and get a free Legendary Burger!  All ages welcome.
  • Boston Market – Get a half chicken individual meal with two sides, a regular fountain drink, cornbread and a cookie for $10.40.  You know, 1040 – like the name of the dreaded form…  LOL!
  • Arby’s – Free curly fries.
  • Olive Garden – Comfort food – that’s what you need during tax week. Olive Garden will give you a free take home entree’ with an entree’ purchase (dine-in only).
  • Outback Steakhouse – Free Bloomin’ Onion – when you mention Bloomin to your server. I recommend calling ahead to make sure your location is participating.
  • Kona Ice – Giving away free tropical shaved ice.  The company’s trucks will be parked at post offices, tax preparation centers and businesses nationwide, handing out free cups of shaves ice and complimentary Hawaiian leis.  Their moto this year is NO TAXATION WITHOUT RELAXATION THIS TAX SEASON.
  • Sonny’s BBQ – Half price Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-rubbed Rib Dinner.
  • Sonic Drive-In – Half price single patty cheeseburger.

Hopefully there is something here that you can take advantage of today!  Saving money after paying taxes is as American as apple pie!  If I can help you do that, then my day has not been wasted.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

All I’ve heard lately is the amount of the latest LOTTO jackpot!  It’s more than my little mind can comprehend, to be honest.  I heard an interview with Robin Leach yesterday.  He said the winner of the jackpot should contact a financial advisor immediately – and make plans to move away from their current home to an undisclosed destination.

With wealth comes responsibility.  I know…  I know – you’re telling me you think you can handle it – or at least try.  But think about the repercussions that this degree of wealth would have – it’s nearly unfathomable!  Take heart in knowing that yes, that is a lot of money – but how much more are the gifts we receive from God.  He gives and gives…

GOOD GIFTS

The Bible tells us that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a wealthy man to enter heaven.  I think as long as I have the LORD, I am the most wealthy person!  I have a peace in my heart that nobody can take away!  If I had wealth, would I lean on God like I should?  I can’t say.  I hope the answer is yes, I would still trust God to lead me daily.  I hope dirty old money wouldn’t change me.  🙂

Actually, when I think of THE LOTTERY, my mind goes back to a very old piece of American literature.  In school, we were required to read a short story by Shirley Jackson by that name.  I won’t spoil the story in case you’ve not read it, but let’s just say it is filled with irony – and after all these years, the story is still quite vivid in my mind – it made a deep impression on me.

The Lottery was written in the month of its first publication in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker.  It was considered one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature.  In spite of that bit of praise, the story met with negative repercussions as subscribers to The New Yorker magazine started cancelling subscriptions after the story ran.  The story was actually banned in the Union of South Africa.

Whether you bought a lottery ticket or plan to read the story, I hope you will always remember to be contented and bloom where you’re planted.  That’s what God wants – for us to trust Him as we face the future.  God bless you today!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

THE ESTATE SALE

Estate sales are so much fun because, like a treasure hunt, you never know what you may find!  There may be a house filled with things that you are sure you can’t live without at bargain prices, or it might be full of things that you can easily walk away from and leave behind.

All decoration is about memories.  – Mrs. Henry Parish

The last estate sale we went to left quite an impression on me.  There is a housing development just south of ours that we laughingly refer to as “the high rent district” because the homes sell for over $500,000.00 and the HOA dues are about triple what ours are.  We’re talking about a very nice area!

Ah!  There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.  – Jane Austen

I was first impressed by the landscaping as we approached the beautiful front door.  Obviously these people did not do it themselves.  It was professionally done.  At the door there was an intercom.  I suppose that is to announce your arrival.  We walked in the door and the foyer was lovely with tile floors and textured walls.  I turned to the left and saw the master dining room, separated from the living room by two columns!  Yes, I said columns!  Do you have columns in your house?  Yeah, me neither.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.  – Johann von Goethe

I thought about removing my shoes, but as I looked at others, I realized that I should probably leave them on or look like an idiot walking around in sock feet while everyone else was wearing shoes.

A little house, a house of my own, out of the wind’s and rain’s way.  – Padrak colum

The sale was fairly ordinary actually…  it would seem that even wealthy people use items such as cotton balls and heating pads.  I must admit, however, that the massive stained-glass window in the oversized master bath took me aback!  The his and hers walk-in closets made me think of our own closet space – and our bi-fold doors.  To those of you who don’t know – having bi-fold doors on your closet means that there are items in your closet that are hidden forever because you will never be able to reach them!

An open home, and open heart.  Here grows a bountiful harvest.  – Judy Hand

Back to the estate sale…  yes, let’s go back to those lovely walk-in closets!  I could see each item of clothing and for a moment I just imagined what that must be like.  I think I could stay there and find out…  her clothing was all too small for me, which came as no surprise.  Most rich women are skinny.  It seems so unfair somehow, doesn’t it?  To have money and be thin…  that’s just almost too much good stuff for one woman!

I wondered through the five more than adequate sized bedrooms, the fireplace room and a few rooms that I don’t even know what they were – not sure they knew either.  The man had a very detailed train set in a train room in the basement – it was marvelous!  The woman did crafts and sewed as there were supplies and some quilts that I’m sure she made.

In the very back part of the basement, I saw it.  That is when reality slapped me upside the head – finally.  The heart pillow – you know, that heart pillow that they give folks who have open heart surgery.  I recognized it.  I knew immediately what it was and what it meant.

Surely people with wealth don’t have health problems, do they?  Are they really human like me?  And, this is an estate sale, so…  either they are downsizing or they no longer need this beautiful home for some other reason.  Suddenly my discontentment was replaced by empathy and sympathy.  There’s a reason these things were being sold and a reason the house was being auctioned.

Isn’t it strange how we can look at things more than people?  I admit it – I had house envy and was jealous of the nice closets and the size and beauty of the place.  When I saw that little heart pillow, something clicked inside of me – because I remember our experience with our own.  My mind went back and I finally put two and two together.  Reality came rushing back.

May God help us all to look beyond the temporal to the eternal.  That house will crumble and fall one day, but those people will live for eternity.  No matter what background we come from or how much education we have, one day we will be called away from this planet.  May God help us to stay focused on the things that really matter – and those are not things at all.  ❤