A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We have inexpressible JOY…  you know what the world is asking right now???  They’re asking, “How???  Why???”.  Those who do not accept Christ Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives, do not understand inexpressible joy.  It’s only by accepting Christ Jesus by faith into your heart and life that you can experience a joy that can not be explained.  It’s better felt than telt…  because I can’t explain it with words.  Words are not adequate – but true faith in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus is how we experience His amazing joy, love, grace, and mercy.  And He rewards us with these things because He longs to have a relationship with His creation.  He wants to love us and for our love and faithfulness in return.  Sometimes our faith gets tested…  major big time!

You know about the fires in California, right?  Take a look at this photograph – everything around it is in ashes, but this cross still stands!  What a wonderful reminder that no matter what is being destroyed in our lives, Christ and His cross can never be destroyed if they are in your heart and life!  When I saw this picture, my eyes filled with tears and once again I prayed for the folks there whose homes are being destroyed.  May they have the joy of the Lord along with His strength and wisdom through this situation.  I pray God will bless them with everything they need – and I pray that God will bless with some wants as well.

We don’t follow a list of rules and get zapped by lightning if we step out-of-bounds.  We are obedient to God because we love Him and are so thankful for the horrific sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took the sins of the world – past, present, future – on His shoulders!  We are saved from an eternity in hell.  There is a reason we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  As the years go by and we see His marvelous works in our lives, we just love and trust Him more and more!  This is how we get the inexpressible, undeniable, precious JOY of the Lord.  What does the joy of the Lord do for us?  Why do we cherish it so much?  Well, a verse comes to mind:

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  – Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  It sounds like a GOOD thing to me – doesn’t it sound like a GOOD thing to you?  No matter what is going on in your life, the Savior of your soul can be trusted to make a way and provide answers.  The way and the answers may not be in your time, but believe me when I say, there will come a time when you look back and say, “Oh, now I understand God’s timing in that situation!”  That’s why the longer you trust God, the stronger your faith gets.  You’ve seen so many ways God has helped you in the past – so you know without a doubt that He has all the problems in the present and the ones coming in the future under control.

I’m assured that whatever comes along in my life, God and His precious Holy Spirit will pour out His love, peace and joy on me.  When we are fully trusting in the Lord, it’s not a superficial happiness that we’re given, but it’s joy that lasts in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  That’s why it’s called inexpressible – and to the world, I would go further and say they think it doesn’t exist.  Ah…  but if you know the Lord, you know better!

I want to show you a photo of JOY!!!  This is Madi, and I hope her middle name is Joy, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t..  If I ever get to meet her, she will be JOY to me!  She’s such a bright, shiny star and lights up any room!

I’VE GOT THE JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY DOWN IN MY HEART! DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Have faith, children of God.  Keep praying and keep showing the world the joy that God gives you to share.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s not news to anyone that stress is everywhere.  If this is news to you, let me know.  Being anxious is a reaction to stressful situations – and often times anxiety is paired with depression – which is the worst feeling in the world.  Some people choose to take medication for this not so dynamic duo – but I choose to pray – and I pray so much…  long prayers, short prayers, mega short prayers.  I pray.  It doesn’t make me better than anyone else and it doesn’t mean that my faith is bigger than anyone else’s – believe me!  It’s just the way I choose to cope.  I cope and God gives me HOPE.

God’s Word tells us not to be anxious about anything.  Let’s be honest…  we do get anxious and depressed sometimes.  Just because we’re Christians does not mean we’re not human.  Putting our faith and trust in God is not a magic fix that keeps us more calm than anyone else – but the faith and trust we put in God is a way of showing the Lord that we believe HE will make a way no matter what.

In my 56 years on the planet I’ve learned two things:

  1. Prayer works and changes things.  It does make me less anxious and less depressed without harmful side effects.
  2. God in His perfect time is never early – I wish He would be sometimes because I tend to be a little more anxious as time passes without the answer being revealed; however, as I keep praying and trusting God and His right on time way of working, I know that things will work out and often times it is literally what I would call the last minute.  What I’m saying is that God is never early…  but He is NEVER LATE!

He will guard our hearts and minds and give us HIS peace that transcends all understanding IF we will trust Him and pray about every situation that crops up in life.  I’ve found that to be true.

Prayer and petition…  give it to God in prayer and in return He will guard your heart and mind.  He will bless you with peace in place of anxiety and depression.  It sounds like a very good trade to me.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

The goal of John’s ministry was to urge folks to turn from their sins and accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.  He preached baptism – the washing away of sin with water.  He emphasized the importance of complete repentance of sins.  The baptism with water is just the outward sign of an inward work and the renewal of the heart.  The inward work, of course, is done by the Lord and not through anything we do.  That is not to say our good deeds do not count or matter – they most definitely do – but in God’s eyes, it’s WHY we do those good deeds that matter most.  Our heart’s intentions are important.  Motive.  It’s about our motive.  What motivates us?  If we are in love with the Lord – His love for us and our desire to share His love through good deeds will surely be our motivation.

If we are not really holy in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and His church is meaningless.  You can fool people, but you can’t fool God.  If we are to plant seeds of kindness and compassion, we must determine to meet some needs that other people have.  The two go hand in hand – it just makes sense.

A wise pastor once said, “If you don’t meet a person’s immediate need, you have absolutely no business trying to plant a gospel seed.”  We have to feed, clothe, cry with, listen to – before we can even think about introducing the wonderful good news – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you have nothing to give, you can say prayers for those in need.  Remember, God sees your heart, your motive, and intentions.

Kindness really does count.  It matters what we share and that we care.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL DAY OF GIVING #GivingTuesday

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In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  – Acts 20:35

All you have to do is watch television…  any channel – choose one, to see the faces and hear the voices of people in need.  Charities are taking to the airwaves like never before, keeping their cause near and dear to our thoughts and hearts.  These days it’s not just human beings, but animals too.  I love animals (and humans most of the time), but how do we know which charities are best to contribute to?

Charitable giving is what this day is all about.  On the heels of Thanksgiving, when we are thankful for our many blessings – and on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when we save a ton of money on things, the idea is to give back today.  That savings you realized, you could choose to bless someone, whether 2-legged or 4-legged, with the money you saved.

We all tend to support the causes that are closest to our hearts – and that’s only natural.  I support causes in my mother’s honor and ones that she would find important.  I can’t tell you what charities to support any more than you can tell me – but if you are in doubt about whether your dollars are being used wisely, I have a suggestion.  Pray about it.  I believe if we ask God what is best, He will guide us.

Also, click on this link:

https://www.charities.org/charities?gclid=Cj0KEQiAperBBRDfuMf72sr56fIBEiQAPFXszTdIkCQTJGxbaV3p1f3WjCcA6Q1oQNDcE96jHDn4D9MaAoLB8P8HAQ

This is a charity search engine that will let you know if an organization is legitimate.  A generous soul does not have to be a blind one – or a dumb one.  It’s sad to think there may be bogus charities out there, but they do exist.  People do desperate things to get money!

Maybe today you would rather take the opportunity to give on a more personal level.  Do you know someone who could use a visit, phone call or card?  Has God brought someone to mind that you need to tend to?  Before you get too busy – stop what you’re doing and make that visit, phone call or send that card!  God will bless you for making the effort.

What sort of gifts could you consider giving?

  • Does somebody need to be warm?  Give the gift of a coat, mittens or a scarf.
  • Does somebody need food in their pantry?  Give the gift of a fruit basket, box of nuts or a gift card for the local grocery store.
  • Does somebody need gas in their car to get to work?  Give the gift of a prepaid card for that.
  • Does somebody need to be heard?  Give the gift of a listening ear with a closed mouth.
  • Does somebody need help paying for medication?  Give the gift of support by going with them to the pharmacy and helping them pay for it.  Some medication is literally life-saving.
  • Does somebody need a hug?  Give the gift of a hug – at least 3 seconds.  I read somewhere that a hug has to be at least 3 seconds long to be effective.
  • Does somebody need God’s Word?  Give the gift of a new Bible – or even a gently used one.  At one time a local antique store in our city sold Bibles for a dollar.  They looked brand new.  That’s where I got award Bibles for Sunday School promotions.  Our local Dollar General has Precious Moments children’s Bibles for less than $10.
  • Does somebody need prayed for?  Well, isn’t that a silly question?  We ALL need prayers.  If we can’t afford anything monetarily, we can sure afford to send up some prayers for those who cross our path and those God lays on our heart to pray for.  And don’t forget to tell the person you’re praying for them.  It always encourages my spirit to know when someone lifts me up in prayer.

#GivingTuesday

Is it silly to pray for those people and animals in advertisements for charities?  No, I don’t think it’s silly.  Even though they don’t have a clue who I am, I know they have a need, and I know that God can meet that need.  So I pray for the 2-legged and the 4-legged ones who need help.  give

I can’t give money to every one of them, but my prayers are certainly with them.  I would add; however, that prayers are not tax-deductible.  Not yet.  🙂

 

 

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDThis Christmas we are all thinking of the tragic terrorist acts that have come to American soil.  It’s not something that will stop us from celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is a reason to lay our needs and wants at the feet of God, in Jesus Name.

So today, let’s prepare the way of the Lord by praying for the country we love and care for so much!TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASThese six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.   – Proverbs 6:16-19

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer-ServeProtect2-640x366Prayer-Nation2-640x366Prayer-NAIN2-640x366Prayer-ALL2-640x366We have so many needs to pray for.  God promised to heal our wicked land if we will humble ourselves and pray.  It’s an important part of preparing for Christmas – so let’s humbly bow before God in prayer today.

FROM CHRISTMAS TO FOREVER, IMMANUELIsn’t it sad that we want God to bless America, yet we don’t respect or value His precepts and His laws?  We want a scientist to come up with a cure for a disease, yet what if he / she was aborted and not given the opportunity to live, grow and develop the talent given by his / her Maker that would allow that cure to come to be.  I mean, think about it…

Thou shalt not kill is not a suggestion.  None of the Ten Commandments are suggestions – they are laws.  To break them is to sin.  Sin needs to be forgiven by God.  Keep praying for our sinful nation.  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDonate to a local charity.  What a wonderful way to help out during the Christmas season.  Our local Disabled American Veteran thrift store has a shopping cart beside the front door.  It’s convenient to drop off a donation, and I try to give at Christmas time especially because so many folks do their Christmas shopping there.  Having choices is always a good thing – right?

Everyone has a particular charity they give to.  We have several local charities but there are also the more well-known ones such as The JDRF and The American Cancer Society.  There are so many needs, aren’t there?  Needs for research and unfortunately that takes a lot of money.  I can’t give to all of them, but just like everyone else, I do what I can afford to do.

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Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  It seems like every time you turn the TV on, you see an advertisement for a new charity.  I think we just have to pray and ask God to show us what to do.  Once in a while there are opportunities to volunteer with organizations.  Giving to charitable organizations does not always hit your pocketbook.  Sometimes it takes a little of your precious time.  I can’t speak for everyone, but often I have more time than money.

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Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Mary would have said NO – ???  I can’t imagine a humble servant of God doing that, but what if she would have?  Her obedience, considering her young age, tells me that she was well grounded in her faith.  When it comes to decision-making in our own lives, we’d be wise to learn to ponder things over more than we do.  Who to help and where to give – these are important decisions because not every charity is using your dollars the way you would want them to.  Get to know the charity you want to help before you give.

You may need a little nudge to donate your time to sing…  but it makes others smile.  This is what I’m talkin’ about…

https://youtu.be/wBnf0md-8Iw

Helping others is one of the greatest blessings God gives us.  When you give of yourself, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, you feel as though you are making another person’s life better.  In turn, your life gets better.  Don’t you love how God’s plan works in each of us?  Some need help – others need to help.  All needs are met.  🙂

 

MATTHEW 6:25 ON 6/25

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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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  – Matthew 6:25-26

We live in a world that seems quite focused on food, drink and fashion, don’t we?  It’s easy to become anxious about these things because they represent immediate needs – well – when it comes to fashion clothing – let’s get real – that’s more of a want.

The older I get, the less I stress out about superficial things – especially fashion clothing.  Frankly, at this stage in my life, I can’t tell you what the newest fashions are.  It’s great to get to the point in your life when you know what you’re comfortable wearing – and you don’t really care what anyone else thinks.

Stress and anxiety in life will happen.  It’s what we do with it that makes a difference.  If we as Christians can just remember to hand that concern over to God through Christ, trusting that He will take care of us, we will be so much better off in the long run.

The Bible tells us that God cares about the little sparrow – and if He cares about them, how much more does He care about us?

Know today that God will provide every need you have.  No, He may not do it the way you would, but that’s why He’s the all-knowing God and you’re not.  😉

We all have needs every day and God knows what they are and He will provide.  Yes, sometimes the needs all seem to crop up at the same time, but that’s when we need to keep trusting God to help us.  He cares about us – He really does!  🙂