A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15 & 16

Have you ever noticed when someone is asked to give a testimony, they break out in a cold sweat?  Actually, I’m describing my dad – he had a very humble and private walk with the Lord.  He didn’t make a big deal out of it, and he never wanted to testify.  If he was put on the spot, beads of sweat formed on his forehead, not because he didn’t have a story, but because he didn’t like to speak in public.

I think it’s funny now, looking back…  my parents had me in front of the congregation playing the piano before I was in junior high school.  Would either of them done anything on the platform?  I doubt it – but there I was – and there I’d stay for several years.  I’m glad they pushed me though, because the experience I gained at a young age taught me many valuable lessons.  From my unique vantage point, I got to see a few things.  I remember thinking, “I want to be like that person” – or…  “I don’t want to have an attitude like that person.”  We all do that in our youth, but doing it while seated at the piano in choir practice was special somehow.

We are to have a story and be ready to share it when it’s time.  Have you ever heard someone testify and seem to be almost angry that others are not coming to the Lord and repenting of sin as they think they should?  Sometimes your testimony is less about the actual words you say, and more about the attitude behind the words you’re saying.

A gentle quiet spirit that exudes thanksgiving and gratitude makes a much better impression than beating your hand on the pulpit and screaming.  Nobody ever scared anybody to the Lord – well, except the movie A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.  I think the whole youth group went forward and confessed every little sin after that movie was over – even putting chewing gum under the pew.  No, I didn’t do that…  but I found some once.  Eeeewwww.  It was a pew in the back of the church – it didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out who did it.

Every one of us has a different vantage point in our walk with Christ.  We see things from different places.  I sat at the piano and watched as a tween – maybe you sat in the choir and observed – or in the back row.  Sometimes I wished I could have been a normal kid and sat in the back row – I envied them a little bit.  The point is, we all have a story of our walk – past and present.  The walk I have with Christ is so much deeper and richer today than it was when I was saved at thirteen.   That’s what the world needs to hear – and that’s the truth of it.

Sometimes a testimony is painful to share.  That’s when we rely on God’s help to give us the right words to say.  As we listen, it might hurt, but we rely on God’s help to give us compassionate hearts and minds as we hear their story.  Christ reaches down to all of us when we’re in a state of disarray – and that’s putting it mildly.  We’re unsaved and without hope without Him.

I’m reminded of an Andre’ Crouch song called I’VE GOT CONFIDENCE.  With God helping us every day, we can have confidence and assurance that things will be alright no matter what the case may be – !

Don’t be afraid to share your testimony, your story, your faith.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it, spiritually speaking!  LOL – well, you know what I mean.  I’ve got CONFIDENCE…  God is gonna see me through.  🙂

 

 

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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.

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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.  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (9)

https://youtu.be/kmFA65up32k

There are many misguided beliefs that this prayer is about material possessions. Newsflash – it’s not. It’s about people, not stuff. People matter more than stuff! When I pray this prayer it’s in the sincere hope that God will bring people into my life. Stuff doesn’t talk back – which in some cases is good, but most of the time – it’s just lonely.

Yesterday I got to see love in action – twice, in the same place! Most people take these things for granted, but if you have either an elderly person or a baby in your family – then you are blessed.

I was sitting at a quaint little Amish restaurant just a few miles West of Wichita in Yoder, Kansas. My husband had left our booth and since I was alone it gave me an opportunity to see and listen to the folks around me. When I looked to the left, I saw a very old and feeble woman seated at a table with someone who looked to be middle-aged. From the body language it seemed as though it was an elderly mother and her daughter. It made me think of the many times I took my mother out for meals. Some of our best conversations happened in a restaurant.

We arrived at the restaurant just after lunch time, so it was not crowded at all. This sweet pair of women had my undivided attention. I was just a distant observer, quietly taking mental notes and watching love at its best. Evidently the older woman was fighting sleep after eating her meal (hey – don’t we all?) – the younger woman said, “Oh – it’s not nap time already is it?” I had to chuckle at that remark. I always take an afternoon nap – unapologetically! I nap and I don’t care who knows it!

The women gathered their belongings – a tote bag and a few other odds and ends I could not make out. The younger woman patiently helped the older one get situated with her walker and they slowly and gingerly made their way out of the dining area.

I took another sip of water and thought back on the happy times my mama and I had. Then something else caught my attention. A baby’s cry – but not just an ordinary cry. It was a newborn baby crying! That’s a very distinctive sound indeed! There was a young couple with their newborn along with an older couple who I will assume were grandma and grandpa.

Babies just make everyone smile – and this one was no exception. I thought, “Oh yes, little one – wrap them all around your little pinky finger now!” Everyone was smiling and chit chatting away about the future. Everything revolves around this child’s future and everyone at the table has a purpose in their lives because of her.

If you feel alone and isolated today, I invite you to visit a restaurant and look to the left… look to the right. There is life outside your little world. Break out of your cocoon and fly like a butterfly into the world and get involved in someone else’s story. If your story seems dull and bleak, maybe it’s time to bring in more characters.