A Summer of Psalms

God will not deal with you the same way He deals with me.  Whatever is going on in your life, good or bad, the LORD will accomplish what concerns you.  You can have friends close by, go on a rant, beat on your desk and make a dozen whiny posts on facebook – but if you want something accomplished in your situation, you need to hit your knees and talk with your Shepherd.

I’m a sheep too – I have issues!  I’m raising my hand – I’m raising it really high!  I HAVE ISSUES!  I have concerns and people, I have some problems.  Even with all that baggage, I have a God who loves me and cares enough to not only hear my prayers but bring comfort and courage and build character in me as He helps me through my difficulties.  I can see the works of His hands along the pathway my life has taken.  I trust His answers to all the questions I have in life.

If I had a recording of my life and played it back, I could detect exact moments in that movie where I knew for a fact that Jesus intervened and helped me.  I’d take my little red laser pointer thing and circle certain parts of the movie and say, “I prayed for help in this situation, and God came through!”  Knowing the Lord makes my life richer and I place my total confidence is in Him.

His strength has made my soul undaunted.

I love that lyric in this song!  Not only do I love the Lord for helping me, but I love Him for being so patient and kind to me while I was going through some self-inflicted painful times.  We do bring some of our pain on ourselves by doing stupid sinful stuff.  In the beginning, I thought God was really angry at me after that and I could never be made “right” in His sight again; however, I eventually concluded that it was the enemy who wanted me to think that – and give up.  

Now, when I think back, I believe God was weeping for me during those times.  I had strayed so far away and I knew it but didn’t know how to find my way back home to God.  Once I stopped behaving so horribly, it was amazing how quickly it was put under the blood of Jesus and God forgave me!  I haven’t looked over my shoulder.  I keep moving forward, knowing that Jesus is my Lord and there’s no longer any known sin between my Lord and me.

If you have known sin in your life, it’s getting in the way of a relationship between you and God because you see, He’s perfect and cannot look upon any sins.  It’s His desire that you repent of your sins and ask Him to forgive you of them.  To repent just means to turn away from the sin and turn toward your loving Savior, Christ Jesus.  He will come into your heart and life and save you, just like He saved me.

To be saved means you will have a personal relationship with Him and live in Heaven with Him when you die.  You see, just being a good person in this life is not enough.  Your name must be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Only Jesus can save you, through the blood He shed on Calvary.  A Holy God won’t accept a sin-filled soul.  I hope and pray you will accept His pardon and trust Him to help you with your issues today.  🙂

 

 

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A SUMMER OF PSALMS

We used to sing that chorus every Sunday of the world!  I remember looking out at the congregation as we sang – and people were smiling!  It’s very difficult to sing that chorus and not feel joy!  Have you thanked God for this day?  Will you rejoice and be glad in it?

So, when a Sunday School teacher is late getting to church because her curling iron accidentally melted her hair clip and she had to find a replacement at the Dollar Tree on the way to church, and she feels all bummed and stressed out and knows she won’t have time to set her classroom up the way she planned to, does that mean she is not rejoicing and being glad?  Well…  yes.  Yes, it does.  And yes, that really happened.  You can’t make that up!

How about those times when you’re sitting in church service trying to concentrate on the sermon, but you keep thinking about all the paperwork that is waiting for you at work on Monday morning?  Oh, don’t tell me that’s never happened to you.

This verse does not tell us to dwell on anything that happened last week.  It doesn’t tell us to think about things that haven’t even happened yet – but will next week.  This verse is saying THIS is the day the LORD has made.  Today.  Now.  Present.  Live in this moment and rejoice in it.  Yesterday is over and tomorrow isn’t promised.  Leave all the rest of the days where they belong and rejoice.  Praise God because He inhabits our praise.  He delights in our praise.

We rejoice because of the blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation.  None of these things have anything to do with us, and everything to do with God.  He gives us His grace.  He is our peace.  He offers us pardon.  He is the root of righteousness.  He alone is the path to salvation.

This is the day the LORD has made.  Here.  Now.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Look in the mirror and know that you’re seeing salvation from the hand of God.  You have to feel joy when you realize that truth!  🙂

GALATIANS 2:20 ON 2/20

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I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.   – Galatians 2:20

The first step toward understanding the narrow path that we’re called to walk is understanding Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  In the 20th verse we read that there should be Christ-centered living.  Our Savior lives in us and we live by faith in Him because he loved us and gave His life for us.

Paul emphasizes how life with Christ is so much better than life under the law.  The law could not make men righteous before God, yet in Christ they were made righteous.  By dying to self and embracing Christ, clinging to Him rather than cold, empty law…  they were able to rise to a new spiritual life as they fixed their eyes upon the cross of Christ.

The “old man” – dies to self and the old sin nature – and is given a life of close and intimate communion with God through Christ Jesus.  Faith in self turns to faith in Him, His way, His peace and His love.  We rely fully on Him for pardon, righteousness, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation.

In Paul, the old law lost its power and ceased to influence him.  That means that he declared himself divorced from such things as the LOVE of money, the PRIDE of life and the DOMINION of hateful and evil passions.  These things that are so meaningful in the world around us, ceased to influence him – and were also crucified with Christ.

While we still live in these bodies of flesh, our spirits are renewed and recharged daily by the Lord.  We’re not given a pass from sufferings, grief or loss in life – but we know that our Lord is there to help us through them.  🙂

 

 

 

PARDON DAY

TL 9-8 PARDON DAY

On this day in 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing in the famous Watergate scandal. While a Presidential pardon is quite a big deal, an even more important and eternal pardon was made a very long time ago on a hill called Calvary by Christ Jesus.

The pardon offered to us by God’s own Son has eternal merit. It is not only offered to the rich and affluent, but it is offered to everyone regardless of race, background or social standing.

Christ paid the supreme sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. On this INTERNATIONAL PARDON DAY, won’t you accept the free gift given for you so long ago? As Christ forgave us, so we are to forgive each other.

If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to check your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you refuse to forgive (even if not asked to) it will take a toll on your attitude, life and eventually your very health and well-being. Research has proven that people who make a choice to give up resentment toward others live longer and have better cardiovascular and nervous systems. To harbor a bitter feeling against someone is to allow them to take up residence in your mind rent-free. Forgiveness is an act that brings happiness to those who give it. To release the negative emotions held inside is a gift you give yourself. The one you harbor bad feelings toward has moved on – you need to do the same.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

Today may be a good time to incorporate some “magic words” into your vocabulary. It’s great to hear someone say, “Excuse me” or “Pardon me” if they accidentally bump into you or run their shopping cart over your foot or something. Those simple words defuse anger and let you know the act was not done on purpose.

One misconception remains about extending a pardon. By no means do you have to fall back into the old trap you were in before with that person. Na na na na huh-uh! I’ve been guilty of it too. You forgive and then get back in the saddle, right? Then you end up having a similar problem. Sigh. I know. Sometimes you just have to cut the ties that strangle you.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – John F. Kennedy

Do everything in your power to pardon because Christ gave His all to pardon you. Trust me when I say it is not worth carrying a root of bitterness for one more day. Do what you have to do to rid yourself of it. You can write a letter, send an email, facebook message or call that person on the phone. Get it out and get over it so you can move on.

If the person you’re bitter towards is no longer living, you can write a letter to them with nothing held back – then take it to their grave, read it to them, light it on fire and burn it to set yourself free!

I want everything clear ‘tween me and thee so that all can be clear ‘tween my Lord and me.
– Linda Palmer

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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JESUS HAS A FUNNEL

Why did the Lord bring funnels to my mind today? Why does anything just “pop” in there without warning? He wanted it there for a reason. Usually that reason is a poem. The thought of funnels has been with me all day long. On the television all they talk about is the horrible weather conditions back East. But what was on my mind? Yes, funnels.

As you gather from the poem, there are funnels of different sizes and they are for very different purposes. The common denominator is that whatever is being poured through it is something that is valuable and not to be wasted. I have a tiny funnel I use periodically to refill my perfume bottle. At the price of that stuff, there’s no way I want to “chance” it getting spilled all over the place!

The motor oil that goes in your vehicle – same principle. You really don’t want that spilling all over your engine, do you? So, most of you use a funnel to make sure it pours neatly and that every drop gets where it’s intended to go.

The love our Savior has for each of us is the most valuable resource of all. We are the recipients of this awesome love, and I’m sure Jesus uses the largest funnel to make sure we get every drop of what He has to give us. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are loved. I know for a long while after my mama died, I had serious doubts about whether anyone ever prayed for me. I knew my mom always prayed for me. I felt like an orphan after she died. Hopeless, frightened and a little angry. I wasn’t lost in a spiritual sense, but I certainly was lost in a physical sense.

We all need to know that Jesus loves us. I imagine he pours mercy and love in His funnel to fall into our smaller funnels. I wonder how large my funnel is? Is it large enough to hold all the love and mercy He funnels down to me? Do I empty it fast enough so it can fill up again? That’s what His love and mercy is for, you know. We receive to give to others who do not know they can hold up their own funnel and receive love from Christ. We are here to teach them that they have a funnel too.

God is love. Jesus is God’s Son. It’s not a far leap to say that Jesus loves and cares a great deal for His children. He loves everyone and does not want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Him. I hope you will pray to God today in Jesus’ Name. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and life. You’ll get your funnel and can begin filling and emptying it right away. We really do have such a wonderful friend in Jesus! God bless you. ❤