It’s Easter Sunday

He held my sins in His hands as the nails were pierced through… wow!  So many thoughts come to mind, but it humbles me to think that Christ suffered such pain and disgrace for me.  I need a Savior – I’m the first to admit it.  To say thank You just seems insufficient and unimpressive.  I understand now that the Lord doesn’t want fancy words.  He wants my life to reflect my relationship with Him.  Actions really do speak louder than words.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to you?  When God raised Christ from the dead (yes, He was dead – not stunned), He paid our sin debt!  There is no greater love than that!  This means that through Christ, we are able to claim complete VICTORY!  God doesn’t do anything halfway.  The price is paid, and all we have to do is claim the victory.  Accept the sacrifice He made at Calvary and live like the blessed child of God you are.

We are blessed and even though temptations and yes, sin sometimes gets in the way – we know that Christ will help us get total victory over all of it.  He didn’t save me just to leave me standing in a cold, dark place.  He saved me to guide and direct me closer to Him.  We will mess up sometimes – whoppers of messes sometimes!  But we know whatever comes along, the sacrifice that Christ made for us is greater than our sins.

Should we linger on the sins we’ve committed?  No.  Satan would like nothing better.  Lingering on the sins is polarizing!  Ask God to forgive your sins – and keep moving, leaning on Him to help you out of sin and closer to Him.  Trust that God forgives you and move on.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Just make tomorrow better with God’s help.

Jesus Christ is ALIVE – ready to help us live in total VICTORY!!!  Will you seek Him?  There’s not a sin He can’t forgive.  There’s not a temptation He can’t overcome.  Plea the blood of Christ over it, know it’s covered, go on to the next thing.  Praise God for the victory through the resurrection of Christ!  Hallelujah! 

Not that I want to mention April Fool’s Day and Easter in the same sentence…  but someone challenged Lucinda to write a poem about it.  And, well…  she nailed it!  Take a look at this:

Isn’t that great?  There’s no FOOLIN’ about it!  Happy Easter, everyone!  🙂

 

 

 

 

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

tl-from-my-heart-to-yoursFebruary is a rough month for me – I’ll just admit it.  It’s a time when I remember a lot of happy times that I’ll never get back.  My mom’s birthday was the 15th and my dad’s birthday was the 21st – just a week apart!  I always baked a heart-shaped cake for my mom – and put pink or red icing on it with little red-hot candies.  We never had fancy celebrations, but we had each other and that’s what really mattered.  I can’t remember any of the gifts I gave her, but I remember the love in the room while she opened each of them.  ❤

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My dad loved German chocolate cake – and I’m not a baker – so to the boxed cake aisle I’d go to pick up a mix and some icing – although I’m not sure you can call that icing – I suppose it is…  that coconut concoction.  LOL!  Dad’s cake was a simple 9×13 sheet cake – I never made a cake that had to be stacked – I’m practical – and if that puppy had to ride in the car with me – it was going to be a sheet cake!  ❤

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Dad’s Birthday 2-21-85

I have memories recorded on 8mm film – which a few years back I had put on DVD.  There’s no sound, but I can read lips just fine.  I remember every word, even though I can’t hear their voices.  I can’t hear their voices…  but I will hear them again.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

I’ve made a sort of study out of this grief journey.  This blog is one manifestation of my grief experience.  I hope it’s made me more empathetic to others, if nothing else.  When people you love die, you don’t have anywhere for that love to go anymore.  This month I went out to the cemetery and replaced the flowers – but there were no hugs, no smiles, no warm greetings.  Thankfully, there was no snow, or it would have been colder still.  There’s nothing quite so cold and, well, dead…  as a cemetery.  Without faith to sustain, it would appear that it’s all over and there’s no hope.  Ah, but there is faith – there is hope.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

One of these days my Savior will come for me and all who have asked Him into their hearts and lives.  Whether I have the opportunity to live out a full life and die – or get snatched up and fly away…  it really doesn’t matter because I’m going to see Christ face to face.  These memories I hang on to for now…  well, I won’t need those anymore.  I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what lies ahead – but I trust God, through my Savior – and whatever it is…  it’s okay by me.  ❤

Here’s what I do know.  I will see my family again – and it’s going to be great because there will be hugs, smiles, and warm greetings – and we will never have to say good-bye again!  ❤

A Prayer for the Grieving

Lord, please come sit with me today. I need you now as I’m so sad. My heart can’t take much more. Just let me feel again. God, please heal my broken heart. In the quietness, I feel closest to you. Help me to serve others despite the pain. Let peace and love surround all who grieve today, tomorrow and always. I trust you to carry me through this long journey of grief and pain. Thank you for allowing me to share the life of my precious loved one. Please give me comfort in my pain, your love to see me through, and your strength to keep me going. Amen.

When they died, I thought I might too.  But somewhere along the way, the memories took over where the pain was once so raw I thought I couldn’t stand it.  ❤

You know, everyone in school was a bit jealous of me because I was an only child and didn’t have to “share” anything with siblings when I was at home – but let me tell ya…  there’s a flip side to being the only one – it’s lonely when you realize you’re responsible for everything.  I relied so heavily on my parents, not only for moral support, but for spiritual support.  I knew they prayed for me every day.  I miss those prayers so much.  ❤

 

PSALM 9:1 ON 9/1

TL 9-1 PSALM 9-1 ON 9-1

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  – Psalm 9:1 

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is live your life in spite of the broken dreams that lie strewn behind you.  No, I’m not suicidal – don’t worry…  but it’s been a challenge lately to grab ahold of real purpose for living.  I suppose part of the problem is that I keep seeing my friends on facebook…  some of them I’ve known since high school.  They have raised their children and are now spoiling their grandchildren.  It’s as it should be and I’m very happy for them!  I just question LORD…  why is that not the way my life turned out?

I wonder what I’ve done that was so awful to be overlooked.  I am not perfect by any stretch, but neither are those who have been blessed with people in their lives.  They have big people, little people, dysfunctional people, quiet people, loud people…  what a blessing!

Does anyone else think this verse holds a great deal of irony?  I mean, do the words and the tune really mesh up?  The tune is called “The Death of the Son” – but the wonderful, uplifting praiseworthy words are…  I WILL GIVE THANKS TO YOU, LORD, WITH ALL MY HEART, I WILL TELL OF ALL YOUR WONDERFUL DEEDS.

Wow…  epiphany!  Here’s the key to living a happy, good quality life!  Regardless of the cards you are dealt in life, you find the good parts and PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GOOD DEEDS.  Although there are shattered pieces of dreams behind me, I wake up every morning and praise GOD for HIS goodness, for HIS love, for HIS grace, for HIS mercy, for HIS provision in my life.  He is all-sovereign, all-strong, all-powerful.  He is all I need in this life.

There are situations and circumstances I’ll never understand…  but then I remember that regardless of my circumstances, the LORD has done wonderful deeds in my life.  That is when I can be thankful to the LORD for my life.  Maybe He’s not done with me yet.  I’m just being still and know that HE is GOD and HE holds my simple little life in the palm of HIS great big hand.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

Today let’s take a cue from David…  no matter how far you think you’ve sunk – and no matter how many tiny pieces of broken dreams lie scattered on the path behind you, trust God for answers and for hope.  Yesterday is over.  Press on, knowing that God has a wonderful plan for your future!  🙂

ROMANS 8:1 ON 8/1

TL ROMANS 8 1 ON 8 1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  – Romans 8:1-2

There is not a promise in God’s Word that encourages my heart more than this one.  There is no longer any condemnation!  Forgiveness of sins and the ability to finally let go of shame and regret means one thing – I am free!!!

FREEDOM

But why is this verse here?  It begins with the word therefore, so we need to back up and see what this verse is there for…  let’s look at the last part of Romans 7.

 So I find this law at work:  when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.  – Romans 7:21-25

If we’re honest, we admit facing the same struggle – some days more than others.  Remember the cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other?  :-/

Here’s the deal…  if you continue living in sin, you are a slave to it.  No matter what type of sin it is – you’re bound to it.  The only real freedom you will ever experience in your life is through Jesus Christ.  He loves you and wants to set you free from the chains of sin.

Sin demands so much of you – it is not possible to get straightened out on your own.  It takes supernatural help.  I pray that you will find a quiet place and bow your head to talk with God, in Jesus’ name.  Let Him have everything that binds you today.  He can give you a whole new attitude and outlook about your life from this moment forward.

He worked a miracle in me – and I know He can work one in you too.  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (5)

 

7-23 LET'S EXAMINE HISTORY

The night is almost gone, and the day is near.  Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  – Romans 13:2

On this day in 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city.  It began in the early morning hours and lasted four days.

It was only stopped after 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops were involved.  The death toll came to 43 and 342 were injured.  Nearly 1,400 buildings were burned.  The 12th Street Riot was the worst U.S. riot in 100 years, occurring during a period of numerous riots in America.

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Johnson, identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968.  In 1967 alone, 83 people died and 1,800 were injured.  Property valued at more than $100 million was damaged, looted, or destroyed.

America, we must study our history, not so we can repeat it, but so we can find a better way of solving problems.  Rioting, senseless death, injuries, destruction is not the way to solve problems.  Let’s look at the late 1960’s and see how that ended.  Do we really want the 2000’s to be a carbon copy?  Have we not learned anything from our sad history?

God’s way is to pray and obey.  If we look at God’s Word, we see that we are to lean fully on Him for guidance and be obedient to His Word.  Nowhere in the Bible does it condone violence or rioting, destruction and hate.

When will we learn that drawing racial lines and causing division are methods that get us nowhere?  It accomplishes exactly nothing and leaves people dead in the streets!  What about that is right?  God cries at these times.

I cry too when I see the division is evident once again.  As a child of the 1960’s, it’s apparent to me that history is beginning to repeat itself, and it makes my heart sink.  Let’s come together and pray for America because frankly, with God’s help, we can be better than that!  Now that we’ve examined what happened in the 1960’s.  Let’s not allow history to repeat itself.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I didn’t used to have to poke my finger every morning to test my blood.

When did I start having to make noises while getting up from a chair?

For the life of me I can’t remember why I came in this room.

I don’t remember my knees hurting before as I walked up the stairs.

Hugs didn’t used to hurt – but with fibromyalgia, they really do.

Acne and wrinkles at the same time…  now that’s just unfair!

There are more silver threads among the gold these days.

The weight I’ve gained these past few years just doesn’t want to go away.

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When [my old films are on TV]… I slide slowly under the table in embarrassment.  I cringe at having these huge heads of hair, big sideburns, and wearing some terrible bell-bottom pants.  – Clint Eastwood

Mr. Eastwood – be proud of your accomplishments.  Your movies have entertained us for decades and we all have photos we’d rather not display.  For most of us, the hairstyles of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s are not cool by today’s standards, but hey – back then all the girls wanted to look like Farrah and the guys – um…  well, I’m not sure what they wanted [I mean hairstyle…  lol] but those were good days – and your movies are timeless.

Back in the day, certain shirts, jeans, jackets – made me feel so cool and turned the darkest of days into great days!  There was a local clothing store called CRICKET ALLEY and when I close my eyes I can still see the shop and smell the incense burning!

I bought the coolest satin jacket there – it was a beautiful shade of blue with white trim.  I wore that thing everywhere – with a white tee and bell bottom jeans.  A lot of kids could wear the really big bell bottoms – but I was so short – I would have looked like some sort of freaky flying saucer if I wore them.

We wore patches on our jeans – my jeans were always brand new and never had holes in them – but I sewed patches on them – LOL.  I remember one of the patches my mom got for me – it had Smokey the Bear on it – and my poor mom misread one of the words.

It’s funny because my mom never swore – I mean if she said doggone it – you knew she meant business.  When she got the patch home and let my dad read it – he said there’s no way it was going on my jeans.  Mom was confused until dad pointed out the word that she was mistaking for another word.

By today’s standards, it’s not a big deal at all – but back then – it really was.

Smokey the Bear was saying…

HELL, DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO!

My poor mom thought it said WELL.

LOL – she spent a few hours working on that patch – making the H into a W.  It’s a funny memory – my mom, the sewing machine, the patch and a lot of red thread.

I got to wear it – for a good long while.  It was on the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans.

We also put patches on Army jackets – we had an Army Surplus store in our city where we’d go get the jackets – we wore them over tee shirts with jeans.

It was a simple time.  I don’t apologize or cringe with embarrassment because I was in great health then, I didn’t make weird noises like I do now.  I had blonde hair – natural blonde – untreated hair and lots of it.  I could hug without hurting and even though we had issues in the government like Watergate – it still seemed like a better time.

At least there were consequences for actions in Washington back then.  There are not even attempts to prosecute crimes in the government now.  There’s a scandal almost every day – and while that gives some news organizations a lot to talk about, there are no punishments for wrongdoing – and I’m scratching my head wondering why?  Isn’t anyone else scratching their head wondering why???

I miss the days when right was right and wrong – was punished.  🙂

 

FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

TL 3-18 FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  You are born (or in my case adopted) into the lives of two very human beings.  They basically commit to put their lives on hold to raise you.  You are the center of their universe, but they would not have it any other way.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  – Matthew 11:27-30

So today is yet another opportunity to take all the hurt you may feel about your childhood and…  letitgo!!!  Cut those poor people some slack and forgive them!  They may not have been perfect, but they were the ones responsible for making you the person you are today.  Once you are an adult child, you have the opportunity to review your upbringing and tweak anything that isn’t right.  The ball was in mom and dad’s court when you were little, but now it’s in your court.

Are your parent’s gone?  Do you think it’s too late to forgive them?  Well, it’s not.  In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), steps 8 and 9 are about making restitution where you can with those in your past that have hurt you, or those you have hurt.  It’s common to write a letter expressing your feelings to those persons and send it to them.

No, I don’t have the P.O. Box number for Heaven.  I wish I could share that information with you, but I’m not privy to it.  The letter is “sent” either tied to a balloon or buried in the ground at some site that is significant.  So there is a way to “letitgo” and be healed.

Twenty-four years ago, when I quit drinking, an old-timer in recovery asked, “How are you treating the world today, Paulie?”  I responded, “Don’t you mean ‘How’s the world treating me?'”  He answered quickly, “No, I mean exactly what I said.  No matter how the world is treating you, if you are caring, loving, and kind in the way you treat the world, your journey will be easier.”  – Paul Williams

I will pray that you find a way to forgive because holding on to hurt and harboring grudges does not bother them – but it kills you from the inside out!  If you had the worst parents ever, you still need to forgive them for your own sake and your own sanity.  You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to either hang on to bitterness and anger or letitgo. 

Hand your situation over to God.  Pray for the strength and courage to make restitution with your parents whether they are still alive or not.  Don’t let one more day pass with that burden on your shoulders.  Give it to God and let Him heal your spirit.  🙂

 

THANKSGIVING DAY

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(11) HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE STEEPLE

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  – Psalm 95:2

What is Mel thankful for?  Well, God healed him of terminal leukemia in 1998, so it’s obvious that he is very thankful for life.  He’s also thankful for the Holy Ghost.  He’s thankful for another day to praise God for His goodness!

How many ways can we thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us?

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.  – Meister Eckhart

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.  – Psalm 50:14

Thanks be to God for all the miraculous deeds He has done in my life.  I don’t know why He is so good to me, but I’m sure glad He is!

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”  – William A. Ward

What would Thanksgiving be without Charlie Brown.  Put on your jammies and fuzzy socks.  Grab your favorite snack and watch this cute cartoon with me.

 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.  –  Psalm 26:7

This day and every day I will lift my hands to the heavens and praise the Lord for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me.

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.   – Terri Guillemets

This is a cute little song –  you’ll be singing this all day!  You’re welcome.  😉

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.  – Psalm 69:30

Shine Your everlasting light in my perpetual darkness, heavenly Father.  May everything I do be for Your honor and Your glory, for there is no other reason to do anything I do.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve made Monkey Bread in the past, but this Apple Monkey Bread looks so delicious!  I’m always thankful for the food on Thanksgiving Day – aren’t you?

I’m thankful for food, shelter, love of friends and family and Charlie Brown cartoons around the holidays.  All of these things bring to mind happy times of the past and provide hope for the future.  I hope you will take some time today to let your friends and family know how much you love them.  Take time to let God know you love Him too.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

LOOK AHEAD

The Apostle Paul… I look forward to meeting him one day in heaven! He is the one who wrote the great word pictures in the Bible. The life of a Christian is like a race, and there is a prize at the finish line. It almost makes me want to go out and try to run. Hey, I said almost!

It’s my guess that Paul was a fit person. I imagine he must have been a runner. He certainly knew how to get people excited and enthused about Christianity. He knew how to be a leader with diplomacy and tact. Even when he had to clamp down on some of the churches, he did so with the love of Christ in his heart. Every letter included Christian compassion and brotherly watch care.

We are encouraged to look ahead and leave our sorted past where it belongs – in the past. If we try to drag the past around with us it can only do one thing – weigh us down. We need to give the past to God. He knows what to do with it. He will throw it into the sea of forgetfulness and never remember it again. I wish I could forget my past as completely, don’t you?

If I could forgive and forget as well as God does, wouldn’t that be wonderful? How much faster would I run without the extra weight? How much further could I run if I didn’t get winded as easily? Would I be a better witness for Christ if I was free of the weight?

I’m encouraged by what Paul says and I will try to leave the past in the past and run with a renewed strength and purpose from my heavenly Father. Then one day, I can say along with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
– 2 Timothy 4:7

That’s really what it’s all about.  🙂

LUCKY PENNY DAY

TL 5-23 LUCKY PENNY DAY

https://youtu.be/iEtXYI0W-bU

When people refer to ‘Back in the Day,’ it was a Wednesday. Just a little fun fact for you.   – Dane Cook

Today is LUCKY PENNY DAY!!! I remember being taught about lucky pennies when I was a little girl. There was a little rhyme that we used to say. Maybe you remember hearing this in the movie “Grease”:

Find a penny, pick it up – all day long you’ll have good luck!

Simple pleasures like finding a penny on the sidewalk are slowly fading away. As I get older, it gets easier for me to write about the past because there is increasingly more of it to write about!  While life goes on today, as it must, my mind can’t help but go back in time when life was not so difficult.

Kids today will never know the simplicity I knew as a child – and while that is alright, part of me thinks that perhaps they are missing out on an opportunity to use imagination and creativity.  Today we buy kids games and there is nothing left to the imagination and all the kids need to really know how to do is press buttons to make things happen.

When I was growing up we had to be self-starters and create our own play environment.  I once built a pretend house in my back yard using hammer and nails, with leftover scrap lumber from my daddy’s construction job.  It was horrible, of course, and did not stand for a very long time – but it was my concept and the idea was completely my own.

The ability to let your mind wander about and create something from nothing is a great talent.  Back in the day kids did not have much choice.  Of course, in the early 1970’s, something called “Atari” flooded the market and my generation got hooked on Pong.

So goes the beginning of the end of personal creativity as we knew it.  I’m sad and I grieve the loss.

The activities that children take part in now will be the attributes they carry with them into adulthood. There is definitely something wonderful about raising a child with creativity and imagination. Einstein said that imagination will take you further than knowledge. I want to challenge parents to think about that. The next time you think you need to buy your child the next big toy or gadget, stop and think about how that will either encourage or discourage your child’s imagination.

My folks used to take me to the local TG&Y store and let me look around for the whole day!  I got to choose one new toy and it was the most important decision of my life, or so I thought at the time.  It was never two toys – just one.  Narrowing that down to one – wow, it was tough.

I had a Slinky!  It met with an untimely demise one day when it got a little twisted up.  It’s a painful memory and I’d rather not talk about it.  LOL!!!  My Chatty Cathy doll was the blonde one. She talked just fine until one day the string came out and refused to go back in.  When I was a kid there were games that sparked the imagination like Operation and Chinese Checkers. I had an Easy Bake Oven and cooked Incredible Edibles. There were toys that kept us active like the hula hoop and the tire swing hanging from the tree in the back yard. An old-fashioned bicycle is still the best toy for my money.  Helmet?  We don’t need no stinking helmet!  LOL!!!   🙂