A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …   – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today is the 63rd day of the year.  Can you believe how quickly this year is going?  Wasn’t it just yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s Day?  Did you make resolutions?  How are they going?  Maybe you just want to go to sleep.  Yes…  that sounds nice, doesn’t it?

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This portion of Scripture reminds us that there is a season and a purpose for everything that happens in life.  It’s not really about the day you’re born or the day you die, but it is about the time in-between.  That dash on the tombstone really speaks volumes.

How do you spend your time, or more to the point, who do you spend it with?  People are here for each other and spending time with another person is never a waste of your time.

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We were put here to be a source of encouragement and support for one another.  I think it makes God smile when we are kind and loving – even when we’re funny.  Does God have a sense of humor?  Hmm…  well, I think He does!  How would we recognize a sense of humor if He had not instilled it in us?

Today’s post is to remind us (yes, me too) – we have 302 more days left in 2017, and we need to be more mindful of how we manage our time and who we spend time with – and how uplifting we are for others.  You’re welcome!  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  Obviously, today I am very thankful for…  FOOD!  Yes, family and friends make it all taste better…  but today is the day that is all about the big meal.  The day I allow myself to eat a hot roll and mashed potatoes.  I will – and I’ll enjoy every bite, thank you very much!

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

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for our meal today:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  – E.P. Powell

Of course I’m thankful for so many things…  so is Lucinda!

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What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  – Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

I wish for you today fullness in a physical sense, of course, but also a spiritual sense of fullness.  I wish that you will not just see the blessings before you – food, friends, family, furbabies, shelter, warmth, love…  and yes, card tables.  But may you also literally feel a sense of thankfulness to God for all of it!  Have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving!  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24Hold your family members tight while you have them!  A day can change your life forever, but enjoy the time you have with family now.  There are certainly going to be issues and differences of opinion – there are those things in every family – but remember that they are your family and it matters.

Let’s say a prayer for families sitting around the table this Thanksgiving:prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

The family is a haven in a heartless world.  – Attributed to Christopher Lasch

mismatched-chairsHow thankful are you for ENOUGH?  There’s room for everyone – and a lot of people, mostly family.  Some people will spend Thanksgiving alone and some don’t even have a place to call home.  If you can think of other places you’d rather be than with your family, while you’re entertaining those thoughts, keep in mind that some people would love to be in your situation.

I wish for you…  you guessed it…  ENOUGH.  Enough room, enough food, enough tolerance for your family members.  I wish for you enough of whatever you need.  God knows what that is – and it’s different for each of us.  Whisper a prayer to Him and He will see to it that you get just enough.  I know He will do that for you because He has done that for me.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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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.  ❤

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

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As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

INTERNATIONAL HAT DAY

WHY DO YOU WEAR A HAT?  – a blog poem sort of thing for International Hat Day by Linda Palmer © 2015

Do you wear a hat to feel good?

Does it make you feel like you’re great?

If that’s the reason, it’s okay,

Put it back on – don’t hesitate!

girl-204326Do you wear a hat to cover

Your head where there used to be hair?

Don’t worry, I won’t take it off

To reveal what’s now under there!

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photo courtesy of Dave Mock

Do you wear a hat to dress up

For Christmas or Easter Sunday?

It’s a form of Christian worship

To Jesus Christ, Who is the Way.

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photo courtesy of Lucinda Berry Hill

 

Do you wear a hat to show folks

That you can be easy going?

Is it your way to be relaxed

And show that with life you’re flowing?

 

Do you wear a hat that’s funny

Just to make other people smile?

I admire those who use humor

To help others walk the next mile.

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photo courtesy of Bill Woods

Do you wear a hat to go with

An entourage on wedding day?

The attention will be focused

On you for sure, what can I say?

 

Do you wear a hat to honor

This great country’s military?

Is it part of a uniform

As you serve civilians like me?

hats-557581Do you wear a hat just for fun?

Is it just what you want to do?

Far be it for me to change things,

God just wants for you to be you.

 

Do you wear a hat to keep warm?

A sock cap can be very nice.

Winter is coming and it’s cold,

There will be so much snow and ice.

girl-15715Do you wear a hat in summer

To keep the sun off of your face?

That’s a very good idea

Along with sunscreen everyplace!

fashion-985556If you like my little hat verse

I wish you’d leave a comment here.

Your comments mean a lot to me,

They fill my heart with love and cheer!

HAVE A VERY HAPPY INTERNATIONAL HAT DAY!  🙂

 

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

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What was happening in America on Saturday, September 18, 1909???

The largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game, up to that time, turned out in Shibe Park as 35,409 spectators watched the Philadelphia Athletics beat the visiting Detroit Tigers, 2–0, on the pitching of future Hall of Famer Charles “Chief” Bender. The A’s were second to the Tigers in the American League pennant race.

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SEPTEMBER 18, 1909

Guess what else happened???  My Grandpa married my Granny!  I don’t have wedding photos – I’m not even sure there are any – this plate is my precious possession to remind me of my Grandpa Frank & Granny LaVella’s wedding day.  Mama told me that it was hand painted by a family friend and neighbor.  It’s not valuable – but it sure means a lot to me.  Granny kept this plate hanging in their bedroom on the farm.

People really do get married at an older age these days.  These two crazy kids were married at 16 years of age!  I think they were married at a judge’s house, if I remember the story correctly.

They had a piece of farmland willed to them, built a little house on it and started growing wheat, horses, cattle and children – by the time it was said and done – EIGHT kids!

Grandpa Frank also drove a truck to supplement their income.  Granny did some sewing and took in washing to help out.  They didn’t have to buy stainless for the kitchen or even entertain the notion of indoor plumbing…  but they were two of the happiest people ever!  They had the same beliefs and the same dreams for their family.  They embraced faith in God above all and were faithful to each other until the end.

I get to thinking about that sometimes.  In their life, they were so firmly rooted in family and values, the fancy stuff wasn’t important.  I loved everything about staying at the farmhouse when I was little because something as simple as snuggling down in one of Granny’s quilts meant more to me than anything fancy and showy.  That squeaky bed was the best, and using homemade soap every morning and eating farm fresh eggs…  well those are memories that will never fade from my memory!

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.  – Billy Wilder

In our day, it seems like we place so much importance on possessing the best of things and less emphasis on growing a strong family.  In the end, what difference does it make if we have a hardwood floor or linoleum?  I wouldn’t want to have an outhouse…  let’s not get nuts!

I miss that farm in Oklahoma…  I felt so safe and secure there in that squeaky bed with Granny’s quilt tucked around me.  It gives me such comfort to know that Grandpa, Granny, mom and dad are in heaven waiting for me.

Happy Anniversary in heaven, Grandpa & Granny!!!

They are with Jesus, and one day I’ll join them.  Maybe I could have that squeaky bed and one of Granny’s quilts in my mansion.  I may not need it since there is no night there and I won’t get tired.  Hmm…  I have to re-think that, don’t I?  Wink!  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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WHAT IF YOU PRAYED

Ants will not cross a line drawn with chalk. 

If a Christian disagrees with something and is opinionated, why is it wrong to take action?  If we fall to our knees and pray and are subsequently led to put feet to our faith and our convictions, why is that a bad thing?  Sometimes I express a desire to stand up against something, but instead of other Christians having my back, they tell me that I need to just stay calm and keep praying.  In other words – do nothing.

Did God not give us brains to use?  Did He not give us the gift of discernment?  If I have prayed about something and am impressed by God to put feet to my faith, why do I not get support for that?

I get so tired of the Christian army sometimes.  It really is the only army that shoots its own soldiers!  I thought we were fighting against the prince of this world, but it seems that so often we are fighting each other.  Doesn’t that make the devil laugh?  It does – and that’s not funny.

Isn’t it a better to pray for people when we think they are going off to act on something that we think may need more prayer power behind it?  I mean, if it really needs more prayer power behind it – what does it hurt to add your prayers with theirs – instead of criticizing them for taking action in the first place?

We are not ants – and God has not drawn a line with chalk that we are not to cross.  Life is messy and there is evil and wicked to fight – yes, with prayer first – but then we are to put feet to our faith.  That is my belief.  If I find out that Christians are in the midst of a fight they feel passionate about, the last thing I’m going to tell them is to back off and pray about it – when I know they began the fight with prayer.  I’m thankful for folks who jump in to affect change in the country – ultimately in the world.  Why do you think Dr. Carson wants to be president?  What if he had not got in the race?  I rest my case.

It makes me nuts when brothers and sisters in Christ tell me I’m wrong to take action against evil.  I know that prayer is the most important part of war, believe me.  It’s my belief that most people should get up and go further.  Pray – but then move!  God does not draw a line with chalk.  God’s children are not ants, or at least they shouldn’t be.  He works THROUGH His children – but if His children decide to stay in the prayer closet, He can still work – but not through you if you refuse to leave the closet.  Yes, being a good prayer warrior is a wonderful and crucial ministry, but when God tells you to act, you need to act.

God has given us able minds and bodies to take action.  So once a Christian has prayed about something, don’t be so quick to discourage them from putting feet to their faith if they are led to do so by God’s Holy Spirit.  What if we encouraged our brothers and sisters in their endeavors, trusting that they have been to the mountain and talked with God about it?   How refreshing that would be!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

https://youtu.be/mDThDZMcOMM

My heart is broken concerning America’s views on life in general.

What you are will show in what you do.  – Thomas Edison

Dr. Carson offers common sense in the midst of insanity in America.  Can we just back the truck up for a minute and take a close look at something?  Just humor me…  k?

We see videos of dissected babies (it’s a baby – that is what I believe).  They are after certain parts to sell for profit.  They justify it by saying they will be saving another life with the poor life that was aborted (which I believe is murder).

I’m tired of the left saying that Dr. Carson is a hypocrite.  He never had anything to do with killing babies.  He is a Christian and totally pro-life!  He sees abortion for what it is – murder.

Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist, wrote on her blog that in 1992 Carson co-authored an academic paper published in Hum Pathol, in which he described using material “from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.”  OK, but anyone who wants to be a doctor has to deal with the dead – of all ages.  That’s how doctors practice before they move on to the living.  It’s called practicing medicine.

You have to look at the intent.  To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it.  – Dr. Ben Carson

Get real, people!  The man’s a doctor – he had to deal with dead specimens of all ages to get through medical school…  good grief!  The deal is – babies should not be killed for the specific purpose of selling body parts for profit – which, by the way, is still illegal!!!  It may not remain illegal, but for today, it is.  It makes me angry that my tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood.  If they insist on doing their evil procedures and selling the parts of babies they are “going to abort anyway” – at the very least they should be privately funded!!!

We see black people with signs that say BLACK LIVES MATTER.  I’m not disputing that fact, but it’s as though no other lives matter.  I thought every person born into this world was here to get along with every other person born into this world.  I mean, feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong.  I’d like to know why most abortions take place in the black community.  Don’t the unborn black lives matter?

Maybe it’s a matter of how we view ourselves.  Are we color first in our own mind, or are we more?  For example, I see myself as a Christian first (my value system), a woman (my sex), then white (the color of my skin).  At times we place too much importance on the wrong characteristic about ourselves.

Every white person in the world is not under the impression that they are “better” than every black person.  If that is the mindset of black people, it’s incorrect.  My grandpa Frank used to say, “Folks are folks no matter where you go.”  That’s been my motto through life.  It’s true.  Regardless of the color of one’s skin, there are good folks and bad folks everywhere.

Life…  we are born how we are born.  I did not have a choice and neither did you.  If you are white and wish you were black – too bad.  If you are black and wish you were white – again, too bad.

Funny story…  the other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, behind an African-American woman with beautiful curly hair.  I instinctively reached up to “fluff” my own stringy-straight mane, thinking, “Oh, I wish I had hair like hers!”   Yes, there are days I’d like to be someone else – LOL!  I guess the secret is to be the best me I can be regardless of the DNA cards I’m dealt.

What does God say about us?  What does His Word say about how we are to treat one another?  If ever there was a time we need to embrace God’s Holy Word and live like we mean it – it is now!

God loves us – ALL OF US.  He does not have favorites and He does not see skin color, however, He most definitely sees our motives and our character.  He knows who loves Him and who does not.  If we claim the name of Christ in our lives, we have no excuse to insist that one life matters more than another.

It’s also my belief that we have no right to play God and decide to abort what God saw fit to create.  Babies are miracles – every one of them!  People may think they make babies.  I’ve got news for you…  if God was not a part of that process – you’d not make squat.  WORD.

PROTECT THE UNBORN.  RESPECT PEOPLE.  RESPECT LIFE.  LOVE EVERYONE.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Does your happy place involve a certain place or a certain person?  Maybe both!  I feel sorry for folks who are ultra high-maintenance.  It seems they are not happy unless they are going to some far away place – and once they have been there, they don’t seem to be much happier for having gone.  What was the point?  :-/

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that happiness is not about our environment – but it is really an inside job!  It’s about a word I have embraced since childhood – SERENDIPITY.  Wherever you are, whoever you happen to be with – you can be happy inside because you make a decision to be happy inside no matter what!

Out of curiosity, I asked the group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, a question:  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WORLD?

If we would dare to be just a bit self-indulgent, where would we go and with whom?  The answers were varied as I expected, and some thought of an actual physical place while others thought of the person they’d like to be with – it was interesting.

  • Pat said, “In my husband’s arms!”
  • John said, “Since I haven’t seen the World, I’d have to say, walking along the sands of one of our nearby beaches.” 
  • Kelly said, “My living room.”
  • Richard said, “My recliner within easy reach of my laptop.”
  • Ally said, “Bike path in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, near the Verrazano Bridge or where the professional kite fliers are. That or if I had the money, the Lacoste – for now I settle for eBay or thrift stores.”
  • Tom said, “Warwick Castle, Great Britain.”

Where is your happy place?  I’m still recovering from surgery on June 3rd and have discovered how little it takes to make me happy!  Today I sat up on the side of the bed with very little pain – what a victory!!!  That, my friends, made me very happy!  I look forward to an outing on Friday.  My husband will be driving me, since I’m still taking pain medication.  But the point is – I’m going to get out of the house for a short while.   God has helped me embrace SERENDIPITY…  I’m open to happy accidents around me.  I’ve decided to be happy in any circumstance!  Wink!  😉