A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you thought about what it means to be a Christian?  I’m sure we all know the automatic definition that we were taught from childhood – Christian means “little Christ” – and that’s true.  Here in Proverbs we’re given a recipe for good clean livin’ – but I will say these things are not easy to do at times.  So often we have to seek God’s help so we can be the kind of person our Lord wants us to be.  He loves us so much and wants to be our guide.

If we can learn to fear less and have stronger faith in our Father above – that’s the key – trusting completely in Dr. Jesus – believing that He has every situation under control.  God has been so faithful to me in every circumstance I find myself in – so why would I stop now?  His ways are the best ways, and so I will keep looking straight ahead at Him, waiting for His help.

God is more reliable than any GPS…  does your compass or GPS know the future?  God knows what’s going to happen before it happens.

I want to be on HIS side and in His boat – don’t you?  I may need to walk on water sometime – and yes, Lord, I’ll try to have faith to look at You instead of looking at my own feet.  God is my source for all the power and strength I’ll ever need.

While I’ve been down with sciatica (actually, this is the lowest I’ve been in quite a while), I’m trying to feed my mind with positive God-centered things.  Yesterday I watched “God is For Real”.  I love that we’ll get to meet our children that were miscarried – and I love that nobody in Heaven needs glasses – oh, and that everyone is young in Heaven!  I really like that!  If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  🙂

http://www.heavenlive.org/

I believe little Colton Burpo’s story – everything he talks about aligns with Biblical principles as far as I can see.  I know the book & movie have been out for about 3 years, but the story gives me chills every time I read it or see the movie.

Please keep me in your prayers.  I’m not able to walk far right now or sit up straight.  Sciatica is such a weird thing – there are days when the pain is just awful – then there are days that aren’t so bad.  It’s just a low point, but I’ve learned to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him for healing and to provide answers to my questions.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Fearless is not the absence of fear.  Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you.  – Taylor Swift

You know, if I looked like Taylor Swift and had her talent, I can’t imagine being afraid of anything, can you?  I’m encouraged to know that she feels afraid once in a while like the rest of us – just sayin’…

There are certain real dangers and situations in life that we need to fear.  I don’t roller skate down the sidewalk after dark because it may not be safe.  We know that bad things sadly can happen in the daytime, but chances are, if you’re going to be outside, being out during the day is probably a better plan.

Rational fear is one thing, but when irrational fear gets ahold of us, it’s something we need to ask God to help us overcome.  For some reason, God wanted me to hear a few things about fear today.  Here are a few examples:

I counted 15 separate advertisements for pharmaceuticals.  The drug companies have nearly taken over ad time on every cable network on television.  They want us to ask our doctor about a certain drug because…  oooooh – we may not be our very best without it.

They work the fear factor… sometimes to the point of exploitation in my opinion.  They’re so good at it!  If you’re a baby boomer, you really should be tested for Hep C because oh my…  you may need this vaccination.  Well, for years it’s not been prevalent and I don’t suspect it is now – but the drug ads put that doubt in our minds – that fear – that maybe, just maybe…  and speaking as a baby boomer, we’re not the most secure about health issues to begin with.  Seems a lot of things are falling apart…  so – these ads just want to make that a little worse for us so we’ll pay out $$$ for meds that we may or may not need.

And many pills would make all our lives better – better shapes with diet pills and better sex lives with other pills.  Make sure you don’t get them confused.  If you have a double chin, you’d probably better get that treatment done that will give you a better profile – even though there’s a laundry list of possible side-effects that would be way worse than having a double chin.

You do know it’s all about the bottom line, right?  But they play on our low self-esteem…  our fear of rejection from others.  It’s true!

The big pharma is making big bucks because we let them work on our fears (some rational but many irrational) – fear of not only sickness, but a less than perfect profile or imperfect skin.  Some diseases have to be treated with medication, but most of the advertisements for drugs and treatments are an attempt to make us feel as though we need whatever it is they are peddling in order to look or feel better.

Would Sero-Vital make me look and feel 20 years old?  I imagine at over $100 a pop, it would more than likely land me in the poor house – but hey, I’d look and feel better, eh?just-stop-and-believe

I like to watch Joseph Prince and enjoy his sermons.  I already had this thought about the drug ads running around in my mind – and what do you think he’s talking about?  Yep – he was talking about FEAR.

Babies are born with only two fears.  1) A fear of falling down and 2) A fear of loud noises.  Every other fear is learned.  – Joseph Prince

He emphasized the fact that medical and psychological experts have said this.  Then He shared the text:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  – 2 Timothy 1:7

Ah ha!  Fear is a spirit – a wicked, evil, paralyzing spirit that we can either choose to give attention to – or not.  The spirit God gave us is one of power, love and a sound mind.  He wants us to have a mind free of irrational fears.  How cool if we’d face our fears with bigger faith given to us from God’s Holy Spirit.  Yes…  we WILL overcome!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.  – Psalm 98:1

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I can’t sing” – I’d be so rich!  If God gave you a voice, sing to Him a new song – not because you have a good singing voice – but because He has done marvelous things!1

Has He blessed you in your life?  Is He worthy of praise?  If you answer yes…  you gotta sing His praises!  If you aren’t comfortable singing in front of people, that’s okay.  Hop in your car and pop in a praise and worship CD – and sing along!  Just don’t close your eyes, cuz…  ya know…  you’re driving.2

I had a praise and worship cassette tape that I walked to for many years.  It had a song on it that was based on this Scripture.

You know what I’d love to see happen???  I would absolutely LOVE to see a Christian Planet Fitness.  I like working out – except for the music.  The new techno-babble “music” that is played is not particularly inspiring while I’m walking on the treadmill.  I know – earbuds and an ipod…  well – yeah in a perfect world I could do that.  Trouble is, it’s not a perfect world and I don’t have earbuds or an ipod.

I have a cassette player and headphones.  That’s how far behind I am.  If you think I’m gonna walk into Planet Fitness with my Walkman and headphones – you are cray cray.  Ain’t happenin’!

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Let’s start the new year by singing to the Lord!  Sing to Him a new song – a joyful noise – it may be off-key or out of tune, but I don’t see anything in the Bible that says it has to be perfect – just joyful.  🙂

 

 

 

PSALM 9:1 ON 9/1

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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!  🙂

TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

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If you are not getting enough quality sleep at night, you may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. When your body is sleeping, so is your pancreas. When you sleep, insulin levels drop and your metabolism (ability to burn and keep fat off) functions normally. If you stay awake at night, when you should be resting, and you eat late at night, your pancreas will never “shut off” and you’ll have a hard time managing your weight. Get a good 6-8 hours of quality sleep at night.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.  – Irish Proverb

I wish I had known about the connection between melatonin levels and diabetes sooner!  I’ve been a night owl for years.  There’s just something about the quiet of night…  my brain seems to awaken and my writer’s imagination takes flight – anyone relate???  I think more clearly and do my best work between 10pm and 3am.  For the sake of my health, that will have to stop.  Now.

To be honest, anything I have to do to improve my health – I will gladly do.  Is this blog or any other writing worth losing my health over?  Um…  nope.

 Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  – Benjamin Franklin

I guess ol’ Ben was on to something…

If you are a night owl and have diabetes type 2, I invite you to change your sleeping habits.  When research told us to limit carbs, we did.  When it told us to exercise more, we did.  When it told us to take extra vitamin B-12 along with our Metformin, we did.  Now there’s another rule that is for our own good, so we can live as well as we can – get to bed by 10pm and get a good night’s sleep.  Be kind to your pancreas.  Let it rest so it will work better when you’re awake.DEAR PANCREAS

In my defense, I didn’t eat when I stayed up late, but sometimes I did have a cup of tea to sip slowly as I wrote.  But as I said, as long as you are awake, your pancreas thinks it’s on duty regardless and it’s not at rest.

I appreciate being as well-informed as possible because information is POWER.  I like being armed with as much information as possible in this battle, don’t you?  My night owl writing ends tonight.  I’m going to be in bed by 10pm.

Can I imagine myself as a morning person?  Hmm…  not today – but give it time…  I’ll get there!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Theodore Roosevelt said, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” My question is; what is your star? What is that thing that can force you to go to bed late and wake you up while many are in deep sleep? What’s it that can pick you up to walk again even after a frustrating fall? What’s it that gives you a smile in times of weeping? What’s that one thing that keeps you strong and gives hope in times of hopelessness? If you have it, then you have found that star he talked about. Keep moving! For as long as you have with you the three keys to personal excellence (The will to win, the desire to succeed and the urge to reach your full potential), you shall reach your star. I know that you know what I am talking about, but knowing isn’t enough, you must apply and do. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up on God’s gift to us; you must try one more time if you’re to succeed. Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities – for without confidence in your own powers, you cannot reach your star that God gave you as the guiding light in the darkest moments of your life.  Your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to God.  – Mark Farouk
We are only able to grow and succeed in life as long as we stay in God’s Word and pray without ceasing.  There’s nothing we can do on our own – and by the same token, there’s nothing that God cannot do through us!  He is the Vine and we are the branches…  our own ego must go on the back burner and we must fully lean on God to guide and direct our path.  God is our guiding Light – our Star – like the star that shone over the manger in Bethlehem for the Wise Men.
WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM
If we want to be wise…  we will follow the LIGHT, the STAR that will never lead us astray.  As He shines on and in us, we shine His love and peace to others.  I love how God works, don’t you?  🙂

MARK 8:27 ON 8/27

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Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  – Mark 8:27

JESUS, THE I AM

Jesus decided to talk with the disciples seriously about His death on the cross in a place where they would be alone and not be disturbed.  Out of the blue, He asks the question, “Who do others say I am?”  Was He all that concerned with His reputation?  I don’t think so, because He quickly moves to a more pointed question:  “Who do YOU say I am?”  He wanted to know that His followers were going to stay with Him and share His gospel even after He was gone.

We know that the locals could not wrap their mind around the fact that Jesus was God’s Son.  After all, they knew Him as little Jesus, born to Mary and Joseph.  Other’s thought he was a great prophet, but there were many of them around.

Finally, Peter answered Him and declared that He is the Christ, Son of the living God.

I can’t make you put Christ in first place.  You can’t make me put Christ in last place.   The question is before you and me every day…  Who do you say that I am?  It’s good that the question is recorded in the Bible.  We need to answer it for ourselves.  Nobody else can answer it for you.

The decision you make regarding Christ Jesus is the most important one you will ever make.  I’m not being dramatic – I’m being honest.  Mark reminds us that the evidence is in, and each of us must choose to just be amazed and awed by His miracles, or make Christ the center of our lives.  He is the Messiah, Son of God, Savior of all mankind.

I’ll leave you with this thought…  if we underestimate Who Christ Jesus is in our lives, it takes the meaning and the power out of His life and His ministry on earth.  More importantly, it impoverishes the infinite preciousness of His death on the cross at Mount Calvary.

Ponder that today and decide Who you say Christ Jesus is.  🙂