It’s Palm Sunday

I love the hymns of the church, and I don’t apologize for saying it.  Call me old-fashioned, but I miss hearing some of the more traditional music in the church.  The truth is, if we’re praising King Jesus with our whole hearts, the style of music is really pretty petty, Amen?  It’s bad enough the U.S. government is acting immature – the church needs to rise above and grow up.  There’s room for the new styles alongside the old.  Just praise King Jesus!  It isn’t about you – it’s about HIM.

With all my heart, I will praise the LORD.  Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad.  Psalm 34:2

All who are helpless…  the more we learn about our Lord, the more we realize that we are helpless.  Listen means stop talking.  Hear His Word and let it pierce your heart and mind.  Ponder what His Word is saying to you.  Pondering does not require conversation.  Ponder means to think – just leave it in your brain and let it wander around a bit.  Ponder.  Some people would call it over thinking.  I say nope – I’m pondering.  If pondering was good enough for Mary (the mother of Christ), it’s sure good enough for me.

To be glad means we should accept the joy that God wants to give us.  Remember, joy is not dependent on circumstances like happiness is.  I can be happy that the snow has melted, but if there is snow on the ground, I can have the joy of the Lord and rejoice in Him all day long.

One of the best parts of being a Sunday School teacher is helping kids get ready for a play.  There’s nothing more cute in the world than watching little ones in a Christmas or Palm Sunday / Easter play!  So sweet!

If you’re a new follower to this blog…  last Palm Sunday, Lucinda Berry Hill and I wrote a story about Daisy’s colt.  Check it out: https://hearthungerblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/daisys-colt/

In my experience, I have learned one thing…  when you line the kids up, you only give palm branches to the kids in the FIRST row – for obvious reasons.  Yes, you guessed it…  the kids in the second row will start bopping the kids in the first row with the branches.  Take that one to the bank.  It’s gonna happen!  LOL!  Why, yes, I did learn that the hard way – and it’s so much easier to give them the palm branches than to ask to have them back.  Tears and screaming…  sigh.  No – not them… – ME!

Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; Show forth his salvation from day-to-day. Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come into his courts.  Oh worship Jehovah in holy array: Tremble before him, all the earth.  – Psalm 96:1-9

Grab a palm branch and try to resist the temptation to bop your neighbor with it.  It’s not a Christmas gift wrap tube, ya know.  That’s what I used to tell the kids – lol.  One time, I even brought some leftover Christmas gift wrap tubes in to the church so the kids could just get it out of their systems before I gave them the branches – that’s actually a better solution – and I even had fun!  We had a bee-bopping good time in the fellowship center.

I have a special surprise for you!  My friend, Geri Ehrlich, wrote the sweetest children’s story and I want to share it with you today.

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The Broken Wing – by Geri Ehrlich, March 2018

One day, a small boy found a baby bird caught between the branches of a tree.  He quickly freed the trapped creature, but could see that her wing had been broken.

Over the next few weeks, the boy tended the bird and soon her wing was healed and she broke out in joyful flight, fluttering her wings as she encircled her new friend, bringing great delight to the boy.

For many days, the boy and the bird laughed and played under the tree that had trapped her a short time ago.

One day, the boy grew tired and fell asleep.  The bird also grew tired – of watching him sleep, and flew off to new adventures.

Soon, far away from the one who rescued her, she became trapped again.  But, this time, it was a net – not a branch that hindered her freedom.  Suddenly, a big, rough hand tightened around her delicate body.  She was torn from the net, placed in an iron cage, and taken even farther away from her boy.

When the boy awoke, he frantically searched for his friend, but she was nowhere to be found.

After many years, the boy grew to become a man.  As he grew, his heart grew sick for want of the little bird.

Then, one day, a pigeon happened by and took pity on the man.  She listened as the man told her of his long-lost friend.

So, the pigeon, determined to find the bird, took flight in search of her.

At last, the pigeon found the bird – locked in a cage, high in a tower.  When the little bird learned of her sick friend, she pushed, shoved, and pried at the bars.  They would not move.  The pigeon tried to free the bird by pecking at the lock.  And even though the lock had begun to rust due to the bird’s many tears, the lock would not budge.

Sadly, they both knew that the little bird could not be freed.  So, the pigeon flew back to the sick-hearted man and told him what she had seen.

Meanwhile, the little bird was left to cry alone in her cage.

The man was sad to hear that his little friend was locked away.  He longed to go to her, but his weak body kept him from even getting out of bed.

For many days and nights, the pigeon carried messages between them.  Each time, the lock was tried.  And each time, it would not budge, leaving the little bird to cry alone.

But, after a while, and with much crying, the lock rusted through.  The little bird struggled to twist off the latch and she was free!

Now, she flew as fast as she could back to her boy.  Overjoyed when she reached him, she fluttered all around him, brushing his heart with the wing he had tended so long ago.

And… then something magical happened.  The man’s sick heart began to heal.  Soon, his strength returned and he was able to stand and walk again.

This made the little bird so happy that she broke into beautiful song; fluttered about even more, fanned out her tail feathers for all to see.  Just watching her made the man’s heart burst with gladness and he, too, began to sing and dance around.

Many years have come and gone.  But, if you listen… you can still hear the melody of the man and the little bird floating amongst the tree tops.  And, if you look closely, you can still see them dancing and fluttering among the swirling leaves.

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Isn’t that sweet???  I really like it.  I hope Geri will put illustrations with it soon!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

Most businesses have a Mission Statement.  It basically answers the question, “Why are you in business?”  “Why are you here?”  A good Mission Statement explains more than just what you do, it explains why you do it.

I saw this posted (no, I didn’t make it up – wish I had).  There was no name on it, so I don’t know who to give credit to, but oh this hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it.  Some days it’s so easy to lose sight of why you do what you do.  This puts it in perspective.

CHURCH is my COLLEGE.
HEAVEN is my UNIVERSITY.
JESUS is my PRINCIPAL.
THE HOLY SPIRIT is my TEACHER.
ANGELS are my CLASS MATES.
THE BIBLE is my STUDY BOOK.
TRIAL & TEMPTATION are my EXAMS.
WINNING SOULS are my ASSIGNMENTS.
PRAYER is my ATTENDANCE.
CROWN OF LIFE is my DEGREE.
AND PRAISE & WORSHIP is my MOTTO.

What an amazing MISSION STATEMENT!  Like all Christians, I’m aware that there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain, but in this classroom of LIFE, what subjects should we focus on?  What should be our major to get the CROWN OF LIFE degree?

I haven’t lived a long time (well, over half a century – wow, that’s depressing)…  but the longer I live, the more important I believe it is to major in LOVE.  God’s perfect AGAPE’ LOVE.  It is impossible to love like that without God’s Holy Spirit at the helm of your heart, mind and spirit.  It definitely does not come naturally – um…  nope!

It’s so sad that in our world, God’s Agape’ Love is so misunderstood because our society has twisted love and sex together.  Can we not love without sex?  It’s ridiculous – of course we can!  We are here to learn to love God and learn to love people.  To learn all that, we need to attend class – we need to pray for God’s help, guidance and His will to be done in every circumstance and situation.  Attend in prayer and ask the teacher to teach you…  God’s Holy Spirit will give you wisdom, strength, courage and amazing love to deal with difficult people.

We’re here to love God and people.  That’s about it.  We aren’t capable of doing that on our own.  Nope, we need help to be what we need to be.  Study the Bible, attend classes, listen to the teacher and don’t be afraid to ask questions, take the tests and be anxious for nothing, accept help from your class mates and ace life.  Then do it again tomorrow…  and the day after tomorrow.

You thought all you had to do over and over again was go to the gym, didn’t you?  No, your spiritual fitness is dependent on a faithful habit just as your physical fitness is.  As you stay spiritually fit, remember your motto…  PRAISE & WORSHIP!  🙂

 

1 JOHN 3:14 ON 3/14

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 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  – 1 John 3:14

https://youtu.be/zcMseb3XNPo

True love comes from God.  It’s a love that transcends all understanding.  Once you’ve experienced love from God, along with His grace and His mercy, along with His forgiveness – you must love above all – to love is to live.  To live in Christ is to see light and feel warmth from God’s Holy Spirit – then let that same light and warmth radiate from you to others.

The name of Jesus is the one lever that lifts the world.   – Author Unknown

We’re not bullet proof by any stretch of the imagination.  We are protected if we belong to Christ because He loves us so much.  When we get hurt, we have the wonderful privilege of prayer.  We can talk one on one with our Heavenly Father through Jesus.  We are told in God’s Word, the Bible, that if we will just be still and KNOW that He is God – He will fight our battles for us.  I know this is true because He’s taken on so many of my battles – physical, emotional and spiritual.

He changed sunset into sunrise.   – Clement of Alexandria

We only live if we love.  If we do not love we remain in death.  We must not hold on to the bad days we experience in life.  We need to quickly let go of bitterness and hateful feelings.  All these things do is weigh us down in life – and we aren’t really living as long as they are on board.  If we want to fly like eagles, we need to get rid of all the ugliness we are still carrying around.  How much weight do you need to lose?  Will that show up on the scale?  Well – maybe not the scales you weigh on every morning – but your heart will feel so much better and your attitude will improve immediately.  Hand all the bad stuff over to God.  He’s big enough to take it and cast it into the sea of forgetfulness.  Once it’s gone – don’t pick it back up.

The dying Jesus is the evidence of God’s anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God’s love and forgiveness.   – Lorenz Eifert

Choose to love God – and each other – and you will learn the secret to living a joyful life.  🙂