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!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Seek Him

The last thing a Christian woman wants to be is unequally yoked.  No…  not an egg yolk, silly!  Yoked…  hooked together.  Till death do you part can seem like a life sentence in San Quentin if you’re pulling the wagon with the wrong partner!

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  – 2 Corinthians 6:14

I didn’t learn this until I was older, but now I know – as long as I keep my hand in God’s hand, He will set me on a joyous journey and my path will be straight.  The first time I saw this quote, I literally cried – it’s so true.  When I was younger and immature, I didn’t think about this at all.  Back then, I can’t say my heart was hidden in God – so there’s the first problem, eh?

How can a non-Christian man understand a Christian woman?  He can’t.  He may try, but all of his suggestions and solutions would be gleaned from the world, not from God’s Word.  Prayer?  He would not be a man of prayer.  Where does his strength come from?  If not from God, then from the Wall Street Journal, I guess.  Most Christian couples pray together, so…  that leaves you alone to pray – by yourself.  Soon you would feel resentment at having to bear the spiritual burden alone.

He could be of a similar mind to you in every other sense and still not make the cut.  He could vote a straight political ticket, be a non-smoker, go to the gym three days a week, drive a car made in America (wait – are there any cars made in America anymore?) – anyway – unless he is a believer in Christ Jesus…  nope – sorry – he would not be the man for a Christian woman.

If two Christian people can just come together and look to the cross of Christ Jesus – together.  Show devotion to Him – together.  Praise Him – together.  Seek His face and His grace in prayer – together.  Then…  they are equally yoked and the wagon’s pulled without one partner feeling strained or resentful toward the other.

Christians are not perfect people…  we embrace grace – God’s wonderful, amazing grace!  It’s as simple as that.  We need a life partner who wants that same thing in life.  We wilt and die without it – marriages end when God is not invited in.

If a woman will keep her heart hidden in God – the right man will know he needs to find God before he can get to know her.  Two people yoked together should be looking in the same direction – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard the expression, “Garbage in, garbage out” – ???  Well…  there’s a flip side to that expression that is much more positive.  How about “God’s love in, God’s love out” – ???  If we study God’s Word and think on His precepts…  what will shine forth from our lives?  It doesn’t get better than that, does it?  When we focus on His love – we will SHINE!

Everything in life begins with a thought – good or bad.  Again with the choices, right?  God gives us free will – it’s what He wants for us – and it makes Him so sad if we choose to think bad thoughts, scary thoughts, or live a stressful, worry-filled life.  The Lord wants us to live an abundant life – and lean fully on Him.  God’s so much wiser and bigger than we are – and He knows our thoughts – and He knows that every action we take begins with a single thought.

Choose to think on His goodness, His grace, His mercy and His wonderful love.  These things are praiseworthy – and God is worthy of our praise.  Virtue…  good report…  pure…  lovely… think on these things.

There’s one other thought I want to share about thoughts…  God can read them – but the enemy of your soul cannot.  Since the devil can’t read your thoughts, it’s a good idea to not verbally express some of your thoughts.  Once you speak your thoughts out into the air where satan can hear them…  he can use them against you.  Just one last thought about thoughts.  If you have a thought that you don’t want satan to hear…  take it captive and start praying!  Ask God to turn that thought around – He can help you turn it into something positive and praiseworthy!  Satan can’t work with anything positive that comes out of your mouth.

I like this song – it really grows on you!  When you sing the words of Scripture, it makes it easier to memorize.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in this world are knocking themselves out to stand out somehow – they want to succeed and rise above for all different reasons, be it fame, money, or just to feed their ego.  Christians have a different take on things – we want our God to shine through us – so that He may receive all the praise and the glory – and if there’s money, well – we share that too.  There’s a reason why we point to the sky and say, “All the glory belongs to Jesus” when we are complimented or recognized for accomplishments.  It’s not about us – it’s all about HIM.

Andrae’ Crouch wrote over 300 songs, and every one of them pointed to Jesus Christ.  Billy Graham called brother Crouch the greatest hymn writer of our age, the modern-day John Wesley,  What a wonderful talent this world lost – but how much more wonderful Heaven became, right?

We live by a simple acronym – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  JOY!  If you’re doing something other than showing others your Savior…  you should re-think your strategy.  Pray it through and get it straight.  I don’t say that to be mean, but to help.  If you have a living testimony to Jesus Christ, who is very much alive – then you have more JOY than anyone else.

Christians can’t change lives, but we can point to the ONE who can!  The most beautiful part about letting God’s light shine through your life is – HIS light does not depend on OUR circumstance.  It doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad day – because I know God is not.  I can depend on HIS JOY in my life all the time.

Have you ever met someone who wakes up in the morning, stumbles to the coffee pot for their first cup, sits down at the dining room table with the newspaper and reads their horoscope to see what kind of a day they can look forward to?  What kind of life is that?  God promises us ABUNDANT LIFE…  not wait and see life.

Lean upon the ROCK – the very large ROCK – Christ Jesus.  Get up in the morning and do a little calypso to the coffee pot (have someone make a video for facebook) – grab your coffee and your Bible – and read from Psalms!  Get some of God’s precious promises under your proverbial belt.  Take those promises with you throughout your day.  When God opens a door for you to share a promise with someone else, be obedient and do it.  Don’t be afraid to share your faith – especially when you KNOW that God wants you to.  He’s got this – it’ll be okay.

Live in God’s Son Shine!

Oh – and I won’t be making a video of my calypso to the coffee pot.  Watching a Baptist dance just isn’t a pretty sight.  Have a great day in the Lord.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Some people refer to the evening meal as dinner, but in our house it is called supper.  So in this portion of Scripture, the word sup simply means that Christ Jesus will have a personal relationship with all who accept Him into their hearts and lives.  Don’t we have some of our best conversations around the supper table?  I know in our family we do.

Today is the official first day of spring, and while you’d have a difficult time convincing some in the eastern part of the United States of that…  it’s true.  Soon we will be seeing all things new.  Flowers will bloom, birds will sing their sweet songs, and new life will be evidenced all around us.

I can’t think of a better time to begin a relationship with God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  Cast off all the old ways and take on His wonderful new ways of thinking and living.  He wants the very best for you, and will be in your corner throughout your life.  I began a walk with the Lord on my 13th birthday – on April 2, 1974 – and was baptized the next Sunday.  There’s never been a bit of regret in my mind and Jesus just gets sweeter every day.

Begin a new life in Christ if you haven’t already.  If you have, take this opportunity to praise Him for all the many blessings in your life.  I praise Him today for working ALL things for my good!  He really can take a mess (let’s face it – life can get messy) – and turn it into something that’s nothing less than a miracle!  He is awesome in my life – He is life!

Do you hear Him knocking on your heart’s door today?

You know, there is not a door knob on the side Jesus stands on – He cannot open your heart’s door and walk in…  you have to invite Him in.  I hope you will ask Him into your heart and life today.  Accept His wonderful love beyond degree, peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable, endless hope, and the blessed assurance that one day when this life is over, you’ll just be getting started with Him in eternity.

He’s a prayer away.  Let’s pray:

Dear God, I want to be a part of your family. You said in Your Word that if I acknowledge that You raised Jesus from the dead, and that I accept Him as my Lord and Savior, I would be saved. So God, I now say that I believe You raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive and well. I accept Him now as my personal Lord and Savior. I accept my salvation from sin right now.  I am now saved. Jesus is my Lord. Jesus is my Savior. Thank you, Father God, for forgiving me, saving me, and giving me eternal life with You.  In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen!

Have a lovely spring – enjoy the newness all around you.  If you prayed this prayer, I’m so happy for you.  Enjoy your new life in Christ!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Remember the old saying, “Little pitchers have big ears?”  It’s a signal to adults that the kids are listening to you – and they don’t have a fully developed filter yet – so everything they hear will at some point be repeated.  Having kids is like having a parrot.  But you know, that got me to thinking about how it’d be nice if we all paid as close attention to what God was saying to us.  If only we listened and really had ears to hear!

The name of Jesus is POWER…  and His Word is alive in the hearts of His children.

It seems like we listen to nearly anything before we listen to the Lord and His teaching.  I know one lady who will sit and watch re-runs of The Beverly Hillbillies faster than nearly anything – and that show’s been off the air for how many years?  We all know how it ends…  it’s not really a big surprise after all this time, is it?  We all know that Jethro won’t get the girl.

Maybe it’s just me – but every time I read a portion of Scripture, the Lord shows me something I had not noticed before.  I hear some folks say they’re bored with Bible study and prayer.  I can’t figure that out – because I’m excited that I’ve learned something new – not because it makes me smarter than anyone else, but because it’s one more thing that can bring me closer to my Savior.  To me, that’s time well spent.  He died for me – I want to live for Him.  Every new thing I learn increases my faith in God and His faithfulness and goodness to me.

I love Lucinda’s new poem – I think you’ll like it too.

Good guidance you will find when you listen to HIS voice.  It’s easier to hear His voice if you stay in His Word and in prayer.  Use your lips to speak and your ears to hear His word – (and some of us will use our fingers to type His blog).

If you are blessed by these words, I hope you will share the blog link with a friend.  It’s my joy to encourage and uplift through God’s Word and His Spirit.  Have a beautiful day and keep listening – with intent!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”   – Mark 2:27

God is pleased that man works Monday through Friday.  But on the Sabbath – which may be Saturday for you – or Sunday…  He’s pleased if you are in His house, giving Him your undivided attention – your praises – your thanksgiving.  God is a jealous God and will not have any other gods before Him.

Why do we need to be in church?  Why can’t we go out on the fishin’ bank, or climb a mountain, or watch Dr. Stanley on television and call it good?

Being off somewhere alone and keeping your focus on the Lord is not a bad idea – but there’s something about being with others who believe the same way you do… it’s a sense of community and support of sorts, you might say.  If you’re a lone ranger, with whom do you take communion?  Who is around to challenge your spiritual backbone?  With whom do you pray?  Who prays for you and for whom do you pray?

If I didn’t visit the gym and use the machines, I’d soon gain my weight back and be out of shape.  The church family, ideally, plays a similar role with each member.  I was reminded recently however, that we mustn’t focus on the horizontal view – as much as we focus on the vertical view – we have to keep our eyes on Christ – because people are so – well – human and will fail us at one time or the other.  And guess what?  We will fail them too.  We have to remember that Christ is our example and the one with whom we measure our own standard.  When we do that, it makes all the difference in how we relate to others.

The church family is there to encourage when needed.  It’s there to challenge when needed.  We help each other grow because growth and change are signs of maturity in faith.  There’s nothing worse than stunted growth.  It’s a bit like having cut flowers in a vase too long.  If you wait too long to toss those flowers – it can be a very smelly job.

I don’t want to be a stinky child of God.  I want to grow in my faith, in love, in joy, in peace that passes all understanding.  It’s God’s will for my life – and it’s what I want for my life.

Sometimes a church family is not found at a brick and mortar.  Sometimes it is found in the most unusual and creative way – and God is leading toward an exciting adventure in ministry.  If we don’t put Him in a box, He will make everything work for good.  We just have to place our trust completely in His plan.

What do you do on the Sabbath?  It was established for you, you know.  It’s for your own good – from a God who thinks you are pretty special.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-46

I love You, O Lord, my strength.  – Psalm 18:1

I have pity on anyone who does not know God’s love.  Apart from God, there is no love because God IS love.  I get tickled when I read articles that say to keep the love alive in your relationship or marriage, you should do this or do that.  They never suggest such things as Bible study or prayer.  Heaven forbid that we should bond with the Maker of love as we bond with one another, eh?  ❤

This verse is short, simple and to the point.  David tells God that he loves Him and acknowledges Him as his strength.  Sometimes the shortest prayers we pray are the most important ones.  Short, sweet but complete is often best.  ❤

I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!  – Psalm 116:1-2

God created humans to have best friends – it’s as simple as that.  He wants us to have conversations with Him – lots of them!  Pray without ceasing – and no, that does not mean you spend your entire day knelt down in the living room – but there are days when you feel that need – and it’s okay if you do.  But most of us just think pray our way through the day.  Wow – did that rhyme or what?  ❤

It’s more of an attitude of prayer that goes with us as we live our lives each day.  The Lord does not mind if we multi-task, and He certainly welcomes it when we come to a place where we ask Him to help us through sticky parts – and what is sticky for one is not sticky for another.  We’re all different.  ❤

Don’t laugh at me…  but I say a prayer when I’m driving as I head for a 4-way stop.  It’s not that I don’t know what to do at a 4-way stop, but there’s 2 different kinds of people you meet without fail:

1) the person who doesn’t think they really have to stop – they do the rolling stop thing – like that’s all they have to do.

2) the person who stops and can’t seem to find the gas pedal to get going again.  I hate it when I start to go and they start to go at the same time and I’m like, “Dude, you had your chance and I got tired of waiting.”  It’s awkward squared.  ❤

So I pray, “Lord, please help this to go smoothly for me…  just help me get through this intersection without something awkward happening, please.”  ❤

This is one of my favorite poems by Lucinda.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They’re all my favorites!  I can’t choose…  but this one is really good and perfect for this topic.  ❤its-still-again

He wants to hear our prayers – even the dumb ones.  It’s part of true love.  When you’re really loved, you know the other person (or in this case, God) wants to hear from us – everything about what’s happening.  ❤

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

Lord, teach us to pray. 

Now Jesus[a] was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,[b]
and forgive us our sins,
    for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence[c] he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for[d] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus and Beelzebul

14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

True Blessedness

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

The Sign of Jonah

29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The Light in You

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers

37 While Jesus[e] was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.  – Luke 11

How should we pray for America?  The first prayer is one filled with love, praise to God through His Son, Christ Jesus, and brimming with thanksgiving!  We can never out-love, out-give or out-thank our Lord.  He inhabits our praises.  Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, we humbly bow before you today to ask for nothing but Your presence to remain with us.  We thank You for blessings that are too many to count.  You have seen us through dark days and we thank You.  You are oxygen to our weary souls and we need You every moment of every day.  Thank You for providing for us in every way and leading us in the way we should go.  Our hands are raised in praise and surrender to You today and every day.  We acknowledge You in our everyday lives and know we are nothing without You.  We love You for Who You are and for what You’ve done.  Please keep America safe in the palm of Your mighty hand.  Thank You in advance for what You will do.  It’s in the precious Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

photo courtesy of Terri Boggs Rowe
photo courtesy of Terri Boggs Rowe

STANDING UP TO THE WORLD