NATIONAL WRITING DATE DAY

TL 9-3 NATIONAL WRITING DATE DAY

http://nataliemariecollins.com/writing-date/

http://nataliemariecollins.com/

http://nataliemariecollins.com/how-to-go-on-a-writing-date/

Writers are disciplined individuals.  Quit laughing!  Seriously…  it’s really bugging me – stop!

There are only so many hours in the day…  plus, there are so many distractions that can derail your train of thought…  everything from a noisy dishwasher to the television set in the room next to your writing space.  It can be maddening when you’re trying to write.

Natalie Marie Collins makes a wonderful suggestion…  LEAVE.  Go to a writing safe place, whether it is a favorite coffee shop or restaurant.  Wherever you decide to go, make it a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed while you research and write.PEACE HAS A HOLD ON ME

When God has placed a desire in your heart to write and share with others about Him, you have to trust that He will provide the perfect atmosphere to do the work He’s asked you to do.  I’m fortunate because I have a room that is specifically designated for writing and designing.  Nobody bothers me or distracts me while I’m there.  I make coffee or tea before I begin – then let the research begin!

This is a day set aside specifically for those who may not have a special writing spot at home.  Maybe there are more distractions than you can deal with.  Maybe you just get sat down to write and get interrupted.  Nothing kills the will to write faster than interruptions.  I hope you’ll find Natalie’s suggestions helpful.  I believe there are so many Christian writers out there, but they have such busy lives and can’t figure out a way to find a quiet, peaceful atmosphere where they can spend two or three hours writing.

NECTAR FOR A BUTTERFLYIt’s important to find solitude and serene surroundings before you write.  If a butterfly wants nectar it has to find a flower.  Nothing intended to encourage and uplift can be conveyed if it’s written in the midst of chaos.  If God calls you to write, He’s going to work out the details for you.  The world may need to hear the story that only you can tell.  If you ask God to help you find a great place to write – He will certainly find it for you!

May God bless you as you contemplate writing today!  🙂

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I saw the funniest sign the other day – it said:

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, AND IN THERAPY BY NEW YEARS!

Were you home for Christmas, with your friends and family?  Did you survive?  What does today look like for you?  Once the festivities and traditions are over, where do you go to de-stress and de-compress???  In all honesty, we love our family, but there comes a moment when you need to run away and be alone – or with others you like more.  It’s not an insult to family – it’s just the way it is.

A SIP, A PRAYER, A PEACE

I need to avoid going to therapy by New Years because for starters I can’t afford it.  When I want to relax and breathe deeply, I visit the Chinese Massage place in our local mall.  It’s amazing what a massage can do to get rid of all the built up stress and frustrations that may have latched on to you during the Christmas holiday.

Another good idea is to get some exercise.  When you exercise, it’s a way to rid yourself of all the tension and increase your energy, which is a positive thing.  It’s not good to carry negative energy around with you, so move some and get rid of it.

How about Bible study, meditation and prayer?  Yeah, you knew I’d get around to that, huh?  Well, give prayer a chance – you may be pleasantly surprised by the results and the peace you gain in the process.  You don’t have to pray like the most educated theologian – just tell God your heart in the name of Jesus.  It’s really very simple.

“A Second Cup with Jesus” is a great devotional book!  We thank you so much for reading our poetry and following this blog.  ❤

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KEEP CALM & READ A POEM

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.  To know the dark, go dark.  – Wendell Berry

You know, when we first decorate for Christmas – I’m like a little kid – OH LOOK AT THE PRETTY LIGHTS!  But it seems as time goes by and we approach Christmas Day, the lights lose their appeal to me – and by the time Christmas is over, I’m ready to embrace the quietness and the darkness that follows.  Does that sound weird and depressing?  I don’t mean it that way – I just think there is so much commercialism and hoopla associated with Christmas.  It’s like the bling mania turns back into quiet wintertime.  We don’t see the lights anymore – we lose that distraction and enjoy wintertime and see what a silent night is really all about.

Nobody sang Silent Night at the actual nativity, you know.  It really was a silent night!  Sometimes it’s not until after Christmas we get a better idea of how the actual night must have been.  Of course there was that star – that very bright, shining star!  A choir of angels singing glory to the King – the original carol.  🙂

 

 

BOXING DAY

TL 12-26 BOXING DAY

12-26 BOXING DAY EVERY DAYBoxing Day last year:

Today in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other former British commonwealth countries, they are celebrating a legal holiday known as BOXING DAY!  It’s also known as St. Stephan’s Day because churches opened their collection boxes to the poor.   The holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

 During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.   – JoAnn C. Jones, Guideposts, January 1996

In the Middle Ages, members of the merchant class would take boxes and fill them with food and fruits to give to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate.  Servants worked on Christmas Day, so the day after Christmas they would be given a day off to celebrate.

 Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  – Seneca

Today Boxing Day is celebrated by filling boxes with food and clothing for the needy and doing volunteer work.  Monetary donations to various organized charities are also common.

If Christmas falls on a Friday or Saturday, Boxing Day is celebrated the next Monday.

We are told in the Bible that the poor will always be with us.

  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.  – Mark 14:7

Sometimes people use this verse as an excuse to withhold charitable contributions because they argue that it will do no good – the poor will be with us always.  I think the actual point Christ was making was that He would not always be amongst man on earth in human form.  Yes, the poor will be here, just as the rich people will be here.  Whether we are rich or poor, we have choices to make.  We as individuals will be held accountable for the choices we make.  It all comes down to what we believe is the right thing to do and what we are taught is the right thing to do.

God smiles on His children who share.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  –  2 Corinthians 9:7

We give in secret.  Give quietly and shhh…  don’t tell.

 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  –  Matthew 6:4

THE FAMILY ACROSS THE WAY

While I believe alms refers to the tithes  and offerings given to the church, the same application should be made to charitable giving.  Here in the U.S.A. we don’t celebrate Boxing Day, but we still need to keep in mind that not every family had a Merry Christmas!  We (and I’m pointing to myself too) need to try to find those who are struggling and help them if we possibly can.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to make Boxing Day a day of giving to those less fortunate?

I give because it’s the only concrete way I have of saying that I’m glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing what I love.  Giving… puts our focus back where it belongs – on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities which nurture us.  – Stephen King

People have all sorts of motives for giving (tax breaks, bragging rights, getting on someone’s good side), but remember God knows the heart and the motive.  I have a personal belief that once you are praised by people or receive any payment or compensation, you lose your reward from God.  Humility has to be a key element of real giving – be humble and quiet.  God knows and His reward is sufficient for your life and His blessings will sustain you.  He gives the best rewards, doesn’t He?  To my friends celebrating Boxing Day – have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

I like the idea that God has a box packed with everything I will ever need – don’t you?

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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WOO HOO HALLELUJAH

When was the last time you went to a football game or watched one on TV? Be honest, how excited did you get about it? My dad was a die-hard Cowboys fan and believe me when I say, I know how enthralled you can get in sports when it’s your team playing!

Part of me is happy to see that some church services have been less starched and pressed than they used to be. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that the church is still a place of reverence and a place to worship and honor God. I just don’t think it should be a place where people go to catch up on the sleep they didn’t get the night before.

The point is, don’t you think we should be able to show at least as much enthusiasm about the fact that Jesus gave His life on the cross and was then raised from the dead and conquered death and the grave – for us? I mean, call me crazy, but I think that’s a pretty big deal.

It’s taken me literally YEARS to get comfortable with showing emotion in church. The church I grew up in was a very solemn and reverent place and most of the time you could hear a pin drop. I think I also heard quite a bit of snoring – from the adults. Jus’ sayin’… this little story sums it up well:

Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
“You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
“See those two men standing by the door?
They’re hushers.”

Take a moment in your next church service to lift your hands or say “Amen” when something said blesses you. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

 

Bottom line: Be quiet, seek God, shun evil, embrace good, DO good. I could stop writing and call this blog post good. I COULD, but I WON’T. Yeah, you knew better…

We have all seen people do a good deed for a transparently selfish motive. Either they think we are just plumb dumb, or they are, or both. Those types of situations usually do not end well and the person ends up with a lot of proverbial egg on their face. No good deed goes unpunished – not those kind, anyway.

When you do good, be very careful how much of your hand you show. Remember that it is really God and the other person or persons involved that have to know much. There’s no need to take a megaphone with you or hire a band or rent a neon green and orange 18-wheeler for advertisement. If God is pleased, that’s what matters. If He’s happy with you, hey – that is the best reward of all, isn’t it? If you are rewarded in any way on this earth then that is all the reward you will receive. I want more, don’t you?

A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.  – Charles H. Spurgeon

It seems to be very easy to find need all around us. Those needs become quite obvious around the holiday season. Needs are out there year around, I assure you. One sure way of finding people who need your help is to pray and ask God to bring them to you. I know that sounds simple, but it’s true. Just pray and ask God to lay some soul on your heart to help. It may not be a financial need either – God sends folks along who may just need a hug. Maybe someone needs to talk. You may be the right one to listen. It’s not always a monetary need, and amazingly enough, it usually is not money that is needed.

Will you be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Get quiet before God and pray. Ask God to let your path cross with one with a need. That prayer will be answered – I guarantee. That is when you become a willing vessel. ❤

MEMORIAL DAY

TL MEMORIAL DAY
https://youtu.be/An8ccWB7JgQ

Memorial Day is a day of reflection. It’s a day to remember those who were once here with us but now are not. We loved them and they loved us. We know we will be reunited one day, but until then, there is a void. What would my family urge me to do? God is love and love covers a multitude of mistakes. I think they would tell me to love. Just love.

As we begin our stroll through my peaceful, serene labyrinth of love, let me ask you a question. What is the source of love? Where does it come from originally? Most of you know what my answer is. I believe that God is the true source of love, and apart from Him, you are not really able to love at all. Know God – know love. No God – no love. If you know God, then I hope you enjoy this little stroll through the labyrinth. If you do not know God, perhaps you can sit down on one of the simple wooden benches when you finish the walk to rest and get to know God. Can you hear the birds singing? The gardens surrounding this labyrinth are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and there is not a more quiet place of solace to do a little soul-searching.

It’s such a perfect day to take a leisurely stroll. There are people on the outside who are running, but we are not. We are not going to hurry, but be deliberate with each step. There is nothing scheduled in your day that is of any importance. You won’t need a watch. Take your time and seek. Seek God and find the love He wants you to have.

Read just one section at a time. When you have read the scripture, close your eyes and think about what you just read. Let the thought of it sink in and talk to God about it. You can talk to Him out loud or just think a prayer – He hears your prayer either way. Imagine you are walking, reading, pondering and praying. Let’s begin.

Love comes from God:

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God proved His love for us:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Some couples seem to be real soul mates and some are polar opposites trying to find some common ground. No matter which class your marriage falls in, we are taught what love should look like in our Christian marriages. I laughingly refer to these as the “bite your tongue” verses! There are times when love in marriage is a real bear! But for the sake of unity, peace and joy with your mate, you really do have to bite your tongue!

Love in Marriage:

Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Philippians 2:2 “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

There is sure victory because of love:

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are definitely instructed to love other people:

1 John 4:9-11 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

“Love each other deeply with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22b

And finally, we are told that we are to walk the walk of love and not just talk the talk.

Make sure the love you show is genuine:

1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Have a blessed day! ❤