A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Someone asked me if this verse means that we are supposed to have our devotion time early in the morning.  Well, I’m not big on mornings, which explains my dependence on massive amounts of caffeine.  I don’t think the Lord minds if we do our devotions at night.  Often I enjoy devotions at night when I have the house to myself.  I like to have it quiet when I read and write.  During the morning hours it’s too hectic most of the time, and I’m often interrupted with other things.

I believe that “Early will I seek You” means that we acknowledge God and His Lordship in our lives first thing when we wake up.  That, of course, does not take the place of our alone time with God.  That’s also the time when we sit down with our Bibles and a cup of tea or coffee, and God speaks to our spirits.  It’s a time to study God’s Word and pray.

The thing is, we say Good Morning to God, right?  We pray when we get up in the morning, thankful that God woke us up and we were able to get out of bed.  From there our day progresses, but we still pray without ceasing in our minds.  God has our attention while we do whatever we are obligated to do in this life on earth.

This world is a dry and thirsty land.  We face all sorts of adversity from people who don’t understand Christians or their beliefs – and usually don’t want to.  Even our Vice President was labeled insane for praying.  I’m still praying that God will save Joy’s soul in a Damascus-like conversion (like the Apostle Paul), because if God got ahold of Joy, can you imagine what a force she’d be for the right?  It’d be quite a sight to see.  She’s such a strong-willed person.  It’d be so great!  Right now she’s gained the whole world but lost her soul.  I’m praying that she will gain Christ and win others for Him.

Since we live in a desert land on earth, God knows we need to spend some time alone with Him every day.  I don’t feel as strong or confident if I miss my time with the Lord, do you?  He wants us to study His Word and pray, but that is for our benefit, not His.  He’s just as strong whether we show up or not.  We are the ones who need that time with Him.  It’s a gift we give ourselves.  🙂

 

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NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

tl-9-24-national-punctuation-dayhttp://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Make sure you click on this link because they are having a writing contest and it looks like a lot of fun!

Wouldnt the written word be frustrating to read without its punctuation?  Its making me crazy to write without it too.

Today we celebrate those little marks that make all the difference in how we interpret what we read:

For example, if you read

Let’s eat grandma

It has a completely different meaning than

Let’s eat, grandma.

That little comma lets us know that we are not going to eat grandma after all.  Whew!

We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids.

That’s a little scary – it sounds much better to say,

We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.

How about this one…

I enjoy cooking my family and my pets.

That makes me say, “Oh, really?”

This is much better and less like a psycho:

I enjoy cooking, my family, and my pets.

Here’s an unfortunate advertisement from Goodwill:

Your donation helps someone.  Get a job.

Wow…  really?  Let’s try this again:

Your donation helps someone get a job.

Yeah – now that encourages us to give!

Punctuation and spelling matter.  Writing is a form of communication, and if we want the meaning of our words to be understood as we intend, we need to be careful.  Punctuation is like the traffic lights and stop signs for words.  A comma means you pause – it’s like a yellow light in the intersection.   A semi-colon means you pause for a longer time.  A period means you come to a complete stop.

When you see…

It means there’s more to the thought than is revealed.  Most of the time the rest of the thought is something that is fairly obvious.  It would be rude to use …  otherwise.  Am I right???

The question mark – it means we are to ponder a question.  Whether the question is easily answered or not, we are still to respect the question mark by pondering the question.

I use dashes once in a while, which is basically like using a semi-colon.  A colon is usually used before a list having to do with the subject mentioned.  An example would be:

  • This
  • That

This and that.

Punctuation is important!  The exclamation point is used to emphasize the subject.  Punctuation is not only crucial for those of us who write, but for those of us who are expected to read what we write.  People appreciate a relatively flawless flow of words with punctuation used correctly.

The most debated part of punctuation is THE OXFORD COMMA.  I don’t always use it, but I definitely understand why it’s used.

I had eggs, toast and orange juice.

So…  is the orange juice poured all over the toast???  Ugh…

Maybe usage of the Oxford comma would clarify things a bit.

I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.

The Oxford comma remains in my punctuation tool box.

Have a great National Punctuation Day…  ,  ;  :  !  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

TL - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTHGentlemen, if you really want to do something special for your lady, take her to the park, sit on a bench together and start reciting poetry to her.  Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at me – hey, I tried!

April is National Poetry Month, so of course this blog has to celebrate!

I love a poem that says what my heart feels.  It puts into words all the thoughts and feelings I have.  This poem fills the bill:

When I say, “I am a Christian”

by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Lucinda Berry Hill has written poetry that connects with people.  She writes from the heart and is so open and honest.  Have you ever wondered what her first poem was???  It so happens I have it – right here….  yep – you saw it HERE first!  😉  She wrote this in the summer of 1976 after making a traumatic move from her home state of New York, leaving family  and friends at 12 years old – to Pennsylvania.  APRIL IS POETRY MONTH - THIS IS LBH'S FIRST POEM. I HOPE WE MEET AGAIN

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

MY PEN-PALGLORY TO MY PARTNERShe also wrote 2 poems that were created using titles from both her books, “Coffee with Jesus” and “A Second Cup with Jesus”.BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

FINDING HOME WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

Poetry describes a situation you find yourself in and will hopefully spark something in others that makes them say, “Oh, I’ve been there too” or “That was surely a GOD thing!”  I wrote a poem that did just that a few years ago.  Hope you relate to this:

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVENApparently, I’m not the only one who has experienced this!  The first time I posted this on facebook, it got close to 100 LIKES and several shares – it blew me away!  🙂

BIG WHOPPER LIAR DAY

TL 9-19 BIG WHOPPER LIAR DAY

A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”  The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.  The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

Big Whopper Liar Day is a wacky holiday that even Pinocchio can appreciate!  It began back in 1988…  every third Saturday in September, people have gathered in New Harmony, Indiana to celebrate fish tales!  The event was started by local trickster Aubry Robison, Jr., and even after his death the event lived on.

Here’s how it works.  About fifteen contestants take the stage in front of a crowd of four hundred folks.  Each contestant gets four minutes to spin the most incredible yarn they can come up with.  A team of judges award points for exaggeration, humor, stage presence and storytelling ability.

It only costs $5 to get in (for spectators and contestants).  It’s a small price to pay to hear or share a great whopper lie!

The event is now a part of Kunstfest, a weekend-long German period festival in New Harmony.

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day.  Give a fish a man, and he’ll eat for weeks!  – Toshihiro Kawabata

51ARJUmNAaL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_

 If you’re looking for a great coffee table book, this is a favorite of mine.  Published in 2004, this book of fishing tales will keep you “hooked” from cover to cover!  It’s a series of books entitled THE GREATEST (fill in the blank) EVER TOLD.  There are only twenty-eight fishing stories, so it is a quick read – but if your family is like mine, we like to pick up books from the coffee table when it’s cold or blustery outdoors – and just thumb through, half-reading, hoping to escape to a better climate.  It’s not a book about big whopper lies, but extraordinary true stories about fishing excursions.

A monastery is in financial trouble, so it goes into the fish-and-chips business to raise money. One night a customer knocks on its door. A monk answers. The customer asks, “Are you the fish friar?”  “No,” he replies. “I’m the chip monk.”

Are you a fisherman who exaggerates the size of the fish that got away???  Today’s the day you have permission to tell a WHOPPER lie!  While you have the chance, you’d better tell your best story.  Tomorrow will be too late!  Wink!  😉

ISAIAH 8:19 ON 8/19

TL ISAIAH 8 19 ON 8 19

 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  – Isaiah 8:19

PRAYER WITH LAKE

I’m not making excuses…  okay, maybe I am.  Once in a while, as I’m flipping through the channels (all 150 of them), I land on the popular TV show, “Long Island Medium”.  I’m fascinated and get sucked in as I watch the sage burn and the talk of “spirit” and the accuracy with which this woman reads people and their pain.

Then it dawns on me – I need to find something else to watch and put my faith in God and not a human being who may claim to speak to my departed loved ones.  It’s a struggle for me because I so want to believe that someone could actually communicate with them and tell me what they think and how they are doing.  Most of the living who have lost loved ones wish that could happen.

But it can’t – it really can’t.  As sad as the realization makes me, I know that my parents are doing well because they are in heaven with Jesus.  I also know that there is no remembrance of things past – they do not remember me, but they are no longer in pain and they are young and happy.  I have that assurance from God’s Holy Word.  That’s good enough for me because that is truth.

Sometimes when we miss our loved ones so much, we want to believe that a gifted psychic or spiritual advisor could speak with them and be a translator of sorts – just so we could hear from them just one more time.  But according to God’s Word, once our loved ones go to heaven, they don’t remember the former things of earth.  We who are left to live on should have hope because we know they are happy and free of sorrow and pain.

God weeps for those of us who are still stuck here because He is taking care of our loved one(s).  We need to trust God and His promises.  Just have faith in Him.  If we can trust God for our needs and remember our loved one(s) are alright, it will help us to be alright too.

You know, sometimes when I pray to God, I ask Him to pass along messages to my mom and dad.  I like to think He does that for me – because He knows that I’m still stuck down here to keep living and struggling on without them.  It’s not easy, but when I think about God passing my messages along – it makes me smile.  🙂

 

TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

TL 2-26 TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

My wife said she wanted a “fairy-tale romance,” so I’ve locked her in a tower.  – @TONYCOWARDS

Most of us grew up listening to fairy tales.  My favorite was “Jack and the Beanstalk”.  I imagined myself as Jack, climbing up the huge beanstalk that reached high above the clouds.  That’s really funny because in elementary school I was the kid whose feet could not leave the big knot on the rope when it was time to climb it.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.  She got her own TLC show.  The end.  – Ryan Anderson @KOLCHAK

Fairy tales take us to magical places where pixie dust flows freely and no one is ever cranky.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Oh, but I guess there were those few dwarfs in “Sleeping Beauty” was one of them cranky?  LOL – well I don’t remember – oh, I think it was grumpy.  Same difference…

So if we avoid grumpy we should be in pretty good shape.  Oh, but there was that Evil Queen chick – yeah.  Hmm…  this is sounding less like perfection and more like real life all the time.  What’s with that?

Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned her rags into a gown, mice into horses, and a pumpkin into endless lattes for her and her BFFs to enjoy.  – @THELAURENOBRIEN

There seem to be issues with all fairy tales.  Every one of them have something evil or malicious to be aware of.

I have never worked out the moral to Humpty Dumpty.  Is it, “Don’t let horses perform medical procedures”?  – Ricky Gervais

2-26 A FAIRY TALE

I’ll tell you my fairy tale…

Jesus and Me

Once upon a time, there was a happy baby.  She never cried but giggled all the time.  Her daddy said it was because she had gas, but it was because she was happy.  He should not buy into those old wives’ tales.  The baby laughed and giggled at everything.  She decided that nothing was going to make her unhappy.

One day in grade school she tried to read a book.  The letters on the page began to dance and it was very entertaining to the little girl, but she wanted to learn how to make the letters stop dancing so she could make sense of the book.  Her mommy and daddy enrolled her in something called special education.

The little girl paid close attention to the nice teacher and worked very hard with exercises and reading glasses.  She finally learned how to read the words by following them with her finger.  She didn’t enjoy reading at first, but the more she did it, the easier it got and the more she enjoyed it.

Nobody thought the little girl would graduate from high school, but she did!  She celebrated with all her friends and family, and her new best friend.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus helped the little girl with a lot of stuff that she could not have done by herself.

Jesus stayed with the little girl and helped her as she grew into a young woman.  He helped her land a really great job as an editor where she had to do a lot of reading.  Now the woman writes a blog for fun to encourage others to celebrate every day.

Jesus knew about the woman’s problem with reading, but nobody else did.  He will always be the woman’s best friend.

– The End

The Moral of the story is…  Jesus can help you overcome ANY obstacle you face!

Jesus cares and helps us with everything because He loves us so very much!  He is the great giver.  ❤

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (12)

LOST IN A BOOK

Most writers are also avid readers. Picture a good book and a cup of flavored coffee or green tea, with a pet curled up either on your lap or on the floor next to you. That is a picture-perfect reading day. Add a nice little rain shower outdoors and it’s even better!

Reading is one of the best ways to escape reality known to man. If you check books out from the library, it’s also one of the least expensive ways to escape. I enjoy movies and TV shows, but to be honest, that costs too much and I’m not one for re-runs, so it’s better if I check out a book from the library. No re-runs and I save a ton of money.

There are some very good choices at my local library. There are imaginary worlds that I have no problem getting completely immersed in. I wonder why I am so easily sucked in? Maybe it’s because my brain effectively simulates the events of the book in the same way it processes events in the real world. I don’t know – just a guess.

When the Bible talks about how God will provide a WAY OF ESCAPE from sin and sorrow and difficult times, I believe that the number one escape is that of getting lost in a work of fiction!

It’s so easy to put myself in one character’s shoes and pretend I am her! So of course it becomes a quest of sorts to finish the book – to find out how the story ends – what happens to ME.

Maybe you’re reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about. That means you’ve never gotten lost in a book before. Believe it or not, it takes a little practice to lose yourself in a book! Just find a book about something that interests you. I like books set in the Civil War era. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Try to relate with at least one of the characters. Pretty soon, you’ll become that character – if you will let yourself.

Give it a go… it’s really fun! 😉