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.  🙂

 

 

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THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

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The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

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Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  – Nehemiah 8:10

Today’s post is especially for those of you who wait until the last-minute to finish your Christmas shopping and preparations.  What is the message?  The message is DO NOT DISMAY!  No, that is not a word we use in everyday conversation these days, but it’s worth talking about.  To dismay is to freak out.  Don’t freak out if every little detail is not finished before Christmas Day – it’s still going to be great – trust me.  If you end up at KFC eating chicken out of a box – don’t sweat it – if you are with the people you love most in the world…  it’s good.  It could end up being the most memorable Christmas ever!

Rest…  let’s talk about rest.  Yes, we say rest in peace when someone has died.  We’re not going to rest that completely, okay; however, we need to dismay, worry, freak out less and rest, trust, rely on the Lord more.  He won’t fail to help you in putting Christmas plans together.

How can you rest while you are putting the last-minute touches on your Christmas plans?  Here are some ideas:

  • Listen to praise & worship Christmas music.  There are literally thousands of artists that will reinforce positive Christmas lyrics as you’re driving from place to place today.  Don’t dismay.  Rest.
  • Have some alone time with God before you leave the house.  Ask Him to give you moments of rest along the way.
  • Everyone is different, but sometimes I stop at a coffee shop located near a favorite shopping spot.  I get a cup of something skinny and sugar-free.  I take time to sit and silently pray and have a conversation with God about how I’m feeling – pressured or stressed or happy or sad or whatever.  I love that God is up for a conversation with me anytime I need to talk.  And I try to be a good listener as well.  I feel refreshed and ready to keep going.  I’m at rest.
  • Remember ask God to help you and whatever doesn’t get done must not have been important.  Keep some verses stored up so you can recall them when need to rest and be calm.  Maybe it’d be a good idea to have some in your glove compartment in the car.

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I love love LOVE the line that says, LEAVE YOUR WORRIES AT THE DOOR.  What door do you go to where you know without a doubt you can leave every care on the doorstep?  I pray that my door is one where anyone can lay their stress and worry on the porch and come inside and feel more rested before they leave.

Even more importantly…  we need to leave our worries at the door of our hearts and ask God through Jesus to take our worries and cares away.  So let’s listen to this great carol.

Do me a favor and stop for a moment, take a breath and say a little prayer of thanks.  God is your strength.  Rest…  and smile.  Christ came for you.  🙂

 

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.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

Did you hear fireworks until after midnight last night?  We did!  So, you must forgive me because I’m writing in a fog and sleep-deprived state of mind – lol.

Speaking of sleep…  ah – yes – let’s speak of sleep!!!

I have some ideas about getting your zzz’s…  these tips came in handy for me and I hope they help you too!  🙂

  • Every day around 3pm when you begin to doze off at work, you obviously cannot take a nap (but dream of it – yes, you do) – eat an orange!  The citrus scent will perk you up, and the orange contains energy boosting “good” carbohydrates.
  • Whether you work or are retired, there are nights when your mind just won’t shut down!  It’s a frustrating feeling.  You walk around the house saying, “It’s time to sleep.  What is the matter with you?”  I’ve learned that I need to begin winding down about a half hour before I plan to go to bed.  Especially as I get older, I have to back up my words with actions in order to get my body to respond in a positive way.
  • These days I carve out time for an afternoon nap.  Yes, just like Kindergarten, I curl up on my little woven rug and say good-bye to the world for about an hour or so.  We make time for the things that matter most.  In my book – that is definitely replenishing sleep.
  • Is it rude for me to sleep on a trip while my husband is driving?  It doesn’t seem to bother him, so I don’t worry about it.  If I steal some rest during a trip that’s okay with me.
  • Instead of reaching for a nighttime sleep aid (which may be habit-forming), try eating a handful of nuts before you begin your routine and go to bed.  By the time you hit the sheets, you will probably be ready to sleep.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for our bodies.  That’s when we replenish and revive.  Here’s to a good night’s sleep (and maybe even a nap tomorrow).  🙂

NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

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Perhaps even more often than exchanging pleasantries, we also exchange dissatisfactions…  Two strangers complaining on a subway platform can end up cracking a smile or laughing, and though it would hardly be considered the beginning of a lifelong friendship, it is still neighborly.  – Mariana Alessandri, PhD

Today is the NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING.  For 24 hours we are encouraged to lay down all technology and do something that we are unaccustomed to…  REST!

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.   – Ovid

I am a firm believer in rest – naps – relaxing – taking a break.  So…  I am writing this post now (in January) to let you know I will be resting for the next 24 hours.  There won’t be a post tomorrow, but I will return with a new post on March 8th.

“You can always do more.  But if you do too much, they won’t get your best.”  My college roommate’s father, a third-grade teacher, told me this during my first year of teaching.  I was staying late every night and getting burned out.  He helped me accept that I couldn’t chase down every lesson idea or write sentences of explanation for each error.  It gave me the freedom to focus on interaction with kids.  That’s made all the difference.  – Sean McComb

Maybe you can catch up with a Stephen King novel.  Hmm…  if it’s dark, maybe not.

When I was a kid, I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination.  This made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world…  with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights.  – Stephen King

What do you need to do?  Well, I suggest you stop reading this and go REST.  Rest your thumbs so they don’t get arthritis prematurely.  Take a walk and leave your cell phone at home.  No texting.  If you turn your laptop and desktop off completely then you’ll be less tempted to check email or anything else.

Will you celebrate this time of rest with me?  Thinkin’ this guy won’t.

How much more dependent on technology are we in 2015 than we were in 2014?  Is it getting worse?  Is it a generational thing?  Well, of course it is!  When I was a kid I knew how to entertain myself with some of my dad’s old boards, some glue and some of my mom’s leftover yarn!  I used to sit for hours at the kitchen table, creating abstract works of art with these mediums!  Some of them were really quite GROOVY!  LOL!!!

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.  – John F. Kennedy

The young people were born into technology and cannot imagine having to use their own imaginations to entertain themselves.  It’s all about communication with them!  The bad news is, they don’t have much inner vision.  The good news is, we are raising great communicators!!!  That’s not a bad thing in the workplace!

What is the sound of no hands texting?  – Brandon Specktor

I’m guessing most of my followers are over 20 years of age, so maybe my plea will not fall on deaf ears.  LOL!!!  Let’s go out and enjoy the real world around us – for just 24 hours.  Prove that you can be connected with those who actually live in your world.  You may learn something you would not have learned about them otherwise, you never know.  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS EVE

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P&P ON THE EVE OF CHRISTMAS

Well – it is Christmas Eve 2014!  Everyone has their own traditions, but this year I highly recommend you include this  movie in your plans.  This movie is my pick for sure – Marlo Thomas is one of my favorites!  The charitable work her father started and she has taken over is so heart-touching.  This movie is a bit of a tear-jerker, but I believe a good Christmas movie usually is, don’t you?

This film is from 1977, but has always touched my heart.  It’s a retelling of the great movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. 

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.  – W.T. Ellis

Put on your Christmas Eve Jammies and fuzzy socks, grab some organic popcorn and favorite diet soda.  Curl up and enjoy!  Go over to You Tube and watch “It Happened One Christmas”.  I’ve been told to post the links here would violate copyright laws.  Bummer.   😦

 Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.  – Janice Maeditere

Of course we remember that the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the real REASON FOR THE SEASON, but at the same time, we need to take some time to relax and enjoy a good movie that helps us open our hearts.  There’s nothing to put life into real perspective like a classic Christmas tale.

I watch Christmas movies this time of year like most men watch football – hey, it’s my addiction!  Have a blessed Christmas Eve everyone.  Open your heart and show some love.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

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