Season of New Beginnings

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.  – Romans 5:18

If all we look at is the original sin, life looks so hopeless, doesn’t it?  But as we see what Christ did on Calvary, we see that there is hope for renewal and real change in behavior and lifestyle – for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!  I like the sound of HOPE, don’t you?

This portion of Scripture celebrates freedom for every Christian.  There is finally good news that we can have eternal life because of what Christ endured to pay the price for our sins – past, present, and future.

If we put blinders on and see just the one original sin, we’re likely to lack vision regarding our own life.  Salvation does not guarantee that we will never sin, and the truth is, that ol’ devil will mess with a Christian more than a non-Christian!  When we do get tangled up in the weeds, we do have hope for better days ahead.

Sin is only fun for a season, and be sure it will find you out one way or the other.  When it does, turn back to God, seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of those you wronged here if possible.  Move out of the ruins and walk in God’s beautiful light.  Nobody knows your heart better than He does.  He can and will help you get your act together again.

It’s almost May and the April showers are nearly a thing of the past.  As the May flowers start growing around you, don’t you want your life to be heading in the right direction?  Discover a new life that will not only make you happier, but be pleasing to God as well.  That’s what matters – pleasing our Heavenly Father.  Let Him pick you up, dust you off, and set you on His straight path.

Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  – 1 Corinthians 15:22

New life.  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Why live under the death curse, among the weeds and the waste, when with Christ, you can have a new life?  He loves you so much and wants to give you His peace, joy, love, hope and eternal life.  Walk out of the ruins and into His loving arms.  He will make you a beautiful flower!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23  

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

In 2017, let’s be NEW!!!  Let’s be renewed creations in Christ.  Much like the yearly closet cleaning we do in our homes, let’s do some cleaning of our attitudes and actions.  Have you slipped on doing daily devotions?  there’s no time like NOW to start up again?

If there is one thing I’ve learned on my weight loss journey, it is…  if you mess up, don’t beat yourself up about it – just do better tomorrow!  Eat what you should, move when you should and do the right things.  It’ll be okay – it really will.

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Feeling guilty or shameful is counter productive.  Move forward and do better.  Yesterday is gone.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Move toward tomorrow.  The future is waiting – and your Bible sets on the coffee table.  Just go pick it up and read a passage today.  Keep a journal if you want to.  You know, there are now journaling Bibles available.  I keep a notebook journal, but I think journaling is a helpful tool.5

If there are things you need to throw away, throw them away.  Attitudes, actions, chocolate.  Whatever it is – God knows and that’s good enough.  It’s sure none of my business.  Toss what you need to toss to get right with the Lord again.  Ask Him to forgive the sin and ask Him to help you stay away from it in the future.  We all mess up, but God is faithful to help us when we humbly ask for it.7

Once you’ve handed all of the old to God…  turn and walk away.  Put your hope and trust in God’s ability to clean up your act.  You’ll assuredly be tempted again because the enemy is still busy, but God is stronger and with His help you can resist temptation.6

A new year…  that’s great, but how much greater it is when we pair it with a renewed relationship with the LORD!  I pray God’s richest blessings on your life this year!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It’s Suicide Prevention Month.  We’ve all felt down at times, but some folks just can’t seem to crawl out of the pit they find themselves in.  Suicide is a very real problem not only in the United States, but around the world.  When people are contemplating suicide, they are really just wanting to stop the pain, whether it be emotional or physical.  Keep in mind that suicide is a very permanent solution to what is probably a temporary problem.

I know that when you’re at the lowest point, the last thing you want to do is pray.  The feeling of utter hopelessness has you in its grasp and praying just doesn’t seem to do much good.  The truth is, that’s when it does the most good.  The enemy of your soul wants you to stay in that pit, but the God of the universe wants to help you climb out – take His hand and trust in His ability to pull you out.

I’m old enough to remember old hymns, and one of my favorites is UNDER HIS WINGS.  The truth in that hymn shoots straight to my heart.  Whether I’m playing it on the piano or singing it in the congregation, it makes me cry.  I want to abide under God’s wings forever.

We all have what I call gray days…  days when we feel alone or unloved.  I wonder how many times we feel that way instead of feeling like God has blessed us with an opportunity to be alone with Him so that we can feel Him loving us?

choose-to-pray

One of my favorite pastors once said, “There’s a big difference between feeling lonely and being alone.”  I’ve not forgotten those words.  I don’t remember Scripture references to back it up, and I don’t remember much of anything else regarding the sermon – but that one statement has stayed with me.  God gives us what we need to get through gray days…  even if it is one sentence from a sermon almost ten decades ago.

The point is, we can choose the attitude we will have about the circumstances we find ourselves in.Before we choose a permanent solution to a temporary situation, we really need to involve God.  If we will just call on Him with honest words – even if they are angry words…  there’s no use in trying to hide your true feelings because God made you.  He knows your thoughts and your true feelings.  Be truthful with Him and let Him answer your cry for help.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.   – Psalm 91:4

I read an article on facebook that just melted my heart!  I think you’ll like it too.

When Lucinda read this story, it inspired her to write a beautiful poem!

be-that-changeHow much could we do to help others???  We may be surprised at what we could be doing to prevent tragedy in another person’s life.  Today, ask God to reveal to you a way in which you can make a difference in someone’s life.  You may be surprised at the answer you get!

I want to leave you with one more poem of encouragement.  Remember that God is faithful. 🙂he-is-faithfulGod is a light in the darkness.

a-light-in-the-darknessIf you are feeling depressed about life, find a friend and enjoy some tea together.  If you are preparing tea, ask God to put someone on your heart and mind who may need to share tea with you.  We’re here to take care of one another.  We obviously take care of our own families, but it’s amazing what we could do for someone we don’t even know…  yet.  🙂

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

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

Who remembers VBS – Vacation Bible School?  If you’re as old as I am, you may have slept since you were in an opening assembly.  Adult Christians (like me) who are not working in VBS probably need to brush up on the various pledges that the kiddos can recite with no hesitation.  I remember when I could recite them without hesitation, but as I say, I’ve slept since then.  Let’s review the pledges:

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Did you read them?  Did you put your right hand over your heart as you read them?  Okay…  read them again, slowly, absorbing the meaning, with your right hand over your heart.  I’ll wait.  La la la la la…  whistling…  twiddling thumbs…

Have you truly committed to the values you were taught a long time ago back in VBS?  Life gets busy and sometimes it gets too busy.  As adults, we become responsible for others – and it’s as it should be.  We’re supposed to grow up and expand our horizons and become contributing, responsible members of society.  If you’re successful in life, it’s a good thing!  If you’ve become successful in one aspect of your life while leaving behind the basic allegiances you once had for God’s Word, Christian values and your country…  well, maybe it’s time to reassess the meaning of success.

Let’s say a prayer of rededication to the things of God:

Dear Heavenly Father,  We the people of America are individuals.  Some of us grew up in church, making VBS an essential part of our summer.  We learned how to pledge allegiance to Your Holy Word, to a Christian way of life and to the belief that there should be liberty and justice for all.  These are ideals and values we want to recommit to starting today.  Please forgive us for letting anything else get in the way through the years.  It seems the demands of life and responsibility of family has gotten in the way.  We want our relationship with You to be the top priority from which all other things fall into place.  You have promised in Your Word that You will bless us if we give You first place in our lives.  Help us to not only make sure our children and grandchildren know these pledges by heart, but to make sure we know them and hide them deep in our hearts and minds.  We know that the only way America will be a Christian nation and be blessed by You is for its citizens to individually commit to You and to Your ways.  We know that there is a way that seems right to man, but it leads to death.  May we not be deceived into thinking we are on a true path.  We want to be on the path that leads to eternal life when this life on earth is finished.  Right now we pray You will speak to our hearts and lead us in the way we should go.  We hunger and thirst for You and Your righteousness.  America needs You, Lord.  We pray all these things in the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

AMERICA NEEDS YOU LORD

JUNE 1971VBS June 1971…  that’s how it’s done – you round-up the neighborhood kids and haul ’em to the church.  BOOM!  LOL.  🙂

MATTHEW 6:26 ON 6/26

TL MATTHEW 6-26 ON 6-26

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  – Matthew 6:26

If you are feeling alone and forgotten today, this verse is just what you need!  We all need to be reminded that our God loves us more than anything!  In a world that seems to put less value and importance of the sanctity of human life – it does our hearts good to know that God values each and every one of us individually.

How can a great big God show such intimate and special concern for us?  I don’t have the answer to that question – but I know He does!

Our neighbors to the east have a bird feeder hanging on a metal shepherd’s hook.  They keep that feeder filled with bird food year around.  Sometimes I just stand at my kitchen window and watch the birds, especially in the wintertime.  I think of this verse and the old hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow”.  God provides for even the little sparrow – sometimes through folks like our neighbors.

My mom-in-love used to tear a slice of bread up almost every day to feed the birds.  She didn’t have much money, and I don’t think she ate very much herself, but she was bound and determined that the birds would not starve.  We used to remind her that God would take care of the birds, and she needed to take care of herself.  I don’t think she listened.  LOL!

It’s God’s desire to have an ongoing relationship with each of us throughout our life’s journey.  He loves us so much and cares about every little thing that’s happening in our lives.

HIS FAITHFULNESS RENEWS MEJust knowing that God takes such good care of the sparrows and cares even more about us…  makes me think that He will also cause us to soar like eagles!  With His help, we really do fly above the chaos that is life and run like an antelope without growing faint.

What’s stopping you today?  You are armed with the knowledge that the God of the universe favors you and wants to help you live life in a whole and happy way.  That leaves me feeling hopeful for the future.  🙂

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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https://youtu.be/hNDI0QolYm0

John sent me a great video!  He said this is a hidden creek 10 miles Southeast of Augusta, Kansas.  His appreciation for God’s creation makes me want to go out and plant a garden.  Okay, at the very least, it makes me want to go outside and make mud pies!  🙂

Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.  – Terri Guillemets

FLOWERS IN THE SNOW

It was quite a sight to see snow on Easter morning, but isn’t that just like God?  You know, when I taught Sunday School, my favorite lessons were object lessons.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a visual learner.  You can talk me to death, but until I see something and have it click in my own mind, talking just doesn’t do much good.  Don’t make me read boring statistics either, or you’ll lose me completely.  I believe God sent that snow to remind us that on Easter, the plan of Salvation was completed and He is more than able and willing to wash our sins as white as snow.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  – Romans 10:9-10

Spring is a time of renewal – a time to begin anew.  What a great time to ask God into your heart and life.  He wants to be the Lord of your life.  Let’s pray this simple prayer together.  If you already know Jesus as Lord and Savior, what a great prayer of rededication and recommitment to Him:

Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I have sinned
and done things that have hurt you.

I am willing to turn away
from what is wrong in my life.

I want to go where you lead in the future.

Thank you for dying on the cross
so that I might be forgiven.


Come into my life this day;
Come in as my Saviour and Lord:
Come in to be with me for ever.


Thank you Lord Jesus.
Amen.

You know – sometimes God’s children just need to laugh.  Before it gets too far away from Easter, I want to share a poem with you.  My friend Deanna posted a photo and said it was a naked peep taking a bath in her cup of hot tea.  I thought I’d split a stitch, I laughed so hard!  How could that not become a poem?  Laughter is one of many…  gifts from Heaven.  🙂

GIFTS FROM HEAVEN