God Bless You

What IS a blessing?  Well, the kind of blessings we’re talking about today are the invoking of God’s favor upon a person.  While I’m not big on the luck of the Irish, I love Irish blessings!  No country invokes God’s favor upon others quite like the Irish!

Since it’s just one day past St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to invoke God’s favor upon you!  Fasten your seat belt…  here we go!

28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  – Genesis 27:28-29

Isn’t that a beautiful photograph?  It was taken by our friend and fellow poet, David Catherwood.

Is there a wedding in your future?  Here’s a beautiful marriage blessing:

OH…  written in the key of E…  ugh.  Good for a guitar player – difficult for a piano player.  LOL!  I could play it…  but I wouldn’t LIKE it.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

We are blessed by God and in turn we bless others.

Near Powerscourt Castle in Ireland

And last, but certainly not least – this beautiful Irish prayer.  I pray this for each of you!

I hope and pray you have a wonderful, blessed week!  🙂

Big Decisions

When women are describing their dream mate, what is it they say – ???  Tall, dark, handsome, and non-communicative – right???  The sad truth is, most women don’t think much about how well a man can communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.  We find out after we marry just how important that quality is!  Frankly, in my humble opinion…  communication IS everything!

There’s a choice I had to make in college that I think may have altered the course of my life.  No, it’s true.  I had to choose between debate and interpersonal communication.  Well, no way was I going to get up in front of a bunch of talented speakers and try my hand at debate as a freshman!  It was a no-brainer…  interpersonal communication, here I come!  I don’t think I did myself a favor by going that way.  I should have thrown my shoulders back and charged ahead.  Now, I wish I would have; however, it does absolutely no good to second guess a decision that I made so long ago.

When one introvert meets and marries another introvert…  communication can be a bit sketchy for a while.  I’ve coined a phrase and use it often:

I am not a mind reader.  I’ve never been a mind reader.  I’ll never BE a mind reader.  Use your words so I will know what is going on.

Every decision as a couple needs to be discussed — not just the big ones.  It’s a matter of respect for one another.  With every year that passes, communication gets easier – you find your own way, and every couple communicates differently.  As long as it works – hey – that’s what matters!

Dear God, we know that marriage can be tricky sometimes because there are two people to consider.  Two sets of values, emotions, and baggage carried around from the past.  Help us to be considerate of one another and respectful in our decision-making.  Help us to make all moves together as a unit instead of as an individual.  You have declared that married couples are ONE.  Remind us, as only You can, that what You have joined together, no one can tear apart.  Thank You for being so good to us.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sometimes it helps to think about a couple that you really admire – and try to mirror some of their actions in your own marriage.  I loved being around my parents.  Those two could just give one another a look and they’d know and understand each other.  I want that in my marriage – and I think that’s the goal of most couples.  It’s those unspoken moments that we cherish the most, I think.  The smiles, grins, silly faces…  I love to remember all that!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I’ll bet I could have been a great in debate class…  I hold my own fairly well on facebook!  Ha!  Does that count??? 

Today is Superbowl Sunday, of course.  I have one thought to share about it. 

One more example of a big decision…  to get excited about Jesus, or get excited about football.  Is there room for both?  Well, yes, of course there’s room for both in our lives.  I’m still angered by the behavior of the players, so will not be watching the Superbowl this year.  I’d rather get excited about Jesus.  He never lets me down!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I’m not sure why people think that destruction is a way to be heard.  Frustration, perhaps – but a better thing to do when you are frustrated is to pray.  It goes back to putting prayer in its rightful place – first place.  Make prayer your first resource instead of your last resort!  Will prayer make a difference?  I believe it does!  Will it change anything?  Yes, it will.  Prayer is an act of faith and trust in Almighty God.  It says you know without a doubt that God is in control and will see you through the difficult times.

It’s wrong to destroy property in an effort to retaliate against the status quo.  Fight the temptation to join in on such violence and vandalism.  When you’re frustrated, pray for God to intervene as only He can.  Trust in His answers in His perfect timing.  They won’t come in your time – but His.  I understand the feeling that maybe God is running late…  but the longer we live with Him walking by our side, the more we understand that God is not late – He is always right on time – never early, but His timing is perfect – always!

Keep loving and praying instead of fighting and fretting.  This is how to find the peace in your heart that God wants for you.  He loves you so much!  There was a song back in my day that I dearly loved.  A lot of my Christian friends in high school liked it too.  God bless PAUL DAVIS!  Turn it up – here’s DO RIGHT.  🙂

Only God knows why we have to endure injustice in this wicked world – but we need to trust Him instead of being part of a growing problem – it has caused division, sadly.  God wants all people of all races to be kind and love Him.  Take a look at this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Whether the advice is DO RIGHT from Paul Davis, or DON’T GO WRONG from Lucinda Berry Hill, the message is the same…  stay close to God – and PRAY without ceasing!  Keep the faith and know in your heart that God will see you through.  Trust Him for answers, and thank Him for each and every one.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Do you have brown eyes?  Maybe they are blue, or green, or hazel, or gray.  I once saw a photo of a white cat with purple eyes, but I’m pretty sure that was photo shopped.  No matter what color your eyes are, they are the windows to your soul – and you know what?  Your eyes let others know so much.  Your love ratio shows through in your eyes.  If God’s love lives in your soul, His love will shine through – and people will see it in your eyes.

We look each other in the eye and become uncomfortable when a person doesn’t look us in the eye.  We feel they somehow have something to hide or are guilty of something.  Of course, it could be that a person is just shy, but avoiding eye contact raises red flags to most of us.

The way the world thinks of love is so superficial and lightweight.  There’s barely a commitment involved in relationships anymore, which is so sad.  God’s love is so strong and He is so faithful and reliable to us, isn’t He?  He knows I’m not always going to get things right, but He knows that my heart is in the right place and my mind is fixed on His Word.  Most people are fairly self-centered, if we’re completely honest about it.  God is all about us and wants His best plan for us.  Why would we not want Him in our lives?

I was having a chuckle about the dance moves in this video.  These kids are obviously Baptists…  we don’t dance and this is our signature move.  Ha!

If ever there was a verse that Christians should memorize…  this is it.  Let’s memorize it – and put it into practice.  Let’s be the children God wants us to be.

I ran across this little video and thought it was just precious.  If you need encouragement to memorize this verse…  here ya go!

I like that little shirt too – so cute!

In closing, I want to emphasize that this is the most important commandment ever issued from the throne of glory.  I we choose to neglect this one, we can’t keep any of the others.  If we choose to observe it, we can easily keep the others.

Love trumps everything in God’s book.  God is love – and He expects nothing less from His children as they interact with one another.  🙂

 

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

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 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  – John 17:20-26

Our Lord prayed for His believers to be as ONE.  He wants us to be united as He and His Father in Heaven are ONE.  It’s no secret that America is more divisive now than it’s ever been.  If you can imagine a way to divide us – we’re divided.  Age, race, weight, height, religion, and on and on it goes.  God’s not pleased and Christians should lead the way in healing the scars.  The healing begins with prayer and studying God’s Word.

Read your Bible and pray.  That’s what it takes to be a true Christian.  – Harold McKay

My friend Harold also told me another “secret” to success as a Christian.  He said as long as you’re sincerely praying for someone, there’s no way you can hate or even dislike them.  In life, if we could just learn to pray for those who irk us in life instead of fighting back – it’d be wonderful.

Of all the famous quotes from Dr. King, this is my favorite:

mlk-quoteIn this world, we are “beholden” to one another.  We’re fools if we think we’re not.

martin-luther-king-jr-and-nonviolence-violent-violence-quotes-quote-darkness-cannot-drive-out-darkness-only-light-can-do-that-hate-cannot-drive-out-hate-only-love-camartin-luther-king-jr-i-have-a-dream-speechmlk4-getty_57363628166056335-img_20111008_123122-1024x768imagesikc9ys19martin-luther-king-jr-imagemartin_luther_king_jr_quote_2

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We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is also devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I vote for LOVE and FORGIVENESS as a Christian nation in 2017!  May we strive for unity in America this year.  Let’s make God smile.  🙂

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  Obviously, today I am very thankful for…  FOOD!  Yes, family and friends make it all taste better…  but today is the day that is all about the big meal.  The day I allow myself to eat a hot roll and mashed potatoes.  I will – and I’ll enjoy every bite, thank you very much!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.   – Meister Eckhart

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for our meal today:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  – E.P. Powell

Of course I’m thankful for so many things…  so is Lucinda!

card-tables

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  – Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

I wish for you today fullness in a physical sense, of course, but also a spiritual sense of fullness.  I wish that you will not just see the blessings before you – food, friends, family, furbabies, shelter, warmth, love…  and yes, card tables.  But may you also literally feel a sense of thankfulness to God for all of it!  Have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving!  🙂

JOHN 10:9 ON 10/9

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 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  – John 10:9

Christ Jesus is the way, truth, life…  and the gate.  Once we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we have true freedom.  I’m reminded of a butterfly when I think of real freedom.  They go where they want to go…  we’re like that – we have the freedom to be everything we can be in life.  Nothing can stop us from being the best beings we can be!  Let’s find pasture – be free…  FLY!

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You exist in perfect harmony. May Your Spirit dwell in us that the world might see You, and believe.  – Bobby Fulks

We need to ditch the stigmas and labels of society.  What happened to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  What has happened to us as a society?  I’ve decided there’s not a thing I can do about anybody else or their attitudes…  but with God’s help in Christ, there is a ton of stuff I can do to make my attitude SHINE.  I’m determined to be a shining example in a society that is clearly taking a turn in the wrong direction.

all-the-same

 

I love butterflies because they remind us that we can change who and what we are simply by giving us the wings to fly higher and higher. Don’t allow others to clip your wings by the labels and stigmas they attach to you. Realize that you have the greatest power to change your destiny. Change may be tough but once you realize its worth there is nothing that can stop you from maintaining and continuing your journey upward.  – Ellen Sherman.

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Thank you, Ellen, for letting me share your quote and this lovely statue from your beautiful garden!  I’m so blessed to call you FRIEND.

I want to be God’s butterfly – rising above it all.  With God’s help, I’m determined to ditch stigmas and labels, knowing that God created all sorts of butterflies…  all sizes and colors!  He made each species and declared, “It is good.”  How boring would this world be if we were all the same?  What if there were only Monarch butterflies and no other species?  Ridiculous, right?  The same applies to us as people.  It’s our differences that make us so wonderful.  When will we learn that lesson?

When we learn to stop judging another person and begin to pray for them instead…  wow, what a wonderful world this would be!  Today I pray that you will fly like a butterfly…  free and unencumbered by labels or stigmas.  Instead of judging someone, judge yourself next to God’s Word.  When each of us stand before our Maker, that’s the only judgment that will matter.

I don’t know about you, but I want to hear my Lord say, “Well done good and faithful servant.  Enter now unto thy rest.”  I know the Bible tells us that there will be no tears in Heaven…  but I gotta say, how could I possibly hear those words from God Himself and not weep???  I’m crying now…  pass the tissues!

This butterfly just wants to fly to her final rest knowing that all is well between me and thee…  and me and my Father in Heaven.  Vertical and horizontal…  like the CROSS of Christ – the sign of the cross.  Keep the way clear – there’s nothing between my soul and my Savior.  🙂

RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY

TL 9-19 RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAYRespect For The Aged Day is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens.  The holiday recognizes the contributions that elderly citizens have made to Japanese society.

I wonder how much America could learn from this tradition?  In this country it seems that our elderly are not honored, but tossed aside or institutionalized where they become someone else’s problem.  It’s so sad because our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer.  They’d be more than happy to share with us if we’d just ask.

WEAK MEMORY, STRONG HEART

Choosing to love an elderly person, whether they are family or not, is a choice.  We can choose to be impatient and irritable with them, or kind and helpful.  You could think of it this way…  if you live long enough, you’ll eventually be elderly.  How do you want to be treated?  It goes back to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  – Ephesians 4:32

If there’s an elderly person in your life, take some time today to show respect for them.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • A phone call shows that you care.  Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Send a card that says you’re concerned about their welfare.
  • Ask questions about how things were back when they were younger.  They’ll be happy to share stories.
  • Show appreciation for any special gifts and talents they have.  Compliment the most recent project.
  • Give a little present to show love and appreciation.  It doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it’ll do so much good.
  • Plan a special outing if possible.  There’s nothing quite like an occasion to look forward to – and dress up for.  It doesn’t have to be expensive – just a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant would be nice.
  • Offer a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store.
  • Share your precious time with someone who is more than likely lonely and may need some human contact and conversation.i-must-take-time

We all just want to be respected, don’t we?  We would like to have our efforts and our contributions appreciated once in a while.  How much more would we like all that if we were older and possibly all alone?  As we age, we need even more help, but we also need common courtesy from others and wouldn’t it be great to get some respect?

Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield routine… I DON’T GET NO RESPECT – ???  Well, it’s funny as a bit, but it’s really not very funny when you don’t get respect in real life.  :-/

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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WE DON'T BOW BEFORE A FLAG

https://youtu.be/HQJPEQwpK0E

On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution, later amended on December 22, 1942, that encompassed what has come to be known as the U.S. Flag Code.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Flag_Code

They call Chicago the windy city, but we have our share of high wind in Wichita.  Awhile back, I was sitting in the truck waiting for my husband at a McDonald’s.  You know how it is, you don’t have much to look at and you notice things that you probably would not pay attention to if you were not bored and waiting.  I took a good look at the American flag and the McDonald’s flag.

Maybe this bothered me so much because we just celebrated FLAG DAY.  The flags looked absolutely horrendous!  They were tattered and torn.  There were strips of fabric hanging off the edges of both flags.  The American flag looked as though it was time to burn it and replace it.  I don’t think the McDonald’s flag has to be burned – does it?  Maybe just toss that flag with no ceremony.  Eat a Big Mac in its honor, or something.  😉

But as I said…  it’s probably not something that anyone else (including the employees) would even take notice of.

I went beyond mumbling under my breath about it.  I decided to go back to the McDonald’s and speak with the manager.  Amazingly, I was greeted with a great deal of respect.  I’m sure he thought I was there to complain about the last happy meal I ordered – but no, this complaint is of a more serious nature.

He remained engaged and interested even after learning of my concern.  He appreciated me pointing out the condition of both flags and agreed that the employees get so busy they rarely look up at them.  I told him I totally understand that everyone gets busy and focused on the task at hand.  We forget to look up, don’t we?

Now I’ll wait and see if anything changes.  I will see if the flags get replaced or if they continue to disintegrate on the pole.  I did what I thought was right.  What more could I do?  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDHow are your preparations going?  We’re not finished yet!  Today, let’s do something to serve the ones in our home.  I hear you saying you do that every day – lol!  You may feel as though you serve those in your own household every day, but I want to invite you to take a look at the chores assigned to each member of your family.

Who usually feeds the pets?  Who usually gathers the garbage to go out to the curb every week?  Who is the one that cleans the toilets?  Ugh…  lovely chore there! 

Today I want you to do a chore that you don’t usually do – just take over and do it – no pomp or circumstance – and no announcement.  Just do it.  When you are asked WHY you did it – then you can let your family member know how much you appreciate them – and their faithfulness in doing that chore on a regular basis.  In my family, that would be followed by “Don’t expect it all the time, but…” 

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Do we tend to take our family members for granted?  Well of course we do!  When the trash gets taken out to the curb – it just magically takes itself out, right?  Stuff just happens – we each have our chores and that’s how life works smoothly.  This is just a little exercise to let your family members know they are appreciated.

As we take in the life and light of our Lord, may it shine forth in our attitudes and actions toward others, but especially in our own homes…  that’s where our mission should always begin – inside the walls of our own residence.

WRAPPED GIFTSGOD WITH US…  EMMANUEL.  He is our gift of hope in these uncertain and divisive days.  He loves every life – every soul is precious to Him – every one of us matter to Him.  We need to show appreciation for one another in our homes to begin with – then others around us – and finally to those who are a little further away – then we need to show the respect and honor to others that we want them to show to us.  Wrap a gift for other people and call it respect.  It sounds so very simple – why is it such a challenge?  :-/