A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.  – Psalm 119:34

When we lean on our own understanding, the end result is disappointing, to say the least.  Our Father can see the whole picture of our life and we see through a glass dimly.  How many times have you asked God for wisdom and understanding, just to have Him reveal a truth to you that is a game changer?  When we humble our hearts, minds and agendas to our Father…  it is amazing what a difference it makes in the outcome.  ❤

I know some of you are thinking of the movie BIG with Tom Hanks.  The weird genie machine – you know, the one they asked questions to and the answers popped out and Tom Hanks turned into a kid?  No, it’s not like that.  God is not a magic machine or a carnival game.  He is Holy and omnipotent, just and fair in everything.  He is Almighty God.  When we bow before Him and humbly ask for help, He notices the motive of our heart.  Do actions and intentions matter to God?  Yes, they most certainly do.  ❤

In this verse, David humbles himself before God as he asks for understanding and tells God that he will keep His laws and obey it with his whole heart.  Isn’t it wonderful that we have the awesome privilege to bow before the throne of God Himself and do the same thing?  ❤

When we let God know that we will keep His law and obey it with all our heart, He is not only able, but willing to help us along in our decision-making in life.  May I remind you that the reason God created human beings was for companionship?  He wants a best friend to help through this maze called life.  ❤

The Bible is a road map for life.  It’s so precious to study it and keep its precepts in our minds.  She is to be cherished because She is gold!  ❤she-is-gold

You know, I used to wonder why we had the Ten Commandments and other rules and regs from the Lord.  It seemed like God just didn’t want me to have any fun.  Did you know that we have all these dos and don’ts because God wants to keep us safe?  Good parents have house rules.  Curfew, punishments like grounding, dress code for going out…  it’s all an attempt to keep kids safe.  God is our Father and He wants to help us stay safe.  I love Him for that!  ❤

 

 

MATTHEW 6:15 ON 6/15

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But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  – Matthew 6:15

It would be good for all of us to remember that our Father will judge us with the same mercy, or lack thereof, that we judge others.  Ouch!  The greatest commandment we’re given is to love God and love each other.  We’re to be quick to forgive and that’s not always easy to do.  I believe God wants us to learn forgiveness not for the other person, but for ourselves – to maintain our peace of mind.

As we get older it becomes easier to forgive because we realize that it’s just not worth it to carry the burden around.  We quickly give it to God because we know He can surely handle it better than we can.  Once we forgive, we move on and we don’t turn around.  Just keep walking…

If we harbor a spirit of unforgiveness, it complicates and compromises our daily walk with God.  We need to be released from inner anguish and anger in order to receive the healing we need from God – and the only way that can happen is through forgiveness.  God doesn’t want anything to stand between us and Him.  Inner anguish and anger certainly qualifies as something that would get in the way of our relationship, don’t you think?FORGIVENESS

God loves us more than we can begin to comprehend, and He has a wonderful plan for us, but if we continue to let unforgiveness get in the way, He can’t work in our lives like He wants to.  I want to be forgiving so God can work in my life.

In our world, forgiveness is seen as weakness.  To forgive another person for wronging you is probably the most difficult thing to do and is, in my mind, a sign of great strength.  Some people think that you have to let the person back into your life after forgiving them – and again…  no, you don’t.  You forgive, but you’re not a fool – just keep walking.  Actually, there are some situations where you do need to allow people back in your life – but in those cases you need to set some ground rules with them so they don’t mess with you again.  An example would be family members.  You really can’t walk away from them, but they can hurt you badly.  Make it clear that you won’t tolerate it again.  Of course, we know that we are to forgive as often as necessary, but making sure they know the rules will hopefully be enough to take care of the problem.FORGIVING AND MOVING ON

God didn’t create doormats.  We’re not on planet earth to be walked on by others.  Being taken advantage of for our kind nature is not what God had in mind for any of us.  By the same token, God didn’t create us to walk around with a chip on our shoulder either – just waiting for the next person to come along and knock it off and start a fight.

There is an in-between there, and it’s found in a solid relationship with God.  If we understand our purpose for living – to share Christ with others – then we understand that no matter what happens in life, our Lord will provide a way of escape from it, and we have to be ready to face it, work through it, walk away from it and let it go.  Some of us don’t get much practice, and some of us get a great deal of practice.  Regardless, we need to know how to forgive and by God’s grace – forget it.  If we don’t, God can’t forgive us.  If you needed to find motivation to forgive, there it is.

Today and every day this is my prayer:

Father, please help me to forgive completely so that You can forgive me completely.  Help me to embrace all the good stuff and the good people You have placed in my life, and completely release the ones who have caused pain in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZEPHANIAH 2:3 ON 2/3

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Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands.  Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.  – Zephaniah 2:3

 How careful should we all be to seek peace with God, before the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, or ceases to strive with us.  We are living in the day of Grace right now.  If you have been on the fence – thinking about getting “right” with God – now is that time, because our Lord Jesus is coming back soon to snatch up His own.

I don’t debate the whole pre or post tribulation – if God wanted that to be a big deal He would have made it crystal clear.  I know some post tribulation believers think it’s all spelled out in Matthew, but regardless – it’s best to just be ready no matter what!  It’s more important to be ready than to debate whether God’s children will have to endure the tribulation.

Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.  – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

These days it’s not easy to be a Christian because man is constantly changing the rules.  Even the rules are being tweaked in some churches to “fit and accept” certain sinful desires.  Beware of false doctrines in the last days.  Now more than ever we need to remember that God and His rules in the Holy Bible never change.  We can claim to be progressive and diverse and any other description you can dream up – but the truth is that God’s Holy Word is the final authority forever.  By the same token, God is the only judge of man.  Man is not to judge – ever.

HIS LOVE IS EXTRA-LARGE

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He died on the cross – one time – for everybody.  You may think you’ve sunk too low or gone too far – but that’s not true.  No matter what you’ve done, it’s not too late to ask forgiveness with a sincere heart and make a U-turn!  He loves you so much and I hope you will do that today.  I don’t want anyone to miss heaven.  I want everyone to be there.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My husband and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage today!

You would think that I’d be a wellspring of wisdom and filled with great advice for those younger than me.  The fact is, we are still learning as we go along.  There are a few things I have learned through the years.  I can say without hesitation:

  1. Listen more than you speak because that’s how you learn.
  2. Adopt an attitude of serendipity every day.  Every day will not be filled with excitement and fireworks!  Embrace the quiet, boring moments and appreciate what you have – on purpose.
  3. Don’t let the enemy talk you into the notion that living your life with someone else would have been better.  It probably would not.
  4. There’s not a problem in marriage that cannot be fixed.  Pray separately and together for solutions.  God wants to help.
  5. Don’t even say the word divorce.  We decided from the get-go that we would not say the “D” word to each other.
  6. Perfection is a myth in marriage.  He’s a human being and so am I.  Imperfection is our specialty and forgiveness is the key to dealing with it.
  7. You won’t change him.  Stop thinking you can change him.  Accept whatever it is that you think you can change, because it’s not going to change.
  8. We get older.  We gain new interests and grow intellectually.  We have each other for moral support through all the changes that inevitably happen in life.
  9. No matter how difficult or time-consuming your occupation is, I guarantee that the time you need to dedicate to keeping your marriage great will take much more effort and take even more time.
  10. I don’t have to be right all the time.  I’m not always wrong either.  I admit it when I’m wrong and don’t rub it in when I’m right.
  11. There are quirky behaviors that will make your mate crazy.  If it’s your goal to make him / her crazy, keep it up.  If it’s not your goal to make your significant other crazy, work on your quirky self.
  12. If you find that you are unhappy in your marriage, don’t automatically blame the marriage.  Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled within.  Take a class or join a book club.  Expand your own horizons and find your inner shine.
  13. Marriage does not come with instructions.  It is on the job training, so cut your spouse some slack and allow for learning curves.
  14. My husband and I survived having a house built.  It’s my opinion that if a couple can come through that, they can come through just about anything.
  15. Be willing to open and sort through each other’s baggage from time to time.  We all have baggage, and when you find a person who is willing to help you work on the stuff in your bag, you have really found a great treasure in that person.
  16. Take care of yourself for your spouse.  The greatest anniversary gift you can give him / her is the gift of your good health.
  17. When you are facing challenges, try to remember some happier memories.  I grab a scrapbook at times like that to jog my memory.  The photos make me smile.
  18. Infidelity is the only deal breaker!  Nobody deserves to be cheated on.  If you want out, walk out.  Everything else is negotiable and there are always concessions being made to make the other happy.  It’s not always about me.
  19. Frustration happens.  Don’t shut each other out when it does.  Talk it out.  Hug it out.
  20. Remember the vows you took.  Make them matter, no matter what.  You will work on the things that matter most.  How much does your marriage mean to you?
  21. I learned a long time ago that we have a choice to be bitter or better.  I find that better makes me and my spouse better.  Bitterness just puts a frown on my face and creates wrinkles.  Who needs that?
  22. Please and thank you are magic words and should be used liberally in a marriage and in a family.  If you request change instead of criticize or complain you will get more promising results.
  23. Silence in a marriage is not always a bad thing.  When a couple falls silent for a few miles along the way, that’s not a sign that the marriage is not good.  There are times when my husband and I will be thinking the same thing and one of us will speak – and the other will say, “How did you know what I was just thinking about?”  I love it when that happens!
  24. Find constructive ways to fight.  Bad language and yelling accomplish nothing.  Resolve conflict with logic and wisdom.  Being childish does not earn points from your spouse.
  25. Forgive…  forgive…  and keep forgiving.  Your marriage is worth it.
  26. Apply Christian love like a Band-Aid bandage!  See your spouse as Christ sees him / her.  He / she is a soul in need of a Savior.  Instead of expecting so much, give the gift of prayer.  God is in the business of healing marriages.
  27. Be comfortable with your own company.  There are times when you will be left alone.  If you are the type of person who is not comfortable being alone, work on that.  Marriage provides companionship, but it’s important to know how to be left alone as well.
  28. Routine can become a rut.  Change it up because you do not have to fix a roast every single Sunday of the year.
  29. Money matters can tear a marriage to pieces.  Keep it fair by putting both your names on everything.  Share the checkbook and limit the number of credit cards you use.  Make sure you discuss major purchases before buying.
  30. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.  That’s the best biblical advice ever!  Talk it out and stay up all night if you have to.  No slamming doors and no yelling.  Sit down and respectfully discuss it like adults.
  31. When your spouse begins to be critical, it’s never about that.  There’s usually something deeper causing the criticism.  Don’t take it personally because eventually the real issue will probably come to the surface.
  32. This house is just a house.  It’s up to the two of us to make it into a home.  The goal is not to be happily married, but to live happily ever after.  We’re not happy every single moment of every single day.  After all, this isn’t a fairytale!
  33. Sometimes there’s a split second during a disagreement when that little voice inside says, “I probably should not say that”, please, for Pete’s sake, listen to that little voice!  You can never take it back…  never.
  34. Anticipate screw ups!  It’s called life – and it happens!
  35. Keep God in the middle of your marriage.  GOD IS LOVE…  and what does any marriage need more than LOVE???
  36. Sickness, health, rich, poor…  are you in it for the long haul, no matter what?  It’s as simple as being determined to hold on and ride it out.
  37. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.  That’s not his / her job.
  38. Do something new.  We took some cooking classes together and it was so much fun.
  39. Share a joke with your spouse.  You may get a laugh or an eye roll – but you’ll probably get some response.
  40. Pray God’s blessings over your union.  Remember that He’s the One who brought you together.

Marriage is not easy, and it’s not for wimps or those who are squeamish.  It takes two people who are willing to hang in there and work at it, keeping God in the center.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION DAY

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9-17 THE CONSTITUTION QUILT
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I am quick to admit that I take the liberties given me by this document for granted! I was born and raised in the United States of America, so I have known freedom and liberty my whole life. Nowadays, all I hear about is how much our liberties under the Constitution are shrinking away and dwindling. It’s a scary thought to me. I like freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms and freedom of speech! I like that I can voice an opinion on my blog without fear of punishment by the government (well, so far, so good).

I’m thankful to God that I have freedom today and want to be assured of my freedom tomorrow.

As I often do, I turned to my group on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness) for advice. My friend, Valerie McKinney offered “The Constitution Quilt” analogy. I thought it was brilliant and asked if I could borrow the concept and use her quote because it really touched my heart. She was so gracious to give me permission, so please read this great quote:

It seems all the guidelines of the Constitution are becoming a tattered quilt, worn through and full of holes in which the bureaucrats pay no tailor to mend, but line their own pockets. The holes remain as the citizens of America fall far from the warmth of the comforts and care the Constitution provided its original inhabitants. Barely threads to cover a veteran who has fought to keep these principle freedoms pressed and blocked. They say times are different now. Things have changed now… and our Homeland is an unhappy lot. Then, does this not tell us something about mending the construction of the Constitution? Repair and replace the pattern of words that held our nation close knit and decorating our days with tried and trusted values and liberties. Protection against a cold cruel future that needs to wrap us in its security. Mend THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUILT. No holes should it have, but let it with pride sew its bright patterns for the future and set its seams straight. – Valerie McKinney

The Constitution of the United States has a purpose. It’s not just a piece of paper with meaningless words on it. We the people, in order to form a more PERFECT UNION… the first words explain why the document is necessary. A perfect union with all men seen as equal and the pursuit of happiness a right for all citizens of the United States.

When leaders choose to overlook the Constitution of the United States and there are no consequences for those actions, they will continue to walk all over it, causing more worn spots in the quilt. If we the people do not demand that our leaders follow the mandates in this document, we are the ones who will ultimately pay. Why do we not get that?

If we ignore the slow, but sure disintegration of this key document, we lose freedoms. My freedoms are precious to me. Aren’t your freedoms precious to you, too? Exercise your right to vote in the upcoming election and vote for FREEDOM. I know I will. 🙂