A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Yesterday we talked a bit about faith.  Today I want to continue with this portions of Scripture and talk about baptism, which is an outward expression of an inward work done by God’s Holy Spirit when we’re saved.  My baptism was sort of funny – my pastor was a sweetheart, but he was even shorter than me when I was 13 years old – and I’m short!  I remember having some fear that he wasn’t going to be able to get me back up out of the water.

Now…  you have to understand – I have a horrible fear of water.  I know it’s irrational – but when I was about 7 years old, my dad decided that I was going to learn to swim – and he got tired of trying to teach me – so one afternoon he threw me in the deep end and thought I was going to figure it out.  I didn’t.  I sunk like a stone!

So, knowing that this slight built, short man was going to be in charge of keeping me from drowning…  well – it left me less than confident.  I know Brother Clopp (yes, that’s his real name) had probably done hundreds of baptisms – and I wasn’t going to back out because I knew that if I did drown, I’d be okay – I mean…  I was saved, so…

I know some would recommend that I just skip it – saying that God would understand.  I just felt like I had to be baptized.  It must be an important step because even Christ felt He should be baptized.  It must matter – and most  people understand the significance – when you go under the water you are symbolically ridding yourself of your old life – your old self is gone – and as you come out of the water, you are a new person – and I can’t explain it – but that’s really how it feels!  It’s like you are clean and forgiven and life will never be the same.

I’m so very thankful that whosoever means me too!  Believe on the name of Christ and you’ll be saved.

We’re washed and covered with Christ – then there’s water baptism…  an outward symbol representing the inward work.  🙂

 

 

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GALATIANS 5:22-23 ON 5/22 & 23

TL 5-22 & 23 GALATIANS 5-22 & 23

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

Who IS the Spirit…  the Holy Spirit of God is part of the Holy Trinity.  God is One, yet Three – and no, I don’t know how to explain it – but He is God, so He can be anyone!  There is God the Father, God the Son (in flesh, Christ Jesus), and God the Spirit.  When God the Son ascended into Heaven, He did not leave us completely alone to figure this life out for ourselves – He left us God the Holy Spirit.  We know Him as the Comforter.  As we study God’s Word, we learn that God’s Spirit brings us everything we need to navigate this crazy life.  In this world that is increasingly filled with hate, we have God’s love; in a world filled with despair, we have God’s joy; in a world of wars and rumors of war, we have a deep settled peace that the world will never understand.  God’s Spirit helps us muster up patience when most people in the world want to be anything but… and how mean can people get?  God’s Spirit helps us be kind, good, faithful, gentle and exercise self-control.AN ADDED GIFT

Why would anyone not want that supernatural help???  Does this mean we’re perfect and will never mess up?  Well, sadly – no.  I’m never going to be perfect.  There are circumstances in this world that make me downright angry, but that’s when I have to remember that everything works for good and God has everything under control.  The enemy of my soul knows how to push buttons that make my temper flare, but that’s when I have to re-focus on Jesus and remember His sacrifice so that I can live – and I want to live with the attributes or fruits of His Spirit.

Aren’t we thankful that our Savior did not leave us alone?  I sure am!  Speaking for myself, I need all the HELP I can get…  and God’s Holy Spirit gives me all the HELP I’ll ever need.  He’s so perfect and righteous and Holy.  He makes my life so much better and I need Him every minute of every day.  It doesn’t make me weak – it makes me smart.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)I WANT TO BE FRUITFUL
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” My question is; what is your star? What is that thing that can force you to go to bed late and wake you up while many are in deep sleep? What’s it that can pick you up to walk again even after a frustrating fall? What’s it that gives you a smile in times of weeping? What’s that one thing that keeps you strong and gives hope in times of hopelessness? If you have it, then you have found that star he talked about. Keep moving! For as long as you have with you the three keys to personal excellence (The will to win, the desire to succeed and the urge to reach your full potential), you shall reach your star. I know that you know what I am talking about, but knowing isn’t enough, you must apply and do. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up on God’s gift to us; you must try one more time if you’re to succeed. Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities – for without confidence in your own powers, you cannot reach your star that God gave you as the guiding light in the darkest moments of your life.  Your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to God.  – Mark Farouk
We are only able to grow and succeed in life as long as we stay in God’s Word and pray without ceasing.  There’s nothing we can do on our own – and by the same token, there’s nothing that God cannot do through us!  He is the Vine and we are the branches…  our own ego must go on the back burner and we must fully lean on God to guide and direct our path.  God is our guiding Light – our Star – like the star that shone over the manger in Bethlehem for the Wise Men.
WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM
If we want to be wise…  we will follow the LIGHT, the STAR that will never lead us astray.  As He shines on and in us, we shine His love and peace to others.  I love how God works, don’t you?  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

Click image to enlarge

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

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

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

It may hurt, but a Christian friend will always be honest with you about everything.  Do I really want anything less?  No.  No, I don’t.  – Linda Palmer

IRON SHARPENS IRON

I cherish my Christian friends because of their honesty.  More importantly, I am so thankful for the tact and sweetness with which they convey that honesty.  When you love someone in the Lord, you always make the attempt to be loving and kind – so even when you have to be honest, it doesn’t have to be brutal.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Unfortunately, there is an over abundance of people who are brutally honest.  It doesn’t even bother me that they are that way, but it’s the attitude that underlies that brutality – like they are proud of the fact that they are brutal.  It seems so unnecessary and cruel to me.  It’s not God’s way of doing things.  There’s an old saying – “God don’t like ugly.”  To tell you the truth, He doesn’t like cruel much either.

If a person has to fling corrective criticism at me, I’d rather it be a fellow believer than not.  Sparing me of certain phrases and words from the sewer  suits me fine.  A sweet friend of mine once said, “If a person has to resort to language like that, they clearly lack imagination.”  Lee is long gone, but her wise words live on in my heart and spirit.

Many in the world and of the world have said they don’t “trust” the ways of Christ.  If a person is going to criticize, they think, it should be mean spirited – or the point will not get across.  They don’t believe the lesson can be learned without brutality and vulgarity.

I pity them because it takes so much emotional energy to be that way.  They refuse to cast their burdens on the Lord, so they still carry them around.  No wonder it’s easy for them to lose control of temper and lash out at others.  As Christians, we give our stress and anxiety to God, lighten our own burden, thus we’re able to be sweet spirited in any circumstance.

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

In all circumstances we portray the fruits of the spirit:

  1. LOVE
  2. JOY
  3. PEACE
  4. FORBEARANCE
  5. KINDNESS
  6. GOODNESS
  7. FAITHFULNESS
  8. GENTLENESS
  9. SELF-CONTROL

I’m so very thankful for my Christian friends.  In this mean, brutal, cruel world, we sure do need each other!  🙂

 

 

THANKS LIVING DAY 17

TL THANKSGIVING

PRAYER OF PEACE

Awe…  that’s how children learn Bible verses.  A soft answer turneth away wrath.  I know, nobody says turneth anymore – ok, in my lifetime they never did, but I was raised memorizing the King James version.

In my life there are two very important lessons I have learned. The first is, it is not WHAT you are doing that matters, but with WHOM you do it. If I didn’t have faith that God would see me through, I’d simply go mad. My faith gives me the ability to look ahead with confidence in my future.

I have also learned that I cannot control anyone but myself. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. While storms rage it is my desire to find the eye of the storm, huddle down with Jesus and wait for the storm to pass. Lately it seems to be back-to-back bad weather, but with each one I gain more courage and strength. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want another storm to come along, but if (rather when) it does, I know what to do.

God is the One who can control others, but it’s up to the person to seek His way. If they don’t choose to react to bad weather with a calm resolve, there’s not a thing I can do about it. I am responsible for my response and reaction. I pray that my actions serve as an example and that others might learn from them and act likewise, but it doesn’t seem to be happening – at least not yet.

So today I thank God that I have learned how to weather a storm or two in my life. Fully trusting and relying on Him to work things out is best. Getting emotional and worked up just raises my already high blood pressure! Who needs that? :-/