SPRING INTO ACTION

 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  – Ephesians 4:32

It’s a calling from our LORD…  be light, salt, kind, loving, forgiving and tenderhearted.  Nobody wants to be tenderhearted because that means you are also vulnerable.  It hurts to make yourself vulnerable because to open yourself up to others has no guarantee of success associated with it.  God never said that being obedient to Him would result in automatic joy or happiness.  Does that mean it’s not worth doing?  No.  Does it mean that we won’t need to walk away from the ones who hurt and disappoint us sometimes?  No.  Is it a sin to walk away?  No.  It’s probably a sin to give up and not try again.  The sin is to quit trying.

We have to rely on God to help us forgive – and forgive as quickly as possible.  Forget?  Well…  not really.  It’s like you sort of tuck it in the back of your mind.  You don’t want to dwell on it, but you don’t want to forget completely so you aren’t that stupid again.  I don’t need to keep hitting my head against the same post over and over.  That’s just an insane thing to do!  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  I refuse to do anything remotely insane ever again.

Does that mean I don’t forgive past wrongs?  No.  I need for others to forgive me – and frankly, I need God to forgive me – so I will absolutely forgive others when I feel I’ve been wronged.  This ol’ world needs more kindness and less anger-driven violence, to be sure.  If you allow hurt feelings to fester and get infected, it affects all aspects of your life.

How can we shine for God and serve Him if there’s a cloud of hurt hanging over our heads?  We just have to ask God to help us through those hurtful times and be what He wants us to be!  I want to be light, salt, kind, loving, and yes…  even tenderhearted.  It doesn’t mean we are door mats.  It doesn’t mean we are stupid enough to walk back and take more.  We’re not.

We can conquer the hurt we encounter in this life with help from God.  We can conquer the hate we encounter in this life with help from God!

Are you ready to spring into action – and throw kindness into this wicked world like it’s confetti???  Instead of deciding to merely DEAL with the hurt in our lives, let’s trust God to help us HEAL from church hurt and other disappointments along life’s way so we can effectively SHINE for Him!  When we live in the complete freedom that Christ bought for us, it makes Him smile and it makes us whole!  🙂

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in this world are knocking themselves out to stand out somehow – they want to succeed and rise above for all different reasons, be it fame, money, or just to feed their ego.  Christians have a different take on things – we want our God to shine through us – so that He may receive all the praise and the glory – and if there’s money, well – we share that too.  There’s a reason why we point to the sky and say, “All the glory belongs to Jesus” when we are complimented or recognized for accomplishments.  It’s not about us – it’s all about HIM.

Andrae’ Crouch wrote over 300 songs, and every one of them pointed to Jesus Christ.  Billy Graham called brother Crouch the greatest hymn writer of our age, the modern-day John Wesley,  What a wonderful talent this world lost – but how much more wonderful Heaven became, right?

We live by a simple acronym – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  JOY!  If you’re doing something other than showing others your Savior…  you should re-think your strategy.  Pray it through and get it straight.  I don’t say that to be mean, but to help.  If you have a living testimony to Jesus Christ, who is very much alive – then you have more JOY than anyone else.

Christians can’t change lives, but we can point to the ONE who can!  The most beautiful part about letting God’s light shine through your life is – HIS light does not depend on OUR circumstance.  It doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad day – because I know God is not.  I can depend on HIS JOY in my life all the time.

Have you ever met someone who wakes up in the morning, stumbles to the coffee pot for their first cup, sits down at the dining room table with the newspaper and reads their horoscope to see what kind of a day they can look forward to?  What kind of life is that?  God promises us ABUNDANT LIFE…  not wait and see life.

Lean upon the ROCK – the very large ROCK – Christ Jesus.  Get up in the morning and do a little calypso to the coffee pot (have someone make a video for facebook) – grab your coffee and your Bible – and read from Psalms!  Get some of God’s precious promises under your proverbial belt.  Take those promises with you throughout your day.  When God opens a door for you to share a promise with someone else, be obedient and do it.  Don’t be afraid to share your faith – especially when you KNOW that God wants you to.  He’s got this – it’ll be okay.

Live in God’s Son Shine!

Oh – and I won’t be making a video of my calypso to the coffee pot.  Watching a Baptist dance just isn’t a pretty sight.  Have a great day in the Lord.  🙂

 

 

WHITE CHRISTMAS

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Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.  – Psalm 51:7

I love Lucinda’s new poem about a white Christmas.  There’s a stanza that talks about showing love and compassion at this time of year – about helping someone pick up items they’ve dropped.  I had to laugh because that very thing recently happened to me.  I’m not sure why the good folks at Walmart think that fourteen gazillion items can be stuffed into one of their plastic bags – and they don’t have to double-bag it.  Sigh…

I was crossing the parking lot and it was so crowded – people everywhere and cars lined up waiting for me to get out of the way.  I had left the cart inside the store, thinking I could carry the bag to the car alright.  I thought wrong.  The bottom of the bag broke and stuff dropped out!  It was everywhere!  I was so rattled and embarrassed!

I scrambled to quickly pick things up, although some things had rolled away from me.  It’s amazing how kind and helpful the folks around me were!  There seemed to be folks coming from everywhere to help – and many were showing true empathy, explaining that at some time or the other, the same thing had happened to them.

The people in cars put them in park and got out to help me!  Nobody seemed angry or upset – but everyone was so very kind and helpful.  I was silently thanking God for that.  As we all know, sometimes people are less than kind and compassionate to another person’s plight.

I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I did.

a-christmas-of-whiteAnd I’m reminded too that my neighbor is everyone – not just the person who lives in my neighborhood.  Every time others are kind and compassionate with me, I become more kind and compassionate with others.  We teach others how to treat others by our own actions and reactions, you see?  It’s a choice we make and it’s a choice to ask God for help or not.  I don’t know about you, but I want to learn every lesson I can from God if it will mold me into the kind, compassionate, caring person I need to be.

May all your Christmases be WHITE.  🙂

 

BE KIND TO HUMANKIND WEEK

8-25 through 31 BE KIND TO HUMANKIND WEEK

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

August 25-31 is BE KIND TO HUMANKIND WEEK!  If ever we needed to extend kindness and quite frankly, receive it…  it is NOW!  Can I get an AMEN???

A mom said YES when her daughter asked if she could wear her mermaid outfit to church.  How kind of her!  How many others were touched as a result?

GOD USED A MERMAIDSYCAMORE TREESCan a tree be kind?  If so, the humble Sycamore was kind to ol’ Zach that day when Jesus was in town!  Kind trees, and people, are more interested in the wellbeing of others in their realm of influence than they are in themselves.  After Zacchaeus climbed down from the tree, did you see it recorded in God’s Word that the tree began to boast and brag about its part of the story?  Did the Sycamore demand to be given a medal of valor?  No…  the humble little Sycamore just stayed rooted right there and felt grateful to be used by Father God in the story.THE FLIGHT OF THE HUMBLE BEEKind people are sensitive souls, but it’s better than having a hard heart.  Humble bees don’t wear their Christianity in an obvious way, but those around them know where they stand and what they believe.  They live their life quietly and walk humbly with the LORD.

TODAY IS TOMORROWKind folks keep lists.  Now, as they get older, those lists may get misplaced from time to time, but there’s always a list of tasks to do.  There’s always someone who needs to receive a call or letter – and certainly someone who needs a prayer said for them!ACCEPTANCEKindness means accepting everyone where they are.  God sees us and knows where we are and where we need to be heading.  He doesn’t point a crooked finger at us and start nagging – so why should we?ENCOURAGEMENTBeing kind encompasses encouragement.  It’s easy to say nice things to those we are comfortable around and are friends with, but what about people that you would not normally reach out to?  I challenge you to encourage someone you would not normally speak to, let alone encourage.GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACEThis is the most difficult of all things…  know that God has forgiven you, and now…  forgive yourself.  Don’t let the devil rob you of the joy God wants you to have.  He will try to tell you that God didn’t really forgive you – because you can still remember what you did.  Well, yes – there are consequences for sin to be sure, but that does not mean that God didn’t forgive the sinful act.  Once you have forgiven yourself, you can be a more kind person to others.  That weight will be lifted and life will be so much better!SOME DAYSDon’t be afraid to take the risk…  we’ve all hidden in the ivy vine at one time or the other!  Sometimes the experience is enough to make you think, “That’s IT – I’m never going to try to be nice to anyone ever again!”  Well, just know that it’s not an attitude that comes from God.  When people stomp your heart and misunderstand your intentions, just back off and go home.  Have a good cry and pray to God for answers.  He will help you get your act together so you can get over the trauma of rejection and hurt feelings – and try again.  Folks in the world would say…  GET OVER IT AND GET ON WITH IT.  A SIMPLE LIFE

Keep living a simple life and walk humbly with your God.  Be genuine.  Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit this week.  If you ask Him to bring others across your path, He will answer that prayer.  Be the person God wants you to be.  Put on the full armor of God, then pray and wait…  see what God has in store for you this week.  TERRI BOGGS ROWE QUOTE

My friend, Terri Boggs Rowe, not only spoke these words, but took the photo!  Is she talented, or what???  This is her husband and their daughter dancing.  Awe…  The first time I saw this picture, I have to tell you, tears came to my eyes.  How many fathers take the time to dance with their daughters?  The message here is, even in your own family…

Be ye kind.  If being kind works out for you all week long, why not make it a permanent lifestyle change?  Just a thought.  🙂

 

 

 

 

MOTHER’S DAY

MOTHER'S DAY

There are times only when a mother’s love can understand our tears,

Can soothe our disappointments and calm all our fears.

There are times when only a mother’s love can share the joy we feel

When something we’ve dreamed about quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother’s faith can help on life’s way,

And inspire in us the confidence we need from day to day.

For a mother’s heart and a mother’s faith and a mother’s steadfast love

Were fashioned by the angels and sent from God above.

I’m at the point in the grieving process where I look at this day as a day of tribute to my mom.  It’s taken a long time to get to this stage, but I’m finally figuring out that my life will go on – it will just be so very different without her in it.

Last year, Lucinda wrote a poem for a lady who lost her mother.  She asked me to make a design for it and said this lady referred to her mother as her diamond.  I wish I could say I had a lovely name for my mother, but I didn’t.  My mom was my best friend, my confidant, the one I trusted more than anyone – but no, I didn’t have a pet name for her.

My first thought was, HOW PERFECT IS THAT?  It says it all, doesn’t it?  Diamonds are the most precious gem (and happens to be my birth stone)  😉

MY DIAMOND

If I could give you diamonds for each tear you cried for me;

If I could give you sapphires for each truth you’ve helped me see.

If I could give you rubies for the heartache that you’ve known,

If I could give you pearls for the wisdom that you’ve shown;

Then you’ll have a treasure, mother, that would mount up to the skies.

That would almost match the sparkles in your kind and loving eyes.

But I have no pearls, no diamonds as I’m sure you’re well aware;

So I’ll give you gifts more precious, my devotion, love and care.

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                                         Mama said this is the night daddy proposed.  Awe…  what a precious photo for me to have!

I know that when she entered heaven, it became a brighter place.  God provides the only light that is needed in heaven, but I believe it gets brighter every time a saint goes inside – each saint sparkles like a diamond.  I believe that she was so happy to see my daddy again.  Based on information from the book “Heaven is for Real”, I also believe that they are both 20 something and feel fantastic!  I imagine they look so happy together like this photo.  I hold it close to my heart because it brings me comfort.

My mother no longer has arthritis and has been made whole – she doesn’t need her 2 total hip replacements and will never have to take any medicine.  Bliss for eternity… how can I mourn that?  I can’t.  If and when I cry these days, it’s for myself.  I still miss them. 

 

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?  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)How ornate is the door of your heart?  How inviting is it to God’s Holy Spirit?  When we say, “Come into my heart – the door is open wide…” What does that door look like?  Is it a beautiful door with lead glass or is it more of a solid core door that never lets the light in?

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We are so blessed because before Christ ascended into heaven, He graciously left us His Holy Spirit to help us – guide us – with wisdom and mercy and love beyond understanding.  Through God’s Holy Word, the Bible, prayer, and guidance by God’s Holy Spirit – the comforter, the light in our heart – every Christian can navigate this life the way God wants them to.  I’m praising God for His protection over my life today, aren’t you?  He means everything to me! 

p32gcd4Precious Lord,

Thank You for leaving Your Holy Spirit to comfort and guide our footsteps.  You did not leave us alone and for that we are grateful.  May the door of my heart be one that lets the light of Your love shine through.  May Your love shine through me to others.  Help me to show the fruits of Your Holy Spirit… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  Give me Your perfect love and the wisdom to navigate this life as only You can.  I love You and lean on Your counsel every day, Lord.  Please take my hand and walk through this life with me.  I can do nothing without You.  Please shine in my heart and help me to shine out to others. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

LET ME BRING YOUR LOVE

Christianity is about shining and iron-sharpening.  It’s about encouraging each other in the LORD…  there is so much division and hate in the world around us, but that is not God’s way!  We are called to be “apart” from the world – we are in the world, but not of the world.  Through God’s Holy Spirit we can be like Christ.  Read God’s Word, pray and watch God work in your life.  🙂