A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard a Christian say they regret inviting Christ Jesus into their heart and life?  Neither have I – and I don’t imagine I ever will.  We make hundreds of decisions daily, but that is the only decision that will matter beyond this life – what will you do with Christ Jesus?

Sin is fun…  for a season.  It makes your heart beat a little faster and there’s a bit of danger involved and so much risk.  Get caught and you could lose everything.  How much do you want to gamble away?  Even Christians sometimes listen to the enemy when he says it’s not going to really hurt anyone and there’s no risk involved.  It’s a lie.  Be on guard against his lies and ready to tell him to get away in the name of Christ Jesus.

There’s a time when every Christian has to stop playing church, walking the fence, dabbling in the things of God – and get real.  That’s what it means to count yourself DEAD to sin.  Don’t even go there.  Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and make your faith real.  Until you do that, you may be fooling many people – but you know you’re not fooling God and you’re actually breaking His heart.

Once you know that you know you’ve made a decision for God and God alone – get baptized – get washed clean and live for Him.

To be truly ALIVE in Christ is the best!  Once you’ve put all your past sins on the altar and asked God to forgive them, He will – and He remembers them no more (it’d be nice if people would forget, wouldn’t it?)  Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive yourself for your past sins, but think of it this way…  if Almighty God says He’s going to forgive and not bring it up ever again, who do you think you are to hang on to those sins of the past?  You have to forgive yourself and it’s not easy – but if you ask God to help you, He’s faithful to help you forgive yourself.

Once forgiveness takes hold, you can be ALIVE IN CHRIST!  That’s the best life because it’s honest and simple.  Sin keeps us in chains, but life in Christ sets us free!  No lies to have to remember, no sneaking around doing something you shouldn’t be doing, no more drama… just freedom and joy in Christ forever!  🙂

 

 

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.  🙂

 

 

 

 

ROMANS 8:7-8 ON 8/7

TL ROMANS 8-7-8 ON 8-7

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  – Romans 8:7-8

Did you read this?  Okay…  now read it again slowly.  If you don’t believe there is a spiritual battleground, think again.  Each of us have a mind, and it is governed either by flesh or by the Spirit.  You may think if you’re a really GOOD PERSON that there’s no need for God’s power in your life.

You cannot govern your own mind for the long haul.  If you are not giving God control, then your mind is governed by the flesh, and you are hostile to God, His laws, His way of thinking and His wonderful plan for your life.  What may have you missed out on by not letting God guide you?  Hmm…  there’s a thought.ASK GOD TO BE YOUR POTTER

Have you ever spent time watching REELZ?  It’s about celebrities and their real lives.  Their drama extends beyond the silver screen.  I think that’s putting it kindly…  these people are so good at acting because they get plenty of practice being dramatic in real life!  I’m sure their acting jobs could seem boring compared to their real lives in some cases.

I don’t embrace drama.  I don’t want drama in my life.  I can enjoy a dramatic film once in a while, but when it comes to my real life, I want simplicity and I don’t want my mind governed by the flesh.  I want God’s guidance, His law and His wisdom.

When I was a girl growing up, they called it “walking the fence.”  It’s when people think they can keep one foot in the world and one foot in the spiritual realm.  And yes, I’ve heard the saying, “So heaven minded they’re of no earthly good.”  That happened to be a favorite saying of one of my least favorite aunts.  She has since passed, and I wonder if she’s changed her way of thinking?  I can’t say for sure, but there’s no evidence that she died in the Lord.  She accomplished a great deal here on this earth, but what good is it doing her now?

I believe I’d rather stay in God’s good graces and have the world think I’m worthless than to have the world think I’m amazing and have God think I’m worthless.  We all walk a different path and will make the decision for ourselves…  I can’t decide for you and you can’t decide for me.  That’s the beauty of having a personal relationship with Christ Jesus – it’s personal.  That doesn’t mean you just hug it and keep it to yourself and say “I’m saved and that’s all that matters.”  There is a command given to us –  God wants us to GO and TELL…  Reach out and Teach wherever we are planted.  Share with others and care about their circumstances.  Pray for others and stay tuned for updates.  I won’t walk in the flesh because God’s way is higher and better – free of stress or drama.

This is the verse I wanted to share with you today.  I pray that you will consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I’m not being nosey…  I’m being exactly what I’m supposed to be.  🙂

 

 

 

DANDELION DAYS

TL 5-6 DANDELION DAYS

Here’s a link for you to look at if you’d like to know more about this event.

http://www.dandelionday.org/

My favorite color is yellow – I suppose because it makes me feel happy.  In our neck of the woods, the puffy little yellow flowers are called weeds, but this event celebrates and protects dandelions!  I hope you’ll take a look at the link because it looks like they are gearing up for some serious fun.

I just finished designing a cute poem by Lucinda.  It’s about…  you guessed it – DANDELIONS!  I have to share it today.PUFFY GOLDEN FLOWERSHow much do you know about dandelions?  Well, beginning with the bad news, 30% of America’s water supply is spent watering lawns in an effort to keep non-native grasses green and weed free.  Pesticides are applied to kill off dandelions and other weeds as well.  Dandelions are common weeds that can harm your lawn’s growth by establishing deep roots in the soil.

Now it’s time to hear the good qualities:  The dandelion flower opens when the sun comes up and closes when the sun goes down.  Some folks eat dandelion salads!  They are also used for medicine and even dye for clothing.  Before the 1800’s people actually pulled the grass from their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful weeds like chickwee, chamomile and malva.  Most people cannot name the weeds in their yard, but almost everyone knows a dandelion by sight.  Why are these puffy golden flowers called dandelions?  It’s taken from the French word “dent de lion” which means lions tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.horse-108441_1920

Dandelions are God’s happy yellow spots dotted across pasture land.dandelion-735814_1920

dandelion-468198_1920

The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,

As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,

Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass–innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,

The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

Source: “Leaves of Grass,” by Walt Whitman

Isn’t the simplicity of spring a blessing?  I think the most precious thing to see is a child walking toward me carrying a wicker basket filled with dandelions.  Let’s make memories we can cherish our whole lives.  🙂

NOVEMBER 18-24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

TL 11-18 THRU 24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

Kansas is rich in agricultural traditions.  As you drive along our state’s highways you can’t help but notice the lovely quilt of farmland with the occasional horse, herds of cattle or sheep, and of course the state flower, the sunflower.

The farmers of Kansas provide food and other resources for the rest of the country.  It’s a proud heritage to be a farmer, but it certainly won’t make you rich.  Maybe it does make you rich, it’s just not from monetary gain.  There is a rich satisfaction in farming… knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work for your fellow-man is worth more than money.

You know when I think of a Kansas farm, I think of the Peterson Farm.  Those guys are crazy…  yep – they’re Kansans alright!

https://youtu.be/hSp9mGcaESc

When I think of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to think of harvest.  I can’t imagine living in a big city where harvest is just a concept and not a reality.  Something about having harvest as a way of life just makes me more thankful than I would be otherwise.

A WORKING FARM

It’s a silly memory, I know…  but I remember taking field trips to my 5th grade teacher’s farm around this time of year.  Maybe it had to do with this holiday – who knows?

It’s important for children to be exposed to farm life once in a while.  They need to know that they’re milk comes from a cow and eggs come from chickens.  Some of those city kids might decide they want to move to a farm one day and enjoy a slower, more structured, simple life.

The only downside to farming is the butchering of livestock.  I know some don’t have a problem with it, but I’m just a bit of a squeamish soul, I suppose.  I thought it would be fun to have a herd of sheep and sell wool.  There is a new kind of farm emerging on the horizon that sounds interesting – Alpaca farms!  Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere and is in demand.  As an alpaca farmer you can raise the animals and not have to butcher them – just shear them.  I think I could handle that!

FARM COMFORT

One more video from the Peterson farm.  https://youtu.be/toyN81wZzLw

I hope sometime this week you will take a city kid to visit a working farm – maybe even the Peterson farm!   The only way we can encourage kids to appreciate the food they eat is to show them where it comes from – and all the work involved in making it happen.  Have a great week!  🙂

 

AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂