A SUMMER OF PSALMS

I will never be perfect in this life, and guess what – neither will you.  We are all a work in progress, but at least it is progress which indicates we continue to learn lessons and grow stronger in our faith.  My 50 something mind does not resemble my 20 something mind.  I’ve matured and I see everything so much differently than I did 30 years ago.  Why?  Because I’ve finally allowed the Lord to work in my life.  In my 20’s I was not very good clay.  I was stubborn clay!  Nobody could tell me what to do, and they certainly could not tell me I was wrong about anything!

These days it’s different.  Yes, I could be wrong about most anything.  I want to do my best for the Lord and now my motives and actions are in sync.  It’s amazing how things change once you hand your whole life over to the Father’s hands.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is the only light that leads to eternal life in Heaven.  Once you hand it all over, you receive His joy and peace, which is better than anything this world has to offer.

I grew up in a church that believes in eternal security – once saved, always saved.  As an adult I attended other churches that taught that salvation can be lost.  I never argued the point one way or the other, but always thought if a person was to backslide that far, perhaps their experience with Christ was less than genuine to begin with.  Just a thought.  I’m not judging that person, just discussing a possibility.  I pray that salvation from the Lord is not so easily lost.  How awful to feel so insecure, wondering if your name is still written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  I don’t think there’s an eraser on God’s pen.

Human beings mess up.  We do.  It’s not an excuse to keep messing up… but it’s not a reason to beat yourself up for mistakes made decades ago either.  Put your mistakes – sins – under the blood of Christ, then do better!  You have a choice to be a bitter person or a better person.  Be better – do better.  Be the person you wish you would have been to begin with!  Let God help you.  He’s faithful and He will not fail you.  Let Him be the strength of your heart – even if your heart is less than strong.  He will be your strength and your song.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Easter Sunday

He held my sins in His hands as the nails were pierced through… wow!  So many thoughts come to mind, but it humbles me to think that Christ suffered such pain and disgrace for me.  I need a Savior – I’m the first to admit it.  To say thank You just seems insufficient and unimpressive.  I understand now that the Lord doesn’t want fancy words.  He wants my life to reflect my relationship with Him.  Actions really do speak louder than words.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to you?  When God raised Christ from the dead (yes, He was dead – not stunned), He paid our sin debt!  There is no greater love than that!  This means that through Christ, we are able to claim complete VICTORY!  God doesn’t do anything halfway.  The price is paid, and all we have to do is claim the victory.  Accept the sacrifice He made at Calvary and live like the blessed child of God you are.

We are blessed and even though temptations and yes, sin sometimes gets in the way – we know that Christ will help us get total victory over all of it.  He didn’t save me just to leave me standing in a cold, dark place.  He saved me to guide and direct me closer to Him.  We will mess up sometimes – whoppers of messes sometimes!  But we know whatever comes along, the sacrifice that Christ made for us is greater than our sins.

Should we linger on the sins we’ve committed?  No.  Satan would like nothing better.  Lingering on the sins is polarizing!  Ask God to forgive your sins – and keep moving, leaning on Him to help you out of sin and closer to Him.  Trust that God forgives you and move on.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Just make tomorrow better with God’s help.

Jesus Christ is ALIVE – ready to help us live in total VICTORY!!!  Will you seek Him?  There’s not a sin He can’t forgive.  There’s not a temptation He can’t overcome.  Plea the blood of Christ over it, know it’s covered, go on to the next thing.  Praise God for the victory through the resurrection of Christ!  Hallelujah! 

Not that I want to mention April Fool’s Day and Easter in the same sentence…  but someone challenged Lucinda to write a poem about it.  And, well…  she nailed it!  Take a look at this:

Isn’t that great?  There’s no FOOLIN’ about it!  Happy Easter, everyone!  🙂

 

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12-25 MERRY CHRISTMASI wish you a very Merry Christ-centered Christ-mas!!!  We have made preparation for this day and we have one last thing to pray for.  Today we will pray for kindness to all people – along with goodness in our actions, strength against temptation, wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, pray for love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace!  Whew…  it’s a tall order, but we serve a mighty and gracious God, don’t we?TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

What is kindness???  Some synonyms are:  benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, tenderness.  It’s a good turn, to look for the very best in every soul you meet.  Kindness is completely color-blind.  It does not see economic status.  It forgives over and over again.  True kindness comes straight from God’s Holy Spirit.  There’s a discernment that comes with kindness.  Kindness knows when it’s being taken advantage of – and knows how to lovingly let people know that it is not stupid – but wise.SHOWING HIM KINDNESS

Here are a few ideas to show kindness today and from now on:

  • Donate to a charity or food bank
  • Give up your spot in line
  • Help someone with a chore
  • Shovel snow for a neighbor
  • Donate pet supplies to the shelter
  • Pick up litter – but make sure you wear gloves
  • Donate books
  • Send a get-well card to someone who is sick
  • Visit a shut-in
  • Tell a family member a joke (a good, clean one please)
  • Buy someone a cup of coffee
  • Send cards to service men and women.  They need encouragement year around
  • Donate a pair of new pajamas for foster kids
  • Leave a gift basket for a neighbor to find

Let God guide you down a path of kindness in life.  There are so many suspicious people who waste precious time and energy being unkind and looking out for number one.  They miss out on the best blessings from God and that’s sad.A PROMISE KEPT

Tomorrow we stop preparing for Christmas, the birthday of Christ – for it is here today – and tomorrow our lives will go back to the way they were before…  or will they???  Take some time to go to your prayer closet and pray about it.  Pray that God will make changes where they need to be made.  He is faithful to help you if you will ask.  Merry Christ-mas!  🙂

ROMANS 8:1 ON 8/1

TL ROMANS 8 1 ON 8 1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  – Romans 8:1-2

There is not a promise in God’s Word that encourages my heart more than this one.  There is no longer any condemnation!  Forgiveness of sins and the ability to finally let go of shame and regret means one thing – I am free!!!

FREEDOM

But why is this verse here?  It begins with the word therefore, so we need to back up and see what this verse is there for…  let’s look at the last part of Romans 7.

 So I find this law at work:  when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.  – Romans 7:21-25

If we’re honest, we admit facing the same struggle – some days more than others.  Remember the cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other?  :-/

Here’s the deal…  if you continue living in sin, you are a slave to it.  No matter what type of sin it is – you’re bound to it.  The only real freedom you will ever experience in your life is through Jesus Christ.  He loves you and wants to set you free from the chains of sin.

Sin demands so much of you – it is not possible to get straightened out on your own.  It takes supernatural help.  I pray that you will find a quiet place and bow your head to talk with God, in Jesus’ name.  Let Him have everything that binds you today.  He can give you a whole new attitude and outlook about your life from this moment forward.

He worked a miracle in me – and I know He can work one in you too.  🙂

 

LUKE 6:22 ON 6/22

TL LUKE 6 22 ON 6 22

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  – Luke 6:22

Does it bother you to be excluded from the “popular” group?  Do you think co-workers or others in your class hate you, or at the very least misunderstand you?  Well – me too, but I want to encourage you and let you know that God is blessing you while the world turns its back on you.

When we trust Christ and accept His gospel, it means there is an automatic target painted on our backs.  We have to  keep the eternal perspective in mind and remember that God’s blessings on our lives is forever and the acceptance or rejection of other people – well, it’s temporary and means little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Really – sometimes when we are excluded from some activities – it’s nothing that we need to be engaged in to begin with.  God really does protect His children from harm and keeps us safe.  We have to lean more on Christ when we are feeling especially left out.  By the same token, we need to pray that God will provide a safe haven with like-minded friends where we can feel accepted and loved.

Why is church so important?  It’s almost like a support group of sorts, where we are not seen as the world often sees us.  Finding a group of believers where you can feel comfortable and at ease to speak your thoughts and beliefs means so much to Christians.

While we are not to spend all of our time hidden inside the church building with like-minded brothers and sisters, it’s good to have a soft place to land after we’ve done our best to share the good news of Christ with a world that does not even almost understand what we’re talking about.

At times, we will be hated and rejected in this world simply for what we believe.  We profess, preach, teach and believe the full gospel of Christ from beginning to end.  Our Messiah came in the flesh and was the Son of God according to His divine nature, yet the son of man according to His human nature.

He walked the earth doing miracles – doing good.  He suffered, bled and died on a cruel cross as the Lamb of God – the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of every man on earth.  By the power of God He arose from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left us a helper known as the Holy Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit helps us navigate this life and do what God would have us do.

One day God the Father will instruct Jesus to come back to earth to take those who love and trust Him to heaven to live forevermore.

MEET GOD AT THE DOOR

God blesses His children – even when others make fun of us, reject us, and intentionally hurt us because of our faith.  It’s my prayer that you will notice less of the temporary hurt and look beyond to the eternal blessing from your Heavenly Father.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

When I feel frozen in my failure, I just try to imagine my Father running down the road to meet me. I look in his eyes—brimming with acceptance—and remember that it isn’t about my failures, it is about His love. It is about being God’s beloved daughter, who is always welcome Home.  – Sandi Patty

FROZEN IN FEAR

Have you ever felt frozen in your failure?  Boy I sure have.  It’s a miserable, uncomfortable feeling, especially when you start to believe other people’s assessment of the situation.  When you begin to believe the popular opinion that nothing will ever be right again because you have messed up so badly.

I was very close to shutting this blog down permanently because I came under some harsh criticism about it.  Personal attacks concerning my ability to write and the lack of interest I apparently generate left me crushed and ready to quit.  I felt frozen in fear when it was time to write again.  I want to grow thicker skin – I’ve asked God to help me.  I don’t understand how we can be commanded to be tenderhearted, yet need thick skin at the same time.  And what of these tender hearts of ours?  We are to guard them.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  – Proverbs 4:23

God provided a wonderful boost to my self-esteem.  I was shown a comment that turned everything around.  You know, God is never early but He is certainly never too late.  His timing and His provision, be it physical, mental or whatever – is perfect!

I also saw this posted on facebook yesterday – and I will probably never forget it:

You will never please everyone – you are not pizza!

Well, doesn’t that just about say it all?  Even though I’m not pizza, I hope something I write blesses your heart or helps you along in life.  We are here to help one another I believe, in any way we can.

Have you felt frozen in fear after a failure, mistake or sin?  You don’t have to feel that way forever because that’s not how God wants us to feel.  He wants to help us get back to feeling happy and free in Him.  God knows we won’t get it right every time, but we don’t have to live life frozen in fear.

There is an answer for failures, mistakes and sins – His name is Jesus.  Pray to Him today and ask Him to help you.  He knows what you need and will provide just the right balm to your sad and aching heart, sad with grief.

Keep going.  Keep doing what God has called you to do.  The only one who can tell you to quit is God – don’t let people get you down and keep you frozen in fear.  Wink!  😉