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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Flowers are Coming Back

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  – Revelation 22:12-13

Maybe it’s just me, but winter seems to linger and last forever!  My friend Kelly is a gardener.  She has had her seed packets since February and posted one cold winter day that she is going to have to wait two more months to plant her seeds.  It’s excruciating, this time between winter and spring.  Here in Kansas, even when spring is officially here, we still have rain and chilly temperatures.  We don’t trust anything we plant to be protected before May.  Winter is the longest season – and we have no choice but to be patient and wait for warmer weather.  But the watchword is…  ANTICIPATION!  We prepare, then we wait!  

Sometimes I’m tempted to feel the same way about the second coming of Christ.  I want the Lord to hurry up – but He reminds me that not everyone is ready for His return.  It makes me feel selfish, to be honest, but once that feeling passes, I realize that it’s just a reminder that I need to get to work!  The Gospel is something to be shared, not hoarded.  Our Lord wants everyone to be ready to make Heaven their eternal home!

Remember the Great Commission?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20

I like the last part of this portion of Scripture:  I am with you always, to the very end o the age.  Do we know when that will be?  Nope.  Nobody knows except God Himself.  Even Jesus won’t be privy to that information until it is time!  So, while we’re waiting for the end of the age, we need to be busy in whatever way we can, sharing and caring for the lost souls around us.

Revelation says that Jesus is coming quickly.  I’m sure you think as I do…  “You call this QUICKLY” – ???  We’re not questioning God – we really aren’t.  We’re just saying that the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming to earth has been a very long winter…  but we wait with anticipation, knowing that one day the proverbial spring will arrive and we will be enjoying the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen.  The best news of all is that, we’ll never have to endure another winter again!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.  – Psalm 101:3

Have you taken a look at the shows that are to première tonight?  The only one that piqued my interest was one called “Quantico”, which I’m thinking is a spin-off the popular show “Criminal Minds”.  Then I thought of how often that program upset me and got me scared just before bedtime – which – hello – that’s helpful.  I’m sure “Quantico” is going to be cranked up a notch – it surely will be.  Do I really need to set that before my eyes?  I may be watching DVD’s tonight.  Yes, they’re old and I’ve watched them a gazillion times – but they don’t give me nightmares!

Most of the new titles are either sexually suggestive or look uninteresting to me.  Yes, I’m getting old – I admit it.  Give me “Murder, She Wrote” DVD’s and a bowl of veggie dip and fresh veggies to snack on!

The shows of today and the techno-babble music…  it’s lost me.  I’m out.  I was working out the other day to a song where the girl kept singing YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE.  I try not to listen closely…  but seriously – it was impossible to tune that out – it was repeated over and over and…  OVER!  You can put down the repeating of the choruses in church all you want – but in my humble opinion…  they got that brilliant idea from the world.

When I’d finally heard the last annoying complaint that YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE…  I said to myself…  “Then let me tell ya, girlfriend…  you are NOT ready to get married to one man for the rest of your life!”  Just sayin’…

What an immature statement to make in a song – so-called song.  A very long…  redundant, repetitive song.  Ugh. 

A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to “stick to him”—as pitch, or wax, or a burr does.  – Albert Barnes.

We have to be so careful about not only what we say and do, but what we take in.  How many women listen to that song, that statement – and then decide that they should probably move on?  You don’t know what action may be triggered in another person.

As you look for new TV shows to watch and new music to listen to, keep in mind this simple Bible verse.  Don’t waste your time with anything worthless.  Don’t let anything stick to you that does not feed your soul.  Find something that makes your brain work a little bit.  There’s something about helping a detective (or a mystery book writer) solve crimes…  I get wrapped up in it and help Jessica Fletcher – even after all these years!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

O HOLY NIGHT

tl-12-5-o-holy-night

For it is written, “Be Holy for I am Holy.”  – 1 Peter 1:16

O Holy Night was not a song at first, but a poem.   In 1847 it was written by Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant, mayor of the town, and an occasional poet, who was asked by a parish priest to write a poem for Christmas mass.

It most certainly was a blessed Holy night, when Christ was born.  You might say, it was the birth of Salvation.  Actually, that’s exactly how Lucinda referred to it.the-birth-of-salvation

The birth of Christ was just the beginning – for Him and for mankind.  He came to offer us more than we could imagine – and surely more than we deserve.  He came – He gave – He made the ultimate sacrifice for God’s creation.  Was it easy?  No it was not.  I cry when I read about how He prayed and sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane – no it was not easy!  He asked His Father if there was some other way – some easier path that could be taken to save man.  He would not have had to willingly give His life for us.  He could have said no and gone back to Heaven with mankind lost for all time.  He chose to take those nails and die for us.

Heaven’s Lamb is worthy of all honor and praise.  Let’s celebrate that most Holy of nights.

She’s only 7 years old!  Isn’t that great???  When I was 7 I was playing in mud puddles…  true story.

A birth of joy, peace, light, love, hope and everlasting life for you and me.  If that’s not a good reason to give praise and worship to the King – then I don’t know what is.  He came to earth as a baby, was raised as a human, was ultimately given a death sentence and was tortured in a horrific manner before being hung on a cross.  He went through with it – because He loved us.  He loves you more than anyone ever has or ever will.holy-night-prayer

Is living a life of holiness too much to ask?  It’s probably the least we could do in return for all He went through for us.  He wants us to live for Him and to love one another.  With His help, we can do that.  🙂

 

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

A SALUTE TO ALL THINGS PUMPKIN

tl-9-23-a-salute-to-all-things-pumpkinIf I listed everything related to pumpkin, you’d be reading until next Tuesday!  This is my favorite time of year and most of the reason has to do with pumpkin everything!

  • PUMPKIN PATCHES

https://wichita.citymomsblog.com/fall/pumpkin-patches-in-wichita-2016/

  • PUMPKIN SONGS
  • PUMPKIN MUFFINS FROM STARBUCKS

Just keep in mind, these yummy cream cheese muffins are a whopping 53g carbs and 14g fat!  I do make a copycat recipe at home, however – it makes me feel less guilty.  Will I share it?  Well, of course!  My recipe will still have carbs because it uses all-purpose flour, which is what gives baked goods the bounce and great texture we love.  Does it have as many carbs?  No – I substitute Splenda for sugar and cream for milk.  Let’s make muffins!

COPYCAT PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

For the muffin:

1 cup Splenda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pumpkin puree’

2 eggs

1/4 cup cream

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Splenda

1 tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put muffin liners in tins.  Stir pumpkin, oil and Splenda together in a large bowl.  DO THIS BY HAND.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.  Stir in 1 cup flour, then stir in cream, then stir in remaining 1 cup flour.  Divide batter among muffin tins, filling 1/2 full.  Stir together cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla.  Drop 1 Tbs. onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin part comes out clean.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.  Store in refrigerator.  You can freeze these for a quick snack later.

  • PUMPKIN HAIR MASK

Nope – I’m not joking!  Thanks to NaturallyCurly.com for this really great hair mask!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbs. honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put everything in a bowl and puree well.  If you don’t, you’ll end up with pumpkin chunks in your hair.  Separate hair in sections and smooth from root to tip all over.  Put on a shower cap and wait 20-30 minutes.  Shower and shampoo/condition as usual.

Fun Fact:  Pumpkin contains over 100 beneficial nutrients and is exceptionally high in beta carotene thus making it an ideal ingredient for hair products.

  • PUMPKIN SCENTED LOTIONS

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4304786

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath and Body Works – well, that really WORKS for me!  Have you tried it?  If they made that into a wax melt, I’d buy it!  Okay, I may not buy it if it’s super expensive, but I’d want to buy it.  😉

  • PUMPKIN WAX MELTS

Here’s how I roll on wax melts…  when I can get them for .89 a package from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I go for it!  There’s just one drawback to buying wax melts on the cheap…  I buy the fall and winter scents in the summer, and the spring and summer scents in the winter!  On a good day, I can buy up all they have and use my handy dandy coupon for more savings!

I’ll tell ya though – I don’t like paying upwards of $2 a package for them, so I buy the pumpkin scents in June, July and August because if I live long enough, autumn will show up eventually and it will be time to use them.

  • PUMPKIN POETRY

I have enjoyed sharing Lucinda’s poetry on my blog – and I know you’ve enjoyed reading it!  When I mentioned a salute to all things pumpkin, she got to work!  I thought I’d see one, maybe two poems at the most.  LOL – can you believe this…  she wrote a ton of pumpkin poems!!!  I couldn’t think of one to write – is this girl talented or what?

autumn-pumpkinsfall-on-the-farmpunkin-pieOh wait…  that one was mine – from like 3 years ago!  Thanks again to Matthew Deets for sharing a photo of his punkin’ pie!  I’m looking forward to some punkin’ pie pretty soon – with whipped cream on top!  Yum!  I did a non-scientific poll of my friends on facebook, asking what their favorite PUMPKIN thing is – and most said PIE – and I’m right there with ya – it’s pie for me too!  That’s my pumpkin thing, followed closely by the pumpkin spice coffee creamers – sugar free, of course.

Let’s enjoy some more pumpkin poetry from Lucinda:

autumn-times

pumpkins-and-patches

autumns-harvest

And a couple of poems I wrote to add – right at the last minute – whew!  Made it! 

the-orange-army

my-favorite-basketOf course, my favorite part of fall is decorating with my pumpkin baskets!

Nothing is more cute than seeing little people with little pumpkins – just so cute!!! 

pumpkins-just-their-size

We’ll be talking about this more on October 1st, but there’s some special pink pumpkins that are important to us.  Ladies, if you have not had your mammogram yet this year – get it done!  fall-awareness

There are so many ways to PUMPKIN-IZE your autumn!  Have some fun and make the most of the season.  Oh, and don’t forget to make the punkin’ pie!  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (2)

Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”. 

Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question:  In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?

Yes…  I said a BEARD.  Do you know the answer?  Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.

On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO!  It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film.  It was an all-around bummer.

Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright.  Beard, no beard – whatever.  He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever.  His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.

Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.  I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days.  I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.

In 1968 I was 9 years old.  It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines.  There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.

Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces.  He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  I miss simplicity and innocence in films.  No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.

By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar.  It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in.  By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.

Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them.  I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music.  He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy.  🙂