A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

My folks never purchased a security system for their house.  I grew up in a different time…  dare I say, it was a simpler time.  Yes, in the 1970’s we had BTK running around killing people, but I was taught to check the phone just as soon as I walked in the door after school.  My parents drilled it into my mind – they said if I pick up the receiver and the line was dead – I was to run like the wind to the neighbor’s house and call the police!
When I was growing up, a security system meant that you had an attack dog.  Well, maybe not an attack dog, but at least a dog who would bark loudly when strangers came into the yard.
Now I live in an area where we are required to have security.  It’s a good thing, and it lessens our insurance rates too.  Security in our day and age is so important.  Thieves are all around us.  They’ve always been around, but it seems they are closer these days than ever before.  Most of us not only fear the loss of our material possessions, but the loss of something as intimate as our identity.  If ever we needed services like Lifelock, it’s now!
This portion of Scripture reminds us that we need security, protection and hope!  The Lord Jesus Christ is our source of spiritual security.  He is a reliable source of strength and our hope in times of trouble.  We know that His commands to us are not only for His glory, but for our own good.  He wants nothing more than to protect us because He loves us so much.
May we seek His will for our lives as we rely completely on His protection and thank Him for the security He provides for us spiritually.  When we have the courage to do that, we will have the ability to ignore all the false voices that try to talk us out of God’s best in our lives.  The enemy of our soul would like nothing better than to lure us away from our Father and His plan for us.  As long as we delight in our Father’s ways, we will not only survive, but we will thrive because that is God’s desire for us!

I want to live life there!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Jesus’ loyalty lies not with His earthly family – but His Heavenly one.  He makes it clear that He considers Himself related to those who hear the Word of God and obey it.  When he was at the Temple as a kid – only twelve years old – He was fast to ask His earthly family…  did you not know that I’d be about my Father’s business???  That would be His Heavenly Father…  God.

This portion of Scripture is another example of how much more the Heavenly realm meant to Jesus.  He let us know in verse 21 that true family is the family of God – not the people in the unit He was raised with.  Is that to say that the earthly family was not dedicated to God?  No – I’m not implying that at all.  Jesus just wants to be more inclusive in His description of kin…  He loves those who love His Father in Heaven!  He knows that this is the love that will really matter when it’s all said and done.

Jesus knows just how much His Father loves us and wants us to one day be in Heaven with Him.  Lucinda wrote a beautiful poem about the love of God – it made me think…  how many ways do I see God smile every day?  Do I even notice those smiles?  I’ll spend more time looking for them from now on, I can tell you that.

I wondered if there were other ways we could see our Heavenly Father smile, so I posed the question to my group – A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR AND A PINCH OF FAITH.  Here are some of the responses I got:

THE BEAUTY OF A FRIEND – Valerie

THE SOUND OF A FLOWING STREAM – Susan

A CHILD’S LAUGH – Mary

BEING ALIVE – John

I’d add to this list – ANSWERS TO PRAYER.  I not only saw God smile, but felt a hug!  I recently underwent a procedure to lessen my sciatic nerve pain.  As you can imagine, I’ve heard stories from others about it – everything from “It doesn’t work”, to “It’s the most wonderful treatment ever!”  For me, it was a success and I’m enjoying being pain-free so far!  My prayer was answered and I hope I can have quality of life for a long time!  🙂

 

MATTHEW 6:25 ON 6/25

TL 6-25 MATTHEW 6-25 ON 6-25

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  – Matthew 6:25

I’m just going to say it and get it out of my system now…  OUCH!!!  I’m a self-proclaimed worry wart.  If I don’t have something to worry about, then I start worrying because I have nothing to worry about.  I’m human and yes, I know that faith is bigger than fear, and God is working with me on this.  I have FAITH that He will show me that I don’t have to FEAR and FRET about things.  It’s a work in progress.GOD THE BANKER

What is life, anyway?  I used to live to eat.  I’m not proud of it, but I did.  I used to wake up and wonder what was in the refrigerator to eat.  Food was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.  The result of that thought process and subsequent behavior pattern was a 70 pound weight gain, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Emotional eating is a horrible addiction.

Through prayer and study, God helped me find the underlying depression, He broke the bonds that held me captive, taught me how to treat my body instead of destroy it.  I no longer use food as a coping mechanism and it no longer has me in its grip.  Now, food is fuel instead of comfort.  God taught me that life is more than food.

The same depression was leading to a shopping addiction and substantial debt.  God is so patient with me.  He taught me that life is not about the clothes I wear.  The woman with the designer handbag is not the happiest.  There is a high when you first make the purchase, but that quickly turns into buyer’s remorse.  By the time you get your shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry and anything else you think will make you happy out to the car, you have a sinking, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Debt causes stress and stress makes me worry.  What a vicious cycle.

Dear God, I am hungry for more of You. Today I am boldly coming into Your presence to receive the help I need.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

There’s no possession in this world that means as much as my relationship with God, through His Son, Christ Jesus.  All I want now is to hear Him say the words, WELL DONE when my life is finished.  Nothing else really matters.

You would not know I’m the same person who was so wrapped up in food and clothing not so long ago.  Today, I’m 30 pounds lighter, have cut up over 10 credit cards and my debt is manageable.  Funny thing, but I don’t worry as much as I used to either.  Hmm…

Now when I get mad money, I go into my local Goodwill store and I’m perfectly content to wear gently used vintage clothing.  Once in a while I even find a designer label – but shhh…  don’t tell.

Life is more…  so much more than food and clothing.  I’m here to tell you that God can break chains and He will if you ask Him to…  He will help you identify the underlying depression and speak His truth to your spirit until you see yourself the way He sees you.  He loves you so much and wants to help.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

When you think of the grace of God, how do you respond?  Do you sing?  Pray?  Praise?  Smile?  All of the above?  God’s grace is truly…  well – amazing!!! 

WHEN I THINK OF YOUR GRACE

When we perceive our spiritual blessings on a conscious level, it’s okay to take a moment to let God know how grateful we are for those supernatural gifts from Him.  Precious moments make us feel closer to God too, don’t they?  The other day, I was working on something in the living room while my husband was cooking in the kitchen.  I just had to take a moment to thank God for my blessings!

The more we thank God for blessings, the better our lives get.  How about giving your significant other a bear hug?  It’s a tiny act of love, but when you’ve been presented with a fantastic meal or a sweet compliment out of the blue – it’s a good idea to recognize such positive behavior.  We want it to continue, don’t we?  😉

God’s grace is the greatest of all blessings for all of mankind.  If not for His grace, we would be lost – literally.  Eternally lost.  So when we feel a flood of gratitude because of it – it’s a good thing!

Sometimes expressing thanks to God for all He’s done is like popping an anti-anxiety piece of chocolate after a stressful day at work.  It’s really better because the chocolate isn’t going to last, but when we sing, pray, praise and smile because of what God has done for us, it’s a lasting experience.  It seems to make every aspect of life that much better, doesn’t it?

Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to begin thanking God for His grace, mercy and love.  No one will ever love you like He does!  Count your blessings – big and small.  God has given us so much to be thankful for – and it takes more than just one day out of the year to thank Him sufficiently.  🙂

 

BOOK LOVER’S DAY

TL 11-1 BOOK LOVER'S DAY

11-1 WHEN I LOOK AT A BOOK

If you find prayer to be a bit intimidating like I do, read “Before Amen” by Max Lucado.

Would you like to go on a great adventure and make some new friends along the way?  May I suggest you pick up a book today?  Between the covers of a book are untold treats for the mind’s eye.  When I walk into a bookstore my brain kicks in and my heart beats faster.

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  – Edward P. Morgan

Today is BOOK LOVER’S DAY!  What better time to explore all the different types of books we can use to make our lives richer and fuller (or maybe just get a good laugh).

There are several different sections to choose from in your local library or bookstore.  Maybe you’re not interested in going on a wild adventure today, maybe you just want some specific help with something personal.  I find the Self-help section very useful and have landed there many times.

 Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights.
– Author Unknown

Our local library has a Travel section that catches my eye when the weather is bleak and I have cabin fever during the winter months.  Those books – any of them, can transport me from Wichita in winter to anywhere I want to go.  It’s like a great vacation for my mind which ultimately improves my mood and attitude as well.

How about a Thriller?  As long as it is broad daylight and I’m not alone in the house, it’s okay on occasion.

There’s one thing I’m sure about.  An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story.  It should say:  Listen.  Come in here.  You want to know more about this.  – Stephen King

I enjoy a good Biography now and then.  Although fiction tickles my fancy once in a while, I enjoy the real life stories of people who have shaped the course of history.  The “killing” books that Bill O’Reilly has published come to mind – and they are very well researched and keep me turning pages for hours.

There are sections called Creative and Art, respectfully.  Whether you are interested in learning a craft or you just wish to appreciate art, there are plenty of books available.

The Religious section does, of course, interest me.  I have favorite authors such as Max Lucado and Billy Graham (of course, his latest project was in the form of a video called My Hope for America)  I’ve posted that video on my blog, but would encourage you to watch it on YouTube.  At 95 years old he is still pleading with us to pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.  There is a special place in heaven for that man.

As you all know, my favorite poet is Lucinda Berry Hill.  She has a new book coming out soon and I hope you plan to add it to your Coffee collection.  Her first book, “Coffee with Jesus” gives us a poem for every week of the year.  Her new book is “A Second Cup with Jesus” – and it is even better than the first book.  I hope you will make it part of your home library.  I know I will. 

A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS9

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

https://youtu.be/7fvv9gMSYzU

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”   But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.   Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  – Matthew 9:10-13

We are all born sinners.  I’m so thankful that Jesus doesn’t distance Himself from sinners, but reclines with us and inclines His ear to us.  No matter how hopeless a cause you think you are, Jesus is ready to come to your house and eat at your table with you.  He hears your heart when you speak, not just the words you say. 

 God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the sinners in Christ’s day was the tax collector.  Matthew himself was a tax collector before he met Jesus.  I’m not a fan of tax collectors in our day either, but can you imagine Christ sitting down at the house of an I.R.S. agent?  Don’t laugh – it could happen.  He’s so much more patient than I am, that’s for sure.  God is love – and He loves everyone.

Imperfection is a part of humanity.  Our broken lives, whether physical or spiritual, does not take Jesus by surprise.  He can handle any degree of disease or sin in your life and mine.

 Saints are sinners who kept on going.   – Robert Louis Stevenson

God created us to have a relationship with Him and to experience true, lasting peace in this life.   Christ comes when we ask Him in to our hearts and lives.

He reclines and relaxes with us.  He inclines His ear to us and hears not only what we say, but what our hearts mean.