A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15 & 16

Have you ever noticed when someone is asked to give a testimony, they break out in a cold sweat?  Actually, I’m describing my dad – he had a very humble and private walk with the Lord.  He didn’t make a big deal out of it, and he never wanted to testify.  If he was put on the spot, beads of sweat formed on his forehead, not because he didn’t have a story, but because he didn’t like to speak in public.

I think it’s funny now, looking back…  my parents had me in front of the congregation playing the piano before I was in junior high school.  Would either of them done anything on the platform?  I doubt it – but there I was – and there I’d stay for several years.  I’m glad they pushed me though, because the experience I gained at a young age taught me many valuable lessons.  From my unique vantage point, I got to see a few things.  I remember thinking, “I want to be like that person” – or…  “I don’t want to have an attitude like that person.”  We all do that in our youth, but doing it while seated at the piano in choir practice was special somehow.

We are to have a story and be ready to share it when it’s time.  Have you ever heard someone testify and seem to be almost angry that others are not coming to the Lord and repenting of sin as they think they should?  Sometimes your testimony is less about the actual words you say, and more about the attitude behind the words you’re saying.

A gentle quiet spirit that exudes thanksgiving and gratitude makes a much better impression than beating your hand on the pulpit and screaming.  Nobody ever scared anybody to the Lord – well, except the movie A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.  I think the whole youth group went forward and confessed every little sin after that movie was over – even putting chewing gum under the pew.  No, I didn’t do that…  but I found some once.  Eeeewwww.  It was a pew in the back of the church – it didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out who did it.

Every one of us has a different vantage point in our walk with Christ.  We see things from different places.  I sat at the piano and watched as a tween – maybe you sat in the choir and observed – or in the back row.  Sometimes I wished I could have been a normal kid and sat in the back row – I envied them a little bit.  The point is, we all have a story of our walk – past and present.  The walk I have with Christ is so much deeper and richer today than it was when I was saved at thirteen.   That’s what the world needs to hear – and that’s the truth of it.

Sometimes a testimony is painful to share.  That’s when we rely on God’s help to give us the right words to say.  As we listen, it might hurt, but we rely on God’s help to give us compassionate hearts and minds as we hear their story.  Christ reaches down to all of us when we’re in a state of disarray – and that’s putting it mildly.  We’re unsaved and without hope without Him.

I’m reminded of an Andre’ Crouch song called I’VE GOT CONFIDENCE.  With God helping us every day, we can have confidence and assurance that things will be alright no matter what the case may be – !

Don’t be afraid to share your testimony, your story, your faith.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it, spiritually speaking!  LOL – well, you know what I mean.  I’ve got CONFIDENCE…  God is gonna see me through.  🙂

 

 

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PROVERBS 10:12 ON 10/12

TL PROVERBS 10 12 on 10 12

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.  – Proverbs 10:12

Let’s see what the Sunday School Sheep is up to…

https://youtu.be/zKAEvLd_98o

Click image to enlarge

I’m sure it’s happened to you too…  you get on facebook to chat with your friends and as you are browsing through the news feed, you see a post that you disagree with.  As much as you really should just ignore it and keep scrolling, you give in to the temptation to comment and maybe even leave a piece of Scripture to “defend” your position.  Well – then you see a comment that disagrees with yours and someone is calling you a name.  Before it’s over, you wonder why you didn’t just keep scrolling – and you wish you had kept scrolling.

Does God care if we say mean things to strangers?  Does He care if we call someone we don’t know but strongly disagree with a mean name?  Well…  yes, God does care.  It’s not right that they call you a name first – but it’s a good idea to take the high road and drop the name calling and move on before you fall into sin.  Try to be a blessing in Jesus’ Name.  Fight the temptation to stoop to the hater’s level and be just as hateful.  It gets us nowhere.  Let’s choose to live like we’re loved – because we are!

People are just plain mean and nasty on social media!  To be honest, it doesn’t happen to me much anymore because I don’t seek out those who disagree with me.  Most of the friends I have are adults.  If we don’t agree on issues, we disagree agreeably.  I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I try to stay out of the mud puddles – I’m not a champion mud wrestler – sorry to disappoint you.

It won’t change anyone to call them names – and it could quite possibly destroy any possibility of sharing your witness with them.  The only way to live a Christian life is to live in love.  I need to remember that hatred stirs up conflict – love draws the lost to my side.  With love and patience I can share my testimony.  It’s a story that only I can share.  No one else has traveled the path that I’ve traveled.

We are living in a time when everything insults everyone.  If we have a more loving approach toward others, it will not reflect badly on us and then we can witness.  The acceptance or rejection of that witness is up to them – but at least the door opens up instead of slamming shut and locking.  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (9)

https://youtu.be/kmFA65up32k

There are many misguided beliefs that this prayer is about material possessions. Newsflash – it’s not. It’s about people, not stuff. People matter more than stuff! When I pray this prayer it’s in the sincere hope that God will bring people into my life. Stuff doesn’t talk back – which in some cases is good, but most of the time – it’s just lonely.

Yesterday I got to see love in action – twice, in the same place! Most people take these things for granted, but if you have either an elderly person or a baby in your family – then you are blessed.

I was sitting at a quaint little Amish restaurant just a few miles West of Wichita in Yoder, Kansas. My husband had left our booth and since I was alone it gave me an opportunity to see and listen to the folks around me. When I looked to the left, I saw a very old and feeble woman seated at a table with someone who looked to be middle-aged. From the body language it seemed as though it was an elderly mother and her daughter. It made me think of the many times I took my mother out for meals. Some of our best conversations happened in a restaurant.

We arrived at the restaurant just after lunch time, so it was not crowded at all. This sweet pair of women had my undivided attention. I was just a distant observer, quietly taking mental notes and watching love at its best. Evidently the older woman was fighting sleep after eating her meal (hey – don’t we all?) – the younger woman said, “Oh – it’s not nap time already is it?” I had to chuckle at that remark. I always take an afternoon nap – unapologetically! I nap and I don’t care who knows it!

The women gathered their belongings – a tote bag and a few other odds and ends I could not make out. The younger woman patiently helped the older one get situated with her walker and they slowly and gingerly made their way out of the dining area.

I took another sip of water and thought back on the happy times my mama and I had. Then something else caught my attention. A baby’s cry – but not just an ordinary cry. It was a newborn baby crying! That’s a very distinctive sound indeed! There was a young couple with their newborn along with an older couple who I will assume were grandma and grandpa.

Babies just make everyone smile – and this one was no exception. I thought, “Oh yes, little one – wrap them all around your little pinky finger now!” Everyone was smiling and chit chatting away about the future. Everything revolves around this child’s future and everyone at the table has a purpose in their lives because of her.

If you feel alone and isolated today, I invite you to visit a restaurant and look to the left… look to the right. There is life outside your little world. Break out of your cocoon and fly like a butterfly into the world and get involved in someone else’s story. If your story seems dull and bleak, maybe it’s time to bring in more characters.

FROG JUMPING DAY

TL 5-13 FROG JUMPING DAY

When I think of F.R.O.G., of course I think of “Fully Rely on God”. But today’s wacky holiday is about something completely different. It is FROG JUMPING DAY – a day dedicated to Mark Twain’s short story, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.” A FROG PARTY is in order! What a great opportunity to share some classic literature with kids while they’re having fun!

Decorate for your FROG PARTY with green streamers and any frog stuff you can find! Of course you will put a copy of Mark Twain’s story at each place, next to the frog place card. You’ll need a frog cake to go along with the theme, and let’s see… green ice cream??? Hmm… maybe chocolate mint – that’s green, right? It sounds like something fun for kids, doesn’t it? What better way to help your child learn about classic literature than to disguise it with a party??? Anytime you can make learning fun… why not??? At some point get the kids in a circle and read the story together. You’ve at least told them about Mark Twain if nothing else. I think it’s a story that most kids would enjoy either hearing or older kids can read together.

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.  – Mark Twain

Sometimes you have to sneak learning in where you can. If you are an enthusiastic parent, you might want to dress up like a frog. OK, maybe not, but getting into character makes the story stay in young minds better! Most of us are visual learners, you know.

 You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  – Clay P. Bedford

However you choose to decorate or dress-up, I hope you have a great FROG JUMPING DAY! Enjoy it with your little tadpoles today! ❤