A SUMMER OF PSALMS

The “T” is allowed in the word COMMIT.  The “T” is allowed in the word TRUST.  The “T” is most definitely not allowed on the end of the word CAN.

We need to remember that there’s a right way and a wrong way to proceed.  When we charge off and try to be successful on our own without God’s help, that’s the wrong way to get where we’re going.  Giving the plan to God is key and makes everything so much easier for us.  We are nothing without Him and we can do nothing without His help.  In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him – only then will He work on our behalf, making our path straight and opening doors that would otherwise stay shut.

We know that it takes just a little faith to get going.  We’re told that it takes faith the size of a mustard seed.  When I was a teenager, I wore a necklace that had a mustard seed inside a glass case.  It was so tiny and lightweight, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Isn’t sign language beautiful?  The main point of this Psalm is that God wants the very best for us, but He wants us to keep Him in the loop, so to speak.  He wants to be a part of our decision-making process every step of the way.  Anything we do that is not within His will and His word – it’s not good and it’s not right.  We need to do things His way according to His will.

Do we always do that?  No – speaking for myself, I’ve not.  Those are painful lessons in life – but we learn the lesson (hopefully just once), and we ask the Lord’s forgiveness and then we get up and try again and with His help, we do better.  Grab on to your mustard seed-size faith and try again!  The second part of this passage says HE WILL HELP YOU.  Will you trust God to help you find victory in your life?

Is there a lasting victory for you?  Sure there is!  Our Lord is loving and merciful and kind and strong!  He wants the very best for you and wants to help you in every aspect of your life.  You CAN because He’s going to help you!  Just share everything you do, or plan to do, with Him!  Always give HIM the glory for the successes in your life!  

Remember to pray before you plan.  Make sure what you plan to do is God’s best for you, and His will for your life (as far as you can tell).  Keep reading your Bible and pray because you want to do things God’s way.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard the expression, “Garbage in, garbage out” – ???  Well…  there’s a flip side to that expression that is much more positive.  How about “God’s love in, God’s love out” – ???  If we study God’s Word and think on His precepts…  what will shine forth from our lives?  It doesn’t get better than that, does it?  When we focus on His love – we will SHINE!

Everything in life begins with a thought – good or bad.  Again with the choices, right?  God gives us free will – it’s what He wants for us – and it makes Him so sad if we choose to think bad thoughts, scary thoughts, or live a stressful, worry-filled life.  The Lord wants us to live an abundant life – and lean fully on Him.  God’s so much wiser and bigger than we are – and He knows our thoughts – and He knows that every action we take begins with a single thought.

Choose to think on His goodness, His grace, His mercy and His wonderful love.  These things are praiseworthy – and God is worthy of our praise.  Virtue…  good report…  pure…  lovely… think on these things.

There’s one other thought I want to share about thoughts…  God can read them – but the enemy of your soul cannot.  Since the devil can’t read your thoughts, it’s a good idea to not verbally express some of your thoughts.  Once you speak your thoughts out into the air where satan can hear them…  he can use them against you.  Just one last thought about thoughts.  If you have a thought that you don’t want satan to hear…  take it captive and start praying!  Ask God to turn that thought around – He can help you turn it into something positive and praiseworthy!  Satan can’t work with anything positive that comes out of your mouth.

I like this song – it really grows on you!  When you sing the words of Scripture, it makes it easier to memorize.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.   – 1 John 3:1

Maybe you’re like me and this verse makes a familiar song pop into your mind.  It happens to me all the time – not just Scripture songs – but I get earworms about secular stuff too.  In this case, I’m thinking about this sweet little song:

If you have to get an earworm – that’s not a bad one to have.  I’ll probably walk around humming this all day long.  It’s good to stay focused on the love that God has for us, isn’t it?  There are so many negative forces at work in our world – and they seem to be everywhere, don’t they?  God wants us to think about HIM – think about HIS GOODNESS.  Oh wow…  another earworm:

Great is the measure of our Father’s love.  Not kinda sorta might be okay – but GREAT!  When the situations and circumstances in day-to-day living get overwhelming and stressful and negative…  think about the GREATNESS of God’s love for you!  He’s so happy when we think about His goodness and His mercy and grace.  Another earworm to think about:

Nothing injects a note of positivity into your day like taking a moment among all the burdensome situations in life to just meditate and concentrate on God’s love and goodness in our lives.  God gives His great and wonderful love in Jesus Christ, and all the gifts and powers which live in Him like fragrance in the rose. He has not failed you and He will never fail you – remember that.  One more earworm – I promise it’s the last one – well, it probably is – maybe:

God’s love is measureless and strong!!!  Keep your mind focused on His love for you today!  🙂

 

 

 

 

JAMES 1:26 ON 1/26

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Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  – James 1:26

I’ve heard it preached from the pulpit my whole life – the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body – and the most deadly.  Is it just me, or are people using that little muscle more today than ever?  It seems to me that everyone wants to be heard, but nobody wants to listen!

Everyone has a RIGHT – but nobody has a RESPONSIBILITY.

A Christian is to hold their tongue – bite it to the point it bleeds at times.  I admit that it’s difficult for me to keep opinions about political views to myself, but I try to stay quiet about them.  Why?  Because God loves everyone and I don’t want something I say about matters that are not eternal or lasting that could act as a stumbling block to a person for whom Christ died.  No matter how wrong I may think they are, I have to look beyond the temporal to the spiritual.  If I start mouthing off with name-calling and so forth, who does that benefit really?  Admittedly, that may make me feel better at the moment, but God’s not pleased with that behavior.

We must learn to rein our tongue in…  it’s a spiritual discipline.  Is it easy?  Oh shoot no – but if you want people to see Christ in your life, you’d better ask yourself, what would Jesus Do (WWJD)?  I can’t imagine that my Savior would include a political endorsement in the Sermon on the Mount.  Um…  no, no not really.  Is it worth losing an opportunity to minister to a precious soul?  If you argue and get ugly, you have lost the opportunity to show Christ to them.  We belong to the Lord and we represent Him at all times.  We don’t get to wear a sign that says, “Out to lunch – be back at 1:00” so we can be more human and opinionated for a while.  And – this is true whether it’s face to face or online.  Just because you’re on facebook – that does not mean your tongue can be any less bridled.  Keep a rein on it.

If you really want to make a difference, show quiet strength.  When Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus – that was quiet strength and courage.  It was not destructive or violent…  but look at the difference that one act of defiance made – for everyone! 

America demonstrated this quiet strength in the voting booth recently.  A lot of people have held their tongues – but showed up to vote.  It shocked the country – some in a good way – some in a bad way.  Regardless of what side of the political fence you sit on, we need to show respect for the office and for the man in the office…  no ands, ifs or buts.

I’m a city girl, so I’m not sure what a horse bridle actually does.  I assume, of course, that it is to control the animal, but I wanted to know exactly what it’s for.  Keep in mind that we’re to put one of these on our tongues – much like one is put on a horse to maintain control.

I’ll never have a horse or need to know this stuff…  but when applied to my tongue, it should definitely do the job.  Just kidding…  it won’t.  But – if I send thoughts through the Holy Ghost filter, as my mother referred to God’s Holy Spirit – the words that come from my mouth should be better than they would be if they came out unfiltered.

Nobody’s perfect and we all slip from time to time.  God’s forgiveness through Christ is there for those times.  I’m concerned when I hear some folks brag as they claim they have no “filter.”  They think that makes them so cool or something – when really, to my way of thinking, it makes them sad.  I’m sorry they don’t have regard for others in their comments, and I wish they knew God’s Holy Spirit and all that He could do in their life.

I hope you know God through Christ Jesus, and God’s precious Holy Spirit.  With His help, you can have a bridled tongue and His wisdom as you journey through this life.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I’ll tell ya, John is MUCH more brave than I am!  If something is hidden, I tend to just let it be…  you know, like the Beatles taught us to do so long ago…  😀

I have so many fears…  too many to list here, actually.  The top of that list, however, would have to be SNAKES!  I don’t care if they are deadly or not – it makes absolutely no difference to me.  They’re slimy and slithery and they’re sneaky and…  well – there’s a reason God turned the devil into one – jus’ sayin’…

My theory is that nothing that is hidden can be very good.  If something has to hide, it must be either illegal, immoral (does morality matter to anyone anymore?), or just plain bad news.  This video got me to thinking about different ways to face the things or places in our lives that are hidden.  We can ignore them or we can face them head on and chances are, they will not be so scary or spooky to us once we’ve encountered them.

Fight or flight???  I’m big on FLIGHT.  I don’t think it’s always been the best choice, and I readily admit, it’s the path of least resistance.  I hate to face opposition.  It’s easier to just agree or ignore – but to actually stand up and say I disagree with someone – then explain clearly and boldly WHY I disagree – well, no I’m not good at it.  In college I opted for Interpersonal Communication because I didn’t want to take Debate.  That was such a weird class.  But I digress…

I want to be better at charging into the hidden forests in my life.  As with everything, it’s a process that begins with a single step.  I’ve found that facebook is an excellent practice field.  It doesn’t take long at all to find people talking about a subject and offering advice and opinions that I completely disagree with.  There was a time I’d just think, “Oh I’m not getting in THIS mess.”  Now, I speak up – well, I don’t actually say anything…  LOL.  It’s facebook – I type my opposing views.

Sadly, while I’m in the thick of the hidden forest, the language tends to get not only offensive, but rude and completely obnoxious and uncalled for.  Once again, with God’s help, I type that I don’t believe just because I disagree with a viewpoint, I should have to read verbal vomit.TRUST FOR STRAIGHT PATHS

As Christians, we like a peaceful life in a little corner where we can sing praise and worship songs all day long.  The fact is, there are times when we have to go into a hidden forest – face something or someone who is offensive to our morality and our value system.  We must be willing to sharpen our debate skills, while also keeping in mind that we’ve all come short of God’s glory – none of us have arrived and none of us ever will.  It’s only by God’s miraculous GRACE that any of us can stand.  Without HIM and HIS sacrifice on Calvary – we’re nothing – and I mean NOTHING.

While the world is twisting and turning with every whim that comes along, we trust God to make our paths straight.  We long for simplicity that is a life lived in Christ.  We know that He will provide for us and that He will hear each prayer we pray.  We are never alone and that gives us such comfort – comfort that the world considers weak.  I once asked a co-worker, “I lean on God to help me.  Who do you lean on?”  Without hesitation, she boasted, “I lean on myself!”  I didn’t say anything else, but as I walked away I muttered under my breath, “Okay…  good luck with that.”

Join me today in praising Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made for all of mankind on Calvary – for HE IS WORTHY of our praise!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

As we head toward 2016, will you make New Year resolutions?  I don’t call what I do each year by that name, but I do make POSITIVE PLANS with prayer.  I don’t commit to change completely at my age, which is what a resolution eludes to – rather I commit to tweak, keeping in mind that the goal is my overall good in life.

I could be like everyone else jumping off the cliff and say, “I’m going to lose a TON of weight”.  Well, first of all, I know this body of mine – and I know, especially as I get older, a TON of weight will not just magically disappear.  So I would rather say “I’m going to make better choices as I plan meals.”  That doesn’t put pressure on me to do something massive in a short amount of time.

You want results yesterday, and desperation mode kicks in.  Beware of the valley of quickie cures.  – Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. 

I can’t pretend that I won’t need a little chocolate once in a while.  I could stand in front of chocolate with my arms folded, refusing to partake…  but guess what?  That’s worse than buyer’s remorse!  I’m going to think about that moment and pretty soon I’m saying, “You know what?  I didn’t get that chocolate when I could have, so I’m going to go get some now to make up for it.”  For Pete’s sake – just have a piece of chocolate and work it off!  It’ll be okay.

There will be bumps in the road and it helps to keep a food journal to stay on track.  It sounds weird to say I eat and forget what I’ve eaten – but that’s exactly what happens sometimes!  I probably eat more calories than I realize I’m eating.  If I write everything down, there it is on a list.  If I’m getting close to my limit and I still feel hungry, I have to ask myself if I’ve drunk enough water or if I’ve gotten enough exercise.  Hunger is not always about food.  Sometimes it’s about water intake or lack of exercise.

Am I bored?  Do I need to get involved in an activity such as blogging or a game – something to keep my brain busy?  It’s not just a matter of denying myself food.  It’s much more complicated than it seems.

Let’s face it – if this was easy to do, we’d all be walking pencils, wouldn’t we?  Not everyone needs to lose weight, but a large group of type 2 diabetics would agree that they need to lose enough to get their hemoglobin A1C within normal range.  I’m raising my hand – I’m in that group.

It’s my hope and prayer that in 2016, around week four, I don’t become a big bundle of excuses.  I wish I had an accountability partner or someone who would be willing to drag their sorry behind to the gym with me.  That would keep me psyched and energized.  It’s more difficult if you’re doing it alone.

Positive Plan #1…  make better food choices and keep track in a journal.  I’m positive I can do this.  🙂

 

EXODUS 3:14 ON 3/14

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God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”   – Exodus 3:14

God’s name is I AM.  It makes perfect sense because God has always been, therefore, He is part of His creation.  Does the creation name the Creator?  That is thinking that puts the cart before the horse.  When we realize that God is high and lifted up – and that’s where we need to place Him in our hearts and lives – only then do we begin to get a real sense of the awe and true respect we owe Him in our everyday lives and in our worship.

God is not a cosmic vending machine that we drop a coin in and get instant gratification in return.  If you send a certain amount of money to the such and so ministry, you will not automatically become happy and healthy and whole.  The Word, and its emphasis on reverence toward God, is being replaced by some ear-tickling, funky doctrine.  I do not subscribe to the “Doom and Gloom” ministry where everything is falling apart and there is seemingly no hope, but nor do I believe in the “Everything is just peachy keen because we’re all happy happy happy and riding the train to Glory no matter what” ministry.

If you want to ride the train to Glory, there is a right way and His name is Jesus.  There may be some bad habits He wants you to get rid of.  There may be some downright ugly sin He definitely wants you to get rid of.  God saves through the precious blood of His Son, Jesus.  It’s a narrow road and to preach that anybody can just hop on board and get to heaven…  well, it’s just not so.  When a person is ready to repent of sin, there needs to be some shame associated with it – you have to be truly sorry for the sins you’ve committed and ask the Lord to take that bent toward sinning away.  Jesus does take all that away – and the shame leaves too.  A heart that God helps you clean is clean indeed.

Once you are a child of God, when you stand before Him at the judgment, you don’t need to be afraid because you can point to Jesus.  God no longer sees your sin, but He sees His Son’s sacrifice covering your sin.  There’s not enough positive thinking doctrine to save your soul.  You have to lay it all out to Jesus.  Confess it – accept forgiveness for it – and walk away from it.  Is it easy – NO.  Will Christ help you do it?  Oh yes.

Have you watched Billy Graham’s video about THE CROSS???  Go over to You Tube and watch this incredible video.  At 96 years of age, this great man of God is still pointing us to one fact – Jesus died for all that we might be saved and live in heaven for eternity after this life is over.

Do you belong to God?  Are you His?

I AM HIS

Why do we worship God?  Because He IS…  His name says it all…  I AM.  He is worthy of our worship and our praise.  We should never base our degree of praise on anything that is about us, such as a mood that might say, “I don’t feel like praising God today”.  It’s not about you, it’s about God.  He deserves the glory, honor and praise from His creation.

My daddy was not a minister, but he used to tell me that when God called Himself I AM, He was letting man know that they are the mere creation.  God has so much power and yet He restrains that power to show us such patience and love.  He wants us to seek His face and grow in His love and grace, with fear and reverence – always.

I used to ask daddy about the flood too.  I asked child-like questions like, “If God wanted to destroy all earth, why did he spare the animals and Noah’s family?  Why didn’t He just wipe it all out to begin with?”  Daddy told me that God loved Noah’s family because they gave God the respect and honor that He deserved when nobody else did.

Can we say that we give God the respect and honor that He deserves today?  God – I AM – is everything, in everything, surrounds everything – and if you are a Christian, He lives in you.  He needs to be the Lord of all in your life.  If He is not Lord of all in your life, He won’t be Lord at all.  God is a jealous God and will not allow anything or anyone to take first place.  He has to be the top priority in your life.  Why?  Because His name is I AM.