A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Someone asked me if this verse means that we are supposed to have our devotion time early in the morning.  Well, I’m not big on mornings, which explains my dependence on massive amounts of caffeine.  I don’t think the Lord minds if we do our devotions at night.  Often I enjoy devotions at night when I have the house to myself.  I like to have it quiet when I read and write.  During the morning hours it’s too hectic most of the time, and I’m often interrupted with other things.

I believe that “Early will I seek You” means that we acknowledge God and His Lordship in our lives first thing when we wake up.  That, of course, does not take the place of our alone time with God.  That’s also the time when we sit down with our Bibles and a cup of tea or coffee, and God speaks to our spirits.  It’s a time to study God’s Word and pray.

The thing is, we say Good Morning to God, right?  We pray when we get up in the morning, thankful that God woke us up and we were able to get out of bed.  From there our day progresses, but we still pray without ceasing in our minds.  God has our attention while we do whatever we are obligated to do in this life on earth.

This world is a dry and thirsty land.  We face all sorts of adversity from people who don’t understand Christians or their beliefs – and usually don’t want to.  Even our Vice President was labeled insane for praying.  I’m still praying that God will save Joy’s soul in a Damascus-like conversion (like the Apostle Paul), because if God got ahold of Joy, can you imagine what a force she’d be for the right?  It’d be quite a sight to see.  She’s such a strong-willed person.  It’d be so great!  Right now she’s gained the whole world but lost her soul.  I’m praying that she will gain Christ and win others for Him.

Since we live in a desert land on earth, God knows we need to spend some time alone with Him every day.  I don’t feel as strong or confident if I miss my time with the Lord, do you?  He wants us to study His Word and pray, but that is for our benefit, not His.  He’s just as strong whether we show up or not.  We are the ones who need that time with Him.  It’s a gift we give ourselves.  🙂

 

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His Love

The word overflow means to have the contents flowing over or spilling, as an overfull container.

So, let me get this straight…  the purpose for my life is not that I be a world-renowned neurosurgeon?  Whew!  What a relief!  One of the MAIN purposes for my life – and for your life – is to share God’s wonderful love with others.  What others?  ALL the others!  Anyone and everyone!  That, I am sure, we can do!

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  – 1 John 4:8

Real love is not found in a heart-shaped box of chocolates.  The only surprise in that box is about ten more pounds on your thighs!  No…  Valentine’s Day is all fine and good for the romantic in all of us, but real love from God is where we find true joy and do the most good for our fellow-man (and woman).

Think about this:  If God IS love, then anyone who doesn’t have a relationship with him through His Son, Christ Jesus, can only be described as selfish and self-absorbed in nature.  It’s just a thought to ponder.  If there is no other source from which we can obtain real love – then those who don’t know God do not know real love or have a clue how to show real love to others.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  the devil imitates and copies everything that God does.  There is a false, fake, second-rate imitation of love that looks very close to the love of God – but it’s not OF God.  I’m sure those who are under its influence believe it is from God Himself, but it’s not.

To rest in our Lord’s strong and loving arms is wonderful indeed; however, His embrace is not to be selfishly hoarded.  God’s love is to be showered on others.  His Word is not only to be read and heeded – it’s to be shared through preaching and teaching.

We have to be very careful, especially in this modern-day, where everyone has a voice and knows how to use it.  Social media’s jam-packed with all sorts of quotes and sayings that seem sincere, but they don’t hold water theologically.  Study the Bible for yourself to make sure you know God’s real love!

Read God’s Word daily – be aware of what HE says, in His loving and lovely way.  Let Him be the light that guides you and your path will never be dark.  Once you know His love, you’ll never be the same.

Sometimes I feel like a weirdo – a fish swimming upstream, waving at everyone swimming in the “right” direction…  I’m like – “Bye bye…  see ya!”  I like to take personality quizzes and took one recently on facebook.  Here are the results.  I don’t know whether I feel better about my personality or not.

Your Enneagram personality type is the Individualist. You’re creative, very intelligent and fiercely independent. You’re driven by the desire to live true to yourself and you’re willing to stand out from everyone else in the process. When unbalanced you tend to be melancholy and envious of others, but if you trust your inner voice you have an impressive imagination that can change the world. You may feel like a rebel without a cause, but when you’re in touch with your inner drive, your unique voice can take you far. Be yourself, never compromise on your vision, and find creative ways to express your reality. You have the potential to be one of history’s greats!

I look at a lot of memes every day – to get inspiration for my own designs and see what is popular these days.  Have you seen the one with the scarecrow standing out in the field – and the caption says, “He feels so special because he’s out standing in his field!” – ???  I guess I’m that scarecrow!  LOL!!!  It could be worse.  😀

Before I go, I want to invite you to check out this offer from Deanna Stalnaker on Amazon.  This looks like a wonderful story!  Here’s the link:

And while you’re reading your favorite blogs, check out Judy Janowski’s blog: https://lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com/

You need to get Lucinda’s wonderful books.  They are a fantastic companion to THE B.I.B.L.E – (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).  If you’re looking for encouragement and inspiration, these books are just what you need!   https://Lucindaspoetry.webs.com/  

Thank you so much for following my blog!  Have a blessed and glissando kind of week!  I’m gonna head back out to the corn field now and be out standing in my field!  Ha!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

If you’re a child of God, this verse offers a warm fuzzy feeling and you feel loved and protected.  If you’re not His child, it could possibly scare the hooey out of you – and for good reason.  It’s one more reminder that sitting on the proverbial fence is not an option.  You’re either God’s kid – or you’re not.  There’s no in-between.

Jesus loves you!  He does… and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

God is love, but don’t be deceived.  Our God is all-powerful and is in control of everything.  He is not a senile old man who puts up with sin and laughs it off.  He’s not going to give anyone a pass when it comes to transgression of His law!  Your earthly grandfather may do that, but the God of the universe will not.

When Jesus told the sea to be still…  it obeyed!  As I write this, I’m reminded of a song we sang in our youth group called “SEA WALKER”.  Some of you younger folk are gonna laugh, but hey…  I’m old.  LOL!

Who is Jesus?  He’s the only begotten Son of God.  He was sent by God to earth as a baby and was raised in a Jewish family.  Is there more to it?  Of course – so much more!  Without His teachings about His Father and our Heavenly Father, we would be clueless.  Without His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary…  wow – we’d be in such big trouble in eternity!  Many people have the idea that Christ HAD to die for our sins.  Um…  nope!  He could have changed His mind any time – He could have said we’re not worth His sacrifice.  Did He say that?  NO, He didn’t – and we should make it part of our daily prayer to thank Him for going through with it.

Lucinda wrote an amazing poem for today.  It’s enlightening and uplifting to my spirit!  I’m so happy to share it with you!

Jesus is our link to God, therefore, we are careful to end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name”.  If we take the time to study the Bible and get to know our Savior, Christ Jesus, we will get a glimpse at our Father God.  If we know Jesus, we basically know God.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible.  Study, trust and obey.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Has God given everyone at least one gift?  You know, I think we sometimes look at what God has given us and make the paralyzing mistake of comparing our gifts or talents with those of others.  That is exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to do – he would like nothing better than to see you paralyzed, believing that somehow your gift is not good enough for God’s use – so you just sit back and let someone else serve instead.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen that.  I think it’s satan’s favorite pastime. 

Another sad scenario is when some people in the church begin to compare and pit two similarly gifted people against each other.  I’ve been in that situation and I can’t think of anything that is more hurtful and damaging to a soul – it’s what the Bible calls A STUMBLING BLOCK.  When I hear people tell me that they think I’m better at (fill in the blank) than someone else – I try to stop it in its tracks!  We’re not in the church to be playing AMERICAN IDOL – which, by the way, is a terrible name for a program (have the producers not read the Old Testament)?

Churches are filled with lost souls who have been saved and redeemed by a loving and kind Savior.  None of us deserve salvation, do we?  We’re all just trying to serve Him the best way we know how – and it’s because we love HIM – not because we’re in some church competition with anyone.  Always encourage people to use their gifts to serve.  If there are 15 pianists in your church and you think some are better than others (which, I mean – duh – there will be some better than others)… encourage each and every one of them – period.  No comparisons…  no mention of how good one is or how not so good another is – no!  God gave all 15 pianists TALENT and wants them to use that gift to further HIS kingdom.  The church needs to buy a clue and quit copying the world – stop it! 

My eyes were opened when I was part of a Southern Gospel group years ago.  We traveled as a caravan around Kansas and Oklahoma, playing concerts along the way.  I was never more unhappy and unfulfilled than I was then – it was honestly a reminder of the old BATTLE OF THE BANDS.  I just wanted to go home and play piano in my home church, where I thought the people who knew and understood me would forgive a sour note here and there.  I wasn’t cut out to perform – that’s not who God made me to be.

We serve the Lord with the best we have to give – no matter what gift He has given us.  There’s a place to serve the Lord – for all of us.  There should be room for every gift without being compared to anyone else.

I’ve said this time and again…  but I will say it again – it’s not about us anyway.  It’s about God, His grace, mercy, love and promises to us.  What we give back is our response to all that He’s done for us.  We go and tell and share because He commands that we do that.  We use the gifts from His hand to that end.  That’s what it’s about.  We teach, pray, study, and serve others with the light we’ve been given from God through Christ Jesus!

Even if you think one person is better at (fill in the blank) than another…  please don’t voice that opinion.  It’s the most hurtful thing that a person can do and is a stumbling block.  It may seem that you’re encouraging the one – which is okay – but don’t do it by discouraging the other.  I’ve been on both sides of that fence and it’s so hurtful when you’re the one who doesn’t quite have what it takes like the other person does.  People have stopped using their gifts because of that very thing.  It’s just not a good idea to compare people’s gifts.  Let’s just be thankful that people are willing to volunteer their time and share their talents.

Serve to spread the gospel in any way you can.  We don’t keep the gospel of Christ tucked safely away and say…  “Yay – I’m saved – that’s all that matters.”  The word gospel means GOOD NEWS – and it is to be shared.  If there is a way for you to share with a gift that God gave you…  then it’s what you should do!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  – 1 Corinthians 3:7

I’m the first to admit that winter is not my favorite season.  Some of my friends think it’s the bees knees, but no – not me.  I’m simply tickled to see spring peeking around the corner, although here in Kansas we had a remarkably mild winter.  I’m not complaining! 

There’s nothing like that first time in the garden in spring!  Gardening just makes one feel so close to nature and more alive somehow, doesn’t it?  This portion of Scripture is not talking about literal gardening though – it’s talking about spiritual gardening.

a-seed-that-flourished

Who’s doing the planting?  All of us, as God’s children, need to be scattering “seed” – that is, sharing our faith, at every given opportunity.  It seems when I hear the word WITNESSING, my knees begin to buckle – but if I’m told to share my faith – that’s really more natural and makes me more comfortable.  Just tell your story – that’s about it.  I was blind – but now I see.  That is scattering seed.  It’s not complicated – but so often we make it so.

Once seed is planted…  who waters them?  Well, God sends the right people along to do that.  It could be any of us, really.  Again, watering seed is like sowing it – you just keep sharing your faith and be there to answer questions, read Scripture, and pray with folks.  Sometimes you share and get a door slammed in your face.  That’s okay because you did what you’re supposed to do.  If someone’s not ready, you’ve still planted a seed.  I might add, this is a big reason we should do our best to avoid being a stumbling block to those who are still on the fence.  We have to be so careful – we don’t want anything we say or do to be the reason someone does not come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.  I don’t have to remind you what God said about those who are stumbling blocks, do I?  No – that’s for another blog post.grow

Do we make the seeds grow?  NO WAY!  I can’t save anyone – this blog can’t save anyone.  Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ…  that can save everyone!!!  I pray it does.  How different our interactions with one another would be if we were all more kind, gracious, and sweet.  It would be so beautiful if every seed would flourish.  🙂

JAMES 1:22 ON 1/22

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

This portion of Scripture leaves little room for doubt.  Little or no explanation is necessary, as it is self-explanatory.  It’s a bit like the old Nike ad…  JUST DO IT!

Do It

If Jesus asks you To serve water at a wedding, Get the cups.

If He invites you to Meet Him on the lake, Step out.

If Jesus tells you To feed 5,000, Start breaking bread.

When He tells you to Go and preach the gospel, Open your mouth.

When Jesus tells you To let your light shine, Shine it for all.

When He tells you to Pray for your enemies, Drop to your knees.

When Jesus tells you To worship the Father, Lift up your voice.

When He tells you to Give to the poor, Dig deep.

Lucinda Berry Hill, from week 23 of Coffee with Jesus

We can study, listen to sermons and memorize Scripture until the cows come home, but if there aren’t attitudes and actions backing all of that up…  it’s just wasted time and effort.  Faith without works – is dead, so we see later in the book of James.

James was the half-brother of Jesus.  He witnessed the Lord’s resurrected body, then became one of the leaders of the church at Jerusalem.  After Peter’s miraculous release from prison, he singled James out (Acts 12:17).  James made the deciding speech at the Jerusalem Council (15:13-22), and Paul called James one of the pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9).

Some writers are gentle in their attempt to help the reader along in their Christian walk.  We see their human side and find hope because we know if God through Christ Jesus forgave them, He will surely forgive us.  The Psalmist David comes to mind and the Apostle Peter comes to mind.

James is a writer who most definitely does not mince words.  I’d call him a no-nonsense writer.  He’s the one who just tells it like it is – no ands, ifs or buts.  No excuses allowed.  He’s like the spiritual personal trainer who says – “I know you’re tempted…  but so what?  resist the devil and keep going in the right way!”   He supplies the spiritual kick in the backside that makes us say – “Yep!  He’s right about that!”  He says if we’re going to talk the talk, we’d better be walking the walk.

I’ve said in the past that the book of James is a tough one for me.  It’s just the simple, brash, harsh, undiluted truth.  It’s not sugar-coated and there is no room for misinterpretation at all.  He says what he means and means what he says.  And sometimes…  ouch – that smarts.

But really…  can you imagine being the half-brother of the Savior?  I think that relationship has a lot to do with his bold and direct writing.  It’s no holds barred, blunt and to the point.  There’s no wiggle room whatsoever.  And really where outright sin is concerned, there is no wiggle room.  Sin is sin and you can’t giggle and wink your way out of it.  It’s not cute…  it’s wrong and restoration from God is the only cure.  God will forgive any sin, but you have to sincerely ask Him to forgive you.

I wonder if James ever heard, “Why can’t you be more like Jesus?” – ???  I always tell people I’m going to ask questions when I get to Heaven – I want to ask James if he ever heard that – but you know what?  By the time I get to Heaven, it’s not really going to be that important.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Most businesses have a Mission Statement.  It basically answers the question, “Why are you in business?”  “Why are you here?”  A good Mission Statement explains more than just what you do, it explains why you do it.

I saw this posted (no, I didn’t make it up – wish I had).  There was no name on it, so I don’t know who to give credit to, but oh this hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it.  Some days it’s so easy to lose sight of why you do what you do.  This puts it in perspective.

CHURCH is my COLLEGE.
HEAVEN is my UNIVERSITY.
JESUS is my PRINCIPAL.
THE HOLY SPIRIT is my TEACHER.
ANGELS are my CLASS MATES.
THE BIBLE is my STUDY BOOK.
TRIAL & TEMPTATION are my EXAMS.
WINNING SOULS are my ASSIGNMENTS.
PRAYER is my ATTENDANCE.
CROWN OF LIFE is my DEGREE.
AND PRAISE & WORSHIP is my MOTTO.

What an amazing MISSION STATEMENT!  Like all Christians, I’m aware that there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain, but in this classroom of LIFE, what subjects should we focus on?  What should be our major to get the CROWN OF LIFE degree?

I haven’t lived a long time (well, over half a century – wow, that’s depressing)…  but the longer I live, the more important I believe it is to major in LOVE.  God’s perfect AGAPE’ LOVE.  It is impossible to love like that without God’s Holy Spirit at the helm of your heart, mind and spirit.  It definitely does not come naturally – um…  nope!

It’s so sad that in our world, God’s Agape’ Love is so misunderstood because our society has twisted love and sex together.  Can we not love without sex?  It’s ridiculous – of course we can!  We are here to learn to love God and learn to love people.  To learn all that, we need to attend class – we need to pray for God’s help, guidance and His will to be done in every circumstance and situation.  Attend in prayer and ask the teacher to teach you…  God’s Holy Spirit will give you wisdom, strength, courage and amazing love to deal with difficult people.

We’re here to love God and people.  That’s about it.  We aren’t capable of doing that on our own.  Nope, we need help to be what we need to be.  Study the Bible, attend classes, listen to the teacher and don’t be afraid to ask questions, take the tests and be anxious for nothing, accept help from your class mates and ace life.  Then do it again tomorrow…  and the day after tomorrow.

You thought all you had to do over and over again was go to the gym, didn’t you?  No, your spiritual fitness is dependent on a faithful habit just as your physical fitness is.  As you stay spiritually fit, remember your motto…  PRAISE & WORSHIP!  🙂