New Soul

I want a new soul – a soul that is more kind, more compassionate, and more obedient to God.  The opinion that others have of me pales compared to the opinion that God has of me.  I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into your rest.”

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  – Matthew 16:26

What good is a new year, a new beginning, if we don’t have a change?  Consider that the change does not have to be physical.  Yes, that’s what we see in each other – but what about a change of soul?  I know you probably don’t think much about your soul…  that invisible part of you; but what if I told you it’s well worth taking some time this year to ask your Heavenly Father what He would like to see changed in you.  There’s always room for improvement – in all of us!

A new soul…  a heart and mind like that of Christ Jesus, our Lord!  What does that look like?  It looks like moving forward in truth and right living, at whatever pace you can.  It looks like doing your very best in the face of difficulties that could slow you down.

Since New Year’s Day I’ve read and heard so many people teaching us how to be successful either financially or in our appearance.  It’s amazing how often we see these articles or hear these advertisements – but we don’t see or hear anyone emphasizing the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy soul.  Is any amount of money worth losing your soul?  Can a person lose all the weight they need to lose and still have an unhealthy soul?  Of course!

There is not a job, profession, time not spent in prayer, time not spent reading your Bible – that is worth it!  There are a gazillion ways to be successful here on earth, but be careful – because some of those methods involve the exchange of your soul.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and calling me crazy – but I’m right.

I know this is really long…  but take some time and take a look at this:

Oh I really like this!  

There is one way to be successful as God’s child.  Read your Bible and pray.  Does that mean you can’t have the best of both worlds?  According to God’s Word, it’s nearly impossible for a RICH man to make it to Heaven.  It likens a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Have you ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?  Yeah…  neither have I.  

Once we dedicate our lives to the cause of Christ, our priorities change.  We are not interested in the same things as those who are only after earthly successes.  We want different outcomes in life.  That’s why Christians are sometimes said to live IN the world without being a part OF the world.

The soul may be the most quiet part of you, but it’s not good to ignore what your soul needs.  Your soul longs for Christ and His love, peace and merciful salvation.  Let His amazing grace be your goal in this new year!

I invite you to take a look at this sermon on Philippians 2 from Darick Jones.  I worked with his mom, Pam, for several years.  Darick makes some good points here and I know I plan to glean and grow – hope you will too.  🙂

http://www.fbcclearwater.org/sermons-2/

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CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

FEBRUARY - BLACK HISTORY MONTH

A RAINBOW IN HER CLOUDS

Maya Angelou is the most inspirational writer that ever lived, in my humble opinion.  She lived through horrific circumstances early in life, yet she rose above it all – and more to the point, she wrote the survival manual for the rest of us!

The first volume in Dr. Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a poignant and poetic account of the author’s life until age 17.  The title was chosen for the caged-bird image that Lawrence Dunbar used in his poem “Sympathy”.  The book honestly reveals the cruelty, indignity and injustice that confined African-Americans in the 1930’s & 1940’s…  the cage… but also celebrates black people’s spirit, humor and courage.  I recommend you read this book if you are in an abusive relationship or know one who is.  There are some upsetting personal incidents, including rape, racial prejudice and stories of urban life, so may be too disturbing for preteens.  Dr. Angelou also wrote the screenplay for the 1999 movie adaptation of the book.

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Do you believe that Barak Obama is the first African-American President?  I disagree…

Abilene, Kansas is about 90 minutes from Wichita.  From the time I was a child I’ve visited the amazing Eisenhower museum and library.  The grounds are so beautiful and there’s a serenity there that I can’t really explain.  It’s particularly beautiful in the spring and summer months – so quiet except for the birds chirping in the trees – such a lovely place to meditate and think about the past and the future of America.lib-eisenhower-lHow much do you know about Dwight David Eisenhower?  He was a general and then became President of the U.S. in 1953 and served until 1961.  I’ll bet there’s something you did not know.  Did you know that his mother was bi-racial?  Yep.  When I hear people say that we have the first African-American President in Barak Obama, it makes me cringe.  People don’t study history anymore apparently because that’s simply not true.  We’re still waiting for the first African-American President.  Could it be Dr. Ben Carson?  Hmm…  time will tell.eisenhower-FB-mulattoEisenhower’s mother, Ida Stover Eisenhower was a mulatto.

Born in Mount Sidney, Virginia, her original name was Elizabeth Juda according to baptismal records.  She was the only daughter of Elizabeth Ida Judah Link and Simon P. Stover.  Her mother died when she was five years old.  Her maternal grandparents, William Link and Esther Black Link took her in.  William died in 1879 and her maternal uncle and aunt, William J. Link and Susan Cook Link raised her at their farm.

They did not believe girls should be educated, but encouraged her instead to memorize the Bible.  She ran away when she learned she could not enroll in high school.  When she turned twenty-one, she joined two of her brothers Stover who had moved to Kansas.

Stover graduated from high school at age 19 and taught for two years before entering Lane University, where she met her future husband, David Jacob Eisenhower, of German and Swiss ancestry.  The two were married on September 23, 1885 in Lecompton, Kansas on the campus of their alma mater.  The family was always poor, even though David was a college-educated engineer.

In the 1890’s, Eisenhower left the River Brethren Christian group, and joined the International Bible Students, which would evolve into what is now known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The Eisenhower home served as the local meeting hall for the Bible Students from 1896-1915 but her sons never joined the movement.

When their son, Dwight, decided to attend West Point it saddened his mother.  She felt that warfare was “rather wicked,” but she didn’t overrule him.

In 1945, Eisenhower was named Kansas Mother of the Year.

“Many such persons of her faith, selflessness, and boundless consideration of others have been called saintly. She was that—but above all she was a worker, an administrator, a teacher and guide, a truly wonderful woman.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower

ida-stover-mulattoIt’s entirely possible that Eisenhower was not the first President with African-American roots.  In years past these things were not necessarily made part of public record.

The Eisenhower’s had six children – and what if they had not???  We would not have had such a good 34th President of the United States, right???  I LIKE IKE!!!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)It’s New Year’s Eve.  What is Positive Plan with Prayer #5?  I need to seek more of God’s wisdom and know His will for my life.  Is that a big order?  Well, yes, it is…  but I serve a great big God, so…

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  – Ephesians 5:17

Tonight I won’t be partying, but I will be praying.  I want just as much of what God has for me as I can get.  We spend time on those things that really matter to us.  This is important in my life and is totally worth the time I take seeking and praying.  God is never a disappointment.  ❤

I’ve only had to throw a fleece once in my life – the day of my father’s funeral.  God is faithful to answer our earnest pleas.  He knows where we are coming from – more than friends or family do.  He sees the obstacles and challenges we face – and he sees the frightened child inside us when on the outside we try to look brave and sure of ourselves.

I want to be the best friend and family member I can possibly be.  I want more of God – more of His strength, courage and grace.  I need it more than anything else I can think of.  I need to know what to speak of and when to speak of it.  I need to know when to zip my lip and stay silent as well.  I need more of God’s Holy Spirit – His wisdom.

Dear God,

It is my prayer on this New Year’s Eve that Your will be abundantly clear in my life.  You are not the author of confusion, but You make everything perfectly clear.  My heart, mind and spirit are receptive to Your still, small voice.  I’m listening and I’m waiting here alone in my prayer closet.  Please bless me with more of You – Your love, strength, courage, grace, mercy and especially wisdom.  Show me now what You want me to do in this new year.  You tell us to be strong and courageous, but that all comes from You.  Welcome to this new year, Lord.  Please continue to walk with me and give me everything I need to be successful in this wonderful life You have given me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It’s Linda again, Lord!  Everything from You is available for me – and I am ready to receive it!  Let’s DO this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It’s difficult to erase years of conditioning – but now at age 54, I’m learning an important truth:  SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.  It’s not a sin to take care of this one and only body that God gave me!  There is a difference between taking care of yourself and being completely wrapped up in your own needs while excluding others.

I think a lot of baby boomers struggle with this same issue.  We were raised in church and learned that everybody’s needs come before our own.  To a degree I guess that’s true, but I’ve finally learned that you cannot care for anyone until you care for yourself.

Winning at weight loss taught me that I have control over my looks and my life.  – Diane Gurden

I SUCCEED IN YOU

With 12 pounds gone comes less body fat and yes, more confidence, I am still not comfortable with the idea of control – I want to always be careful to give God the glory for any of my successes.  Left to my own devices, I might fail – but when I give Him the glory, I remember to lean fully on His love and power – and especially His wisdom, which hello – is better than mine!

An important lesson I’ve learned is that carbohydrates matter.  It’s not only about the grams of sugar in food – in fact, I’ve eaten more fruit lately than snack crackers.  Even though fruit has natural sugar, it is just that – natural.  It counts, of course – but carbohydrates do more damage than natural sugar.

These days I do not use the word CAN’T.  I never say I can’t eat (fill in the blank).  I either say I don’t want it (if I think the nutritional price is too high) or I may eat that later – (and then don’t.)  Sometimes I have to psych myself into thinking I’ll revisit a food – and make myself get involved in something else to take my mind off of it.  I celebrate small victories, like when I manage to pass on a high-carbohydrate snack.

I’ve learned the importance of hydration and the early to bed advantage!  Drinking enough water helps diabetes stay in check.  For years I did not recognize the signs of dehydration, but now I know if I feel dizzy or weak – I probably need some water.  The way to combat those late night cravings is to go to bed early – then it’s easier to get up earlier and get my workout finished first thing – what’s the second thing?  COFFEE…  of course!  🙂

 

NUMBERS 7:1 ON 7/1

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When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils.  – Numbers 7:1

What if Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and not dedicated it to the LORD right away?  What if he had not instantly declared that it was GOD’S TENT?  What if…

When we are serving God in whatever way we serve Him – whether it’s through music or writing or…  do we get all set up to do what we do – and dedicate it all to Him immediately?

It is so easy to go through the motions without inviting God to be a part of it.  It’s easier still to leave Him out completely – it can become routine and familiar to us.  Yes – US – I’m talking to myself too.  Nothing is easier for me to do than play the piano, however, if I’m getting ready to serve the LORD, I’d better dedicate my service to Him – or it will be worthless. 

We dare not boast one bit about anything we do for God.  Without His presence, His love, His guidance – it means nothing.  The second we forget that and start making it about our own ability or skill – we’ve lost out on the blessing from God.  When we try to go it alone, that is when failure happens.

Moses teaches us to prepare to serve and be careful to invite God’s Holy Spirit into the service.  If He is part of the service – part of the process – then what you do must succeed because it’s backed by God Himself.  He can not fail and He will not let your plans fail – especially your plan to serve Him.

If you are serving the LORD and it seems to be more difficult than usual, ask yourself if you invited God to be in the midst of your efforts.  You may think it can wait – that you can take care of it later – but it can’t wait.  Before you begin doing what you do, ask God to do what He does!  He will bless your tiny efforts and make them huge!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GOD'S FIREFLY

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.  – Meister Eckhart

We’ve all felt the sting of failure in our lives.  I’m the queen of failure at times – I flunked Shorthand I in college – 3 times!  Who flunks shorthand???  So much for that Associate Degree in Secretarial Science.  On the up side, shorthand was soon obsolete, so what difference did it make in my life?  Um…  not much!  I went out into the world and became a secretary without a piece of paper.  Even without a degree, I was secretary for a bank president – then took a few night classes at our local university and became an oil secretary in the early 1980’s.  I leaned on God – and I did okay.

Even when you think you have failed – God declares that you are His precious child – and you are a success!  It’s up to us to declare that we will be God’s Firefly – we will fly and we will shine!!!

I believe that we as Christians can share our hearts with God and He will make a way for us to get where we want to go.  He knows the desire of our hearts, after all.  It’s not always so easy to talk to family and friends about our hopes and dreams.  Sometimes they lack the enthusiasm we wish they would have for us.

Never cut corners.  Customers notice everything.  Take the time to do things right and to create the very best products that you can.  – Deborah Bauer

When I began giving piano lessons to pay for school books, I learned that I had to give my very best in every way – my attitude, my enthusiasm, my knowledge – it all had to shine forth for the benefit of my students, who were not always very sure of themselves.  When we serve others or create products for others to buy – it has to be the best.  Be genuine or be second best.

Ignore the naysayers.  I was told I was silly and that this wouldn’t be worthwhile.  Take the leap.  I’ve never been happier.  – Jada Aloisio

Once you have prayed and asked God for direction and help, make sure you stay on top of your trade.  Are there more classes you need to take?  Do you know the most advanced methods, or are you leaning on those you are familiar with (which may not be as good)?  If you are providing the very best to students or customers, don’t sell yourself short.

Charge what you’re worth.  People know quality and will pay for it.  – Kim Wollenburg

https://youtu.be/eocLY53i3Us

So, whether you are making soap, designing jewelry, decorating cookies or teaching piano, seek help from your heavenly Father first.  Trust Him to make the path clear for your success and ultimately, His glory.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY

TL 5-12 NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY

GOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURT

The theme for 2015 is YOUR VOICE MATTERS.  MAKE FIBROMYALGIA VISIBLE.

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If only hugs didn’t hurt

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association sponsors activities and increase opportunities to take part.  Events extend throughout the world and through the month of May.

When people say, “But you look so good”, how do you reply?  Although comments like these are meant to be complimentary, they underscore the importance of speaking up about chronic pain illnesses.

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Feeling as fragile as the wings of a butterfly

 

Today, celebrate the victories and simple successes.  What have you overcome?  Do all you can to stay optimistic and positive as you deal with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

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Remember 

 

Today, remember those lost to the disease and honor people who have fought or are fighting fibromyalgia and chronic pain.  Let a friend know that you care by making a phone call or sending a card.  It means so much to someone facing this daily challenge.

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Unlock as many doors as you possibly can

 

Today, unlock as many doors as you possibly can.  Have you found anything that brings relief?  Share your tips with others who are suffering, that they might try the same thing.  As we find answers along the way, we can also show support for others.

The best secret weapon I’ve found is Organo Gold Gourmet Black Coffee.  This wonderful instant coffee has eased my fibromyalgia symptoms significantly.

http://www.amazon.com/Organo-Gold-Gourmet-Black-Coffee/dp/B003CGJAIM 

Why drink Organo Gold Coffee?  Organo Gold 100% Certified Organic Ganoderma Lucidum provides the following benefits:

  • Increased energy and stamina.
  • Increases brain power.
  • rejuvenates and makes you feel young and alert.
  • Strengthens the organs for elimination of toxins.
  • Uncovers arteries.
  • Fights atherosclerosis and obesity.
  • Improves sexual performance.
  • Helps to treat anxiety and high blood pressure.
  • Helps with hepatitis bronchitis, flu, insomnia, asthma
  • Serves as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial because it increases the activity o the immune system.
  • Strengthens the bones.
  • Destroys cancer cells.
  • Optimizes the use of oxygen in the body and improves sinusitis.
  • Cleanses the kidneys and liver.
  • Overall improvement of health and quality of life.

Organic Ganoderma contains vitamins, minerals, 150 antioxidants and 200 active elements.  No other herbal product comes close to these amounts!  For instance, green tea only has 11, and the best antioxidant food supplement on the market has only 30.

The days of suffering in silence are over.  It’s time to fight back and take action against a disease that has taken too much.  🙂