A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

GALATIANS 6 2 ON 6 2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

PAIN IS MY GIFT

What is a gift?  Most of us think of a gift as something positive and fun – maybe even fashionable!  We give and receive gifts for happy occasions like Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries.  We usually give a gift that reflects a bit of our personality.  Many times I’ve given the gift of an angel figurine because I collect angels and believe so strongly that angels surround each of us every day.

I read a quote today that really made me re-think the concept of gifts.

Pain is a gift.  It puts us in a position where we’re quicker to be desperate for God.  When we seek Him, we will find Him.  – Lauren Scruggs

Wow – seriously – pain is a gift?  Well, at the risk of stating the obvious, I’m in pain and don’t feel like it’s a gift.  LOL.

I understand the concept – when we are at our lowest, that’s when we depend on God the most.  On the mountaintops we rely less on Him.  I’m not sure why it is like that, but I suspect it’s just human nature.  When the road is smooth, we don’t drive as cautiously and we’re not on the lookout for the potholes in the road.

My physical pain will be a distant memory soon, but not everyone’s pain is temporary.  There are so many different types of pain, and they all involve different kinds of suffering.    In addition to physical pain, there is mental, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Lauren Scruggs, a beautiful model, lost her eye and hand in an accident.  She wrote a wonderful book called Your Beautiful Heart; 31 Reflections on Love, Faith, Friendship, and Becoming a Girl Who Shines.  It’s my go-to book when I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Yes, even Christians suffer from self-pity from time to time.  We’re not perfect – just forgiven.  🙂

 

 

JAMES 5:13 ON 5/13

JAMES 5 13 ON 5 13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.   – James 5:13

https://youtu.be/W8QMiiNXP90

We know that we are to cry with those who weep and rejoice with those who are happy.  Have you ever felt so torn because you have one friend over here weeping and another friend over there cheering?  It can make you feel like Sybil sometimes!

Shortly after my last miscarriage, I was asked to co-host a baby shower.  It’s not my friend’s fault.  Nobody even knew I was pregnant.  By the time you are on the 5th try, you just don’t say a lot to anyone.  It was probably the most difficult thing I had to do.  I had to buck up and be the friend – happy that my friend and her husband were expecting, and make sure they had some happy memories along the way.

When you suffer loss you are better able to pray for a friend who is suffering.  There’s a sort of maturity and wisdom that you gain when you suffer.  It’s not a chip to be worn on your shoulder, although it would be very easy to do that.  It’s more of a reminder that you are aware of the other person’s situation.  You have your own pain to tap into while you are empathizing, because as we all know, empathy is more than sympathy.

We live in a society that would rather party and be happy and not be around people who are “downers” – but that is shallow thinking and lacks maturity in the Christian world.  Life is not one big party (sorry to burst your bubble).  There’s a reason we are to weep with the suffering and sing songs of happiness and praise to God with those who celebrate.

Life is messy – and it’s like a rollercoaster ride at times.  You can be trucking along, thinking everything is going at a pretty even keel – and boom!  It’s good to have solid Christian friends around when you hit bottom – and by the same token, it’s good to be a solid Christian friend when they hit bottom and need your support.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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WHEN I HAVE A PROBLEM

Three times in the last three days I’ve heard the old saying, “Throw money at a problem and it will go away.” I just think that is pretty weird. It’s also not necessarily true in the long run.

The God I serve is so creative in His problem-solving. In the past I’ve had challenges that needed to be solved monetarily, but when I prayed, God solved it in His own perfect way with no money whatsoever. The Lord takes care of His own, that’s all there is to it.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

My path doesn’t always look straight, but by the time The Lord gets done with the hair pin curves, it is straight once again. Trusting the Lord for a good outcome is not always automatic, but it’s always the best decision I can make. Some issues just exceed my problem-solving abilities, but they never exceed His abilities.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. – Author Unknown

All challenges in life are not created equal, obviously. For instance, my health problems hit the roof when I heard cancer. Every problem before that, including diabetes, was much further down the list.

But for every facet of life we have the same God to pray to. He loves us and cares so much for us. He is the source of my strength, courage and humor.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.  – Oswald Chambers

I’m praying for you today:

Lord, I come before you today knowing that all power is in Your hand. I know that you are the Lord and that you care for your people. Right now, my friend is struggling with a difficult trial. I can see her strength is faltering, Lord, and know that you have all of the strength that she needs. I pray that you will reach down and touch her right now wherever she is at this moment. Let your presence fill the room where she is and let her feel an extra portion of your strength that can help her to get through this day. She needs you now, Lord, and I thank you in advance for meeting her where she is and shoring up her strength during this difficult time.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

GOOD FRIDAY

TL GOOD FRIDAY

WITH TEARS FOR JESUS

It’s difficult to explain to people why Good Friday is good, but this explains it well.

It’s called GOOD FRIDAY – but somehow that just doesn’t seem to be good enough, does it?  Good just does not begin to cover it.  If you came up with the most eloquent name for this day, it would still fall short because of the deep meaning behind it.

My faith runs deep and emotions run high at Easter. This is the combination that makes me want to do more for Him and be a better Christian. I don’t strive to be better so I can stick my nose up in the air and say – “Hey look, I’m better than you.” I don’t compare my progress with anyone here. I stack it up against God’s Holy Word. How close can I be to where GOD wants me to be? That’s really all that matters when it’s all said and done.

To call this Friday GOOD FRIDAY falls so short of how I really feel about it. He took the sins of the world upon His shoulders – His human shoulders. Yes, He was divine, but He was also human. He felt every bit of the pain He suffered and the blood He spilt – that was very real too. That was love. That is the only love needed by man in this life. That is the only true love any of us will ever have! Christ provides pure grace, mercy, unchanging love and light for our journey!

I hope you will take a moment to meditate on the sacrifice Christ made for you. Watch PASSION OF THE CHRIST or JESUS today. I have both movies and will probably watch both of them this evening. If you do not know Him as your personal Savior, I hope you will turn your life over to Him. He’s waiting for you. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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BUT IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE A BLESSING
I am blessed.  How do I know?  God says so!

I know we as Christians don’t have a clue what real persecution is. We may argue with the scoffs once in a while (ok, maybe more often than that), but when it’s all said and done, I am then free to go my way and the scoffer is free to go their way. We’ve both enjoyed the freedom we have as citizens of the greatest country in the world! Here in America we still have a Constitution and freedom of speech. Now, as we all know, that has bitten us on the backside because that freedom we enjoy comes with a little thing called FREE WILL. Even though being scoffed at is not fun, it is not real persecution. Is being a child of God a blessing? On days when the scoffers come a knockin’, it doesn’t feel like a blessing. The truth is, however, it is always a blessing to be God’s kid.

I’m free to talk about Jesus. Hey, He is not surprised at what man thinks of to humiliate Him. Look at all the humiliation and pain and torture He endured before hanging on the cross. He’s familiar with the ways of evil men. God wants us to have free will and he hopes that we will choose to serve Him, but He doesn’t want an army of robots. He wants children who love and worship Him because they want to, not because they have to.

Remember the song that Dottie Rambo wrote called “I Will Glory In The Cross” – ? Well, that’s exactly what I will do! Jesus endured awful agony at the hands of men, but the suffering turned into MY victory – and it can be yours too if you’ll just accept His gift of salvation.

I will weep no more for the cross that He bore… I will Glory in the Cross! – Dottie Rambo

So rejoice as Easter approaches! Rejoice in the salvation you have and in the price that Jesus paid for it. God’s perfect lamb, Jesus, sacrificed Himself on our behalf and how awesome it is that we have the FREE WILL to make the choice to love, honor and serve Him in return! Hold your head high, Christian… you are BLESSED!   ❤

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL (2)
CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL (3)
CHRISTMAS GIFT IN EASTER BASKET FROM NEIGHBOR GIRL
My husband has groupies. The three little neighbor girls have taken a shine to him and it’s the cutest thing ever. They rang the doorbell just after suppertime today. I was downstairs so I couldn’t hear the conversation very clearly, but I got the impression that something good was happening.

I refer to these little girls as angels. They don’t come around very often, but when they do it is always at just the right time! This is the same angel trio that brought us “flowers” for Grandparent’s Day. These little girls are fantastic!

We don’t know why they latched on like this, but I thank God for them every time they do something sweet. It brightens our lives to have kids come around once in a while. I think it’s too funny that they brought Christmas goodies in Easter baskets! Well, I think they have the right idea. You really can’t celebrate Christmas without remembering Easter.

Our angels will come around again someday. When they do, I’ll let you know what they’re up to. Sweet little cherubs! May they have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Sometimes we try to separate the manger and the cross – Christmas and Easter. It’s difficult to talk about the birth of Christ without ultimately talking about His death on the cross and His resurrection – praise His name! Christ was born to die on the cross at Calvary for our sins. He was raised up by God and everyone who comes to that saving knowledge will one day live in heaven with Him.

I’m sure those little girls were not thinking about any of that when they packed the Christmas goodies in Easter baskets, but it sure made me start thinking! There are times when the actions of children – those most innocent among us, spark inspiration!

Do you know the Christ that was born as a baby in Bethlehem in a manger? Do you know the Christ that hung on the cross at Calvary to suffer and die for all our sins?

This year, have a Christmas with a little Easter mixed in!   Wink!  😉

CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY

TL 9-9 CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY

This movie took place in 1900 when the iron horse was the mode of transportation from East to West.  But in the mid 1800’s it was one rough ride to get out west.

CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY is a legal holiday in the state of California.  California’s admission into the Union as the thirty-first state back in 1850 is being celebrated today.  As part of the Compromise of 1850 California was admitted to the Union as a free state after being ceded to the United States by Mexico at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.

You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person.  – Alec Waugh

The state of California offers any type of scenery you might like – from ocean to forest to skyscrapers in cities.  In the 1800’s there was a different reason for folks to take a wagon train headed west – GOLD.  Back then it wasn’t as simple as hopping in the station wagon and driving along highways.  It was a very rough ride in a covered wagon instead.  Some people did not survive the trip, as disease and weather conditions sometimes took lives.

If you want to get a good idea of what it was like to travel in a covered wagon along the Oregon Trail, there are excerpts from Margaret Frink’s diary online.  She was born in 1818 and married her husband in 1839.  They decided to head west to California in 1850.  They settled in Sacramento but lived in several parts of California.

http://www.oregontrailcenter.org/HistoricalTrails/JournalEntries/frink.htm

Of course there are several movies depicting the travels in the 1800’s out west.  We consider those folks pioneers and know their lives were not easy, but they hung on to hope and dreamed of a better life.  I admire those who hold on to hope and forge ahead regardless of the risk.  They kept their wits about them and held on to faith in God.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.  – Søren Kierkegaard

Along the way there was surely pain, suffering and loss.  Wives buried husbands, parents buried children.

Today we see forgetting the curling iron on a trip as devastating.  Really???  :-/