A SUMMER OF PSALMS

This portion of Scripture came to mind a few years ago when my husband and I were catching a very early flight out of Wichita.  We aren’t frequent flyers, so we’re not acquainted with all the new rules and procedures that are in place since 9/11.  I understand the need for it, but it doesn’t make me want to fly on a regular basis by any means.

For people who know the Lord, this portion of Scripture brings comfort and assurance.  I could see where some could be a little freaked out by it – but regardless of which group you’re in, you must admit…  God knows where you are – all the time.  You can’t run from Him and you certainly can’t hide from Him.

I’m thankful for God’s guidance and His strength and support, particularly as I’m getting older and my strength is not what it used to be.  I love the Lord because His way of doing things is so much more creative than any ideas I come up with…  every time!   His way is always best and He never disappoints me!  

Have you ever been trying to figure out how to resolve an issue and as you pray about it, God just reveals the perfect answer to you?  I have!  It’s a moment when you want to sing praises to Him while doing a little happy dance!  I’m so glad His hand guides me – I welcome that guidance throughout my life.  I need His wisdom, strength, and support on a daily basis!

This is so beautiful – I have to share it with you!  Speaking of doing a little happy dance:

I wish there was a way for me to move this from YouTube up to my big screen TV so I could join them and do this praise workout!  I used to find Christian workout videos here in America – but I haven’t seen any for a long time.  😦

His strength will support us!  I think there are times we doubt that, particularly when we have weak days.  So many conditions can sap us of energy, can’t they?  Regardless of how we feel, we need to know by faith that our weakness is not the end of the story.  With humility, we cry out to God, and His strength takes over…  and aren’t we thankful for it?

Lucinda Berry Hill has written a perfect poem for this Psalm:

I’m reminded of an old song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  His Strength is Perfect.  🙂

What can Christ do through you?  I don’t know, but don’t doubt that His strength is perfect when your strength is gone.  He’s amazing in our lives!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

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We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

SHOP SMALL SATURDAY

images-3I’m the first to admit that I spend a lot of time and money at the big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club.  It’s convenient and I know what I need will be there for a reasonable price.  But today is going to be different because I’m going to check out some of the small businesses in my own back yard!  I’m excited because many of these stores are filled with unique items that I’d never find at a big box store!

When you’re Christmas shopping, it’s nice to find one of a kind gifts.  There’s nothing like walking into your Walmart after Christmas and seeing a whole rack of the same sweater you got…  am I right?  Maybe it’s a girl thing – but I think guys like to get unique items too.

It’s not easy to maintain a small business, and if we don’t want them to disappear, we need to do our part to frequent and support them.  Today I’m going to share some of my favorites and spark some interest hopefully in shopping at small businesses.

www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

cyber-mondayIf you have enjoyed this blog through the years, then you will really like Lucinda’s devotional book “A Second Cup with Jesus”.  Her writing is so spot on and heartwarming.  I believe that the Lord will speak to you through it.  ❤images-222

chellees-pieVisit my friend Chellee’s restaurant in Marion, Kansas!  It’s called Aunt Mae’s (named after her mama).  I’m so very proud of her because I know it’s something she has worked hard to accomplish.  Y’all let her know I told ya to come see her, okay?  And save room for some of that delicious cherry pie!  Stay on main street and you can’t miss her place – it’s the cute little white place with a spacious parking lot.  Enjoy!images-218

https://www.facebook.com/toddscustomboards/?fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble

Check out Todd’s deal for today only…  a 10% discount on orders made today!

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imagesbk2p4f0zSome folks are not into antique shopping like I am…  but there are some amazing antique stores in my area!  I could never pay retail prices for Longaberger baskets, but sometimes I can find some good deals in antique stores and flea markets.

https://www.facebook.com/FlyingMooseAntiqueMall/?fref=ts

The Flying Moose Antique Mall here in Wichita is having some good sales on their stuff through Christmas.  I may see if they have a Longaberger acorn basket – I’m determined to find one for a reasonable price!  I’m patient…  the right one will come along.  😉  I have a few Christmas gifts to shop for as well.  That may be a destination for me today!

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https://www.facebook.com/Hen-Feathers-Quilt-Shop-137758583334/?hc_ref=ADS&fref=nf

If you have a quilter to buy Christmas gifts for, there are discounts to be found at Hen & Feathers Quilt Shop in Wichita, Kansas today!

And Wichitans should also think about supporting the small businesses in Old Town!  Sometimes they have pretty good sales and you’ll find unique items that those big stores don’t carry.

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lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com

Judy Janowski is the very talented author of a wonderful book called, “Life Is A Garden Party”.  She writes poetry and prose that centers around gardens and the beauty of God’s creation.  If you want to read a book that is uplifting and positive in nature (nature…  see what I did there?)  I think you’ll really enjoy this wonderful book!  Sign up to follow her inspirational blog at this link also.

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Here are the kinds of shops that I like to go in and browse – and by browse, I mean not be rushed through.  LOL!

I like handmade stuff – soaps and such.  I like little boutique shops tucked away…  my heart beats a bit faster when I spot one of these out of the way places!soap-1209344__340

I also like the flower shops that are also antique stores – have you seen any of those?  What an unusual combination, but it works!

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There are literally hundreds of small businesses in communities all over the country.  These are just a few of the possibilities!  Don’t forget to click on these links not only for Shop Small Saturday – but on Cyber Monday also!

On Saturday the 26th of November, plan to shop small.  Bring along a bestie to help you carry your haul.  – seen on facebook today.

buy-1299519__340If you do take a bestie along to help carry your haul…  make sure you buy them a coffee!  I mean, seriously – that would be nice, don’t you think?  When you go to get it, think small…  remember, today is all about supporting the small businesses!  I would go along with a friend and carry bags for a good cup of coffee and girl talk and all that…  jus’ sayin’…  😉

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This special emphasis on small business has taken place the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2010, and the impact has been felt by small business owners everywhere.  It’s not easy to start a business these days, so everything we can do to support small business owners is greatly appreciated.  🙂

 

 

 

 

BRIGHT PINK LIPSTICK DAY

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I hope that today, as part of breast cancer awareness, you will wear bright pink lipstick.

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.  – Author Unknown

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shine-1279586_1280Audrey Hepburn said a famous line in the movie, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”:

A girl cannot read without lipstick.  – Audrey Hepburn

I love that line – so much, that I tweaked it and told people in my church that I can’t sing without lipstick.  It’s amazing how many people thought I made that up.  Isn’t anyone else a fan of Audrey Hepburn?

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I’m usually in a more coral or burgundy mood…  but today I will wear my BRIGHT PINK for my friends and family who have battled breast cancer and those who sadly, lost the battle.

Maybe today you will:

paris-1283704_1920Travel to Paris.

watercolor-1588805_1280Write the great American novel.

cute-15719_1920-1Listen to Buck Owens.  Quit laughing.  Seriously, stop.  Okay – listen to whatever you want.

adult-19012_1920Pick flowers from your garden.

girl-15599_1920Say a prayer or two (throw one in for me, okay?)

active-84646_1920active-19413_1920Exercise without shoes or socks.  Just don’t forget your lipstick.  😉

brush-15931_1920Dust the house.

dots-15833_1920Take a walk in the rain.

14459075_1817312888513173_186671214_nGo out for a girl’s night out…  OR

14479705_1737762243141689_5896206879461711538_nPut on pink to go out for lunch and a movie.  ❤

Whatever is on your schedule today, make sure you are wearing your bright pink lipstick!  Show your support for the American Cancer Society and please consider donating today.

https://secure.info-komen.org/site/Donation2?18332.donation=form1&df_id=18332&s_src=PGSEM&iq_id=86016108-VQ6-113872141681-VQ16-c

My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.  – Olivia Newton-John

A diagnosis of cancer is a game changer.  Scary at first – but then the fear turns into fight and the attitude kicks in – with faith in God and determination to follow doctor’s instructions to the letter.  There’s a realization that human beings are indeed finite and frail.  These bodies we are given need to be cared for very carefully with proper nutrition and regular exercise and hydration.

A diagnosis of breast cancer is a teacher.  The lesson is one that will never be forgotten.  We learn that there may be some bad habits we need to let go of for the sake of our health.  As we make healthier choices, we then are able to face challenges that will help our quality of life.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.  – Emory Austin

Once health is restored, and with thanksgiving we run toward the next hurdle, knowing we can jump it with complete confidence in our God because He saw us through.  He’s been so faithful in our lives.  He will continue to be faithful because He loves us so very much.  🙂

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW 6:21 ON 6/21

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

Some portions of Scripture require a bit of explanation, but others are fairly straightforward.  Today’s Scripture reminder is self-explanatory and wow…  so TRUE! 

A wise pastor once made a statement from the pulpit that has stayed in the back of my mind.  This was his reference Scripture.  After reading it, he looked up as though he was trying to decide whether to go ahead and say what he was thinking – and finally said, “If you want to know what is the most important to a person, take a look at their finances.”  You could have heard a pin drop in that sanctuary.  I know we were all thinking about where we had written checks that last week.

Obviously, we all wrote checks to pay for our normal bills – mortgage, vehicle payment, groceries, trash, electricity, gas, etc.  but there are those other expenses that are not needs – but wants…  those are the entries in our check registers that really tell the story of what means the most to us – and there were some folks who just had to say…  OUCH!

It’s not my place to check you and it’s not your place to check me – but it is God’s Holy Spirit’s job to point out where all of us could do better.  Where do you spend most of your treasure?  That is where your heart is – it’s what matters the most to you.

MAN’S TREASURE

from week 16 of the popular book COFFEE WITH JESUS by Lucinda Berry Hill

A man was working in a field.

He came upon a treasure.

He admired it for a while,

The value, beyond measure.

He hid it in the field again,

Impossible to find.

Then left for home for the night,

The treasure on his mind.

He started selling all he had:

His house, his car, his clothes.

He sold his favorite pastime pleasures.

He sold everything he owned.

His family warned him not to go;

They said they’d turn from him.

His friends said he’d lost his mind.

He said good-bye to them.

He took the cash that he’d earned,

Back to the field he went.

To buy the field with treasure hidden.

For him, the gift was meant.

He went inside the treasure,

Came out clean and pure.

His dirty ways, his ugly past

Were gone from him for sure.

The treasure gave him wisdom,

Strength, and comfort too.

It gave him peace he never had,

A joy he never knew.

If he had to do it all again,

Give up all he had around,

He’d sell it all, joyfully,

For God, His treasure found.

To purchase Lucinda’s book, COFFEE WITH JESUS, please visit her website:  http://www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com/

I would just challenge you to figure out what your wants are – and pray about where the things of God are ranked.  What you discover may surprise you.  It may be that changes need to take place, or you might decide that your treasure and your heart are already focused on God’s work.

Let’s take a look at the entire context of this portion of Scripture:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  – Matthew 6:19-24

Who do you hate?  Who do you love?  What do you support with your treasure?  It matters to God.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

https://youtu.be/-eFuPZkNIuQ

Wednesday, September 23rd was the annual event, SEE YOU AT THE POLE.  It’s my understanding that most schools take part, or at least allow Christian young people to gather around the flag pole to pray.  Apparently, for 2 years in a row, one school did not participate or even allow their kids to engage in prayer around the pole.

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SEE YOU AT THE POLE - ALONE IN PRAYER

Would you have had the courage to do what this child did?  I honestly can’t say that I would have when I was nine years old.  Can the staff at school tell a child they cannot pray by the flag pole?

Note to all who want to squash religious liberty in America:  you’ll never EVER have the power to keep us from praying to our God.  You can’t take that away from us!  Religious liberty in America is under attack…  just as sure as radical Islam wants America dead, there are those here on our soil who want to see the freedoms of Christians depleted, i.e. eliminated.  What do you think would happen to the blessings from God that America has enjoyed up to now if that happened?  Do you care?

If you admire this sweet girl for taking a stand against the status quo, please share this poem on your facebook wall, blog, twitter or wherever people will see it.  Even though a school does not “allow” activities for Christians, guess what???  We pray anyway!

They all met together and were constantly UNITED in prayer.   – Acts 1:14

The only way our young people will develop good morals and values is if the parents teach them.  Our schools today have absolutely no interest in having prayer or saying the pledge of allegiance.  Things have sure changed since I was in school.  It used to be that honoring the God of the Bible and pledging the American flag mattered.  What has happened to us?

Then we wonder why kids grow up to be what they grow up to be…  hmm.  We really are a sum total of our experiences in life.  Knowing God from a young age is the greatest experience of all.  Prayer is the greatest privilege we have as a Christian.  Shame on any school that would deny a child of that!

You know, we are so much more tolerant of other religions.  I saw a recent episode of Watter’s World on The O’Reilly Factor – he was interviewing Muslims and asked the question, “Do you think Sharia law should override the American Constitution?”  In my mind I thought, “Surely they realize that here in America the Constitution comes before any religious laws.”  I was shocked when most of them answered yes – they thought Sharia law should be the law of the land – meaning America.

I understand there is a separation between church & state.  It’s not a bad idea – seriously.  There are beliefs from other religions that I do not agree with (Sharia law in particular).  So, more than ever, we as Americans need to cling to the Constitution in order to stay free and united.

Being a Christian, however, means that we can absolutely pray to God anytime – anywhere.  The purpose of SEE YOU AT THE POLE is to provide Christian kids an opportunity to pray together.  It’s tough enough to be a kid at this time in history.  What would it hurt a school to allow their Christian kids to pray together at the flag pole?

It’s really getting crazy.  Just last Thursday a Jersey City school board meeting voted on whether they should close for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.  It would have extended the school year by another day.  There’s video of some very upset Muslims that maybe you’ve seen.

Here’s the deal.  This is America and our Christian children are practicing a faith that this great country was founded on!  To show special favor to any other faith than the Christian faith is just wrong.  Yes, America is a melting pot – we all know it is.  I remember being taught that in history class, don’t you?  It’s fine to make allowances for other folks – but let’s protect our American Christian youth.  They are precious to God – and to us.  🙂

This just in…  the school has decided to have SEE YOU AT THE POLE at a later date.  This blogger has to wonder if they would have done this if not for the brave girl who honored her God before her school?  I pray God’s richest blessings on her.  🙂

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

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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.  🙂