A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

In 2017, let’s be NEW!!!  Let’s be renewed creations in Christ.  Much like the yearly closet cleaning we do in our homes, let’s do some cleaning of our attitudes and actions.  Have you slipped on doing daily devotions?  there’s no time like NOW to start up again?

If there is one thing I’ve learned on my weight loss journey, it is…  if you mess up, don’t beat yourself up about it – just do better tomorrow!  Eat what you should, move when you should and do the right things.  It’ll be okay – it really will.

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Feeling guilty or shameful is counter productive.  Move forward and do better.  Yesterday is gone.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Move toward tomorrow.  The future is waiting – and your Bible sets on the coffee table.  Just go pick it up and read a passage today.  Keep a journal if you want to.  You know, there are now journaling Bibles available.  I keep a notebook journal, but I think journaling is a helpful tool.5

If there are things you need to throw away, throw them away.  Attitudes, actions, chocolate.  Whatever it is – God knows and that’s good enough.  It’s sure none of my business.  Toss what you need to toss to get right with the Lord again.  Ask Him to forgive the sin and ask Him to help you stay away from it in the future.  We all mess up, but God is faithful to help us when we humbly ask for it.7

Once you’ve handed all of the old to God…  turn and walk away.  Put your hope and trust in God’s ability to clean up your act.  You’ll assuredly be tempted again because the enemy is still busy, but God is stronger and with His help you can resist temptation.6

A new year…  that’s great, but how much greater it is when we pair it with a renewed relationship with the LORD!  I pray God’s richest blessings on your life this year!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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LUKE 10:19 ON 10/19

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 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  – Luke 10:19

I respect anyone who takes these portions of Scripture literally and handle snakes…  but in my mind, this is taken figuratively of the devil, and his principalities and powers, and all his emissaries, who, for their craft and cunning, and for their poisonous and hurtful nature and influence, may be compared to serpents and scorpions.

Serpents are poisonous and scorpions hide so well, they sort of curl up when they’re waiting for someone, and look like an egg.  The enemy of our soul is poisonous but we don’t realize he’s struck until it’s too late.  He doesn’t come along in a red cape and a tail either.  He is the best looking temptation you can imagine.  What’s more innocent looking than an egg?  I know, right?

That’s why we must claim the blood of Christ to overcome the power of the enemy…  the sneaky snake – the cleaver scorpion that will surely cause harm to us and our souls.gods-not-waiting

As Christians we sometimes think we’ve got it all figured out – and that’s when we get in trouble.  About the time we think we’ve risen above the ability to be tempted – BOOM!  We have to walk humbly with our God, remembering that our help comes from HIM and we can do nothing apart from HIM.

Christ is the Vine – we’re only branches – and we need to stay attached to the VINE or we will wither and die – we will be weak in temptation if we forget that it is our LORD Who will protect us and fight our battles.

Stay strong – but make sure you’re not strong within yourself – but strong in Jesus’ Name.  Everything good comes from Him and is unattainable without Him.  The fruits of God’s Holy Spirit are not from our own determination and willpower.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Self-Control…  those qualities go completely against human nature.  Those are qualities that flow through us by His Spirit.  Having these fruits gives us added strength to trample snakes and scorpions in Jesus’ Name.

When we learn to forgive quickly when we get hurt, correct with God’s Word, offering a gentle nudge instead of a pop on the head, and recognize a temptation to sin, then hand it to God as soon as possible…  God will be by our side.  He will help us overcome because He is faithful and He loves us.  🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12-25 MERRY CHRISTMASI wish you a very Merry Christ-centered Christ-mas!!!  We have made preparation for this day and we have one last thing to pray for.  Today we will pray for kindness to all people – along with goodness in our actions, strength against temptation, wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, pray for love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace!  Whew…  it’s a tall order, but we serve a mighty and gracious God, don’t we?TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

What is kindness???  Some synonyms are:  benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, tenderness.  It’s a good turn, to look for the very best in every soul you meet.  Kindness is completely color-blind.  It does not see economic status.  It forgives over and over again.  True kindness comes straight from God’s Holy Spirit.  There’s a discernment that comes with kindness.  Kindness knows when it’s being taken advantage of – and knows how to lovingly let people know that it is not stupid – but wise.SHOWING HIM KINDNESS

Here are a few ideas to show kindness today and from now on:

  • Donate to a charity or food bank
  • Give up your spot in line
  • Help someone with a chore
  • Shovel snow for a neighbor
  • Donate pet supplies to the shelter
  • Pick up litter – but make sure you wear gloves
  • Donate books
  • Send a get-well card to someone who is sick
  • Visit a shut-in
  • Tell a family member a joke (a good, clean one please)
  • Buy someone a cup of coffee
  • Send cards to service men and women.  They need encouragement year around
  • Donate a pair of new pajamas for foster kids
  • Leave a gift basket for a neighbor to find

Let God guide you down a path of kindness in life.  There are so many suspicious people who waste precious time and energy being unkind and looking out for number one.  They miss out on the best blessings from God and that’s sad.A PROMISE KEPT

Tomorrow we stop preparing for Christmas, the birthday of Christ – for it is here today – and tomorrow our lives will go back to the way they were before…  or will they???  Take some time to go to your prayer closet and pray about it.  Pray that God will make changes where they need to be made.  He is faithful to help you if you will ask.  Merry Christ-mas!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Today I want to share a praise report with you!  I’m so excited and grateful to God that my Hemoglobin A1c is 6.4!!!  I’m so grateful for His loving kindness and guidance on this journey!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  – William Arthur Ward

This is an actual surgery using the di Vinci robot.  Using a single port, it’s an outpatient procedure.  I was in surgery at 11am and going home by 3pm.  Amazing!

I think I had such a sick gallbladder for such a long time – it was really messing with me.  Now that it’s gone, the struggle to maintain control of my type 2 diabetes seems to be so much easier!

Since surgery I’ve very easily lost 12 pounds and a few inches from my waist.  It’s not about looks with me – but hey, nice side effect anyway.  The best news was my lab report – I never thought I’d be considered a controlled diabetic!  My blood pressure also went back to normal after surgery.

The surgeon said my gallbladder was red, swollen and angry.  I probably waited too long to get it removed.  I wish I had gone in for surgery sooner.  If I had known then what I know now, I surely would have!

I still have to eat right and exercise every day, but I refuse to look at the long-term – I choose to look at the moment and take it one moment, one food choice, one exercise choice, one hydration choice – at a time.  I want and need to be smarter – and keep asking God for help when temptation comes my way.

The most impressive part of this journey has been the incredible amount of energy I have now!  I feel so much better – it’s hard to explain, but every time I think about how much better I feel – it makes me cry because I was blaming so much on age.

I SEEK YOUR WISDOM

Diabetes will always be with me, but it sure is a great feeling to know it’s finally under control!  I’m not saying that everyone with a high A1c has a malfunctioning gallbladder, but in my case – it seems that was part of the problem.

Who knew?  Wink!  😉

 

PURPLE HEART DAY

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8-8 TEMPTATION'S TUNNELOn this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit”.
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Today I overcame temptation and wanted someone to award me with the purple heart (or something similar).  This morning I was standing at the counter in Starbuck’s looking at all the really great espresso and lattes on the menu board. I was tempted to order something other than the tall skinny mocha latte I usually get.

Here is my thought process: For nearly FIVE YEARS I have tried to be good with my diet to support my husband on his diet. But guess what? I am here at Starbuck’s and I am all alone. If I did order something more yummy than the tall skinny mocha latte – he would never have to know about it! What harm would it do? I’m the only one that would have to know!

Then my brain paused and I caught a glimpse of my reflection (profile – eek!) in the shiny glass where they keep all the decadent pastries and things – and it dawned on me. I would know. Me – and my size 16 petite jeans that I fought so hard to get into… we would know.

I’ve not had to buy women’s sizes for almost 3 years. I’ve exercised myself silly and eaten healthy and for just a moment I thought I could sneak in a 500 calorie beverage. I was tempted.

Did I sin? Praise God – NO, I did not sin! See, those “temptation tunnels” are costly! There is a toll you pay before you enter in. And – if you make a choice to go in, it gets more and more difficult to turn around in there – the passage gets more narrow and darker as you go. You aren’t aware it’s going to do that (you think Satan’s going to tell you?). You just think it’s a tunnel and you’ll go through and come out on the other side into just as much sunlight as there was when you went in.

That’s not how it works. Think twice before you pay the toll and go into that tunnel. God loves you and He will help you out if you’re stuck. There’s no other way out but through Him. Pray and ask God through Christ to help you. He wants to make a way for you.

Some people think that freedom would be choosing the 500 calorie beverage. I think the REAL freedom is choosing the right – choosing FOR MYSELF – what I know is best for me. I choose the skinny mocha latte, not because I’m forced to choose it, but because it is the best choice. I choose to follow Christ because He has my best interest in mind and HE keeps me safe and away from the tunnel of temptation. Praise His Name!  I don’t really need the Purple Heart – I just need God to keep helping me do the right thing. 🙂

MATTHEW 7:15 ON 7/15

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 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  – Matthew 7:15

As Christians we will be exposed to imposters and need to be aware of the possibility.  How will we know when we are around a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  I believe if we will pray and ask the Lord to help us use discernment, He will.  We should always be on guard and wise because Satan will imitate the things of God to trick us.  He is a master manipulator and will lay snares to entrap those who are ignorant and heedless.  Beware of hypocritical evil-doers.

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.  – Corrie Ten Boom

If we want to persevere, we have to be vigilant in prayer.  In the last days, we know there will be those who are “ear ticklers” and folks will flock to hear them because they will not be given the entire truth of God.  They will, in fact, be deceived, believing that they are walking the narrow way when they are not.

“What do you think of God,” the teacher asked. After a pause, the young pupil replied, “He’s not a think, he’s a feel.”  – Paul Frost

It is God’s will that the church be involved in educating people with the whole truth of the Bible so we will be ready for attacks.  Christians are not to be passive and uninvolved in life outside the walls of the church building.  As we see today, controversial issues have left Christians locking horns with government laws that do not agree with their personal beliefs.

It’s my opinion that we will see these kinds of issues more as time passes.

We need to remember that Satan is so sly and will make the wrong look right.  Just because it is more accepted in society does not make it acceptable to Christ.  If we are to follow Him, we must be fortified by His Holy Spirit and ready to resist the temptation to go along with the rest of the tide of public opinion about issues that are clearly called sin by God.

Learn God’s Word – in its entirety.  Pray that God will help you discern the sheep from the wolves.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

WAY OF ESCAPE
Yesterday I was in a small Kansas town antiquing with my husband. I walked around looking at all the goodies in the store and at the back of the store was a sign that said “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY”.
It seems like there are ways of escape all around us. Sometimes we all seek a way out of a painful or sinful situation.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

The best escape is the one that our heavenly Father provides for us. We don’t always get to “escape” but Christ will help us to endure. Some situations we just have to go through. but those are the ones that make us stronger as we lean more on Christ. I think we need to be reminded that it’s Christ we need to depend on, don’t you?

It’s painful to have to go through tests when you’re praying for an escape hatch. I’m thankful for tests I have to go through, but not until afterward – usually a long time afterward!

I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish. – Chuck Norris

Remember Paul had a thorn in his flesh. We don’t know the details of that, but we do know that instead of removing the thorn, God gave Paul enough grace to endure and stand up under it and get the victory over it. The Apostle Paul was triumphant and we can be too. There is not a crooked path in life that God cannot help you either endure or escape. Yes there are days when it’s difficult to really believe that, but it’s true.

For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. – Hebrews 2:18

Christ was tempted but was able to resist. We belong to Him and should do the same because we rely on His help. He will lovingly guide us to His safe place so we don’t end up in a hot mess. That’s my heavenly Father.