FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS

There’s just something about fall…  we want to spend more time in the house nesting, baking, pumpkin spicing EVERYTHING!  We get out long enough to enjoy a tailgate party and watch a football game – but even then we’re snuggled up in a stadium blanket.  It’s time to slow down and rest.  Are you weary and burdened?  Jesus says He will give us rest!  We can trust that promise to be true because Jesus doesn’t lie.

The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale.  – Cornelia L. Tuthill, “Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke,” 1840

It’s about time for me to change from plain cotton sheets to cotton flannel sheets.  They’re so soft and comfy and surprisingly cool.  I used to think they would be too warm, and I’d end up too hot at night, but that hasn’t been the case.  They’re perfect for the fall and winter months.

As I begin counting my blessings this year, at the top of my list is the way Jesus brings sweet rest to my weary and burdened spirit.  Along with the theme of rest, I will include the set of new flannel sheets on the bed.  The house is slowly transforming into a warm and cozy oasis from a cold and cruel world.  Isn’t that what home should be?

[T]hat old September feeling… of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air…. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer.                 – Wallace Stegner

So many people get the urge to do a deep cleaning in the spring – we’re bombarded with magazine articles about spring cleaning.  I’ve always been prone to do my deep cleaning in the fall.  Don’t ask me why, but I have more energy and the spirit seems more willing, and if there’s one thing I know about myself – I have to strike while the iron’s HOT.  I know that energy won’t last.

I say a little prayer, then I’m off to the races, cleaning out closets and cupboards, scrubbing and mopping, sweeping and dusting.  When I’m finished, I’m more than ready to ask Jesus to give me that rest He promises.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time out shopping and fighting off the crowds of people so I could find some bargains.  I had people to buy gifts for, so I was part of the crazy rat race!  These days, I opt for a warm spot, hot tea, cozy slippers, and a laptop.  It’s a blessing to have a time of rest and renewal.  The older I get, the more I appreciate rest.

What’s at the top of your blessing list?  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-12

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.  – Psalm 31:9

God has shown mercy to us more times than we can count or probably recall.  I wonder if there are times He is merciful to us and we don’t acknowledge it.  Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we need to remember that God is good.  Life is not always going to go smoothly.  We will be distressed and feel weak with sorrow from time to time.  Grief over the passing of loved ones is a very real part of life, but we must not place blame on God for what we feel.  ❤

I don’t know a person who has “arrived” to the point where they separate their trials and temptations with how they’re feeling; however, I do know some pretty wonderful Christians who know how to feel what they feel without losing their grasp on their faith in God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  They see their circumstances – and they see their God.  Instead of telling God how big their circumstances are, they tell their circumstances how BIG their GOD is!  Ah-ha!!!  Now see…  that’s the kind of Christian I wanna be.  ❤thankful-still

Yes there will be some rough waters – but God’s grace and mercy in your life are there to help you through them.  Ask God to adjust your sails and set you on the right course.  I’ve never sailed, yet I’m using this analogy…  interesting.  I’ve heard some folks say you have to adjust your own sails – no – ask the Father to do it.  He’s more than happy to help you with that.  Lean and depend on His wisdom and His power because – hey – He knows the future.  Do you know the future?  I don’t.  ❤

We are blessed with God’s precious grace and mercy as we travel through life.  It’s not always smooth sailing (again with the sailing) – but I’ll tell you – the ANCHOR HOLDS.  I love that song and that truth.  ❤

I have journeyed

Through the long dark night

Out on the open sea

By faith alone

Sight unknown and yet his eyes were watching me

CHORUS

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered the anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm

I’ve had visions

I’ve had dreams

I’ve even held them in my hand but I never knew

They would slip right through

Like they were only grains of sand

CHORUS

I have been young but I am older now

And there has been beauty these eyes have seen but it was in the night

Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved his love to me

Christ will never lie – He will never play tricks on us – He is dependable and He wants only the best for us…  that much I know for sure.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  Praise His name!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  – Psalm 9:1

No, this is not November and it’s not a Thanksgiving post…  but – in 2017 I do want a thankful heart.  I will thank God – with my whole heart, and tell of all His wonderful deeds.  I hope and pray I have done that here on my blog every day.thankful

When I think of what I’m thankful for, it doesn’t seem to be a particular thing that comes to mind, but I am so thankful to God for finding me a family when my birth mother gave me up for adoption.  I could have been adopted by awful people, but God saw to it that I was placed in a very good family.  My parents raised me in church and taught me Christian values and morals.  I’m thankful for my upbringing.

A general sense of gratitude to God for the way my life has gone – that is how I’d describe it.  That’s what it means to have a grateful heart.  Have you given thought to what God has done in your life?  Have you thanked Him for it?

My friend Terri Boggs Rowe posted a poem she wrote on facebook.  She has graciously given me permission to share it with you on today’s post.

the-choice

I acknowledge God’s role in my life – He has seen to it that I was raised well – by God-fearing parents.  He’s protected me and for that I am so very thankful.

Lucinda is thankful for the way God answers.

thankful-for-the-way-god-answersA thankful heart is a happy heart.  I’m grateful for the way His plan works and for the way it continues to work for my good.  There is always ALWAYS  something to be thankful for.  We have no right to boast about any of the good we enjoy.  It’s only because of God’s grace we have all the good in our lives.  🙂

 

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What does it really mean to be thankful for good health?  How precious is it to fight so hard to maintain good health?  If you’ve never had to work and climb out of bad health to get good health back, I’m guessing it may be a blessing you don’t fully appreciate.

A year ago I was 25 pounds heavier and had a Hemoglobin A1c of 9.3!  It wasn’t a pretty picture to be sure.  You might say I hit the proverbial “brick wall”.  It was change it or face some grim choices in the future.  I had to do something to get my health back.

Remember the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves” – ???  In my mind, this is a perfect example of that.  It’s not, by the way, found in the Bible – as so many think it is.  😉

I’m grateful for God’s help in decision-making, in giving me the determination I now have, and in loving me when my attitude toward working out was less than admirable.  I still hate going to the gym, but then I think of friends who are facing different outcomes because they didn’t get their type 2 diabetes under control.  They wish they had chosen a different path.  So do I.

Please join me in prayer:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

i-am-hisI wish for you good health.  For my friends with type one diabetes I always wish for a cure instead of management with insulin (which we are so thankful for).  Managing type one diabetes is so difficult.  I pray everyday for a cure.  We hold on to HOPE.

I wish those with unknown conditions would get answers to questions about symptoms they’re experiencing.

I wish people with conditions caused by malnutrition will receive the food they need.  Hunger is prevalent, even in the U.S.  I wish people with illness and disease that can be managed through a more healthy lifestyle will wake up to that truth.  Is it easy?  NO.  Is it worth it?  YOU BET.  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24No matter in what language you speak, thanksgiving prayers are often written in the form of poems or songs.  I’m not just saying that because I’m a poet and musician.  Every day from now until thanksgiving, I want to share a prayer and some wishes for you and your family.

 

Will you pray with me?

prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

how-can-i-thank-you

I wish for you and your family more unity.  I wish you wisdom and discernment as you gather together to count blessings.  I wish you a truly heart-warming thanksgiving with the Spirit of God right in the center!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

I THANK GOD FOR YOU TODAY

We’re celebrating another day of life today – how do we celebrate?  I’m so glad you asked!  We celebrate in various ways, including taking as good of care of ourselves for each other as we can.  I think I’ve read every self-help book ever written.

Today I want to share some information I’ve gleaned through the years.

  1. Have the nurse at your doctor’s office check both arms when they take your blood pressure.  Why?   Just 15 points or more between the systolic blood pressure readings in your left and right arms could signal heart disease.
  2. Fit a gentle jog or brisk walk into your day.  It could add about 5 years to your longevity.  Just 30 minutes a day will do the trick.
  3. Crossword puzzles are not a waste of time.  When you stimulate your brain with games or puzzles, you keep serious disease like Alzheimer’s at bay.
  4. If you do a lot of typing or texting (and who doesn’t these days?), make sure to stretch your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.  How?  Rest your palm on your thigh with wrist and knuckles straight.  Completely bend your first-finger joints (which is difficult if those muscles are tight).  With your fingertips tucked under and your nails touching your leg, apply pressure over the knuckles with your other hand.  Hold for seven seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Take a deep breath and think of a blessing.  It will give you an instant lift spiritually and make you feel better about yourself.  I’m not crazy – try it!  It works!
  6. Say a prayer for someone who has wronged you.  You absolutely cannot continue to rent out a part of your mind to someone who has wronged you.  Pray for them and kick them out of your brain.  You’ll feel lighter and happier – and they have been prayed for.

Your well-being and happiness are important, especially to your family members.  If you are angry, stressed and uptight, that’s not fair to them.  Give them a great gift – take care of yourself!  🙂

 

COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY

TL 7 3 COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY

7-3 A WELL DRESSED HEART

As you begin your day, look in your full-length mirror (go ahead, it won’t break – trust me).  Can you look at the one and only body God gave you with an attitude of gratitude?  Give it a shot today because it is COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY.

We’re all under construction – constantly.  I like the term “reinventing” because that is what we do throughout our lives.  While we are striving for a better body with diet and exercise, let’s be grateful for some things that we may now be taking for granted.

  • If you are standing in front of your mirror, that means your legs work.  Even if you have thunder thighs like me – be grateful to God that your legs hold you up and you’re able to stand.
  • Your hair may be a mess, but hey – you still have hair to get messy, right?  A little TLC will take care of those wild tresses – it’s nothing to get all freaked out about.
  • Is your skin looking dry?  Moisturize.  Does it look oily?  Wash thoroughly and hydrate.  In this heat – don’t forget the SPF to protect it from sunburn.
  • Did you mess up yesterday?  Are you still reeling over it?  If you gave it to God and asked for His help to do better, then it’s really time to let it go.  Brand new mercies are set aside for this day.  Today will be a better day because God will help you through it.
  • Maybe you’re like me – you’ve used food in the past to comfort yourself, only to discover it caused a whole host of new health problems.  God knows all about it.  Hand it to Him and He will help you overcome your addiction to food!  Learn what triggers your binges and you can stop the addictive behavior in its tracks.  God will help you find a more healthy way to deal with the rough patches in life.  Overdosing on Twinkies is not the answer.

As Christians, what were we taught from the time we were little?  It’s what’s inside a person that matters the most!  God looks on the heart and we should do the same – to others and ourselves.  The prep talk you give yourself in front of the full-length mirror each morning can either build you up or break you down.  It’s the first decision you have to make every morning.  Will you be your own best friend, or your own worst enemy?

See the good in you – love the person in the mirror.  God does!  🙂

 

 

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

TL IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

LITTLE JUST LIKE ME

As I review the life of my Savior, I’m impressed with many things that help me realize that He really does understand the human experience first hand. He was very much a human being, but we must remember that He was always divine as well.

I’ve never met my friend Jimmy Stone. He’s a friend of mine on facebook. He has taken some of the neatest photographs and I’ve been given permission to use them for poetry I write. This photo is one of his baby booties next to a pair of his father’s baby booties. The first time I saw the photo I thought, “What a unique comparison to make. What a comfort it is to know that our parents were once children too!”

When I was a kid, I didn’t really think of my parents as younger people.  It sounds weird, but I just always thought of them as adults.  Of course the truth did eventually occur to me.  Now I know that every struggle I faced growing up, they probably faced as well.

I’m comforted by the thought that Jesus walked this earth. He came as a little baby and was raised here on this planet. Even though it was in a different culture, in a time so long ago, it was still here on earth. He lived among other human beings. He felt similar emotions and had similar experiences I suppose.

Jesus is not a Savior that came down from the sky as a scary entity with fire in His eyes. He came to earth as a tiny baby. He wants to relate to us and it was the perfect plan. Well, of course it was a perfect plan – it was God’s plan!

So on this Tuesday of Passion Week, I’m so very thankful that my Savior came to this earth as a baby and lived among people for 33 years. He understands every obstacle we face because He faced them too. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

GOD BLESS MY BLT

How cute is that? I especially like it when little brother looks over at big brother for cues – when he forgets the words… LOL!!! ❤

Sometimes when I’m alone in the house and I fix a simple little meal like, say, a turkey bacon, iceberg lettuce and succulent vine-ripened home-grown tomato sandwich on whole wheat, I’m tempted to eat without saying grace first. Before you start giving me mean glances over your glasses, hear me out.

Now, it’s not that I am not grateful for my meal. I was actually “checked” about it and I did go ahead and pray. It was not a prayer that lasted more than a few seconds, but I prayed over my meager meal.

An event happened a long time ago that made me think twice about praying:

Our youth group was at a pizza parlor after church one Sunday night. We were getting ready to eat when of course the youth leader told us to bow and pray. When we finished praying, a stranger walked up to our table and said, “I’m so impressed to see young people praying before they eat nowadays and to encourage you to pray more often, I’m going to pay for your pizzas!”

Well, of course that made all of us very happy! I’ve never seen anyone do that again, but I’ve heard others tell similar stories of how meals were paid for as a sort of “reward” for praying. It is just one of those situations that happened, but impressed me for life!

 It is a comely fashion to be glad; Joy is the grace we say to God.  – Jean Ingelow

No one should ever pray hoping their bill at the restaurant gets paid! That’s not a proper motivation to pray! We pray because it’s the right thing to do. If you are in doubt about whether it’s silly to pray over a little BLT sandwich or not, just do it. It’s better to pray when you don’t have to than to skip the prayer and get indigestion. I’m kidding, if you don’t pray you won’t get indigestion. Our youth leader used to tell us our food would not digest well if we didn’t say a blessing over it. I don’t know, there may be a bit of truth in that statement.   🙂