VALENTINE’S DAY

tl-2-14-valentines-day-2So many folks are lonely on Valentine’s Day.  Today’s post will be less about the romantic side and much more about the reality that – YES – GOD LOVES YOU!77-flavors

a-blessing-from-goda-gift-for-my-soula-piece-of-heavena-prince-for-gods-princessa-song-of-loveeveryday-rewardsfourteen-years-of-lovegod-sees-our-possibilitiesgods-grace-makes-strong-loveheartsjohn-3-16kiss-and-make-upkisses-from-heavenlive-like-youre-lovedmr-rightmy-valentine-to-godthankful-for-my-husbandthankful-for-my-wifethe-invitationthe-same-spirit

to-be-a-bridewithout-his-loveI hope the poetry today from Lucinda Berry Hill has been a great reminder that God really does love you.  He gives us the best gifts possible as we live our lives for Him.  God gives us friends, family and other people to love and care for.

God understands our prayers when they don’t make sense.  When all we can do is cry and mutter and sputter…  God gets that because He sees our heart and knows our intentions.  Why?  Because He loves us so much.

As God loves us, we are to love one another.  Husbands and wives pray for one another and protect one another.  Real love cannot exist apart from God – He’s in the center of every good relationship.

God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time!  – Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Special angels???  Well…  sure – why not?  Billy Graham calls angels, “God’s secret agents” and we all need as much help as we can get, don’t we?  And yes, we should take notes the first time – but often we don’t, so they have to come back again.

God loves us, but sadly we don’t recognize some of the ways He shows His love toward us.  When was the last time you were driving and had a close call – nearly had a crash – but at the last second you stomped on the brake and everything turned out okay?  Did you thank God for that mercy, or did you congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back for having such stellar ability behind the wheel?

When was the last time you were awakened by the song of a bird outside your window and thanked God that it was that instead of the blare of a train or a siren of some sort?  These little blessings often go completely unnoticed and God gets no credit or praise or even recognition for His attempt to show His love toward us.

Every blessing we receive regardless of the size is God’s way of showing His love toward us.  If we fail to show gratitude for the little things, surely we should not overlook the reason we are saved…  the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, God’s Son – on our behalf.  It’s only because of His death, burial and resurrection that we are able to make Heaven our home when this life is finished.  God has surely shown His marvelous love to us in big and small ways.  Happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

 

 

 

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

AMERICA ON THE ROCK

FREEDOM is something to thank God for everyday!  He has blessed this nation so abundantly with His grace and mercy.  God is good to America and today we need to thank Him for being so good to us!

Precious Father, You have ensured our freedom here in America.  We know that without You we are nothing as a country.  Thank You for freedom to practice our faith as we believe is right, freedom of speech.  Under a dictatorship I could not be posting prayers in a blog, or saying them aloud.  Thank You that I am not oppressed, but free to express my love for You without fear of punishment or worse.  The press in our country is free – to be left of center, right of center – or to be on target with You.  We are free to agree or disagree with others on facebook or in person.  We are free to unfriend a friend on facebook if things get too intense.  We are free to read the Bible in public.  We are free to choose right or wrong.  You gave us a free will – that came from You.  America is great but You are greater.  May we wake up and realize that our freedom to do what we want and choose to follow You – that freedom comes from You, not from laws on the books in the U.S.A.  Our laws are based upon the fundamental Christian values we hold dear.  I pray that as a country we never stray away from that truth.  If we begin making laws that support sin, we are surely in dangerous territory and we will lose Your blessing.  We know You cannot look on sin.  You will always forgive us our sins, but You will not tolerate sin to continue in Your presence.  We don’t want to lose Your blessing in America.  May we have the wisdom to know right from wrong and make laws that support the right and shun the wrong.  We want our nation to please You always.  Thank You for our freedom.  It’s in Jesus’ matchless Name we pray, Amen.

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WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

TL 2-17 SORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

Today is WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY.  This holiday was started by Michael Levy of Point of Life in 2003 to promote a human spirit that lives the creative, peaceful, loving life that it was meant to live.  People all over the world are encouraged to take 2 minutes at 3pm ET to meditate and find the true spirit of freedom and peace that lives within each of us.

Of course, I’d say it would be a good idea to pray for those 2 minutes.  Be thankful to God for all the blessings He’s given you.  Thankfulness is not just for the month of November, you know!  It’s good to give thanks to the Lord year-around with a humble and contrite spirit.  That’s the way to find peace, love and compassion within.

PRAYER TO SEEK GODI PRAY BEFORE I PLAYThe most difficult part of being a pianist in church is playing the invitation hymn at the end of the service.  That is when God’s Holy Spirit speaks to everyone – it’s a solemn time and I was always afraid that I would do something to distract from that precious work – for I am so very, very human at times.

It’s good to celebrate the strength and courage of our human spirit – but how much better to acknowledge the source from which we glean those characteristics!  How much better our own spirits become when mulled with the precious gift from God – His own Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised us when He ascended into Heaven!

May we take 2 minutes today to bask in the warmth of His amazing love.  May we stay silent and listen to what He is saying to us.  May we willingly have our spiritual batteries recharged by Him and lift our hearts and hands in reply, letting Him know we love Him.

Join me today to celebrate the human spirit, yes – but more importantly, to celebrate the power source – God’s precious Holy Spirit.A BIG CUP OF A BIG GODIf God (and His Holy Ghost) came in a coffee cup…  hmm – interesting!  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOn the second day ‘fore Christmas we are to pray for strength against temptation, wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, have love for one another, have joy to share with others, have peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace.

There are temptations everywhere – that’s not a news flash to anyone, I’m sure.  We don’t have the strength to resist them on our own power – that may come as a surprise to some.  It’s only with help from God’s Holy Spirit that we can tell Satan to get behind us and resist whatever temptation is set before us.  We can say, “Get thee behind me, Satan – in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior” – and he has to flee – go – decamp!  Vamoose!  Scram!  Hit the proverbial road!!!

It seems the younger we are in the faith, the longer it takes us to call for reinforcements where temptation is concerned.  As we get more seasoned and wise, we learn that it’s a good idea to just lean on God’s Holy Spirit from the beginning – and send the evil one packing right away.

TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

It’s such a comfort to have spiritual guidance through the twists and turns of mortal life here on earth.  This can be a scary place, this planet.  I’m glad I can call on God and His Holy Spirit to help me down the road, especially when there are speed bumps trying to slow me down.

THE GREATEST GIFTWe celebrate the birth of Christ, His love, joy, peace, mercy and willingness to die on Calvary’s cross so that a wretch like me could spend eternity in heaven.  When Christ ascended into heaven, He did not leave us alone, but left the precious Holy Spirit – the Comforter – the Helper – to guide us along in life.  Aren’t we grateful?  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOn the ninth day ‘fore Christmas we are to pray for peace in our hearts and thank God for His Amazing grace.  How badly do we need the peace that God gives – peace that passes all understanding?

TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASWhat songs come to mind when we think of peace?  I have several favorites, but the best one is this:  https://youtu.be/547e7uoNPcw

Even if there is conflict and anything but peace around us, we can still have God’s peace in our hearts.

https://youtu.be/OwhDPGMZicU

I’m reminded that Jesus is the anchor during the stormy times – He’s our solid Rock when everything around us is shaky.  https://youtu.be/3ot1h7k2vig

THE BIRTH OF PEACELET'S PRAY FOR PEACEIt’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around the concept of terrorism – serving a god who wants you to kill those who do not share your beliefs.  To me, that is the definition of intolerance.  Christians would like to share our faith, but whether you accept God’s grace or reject it is ultimately your decision and we respect you regardless.

I believe my life is in God’s hands – and that’s the best news of all.  https://youtu.be/PuargQgY7GA

Let the peace of God reign…  let it reign!  🙂

Lord,

Please bring peace to my heart.  Sometimes my life seems clouded with so much doubt and anxiety.  I’ve come to a fork in the road and don’t know which way to go.  I know I can’t stand in the middle of the fork in the road, lest I get run over.  I can’t just stand still for fear of choosing badly.  Make me brave.  Help me be open to all the possibilities that come my way.  Show me which road glows with Your joy and happiness.  When my judgment is clouded bring me into Your sunshine and remove my worries and doubt.  Make the pathway bright and let me know it’s right for me.  Then help me walk it with integrity and courage.  Your love is with me always and that’s the only truth that needs to be understood.  Hold me in the palm of Your hand and carry me on my life’s journey to a place that is peaceful and tranquil.

I pray all of this in Christ’s Name,

Amen.

Let there be peace on earth – and let it begin with me…  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDThe most happy people are the most thankful ones…  so today, let’s give thanks to God for all our blessings.  Yes, I know we just did that at Thanksgiving – but guess what?  We’re going to do it again – and again – and again every day until the Lord comes back to earth to snatch us away!

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It must be very difficult to be parents of a teen today – they want so much technology – and that’s so expensive!  It’s a challenge to teach them to not look at what their friend has and want one too.  How can that be done?  Well, I think a lot of people are going into debt trying to make sure their teen has the best of everything.

A CHRISTMAS RAINBOWBe thankful for a Christmas rainbow…  what a gift from God above!

Teach teens the value of money – and the importance of being grateful for the stuff you already have.  Technology changes daily!  The newest thing comes out about 5 minutes after the used-to-be new thing gets opened.  Teaching teens how to be contented with what they have is an excellent strategy.  Let them know how many hours they’d have to work at McDonald’s to earn the new toy they want.  That’s a reality check right there!

Lord, thank You for this newly blessed day that not only gives me a shot at being a better me, but a future and a hope.  – Pauline Seaport

The happiest people are the most thankful people.  I might add that if we are thankful to the Creator of all – it’s that much more meaningful.  I’m thankful to God for all He’s done in my life – not just for the stuff I have.

Sometimes you have to stop dwelling on the ones who have done you wrong and start being thankful for the ones who do you right! – Nishan Panwar

Thankfulness for small things can bring a chuckle to me sometimes.  I have a habit of putting my pen in my mouth before I type.  Today, I got finished writing and was ready to type – I popped my pen in my mouth and noticed that it smelled like CHOCOLATE.  I’m not joking – my pen smelled like chocolate!  Call me crazy, but I was thankful for that!  If we live in a perpetual attitude of gratitude – it makes all the difference in my life.  I think God laughed along with me!  🙂

 

 

REVELATION 4:11 ON 4/11

REVELATION 4 11 ON 4 11

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.  – Revelation 4:11

Today let’s celebrate our religious freedom and sing WORTHY IS OUR LORD AND GOD, TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER!

1-16 FREEDOM TO PRAISE HIM

There is so much symbolism in the book of Revelation, I don’t pretend to understand all of it.  This is one of the few passages that seem to be fairly straight forward and easily understood.  Sometimes we get so busy making a living – or let’s face it – just living, that we overlook the need to praise God.

I know many folks put on a praise and worship CD in their car for the drive to work.  That’s a good idea – and I used to do the same thing.  This is a post to give us just one more opportunity to look up and thank God for all His blessings to us – His benefits.

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

No matter who runs for the office of president in 2016, Jesus Christ will be LORD.  He is our Savior, our provider, our sword and shield in life.  He died for our sins and was raised by God the Father.  He sits at the right hand of God and the Holy Spirit of God lives in our hearts.

Yes – He is WORTHY of praise!

I’m going to find the most high place I can and stand at the tippy top of it.  Then I’m going to raise my hands to the sky and praise the Lord.  I may even sing.  God won’t howl like some people do – it’s a beautiful sound to Him.

The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.  – William McGill

Since I live in Kansas, I’m not sure how HIGH the place will be – LOL…  I mean, let’s face it, it’s not like Colorado where there are mountains!  Maybe I’ll drive to Coronado Heights today.  There’s just something about being outdoors on a mountain (or even a hill) – singing praises to God.  He inclines His ear to us when we make that extra effort I believe.  He hears us anyway, but it’s just more special somehow.  🙂

 

 

 

KINDERGARTEN DAY

TL 4-21 KINDERGARTEN DAY

 

There are many facets of wellness, from nutrition and positive attitude to daily exercise.  Today I want to explore wellness from a slightly different perspective.  When was the last time you – um…  played?

Yes, play – that’s what I said.  Think back.  You remember play, don’t you?  That activity you took for granted growing up and thought you would always carry with you.  Along with play comes a pleasant side effect that is sadly unfamiliar to many people – fun.

I recently located some of my friends from high school, and as I speak with them as adults, my mind goes right back to our high school days – and I remember some good times with them.  We’ve all slept a lot since high school and there is a lot of muddy water under that bridge, but it is nice to have those memories of carefree living (meaning we were not financially responsible) and a lot of fun along the way.

Perhaps I’m the least mature of all my friends, simply because I was not forced to grow up at any point in my life.  Yes, I got married and have to be mature in that relationship, but since I don’t have kids, I never had milestones to really remind me that time is ticking away.  I’m basically the same person I’ve always been.  

What’s that saying, “Growing up is mandatory but growing old is optional.” – ???  I don’t ever want to grow old.  I want to be one of those old ladies who amazes everyone because I can live quite independently for a very long time.  That’s the goal.  I want to keep my independence – even if I end up living alone one day.

I wouldn’t mind being alone, but I don’t ever want to be lonely.  The two are not the same.  You can be alone and not be lonely.  I cherish my solitude – I do!  The time I spend alone is time that is not wasted.  That is my time! 

Something happens to adults along the way.  We forget how to play and have fun.  I realize that most adults call that “vacation” or “camping” (ugh) or “boating” or “sports”.  Those things are fine and good – but I think we should try to do something fun every day.

I hear you saying, “I can’t afford to do something fun every day.”  You are obviously lacking imagination, my friend.  Fun does not have to cost money.  Fun is what happens when you allow play into your everyday life!

Now you’re asking, “OK, Linda – how do YOU play?”  Alright – I am more than ready with an answer to that question – thank you for asking!

I live near a lake.  Every morning when I get finished with devotionals and coffee, I take a small bowl of grain out to the lake and feed the ducks and geese.  I know a lot of people discourage that, but it is something I have done since we’ve lived here and I enjoy it.  That is my way of connecting with nature and having fun.  Yes, the grain costs money, but it’s a minimal cost.

There is one “duck couple” that comes around every morning and demands to be fed immediately!  If I happen to be running a little late, heaven forbid, mama duck comes right up to the bench where I’m sitting and lets out the loudest QUACK!  She will get my attention and get me motivated. 

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Harry & Matilda

When I get out to the lake, the little duck couple waddle up to me and mama duck acts so innocent, as if to say, “Oh, you heard a loud quack?  Hmm…  wonder who THAT could have been, ‘cuz it sure wasn’t me!”

I’m like, “Yeah, right!”

Don’t forget to let yourself be silly now and then.  Let your inner child go out and play!  Goofing off, even with a few close friends, can put them at ease as well.  And don’t forget to hug those friends!  Hugging helps you feel more calm and close to the people you are embracing.  It’s a definite mood enhancer and actually eases physical pain!  It’s a good thing!

Smile!  I know everyone says it – but if you smile it makes you release endorphins and helps you get over a funk if you’re in one.  Studies have shown that people who give genuine smiles have lower heart rates than those who maintain a neutral expression.

Have you ever sat in a park and watched children?  What is one common factor among all of them?  Other than the fact that they are all short and wearing the cutest clothing ever, they are probably jumping around – a lot!  Try to jump up and down a few times.  That will kick-start your silliness and surely put a smile on your face!  If you hurt yourself, you didn’t do it right. 

You might want to explain what it is you’re trying to accomplish if you do this around your friends.  Don’t just start jumping up and down without warning them.  They might think you choked on a piece of food or something.  You don’t want them to start doing the Heimlich maneuver on you if you don’t ‘xplain yourself, Lucy!

I invite you to find something fun to do every day!  It can be anything – use your imagination.  Remember, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  It does, however, have to make you smile – maybe even make you laugh.  That will lower your blood pressure and help your overall wellness.

Speaking of play – today is KINDERGARTEN DAY!!!

Friedrich Froebel started the first Kindergarten in Germany way back in 1837. Mothers are still thanking him for freeing up 1/2 days for them and giving them a break from their 5 year-old children!

WORLD PARKINSON’S DISEASE DAY

TL 4-11 WORLD PARKINSON'S DISEASE DAY

We would be nowhere without Jesus and God’s precious Holy Spirit. Our lives would have no meaning whatsoever if He was not living in our hearts. He’s helped us find purpose and joy and everything good. All the glory goes to Him.  If you’ve gleaned anything from this blog at all, it’s because God helps me to write something that you need to read.

I dedicate this post to all who battle Parkinson’s Disease.  I want to encourage you today to lean on God and His Holy Word for inner strength and self-confidence.  He is the light that shines through all of us.  He loves you so much!

Time belongs to God. Every need whether it’s physical or some other kind will be met in His time and in His way.

 With Parkinson’s, it’s like you’re in the middle of the street and you’re stuck there in cement shoes and you know a bus is coming at you, but you don’t know when. You think you can hear it rumbling, but you have a lot of time to think. And so you just don’t live that moment of the bus hitting you until it happens. There’s all kinds of room in that space.  MICHAEL J. FOX

In my facebook group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, we discuss diseases of all sorts.  Some of us are Diabetic, some suffer with Fibromyalgia, some have Arthritis and some of us have more than one disease process going on – oh joy!  But the resounding theme every day is that we make it out of bed and do what we can.  I honestly believe if a person just keeps doing the very best they can with the circumstances they find themselves in, and hold on to faith in God – it will be alright.   May God richly bless you today!