Fresh Start

What if I invited you to my house for lunch and decided to serve a salad.  I have every imaginable kind of dressing available to choose from.  I have wonderful homemade lemonade to drink.  I covered the dining room table with nice clean linens and set it with my best silverware and dishes.  I have cloth napkins beside each place setting.  You walk in and stagger back a bit because you are so impressed!

Then after we say the blessing over our little lunch, I bring the big bowl of salad to the table.  You are expecting to see a beautiful green salad with vine-ripened tomatoes and crispy rings of red onion.  Everything else has been so clean and fresh, why wouldn’t the salad live up to expectations?

As I’m walking toward the table with the huge bowl, I start to apologize and explain that I had to use the lettuce and spinach that I bought a few months ago, and the tomatoes had some signs of spoilage, but I peeled all the white stuff off, so they should be just fine.  If the onion rings look a bit slimy, don’t worry about it.  😉  

Once you got over the shock and confusion, I’m betting the excuses to leave would be flowing like water!  Um…  I forgot to feed my pet gazelle – I really need to GO!  My house would be cleared out before you know it!

Everything was so right – but the salad was not FRESH!

As we entered into 2018, did we do so as the same spoiled and stale people we were in 2017?  Did we ask the LORD to make us new and give us a fresh start? 

Let’s break this quote down a bit.  A key word in the first part of the quote is APPEAR.  Some circumstances do seem insurmountable.  They seem irreversible.  Absolutely true!  Some really are, such as divorce, addiction, and loss through death.  I’m here to remind you that even the WORST circumstances can be made better through a relationship with Christ.  He can take anything and make it better.  The pain is not going to leave, but if you will give it to Him, it’ll surprise you because He will help you cope so much better.

And, let’s be honest.  Some circumstances that were not pleasant are brought back to our minds by the enemy of our souls.  Those are the ones we need to give to God and ask Him to take the pain away.  Thinking about them over and over will not change the outcome.  Putting them under the blood and telling the enemy of our soul that he will not win – that will set us free!

Father,  I pray that we will hand our difficult circumstances to You right now so You can give us a FRESH start.  We know that pain will not go away completely, but we know that You make all things new, and You specialize in making our lives better.  As we turn our hearts and lives over to You, I pray You will touch us and begin to do miraculous things, and as You do, we will be careful to give You the praise and glory!  We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,  Amen.

Do whatever YOU gotta do to get through.  Yes, Lord!  We need to say that prayer every day, don’t we?

Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did.  Let it GO!  – Chonda Pierce

So true!  In my life, 99% of the stuff I drive myself crazy trying to understand is stuff that the devil has tempted me to think about – again.  It’s always stuff that can’t be changed no matter how often it comes to mind.  I’m convinced that it doesn’t just come to mind – it’s put there by the devil to drag me down.  We’ve got to learn how to take those thoughts captive and say:

ENOUGH, DEVIL!  I’ve put this under the precious blood of Christ – and you need to quit putting it back in my mind.  Go sit on a tack and leave me alone!

We can do that, you know.  There is a reference in the book of Luke, but also one in Matthew where Christ is talking to Peter:

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  – Matthew 16:23

As earnest as Peter was trying to be, Christ knew that he was going to betray Him!  He knew that the devil was being a stumbling block to Him.  In this same way, we are to hold thoughts captive and hand them to God – let them go, saying,

“Get thee behind me, satan, in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior.”

It’s okay to call him on the bad thoughts he dumps in your mind.

Then invite the light of Christ in to your mind.  Sing songs of praise to Him and pray with a smile on your face!  Make your day all about Him!

Ask Him for a fresh start – each and every day!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard the expression, “Garbage in, garbage out” – ???  Well…  there’s a flip side to that expression that is much more positive.  How about “God’s love in, God’s love out” – ???  If we study God’s Word and think on His precepts…  what will shine forth from our lives?  It doesn’t get better than that, does it?  When we focus on His love – we will SHINE!

Everything in life begins with a thought – good or bad.  Again with the choices, right?  God gives us free will – it’s what He wants for us – and it makes Him so sad if we choose to think bad thoughts, scary thoughts, or live a stressful, worry-filled life.  The Lord wants us to live an abundant life – and lean fully on Him.  God’s so much wiser and bigger than we are – and He knows our thoughts – and He knows that every action we take begins with a single thought.

Choose to think on His goodness, His grace, His mercy and His wonderful love.  These things are praiseworthy – and God is worthy of our praise.  Virtue…  good report…  pure…  lovely… think on these things.

There’s one other thought I want to share about thoughts…  God can read them – but the enemy of your soul cannot.  Since the devil can’t read your thoughts, it’s a good idea to not verbally express some of your thoughts.  Once you speak your thoughts out into the air where satan can hear them…  he can use them against you.  Just one last thought about thoughts.  If you have a thought that you don’t want satan to hear…  take it captive and start praying!  Ask God to turn that thought around – He can help you turn it into something positive and praiseworthy!  Satan can’t work with anything positive that comes out of your mouth.

I like this song – it really grows on you!  When you sing the words of Scripture, it makes it easier to memorize.  🙂

WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAY

TL 5-31 WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAYFinally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.  – Philippians 4:8

THINK ABOUT JESUS

In case you think that positive thinking is a new thing…  take a look at this Scripture in Philippians, written so long ago by the Apostle Paul!  We’re encouraged to think on the following:

  • THINGS THAT ARE TRUE.  There isn’t much truth to be found in the world today, is there?  If you follow politics at all, you know how often the subject of dishonesty and crookedness comes up.  Sadly, we know more about what truth does NOT look like than what it does look like.  What is true – what do we need to think about and focus our attention on?  Glad you asked.  The same Bible written so long ago is the inspired Word of God Himself.  It is what we trust without question.  We make decisions after consulting it and praying to our God through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the only One we can depend on completely.  A true thought is one that aligns with God’s laws and ways.
  • THINGS THAT ARE HONORABLE.  Honor is not a word we hear much anymore.  Do people in our world today know what it means?  It is a thought worthy of reputation; a thought that deserves respect or esteem. An honorable thought is what is right while transacting business, but it embraces also much more, and means that the Christian is to show respect to all the venerable and proper customs of society, when they did not violate conscience or interfere with the law of God.
  • THINGS THAT ARE JUST.  A just thought is one that “squares” with God, with your neighbor and with yourself.  It agrees with God’s justice and His righteousness.  It’s not judging, for only God is a judge for humanity – rather it is a thought that never gives up and holds out hope for everyone, for we know that’s what Jesus does.  He wants everyone to come to Him for saving grace.  Whosoever surely meaneth me…  and anyone else who will come to Christ for salvation.
  • THINGS THAT ARE PURE.  A pure thought refers to the state of mind and behavior of the body.  We need God’s help to achieve all of these, but in our day and age, to have pure thoughts is not possible without God’s Holy Spirit.  The moral standards these days do not lend themselves to chastity, but that does not mean that God accepts less than His best from us.  God gave you one mind and one body.  He wants HIS best for you.  He does not want you to settle for anything less.  He wants to help you develop pure thoughts and pray for the right relationship in His perfect time.
  • THINGS THAT ARE LOVELY.  A lovely thought is productive and positive in its intention.  It’s born of a good clean way of living and proper code of conduct.  It has to do with a temperament check that God’s Holy Spirit is happy to perform on His children if they ask Him to.  Think of it this way…  if we are children of a patient, loving Heavenly Father, how does it look to others if we are sour, crabby or irritable?  How confusing that must be to them!  It’s not helpful and does not reflect well on Christianity to find fault with everything, is it?  Keep your temper in check – better yet, ask God’s Holy Spirit to “check” it.  He will.
  • THINGS THAT ARE OF GOOD REPORT.  If you got a bad report card, would you show it to all your friends and family?  Of course you wouldn’t!  You’d possibly want to hide it from everyone.  But thoughts that are of good report are ones that you are anxious to share with others because they are ones that are beneficial for your fellow-man.  I’m sure we can all think of charitable institutions that are highly regarded and of excellent reputation.  These began with a thought of good report!  These thoughts are born of a sense of not only charity, but of courtesy, kindness, and respect.

Paul knew he couldn’t possibly hit on every single sort of thought a Christian should have, so he added that if any thought holds virtue or is worthy of praise – think on these things.

Negativity equals negative thinking – and that keeps Christians in neutral.  If we ask God’s Holy Spirit to help us, He will help our thinking be so much more positive – which equals productivity – and that keeps Christians pedaling forward, praising God along the way and being the positive influence on the world that God intended us to be!

The best part of all this is, if we ever feel as though we’re falling short of God’s best thoughts (and we all have fallen short) all we have to do is ask God, through Jesus, to forgive us and put us back on track.  He is so faithful to do that for us because He loves us so much!  🙂

 

NATIONAL DOODLE DAY

TL 2-5 NATIONAL DOODLE DAYWhat a fun way to support a great cause!  Research on epilepsy is not cheap – no research is…  but I hope you will go to this link today and read more about NATIONAL DOODLE DAY!!!

http://doodle-day.epilepsy.org.uk/

Do you doodle???  I do!  Did you know that what people doodle and where on the page they doodle it can tell you what they’re like and where their special talents lie?

I draw stars all over my paper during board (bored) meetings.  I begin at the top of the page and work my way down the page – my stars are small and in a perfect row.  I also color in the letters on the page – I have no idea what that means.  :-/

Stars: Stars are often drawn by ambitious people. Lots of little stars indicate optimism. If you’ve drawn one big, bold, embellished star, you’ve got a definite goal in your sights.

I try to see the good, the positive side of things.  I draw lots of little stars.  I’m optimistic – yay!

My husband draws boxes – and I’m impressed because they’re so detailed in nature!  They are 3-D and shadowed in the right places.  What does that mean?

Boxes: A cube or box indicates you’re likely to be a very efficient, analytical person who can deal with difficult situations with  little fuss.

That describes him to a tee.  He is not in any way spontaneous, but has to think everything through and weigh it before taking action.  He does deal with difficult situations with little fuss.

Other popular doodles include:

Faces:  If the face is attractive, the person drawing it is probably in a good mood and feeling well.  If the face is ugly or distorted, the person drawing it is probably frustrated or upset in some way.

Flowers:  Drawn flowers are a sign of someone with a sunny, happy personality who likes to look on the bright side. That is, as long as the flowers aren’t wilted!

Letters:  Big block letters mean that the person drawing wants to be the center of attention.

Eggs:  This may indicate that the person drawing has a need to settle down, or “nest”.

While what you draw is telling, did you know that where on the paper you draw it says something too?

If you doodle on the TOP of a page, it indicates that you are always in control, confident, assertive and strong-minded.

If you doodle in the CENTER of a page, it indicates that you enjoy being the center of attention and are extroverted.

If you doodle on the RIGHT SIDE of the page, it indicates a longing to travel in order to escape a current relationship or situation.

If you doodle on the LEFT SIDE of the page, it indicates that you are one to dwell on the past and what may have been.2-5 MY DOODLE BUG

So…  now we know more than we did yesterday, eh???  Enjoy doodling today and visit the link!  🙂

 

#PRAYFORPARIS

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This will be a short post, but I want to express my deep personal sorrow to the victim’s families in Paris.  They are indeed in my thoughts and prayers.

How ironic that on WORLD KINDNESS DAY this tragedy should take place.  It is both sad and sickening.  This is a rare moment when I am at a loss for words.

Let’s keep Paris and the entire world, for that matter, in our prayers.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I didn’t used to have to poke my finger every morning to test my blood.

When did I start having to make noises while getting up from a chair?

For the life of me I can’t remember why I came in this room.

I don’t remember my knees hurting before as I walked up the stairs.

Hugs didn’t used to hurt – but with fibromyalgia, they really do.

Acne and wrinkles at the same time…  now that’s just unfair!

There are more silver threads among the gold these days.

The weight I’ve gained these past few years just doesn’t want to go away.

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When [my old films are on TV]… I slide slowly under the table in embarrassment.  I cringe at having these huge heads of hair, big sideburns, and wearing some terrible bell-bottom pants.  – Clint Eastwood

Mr. Eastwood – be proud of your accomplishments.  Your movies have entertained us for decades and we all have photos we’d rather not display.  For most of us, the hairstyles of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s are not cool by today’s standards, but hey – back then all the girls wanted to look like Farrah and the guys – um…  well, I’m not sure what they wanted [I mean hairstyle…  lol] but those were good days – and your movies are timeless.

Back in the day, certain shirts, jeans, jackets – made me feel so cool and turned the darkest of days into great days!  There was a local clothing store called CRICKET ALLEY and when I close my eyes I can still see the shop and smell the incense burning!

I bought the coolest satin jacket there – it was a beautiful shade of blue with white trim.  I wore that thing everywhere – with a white tee and bell bottom jeans.  A lot of kids could wear the really big bell bottoms – but I was so short – I would have looked like some sort of freaky flying saucer if I wore them.

We wore patches on our jeans – my jeans were always brand new and never had holes in them – but I sewed patches on them – LOL.  I remember one of the patches my mom got for me – it had Smokey the Bear on it – and my poor mom misread one of the words.

It’s funny because my mom never swore – I mean if she said doggone it – you knew she meant business.  When she got the patch home and let my dad read it – he said there’s no way it was going on my jeans.  Mom was confused until dad pointed out the word that she was mistaking for another word.

By today’s standards, it’s not a big deal at all – but back then – it really was.

Smokey the Bear was saying…

HELL, DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO!

My poor mom thought it said WELL.

LOL – she spent a few hours working on that patch – making the H into a W.  It’s a funny memory – my mom, the sewing machine, the patch and a lot of red thread.

I got to wear it – for a good long while.  It was on the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans.

We also put patches on Army jackets – we had an Army Surplus store in our city where we’d go get the jackets – we wore them over tee shirts with jeans.

It was a simple time.  I don’t apologize or cringe with embarrassment because I was in great health then, I didn’t make weird noises like I do now.  I had blonde hair – natural blonde – untreated hair and lots of it.  I could hug without hurting and even though we had issues in the government like Watergate – it still seemed like a better time.

At least there were consequences for actions in Washington back then.  There are not even attempts to prosecute crimes in the government now.  There’s a scandal almost every day – and while that gives some news organizations a lot to talk about, there are no punishments for wrongdoing – and I’m scratching my head wondering why?  Isn’t anyone else scratching their head wondering why???

I miss the days when right was right and wrong – was punished.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

HIS EYES

All I ever wanted since I arrived here on earth was the same things I needed as a baby; to go from cold to warm, lonely to held, the vessel to the giver, empty to full.  – Anne Lamott

If you could trade places with one person for one year, who would it be?  Maybe it would be your best friend because in your mind he / she has a better life.  Maybe it’s someone you admire and aspire to be like.  It could be someone famous who has seemingly succeeded in life.  Maybe it’s someone in your family, or your spouse.  If I could be my spouse for a year, I’d have a new appreciation for him – having to live with the likes of me.  LOL!

Do blondes have more fun?  Maybe you’d like to be a blonde for a year and find out.  Are brunettes taken more seriously and rise up the corporate ladder more quickly?  Be a brunette for a year and find out.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be autistic or dyslexic?  Be someone who has those challenges for a year.  As a dyslexic, let me tell you, a year is plenty of time to realize the frustrations.

Are you a boss with employees?  Maybe you’d like to be one of your employees to see just how good a boss you are.  Maybe as an employee, you’d like to be the boss for a year and find out how tough it is to be in charge.

PRAYER ABOUT USING GIFTS

Would you like to be someone rich and have money to help those in need?  Would you like to be one in need so that you appreciate little things after the year is over?  Would you like to be a great evangelist like Billy Graham?

We all have people we look up to and want to pattern our lives after.  I used to wish I could be a better musician.  I didn’t have a particular person in mind, but I knew I wanted to play the piano better than I did.

The stupidest argument to have with somebody is when you tell them what to like.  How can somebody argue with you about what you like?  “Hot sauce?”  Hey, it’s my mouth.  – Andre’ Benjamin

There are very few people who have not wished that they could be someone else at one time or the other.  We are all unique individuals with gifts and talents from our Creator.  Bottom line:  I don’t like hot sauce, but I have absolutely no problem with you eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want to.

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God loves you because you are YOU!

When we get to the point where we like being who we are and accept others for who they are, we begin to find that happy place on the planet.  We snuggle in and start to get comfortable in our own skin and in our own mind.  God loves you because you are – you!  😀