A SUMMER OF PSALMS

America is about to celebrate another birthday!  Time and again throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is strong and we are not.  We are constantly urged to lean on Him, not only when we feel weak, but at all times.  Our Lord is not to be a last resort, but a first resource!  May we always turn to Him first instead of waiting for a situation to reach a breaking point or a crisis level.

Sometimes we think we’re just pluggin’ right along on our own, don’t we?  It seems like we have a pretty good handle on everything – but then WHAM!  Life has a way of turning very quickly.

We’re told to glory in the Lord and rejoice as we seek Him!  If you are doing that, then you won’t be stressed out about how to deal with this problem or that one.  You’re trusting in God because you know that He will work your problems out for you.  I know that God’s solution will be much more creative than any idea you would come up with.

This seeking must never cease–the more we know the more we must seek to know.  – C.H. Spurgeon

It seems as though we’re to pray without ceasing and seek without ceasing, doesn’t it?  Actually, the two go together.  You can’t really be in constant communication with the Lord without a desire to know Him.  I just want everything that God has for me.  If He wants me to have something, I want it too.

Here in Kansas, we’ve prayed for rain!  It’s been so hot and dry all summer.  Our prayers were answered last night.  My friend John caught some footage of the beautiful rainbow that followed the stormy weather.

Isn’t God good???  He still promises not to flood the earth ever again – and has kept that promise for a very long time!  He’s good to His people.  May we seek His presence continually!  May we bless Him at all times!

A wise teacher once told me that we make time for the ones we care most for.  How can we claim to belong to God and want Him to be the Lord of our lives and not carve out any time for Him?  For some reason, we just put God on a little shelf and tell Him to sit there while we go off to do other things.  I guess those other things mean more to us than our Heavenly Father does.

We need to hear His voice in ways He tries to communicate with us.

He is there with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.

God will be the Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all.  There is no gray area.  It’s an all or nothing choice.  Bless God, America!  🙂

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

The goal of John’s ministry was to urge folks to turn from their sins and accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.  He preached baptism – the washing away of sin with water.  He emphasized the importance of complete repentance of sins.  The baptism with water is just the outward sign of an inward work and the renewal of the heart.  The inward work, of course, is done by the Lord and not through anything we do.  That is not to say our good deeds do not count or matter – they most definitely do – but in God’s eyes, it’s WHY we do those good deeds that matter most.  Our heart’s intentions are important.  Motive.  It’s about our motive.  What motivates us?  If we are in love with the Lord – His love for us and our desire to share His love through good deeds will surely be our motivation.

If we are not really holy in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and His church is meaningless.  You can fool people, but you can’t fool God.  If we are to plant seeds of kindness and compassion, we must determine to meet some needs that other people have.  The two go hand in hand – it just makes sense.

A wise pastor once said, “If you don’t meet a person’s immediate need, you have absolutely no business trying to plant a gospel seed.”  We have to feed, clothe, cry with, listen to – before we can even think about introducing the wonderful good news – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you have nothing to give, you can say prayers for those in need.  Remember, God sees your heart, your motive, and intentions.

Kindness really does count.  It matters what we share and that we care.  🙂

 

 

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

tl-12-25-the-little-drummer-boy

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY

TL 9-19 RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAYRespect For The Aged Day is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens.  The holiday recognizes the contributions that elderly citizens have made to Japanese society.

I wonder how much America could learn from this tradition?  In this country it seems that our elderly are not honored, but tossed aside or institutionalized where they become someone else’s problem.  It’s so sad because our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer.  They’d be more than happy to share with us if we’d just ask.

WEAK MEMORY, STRONG HEART

Choosing to love an elderly person, whether they are family or not, is a choice.  We can choose to be impatient and irritable with them, or kind and helpful.  You could think of it this way…  if you live long enough, you’ll eventually be elderly.  How do you want to be treated?  It goes back to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  – Ephesians 4:32

If there’s an elderly person in your life, take some time today to show respect for them.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • A phone call shows that you care.  Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Send a card that says you’re concerned about their welfare.
  • Ask questions about how things were back when they were younger.  They’ll be happy to share stories.
  • Show appreciation for any special gifts and talents they have.  Compliment the most recent project.
  • Give a little present to show love and appreciation.  It doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it’ll do so much good.
  • Plan a special outing if possible.  There’s nothing quite like an occasion to look forward to – and dress up for.  It doesn’t have to be expensive – just a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant would be nice.
  • Offer a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store.
  • Share your precious time with someone who is more than likely lonely and may need some human contact and conversation.i-must-take-time

We all just want to be respected, don’t we?  We would like to have our efforts and our contributions appreciated once in a while.  How much more would we like all that if we were older and possibly all alone?  As we age, we need even more help, but we also need common courtesy from others and wouldn’t it be great to get some respect?

Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield routine… I DON’T GET NO RESPECT – ???  Well, it’s funny as a bit, but it’s really not very funny when you don’t get respect in real life.  :-/

 

MATTHEW 6:21 ON 6/21

TL 6-21 MATTHEW 6-21 ON 6-21

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.  🙂

 

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!  🙂

 

NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

TL 1-9 NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

1-9 STUCK BY STATIC

Click image to enlarge

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.   – Samuel Butler

It’s NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY!!!  Trust me, (the one with baby-fine blonde hair…), I’m well aware of the effects of static electricity!  At my birthday parties, my friends thought it was funny to rub a balloon on the carpet and hold it above my head – just to see my hair magically FLY…  well, what are friends for?  Positive and negative forces, huh?  Well, the positive force was making my hair stick to the balloon…  but the negative force was when I punched their arms for doing it.  Wait…  did I type that out loud???  Oops!  Well, that’s ok – I hit like a girl!

I can usually explain things after researching them – usually.  If you need a scientific explanation for static, I can’t provide that.  I read and understood for the most part, but just in case I don’t understand completely, I’ll just leave some links for you to visit – how about that?

http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/national-static-electricity-day.php

Public Domain.

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, we watched these movies in science class – and my friends and I had more fun critiquing the men’s wardrobe and horn-rimmed glasses than learning anything about science.  Fortunately, now I’m mature enough to appreciate the actual subject now – well, sort of.  😉

OK, now that we’ve taken care of the technical stuff, can we get down to the FUN stuff?  Thank you!

Shared with permission.

We do have fun with static, but can these experiments relate at all in real life?  I think we can learn a lesson from them.  You knew I’d say that, right?

If you can’t hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry.  – Terri Guillemets

Some days we feel stuck in life because of fear and worry.  These best friends always travel together.  They are used in an effort to emotionally blackmail God’s children by the enemy of the soul – Satan.  I don’t like to waste a lot of my precious time talking about him or his sneaky ways, but it’s good to know when you’re getting spiritually stuck – and where the static is coming from – or more to the point, from whom it is coming.

If I mess up and I fear doing it again, that could paralyze me.  That in itself makes me feel miserable enough, but  if I begin to worry about messing up again, I’m nearly defeated.  Do you see what I’m saying?  It’s a cycle –  a vicious, pointless, waste of time.  But, if Satan can make us waste enough time beating ourselves up, he’s keeping us from doing good for others and serving God.  That’s worth his time.

Enough about the negative – what do we do about this cycle that has the potential to defeat us?  Pray the pain, fear and worry away!  Ask God’s Holy Spirit to remind you of who you are – in HIM – not who you are compared to another pianist, or another writer, or another Sunday School teacher.  Ask Him to remind you once again who you are – in HIM?  If you do that, He will remind you that you are HIS.  You are His very special creation – not because you have certain abilities or talents – those came from HIM to begin with!  He wants you to know you are His child and He loves you.  That puts everything back in its proper perspective.

It’s just a little observation from the one with baby-fine blonde hair that is easily affected by static electricity.  If you don’t want any spiritual static to hold you back this year, pray about what makes you hurt, scared and worried.  When you do, it will leave you because your Lord is bigger than either of these.  He really is! 😀

Public Domain.

Here’s an hour of hymns…  there’s no time like the present to ask God who you are – in HIM – through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Take time to pray then enjoy the rest of the day.  ❤