A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)PUNCTUALITYIf you are to meet others and end up being the last to show up, does it make you feel bad for being late?  It seems like I am always the last one to arrive.  I don’t do it intentionally, but that’s neither here nor there.  It is a problem that I need to work on, and with God’s help I can do better.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  – Maya Angelou

I never want anyone to feel like they are not important to me.  If I leave people waiting, it’s possible that they may feel like their company is not as important to me as something else.  That is certainly not the case.  I just have a problem with time management.  Here are some things I’m going to do to make my routine as smooth as silk as I’m getting ready to leave the house:

  • I will lay all my clothing out the night before.  That way I can change purses if I need to and make decisions about what jewelry to wear.
  • It takes time to find the right lipstick to wear with the clothes you are wearing.  I’m going to start picking out make-up the night before.
  • Getting between 6-8 hours of sleep the night before makes all the difference.  If I’m suffering with symptoms of RA, I keep a PM medication on hand.
  • If I have to meet people early in the day, I’ll start taking a shower the night before.  That will shave a little time off my routine.
  • I will start leaving phone numbers by the phone.  If I realize that I won’t be there on time, having the number to call handy right away means I won’t have to spend several minutes trying to look the phone number up.

There are those who say punctuality is a great mistake, because a deal of time has to be spent in waiting for other people.  – Wit and Wisdom of Lord Tredegar Godfrey Charles Morgan

Respecting others and their time are a priority for me in 2016.  With God’s help and guidance, I can be a better friend, associate and patron.  🙂

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PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDonate to a local charity.  What a wonderful way to help out during the Christmas season.  Our local Disabled American Veteran thrift store has a shopping cart beside the front door.  It’s convenient to drop off a donation, and I try to give at Christmas time especially because so many folks do their Christmas shopping there.  Having choices is always a good thing – right?

Everyone has a particular charity they give to.  We have several local charities but there are also the more well-known ones such as The JDRF and The American Cancer Society.  There are so many needs, aren’t there?  Needs for research and unfortunately that takes a lot of money.  I can’t give to all of them, but just like everyone else, I do what I can afford to do.

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Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  It seems like every time you turn the TV on, you see an advertisement for a new charity.  I think we just have to pray and ask God to show us what to do.  Once in a while there are opportunities to volunteer with organizations.  Giving to charitable organizations does not always hit your pocketbook.  Sometimes it takes a little of your precious time.  I can’t speak for everyone, but often I have more time than money.

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Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Mary would have said NO – ???  I can’t imagine a humble servant of God doing that, but what if she would have?  Her obedience, considering her young age, tells me that she was well grounded in her faith.  When it comes to decision-making in our own lives, we’d be wise to learn to ponder things over more than we do.  Who to help and where to give – these are important decisions because not every charity is using your dollars the way you would want them to.  Get to know the charity you want to help before you give.

You may need a little nudge to donate your time to sing…  but it makes others smile.  This is what I’m talkin’ about…

https://youtu.be/wBnf0md-8Iw

Helping others is one of the greatest blessings God gives us.  When you give of yourself, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, you feel as though you are making another person’s life better.  In turn, your life gets better.  Don’t you love how God’s plan works in each of us?  Some need help – others need to help.  All needs are met.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

 

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Oh admit it…  you’ve done it – I know you have!  Okay – if I admit that I just did it, would you admit you’ve done it then???  Fine…  I’ll admit it.  It’s the middle of the month and I forgot to change both of my perpetual calendars to October!  They are still on September – both of them!

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While I’m sure the perpetual calendar police won’t be visiting my house anytime soon, it still makes me crazy to think that I’ve lived through an entire half month without the calendars being correct.  You’d think someone would remind me.  Oh – scratch that…  we’re talking about a person who does not notice when I’m only wearing one earring.

I used to think it would be so cool to have a perpetual calendar – and they are sort of nice.  I must have liked it because I bought another one – a totally different kind – for the basement.  So, now I have two of them, one upstairs and one downstairs.  You’d think I would have remembered to change one of them – at least.

The time just flies by, doesn’t it?  Maybe I’m just having a difficult time keeping up with it.  I know it sounds like I’m beating myself up over it, but I’m not.  Part of me wonders if it’d be worth changing them now – I mean, I only have another half month to go – so maybe I should just catch it up again in November and be done with it.

Where did this year go?  I just keep wondering what happened to the time…  seems like yesterday we were welcoming 2015.  Welcoming and wondering if things were going to get better or worse, but knowing that no matter what, our God would be faithful to us – and so He has!

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You know, I don’t believe we have much longer to share our faith with those who don’t know Christ as personal Lord and Savior.  My granny used to say, “I feel it in me bones” – and I guess that’s how I would describe it.  We’ve been given the signs to look for in the Bible – and I suppose I just see that prophecies are coming to pass almost daily – and very quickly!  When I heard that Russia was becoming such a key player in world events, my mind went to the portion of Scripture that talks about the BEAR coming down from the North.  I have heard that preached my whole life – that BEAR is Russia!  I believe the second coming of Christ is very near.  Look at it this way – we’re one day closer than we were yesterday.

If you disagree with me that is certainly your privilege.  It’s more of a feeling deep down in my spirit than anything, I guess.  I just believe time is a-flyin’ and time is short for those of us with a purpose for ministry.  Now…  I suppose I’d better get those calendars changed – to NOVEMBER…  then I’ll be ahead of time for a change.  LOL!!!  Wink!  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My husband and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage today!

You would think that I’d be a wellspring of wisdom and filled with great advice for those younger than me.  The fact is, we are still learning as we go along.  There are a few things I have learned through the years.  I can say without hesitation:

  1. Listen more than you speak because that’s how you learn.
  2. Adopt an attitude of serendipity every day.  Every day will not be filled with excitement and fireworks!  Embrace the quiet, boring moments and appreciate what you have – on purpose.
  3. Don’t let the enemy talk you into the notion that living your life with someone else would have been better.  It probably would not.
  4. There’s not a problem in marriage that cannot be fixed.  Pray separately and together for solutions.  God wants to help.
  5. Don’t even say the word divorce.  We decided from the get-go that we would not say the “D” word to each other.
  6. Perfection is a myth in marriage.  He’s a human being and so am I.  Imperfection is our specialty and forgiveness is the key to dealing with it.
  7. You won’t change him.  Stop thinking you can change him.  Accept whatever it is that you think you can change, because it’s not going to change.
  8. We get older.  We gain new interests and grow intellectually.  We have each other for moral support through all the changes that inevitably happen in life.
  9. No matter how difficult or time-consuming your occupation is, I guarantee that the time you need to dedicate to keeping your marriage great will take much more effort and take even more time.
  10. I don’t have to be right all the time.  I’m not always wrong either.  I admit it when I’m wrong and don’t rub it in when I’m right.
  11. There are quirky behaviors that will make your mate crazy.  If it’s your goal to make him / her crazy, keep it up.  If it’s not your goal to make your significant other crazy, work on your quirky self.
  12. If you find that you are unhappy in your marriage, don’t automatically blame the marriage.  Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled within.  Take a class or join a book club.  Expand your own horizons and find your inner shine.
  13. Marriage does not come with instructions.  It is on the job training, so cut your spouse some slack and allow for learning curves.
  14. My husband and I survived having a house built.  It’s my opinion that if a couple can come through that, they can come through just about anything.
  15. Be willing to open and sort through each other’s baggage from time to time.  We all have baggage, and when you find a person who is willing to help you work on the stuff in your bag, you have really found a great treasure in that person.
  16. Take care of yourself for your spouse.  The greatest anniversary gift you can give him / her is the gift of your good health.
  17. When you are facing challenges, try to remember some happier memories.  I grab a scrapbook at times like that to jog my memory.  The photos make me smile.
  18. Infidelity is the only deal breaker!  Nobody deserves to be cheated on.  If you want out, walk out.  Everything else is negotiable and there are always concessions being made to make the other happy.  It’s not always about me.
  19. Frustration happens.  Don’t shut each other out when it does.  Talk it out.  Hug it out.
  20. Remember the vows you took.  Make them matter, no matter what.  You will work on the things that matter most.  How much does your marriage mean to you?
  21. I learned a long time ago that we have a choice to be bitter or better.  I find that better makes me and my spouse better.  Bitterness just puts a frown on my face and creates wrinkles.  Who needs that?
  22. Please and thank you are magic words and should be used liberally in a marriage and in a family.  If you request change instead of criticize or complain you will get more promising results.
  23. Silence in a marriage is not always a bad thing.  When a couple falls silent for a few miles along the way, that’s not a sign that the marriage is not good.  There are times when my husband and I will be thinking the same thing and one of us will speak – and the other will say, “How did you know what I was just thinking about?”  I love it when that happens!
  24. Find constructive ways to fight.  Bad language and yelling accomplish nothing.  Resolve conflict with logic and wisdom.  Being childish does not earn points from your spouse.
  25. Forgive…  forgive…  and keep forgiving.  Your marriage is worth it.
  26. Apply Christian love like a Band-Aid bandage!  See your spouse as Christ sees him / her.  He / she is a soul in need of a Savior.  Instead of expecting so much, give the gift of prayer.  God is in the business of healing marriages.
  27. Be comfortable with your own company.  There are times when you will be left alone.  If you are the type of person who is not comfortable being alone, work on that.  Marriage provides companionship, but it’s important to know how to be left alone as well.
  28. Routine can become a rut.  Change it up because you do not have to fix a roast every single Sunday of the year.
  29. Money matters can tear a marriage to pieces.  Keep it fair by putting both your names on everything.  Share the checkbook and limit the number of credit cards you use.  Make sure you discuss major purchases before buying.
  30. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.  That’s the best biblical advice ever!  Talk it out and stay up all night if you have to.  No slamming doors and no yelling.  Sit down and respectfully discuss it like adults.
  31. When your spouse begins to be critical, it’s never about that.  There’s usually something deeper causing the criticism.  Don’t take it personally because eventually the real issue will probably come to the surface.
  32. This house is just a house.  It’s up to the two of us to make it into a home.  The goal is not to be happily married, but to live happily ever after.  We’re not happy every single moment of every single day.  After all, this isn’t a fairytale!
  33. Sometimes there’s a split second during a disagreement when that little voice inside says, “I probably should not say that”, please, for Pete’s sake, listen to that little voice!  You can never take it back…  never.
  34. Anticipate screw ups!  It’s called life – and it happens!
  35. Keep God in the middle of your marriage.  GOD IS LOVE…  and what does any marriage need more than LOVE???
  36. Sickness, health, rich, poor…  are you in it for the long haul, no matter what?  It’s as simple as being determined to hold on and ride it out.
  37. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.  That’s not his / her job.
  38. Do something new.  We took some cooking classes together and it was so much fun.
  39. Share a joke with your spouse.  You may get a laugh or an eye roll – but you’ll probably get some response.
  40. Pray God’s blessings over your union.  Remember that He’s the One who brought you together.

Marriage is not easy, and it’s not for wimps or those who are squeamish.  It takes two people who are willing to hang in there and work at it, keeping God in the center.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

1 JOHN 3:22 ON 3/22

1 JOHN 3 22 ON 3 22

…and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.  – 1 John 3:22

You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right?  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.  Take a look at this verse.  First we are assured of the outcome, the effect – whatever we ask we receive from him.  Hey, we all like that part, don’t we?  But wait, there’s a condition attached as we read on – a cause – because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.  OH…  well, in that case…

It’s cause and effect.  You can’t ignore the cause and expect to receive the effect.  It just does not work that way.  Throughout Scripture it’s clear that we are expected to hold up our end of the bargain, so to speak.  Now I’m not saying that good works save you – it is only through the shed blood of Jesus that your sins are forgiven and your eternal salvation takes place.  We keep commandments and do what pleases God because we love Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

WHY MAKE CHANGES

Is pleasing Christ a priority in your life?  If He means everything to you, He deserves to be a priority.

I once interviewed a woman named Theresa Daytner, who owns a construction company and has six kids, including twins.  she told me that she never tells herself, “I don’t have time.”  Instead she says, “It’s not a priority.”  I could say I don’t have time to make handmade valentines for all my children’s classmates, but if you offered me $100,000, I’d do it quickly.  Since that’s not going to happen, I can acknowledge that this is a matter of priority, not time.  – Laura Vanderkam

We take the time to care for the ones we love.  We make them a priority.  Do you want to receive blessings from God?  You know what to do.  I know sometimes other activities get in the way of me having a great devotional time or prayer time.  Stuff just happens – it happens to all of us.  We can all do better.  Today is the first day to make Christ our number one priority because He has obviously made us His number one priority, right?  🙂

 

 

INCONVENIENCE YOURSELF DAY

TL 2-25 INCONVENIENCE YOURSELF DAY

I’ve had days when my ice cream cone slipped from my grasp, haven’t you?  When it seems like nothing is going right, it’s so nice when a person comes alongside to help me out.  A simple gesture of kindness goes such a long way in renewing my faith in human nature.

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

I have a friend who says she will be kind to others between the hours of 6 pm and midnight.  Of course, those are the hours that she is home from work and will not socialize or interact with any people.  I shoot her a glare of disapproval over my glasses and inevitably get a very large grin in reply.

Most of the world will not inconvenience itself to give a hand up.  That’s very sad because they miss a great blessing and the poor person needing help still needs help.  We need to be on the lookout for ways to show God’s love.  We need to be aware of our surroundings and ready to help.  We need to BE PRESENT.

BE PRESENT

Even if it inconveniences us?  Well…  yes!  YES, because although we are late getting somewhere or on our own schedule, it is God’s will that we stop to help another person.  You know, it could be an angel unaware.

 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  – Hebrews 13:2

Has it occurred to you that God may be detaining you to keep you out of harm’s way?  We see these inconveniences as hurdles when maybe we need to be thanking God for them.  Now, back to those angels.  Yes, angels come in human form and walk among us.

Listen to The Newsboys sing “Entertaining Angels” on You Tube.

Of course, an angel doesn’t really need our help, but God sends them here for us.  Think of it as an opportunity to be on your best behavior.

I understand that we have places to go and people to see and we all gauge our lives around the clock.  Today I want to challenge you to look at something other than your watch or the clock on the wall.  There is coming a time when time won’t matter – none of the things we put such importance on now will matter anymore.

The King of Kings will want to know…  Did you feed my sheep?

Was it too much of an inconvenience for you?  :-/

 

A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN DAY

TL 1-25 A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN DAY

1-25 ROOM TO BUD AND GROW

Today we celebrate the extended essay by Virginia Woolf entitled “A Room of One’s Own”, based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928.  It is considered non-fiction and a feminist publication since it advocates space, both literal and figural, for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  – Ecclesiastes 9:10

I’m sure we all agree that women have made their literary mark since the late 1920’s, early 1930’s.  We’ve come a long way, baby (and I’m not selling cigarettes either).  Even the toughest writing gig of all, journalism, has seen women break in and break through to the top.  I admire women like Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Connie Chung because when they started it was still a man’s world and they had to work so much harder to get anywhere.  They were and are such intelligent and savvy women.

When I was taking journalism courses, I remember reading articles about all 3 of these women, and wishing that I too could poke a hole in the ceiling one day.  I read all of the interviews they gave and did a lot of daydreaming about how I would be the next woman who knew the pulse of America and would eagerly show up to report about the condition of the patient.

I guess life happened and my priorities shifted.  I got married and…  well…  my dreams became a little more attainable and I took the easy way out.  But I still had a desire to write.  It’s a gnawing feeling that won’t leave me alone no matter what.  Every article I read I’d say to myself, “I could have written that better.”  Every interview I listened to, I’d say, “I would have asked this question” – or, “I would not have asked that question.”

I’m sure “Judith” would have had a very rough go of it to become everything that William became – back then.  As I say, in our time, you have to be smart and keep your wits about you, but it’s not the lack of opportunity to learn that would hold her back.  It would be her own limiting thoughts – and perhaps the fact that she keeps comparing her own talents to that of William.  She needs to focus on being the best writer she can be!

While thumbing through a magazine one afternoon at work, I spotted an advertisement that said, “Write Children’s Books”.  I tore it out and kept it in my desk for a long time.  Once in a while I’d take it out and look at it, but it took many months before I did anything about it.  I thought and prayed about what to do.  Finally one day I mailed in the application.

Within about a week I received my first assignment.  As I completed each step, something inside me was beginning to spark.  I don’t think I had enjoyed learning so much in my life.  For the first time in my life, I was learning and enjoying every minute of it.  My corrected assignments came back to me.  I made minor mistakes, but those are the ones I learned from and carried with me to the next level.

When I read the name of this special day, my mind went back to the time when I had all the time and all the space I needed to write.  I worked first shift and my husband worked third, so I had plenty of time to write.  My dad made me a special area where I could have a typewriter (no technology back then) and keep my journals and poetry within reach, as well as the class assignment I was working on.

Have you ever wondered why writers choose the subjects they do?  I wonder why Stephen King writes some of the creepy stuff he writes.  Here’s my answer:

You know, sometimes people say to me, “Why do you choose to write that creepy stuff?”  And I usually say, “What makes you think I have a choice?”  – Stephen King

Serious writers need a lot of time to write.  We need time alone to think, and we need our own space.  Today I keep everything on my laptop, but I still have the same needs I had back in the 1980’s.  Time to write and a room of my own – or at least a little nook.  Wink!  😉