A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  – 1 Corinthians 3:7

I’m the first to admit that winter is not my favorite season.  Some of my friends think it’s the bees knees, but no – not me.  I’m simply tickled to see spring peeking around the corner, although here in Kansas we had a remarkably mild winter.  I’m not complaining! 

There’s nothing like that first time in the garden in spring!  Gardening just makes one feel so close to nature and more alive somehow, doesn’t it?  This portion of Scripture is not talking about literal gardening though – it’s talking about spiritual gardening.

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Who’s doing the planting?  All of us, as God’s children, need to be scattering “seed” – that is, sharing our faith, at every given opportunity.  It seems when I hear the word WITNESSING, my knees begin to buckle – but if I’m told to share my faith – that’s really more natural and makes me more comfortable.  Just tell your story – that’s about it.  I was blind – but now I see.  That is scattering seed.  It’s not complicated – but so often we make it so.

Once seed is planted…  who waters them?  Well, God sends the right people along to do that.  It could be any of us, really.  Again, watering seed is like sowing it – you just keep sharing your faith and be there to answer questions, read Scripture, and pray with folks.  Sometimes you share and get a door slammed in your face.  That’s okay because you did what you’re supposed to do.  If someone’s not ready, you’ve still planted a seed.  I might add, this is a big reason we should do our best to avoid being a stumbling block to those who are still on the fence.  We have to be so careful – we don’t want anything we say or do to be the reason someone does not come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.  I don’t have to remind you what God said about those who are stumbling blocks, do I?  No – that’s for another blog post.grow

Do we make the seeds grow?  NO WAY!  I can’t save anyone – this blog can’t save anyone.  Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ…  that can save everyone!!!  I pray it does.  How different our interactions with one another would be if we were all more kind, gracious, and sweet.  It would be so beautiful if every seed would flourish.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

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I went to the doctor yesterday to have my HA1c checked.  Three months ago it was 6.2.  This time it was 6.3 – and I was disappointed because I thought it would be lower.  While 6.3 is not bad, it means that it crept up in the past 3 months and I guess it scares me a bit.  Then my doctor reminded me that she cut out my insulin completely and cut my dose of Metformin in half.  I started to perk up some when she said that.  I’m starting to maintain a normal HA1c with no insulin and less oral meds.  Well alrighty then!  My hope returned at that point!

The doctor asked if I wanted a flu shot and I told her I did.  Those things sting like a son of a gun, but the flu is tons worse!  One of the MA’s took me to the procedure room.  She told me to hang my arm loose at my side because that would make the shot hurt less.  I did and got the shot.  It was fine.

The doctor said I needed my ears washed.  Well…  I balk at that procedure!  I had so many inner ear infections when I was a kid – always after going swimming it seemed.  I hate water in my ears!  I am such a baby while they’re trying to work – I literally shake.  I know that makes their job more difficult and I apologize – but it just feels so horrible to have water in my ears…  I think it always will.

So she put this long blue stick looking thing in my ear to scrape some wax off the sides.  She told me I have the smallest ear canals she’d ever seen.  I didn’t know whether to apologize or say thanks.  Then I felt a poke in my ear and flinched.  She seemed to be blaming me for it – she said, “When you flinched, your ear started bleeding.”  I’m like…  “OH great – please don’t burst my ear drum – I’m a musician – I need to be able to hear!”  I didn’t say it but boy I was sure thinkin’ it.  If she had not poked something and made it hurt, I probably would not have flinched – actually.

I ask you…  what on earth is the difference between her poking a little blue stick in my ear – and me poking a Q-tip in it???  They tell people not to do that, but HEY – at least there’s cotton cushy stuff on the ends of those!  I just don’t understand so many things.  I was angry and my ear hurt.  I was so done with this appointment – just finished.  This turkey was close to being cooked!

Oh but we were not finished…  no – wanted to be, but no, not done.

They needed some blood – oh joy oh rapture!  How bad could that be?  A poke – they get their blood and I get to go home, right?  Yeah…  no.

Apparently their problem with getting blood was also my fault – because I was apparently supposed to drink a gallon or two of water before the blood draw.  Well, it’s duly noted in my brain with indelible ink now…  because they poked my arm at my elbow and got nothing.  They poked the back of both my hands and got…  nothing.  They poked…  oh I don’t even remember where they poked – the point is…  if you try a few times and come up empty – you schedule the draw for another day – when I can get myself all nice and hydrated – you don’t keep poking the pin cushion!

I finally spoke up – I had been as kind and apologetic as I could be.  I apologized for my hair getting in the way of their squirt gun when she was cleaning out my ears.  I apologized for being dehydrated.  I apologized for wearing the wrong color of blush with my lipstick…  for Pete’s Sake – I’m sorry already!

I said, “Why don’t you guys get the doc to sign an order for me to go over to Lab Corp to get blood drawn…  that way you don’t have to keep trying.  And on the way over there I’ll stop at the store and get a few bottles of water and drink them.”

It was as if I’d just let the COMMON SENSE GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE…  she looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea!  You may just be going over to Lab Corp!”  You don’t really wanna know what thoughts were going through my mind then…  they weren’t nice.

My frame of mind was not in a good place.  The worst Monday of my work life was never this bad.  I worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for 20 years and never have I experienced such horrific treatment.  Once when she couldn’t hit a vein, I got an earful (yes, I could hear) of obscenities.  I don’t call people on that stuff, but I consider it to be quite unprofessional.  If anyone should be cussing – hello, I’m the one feeling it.

I waited and waited.  She had to wait for the doctor to finish with another patient…  I had all day, but they didn’t know that.  But – I figure it’s better to wait for the doc to sign the order than to have Laurel & Hardy poking me with a butterfly needle all day long!

My appointment was at 9:15.  I left there at 11:25.  I was angry, hungry, shaking because I was probably having a low – or it could have been anger…  and I was trying not to cry in front of any of the folks at the doctor’s office.  When I finally got to my car…

I bawled and cried and yelled and screamed and hit my steering wheel.  I asked God WHY OF ALL THINGS HE MADE MY VEINS SO TINY, MY EAR CANALS SO TINY AND WHY I HAD TO BE A STUPID DIABETIC AND HAVE MORE PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF IT – AND WHY DO I HAVE TO GET MY BLOOD DRAWN EVERY 3 MONTHS???

Miracle #1 – I looked at the appointment card in my hand.  My next appointment isn’t until April of ’17.  It’s not scheduled for 3 months out – but for 6 months out!

I was taken aback…  and a sudden glimmer of hope came over me.  My doctor thinks I’m on a good track and trusts me to stay on it for the next 6 months!!!  This is a good thing, right???

As I drove to Lab Corp, it dawned on me that God was helping me with diet, exercise and that was in turn going to make my HA1c better.  I’m going to be okay.

My make-up was a bit messed up, but I was composed mentally as I went in to Lab Corp.  I signed all their paperwork and had no idea that God had another miracle waiting for me.

Miracle #2 – I don’t know her name and I doubt that she remembered mine, but for about five minutes in a little lab cubicle, we had CHURCH together!  She asked how many sticks they tried at the doctor’s office.  I showed her the different places and she said, “Well honey, I don’t know if I’ll get blood either but we’re just going to praise Jesus anyhow…  just praise Jesus anyhow!”

I felt a calm come over me…  a calm that I so desperately needed to feel.  It was the presence of the Lord – His Holy Spirit had been invited into our presence – and He was so welcome in that place.  She prayed for me and asked God to guide her as she worked.  There was no hesitation about it – she prayed and God heard and God answered.

She got blood with one stick…  coincidence???  I think not.

If you belong to God and you draw blood for a living…  please don’t be ashamed of your faith in the workplace.  You never know when someone like me is feeling like they’re on the brink of crazy town and may just need a phlebotomist to pray for and with her – and pray that God will guide that needle into the vein it needs to go in.  Jus’ sayin’.

When I got to the car – I cried again.  I didn’t hit the steering wheel…  I lifted my hands and let God know that I understood why I needed to go to the lab.  I needed to have church – real church.  No fancy pews, no stained glass windows.  It was a Friday at work for her and a stubborn vein day for me – but it turned out to be so much more.  Praise You, Jesus, and thank You!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Father, we yearn for the satisfaction that only You can give. Help us discard the things that leave us empty and thirsting, and exchange them for the satisfaction of the living water You offer.  – Bobby Fulks

thirst

Been prayin’ for a shower???

Have you felt thirsty lately?  You take more time to workout at the gym.  Nope, that isn’t what you needed.  You take more time to relax and watch television.  Huh…  nope, that didn’t help either.  You are just thirsty and something is missing.  Then you decide that it’s time to take a little road trip – surely that will do the trick.  You know what?  Your thirst is still not quenched.  Now you’re beginning to get a little ticked off – and frustrated.

You sit quietly in your living room, wondering what it’s going to take to fill that longing inside.  You try some of that flavored carbonated water they sell at Walmart for 68 cents a bottle.  Nope…  that’s not the kind of water that will satisfy the kind of need you have.  You walk into your study – and there you see your old friends – your Bible and favorite devotional book.  It dawns on you that you’ve got the bookmark stuck on the page that says April 16th.  Well…  it’s not April 17th today, is it?  You haven’t opened the book or your Bible for a while.

It’s a special kind of water you need…  God’s LIVING WATER.  His special water – filtered through the Holy Ghost filter with letters in red spoken by Christ Jesus Himself.

thirstyDid you read the last stanza???  DON’T IGNORE YOUR SOUL, WATER IT AND SEE.  What good advice.  We run toward all sorts of things we can see with our eyes, convinced that those are the things that will satisfy.  Maybe those things make us happy for a short while, but the happiness is short-lived and the feeling of longing for something better is back.

Hey – I’m not perfect – far from it.  You know where I got that example about the devotional having a bookmark placed in it on the April page?  I got that example from personal experience!  Life gets busy for all of us.  There is a lot of competition for our attention, isn’t there?  We have games to go to and jobs we have to do.  We have kids that need things – and grandkids that need to be spoiled.  The list is endless – but our souls do thirst if we don’t make it a priority – a matter of our WILL to set aside time to study God’s Word and commit it to our hearts and minds.taking-the-plunge

The truth is, we will be lied to in this world – by people we never thought would lie.  The only reliable place to find counsel is not social media (oh…  gag!)  It’s found in God’s Holy Word – your Bible is where you can go for counsel and honesty.  You will be filled with God’s peace and joy.  You will know His principles and gain wisdom for practical application in your everyday life.  🙂

IT’S FINALLY SUMMER

TL 6-20 FINALLY SUMMER

What does summer mean to you?  There are obvious changes – like we can turn the thermostat from heat to cool, all of our comfy comforters come off the recliners and go back into the cedar chest, the sun shines so much later than it did before, and hopefully here in Kansas we are finished with rain every day!

It’s beautiful weather for traveling, so everyone is saving their pennies for vacation.  I enjoy cruising around town in my little cobalt because it has a sunroof – and when that’s open and the windows are down, it’s an amazing feeling to just let the warm wind blow as I drive!

Some people live at the swimming pool or the lake, or maybe the beach.  I’ve still not been to a beach – but it’s definitely on the bucket list – I haven’t scratched it off – and won’t.

Yesterday we went to a fun craft show held in Wilson Park in Ark City, KS.  We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a pretty day, and after the rain it wasn’t too hot, although it was a bit humid.  There are some interesting craft ideas these days.  I really stopped buying craft stuff in the 1980’s when country crafts were popular.GOD ON A HARLEY

Will you ride your Harley this summer?  If you do, wear a helmet – stay safe.

Whatever you have planned for the summer months, above all else, stay cool and hydrated.  It’s important to not get overheated or dehydrated.  There are two common types of heat-related illnesses – heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion happens after sun exposure or not being properly hydrated while outdoors.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.  If not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is more serious because body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Please take care of yourself – and be aware of others.  If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive.  Without medical attention, permanent disability or possibly death can occur.

Have a fun (and safe) summer!  🙂

 

FLIP-FLOP DAY

TL 6-17 FLIP FLOP DAY

HAPPY FEELIN' FEET

This won’t be a long post because frankly, YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!  Today is the day to show off that great pedicure with your favorite flip flops!  Summer doesn’t begin officially until the 21st, but wearing your flip-flops lets everyone know you are ready and waiting for hot weather and cool pools.

Go to the beach and stick your toes in the sand…  sounds great, doesn’t it?  At the very least we need to get away from all the horrific events that have taken place in recent days.  Run away from the television, radio, computer and any other media source.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m so sick of hearing about politics in this election year – as well as shootings and other sad situations reported in the news lately. 

Get out of the house – and get away today!  I know that people my age used to call these thongs, but trust me…  don’t do that – thong is wrong, wrong, wrong.  They’re flip-flops and we won’t discuss thongs here.  Um…  no.  😉

 

 

NATIONAL FROG MONTH

TL APRIL IS NATIONAL FROG MONTHAccording to fairy tales, these rather slimy creatures turn into a prince when you kiss them…  um…  I don’t know that to be a fact, but I do know that they sing out loud and strong after it rains here in Wichita!  Sometimes we refer to a heavy rain here in Kansas as a toad strangler…  but it doesn’t really hurt the frogs.  They still croak in sweet harmony when the rain is over.YOU MATTERIt’s so easy to take the sounds of nature for granted.  We hear the frogs croak, the birds chirp and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees – but do we stop to thank God for any of it?  I admit I don’t always…  but once in a while I sit outside and just take it all in, and I have to close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks to God – I thank Him for my sense of hearing and for the familiar sounds that let me know that everything is okay in my world.Linda - Quote - Frog Jumping Day-screenshot

I’m so thankful that I grew up in the country…  we didn’t have a pond close by, but we had very deep ditches, and every year I got to watch the little tadpoles swimming around.  It seems like a simple childhood activity, but those are some of the happiest memories I hold dear today.children-767034_1920tadpoles-338627_1920It was really great to visit my grandparents on the farm in the spring…  the frogs and tiny tadpoles in their pond were fun to watch – and there were more of them.  sunbeam-292987_1920

I love to watch the little baby animals in the springtime, don’t you?  New life…  new experiences…  new hope!

Of course, we know the acronym for F.R.O.G. – it is FULLY RELY ON GOD!    Let’s keep that in mind today as we appreciate His creation – frogs! FULLY RELY ON GODBABIES IN THE SPRINGTIME

If you have children, make sure they get to see something other than the screen of their new phone.  Show them the babies of springtime…  show them the tadpoles swimming around in the pond.  The wonders of nature and the way God set things up – are amazing for kids of all ages!  I hope that today you will slow down and sit down outside…  close your eyes and take it all in.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It’s difficult to erase years of conditioning – but now at age 54, I’m learning an important truth:  SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.  It’s not a sin to take care of this one and only body that God gave me!  There is a difference between taking care of yourself and being completely wrapped up in your own needs while excluding others.

I think a lot of baby boomers struggle with this same issue.  We were raised in church and learned that everybody’s needs come before our own.  To a degree I guess that’s true, but I’ve finally learned that you cannot care for anyone until you care for yourself.

Winning at weight loss taught me that I have control over my looks and my life.  – Diane Gurden

I SUCCEED IN YOU

With 12 pounds gone comes less body fat and yes, more confidence, I am still not comfortable with the idea of control – I want to always be careful to give God the glory for any of my successes.  Left to my own devices, I might fail – but when I give Him the glory, I remember to lean fully on His love and power – and especially His wisdom, which hello – is better than mine!

An important lesson I’ve learned is that carbohydrates matter.  It’s not only about the grams of sugar in food – in fact, I’ve eaten more fruit lately than snack crackers.  Even though fruit has natural sugar, it is just that – natural.  It counts, of course – but carbohydrates do more damage than natural sugar.

These days I do not use the word CAN’T.  I never say I can’t eat (fill in the blank).  I either say I don’t want it (if I think the nutritional price is too high) or I may eat that later – (and then don’t.)  Sometimes I have to psych myself into thinking I’ll revisit a food – and make myself get involved in something else to take my mind off of it.  I celebrate small victories, like when I manage to pass on a high-carbohydrate snack.

I’ve learned the importance of hydration and the early to bed advantage!  Drinking enough water helps diabetes stay in check.  For years I did not recognize the signs of dehydration, but now I know if I feel dizzy or weak – I probably need some water.  The way to combat those late night cravings is to go to bed early – then it’s easier to get up earlier and get my workout finished first thing – what’s the second thing?  COFFEE…  of course!  🙂