A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15 & 16

Have you ever noticed when someone is asked to give a testimony, they break out in a cold sweat?  Actually, I’m describing my dad – he had a very humble and private walk with the Lord.  He didn’t make a big deal out of it, and he never wanted to testify.  If he was put on the spot, beads of sweat formed on his forehead, not because he didn’t have a story, but because he didn’t like to speak in public.

I think it’s funny now, looking back…  my parents had me in front of the congregation playing the piano before I was in junior high school.  Would either of them done anything on the platform?  I doubt it – but there I was – and there I’d stay for several years.  I’m glad they pushed me though, because the experience I gained at a young age taught me many valuable lessons.  From my unique vantage point, I got to see a few things.  I remember thinking, “I want to be like that person” – or…  “I don’t want to have an attitude like that person.”  We all do that in our youth, but doing it while seated at the piano in choir practice was special somehow.

We are to have a story and be ready to share it when it’s time.  Have you ever heard someone testify and seem to be almost angry that others are not coming to the Lord and repenting of sin as they think they should?  Sometimes your testimony is less about the actual words you say, and more about the attitude behind the words you’re saying.

A gentle quiet spirit that exudes thanksgiving and gratitude makes a much better impression than beating your hand on the pulpit and screaming.  Nobody ever scared anybody to the Lord – well, except the movie A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.  I think the whole youth group went forward and confessed every little sin after that movie was over – even putting chewing gum under the pew.  No, I didn’t do that…  but I found some once.  Eeeewwww.  It was a pew in the back of the church – it didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out who did it.

Every one of us has a different vantage point in our walk with Christ.  We see things from different places.  I sat at the piano and watched as a tween – maybe you sat in the choir and observed – or in the back row.  Sometimes I wished I could have been a normal kid and sat in the back row – I envied them a little bit.  The point is, we all have a story of our walk – past and present.  The walk I have with Christ is so much deeper and richer today than it was when I was saved at thirteen.   That’s what the world needs to hear – and that’s the truth of it.

Sometimes a testimony is painful to share.  That’s when we rely on God’s help to give us the right words to say.  As we listen, it might hurt, but we rely on God’s help to give us compassionate hearts and minds as we hear their story.  Christ reaches down to all of us when we’re in a state of disarray – and that’s putting it mildly.  We’re unsaved and without hope without Him.

I’m reminded of an Andre’ Crouch song called I’VE GOT CONFIDENCE.  With God helping us every day, we can have confidence and assurance that things will be alright no matter what the case may be – !

Don’t be afraid to share your testimony, your story, your faith.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it, spiritually speaking!  LOL – well, you know what I mean.  I’ve got CONFIDENCE…  God is gonna see me through.  🙂

 

 

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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.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  – Matthew 3:1&2

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John the Baptist had a definite purpose on this earth…  it was to proclaim that the time to repent of sin and turn to God, through His Son, Christ Jesus – is NOW!  Guess what?  Every follower of Christ has the same purpose.  We are here to share the gospel – the good news – of Jesus Christ.  It’s our reason for living and our purpose on this planet.

I have a unique way of learning Scripture and enriching my relationship with the Lord.  I grew up in a generation that was smitten with theatre – but I had a great interest in religious themed theatre…  namely, “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”.  Every time one of those shows was playing, I did my best to get tickets and take a group of friends to see it.  I love the music in both plays.  I still listen to those soundtracks in the car – and sing with them at the top of my lungs!  It makes God smile – and sometimes He laughs too.

This portion of Scripture gets me singing “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” from “Godspell.”

What can I say?  You either watch this and wonder what kind of crazy person is writing this blog…  or, like me – you see a sea of symbolism in every frame.  I cried as I watched it – because I saw people ditching their STUFF and running to the fountain.  They knew that whatever they were hanging on to would not be needed – because Christ is all they need.  One woman kicked off her shoes – I love it!

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Did you see the guy standing on the banks – on the sideline – not getting in the water?  He’s the doubter – he’s the one who is almost persuaded.  He’s the one we’re ministering to most of all.  We love to sharpen the iron of brothers and sisters – and it’s a lot of fun to do that – but we really want to encourage the ones standing at the side – watching – dry – still hanging on to their stuff, because in the world stuff is very important.  In the world it’s frowned upon to jump into fountains.  Isn’t the world boring?

Will you kick off your shoes and jump into the fountain?  Come to Christ just as you are – He cares about you – not your handbag or shoes – not your new hairstyle – none of that matters once you find Jesus.  🙂

 

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

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How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’  – Isaiah 52:7

I’m going to step out on a theological limb here (say a prayer for me, I usually play things pretty safe)…  I’m going to say that this Christmas carol is less about the birth of Christ, and more about what you and I are called to do in our day.  Yes, I know the lyrics talk about the birth of Christ in every verse, but – the refrain clearly is talking to us in the here and now – it says GO & TELL.

Refrain:
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

Go Tell It On the Mountain was compiled by John Wesley Work, Jr. and dates back to at least 1865.  He was the first African-American to collect African-American gospel songs, which was no easy task because most of it was never written, but passed by word of mouth from plantation to plantation.  If he had not continued this quest to preserve the songs, we might not have this great song today.

This African-American spiritual song has been sung and recorded by both gospel and secular artists.  Since the original lyrics celebrate the Nativity of Jesus, it is considered a Christmas carol.

So, what’s the message for us today?  As Lucinda reminds us, it is to TELL THEM.  Tell them about the real meaning of Christmas!

tell-themGO AND TELL…  tell of the light you see…  as bright as that star that shone over the manger in Bethlehem.  Tell of the peace Christ will give and the love He will give as they give Him first place in their life.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

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I’m thankful for the internet. I’ve been able to reach so many people with inspiration. Not just with selling my books via my website, but also with sharing things online. I have made some really good friends, and really good acquaintances. It’s not what I’m most thankful for but it is one of many. – Lucinda Berry Hill  www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

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Surfing the internet is a bit like driving a car.  There are streets here in Wichita that I literally avoid because they are just too rough.  I opt for a smooth ride…  call me crazy.  We all know that making wise choices on the internet just makes sense and usually keeps us out of trouble.  There are all sorts of speed bumps, and there are fake people all over the place.  On facebook alone there are people who take military photographs and use them to create false facebook accounts.  I admit, it took me a while to catch on to that, but I’m so much more careful than I used to be.  Today I decline many friend requests, especially if we have no common friends.

It’s sad and scary on the internet – but it’s also a wonderful tool for ministry!  I can post little rays of God’s love and His Word every day on pages like AMERICA, BLESS GOD and POEMS & PRAYERS FOR MY SAVIOR.  It’s such a blessing to share encouragement in groups like A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH and I’M A BASKET CASE.

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.  – Author Unknown

God gives us choices because He created human beings – not robots!  Free will…  it’s not a curse, but a gift from our Creator.  If for any reason we choose unwisely, we need to know that God will forgive and allow a U-turn.  We just have to make that U-turn and not look back!

Let’s pray for courage and wisdom to use the internet to SHINE for Christ:

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I wish you safe surfing with no creeps on your facebook account.  I wish you many friends and acquaintances along the way.  May you have wisdom from God to choose good sites and stores to visit on the world wide web.  There are good things, but please remember there are also bad things.  Please be cautious and careful as you surf.

I’ve been blessed to minister via the internet since 2012 with blogs and through facebook.  It’s a real pleasure to design and post Scriptures, poems, sayings and quotes that uplift and encourage others!  May God bless you through something on the internet today.  🙂

 

BRING YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL DAY

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http://www.bringyourbible.org/

http://www.bringyourbible.org/know-your-rights/

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  – 1 Timothy 4:12

rotating_banner_number5It’s not easy for any of us to voice our faith to someone unfamiliar with it.  It helps to say a prayer and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you.  He’s there and will make it better – you’ll be surprised.  Then be sure to thank Him for His help.  🙂

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More than 300,000 students are planning to take their copies of the Good Book with them to school on Thursday in an observance known as “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
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I believe the time is short to share our faith with others.  Are there classmates who are struggling and need to be introduced to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Maybe on this day, you will be the one to help them.
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In so many public schools, prayer’s been banned and religious freedom is under attack, but the folks at Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson have hosted the national event, Bring Your Bible to School for the past several years.  I hope you will participate and show others that you are not ashamed of the gospel – the good news!tumblr_mepvo05n0e1qk4nc3o1_500

rotating_banner_number4As believers, we can’t be impatient and hit others in the face with our faith, so to speak.  When Jesus was speaking to people, He was compassionate and patient.  Let’s face it, most of us are not big on patience (yes, I’m raising my hand high).  To be loving and patient with lost people is the nicest gift we can give them.  Notice I didn’t say we give them a “pass” from making a decision for Christ – I just said we are to be longsuffering, as our Lord is.  Is it easy sometimes?  Uh, no.  Is it worth it?  You bet.

You know the best friend of all time…  why would you not want to introduce your friend to others?  When we get to Heaven, remember – God will not ask us how many cool toys we had.  He will ask us how many people we introduced to His Son, Jesus. 😀

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It can be scary to share faith with others, but take a deep breath, say a prayer and be amazed at how God will open doors for you.image-2Isn’t this a cute little Bible?  I like those owls – they represent wisdom!  😉bringyourbiblevideoscreenshot

Plan to put your Bible in your backpack today!  Let your friends see that you are God’s kid.  🙂

 

 

ROMANS 11:29 ON 11/29

 

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For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  – Romans 11:29

There are tangible gifts that God gives us for a season – gifts that are not eternal, but temporary – we don’t understand why we have to lose these gifts / blessings, but we have to accept God’s plan and know that He will sustain us no matter what.

Paul has looked through a telescope to get a glimpse of just how big God is, and he invites us to take a look for ourselves.  The gifts in this verse are not tangible, they are special and spiritual gifts from God – His free grace, having to do with the spiritual and eternal welfare of the souls of men.  Once we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, these things are ours for eternity and will never be taken from us – they are without repentance – immutable and unalterable.  God will never revoke them or take them away from us once we’ve accepted them.  Why?  Because God never changes and He is faithful to love and care for His own at all times.  There are no degrees or shadow of distinction.  His grace stands immovable and reliable.

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Because God’s will is sovereign and He never changes – we can rest in and rely on His promises.

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How many things are reliable in this world?  Not many…  in this life people make promises and often don’t keep them. 

God’s call on your life is forever – He will never take it back.  The gifts and abilities that God gave you are yours to use for Him.

Once you walk through the door of Salvation, you belong to God for eternity.  He will never sever that relationship with you.

Walk through the door, shutting the door behind you.  Use your God-given talents and abilities to glorify your heavenly Father.  He will help you find a ministry if you ask Him.  🙂