My House is a Mess, but I Am Oiled In the Presence of My Enemies!

A beloved Psalm throughout the ages, Psalm 23 speaks of devotion from our Shepherd, peace and rest, and protection.

But do we really understand what these beautiful Words say?

And how do we meaningfully apply them to our lives?

Here is my take on these timelessly beautiful and peaceful Words. The Words in Burgandy are Scripture, with my interpretation and a little humor on how I have been applying – or NOT applying them to my life in green. 

Enjoy!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd

 (when I allow Him to be)

I shall not want. 

(even though I do want – lots of things – I will try not to want unreasonably)

He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

(even though often I don’t see them)

He leads me beside quiet waters. 

(even though I tend to stir them up)

He restores my soul;

 (time, after time, after time)

He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 

(This means He guides me when I seek Him. When I forget to seek Him, or ask for His help, more often than not, I end up on the wrong path!)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

(Sorry God, I know that not having enough money for the things I think I need, is not actually the valley of the shadow of death, nor is having shoe and boot envy! – but I get what you mean here.)

I fear no evil, for You are with me; 

(I know You are with me, God, but sometimes it’s so hard not to worry or be afraid. Bad things have happened in my life in the past, and I keep being afraid they will happen again. But I will try NOT to worry, and trust more that You know what You are doing.)

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

(Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I have had to learn, I came out better for it. I don’t like tough lessens at all – as a matter of fact, I dread them, but there is comfort in knTall Table compowing that once through the lesson I will be stronger and a better person for it.  And when I let You lead me, my reward is always greater on Your path than my own.  Yes, I have learned this.)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

(Sometimes I don’t get this one – but I know that when I’m around people I don’t know, or those I feel uncomfortable around, or a little scared of – if I just say a quick prayer to You to help me or keep me safe, I always feel reassured. I know from Your Word that You will bless me for my faithfulness and carry me through any danger.)

You have anointed my head with oil; 

(and my feet with beautiful shoes)

My cup overflows. 

(Yes, Lord, even though I like to “want,” I do realize that I have much more than many, many others. I have a non-leaking, heated and cooled roof over my head; I have a dependable car to get me where I need to go; I have ample and nutritious food in my tummy every day; and I have so much love and support in my life from family and friends – My cup does overflow!

I will be grateful!!

And during those times when the level in my cup begins to lower, yes even when it seems it will dry up – well, somehow just in the nick of time You seem to always fill it back up and then even overflow it again!

I will remember this! I will!)

Surely goodness and lovingkindness (and mercy) will follow me all the days of my life. 

(This means God will take care of me, providing for my basic needs and love me forever. This does NOT mean I will always be trouble-free, carefree, or rich! But I promise I will try to remember this and be grateful, even in the tough times.)

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Thank You, God, that I have Your house and Your presence to dwell in, because I, and my house are sometimes a mess!

Thank You God for the Words You give me – that You give to everyone, to help me – us- make it through each and every day. God, please help me remember to start each day saying “hi” to You, and asking You to walk with me that day, and to be with me, no matter what. Show me who You are in my life, God. Give me faith to believe completely in You, and that You have a pre-made plan for me, because You loved me and formed me, and consecrated me even before I was born. Please help me remember this and be faithful. And in this season of Thanksgiving, please help me see and remember how much I have to be thankful for.  I love you God – Amen ❤

Thankful Table

The Greatest Man on Earth

The Greatest Man on Earth? Would you agree?

This video touched me deeply. Convicted me.

What is the meaning of life – is it to help, to give, to share?

Will I help? Will I give? Will I share?

And more importantly, will I love?

Will You?

https://www.facebook.com/Killuminati.for.Wakeup/videos/4756511705660/?pnref=story

Take the High Road – Seriously?

Take the high road, have patience, be nice…while making airline reservations??? Ha! I don’t think so!

…Or do I???

I was making airline reservations for my mother and her 2 young foster daughters to come for a visit. Yay- finally, I get to see and spend some time with my beloved Mom!!!!!

However…yep, there’s a however 🙂  Finding flights that you can afford, for 3 people, on a limited budget, can be time consuming and oh-so-frustrating, especially when you add special requirements to the flights, right?

Well, after having spent several days researching flights, times, dates, carriers, etc., I am heartily weary and decide to just get the blasted tickets bought and the trip settled once and for all. I just wanna see my Mom! Know what I mean? So I buckle under and after much deliberation, choose an airline and begin the process of choosing exact flights…and…boom…

…bad weather moves in and keeps dropping my internet, which drops my flight search – every time. When my connection actually holds, but I take too long, the session times out and I have to start over – again! And then I discover that every time I drop or time out, the ticket prices increase! In the space of an hour, the price increases over $100 per flight! Yikes!

Well, I’ve had enough of this so I punch in the customer service numbers and call the airline. (Please, I just wanna get my Mommy here!) Of course I then have to go through an automated call system to ultimately be placed on hold for 15 more minutes before I actually get to speak to someone – someone that I have to strain really hard to understand through her very thick accent, on my very staticky cell phone! Ugghh!

Ok, so my patience is wearing thin, but I am determined – I just want to get my Mommy HERE! The nice lady is very helpful, and books the coveted flights, even though at first she wants to charge me an additional $55 to reserve specific seats for my mother, and for each of her 2 foster daughters– that’s $55 EACH person, EACH WAY! That’s $330 in addition to the ticket prices, and does NOT include any luggage, not even carry on. We simply cannot do it!

However, after almost an hour on the phone and great explanation, I am finally able to get 3 seats in the “handicapped” bulkhead section for Mom and 2 children, at no extra cost. Yay! Finally! My Mommy is coming to see me!!!! Oh yippee yay!! I can’t wait!

Then… much to our heartache and disappointment, that night we find out that one of our beloved foster daughters will be going back to her estranged family the next day. Which means she won’t be coming to see me 😦 So, I get online to cancel her ticket. Well, I can’t find the reservation on their website. Their confirmation email shows they have misspelled my mother’s name. Ugh! So I go through the automated calling process again, this time I hold for over 15 minutes before I get a live person, who also has a super thick accent that I can hardly understand. I spend another hour on the phone with this not very friendly guy only to find out that the seats I thought were reserved on my last call were actually NOT reserved and are no longer available. And he insists that the only way I can get bulkhead seats now is to pay the $55 each person, each leg of the trip. Period. Which I cannot afford. But he says he corrected my Mom’s name on her ticket and tells me if I don’t want to pay for the seats, I have until 9:30 tomorrow morning to cancel all flights without penalty, and that is my only option. Seriously? But I just want to get my Mommy HERE!

So I am super upset and panicking at this point. I spend 2 more hours online researching flights – I just want to get my Mommy here, but no way do I want to stay with this unhelpful airline. No luck finding anything cheaper though, and I go to bed exhausted and discouraged.

     Next morning I resume the search. After 2 more unsuccessful hours, I decide to go ahead and cancel Mom’s tickets before the penalty deadline and take a break to calm my nerves. I will resume the search for new tickets tomorrow, even if I have to pay a little more. I get online to cancel the tickets only to find out they still have Mom’s name misspelled and I can not access her itinerary without opening a new account in the misspelled name. Ugghhh! I give up and try to create a new account, but they won’t let me without using a new email address – uuuuugggghhhh!!!!! I have already used all the ones we have! So frustrating! I just wanna see my Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     So, ugghhhhhhh – unbelievably, I have to call them yet again. Of course, this means another interminable amount of time holding! By now I am so agitated, out of patience and feeling anything but hospitable and am totally afraid I’m going to bite someone’s head off! I am so upset and just want to yell at them to get their stinking act together! I don’t have time for all these ridiculous mistakes! Come on!!!!! Please, I just want to see my Mom!

Yet, in my heart, I hear that soft, peaceful whisper saying that God would like me to take the high road. Um…the high road? Um…seriously? You mean that place where patience, understanding, calm, peaceful, pleasantness – and no yelling abide?

Really God? After all this?

But…ugghhh!

I’m so frustrated and upset, God.

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. (Eph. 4:2 TLB)

Oh…yes…I remember that verse. Hmmm…and some others too.

Because of my love. Because of Your love.

Okay, God. The high road it is.

    The High Road Comp So, even though at first I don’t want to, while I am holding, I take a deep breath, swallow my pride and ask God for help. I ask Him to help me be gentle and patient, and not rude to whomever answers my call, and to be appreciative of the person’s help.

Then a man answers (whom I can easily understand!) and I patiently tell him my whole messed up story, the misinformation I was given, the reservation mixup, the wrong spelling, not being able to access online, the hours of holding and phone conversations, etc. and inform him I just want to cancel the whole itinerary because Mom can’t take that flight if they don’t have an affordable seat for her as they originally said they did. I was polite, did not raise my voice and was calm and collected and pleasant. The whole time –yes I was 🙂

And guess what – this gentleman was so nice and polite as he listened to my story, read the notes from my prior conversations, and asked me to hold while he quickly researched what his options were. He came back on the line and said no problem, that he re-assigned the special seats to Mom and young companion, at NO additional charge, and everything was good to go!!! He was so nice, and so quick! He provided exactly what I needed without charging me any more money. He even corrected Mom’s name and emailed me the confirmation while we talked to be sure it was correct, and asked me to call him back if anything was not to my expectation. He was calm, collected and very willing to make things right with me. This made all the difference to me, and I thanked him and kept the reservation. I was even smiling when I hung up the phone.

Because I took the high road.

Because I was patient, gentle, and kind.

And it feels good!

And… I get to see my Mommy

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Eph. 4:1-3)

17 Never pay back evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. 18 Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.

Romans 12:17-18 The Living Bible

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Romans 12:16-19 The Message

 

Proverbs 20 The Message

Deep Water in the Heart

20 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome—
    a staggering drunk is not much fun.

Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—
    cross them and they bite your head off.

It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
    but fools love to pick fights.

22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!”
    Wait for God; he’ll settle the score.

NLT 3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
    only fools insist on quarreling.

22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
    Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

 

 

Are You a Light Stand or a Bucket?

Revisiting the salt today to recharge – will you recharge too?

a Word with Mindy

This morning I read something that really resonated with me.  The last few months (or maybe year!) I have been sort of hiding out at home, not participating in much outside social activity, and for whatever reason, feeling pretty apathetic.  I know – doesn’t sound too smart, but how many of you feel, or have felt this way too?

            Well, if you’re in this same pit I am right now, what I read this morning was a good kick start for me today – maybe it will be for you too.  And for those of you who don’t really need a good kick start, let’s call it a nice affirmation, or inspired reminder of what life is really all about – or should be.

Salt13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.

(God-flavors: love, kindness…

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Be Strong and Courageous…

Are you strong and courageous?

Do you have within you what you need to accomplish what is on your plate today? Are you discouraged, or afraid you might fail?

Well, take heart, my friend – God’s got your back!

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:7-9New Living Translation (NLT)

 For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

scripture-box

Trust in that.  Believe in that.  Look up and reach out to God – raise your hand and give it to Him to hold.  Close your eyes and imagine God right there with you, taking hold of your hand – leading you, comforting and guiding you. Giving you strength and courage.  No matter how big or little your need.  Ask Him to take hold of your hand and pour His strength into you through the joining of your hands. 

Go ahead, do this right now. 

Then in your mind and in your outstretched hand, grasp hold of His strong and very capable hand, close your fingers tightly around his; hold on and don’t ever let go!

13 “For I hold you by your right hand—  
    I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
    ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

Isaiah 41:13 (NLT)

“Do not fear, for I am with you.”

Isaiah 43:5

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:20

 helping_others1

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+41%3A10&version=NLT

Heart-Healing Words

Happy Sunday to you!!

Are you happy this morning? Or are you, like me, maybe feeling a little hurting in your heart – from hurt feelings, or maybe sadness from a loss?

A few days ago someone I love slung some very hurtful words at me and in hurt and anger I slung a few ugly and not nice words right back.  Words that I thought would never come out of my mouth. Today I feel great remorse (even though I am still reeling in hurt).

However, I read a few Words this morning that sounded so good and reminded me where I always can find healing for my hurt. These words were:

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Ps 119:103
And I am reminded again of how magically reviving and hurt-healing the Words of this Book can be to me when I remember to seek them out and let them into, and wash over my heart. I love to also dwell in Psalm 139 to know that I am not, I am NEVER alone. And there is good with me, wherever I am – always.
Today, I choose to dwell in His Words, instead of those other hurtful words.
And bask in His awesome healing.
How about you – where do you turn for your heart healing?  I invite you to click the link above to read Psalm 139 – let the Words flow over and sink into your heart as you reflect upon what they are saying to you.  Then re-read verses 13 & 14.
Oh, how I love these beautiful Words! They tell me (you) that I (you) was planned and placed and created by a wonderful Maker, whose works are **marvelous  – marvelous! – that means I (you) am marvelous! We are marvelous!
So I will let those hurtful words someone said to me, roll right off of me! They don’t stick today because God’s wonderful Words have healed my heart! I was created wonderfully and marvelously, with awe, and as long as I choose to live in this example of goodness, I can be wonderful and good, and no words can take that away from me (or you)!
So, choose to embrace this wonderfully marvelous self who God created you to be and let your heart be healed!
**Some other Bible versions use the word “wonderful” here. God’s words are wonderful! We are wonderful!
Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 139 – New American Standard Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. – For the choir director. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I