Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Frozen 2: A 6-year old Perspective

Disney's Frozen 2
Disney's FROZEN 2 is the biggest movie at the box office right now. I loved Frozen! I heard from several sources this sequel was better than the first. I was super excited to see the movie with my grands and my daughters yesterday!

I had a lap full with both girls sitting with/on me. Milisende, age 3, played out every detail with her facial expressions. Lisette, age 6, and I watched intently with much less expression.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Checked off an Item on my "To-Do" List

painted door
I've completed a few projects that's been on my list for months. The feeling of checking off items on your own "to-do" is such an accomplishment. Some women get excited about finishing their first 5K. Me? I get excited about painting an old wooden box that holds my fake topiaries which are losing plastic evergreen branches at an alarming rate from old age; possibly dry rot. Still. I must refresh them because I refreshed my front door with mustard yellow! And, when I'm finished, I can check off another item from my list. 
painted mustard door
Paint is AWE-mazing! My old topiary planters got a new coat of glossy black paint. They went from drab to fab especially monogrammed by my artistic daughter! Thanks Syd! I'm considering spray painting the evergreen part a nice color of green but I'm afraid they'll look "too" fake because right now they look really realistic. (wink)

Joyfully, while I'm painting and refreshing these jewels, God began to speak to me. Does God speak to you? I wonder sometimes if folks think I'm nuts for saying that but honestly, I have many conversations with God. I hope you do too! I really hope you don't think I'm nuts

I do the same thing with myself that I did with my pots. I try to refresh me with a new hairstyle, new clothes, fake nails, a massage, a vacation, etc. If you can think of it, I've probably used it to "renew" myself. But my topiaries, underneath that new glossy black paint is the same old white, cracked, peeling, coming-apart pots. Nothing really changed. Their worn appearance was masked with paint. Unless I allow God to refresh and cleanse my heart, I'm the same ole fleshly Tammy.

Can I really mask my heart with a new outfit? Can I change my attitude with a vacation? Will I love my neighbor more with refreshed topiaries? My heart grows weary in well-doing. My mind wanders far from God. My spirit becomes dampened. Please God, refresh me! There's no better feeling for God to cleanse my being. Cleanse me from my own humanity.  Remind me what matters.

I matter. I am always on the top of his "to-do" list. You are too! Such a refreshing truth that I never have to wait on God to get around to me. I never have to worry I'm not a priority. I never have to worry he'll not have time for me today or any day. I never have to worry I'll be put on his list and forgotten. I'm permanently on his "to-do" list. You are too!

What can he do for you today?


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Don't Leave God Lonely

lonely repairman

If I were asked to use a couple of words to describe my summer, I would call the Summer of 2019 "Appliance Woes".  An unwanted visitor, a small black snake, found its way into my kitchen, under my counter, on top of my dishwasher. The morning he poked his head out so I could see him, I almost had a heart attack. I woke Steve up SCREAMING "There's a snake in the dishwasher!". Steve ripped the door off the dishwasher while I frantically beat up four pieces of ceramic tile to pull the dishwasher from the hole. Our fight revealed the entrance of the snake, a small hole chewed open by a mouse. This happened in Chatsworth, where I live.

Who knew a garbage disposal does not eat cantaloupe? I thought those powerful 4hp grinders would eat anything! I stopped up the disposal at the Florida Holiday House which causing my neighbor to end up covered in stringy, seedy, orange cantaloupe nastiness! I might have laughed but he was graciously helping us fix our problem. Then, that same improperly installed garbage disposal caused my dishwasher to not drain water properly or really it didn't drain at all. I had to wash dishes our entire two-week vacation and sop up slimy, soapy cantaloupe water out of the dishwasher with paper towels. Yuck!

These are definitely not earth-shattering nor insurmountable problems although I've always said if and when I found a snake in my house, I'd move! I didn't. I praise God he calmed my fear of snakes about three years ago. Oh, I'm still afraid of them, just not trembling in my prots at the mention of a snake. All that, leads me to sharing the spiritual analogy I received from my appliance woes this summer.

In 1967, Maytag Corporation introduced the Lonely Maytag Repairman. I still remember this guy and the commercial very vividly today. Do all companies that sell appliances employee repair technicians? Of course they do. Appliance companies know their products have mechanical parts that will eventually malfunction or simply quit working. Maytag created a smart marketing campaign with their Lonely Maytag Repairman. The ad made consumers believe their appliances were so good, you'd never have to call the repairman thus causing their technicians to be lonely all the time. Maytag promoted the thought but they knew their repairmen wouldn't be lonely.  All appliances break.

When you buy an appliance, which one do you choose? I want the one that meets my needs AND most importantly, doesn't break! An appliance that does the job without requiring a service call is a beautiful thing. We buy appliances believing they'll work. Remember that feeling of dread the first time your new washing machine broke? And that time when you had to hand-wash dishes for weeks waiting on your dishwasher to be repaired? I got a good dose of this one! Or, the time your freezer went on the fritz full of frozen food that melted and ran all over your floor?  WHAT A MESS! Bottom line is appliance companies are ready for repairs when we need them but we hope and pray we never need them.

Here comes the spiritual part...
Do you have God looking like the Lonely Maytag Repairman?

If you're still searching for God, you know something isn't quite right. You feel the ugly mess inside, the dread, the fear, the longing for something to take it away, but you just aren't ready to call the repairman, Jesus. You know you're good to wash a few more loads or grind a few more potato peels at half horse power. You're not totally broken. How many times have you picked up the phone to call and hung up thinking, I'm okay. Just like appliances, all humans eventually break. All have sinned and come short. Romans 3:23

If you're a Believer, you called the repairman to fix you some time ago. You never expected to be broken again. You thought once you accepted Christ your troubles were over. Jesus met your needs and you should never tear up again. Do you feel the ugly mess inside, the dread, the fear, the longing to restore your joy as before? 

Just like Maytag employees a repairman because they know their appliances will break, God knew his children were going to be broken and in need of a repairman, a Savior, Jesus Christ. Pride keeps you thinking you don't need repair, but trust me, repentance is the best feeling in the world. Confessing sin lightens your load, puts a spring in your step and joy in your heart. There's no shame in calling the repairman when you can't fix things yourself! Don't leave God lonely.

Calling on Him 365,

Friday, April 19, 2019

Do You Generate or Extinguish Power in your Life?

The sun is setting on this wonderful Good Friday. The day....

Jesus gave his life, freely.

Beaten, mocked, crucified and killed for mankind, for everyone.

For you and for me.

But, there's more....

I see a lot of images and shirts proclaiming "A lot can happen in three days". I'm here to proclaim not only can it happen, IT DID HAPPEN! Jesus proclaimed on the cross of Calvary "It is finished.". God's plan of salvation is, was and forever will be, complete. Jesus rose on the third day just like he said. 

Jesus came back to Galilee and told them "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Do you believe him? Do you believe Jesus has the power to do all things? Read this and let it sink in ---- HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD! Uh, that's pretty powerful!

Why are you waiting? Do you generate or extinguish power in your life? You can accept an all powerful, alive, Risen Savior who will generate his love and perfect will in your life, RIGHT NOW! You don't have to wait until you get to heaven to experience the ultimate Jesus. I wish I could let you see through my heart and my eyes. Jesus gave his life for you to have life more abundantly. The abundant life he's referring to is not in heaven. It's here on earth. Christians hurt my heart harnessing the power of Jesus. Christians hurt my heart not realizing the fullness of what Christ did for us. Through him, we live a guiltless, shameless, forgiven LIFE!

I don't read in the Bible where he says "You're forgiven, now die and enjoy my kingdom." He says Go and sin no more. He says Go and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Ghost. He says He is at the right hand of our Father making intercession for us. He says He's prepared us a place where we'll go be with him....someday. 

But, now, right now, unleash his power in your life. All power was given to him in heaven and in earth. If you are his child, you have access to HIS power. We should be shouting, believing, receiving in the power of his name  "A lot more things can happen in three days!" And then three days later let the world hear us say  "A lot of things DID just happen in three days!"

I challenge you, on this Good Friday 4/19/2019, ask him for just one thing, believing you will receive it and see if it happened just three days later. The thing may happen just one day later!  Don't extinguish the power in your life. You want to see things happen, pray they will, believing they will, in the powerful name of Jesus.

Matthew 21:22
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believingye shall receive.

I didn't say that. This man Jesus, who has been given all power in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18), said that! If you can believe him for salvation, believe him for his resurrection too! Allow him to resurrect his power in you this Easter season and beyond. Resurrect your belief in his power over all things, resurrect your belief in the power of prayer, resurrect us, to serve and worship a risen savior! For...

He is Worthy! 

Resurrecting 365,

This is one of my favorite songs. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Top 5 Reasons Christians Fall Off the Wagon

We most often associate the familiar term "Fall Off the Wagon" with a recovering alcoholic who has turned back to the bottle. I want to use the analogy of "The Wagon" as it applies to Christians demonstrating a safe place or haven where all our needs are met, namely Jesus. I've been trying to improve my diet since August 2018. Well, I've been trying to improve my food choices for years. Recently, I'm seeking to allow the Holy Spirit to guide my daily food selections toward good for me food and avoid bad for me food.

 Yesterday, I didn't feel well. My stomach was a tad nauseous with an overall feeling of yuck. I'm strange. When I feel like this, I want a plain McDonald's burger with fries and one of their unparalleled, deliciously-filtered fountain Cokes. I went. I bought. I ate. Sometime during the afternoon, pondering why I ate it,(because I had been doing so well), God spoke these truths into my ear concerning the Top 5 Reasons Christians Fall Off the Wagon.
  • REASON No. 1: This Christian has never gotten in the wagon. It's hard to fall off if you've never gotten in, right? But you are in. You've accepted Jesus as your Savior but you won't accept him as Lord of your life giving him full control. You've either walked behind or alongside the wagon feeling the pain in your feet and the burden on your knees with every step. You know him. You just can't seem to trust him with your whole heart. Get in the wagon.
  • REASON No. 2: This Christian likes the easy life. It's easier off the wagon than inside of it. How can it be easier to walk alone than be carried? Jesus carries the people who believe, trust, obey, sacrifice, are patient, longsuffering and kind. I can name more Christ-like attributes but do you really want me to? Those ACTION verbs are hard. Walking singularly without anyone expecting anything from you. especially Jesus, is so much easier.
  • REASON No. 3: This Christian relies on other people for their life example instead of Christ. We've all heard it before, "If they're a Christian, the woods are full of them." Just stop it. Stop trying to justify your wrongdoings by comparing yourself to the next best born-again sinner you know. Christians are supposed to be better people because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, but unfortunately, all Christians don't exercise those action verbs above and unfortunately, we still sin. Be like Him, not every Tom, Dick or Harry!
  • REASON No. 4: This Christian wants his cake and eat it too. Eating causes crumbs in the wagon. What happens when we see morsels of bad food lying around?  We eat it. Then, we want more! There's never been a Christian that dabbled with sin without wanting more.  When you're on the wagon for Christ, you're off of entertaining temptation for Tammy (insert your name here). Perfect example of this for me is if I eat one Entenmann's Chocolate Doughnut, I'll not stop until I eat the entire pack. Little Bites, big bites, they're all sin to me because I can't practice moderation. This Reason No. 4 applies to any temptation you are apt to succumb to, certainly not limited to food.
  • REASON No. 5: This Christian falls off the wagon because she doesn't get the results she's expecting or they are happening way too slow. Notice I said they ARE happening! We are a fast car, fast food, microwave, direct deposit, instant gratification society that wants Jesus under our thumb or fingertips instead of giving honor to his place of King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We want to use him like a medicine: as needed. We get bored when we're not entertained. We lose interest if the thrill we seek requires too much effort on our part. 
What are your #Christiangoals? Secure a front row seat in heaven? Live your best life now? Belong to a free membership? These are  #megoals. Our purpose as Christians is to worship, praise and glorify Jesus while showing others his mercy and grace. These are #godgoals.

The wagon isn't full. Want to get in with others who are selfless, God-seeking, life-surrendered, saved by grace, mercy-showing followers of Christ? I do! It's gonna take an action verb...

In the wagon 365,

Saturday, January 19, 2019

It's Not the Brownies Fault

Ladies and I started a new journey the first week of this new year. We join together each week to share victories and sometimes defeats reading a 40-day devotional book "Eating with the King".  The objective is to allow God's Holy Spirit to guide and control our eating.  It's not the brownies fault!

The first thing that jumped out at me from the book is "Food is not our foe". Ok. That's right. I can get on-board with that. It's the way I treat food that makes me overweight. I've got this. Me and Jesus are buds and he's gonna help me get skinny! Fast-forward to Day Six entitled "What Kind of Sorry Are We?" Since reading this small yet powerful devotion, I've been like Eeyore.
Yes, this has been me this week!
What toppled my world so dramatically? This simple little sentence from the book. I don't ever remember a time that I would have chosen water over a good ole glass of sweet tea--the sweeter the better, or a classic Coca-Cola. Then the next powerful sentence read...I heard once, a way to recognize if something was an idol in your life was to ask yourself this question. "Can I give it up?" Could I? I don't want to! When I think about food, I always daydream about the drink. I have certain sugary beverages I drink with every meal. Let me paint the picture completely. I WON'T eat the meal without I have my drink of choice! I CANNOT eat a hamburger and fries without a Coke or Diet Coke. Sunday Dinner without tea? I don't think so.

Here's another kicker for me. I rarely ever get thirsty. So this person writing this book is telling me to drink water (which I don't like) and not drink any tea or Coke because I idolize them? The nerve! Turned the page in the book and with one verse of scripture, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sugary drink idolatry. Oh! Ouch! So painful. So insightful. So annoying. So Sweet Jesus please forgive me.

I've done fairly well since Monday. I'm beginning Day 5 with water as my main drink of choice. I've had one glass of Sweet n Low-laden tea and one glass of sweet tea and zero soft drinks. I passed a Coke truck yesterday and turned my head to avoid the seductive ice cold glass of Coke on the side of the truck with fabulous fizzy bubbles rising from the ice. I tried not to notice the beads of water on the outside of the glass reminding me of a beautiful hot sunny day with a refreshing ice cold Coke! Is there anything better?

Yes. There is something better than Coke! If I find myself dreaming of Coke or tea, conjuring up the flavors in my mind, desiring to go fill a glass with a Coke and a smile, I ask God to inscribe his powerful Word on the tables of my heart so that I may never forget:

Whosoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. John 4:14

Be watered and well 365,