You Have Done it Unto Me

 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Verse 36-Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Verse 37-Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? Verse 38-When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, clothed thee? Verse 39-Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  Matthew 25:34-39

As Christians, we have pretty much done most of these things for others right? I don’t think anyone would willfully neglect feeding the hungry or even mind giving clothing to the needy. We have visited the sick in hospitals, the shut-ins, and nursing homes. Opened doors, for instance,  for complete strangers and even given up our seats for an elder, among other thoughtful deeds.

So those things don’t bother us much right? Because we don’t put ourselves in the category of those who failed to do those things the scriptures name.

But then along comes verse 40-“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

I have to admit, I had to put on my “thinking cap” and contemplate long and hard on that last scripture. What does the word represent? Here are a few synonyms–minutest, smallest, tiniest, trivial, minimum, fewest, slightest.

The word “trivial” personally stands out. It simply means insignificant, small, unimportant; of little value; ordinary.

After I pondered some more, a question popped into mind: How do we treat those who seem unimportant or ordinary to us?

I will go a step further–How do we treat others who aren’t as smart as we are or as quick as we are? Do we treat them with respect? Practice the Golden Rule, or do we talk over them?…Maybe even pronounce our words very slowly in hopes that they will “get it?”

Are we the ones guilty of talking behind their backs, telling blonde jokes or showing just how much more superior we are to their intellect? How about someone who isn’t as pretty or has a physical or mental impairment?

I guess this subject wouldn’t bother me quite as much, if I didn’t happen to be on the receiving end sometimes with my own weaknesses.

When I find myself running low in patience for my fellow man, I try to remember how many times God has shown me mercy when I didn’t deserve it. How He has time and time again forgiven me for my many failures, faults and weaknesses. Someone once said, “To know mercy is to show mercy.”

When I am tempted to point out someone else’s faults, God ALWAYS shows me my own. And let me tell you, they are many! I am not ashamed to admit it. And those of you who know me well, would probably testify to this and utter a great big amen!

When God reminds me of how terribly weak I am, He shows me how much more stronger He is. That I can do ALL things in Christ that strengthens me. (maybe not as quickly or as perfect as others)

And that He is love. If we are to truly be like Christ, we are to LOVE others as we love ourselves. Do unto others as we would ourselves.

No one prefers to be treated as if he or she is stupid, incapable or incompetent. We are all imperfect.

Our true character reveals itself in how we TREAT others. That stings, I know! We don’t always get it right. We have off-days when our flesh, emotions and moods get the best of us. And there are days when we are completely covered in spiritual bandaids, whether we are the wounded or the wounder.

How do we get it right? We keep praying. We also have Christ as our example. We should follow in His footsteps. He showed respect, patience, kindness and love to all walks of life wherever He went. Even Jesus prayed while He was in the flesh.

How we behave towards our fellow man, whether good or bad, we do it to God Himself. The blunt reality of this should sink in and definitely keep us all on our toes, minding our p’s and q’s more often!

I don’t know about you friend, but I’m a work in progress! I’m still on the construction site. I may be bull-dozing through my imperfections, but at least I’m still wearing my construction hat. I haven’t thrown it down and quit yet. He’s absolutely, positively still working on me, without a doubt! 🙌🙏

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In the Midst of the Storm

(photo credits by seawitch artist.com)

In the midst of the storm-Be not afraid-to take that step of faith onto the water.

If you stay in the boat, you will surely perish.  if you give into fear, you will never conquer.

So, with chin lifted bravely and wind blowing your hair-GET OUT OF THE BOAT-

and go where Jesus is.  He’s waiting there with arms outstretched, bidding you come!

Let the lightning flash, the thunder roll.  You are safe in His Protection

In His Divine Care-In the Midst of Your Storm

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Waiting for the Day!

(Originally written July 22, 2009) (August 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM Facebook reblog)

(Internet photo credits unknown)

It’s 5:50 a.m., and I’m waiting for the day. I’ve been lying in bed, talking to God, upset about something or other…And those words just came to me–waiting for the day.

At times it seems that we can’t sleep, (or get back to sleep in my case) or have greater faith, or get over things. We ponder the situation over and over in our minds. Do we worry or do we choose to trust God?

Life keeps rolling along–the moments, the seconds…don’t stop. We know that the hourglass of time stops for no one…so we wait for the day–to come, when we can arise from our beds of worry, fear, disappointment, and never doubt again. We try to occupy our hands and thoughts, so that we won’t have to look too closely at what’s bothering us, and we wear our masks in this masquerade.

We pray. We watch. We believe. We continue to live–and we wait for the day.

There IS coming a day when we will wipe our tears and cry no more. It will be the last day. The last sigh. The end of all pain. The day when we see face to face with The One who has brought us through all our trials–the One who always understands–The Father who let us climb into His big lap and comforted us, while we grieved our losses.

It will be a day when we are finally rewarded for our faithfulness. A day when hurtful things no longer matter, because we will know Him, as He has known us.

The day when we will see our reflections in the streets of gold and run our fingers along the smooth, pearly gates. I can see us together, sitting on the front porch of our new mansions, sipping lemonade, rocking without a care in the world…because those things will have passed away. And somehow all the agonizing moments we faced, will simply not matter anymore.

Behold all things will be made new. The Son will come–the day will break. Our hearts will rejoice, and we will dance and sing with the angels for our Creator-Infinity–The wait will be over.

Copyright © 2018 Heart Tokens All Rights Reserved

LOVE, From God

LOVE, From God
(Internet photo credits unknown)
“God don’t do ugly. You are beautiful, because you are made in the image of God. You are loved.” Are those the words that came into your thoughts as your reflection stared back at you in the mirror today? If not, you just may be buying into the devil’s lies he is trying to feed you. You are more than the Irish, crooked nose that you inherited from your grandmother, or the under-bite or over-bite that didn’t get the braces that they needed, underweight/overweight problem, or the painfully shy or blunt personality, weirdness, anxiety, good or bad genes, or whatever seems to be the crutch that you hobble around on.
God’s thoughts toward you are not to point a finger at any of your faults or failures in such a way as to lead you away from His Salvation, but rather, towards it. That is why His Word is so important in a child of God’s life. Not to say that He doesn’t point them out at all, when an unkind word escapes the lips, or busyness gets in the way of prayer, or a root of bitterness has wedged it’s way into the heart. It’s out of His Great LOVE for His sons and daughters, that He would try to correct, encourage, and strengthen in whatever means He deems fit. He may send a friend with an encouraging word or He may speak to your heart through a sermon that pricks your heart. But it will always be done with love for you in mind.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.~II Timothy 3:16
Sometimes the journey is painful. You may hit your head, scrape a knee, and wear many band-aids before your life comes into maturity. You may either fall into the category of seeing nothing but your weaknesses and let it cripple your self-worth or rose-colored glasses may blind you to the fact that there are even any weaknesses to be found. In all honesty, this is an imperfect world, so, people are simply imperfect.
God’s desire is for you to dare look into that mirror and see yourself in your “true form,” after He has shaped you and molded you with his love. Through His eyes, because God is love, His eyes are full of love towards you. Even though you are imperfect by this world’s definition, He sees nothing but perfection when He looks at you. He sees your beauty. He sees what you are becoming, not what you have been. He looks past those imperfections. God don’t do ugly. Let HIS beauty and HIS love be what you see smiling back at you. You are loved.

Copyright © 2018 Heart Tokens All Rights Reserved

Beauty Has a Name

(Photo credits to CherokeeBillie.com)
My heart is saddened to hear of the passing of another dear elder lady in our surrounding community. I didn’t know her very well. In fact, I just met her recently at the funeral of a dear friend’s mother’s passing. I asked if anyone was sitting by her. The pews were packed. I was searching for a vacant seat. She graciously slid over a spot to make room for me. The radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes caught my attention. She had a kind disposition, and I knew immediately that I liked her. I’m sure she was well-loved by all those whose lives she had touched by her gracious heart. It was strange how I found out about her passing. Almost quite by accident. Two of my friends and I were talking about how it’s such a small world. One was sharing the fact that she had discovered that a woman who had just passed was connected with someone she knew. I don’t know why, but after a few details were revealed, I just KNEW that it had to be the lady who I had sat by at the funeral, the 90 year-old who had just passed away. The friend who was sharing the news, looked up her obituary online, and showed me the picture. My heart sank, and tears came to my eyes– it was, in fact, the beautiful soul, who had been so kind in conversation to me that day. After reading the obituary, I realized she was also, connected to someone I knew. My father had worked with her husband for years and were good friends.
They don’t make them like they use to. This particular generation knew what it was like to sacrifice, work hard, reverence the flag and country, and have God carry them through the many hard times. They are the children of the roaring 20’s! My father was one of them, as well, as my step-mom. My mother was born in the early 30’s. And there are many others who I was privileged and graced to know. Maybe I should just include all those who were born in the early 1900’s to before the 50’s. They knew what it was like to wave good-bye to their loved ones going off to war, some never making it back. They were the “Old Souls” who lived to be in their late 70’s, 80’s, and many well into their 90’s. They must have discovered a secret to longevity. I think one key factor was the LOVE they shared. Loving others as self, doing unto others as they would have them do unto them, giving, sharing the love they had received from their Savior. Their lives left beautiful footprints that will always be imprinted into our hearts. They ran a good race, kept the FAITH, and now have entered into their eternal reward. Their names will always be remembered. Beauty has a name. {Luther Miller, Ernestine (Denmark) Miller, Nerene (Crocker) Miller, Bessie Bradley, and Ima Jean (Welford) Lambert–and many others, too many to mention.} But you know them already. They are imprinted into your hearts. (You are welcome to leave their names in the comment section below to honor them, if you would like-God Bless~) May they all Rest in Peace.

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Yes…In Heaven!

 (Reblog Tuesday, September 18, 2012)

Chocolate.  A luxurious, long bubble-bath.  Mini-vacation.  Are the endorphins triggered in your cerebrum, yet?–In your, otherwise known as,  “thinker,” this morning?  At this point, ALL, I admit, sound like heaven to me! It’s been a long day—which reminds me!—of the real subject of this madness.

Long—Long, bumpy and full of bacteria! Sounds atrocious, I know right? Or even a tad bit contagious, but I am only speaking of something trivial that forms things such as words from that opening in your face called piehole. “Oh, that,” you say.  “Yes,” I say, “ that.” How could this even be related to anything sounding as wonderful as Heaven, you might ask? But it is, in fact, directly linked to whether we get to spend eternity there or not.

James 3:5, (The Message) says: “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account , but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire.  A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.  By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”  Who knew something so seemingly insignificant could be truly significant after all?

From these passages, I was fascinated by the phrases, ‘accomplish’ and ‘by our speech.’ When put  together, it simply reads, ‘accomplish by our speech.’   If a word spoken from our mouth can accomplish nearly anything, then let’s focus on accomplishing great, powerful and positive things!

“This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you, it’s not out of your reach. It’s not on a high mountain—you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it.  And it’s not across the ocean—you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it.  No.  The word  is right here and now—as near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it! Look at what I’ve done for you today: I’ve placed in front of you LIFE and GOOD Death and Evil. And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will LIVE, really LIVE, LIVE exuberantly, BLESSED by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess…I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse.  Choose life so that you and your children will live.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-16,19—*The Message)

According to the passages above, how can your speech accomplish great things? It said the word is right here and now, near your tongue and heart. That tells us that ‘His Word’ must first be in our heart, then, it will flow through our lips. God has placed Life and Good before us, which is the direct reward and result of ‘blessing’ with our mouth, loving God, walking in His ways, and truly LIVING! Being positive is Choosing Life. The opposite is uttering negative words that bring a curse upon our lives and our children! This negativity causes us to choose death and evil.

This is a very scary and sobering thought if we choose to let negativity dwell in our hearts. The Bible also says that the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks! (NIV Luke 6:45)

But, on a more happier note, we can speak God’s Holy Word and positive things into existence by calling those things which be not as though they were.  It’s speaking those Promises into our future, and believing that God has already done it! It’s binding things on earth that shall be bound in heaven: and loosing on earth what shall be loosed in heaven. The Message says it this way: Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is external. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.  And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there. (Matthew 18:18,19—The Message)

I don’t know about you, but I want and need all the blessings that can be bestowed upon my family! I will choose life by speaking a kind word of encouragement to the weary, by telling the future that there is hope that my husband, children and myself are to be saved. I will choose not to listen to the enemy, when he tempts me to repeat things that will not edify or build up. I choose my destiny, and make heaven my reward, when I let my speech direct my heart and my tongue. I choose to bind and loose on earth, and let God bind and loose…Yes!…In Heaven!

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Overwhelming

(photo credits unknown) Overwhelming. That was the one word circling around my oldest daughter’s texts like a revolving cylinder door–the one word describing very raw emotion. Relief covered me as I read the texts first thing this morning, reassuring me that my daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby were still okay in the wake of the terrible rains and flooding in Louisiana that had recently occurred Friday. I had gotten word yesterday, they were fine and their home had not been touched by the flooding in Bogulusa.
When I first discovered that bad weather was coming our way, I was at the church Thursday afternoon helping get ready for our Bishop and Wife’s 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration, scheduled for the following night.
In conversation, a church member shared the dreaded news that heavy rains and flooding were expected to hit parts of Mississippi early Friday, and Governor Bryant had declared a state of emergency beforehand, deploying the National Guard to the Gulf Coast.
The rainfall totals could be equivalent to the damage from Hurricane Isaac in 2012. He then showed the weather band stretching from eastern TX, on a weather app from his phone. The angry red strand was heading straight for south MS. At that time, I had no idea that Louisiana would be affected, too.
Friday morning before getting ready to head back to church, checking my facebook, I discovered that my oldest daughter had tagged me in photos of her little hometown and the next town over. I was shocked at what I saw, and of course, immediately began praying. A sense of urgency washed over me, and I knew that the situation was very serious. I don’t know how long I prayed, but I tried to “get it together” enough to call a friend who I knew was already at church. I asked her to tell everyone who was there to please stop and pray right then for my family and also requested prayer on facebook. Prayer was made. I was shaken, and continued to pray for peace in the situation. In the meantime, I finally got a hold of my youngest daughter who lived several miles south of us and was also relieved that she was okay. I knew if anything happened in her direction, there would be better access out of town, than where my eldest lived in Louisiana.
With my oldest daughter’s permission, I am sharing some of the texts she sent to me:
Friday’s texts: All around us is flooded. We can’t go anywhere. We are literally stuck. They have issued us a mandatory curfew of 5 p.m. Roads are collapsing, washing out. People are rolling vehicles left and right. When the road washes out, the vehicles are falling in holes and being swept away. Most the bridges are out!! I’m fixing to try to get to the next town over, but honestly, we can’t get out through there either. This is Louisiana. Every parish is underwater, basically. I have NEVER seen it get this bad even when we had a supposed hurricane. Omg, it’s bad seriously. I’m going to try to go check a family member’s house. She had the baby this morning, went into labor at 11 a.m. I don’t think they can come home…Her husband said that he saw National Guard hummers at the store.
(Later afternoon) It’s clear towards Mississippi…I don’t know how far until more water… (I told her to call the police station and find out if they could get out of town) She said they (police) were everywhere.
Saturday morning texts: Yes, we are fine. Mama, I can’t stop crying this morning. The things I saw yesterday is just overwhelming. There are abandoned cars everywhere. I saw cars floating down the river. Sheds with people’s belongings floating away, crushing under bridges. I saw baby dolls and ice chests, clothes, shoes in trees. People’s homes underwater. People lined up across a bridge on both sides in crowds, watching their houses underwater. You could feel the emotions…I’m very grateful it was not us. But it is extremely scary knowing it could have been. A good friend of ours, the guy who has done A/C and plumbing work, etc., for us for years, refusing to charge anything, we saw him and his wife just staring at their home…She couldn’t speak, and he was just smiling saying, “We are okay,” knowing they are not! They went to sleep with water in one corner of their house and woke up with their bed floating. People had newborn babies and toddlers that they had to get on roofs. Pets died…I woke up today thinking I was going to McDonald’s as usual, and it hit me…NOTHING is going to be the same for awhile. People don’t have money and were barely getting by and lost everything…but their lives. They will rebuild with FEMA, I’m sure, but it’s not the same. Our electricity is still off until the water goes down. Not ours. We are out of the city. The bad part is, we are stuck here. Where do you go?? They have got to do something to keep us from flooding every chance we get. It was crazy, because it only rained one day here on us…Wasn’t even 24 hours.
(After asking for permission to share her texts, she texted the following) Yeah, go ahead. People are too busy nowadays, and it is only a tragedy when it happens to them. I am guilty of that a lot of times. I try to be prepared for everything, bringing way more stuff with me when I leave the house than my son needs, but better to have it than not. No one knew this was going to happen, but even if we did, the outcome would have been the same. We don’t want to think about losing everything, we don’t want to think about having to climb on a roof, praying it doesn’t collapse with our children. We don’t want to think about driving down the road and your vehicle being swept away with your kids in the back seat, so therefore, it’s not possible. I don’t even know how to put my feelings into words. It’s just heart-breaking…
I think she hit the nail on the head in describing what every Louisiana flood victim must be feeling right now. My heart goes out to every one of them! Louisiana has a long road of recovery ahead of them, so please remember them in your prayers and monetary means.
Even though it may feel like they have been overwhelmed at the moment, God’s promise rings ever true in the midst of tragedy, “…When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me…I will trust in the covert of thy wings.” Psalms 61:2-4

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