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Posted By Harolene

For a little while tonight, the year was 1963 and I was listening to my little portable radio, the DJs would be Tony "the Tiger" Taylor, or Patrick Hughes. The song that popped out of nowhere into my head that sent me back into the past was "Saturday Night at the Movies." “Saturday night and it's eight o'clock, I know where I'm gonna go, I'm gonna pick my baby up and take her to the picture show,” the Drifters were singing it. Then my mind skipped to '65, and I heard, "When I fall in love, it will be forever" the Lettermen! Who knows why something comes, seemingly, out of nowhere into your conscious mind? It is said that men think about sex every seven seconds, although Psychology Today says that may be a tad over stated, but it still makes you wonder. From what I see on the social media pages, most women think about shoes, how they are being treated in a relationship, or posing for pictures with lips sticking out in a pout, AKA the "duck face", is that supposed to be sexy? It is important what we think about because you gravitate toward what you are pondering! A person never went out and robbed a bank on the spur of the moment, did they? Young people dream about what they want to do with their life before making the decision on a course of studies, and according to Percy Sledge, "When a man loves a woman, he can't keep his mind on anything else"! When I let myself think about personal issues too much, I just get plain depressed! We want to live, yet when we look in the mirror and see a little age showing on our face, we are sorry we are so old! We can create whole a scenario about something, even giving it details so real we know it must have happened the way we have imagined it, then find ourselves making terrible judgments, I have been there, I have done that! Proverbs 23:7 (first part) says "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he " When you see someone, who has always been so sharp, begin to slip in their thinking, noticing that their memory has great chunks missing, it is a very sad thing. Malcolm X said, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste", and it was adopted as a slogan for the UNCF, but I think it applies to all people everywhere, whether the mind is wasted because of lack of education, abuse of drugs, alcohol, or being ravaged by Alzheimer disease, it is a shame to see it go to waste. When your mind is left idle it gets stale, nothing in nothing out, kind of like the Dead Sea, which is dead because there are no inlets or outlet, or you let it wander to places better left unvisited. Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." The Apostle Paul advised the Ephesians 4:22-23 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." The way to keep your mind fresh is found in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Finally, Jeremiah 17:9-10 "The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be." Keep your mind renewed and remember that what you think begins to show in your actions, so think about love!

 
Posted By Harolene

Elvis crooned, "Are you lonesome tonight, do you miss me tonight, and are you sorry we drifted apart?"  Then I thought about the Beatles "All the lonely people", talking about poor Eleanor Rigby and Father Mckenzie who were watching other folks enjoy their own happiness. I did a search on songs with lonely in the title, there were hundreds! I also did a word search and had to laugh out loud at the description that came up on the Urban Dictionary: "An adjective describing one who finds him or her self looking up words such as lonely on urbandictionary.com because he or she misses his or her loved one, or has not yet found one to be named as such." I am not one that gets lonely; when I find a moment to myself I treasure it! I will admit to being nostalgic about the golden years gone by, but not particularly lonely. Wikipedia describes it this way: Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling in which a person experiences a strong sense of emptiness and solitude resulting from inadequate levels of social relationships. But what is it to you? I heard a lady say that she was feeling lonely because her husband was working so much; she wanted him to change so she could be happy, but then she had an epiphany as she came to the realization that she was lonely for herself! I thought about that, is that it? When I look around in a crowd, I can almost spot the people who have a lonely heart, and most of the times they spot me, I am a soft touch and have a very tender heart for a person who seems 'set apart'. Matthew 8:20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  Why does a person feel empty when they are in solitude? My personal opinion is they are lonely for a missing relationship with God. When Jesus went up into the mountain to have alone time, was He really alone? No, He was visiting with Father God. When I am by myself I have a running conversation with the Father; I pose questions, I explain why I do certain things that I do, I get His advice on what needs to be said in this forum and I pray for people that have told me their needs, and there are many of them. Last night I had a prayer of agreement with someone, it was not an easy thing we were asking, this morning, around 9AM, I got a call! "Do you remember what we prayed about last night?" "Of course I do", and I repeated what we had asked, "The answer came this morning, just as we asked!" Praise God for that! Does living for God mean you will always have things easy? Ask the Apostle Paul and let's see what he has to say! 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 “I've worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death's door time after time. I've been flogged five times with the Jews' thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I've been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I've had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I've been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I've known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.” He had victory because he had relationship with Jesus. We all need companionship, but we need the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5 "Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight He's like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows.”  If you're "lonely tonight" maybe it's because you have "drifted apart" from the Lord. You are loved!

 
Posted By Harolene

I was watching a couple dancing a waltz to "So this is love" from the Disney movie "Cinderella", which I always loved to watch, and it made me want to re-post this, I think it fits and this subject is one that is dear to my heart:

When I was about 10 years old I saw the old black and white flick..."The Hunchback of Notre Dame". The beautiful Griselda was in trouble and it greatly distressed the Hunchback who had been watching her from the towers of the church, where he was the ringer of the bell. He was very much in love with her. He was horribly deformed in his physical body, but his heart was like that of any normal man and he became her protector. As I watched the movie I felt so sorry for him and wanted I her to be in love with him too.

I fell in love again when I watched the Man of La Mancha; he was a hero, in his own mind at least, but a hero none-the-less. He fell in love with a person that we wouldn't actually call a "lady" but in his mind she was a saint and so he called her Dulcinea, i.e. woman who is a man's sweetheart, even though her name was a less beautiful Aldonza. She didn't put on airs with him and she told him that she did not deserve such a wonderful name but he loved her and through his eyes she was an angel and was indeed, Dulcinea.

Then there was the story of "Beauty and the Beast", by now you get the drift as I again felt sorry for the beast and I wanted Belle to love him just as he was! But finally a happy ending and a wonderful thing happened, she fell in love with him and her love for him broke the curse over his life and he became her handsome Prince.

The common thread with the hunchback and the beast is that it would take a pure heart to love such ugliness. The hunchback didn't fare as well as the beast as he died defending his beautiful maiden, however the beast regained his normal and very handsome visage. True love can do this...didn't someone once say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?

As far as Don Quixote goes, I think I always wished for him to come into my life, this man who would march into hell for a heavenly cause and see me as the person who could be his angel. A man who would go out and fight the windmill if he was convinced it was a dragon, a man who was pure in heart.
But guess what, I have found all these qualities all wrapped up in one man...the God man, Jesus Christ. He loved me just as he found me; he walked into hell and took the keys of death and hell away from the most dreaded dragon of all, Satan. His visage was scarred beyond recognition, Isaiah 53:2-4, There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.

 

This man died for me as the hunch back died for Griselda, he was beaten until his face was like the poor beast, unrecognizable, and like Don Quixote, he gave me a new name...a sweet heavenly name...which I will know when I see Him...and when I see Him, I will see him as He is for I shall be like Him.

I am by no means comparing my Lord to any of the characters that I have mentioned...just take this for what it is from my heart of pure love. I grew from a dramatic ten-year-old to a sappy, sentimental woman and before you try to figure me out, just know that I am a new creature in Him the One Who is my Man, and my Hero, my Savior, my Lord, and He loves you whether you are a Beauty or a Beast!

 
Posted By Harolene

There has been a song running through my brain for two days, it has very hard chord formations and as I “played” it in my mind I decided to take a moment to go sit at the piano and see if I remembered it, I did! By now you are probably familiar with the way songs dance around in my brain and it's usually two that wind around each other like two colorful ribbons. As strange as it seems most times one is secular and the other is a hymn, this evening they were both hymns! "You ask me why I'm happy, so I'll just tell you why, because my sins are gone", just that much of the verse then "Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there." Back and forth and I wasn't aware of it until I began singing it out loud as I cleaned the kitchen. I was thinking about how good it feels to put down a heavy package, especially after carrying it up fourteen steps! We carry heavy burdens for years, and it is as if we are carrying them up dozens of stairs every day, all day long, and when we lay our head on the pillow at night, these same burdens sit in our heart and invade our dreams.

One burden I mentioned recently is the burden of guilt! Want an answer to that? Proverbs 16:6 Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear of God deflects evil. The best way to banish guilt is to admit out loud to God whatever you have done that is causing the guilt, and then just let it go. I got a visual one night after praying for a lady that I had prayed for time and again, always with the same problems. In this vision I saw that her problems were as if they were a great ball of yarn that she was willing to lay on the altar, but before she got off her knees she tucked the end of the string in her belt so that as she walked away, by the time she got to the back door, the whole ball had unraveled and trailing behind her so that all she had to do was to start winding it up and then leave with the same burden with which she came in. I told her that, she took it to heart and realized that was exactly what she was doing! She was trying to leave it with the Lord, but picking it right back up to take it home again! The Psalmist King just got right to the point with God, Psalm 25:18 Take a hard look at my life of hard labor, then lift this ton of sin. This was his prayer in 86:1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me. I'm one miserable wretch! Keep me safe—haven't I lived a good life? Help your servant—I'm depending on you! You're my God; have mercy on me. I count on you from morning to night. Give your servant a happy life; I put myself in your hands! You're well known as good and forgiving, bighearted to all who ask for help. Pay attention, God, to my prayer; bend down and listen to my cry for help. Every time I'm in trouble I call on you, confident that you'll answer. There might be a time that you want to talk to someone, James 5:16 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

Just make sure you don't tell someone something that they can use against you in case they have the sin of "Gossip" in their life, but is someone who will agree with you in prayer. Are you afraid that you have waited too long, or asked too many times? Remember this, God never gets tired of forgiving us, Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Now you can see how the two songs work together! We give our burdens to the Lord, and then we can sing Praise God, my sins are gone! Be blessed!

 
Posted By Harolene

I am not going back on what I said, or being double minded, just hear me out and see if you agree with me... or not, your choice! Before Christmas I saw some people complaining about the trees in the malls already being up and decorations being put out before Thanksgiving. Whereas I agree that it does seem to dilute the Thanksgiving Holiday to already have "Jingle Bells" playing rather than "We Gather Together" seems a little rushed. However, I said that to me I didn’t mind it, as it was a reminder even to those who were just trying to make an extra buck by selling their Christmas merchandise early that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus! Today I have had "Bible movies" playing for my mother to watch, no Jerry Springer or Maury on Saturday and the Braves didn't come on until a little while ago, so she has watched the Story of Ruth, Solomon and The Book of Esther. That last movie was particularly interesting to her because one of the girls she sees on the afternoon "stories" was playing Queen Esther... quite a 180 degree from the roles she plays daily! Excuse my little detour, back to the point! These movies are being shown on a channel that shows "UP lifting" things and I am by no means criticizing them they want to make money so they can continue to show us UP lifting movies, but the commercials were from places like Party City, Target, Wal-Mart etc and each was saying "Get more Easter here", "Your Easter Party starts here", you get my drift. At first I wasn't paying any attention, it kind of slid right on past me as I made a grocery list and tried to clean out the fridge, but suddenly I took notice and it really chapped my backside.
Christmas time is a whole different feeling, everyone celebrates a birth and we have birthday parties and a birth represents new life.  We know that Jesus came into the world by leaving Heaven where He was a King to being a babe in a manger born to inexperienced young people with one purpose in mind and that is what we honor at "Easter" time or as I prefer to refer to it, "Resurrection" Sunday! I view Easter as a more solemn time and somehow bunnies, baby chicks and candy kind of seem a trite way to honor a death OR a resurrection. I always loved the grand drama productions or musical presentations we did at the church, and you knew that on Sunday you would sing "The Old Rugged Cross", "Up From the Grave He Arose" and of course "HE LIVES!"  If you were blessed enough to have two singers that could sing the Sandi Patti, Larnel Harris version of "I've Just Seen Jesus" your spirit would soar as you imagined the empty tomb and the resurrected Jesus Christ!
Jesus is a personal friend of mine and while most of the time He has to have His arm around my shoulder so that He can put His hand over my mouth I think He loves me best! Oh come on, let me by with it, I'm the one that is writing... you can say the same thing and it will be just as true. I am not trying to change the way you think or celebrate anything I am offering you my opinion and as I have said before, opinions are like…uhh navels, yeah that’s it and everybody has one!
I did not say this to demean anyone or the way you choose to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and how ever you honor Him is good as long as you celebrate the reason for the season. Lots of people do it with new outfits, which I assume signifies being new, hey I don’t even know what it means…we didn’t have new outfits because my parents said there were people in the church that couldn’t afford anything new and they didn’t want them to feel bad, so I got over it.
This year I will most likely be celebrating the day with a TV preacher in my house clothes but I guarantee you I will be thankful to my friend for giving His life for me. This coming week is Holy Week, Good Friday and then the highlight of the Christian calendar on Sunday, what ever you call it!