Saturday, June 28, 2014


Five Minute Friday: Lost
     I’ve been lost.  Utterly and completely lost.  Not because we didn’t know where we were.  Not because we didn’t know how to get where we needed to be.  Lost because it was dark, the clouds shut out the moon and the stars, and we were on the side of a mountain.   We knew the way home, when we could see the path.  But we were all but blind.  I held onto a bug that glowed in the dark for as long as it could glow.  I searched desperately for anything that would show me the next step to take.  Finally, cold, hungry, and scared to get any further off the path, scared that I might fall, we stopped.  We set on a rock and waited.  There was simply nothing else to do.  So we waited for the light.
     I learned a lot that night.  I learned that I needed to be prepared for the journey.  A flashlight, a jacket, and a granola bar would have changed everything.  I learned that fighting fear is much easier when you are not alone.  I learned that while darkness may prevail for a time, light does return and shows you the way home. 
     While these lessons were born out of physical need, they have clear implications to our spiritual needs as well.  First, we need to be prepared for the journey.  We need the Armor of God.  Second, we are never alone.  Fear will come, but we always have trustworthy partner who will calm our fears.  Jesus promised He would be with us – even to the end of the age.  Third, God wins.  There will be darkness.  There will be seasons of life where we can’t find our way out.  Don’t give up.  The light is coming.  His mercies are new every morning.  God is bigger, brighter, and stronger than the darkness.  We can take comfort that He will never leave us lost.  If we seek Him, we will find Him and He will rescue us.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Five Minute Friday - On Monday

Every Friday hundreds of bloggers write for five minutes without over-analyzing or over-editing.  It's a chance to write what is on our hearts and not worry so much about how we write.  Lisa Jo Baker provides a prompt.  One word.  And we all give our thoughts.  I love Five Minute Friday.  I can spend hours reading other people's blogs and being astounded at the beautiful way they weave words together.  And, because the biggest rule is that you must read and comment on the blog before yours, I get the blessing of people reading my words and encouraging me.  This Friday, life got just a little too busy.  And Saturday.  And Sunday. Now it's Monday.  While I may be the last to post a link and no one may read and comment on my blog - I refuse to miss Five Minute Friday.  I crave the freedom and community it affords me.  So I will write.

Five Minute Friday - Prompt - Release

Oh, how beautiful this word sounds to me.  

Release my burdens.  
Let go.  
Unclench my fists.  
Relax my muscles. 

The thought makes me feel lighter.  More joyful.  

But hands that have been clenched for too long release so slowly.  The joints and muscles have grown so stiff.  So used to clinging on to what lies inside.  And there is great fear in what might fall should they open.  

There are really only two choices though. Keep clenching and clinging and thus choke out joy and hope.  Or, release those things we can't really hold anyway and thus allow for joy and hope to rest gently on our outstretched hands.      

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Messenger

One who brings a message. 
Messages can be life altering. They can bring hope and joy or devastation and sadness. Messages can be small and simple.  They can bring a smile to a face or tears to eyes.  Last night, as I read a message from a friend, I was reminded of how powerfully good human beings can be to each other.  In this instance, people came together and decided to be messengers. Spreading the message that one of their own needed help.  They spread it loud and clear. Their message was heard and received and in just over 48 hours the need of their friend was met in abundance.  It made me think that we all are really messengers.  And we choose to either bring more joy or more sadness.  More smiles or more anger.  The world would be changed if we all chose to share good messages.  If we made it our goal, our job, to inform the world that there is hope, there is a God who loves us, there is beauty, and there is good.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Remember and Trust

Remember and Trust. 
These are not the words I was seeking.  They were not the words I was praying for.  I wanted something more like – BAM!  Done! 
But my heart and my head clearly heard the other.  I was crying out to God.  God fix this – now.  Be You – show me You.  Do huge miracles so my eyes can see you and my heart can feel you.  Now.”  My greatest desire was a touch from Him.  To experience His in a way that was tangible and real.  So I begged.

He answered.  Remember.  Remember that I have answered your prayers in the past.  (Like, yesterday.)  Remember the times when you brought before me requests that were impossible in your own strength, and I made them happen.  Remember all the times I have gone before you and cleared a path, where before it was entirely impassable.   Remember all the prayers that felt unanswered until you saw I had a different plan, a plan that turned out to be in your best interest.    
Oh, yeah.  There are those answered prayers.  There are the answered prayers that stack up as tall as a mountain.  There are the ones I thought were so crazy I shouldn’t even think them. There are the ones so small in the grand scheme of things that it seemed to even ask.  There are big ones and small ones, huge ones and tiny ones.  But they are all a testimony His faithfulness.  

Gently, He touched my heart again.  Now, trust.  Trust that I know what I am doing.  Trust that I will answer, in the right way, at the right time.  Trust that my way is best.  Trust that I am enough.  Trust that I am with you and I will stay with you.  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” Psalm 125:1 (NIV -1984)

Yes, trust.  That is what my heart needs.  Trust brings me peace.  Trust lets me give it all back to God.  I still have to do my part, but He will take care of the rest.  Trust lets me hope.  So, I will trust out of obedience.  I will trust because He has proven Himself over, and over, and over again.  I will trust, and He will provide.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hands

     Their hands lay gently on top of each other.  Beauty and grace, hard work and time, etched on each.  It's a picture of their hands but it reveals so much more.  It reveals not only how close they are, but of how alike they are.  They are mother and daughter but also friends.  Both have nurtured, both have provided, both have been the caretaker.  Both have listened, both have comforted, both have soothed.  Each has held the other's hand in joy and sorrow, celebration and grief.  Each has held the other's hand to support, to guide, to hold the other up.  Each has given all of their heart and all of their strength to the other.  Mother gave the daughter life.  The daughter held her mother's hand in death.  And now the joy and comfort come in knowing, someday, they will be together again and this time there will be no death, no tears, no pain. Only joy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Who you are in enough.

     Who you are is enough.  In fact, who you are is good.  No, really.  Are you perfect?  No.  Are there things you need to work on, to get make better? Yes.  But who you are, right now, in this minute is enough.  I get that this sounds like a cheesy speech, designed to make you pat yourself on the back and feel all warm and gooey inside.  It’s not.  It’s a reality check.  We spend years of our lives, and billions of dollars trying to make ourselves ‘better’.  Based on my experience, and that of those I know, most of us are really trying to make ourselves someone else.  We are so uncomfortable with who we are that we use all our energy, and emotion, and time, trying to re-create ourselves.  Folks, we need to stop. 

     As the preacher said Sunday, “we need to remember who and whose we are.”    We were created by God.  And God is good.  What He creates is good.  "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:31 - (NIV)  And yes, this verse is after He made human beings.  Yes, we have sinned.  Yes, we need a Savior to set us right with God again.  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ." Romans 3:23 - 24 (NIV)  But God didn’t mess up.  He didn’t make a mistake when He made us.  Sometimes, we feel like He did.  Sometimes, we can’t understand why we have personality characteristics that we consider flaws.  But God formed us - and He always has a reason.  Maybe we ought to start spending more time and energy accepting who we are and using our strengths instead focusing on, what we consider to be, our weaknesses.  Maybe we ought to spend some time resting in the truth that God made just how He wanted us.  Maybe, even, we should celebrate that God did good!