Five Minute Friday: Accept

Accept

//“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”
So wrote pastor and theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, in what is known as the Serenity Prayer.

“God, grant me the serenity,” the quality or state of being calm and restful, so that I can accept the things I cannot change.

Much like a child needs to stop crying to take in the sustenance being offered by her mother,
I need to be calm… or is it that acceptance brings calm?

Acceptance of the fact that I cannot earn Your love, cannot make You love me more through my efforts because You already love me perfectly, with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV)

Accept that I am accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV)

Accept that You are not angry with me. (Romans 5:6-9, VOICE)

Accept that You have no dark side. (1 John 1:5, NIV)

Accept that nothing can ever separate me from Your love. (Romans 8:35-39, PHILLIPS)

Accept that I have already been blessed by You with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians. 1:3, NIV)

Accept that I have died and my life, my true life is hidden with Christ In You, God. (Colossians 3:3, NKJV)

Accept that You have chosen me and will not cast me away. (Isaiah 41:9, NKJV)

You will not and have not forgotten me. (Isaiah 49:15-16, NKJV)

Abba, help me to accept that I cannot change these truths//

No matter how often I fail You.

For accepting that I cannot change them will move me from a place of constant striving and self-effort, to a place of rest.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

FMF

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community  for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Accept.” The content outside of the // was written and the Scripture references and links added, after the 5 minutes window expired.

 

 

Advertisements

Lift. Cast. Let Go.

Lift. Cast. Let Go.

Heavy loads.
They exist in the external physical world
and internally,
in the realm of the spirit.

In each realm,
heavy loads burden,
restrict movement,
even immobilize.
And can usher in discouragement,
frustration,
helplessness,
even despair.

There are techniques for lifting a heavy physical object.
Proper techniques include
bending your knees,
lifting with your legs,
keeping the load close
and asking for help.

There are techniques also for lifting a heavy spiritual load.
And some are similar to those for lifting a heavy physical object.
For example, bending your knees and asking for help.
We have this standing invitation from the Most High, the Only True and Living God.
“Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest”
And although the posture of kneeling in prayer is seen as a sign of submission to God’s authority,
we can be standing or running or driving,
and still “bend our knees” and cry out to Him without making an audible sound.

One technique for lifting a heavy physical load,
“Keeping the load close,”
is not applicable to lifting a spiritual load.
When we lift a spiritual load to the Father,
His desire is that we let it go.
We are instructed to “Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for us” (1 Peter 5:
7, MEV).

To cast is “to throw or move (something) in a forceful way; to send or direct (something) in the direction of someone or something.”
Let us lift our spiritual loads.
Let us throw forcefully to our Father that which burdens us.
And let it go.

How about it?
Ready?
Lift.
Cast.
Let go.

This poem was originally posted on this blog on August 15, 2016.

Five Minute Friday: Support

www.asonebeingtaught.wordpress.com

Self-supporting. Characterized by self-support. That is, able to meet our own needs by our own efforts.

This is a lie.
This idea that we can be self-supporting.
Totally independent of others.
Self-dependent.
Self-sustaining.

There is only One who is self-existing.

The rest of us?
We are needy.
In desperate need of support.
We are not self-supported.
We are Life-supported.

Supported by the One who is Life. The Word who became flesh. The One who declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:24, NKJV). “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The One through whom we “live and move and exist, in whom we actually have our being” (Acts 17:28, AMP). He tells straight truth, “Without Me, you can do nothing.”

The breath in our lungs? His.

The power to get wealth? His.

And He brings us along side each other to offer the support that we receive through Him.

All of us are Life-supported. Not one of us is self-supporting.

~~/~~

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community (on Saturday) for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Support.” The link for the definition of “self-supporting” was added after the 5-minute bell.

FMF

Why? What?

questions for livingThe original version of the poem, “Why? What?” was shared on this blog on March 28, 2014. The revised version below, was published in the book, Sliced Bread: Food for the Spirit, released November 16, 2016. With all that has happened just in the past two weeks in the USA and around the world, it seemed appropriate to share it again.

“Why?”
Inherent in this one word question is a search for answers,
a pursuit of information or understanding.

Sometimes it is rooted in childlike curiosity.
At other times, it is a desperate cry in the face of the previously unimagined,
that which turns “them” into me, into us:
The bereaved.
Survivors of an earthquake or other natural disasters,
or personal events with an emotional impact of tsunami-like proportions.

The betrayed or the betrayer.
The divorced.
The fired.
The suddenly unemployed.
The previous homeowner whose house is now in foreclosure.
The evicted.
The newly diagnosed.
The parent of a child with mental health or developmental challenges.
The list can go on and on.

There is another question that I was taught years ago,
one to which, I am still learning to turn to after a difficult event.
One that moves me away from the default question, “Why?”
From what is often the futility of reaching for and even demanding
answers that God in His sovereignty may not provide on this side of eternity.

The other question is “What?”
“What will I do with what has happened?”
Because I truly do have a choice in how I respond,
and more times than I like, my response is all I have control over.

Experience has taught me that I may not be able to voice this question immediately,
not while the aftershocks are still being felt,
not during the time when emotions are raw and disorientation common.
Then my need is not for answers but for comfort and strength and abundant grace,
and family and friends who hug freely without the need to speak,
especially trite statements that provoke and even wound instead of heal.

But at some point, if I am to truly live in my new normal,
live without resentment and bitterness and anger and self-pity,
or a sense of having been somehow or somewhat betrayed by my Father,
I must sit with the “What?” question.
“What will I do with what has happened?”
Hold on to it?
Or turn it over to the Father
and accept His beauty for my ashes?
His oil of joy for my mourning?
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness?
Allow Him to use, as He sees fit, what He permitted in my life?
Let His strength be demonstrated in my weakness?

“What will I do with what has happened?
It is a question that no one can answer for us
and the answer or answers will shape us and our “after the … lives,”
as well as the lives of persons to whom we are connected.

Copyright © 2016. E. W. Wright. All Rights Reserved. 

Five Minute Friday: Work

work

“Go down to the potter’s house,” You told your prophet, Jeremiah. “Go down and I will speak to you there.” When he arrived, he saw a potter doing a work, creating a vessel from clay. He witnessed the vessel become broken, flawed, marred, in the potter’s hand. And he witnessed that the potter did not discard the broken vessel. No, the potter started over and made another vessel. He reworked it into one that was good in his eyes (Jeremiah 18:2-4).

O, Father, Potter, there is such comfort in this scene. Such encouragement because you do the same with me. When I am broken, flawed, You do not discard me. You continue to work. And You work effectively. Giving me the desire and the ability to fulfill the purpose for which You created me (Philippians 2:13). And I have Your promise that You who have started this “good work” in me, will “carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). You will complete the “good work” you are doing in me. Thank You, Father. Thank You.

~~/~~

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community (on Saturday) for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Work.”

If you could

Neighbors

If could do anything you wanted to do,
what would you do
for the thousands in Texas who have lost their possessions,
and life as they knew it,
a direct result of Hurricane Harvey or the flooding that followed?
The millions who are facing starvation in East Africa?
The children who will go to bed hungry tonight in your county?
The homeless in your city?
The unemployed?
The brokenhearted?
The almost 800, 000 DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” who are at risk for deportation?

The needs of the world can overwhelm.
Tempting us to turn our eyes away,
shrug our shoulders.
Cry.
Compassion and a sense of helplessness,
a heavy weight in our hearts and minds.

While we wrestle with,
struggle to identify
what we can do realistically for the many,
there is always something we can do for the one.
The person in front of us.
Ringing up our groceries.
Taking our dollars at the gas station.
Our articles of clothing at the dry cleaners.
Sitting next to us at the doctor’s office.
In our places of worship.
On the bus or train.
Living across the street.
Sitting across from us at the dinner table.

First and foremost,
we can pray.
And recognize consistently His image in them.
Imago Dei.
We can be kind.
Courteous.
Hold the door.
Say hello.
Ask how she is
and wait for a reply.
Extend grace.
Give.
Forgive.
Love wholeheartedly.

This is not an excuse to not seek out opportunities
to join with others working to change policy.
To make a difference beyond our immediate circles.
It is about redeeming the time we have.
Doing, to paraphrase the words of Theodore Roosevelt,
“What we can, with what we have, where we are.”
Remembering that we are pilgrims.
Sojourners.
Passing from life to eternity.
It is about recognizing that even when we cannot do great, world changing things,
we can follow Mother Teresa’s admonition
and
do
“Small things with great love.”

Five Minute Friday: Neighbor

neighbor.png

It has been more than three decades since they lived next door to each other.
Doing life together.
Talking to each other through open kitchen windows that faced each other.
Providing support.
Laughing about things that only mothers of large families could understand.

But there were times when some life experiences required closer communication.
And one or the other would leave her kitchen and cross the few hundred feet to the other’s home.
And huddle together.
And cry together and encourage each other.

It has been more than three decades since they lived next door to each other.
But the bonds developed between the families because of those two women
remain, although they are both in heaven now.
But the children remain neighbors,
even though separated by thousands of miles and even continents.
Loving and caring for each other,
because of Esther and Viola who were neighbors and beloved friends.

~~~

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Neighbor.”