Five Minute Friday: Steady

steady

//“Steady as she goes.” This is an order or instruction given to a helmsman by the captain, to keep the ship heading “steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents.”*

“Regardless of wind or cross-currents.” You give me similar instructions, as in keeping my eyes on Jesus, “the Author and Perfecter” of my faith.

But sometimes, like Peter, I take my eyes off of You and, like Peter, I begin to sink beneath the waves. At other times, I stray off course, following things that distract my attention from You.

Sometimes, I remain on course but instead of steady strides, my knees buckle beneath the weight of grief and loss. And discouragement. And cares You never meant for me to carry on my own.

Then, as the lame man experienced, You speak to me as Peter did to him and take hold of my hand with a firm grip and raise me up. And like him, my feet and ankles become strong and steady. And I can say like Habakkuk did, “The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] //
on my high places (of challenges and responsibility).” Thank You, Abba. Thank You.

FMF steady

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

*Information about the nautical phrase, “Steady as she goes,” can be found here.
(The content between //the double slashes //, was written within the allotted 5 minute time frame.)

Legacy

 

Legacy (1)

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22, AMP)

Legacy. I cannot recall made me think of legacy recently but for several weeks I have considered this concept on and off. Then on Father’s Day, the first portion of Proverbs 13:22, came to mind – “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”

To think of an inheritance in terms of finances is not an incorrect view but it is a narrow perspective and an incomplete one. It is noted in the Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Proverbs 13:22 that, “A good man, by being good and doing good, by honouring the Lord with his substance and spending it in his service, secures it to his posterity; or, if he should not leave them much of this world’s goods, his prayers, his instructions, his good example, will be the best entail, and the promises of the covenant will be an inheritance to his children’s children.

When I think of my father (and my mother), it is the intangible components of my inheritance for which I am most grateful. Furthermore, I unashamedly hold the view that it is this type of inheritance that has eternal value, and it is the focus of today’s post.

Proverbs 13:22, highlights that leaving an inheritance for his grandchildren is one of the earmarks of a “good man,” but I recognize that every person, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, or any other demographic, leaves an inheritance or legacy. The question is, “What intangibles are we bequeathing? A strong work ethic or laziness? Deception or  integrity? A willingness to forgive or a bent toward holding grudges and difficulty forgiving others and/or yourself? Selfishness or generosity? A legacy of service or an attitude of entitlement? Gratitude or ingratitude? Trust or distrust? A victim mentality (“Everyone always does me wrong?) or the mindset of an overcomer? A legacy that is centered on God or a self-centered one?

There is a saying that, “What crawls in one generation, runs in the other.” This sobering statement emphasizes the importance of recognizing and effectively addressing hurts, unhealthy thinking patterns or behaviors in our own lives, or run the risk of them showing up with stronger roots and a more pervasive nature in our children, in some form.

Is there an experience from your childhood that is still unhealed? Still shaping how you relate to others and/or other choices you make? Subtract the age you were when the wound was inflicted from your current age. It can be sobering to realize the length of time an experience has affected us negatively. If we have children and/or grandchildren, they are also feeling the impact of that unhealed hurt in some way. Even if we do not have children or grandchildren, people in our lives are feeling the impact of that wound. Thankfully, we have a heavenly Father who is able to heal us in every wounded and broken place, no matter how long ago the wound was inflicted or has been infected … if we allow Him to do so. And if we do, in that moment, we can begin to change our todays and the legacy we will leave behind. I pray that we will make this choice repeatedly and  often, for however long it takes for us to whole.

 

Five Minute Friday: Worth

Vintage +Modern Mix& Match

//“Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin…”

So begins the beloved poem written by Myra Brooks Welch in 1921. It is, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” It tells the parable of an old violin that was devalued because of its condition. It was going to be sold for a measly amount of $3.00, until a master violinist picked it up, wiped away the dust, tightened its strings, and played, “a melody pure and sweet, as a caroling angel sings.” With his touch, he changed the worth of the old violin. Its final selling price? $3,000.

The poem demonstrates that the violin is a metaphor for the life of a human being who is “battered and scarred with sin,” his or her life out of tune, and sold for little or nothing. That is, until touched by the Master. Touched by the Potter who turns marred clay into vessels of worth. Turns shacks into temples that He puts His seal on. That He appropriates and certifies as His. //

Gives us His Holy Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. Like a security deposit to guarantee the fulfillment of His promise of eternal life. May we never again insult Him by allowing flesh and blood to define our worth.

Capture

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

(The content between //the double slashes //, was written within the allotted 5 minute time frame. The complete poem, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” can be read here.
I also wanted to share a beautiful song, “Worth,” by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy.)

 

Expecting Jesus

expecting JESUS

“It would make a difference to live with more of a focus on expecting Jesus.” This statement was part of a comment a fellow member of a writing community made in response to my recent post, “Expect.” Her words resonated with me, especially the phrase, “expecting Jesus.” I continue to reflect on the words and on one of the definitions of “expect” – to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of. “Expecting Jesus” – To anticipate or look forward to the coming of Jesus.

This anticipation can be connected to Him “showing up” in our lives, that is, accomplishing what we are incapable of doing ourselves. But as welcomed as such occurrences are, I turn my attention again to His return, which is a promise recorded in John 14:1-3,”…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (emphasis added).

The promise of His return is reiterated many times in Scripture; for example, in Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, and Hebrews 9:28. As I shared in the previous post, I want to begin to anticipate His return. But I do not want to long for His return just as a way to escape the pressures, pain, and tragedies of life (examples of which abound in the USA and around the world, just in the past two weeks).

More than wanting Him to return to put all things right, I want to long for His return because He has become the Lover of my soul. Because I believe in His love for me. I want to long for His return because I have come to love Him with my all of my heart, mind, and strength, because He first loved me. I want to long for His return because an ache has developed in my soul to see the One Who willingly laid aside His glory and became flesh for me. The One Who suffered incomprehensible agony, was crucified, buried and rose again for me. To see the One Who ascended on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for me. For us. These are the reasons I want to live “expecting Jesus.”

I am not yet living, “expecting Jesus;” Oh, but it is the longing of my heart to do so. I know that when I begin to do so, this mindset will not make me so “heavenly minded that I am no earthly good.” Instead, among other changes, my priorities will change so that pleasing Him will take precedence over pleasing people and, what matters most to Him, will be what matters most to me.

What are some of the things we can do to develop and maintain this mindset of “living, expecting Jesus?” I would appreciate you sharing your thoughts in the comments.

 

Five Minute Friday: Expect

the northern

Jesus is coming again. Not as a babe. Not as the Lamb. But as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is coming again. I believe this to be true and to this degree, you can say that I expect His return. But do I expect, that is anticipate or look forward to His coming? I have to admit that I do not believe so. Why? Because true expectation changes behavior.

I think of what happens when I am expecting something, for example, a call or a package. When it is a call, I keep my cell phone close. Make sure the ringer is on and I listen for the ringing even when I am engaged in other activities. When I am expecting a person, my behaviors are similar but I also make preparations for the visit. True expectation changes behavior.

And so I long to long for His return because I know when I begin to truly expect His return, my perspective on life will change. The choices I make will change. What I value will change. For true expectation changes behavior.

expect

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permission

NationalPrayer Day

Permission: the right or ability to do something that is given by someone who has the power to decide if it will be allowed or permitted

Whose permission do you need to be your best self?
To be bold instead of fearful or anxious?
Self-compassionate instead of self-critical?
Humble instead of puffed-up?

To forgive  yourself and others,
instead of being imprisoned by unforgiveness?
To go of the past instead of torturing yourself
with guilt,
regret,
and shame?

Christ has set you free.
Walk free.
Live free.
You have been called to liberty.

Give yourself permission to be your best self.
You already have God’s permission
and His enabling.
You do not need permission from anyone else.

Five Minute Friday: Future

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It is hard to imagine a future when you lack hope.

It is hard to have hope when everything you can experience through your senses give you no reason to believe that the current circumstances will change.

It is hard to reach for, look forward to a future that, to your knowledge, will be more of the same.

The same pain.
The same struggle.
The same loneliness.
The same barren efforts.

But if you are His
you may feel hopeless but you are never without hope.

For He is the source of hope.

And He has made this declaration,

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Did you hear that? He has plans to give you a future and a hope.

Not just a future but one that is hope filled.

And He is able to do just what He says.

So I join with the apostle Paul in praying, “Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you believe, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy spirit.”*

You have a future, a glorious future.

future

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community, at our new home. To learn more about the Five Minute Friday community, click here. This week’s writing prompt is, “Future.”

*Romans 15:13

Montage of Memorial Day Images

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Roll Call
There at the Memorial Day ceremony
They accepted the invitation to call the names of the fallen
Known personally to each of them

Some, based on their attire, appeared to be ordinary citizens like me
Others based on their attire, were veterans of the Vietnam War
Some voices were clear and strong
Others choked with emotion
Calling out names, each representing one I will never meet

And I wondered
For how many was it the first time to break the silence
And in speaking a single name
Began to speak the unspoken

I wonder
Did speaking that name bring pain
But also release?

Together
They stood together
In combinations of red, white, and blue
He stood with shoulders erect
This white haired, broad shouldered man whose face I never saw
Head sometimes bowed

She stood close and, in the face of words such as
“Some placed their lives on hold to answer the call”
Gently rubbed his back
Her profile visible as she turned her head to look at him
Sometimes to smile
At other times to lay her head on his shoulder
Always rubbing his back
Offering comfort and affirmation without words

Thank You
He greeted me before the ceremony began
Dressed in a black American Legion cap
White shirt and hair
Black slacks
Warm smile
A gentle touch on my shoulder
As he said, “How are you?”
And paused long enough to hear my response

At the end of the ceremony
He turned to me and asked
“Are you a veteran?”
“No,” I replied
“Thank you, for your support,” he said
And it was hard not to cry as I responded,
“Thank you

© E. Wright 2015

This blog post was posted originally on my photography blog, fitlyspoken, on May 25, 2015.

Five Minute Friday: Visit

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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, “Visit.”

GO

One of the most powerful visits recorded in the Bible, at least that is my opinion, is Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. At the time, Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant with the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist. Mary, herself, had recently learned that she was chosen to be the mother of the long promised Messiah. It was in her womb God would hide Himself in seed form, grow, and then be birthed, like an ordinary baby, when He was anything but.

It was an amazing visit. From the time Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the Bible records, her baby leaped in her womb. Listen to some of Elizabeth’s words, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? Mary responded in worship, with words that we have come to know as “The Magnificat.” “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. “

Yes, it was an amazing visit.

STOP

I pray that in my ordinary, everyday encounters, when I “visit with someone,” before the interaction ends, even when it is brief, in some way, and somehow, He will be exalted.

For the least of these = for Him

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Yesterday, May 21, 2017, was the Global Day of Prayer to end Famine. It was declared the day of prayer by the World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance and All Africa Conference of Churches and several other organizations. Here are some facts shared by World Vision about this humanitarian crisis:

  • More than 20 million face famine
  • Famine has been declared in areas of South Sudan, with Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen on the brink of famine.
  • Millions more in Kenya and Ethiopia are suffering from drought and food shortages.
  • 1.4 million children are severely malnourished. If left untreated, more than one-third of these children will die from starvation and disease.

What contributed to this humanitarian crisis? A combination of conflict, recurring severe drought, and high food prices.   

The need is grave and help is needed immediately. The magnitude of the need can create the sense that there is nothing one person can do to make a difference. Not so. Each person reading this post can do three things: pray, give, and encourage others to do so. Pray for those in need and for organizations such as World Vision that are working effectively to meet immediate needs and facilitate sustainable change.  It is true that the Global Day of Prayer to end famine is over but prayer is not restricted to one day. And neither is giving. No amount is too small.  Please click here to give. Every dollar can make a difference. Thank you.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40, NIV; emphasis added)