Be better at remembering

I know better than to let my emotions dictate my actions

but sometimes in the midst of the storm,

I allow them to take control.

What I need then to regain control is to remember …

Remember the faithfulness of my God.

Remember His promises.

Remember that He is always with me.

Remember to anchor myself in truth.

Remember that life is made up of seasons.

Remember that I am never without help.

Remember that no situation is hopeless because the One who is my hope lives within me.

Remember to resist the temptation to isolate and instead reach out to trusted individuals in my life.

Remember to pause.

Remember to breathe deep.

Remember to give thanks.

Remember. Remember. Remember.

What things would it be helpful for you to be better at remembering during challenging times?

I am joining (on a Monday), the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Better.”

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Old and New and All Our Days: Emmanuel

December 31st. Depending on which part of Adonai’s world you inhabit, it is known as “Old Year’s Day” or “New Year’s Eve.” Years ago, I realized that the name I give to the day can provide a different focus. “Old Year’s Day” can engender a focus on the current year with all that made it what it was; it can also prompt expressions of gratitude as I recognize that God brought me through challenges and blessed me richly. “New Year’s Eve” can generate a focus on the coming year and the dreams, hopes, plans, and even uncertainties I may have about the future. I see value in calling the day both “Old Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.” Doing so reminds me that God inhabits my past, present, and future. That, EmmanuelGod with us, is not solely a Christmas promise.  I have His promise to never leave me, never forsake me; He is with me whether or not I feel that He is present. The same is true for you. He is with you.

Dread of the new year can creep in when I see the new year only as 365 more days of the mundane. As holding at least 365 opportunities to make mistakes, etc. Focus matters. Without question, the new year will have challenges. That is life. As in previous years, there will be days, weeks, even months when it seems that my sanity and survival require me to pray every hour. There will be seasons when I stumble more that I stride. But there will also be moments of joy, and wonder, and the satisfaction of tasks well done.  Moments when I have the privilege of being part of someone’s healing and having someone be part of mine. Moments of extending and receiving grace. Moments when hope seems futile and moments of restored hope. Moments of chaos and pain and moments of clarity and peace. Moments of bone weariness and moments of renewed strength. Moments of relational rupture and moments of restoration and deep connection. Moments of resting in sunshine, the warmth of the sun feeling like a soft kiss. Moments when all the world seems gray and wet. Moments when I receive forgiveness and am enabled to forgive.  Moments of learning more about my heavenly Father and, as a result, learning more about who I am in Him.

Thankfully, all of these moments are in the hand of the Eternal One. The One who neither sleeps or slumbers. The One whose eyes are on the righteous and His ears open to our cry. The One who loves us with an everlasting love and draws us with lovingkindness. The One who is full of compassion and abundant in loyal love and truth. The One who is Almighty and omnipresent and invites us to come boldly to His throne of grace and find help in the time of need. The One who is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we can ask of think. “Old Year’s Day,” “New Year’s Eve,” and all our days, Emmanuel.  May you experience prosperity as the Eternal God defines it, in every area of your life in 2019.

NB: Versions of this post were published on December 31, 2013 and 2017.

Breath

breath

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” Genesis 2:7, NKJV). Breath. The difference between life and death.

When in a resting state, an adult takes 12 to 20 breaths per minute. Sometimes, however, even when we are breathing normally physically, life experiences, like a blow to the solar plexus, leave us struggling to catch our breath emotionally and mentally. To be in such a place during the Advent season when many are caught up in preparations for Christmas, can exacerbate the struggle to breathe. There is only One who can restore our breath. The same One who “breathed the breath of life” into Adam. This is a promise of Emmanuel, “God with us.” He is with us to heal us and restore what we need to live again.

breath (3)

Still

Still

  • up to and including the present or the time mentioned
  • even now (or then) as formerly
  • yet
  • nevertheless
  • inspite of that
  • despite that  
  • notwithstanding

Still. Yet. Notwithstanding. Even now.

Habakkuk had heard news that caused him to tremble within and without. That caused his lips to quiver and “decay and rottenness” to enter his bones. And yet, still, notwithstanding, he made this declaration:

Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation.

And, Abba Father, You remind me of Your instructions through the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4-8 (AMP):

4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance,and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

ABBA, hear my prayer: 
Still, 
up to and including the present or the time mentioned,
even now (or then) as formerly, yet, nevertheless, inspite of that, despite that, nothwithstanding … 
Help me to remain faithful to You. Help me live a life of worship. Help me rejoice in You. Help me obey You. Still.

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure (on a Sunday). Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Still.”�<

Context

I noticed the airplane as it headed in the direction of the airport near my workplace. It’s size, weight, and capacity were unchanged from the moment it left the airstrip of an airport that was its departure point, to the moment I noticed it flying above. But against the expanse of the sky, the airplane resembled a child’s toy. Context alters perspective.

This Advent season as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior, each day moving us closer to December 25th, I wonder, what is the context for my life? What is the context of your life? Against what backdrop am I, are you viewing that circumstance which is a source of anguish? The unanswered prayer? Our deepest longing? Your greatest joy? The event that fills you with anticipation? Or dread? Context gives perspective.

May the faithfulness of our God who kept His promise to redeem us, be the context within which we frame our lives. All parts of it. In all seasons. 

Hope

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel

The lyrics above are from the song, “Light of The World,” by Lauren Daigle, Paul Duncan, and Paul Mabury. May you be encouraged as you listen, even if you have heard the song before. May we find comfort in the truth that because of Jesus, the Light of the World, we are never without hope. May we set our hope in God (Psalm 78:7, NKJV).

Five Minute Friday: Deep

According to Wikipedia, the deepest natural point in the world is the Mariana Trench, also known as the Marianas Trench. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean and its maximum known depth is 36,070 ft (10,994 meters).

To give us an idea of how deep 36,070 feet is, Wikipedia informs us that if Mount Everest, which is  29,029 feet (8,848 meters) is dropped into the Mariana Trench, its peak would be 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) below the surface of the Marianas Trench.  Now that is deep; however, as deep as the Trench is, it has a limit because the Pacific Ocean has a floor. Our Father’s love, on the contrary, is limitless. There is no end to His love as reiterated throughout the Bible and stated powerfully in the song, “O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus.”*

Here is the first verse: 
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above 

My favorite rendition of this beautiful song is by the group, Selah, and it is shared below. Mark Ladd and Samuel T. Francis are the songwriters and the full lyrics of “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” can be found here.


I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure (on a Sunday). Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Deep.”

*(end of five minutes).