Only

 

only

 

John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

“In this is the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9.

Only. Defined as “alone in in a class or category.” In this the last day of the 31 days series, it is fitting to turn my attention to the Only Son, Who God give for us and Who also willingly offered Himself up for us.

The Son.

The One Who is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.

The One through Whom grace and peace came.

The pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

The One Who is the only mediator between God and mankind.

The One Who is God but made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. And being found in an appearance as a man humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on the cross.

The One Who is the Light of world.

The One in Whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.

The One in Whom we are complete.

The Beloved in Whom we are accepted.

The One Who is our High Priest.

And our Shepherd.

And Who ever lives to make intercession for us.

The Lamb.

The Lion.

The Soon coming King.

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Day 31 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Only.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Thanks to every one who read one, some, or all of the posts in the series. Special thanks to GiGiMandy, Ladymanni, and Granonine.

Cut

cut-2

 

There are various types of cuts utilized in the preparation of food. I knew about the julienne cut and dicing but learned about others from the culinarycook.com website. The latter include the paysanne, the chiffonade, and the batonnet.

There are also various types of knives used for cutting. These range from the common kitchen knives to those like the Wustof Classic Ikno, used reportedly by top chefs.

There is, however, one instrument used for cutting that every human possesses. It is the tongue. And with it we can inflict wounds which take longer to heal than any cut inflicted with a knife.

Most times the wounds we inflict with our tongues occur unintentionally.  In fact we may not know until the person’s demeanor changes or he or she tells us that we  have hurt them. But there are times when the cuts we inflict are intentional. And these intentional times of wounding often are during times when we are angry or hurt.

Thankfully, Jehovah Rapha is our Father. This means that we can be healed every time we are hurt. And He who heals also tells us to be angry and sin not.  And anything He tells us to do we are able to do, with His help.   

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Day 30 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Cut.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Date

date

 

According to the naturalsociety.com site, the date fruit, a product of the date palm has been cultivated since approximately 6000 B.C. The date fruit contains several key nutrients: fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Because of the key nutrients it contains, the date fruit has many health benefits. These include promoting digestive health and reliving constipation, boosting heart health, providing anti-inflammatory benefits, boosting brain health, and reducing stroke risk.

Reading about all these benefits of the date fruit, promoted me to reflect on some of the benefits of the written Word of our Father, the One Who created the date palm.

  • His word cleanses us (Psalm 119:9)
  • It keeps us from sinning against Him (Psalm 119:11)
  • It comforts us and gives us life (Psalm 119:50)
  • It gives us direction (Psalm 119:105)
  • It builds our faith (Romans 10:17)
  • It reveals God to us (Genesis to Revelation)

Unlike the date fruit which, due to its high sugar content, has to be eaten in small quantities, the benefits of the Word of God increase the more we eat of It, hide It in our hearts and live according to Its principles.

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Day 29 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Date.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Five Minute Friday & 31 Days: Eat

coffee

“No, you will spoil your appetite.” This response or a variation of it may be given to a child who is asking or reaching for a snack close to the time a meal will be served.

“You will spoil your appetite.” Indeed it is hard to eat or do justice to a meal when you do not have an appetite.

But there are times when the problem is not a lack of appetite. No. We know that we are hungry and need to eat but the problem is that we mistake the nature of our hunger. When this happens, we can find ourselves reaching for food which seems appetizing and eat our fill of it but still feel empty. This is the expected end when we attempt to fill a spiritual hunger with natural things.

We reach for things and engage in activities which will give us these things when what we need is not a thing but Him. When we have deprived ourselves of the Living Bread, for whatever reason, no matter how much of the desserts and meals of this world we consume, we will never be satisfied.

Father, helps us to discern the true nature of our hunger and no longer try to meet our need of You with anything or person.

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Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing adventure which, for the month of October, is included in the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. The prompt is “Eat” and this is Day 28.

Click here to read previous posts for the series.

 

 

 

Bouquet

bouquet

When I thought of the word bouquet, usually I thought of flowers. That is until recently when I learned that a bouquet is also a distinctive and characteristic fragrance usually associated with wine. And I wondered, does worship have a fragrance? If it does have a fragrance, what does my worship from my heart smell like to Him? Similarly, what does my worship smell like to Him when I am worshipping Him out of duty and obligation?

I know that David asked once, as documented in Psalm 141:2, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.” And I think of His word in Psalm 50:23, “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me…” And of Hebrews 13:15 which states, “Through Him therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His Name.” Praise and worship, offered as a sacrifice. Sacrifices have a scent, do they not? 

The lyrics of the song, “I love You, Lord, state,

“I love You, Lord

And Ii lift my voice,

To worship You …

Take joy my King

In what Your hear

Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

In Your ear

If worship has a fragrance, Abba, let mine be a sweet, sweet fragrance to You.

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Day 27 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Bouquet.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

 

Confront

confront

There are always risks involved when we confront someone. We have no idea how the person will respond and we face the reality that a friendship or other relationship can be lost as a result of us addressing, or confronting, an aspect of the relationship that is difficult or even harmful. Yes, there are always risks involved and courage is required to engage in any activity that carries risks. But the value of the relationship, even if it is the one we have with ourselves, does require us to confront others.

But sometimes the person we have to confront is ourselves. We may have done a good job of ignoring a particular pattern of behavior or way of thinking; however, the Holy Spirit continued to convict us and we came to the place where we acknowledged that a particular pattern of behavior or belief is harmful and, if it has not already done so, can costs more than we imagined. Thankfully, the One Who convicts us also helps us to make the changes which move us closer to becoming the persons He created us to be. And also give Him honor as we worship Him with our lives.

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Day 26 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Confront.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Sign

sign

Photo Credit for Chinese symbol for believe

Signs. Evidence of them are presented throughout the Bible, beginning in Genesis. An example of this is the lights God placed in the firmament of the heavens for “signs and seasons.”

And who can forget the miraculous signs He did through Moses and Aaron to set His people free from Egyptian bondage. These particular signs are referred to by various prophets in the OT. Prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah and Nehemiah.

Jesus also spoke of signs which will characterize the time when He will return. But I am turning my attention today to Gideon and the fleece. The Bible tells the story of Gideon being called by God to deliver the nation from oppression. He asked God multiple times for a sign that God would do what He said He would do. God answered him. What patience.

But I think of what Jesus said to someone who came to implore Him to heal his son. Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” My desire is to get to the place where I believe, not because of what I see, but because of what He said. I want my belief to be based on His Word and nothing else.

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Day 25 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Sign.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

 

 

Global

global

 

“Global” – relating to or involving the whole world.* The whole world. I am thinking of two songs which speak of the world. The first is one I learned as a child, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” The second is, “You hold my world.” I find comfort in the first song, especially now with the seeming madness, incivility, and unspeakable horrors which are too common in our world. It is comforting to be reminded that God is still in control. He is ADONAI and always will be the Sovereign LORD. He reigns and He always will. No matter how things appear. “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

But I also find even greater comfort in the second song, because it is more personal. He does not only have the “whole world in His hands.” He has my world in His hands. And I need to remember that my relationship with Him is a personal one. He knows me by name. He has numbered the hairs on my head. He holds my world in His hands. And as the lyrics go on to remind me, He will not let go. He will always take care of me. He will not let go. He will not let go of me. And He will not let go of you. He has the whole world in His hands and He has all that pertains to us, in His hands. (End of 5 minutes)

Thank You, Father.

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Day 24 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Global.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

*merriam-webster.com

Blowout

 

blowout

Did you know there is a “tire-blowout season?” Although I have owned a car for decades and also experienced a tire blowout once, it was not until today that I learned there is a “tire-blowout season.” According to popularmechanics.com, this season extends approximately from the middle of May through early October.

Characteristics of these months are hot temperatures and motorists driving long distances, in heavily loaded vehicles. The site notes that that the combination of these factors can “push a neglected or injured tire beyond is breaking point.” I took note of the fact that it is not the external factors by themselves which contribute to or cause the tire to blow out. The tire has to already be injured or lacking in necessary care to be adversely affected by the hot temperatures, the long distances, and the heavy weight.

Things that can damage a tire include underinflation, overloading, and potholes. A tire is underinflated when its air pressure is inadequate. This causes the internal components of the tire to flex beyond what they are designed. Each tire is designed to carry a certain amount of weight. When a vehicle is overloaded, this can damage the tire.  When a tire slams hard enough into a pothole, the tire’s internals can be damaged. (END OF 5 MINUTES)

I believe these details about the causes of a tire blowout has spiritual implications. Prayer, reading and mediating on the Word of God, engaging in individual and corporate worship, is to us what air is to a tire. Adequate spiritual sustenance will prevent us from becoming “underinflated” and decrease the likelihood that our inner man will be stretched beyond our limits.

Similarly, we need to learn to set proper boundaries and priorities to avoid “overloading” ourselves. We need to learn to recognize and say what Lysa TerKeurst describes as “The best yes.” Some “potholes” can be avoided by listening to the Spirit and taking different routes. But others can be encountered because “life happens.” Thankfully, regardless of the source(s) or cause(s) of the damage or injuries we sustain, our “blowouts,” our Father, Jehovah Rapha, is able to heal and restore us, so that we can continue on our journey and live as He has planned.

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Day 23 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Blowout.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Off

off

Sometimes the temptation is strong to “tell someone off.” “To go off” on the person. Give them a piece of my mind. Rake them over the coals. Give them a thorough “tongue lashing. “But I realize that when I yield to this temptation, reconciliation is not my goal. I am most likely driven by the desire to let someone know that I am not one to “mess with,” and pride is usually at play in some part of the process.

Also, when I “tell someone off,” there is no offering of grace here in any way shape or form. And grace is something that I am the recipient off every moment of every day. So how dare I not offer that same grace to someone who has wronged me?

I am not saying that there is never a reason to be angry. Neither am I saying that I should not let someone know that their behavior was hurtful or disrespectful. It is how I say it that makes the difference.

I heard the saying once than “Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional.” We, or let me say I, need to always remember that I am to speak the truth in love. I think also of Colossians 4:6, which states, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” I am not there yet but that is my goal.

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Day 22 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Off.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.