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.

 

 

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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

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.”

Helpers

helpers

 

In the video above, Mr. Fred Rogers, shares what I believe is one of the wisest, most comforting piece of advice I have heard: When scary things are happening, in times of disaster, “Look for the helpers.” He notes that when we look for the helpers, we will know there is hope. Knowing there are helpers will give hope.

Hope. How desperately it is needed at this time as we face another disaster, an ongoing one, from the horrendous impact of  Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey, in the state of Texas. “Look for the helpers,” he said. What an incredible thing to realize that we can be the helpers. We can be those who bring hope to our neighbors.

Jesus taught us that our neighbor is anyone who needs help, not just those who live near us. And, God instructs repeatedly, to help. Here are some examples:

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrew 13:16, ESV)

 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4, ESV)

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17, ESV)

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27, ESV)

 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17, ESV)

It is likely that many individuals reading this post can be a helper in some way. Please click here for ways to help.

 

Five Minute Friday: Guide

Guide

//The lyrics of the hymn, “Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,” written by William Williams in 1745, came to mind, rose up in my spirit, in response to this week’s prompt, “Guide.” “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,” the first line states, “pilgrim through this barren land.” In just one line, I am reminded that I am a pilgrim and that this land through which I am traveling is barren at times. And perhaps always barren, in comparison to the opulence of heaven, made rich with the joy of seeing Him face to face.

“I am weak, but thou art mighty,” the song continues. And I am reminded that being weak is not a place of shame in His eyes, because He has assured me that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and “when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,” states the next line. And I sense the songwriter’s hunger, his longing, and I long to long also for the Bread of life. This Bread of Life who nourishes me for life’s journey but is also my Guide.//

He is not my GPS giving me directions. He is my Guide. Hear these words from Isaiah 58:11 (AMP):

“And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

And also in Psalm 48:14 (AMP):

“For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide even until death.”

This God. Elohim. Jehovah Tsidkenu. The Almighty God. The Omnipresent, Omniscient One. This God. The One who sustains all things by His Word. This God. The One whose ways are not our ways. Whose thoughts are not ours. This God is our Guide. This God is my Guide. This God is your Guide, “even until death.”

And I am reminded of words from my sister-in-Christ, in her FMF post this week.

“We don’t have to be lost. We don’t have to panic. God is ever-near, speaking through the words on the thin pages or the smartphone screens. His Spirit breathes life into the ink and graces our minds with understanding. We don’t have to wander. We don’t have to attempt to cut our own path blindly in the darkness.”

Thank You, Abba Father. Thank You.

—-

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. The content between the // // was written within the 5 minute window.