Five Minute Friday: Turn

Turn

To turn something is to move it so that it is in a different position in relation to its surroundings or its previous position. I can move my eyes without turning my head but I cannot turn my head without my eyes being moved in the direction to which I have turned my head. And when I turn my head, I have a different perspective than I had when my head (and my eyes) were in their previous position. How long does it take before the change in position and perspective begin to affect my life in serious ways? Sometimes, it does not take very long. For example, while driving, turning my head (and my eyes) for a few seconds from looking straight ahead, to reach for something in my passenger seat, can cause my car to begin drifting into oncoming traffic, or crash into the back of a vehicle that had stopped suddenly in front of me. (End of five minutes).

Sometimes, however, the impact of the change in position and perspective, takes longer to be noticed. Decades ago, I heard a message titled, “The deceptiveness of the gradual.” I have heard at least hundreds of messages since I heard, “The deceptiveness of the gradual,” and have forgotten many, but I remember still the sobering lesson of that message. The gist of it is, turning away from God is a process that, for most, begins gradually. As I reflect on that lesson now, I am reminded that my desire for God, my commitment to Him, is a fire that requires constant, intentional tending. It cannot be left to chance or even convenience.

FMF

I am joining 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, “Turn.” The definition of “turn” used in this post is from oxforddictionaries.com.

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Details

Details (1)

How many stars are there in the universe? The lowest estimate, 1022, is considered “only a rough number.” Mind bending.

Then there is this truth in Psalm 145:4-5 (VOICE):

4 He counts all the stars within His hands,
carefully fixing their number
and giving them names.
5 Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power.
He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.

We, humans, with our best resources, can only come up with a rough estimate. God? He counts them within His hands, carefully fixing their number and giving them names.” Let us sit with this truth for a while.

Then there is Psalm 139:1-18 (VOICE):

1 O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am;
2 You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.
Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.
3 You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming,
and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know.
4 You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.
It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.
5 You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
6 It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out;
the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.
7 Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?
8 If I go up into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
9 If I ride on the wings of morning,
if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
10 Even then You will be there to guide me;
Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
11 Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
12 You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
For You the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.
13 For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
15 You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret,
carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
16 You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
17 Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!
How grand in scope! How many in number!
18 If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!
Even when I wake up, I am still near to You.

God pays attentions to details.* In the universe. In our lives. In your life. We can trust Him with all aspects of our lives. All the details of our lives matter to Him, including those details that may bore other people. Not our Father. He knows all the details of our lives and all the details of our lives matter to Him. All of them. Why? Because we matter to Him and He invites us to come to Him with all the details. All of them.

*(Click here for additional examples.)

Five Minute Friday: Other

Other

Other – a person­ or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known.

Other – distinct from, different from, or opposite to something or oneself.

Different – not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form or quality.

When and for what purpose did different, other, come to mean

less than,

deficient,

inferior,

even in His Body?

O God who made us in all our diversity from one original person,

Open our eyes to see how this lie has pervaded our lives. Set us free so that we can live truth and not just speak it.

FMF

I am joining 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, “Other.” The definitions for “Other” and “Different” are from oxforddictionaries.com (emphases added).

“… and Peter.” (And me).

_What do you say about yourself.. (1).png

A drowning person’s life flashes before his or her eyes.
Or so I have been told.
And if there is truth in this statement,
I wonder if Peter’s life with Jesus flashed before his eyes
as he drowned in an ocean of shame, horror, pain, and disbelief
after doing what he had sworn he never would,
that is, abandon Jesus, the One he had left all to follow.

I wonder if he saw the moment when Jesus called to him and his brother Andrew
as they were casting a net into the Sea of Galilee, and said,
“Come follow me and I will send you to fish for people”?
And when He touched the hand of Peter’s mother-in-law as she was lying in bed with a fever, and the fever left her?

I wonder if Peter remembered vividly the moment his feet touched the water after he asked, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water,” and Jesus responded, “Come”?
And when he responded to Jesus’ question, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” with the revelation given to him by the Father, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter.

I wonder if he saw the thousands being fed with a little boy’s lunch, and Lazarus coming out of the tomb after he had been dead four days, and Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount?

I do not know but the One Who knew Peter would deny Him, not once but thrice in a short space of time, and loved him still, He made sure that Peter knew that there was forgiveness, and redemption, and restoration for Peter.

First, He sent the message of His resurrection through the angel, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
“… tell his disciples and Peter.”
“ … and Peter.”

Later, He would pose a question to him three times, “Do you love Me?”
And by the end of the conversation had commissioned him and, as He had done in their first encounter by the Sea of Galilee, called him to follow Him.

Like Peter, I have been guilty of denying Him,
Sometimes with my words.
At other times with my silence, behavior and choices.
Like Peter, I have been guilty of denying Him.
Perhaps you are too.
Thanks be to God, we can all be certain that,
no matter what we have done,
the same forgiveness,
redemption,
and restoration that Peter was given,
is also available to us.

NB: This post was originally published on this blog on 4/17/17

Five Minute Friday: Release

Release

“Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth. He went on board the boat to escape the flood—he and his wife and his sons and their wives. With them were all the various kinds of animals—those approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were not—along with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground. They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth” (Genesis 7: 6- 10, NLT).

“After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back” (Genesis 8:6-12, NLT).

Noah could only release the raven and the dove because, in obedience to God’s instructions, he had taken both birds into the ark. He could only release what he had in his possession; having the birds in his possession give him the authority to release them from the ark. And I think of my words and how when I speak (or write), I am releasing them. And I think of this truth in Luke 6:45, “The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart” (VOICE). And I pray that Psalm 119:10-11, may be my reality so that the words I release are life-giving words.

“With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience]. Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:10-11, AMP).

FMF

I am joining 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, “Release.”

“Just as He said”

Just as He said

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfill it?”                                        
(Numbers 23:19, AMP)

It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will go across before you [to lead you], just as the Lord has said” (Deuteronomy 31:3, AMP)

“And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today” (Joshua 14:10, AMP).

The Lord has done [to you] just as He said through me [when I was with you]; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David” (1 Samuel 28:17, AMP)

“He carried out of there (Jerusalem) all the treasures of the house (temple) of the Lord, and the treasures of the house (palace) of the king, and cut in pieces all the articles of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, just as the Lord had said” (2 Kings 24:13, AMP).

“And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him” (Jeremiah 40:3, NIV).

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said [He would]. Come! See the place where He was lying” (Matthew 28:5-6, AMP).

Take God at His word. He will do what He said He will do.

(Emphasis added in each Scripture verse.)

Mind bent. Spirit worships.

Mind bent.Soul worships.It bends my mind.
A response congruent with the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9:
His thoughts are not mine.
Neither are His ways.
And both are higher than mine.

It bends my mind.
This truth that the creating Word,
the sustaining-all-things-by-His power Word,
willingly divested Himself of His glory.
Wrapped Himself in flesh.
Allowed Himself to be mocked and scorned.
Battered beyond recognition.
To redeem us.
To redeem me.

It bends my mind, this truth.
But my spirit,
my spirit accepts
what my mind cannot comprehend.
And
prostrates,
and worships.