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.”

Events

Events.png

On Monday, August 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years, there was a total solar eclipse visible from a large portion of the United States of America. It is estimated that millions of people turned their gaze skyward to behold this wonder promoting event. It would be a safe bet that most of the viewers were likely not born when the last total solar eclipse of this kind occurred on Saturday, June 6, 1918.

The warnings about the danger of watching this phenomenon with the naked eye or with eyewear that was adequate for ordinary days, were clear. Special glasses or other equipment were needed. In addition, this total solar eclipse was not a surprise. It was predicted and preparations were made to view it. I heard of a family that began preparing for it three years ago and traveled together to a specific place to witness this marvel.

Total solar eclipses are rare events but there is an Event, ever rarer, which will occur. Unlike total solar eclipses, although the coming of this Event was foretold* centuries ago and is documented, its exact date is known to only One. Preparation is needed for this event also. But unlike the preparation for the total solar eclipse, the preparation of this event is foremost a preparation of the heart. I am speaking of the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

It is not uncommon for statements of His return, much like statements of His divinity and resurrection from the dead, to be met with derision. And, even among those of us called by His name, there can be a lukewarm reaction to statements of His Second Coming. I pray that this recent total solar eclipse awakens a fresh desire in our hearts to live expecting Jesus and to share the good news of God’s love to others.

*Click here for other Scripture references.

What do you know to be true, really?

What do you know, really_(1)

What do you know to be true, really?
And what is the basis of your knowledge?
Knowledge not based on Truth offers a weak foundation for a life.
Shaky ground upon which to take a stand.
So I ask again, “What do you know to be true, really?
“And what is the basis of your knowledge?”

In this world in which vast information is accessible in seconds
through technology we hold in the palm of our hands,
it is critical that we recognize truth.
Can tell facts from emotion based opinion.
Or the arguments of the learned,
those possessing human wisdom only.

For there is only One who made the declaration,
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Only One about whom it was stated,
That grace and truth came through Him.

This belief that He, Jesus, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
is deeply offensive to many.
Is railed against.
Those who hold it as truth
dismissed as fools.
Considered deluded.
Naïve.
Unintelligent.
Intolerant.
Are persecuted.
Martyred.
Ostracized.

But those who have come to Truth.
Drawn by Truth.
Believing that He is
and that He welcomes all who come.
We recognize that all of creation points to Him, the Creator.
And we have found the One Who cannot lie,
to be all that He says He is.
And more than we can imagine.
Or fully grasp.
Truth is the foundation on which we base our knowledge and our lives.

What do you know to be true, really?
And what is the basis of your knowledge?
Knowledge not based on Truth offers a weak foundation for a life.
Shaky ground upon which to take a stand.
So I ask again, “What do you know to be true, really?
“And what is the basis of your knowledge?”

Copyright © 2017 Esther W. Wright. All Rights Reserved.

For this reason I bow my knees

Happy birthday!

What brings you to your knees? For the apostle Paul, it was the revelation of God’s eternal plan, executed through Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s eternal plan is that anyone who believes the Good News and, because of this, belongs to Christ Jesus, has the same equal share in God’s riches. Is part of the same Body. Enjoys the promise of blessings.

An added bonus to Paul, was that he who relentlessly persecuted God’s children, prior to his encounter with the risen Lord, was entrusted with the privilege of serving God.

Unlike Paul, my history does not include persecution of God’s children; however, like Paul, I was once far away from God, His enemy, and separated from Him by my evil thoughts and actions. And, as He did for Paul, God reconciled me to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result of this reconciliation, He brought me into His own presence, and I am holy and blameless as I stand before Him without a single fault (Colossians 1:21-22, NLT). And He did the same for you.

What response is appropriate to the revelation of what God has done for us? To the incomprehensible lengths He went to, to redeem us? I confess that, too often, I respond casually to His amazing grace. I  have been guilty of reading passages of Scripture such as 1 John 3:1-2 or Colossians 3:3, without pausing to reflect on its truths. Without responding with awe and gratitude. Much as if I were mindlessly watching a rerun of an episode of a favorite television show. Abba, forgive me.

Paul’s response was to fall to his knees before God and pray… not for himself, but for others. This is what he prayed:

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:16-19, AMP).

Would you join me in reading his prayer again but, this time … out loud? And let us pray it for the people dear to us. And our fellow believers at home and abroad. Let us pray it for ourselves, also. What a life altering thing it would be to be rooted deeply in God’s love. To have an increasing understanding and experience of His love. To be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Him. Or as another translation states, “To be filled up with God Himself.” And I pray also to more consistently reflect on what God has done and respond with awe, gratitude, and obedience.