Forward

“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to move forward [toward the sea].” (Exodus 14:15, AMP).

Anytime, every time we move forward, we go into the unknown. No matter how much research we have done. No matter the level of expertise we possess. Any time, every time we move forward, we go into the unknown. It is so because human knowledge is incomplete, imperfect, fragmentary (1 Corinthians 13:9, AMP). As such even when what we are moving into is familiar, there will always be aspects that are unknown to us. There is, however, One who is omniscient – ELOHIM. Thankfully, He is with us and for us as we face what is unknown to us.

This truth brings me deep comfort as the world reels with the unknown that is the coronavirus. And I see a link between Proverbs 3:5 and the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust your unknown future to a known God.” The link is this, wholehearted trust of God is tied to a deepening, intimate knowledge of Him.

“Those who know you, Lord, will trust you;  you do not abandon anyone who comes to you.” (Psalm 9:10, GNT).

I am joining (on a Saturday) 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, “Forward.” The Scripture verses at the beginning and the end of the post were added after the allotted 5 minutes had expired.

Refrain

Refrain, the noun, is a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or a division of a poem or song.

I have been wondering,
if my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
What would be repeated
at the end of each stanza,
each season?
I thought of several things
but kept coming back to this,
“God is faithful.”

When the stanza was filled with sorrow,
God was faithful.
When the stanza was characterized
by uncertainty and confusion,
God was faithful.  
Whether the stanza was one of joy
and accomplishments
and the satisfaction of a job well done,
or marked with disappointment and failure,
God was faithful.

In every stanza written to date,
God has been faithful.
And for every stanza that will be written
in the future,
He will remain faithful.
If my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
“God is faithful.”

“Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, HCSB).

“Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
(Lamentations 3:19-23, HCSB).

I am joining (on a Saturday) 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, “Refrain.” The Scripture verses were added after the allotted 5 minutes had expired. The definition of “Refrain” cited in the post is from merriam-webster.com.

Here

In an airport when trying to find a restaurant, or in a shopping mall while trying to locate a store, or on a walking trail when you are trying to determine where you are, finding a location map with an arrow or circle with the statement, “You are here,” can be a relief. But location is always in context. If I am standing to the left of something, there is always a right side. If I turn to the east, there is a north, south or west.

There are times, however, when we do not know where we are… in life that is. Perhaps, worse yet, we do not know how we got there. Thankfully, our God, Elohim, never loses track of us. He always knows exactly where we are, how we got there, and what it will take to get us back on track. In the midst of all the uncertainty, the unknown that characterizes our current global season, we can be sure of that fact. God knows exactly where we are so, like pilgrims before us, let us look to Him.

Psalm 121 (NKJV)
“God the Help of Those Who Seek Him”
A Song of Ascents.

1I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?

2My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

4Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

6The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

7The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.

8The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Adjust

Sometimes You ask me to adjust my grip,
hold things more loosely
as a reminder that everything I can touch
is temporary.
And I do,
failing more times than I succeed
with immediate obedience. 

At other times,
You have to peel my fingers away,
loosen my white knuckled grip
on what I believe will keep me safe on shore
and away from those deep waters
to which You are beckoning me.

Yet other times,
You make it clear that
You are not asking me to adjust
but to be completely transformed.
Then what is required is death,
like that of a seed
which once planted dies
but in its dying,
brings forth a harvest that is life giving.

“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest. The one who loves his life [eventually] loses it [through death], but the one who hates his life in this world [and is concerned with pleasing God] will keep it for life eternal.” (John 12:24-25, AMP)

I am joining (on a Sunday) 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, “Adjust.”

Tomorrow


Tomorrows have names:
Mondays.
Tuesdays.
Wednesdays.
Thursdays.
Fridays
Saturdays.
Sundays.
Next week.
Next month.
Next Year.
The first day of a new term.
The morning after a wedding.
The first post-divorce day.
The day after a layoff.
The day when the someone in the state or city where you live,
or someone in a place where you work
is diagnosed with an illness of some kind.
The first day of a new normal.

Tomorrows have names
and so do the events they contain.
But the One who holds all our tomorrows,
has the Name that is higher than all names,
and gives us the only reason
we need to face our tomorrows –
He is with us, always.

I am joining (on a Sunday) 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, “Tomorrow.”

less

The recognition that Jesus was baptizing people and everyone was going to Him, was upsetting to John’s disciples. They brought the news to John and he responded with joy. He reiterated to them that he was not the Messiah; Jesus is. Using the metaphor of a wedding, he identified himself as the best man and Jesus as the groom, and spoke these words, “Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. (John 3:26-27, CEV).

 Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. I am not the forerunner for Jesus as John the Baptist was. I am not His forerunner but for me to fulfill the purpose for which God created me, I must have the same mindset as John the Baptist – Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. I exist for His glory. It is not about me. It is about Him. It is all about Him. As I go about my daily, ordinary living, it must all be about Him and for Him. This requires a daily, often moment by moment dying to self. For, “ Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

I am joining (on a Saturday) 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, “Less.”

Direction

When being given directions, “North,” “South,” “East,” or “West,” are just words to me. “Take a right, or a left,” on the other hand, set me on the right path. So do the names of streets and the number of lights before my destination. A landmark or two also are a great help.

We all need direction and I find comfort in God’s promises found in Scripture. Here are some of my favorites: 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”
(Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).

“The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
(Isaiah 58:11, NKJV).

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.”
(Psalm 32:8, NKJV).

“For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide
Even to death.”
(Psalm 48:14, NKJV).

What are some of your favorite verses of God’s promises to both direct us and be our Guide always?

I am joining (on a Sunday) 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, “Direction.” Scripture references were added after the allotted 5 minutes had expired.

Remember

“God rest ye merry, gentlemen,” is a Christmas carol, it is true. But the verse shared above holds a truth we need to remember as we live through each day God gives us in 2020. And the remainder of our lives.  

Let us remember the good tidings of great joy which the angel shared with the shepherds that first Christmas, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NKJV).

Why remember? Because the birth of the Word made flesh was the fulfillment of a promise God made centuries before in the Garden of Eden. Why remember? Because we will face challenges in 2020, some of which could test our faith to the point that the promises of God will be all we have to hold on to, to keep going. And we need to remember that in keeping His promise to redeem us, we have His assurance that He will keep every promise He has made. He did it for the children of Israel and He will do the same for you.

Why remember? Because His name, Immanuel, means “God with us,” and if there is one thing we need to hug close and bury deep in our beings is that “God is with us,” always.

Remember also that Christ our Savior was not only born but He lived and revealed the Father to us. And was tempted in all ways as we are and never sinned. And suffered untold agony for us, including separation from the Father. And died a criminal’s death. And rose again. And is now at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us. We know these truths but need to remember to remind ourselves of them often. Doing so is an antidote to discouragement and dismay and hopelessness. Remember. Remember. Remember. Do whatever it takes to remember.

NB: A version of this post was published on January 2, 2017.

Success

Influence. Physical possessions. Power. Popularity. These are all measures used by society to evaluate success. But I believe success is tailor made, that is, unique for each individual. God created each of us for His purpose and true success lies only in discovering and fulfilling His purpose for our lives. Without knowing the purpose for which He created us, we could spend our lives chasing after society’s measures of success and end up dissatisfied.

Hear Jesus’ words to his disciples (and to us), “For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26, TPT).

Psalm 100:3 instructs us, “Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (AMP). And we are also instructed in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (KJV).//

Success isthe accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” The aim and purpose that matters is God’s. He states in Isaiah 46:9-11,“Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past; For I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I
will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose’” (AMP). It is an honor and privilege that the Almighty God who does not need us, should choose us to co-labor with Him with and provide the way for us to experience true success.

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure (on Sunday). Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Success.” The content behind the // was added after 5 minutes were completed. The definition for “success” is from lexico.com.

Challenge

Are you questioning if you can rise to meet the challenge? You can because God is with you. You can rise in His strength. You can trust Him to strengthen your feet and ankle bones as He did for the lame man in Acts 3:7, through Peter.

He will strengthen you when you cry out to Him. He will make you bold with strength in your soul (Psalm 138:3). He, the LORD, is your rock and your great strength, who trains your hands for war and your fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1, AMP). Like David, you can say to your Goliath, “I come against you in the name of the LORD. The battle is the LORD’s” (1 Samuel 17).

You may not have faced this challenge before but you have faced other challenges and the same God who was with you in the previous challenges, is with you now.

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