Five Minute Friday: Excuse

EXCUSE

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” (Esther 4:11, NKJV)

The words above were Queen Esther’s response to the horrendous news from Mordecai that all the Jews were to be annihilated, and to his appeal for her to go to the king, her husband, and plead for her people.

We know how the story ends but as I think of these words, I acknowledge that Esther’s response was fact based; however, it seems self-centered, given what was at stake. I do not judge Esther because I know I have been guilty of stating facts as an excuse not to do hard things. I pray that God will always place a Mordecai in my life, who will expose my excuses for what they are and hold my feet to the fire. He has placed me where I am for His purpose and it is not “facts” that matter but my obedience.

FMF

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community (on a Saturday)  for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Excuse.”

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Five Minute Friday: Need

NEED

Sometimes I confuse them –
my wants (my desire for something)
and my needs (what is essential, necessary, required for my wellbeing).

Sometimes I confuse them –
my wants
and my needs.
Thankfully, my Father never does.

And I have this assurance, “Your Father knows what you need
before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8).
And this instruction from the Word made flesh,
“Pray then, in this way:
Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our
debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the
resentment].

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen]’”
(Matthew 5: 9-13, AMP)

I pray for wisdom to distinguish between my wants and my needs.
And for grace to be content with what You provide.
Choosing to believe that You give good gifts
and will meet every need
(and even some wants)
in Your perfect timing.

FMFI 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, “Need.”

31 Days of Loving Well & FMF: Overcome

overcome

Bias, defined as, “A particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned.” Biases. We all have them. Sometimes we dress our biases up in pretty clothing and call them “preferences.” Preferences, which Merriam-Webster tells me, “suggest a choice guided by one’s judgment or predilections. (A preference for cool weather).” But I see preferences as being relevant to things, not people.

A bias is not a preference. It is “an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment: PREJUDICE.” Prejudice, “an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.”

What does bias have to do with loving those I do not know, well? Everything. I need, with the help of the Holy Spirit to recognize and overcome, “successfully deal with” my biases, if I am to imitate my Father and “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).


Today’s post was written for Day 27 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series, and Five Minute Friday. This series, 31 Days of Loving Well, is part of the  31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, “Overcome.” Definitions are from dictionary.com and merriam-webster.com. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.

31 Days of Loving Well & FMF: Discover

Discover

Discover
verb
: to see, find, or become aware of (something) for the first time
: to show the presence of (something hidden or difficult to see) : to make (something) known
: to learn or find out (something surprising or unexpected)


Is there anyone we take for granted more,
assume that we know so well
that we do not see the need
to discover anything new about them,
than our loved ones (family and friends?)

This is the place into which today’s FMF prompt has ushered me –
The recognition that I have not taken the time to ask questions of my loved ones.

Do not get me wrong. I do ask how they are doing and, most of the time, listen closely as they speak.

It is also true that, especially for my siblings, I can sometimes sense that something is not okay, just by the sound of their voices or what they do not say.

But I realize that there are details of their lives that I do not know.

Yes, it is true that, as the youngest in a large family, aspects of their lives occurred before I was born.

But this makes it even more necessary for me to intentionally create opportunities for them to tell me their stories.

To have them tell and me listen with caring curiosity, is an act of loving well.


Today’s post was written for Day 20 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series, and Five Minute Friday. This series, 31 Days of Loving Well, is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, “Discover.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.

Day 13 & Five Minute Friday: Invite

Invite

Our God and Father, is the God who invites. In response to today’s prompt, I will share two of His invitations that leave me wrapped in love and in awe of His amazing love.

The first is in Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG):

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The second is in Isaiah 55:1-3 (VOICE):

Eternal One: If you are thirsty, come here; come, there’s water for all. Whoever is poor and penniless can still come and buy the food I sell. There’s no cost – here, have some food, hearty and delicious, and beverages, pure and good. I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish or work so hard for what leave you empty. Attend to Me and eat what is good; enjoy the riches, most delectable of things. Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life, for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David.”

Abba, I accept, Your invitations. Thank you.


Today’s post was written for Day 13 of the series, 31 Days of Loving Well and Five Minute Friday. This 31 Days of Loving Well series, is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, Invite.”

Story

Story.png

He had called one of his dear friends.
His world just upended by the report the doctor had given him.
The prognosis for his beloved wife, who was
waiting for him in the recovery room after surgery.
The report was not a good one.

He had called his friend.
Asking for help.
Not knowing what to say to his beloved.
His friend shared these wise words, “This is a chapter, not the book of your life. Do not let a chapter define your life.”

My pastor shared this story with us recently.
And I think now of the book of my life.
And the chapters in it that I never planned to have as part of my story:
Failure.
Betrayal.
Loss.

But I think too of the themes that You have always intended to be part of my story:
Redemption.
Grace.
Forgiveness.
Purpose.
Hope.
Restoration.
Healing.
Wholeness.
Reconciliation.
Belonging.

And You are the author of my story.
Weaving it all together.
For my good and Your glory.

P.S. I am learning that when I recognize and share how God continues to work in me, and through me, and on my behalf, these are acts of loving God well.

Today’s post was written for Day 6 of the series, 31 Days of Loving Well. This series, 31 Days of Loving Well, is part of the  31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, “Story.” 

Loving well

 

Five Minute Friday: Depend

Depend.png

“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.” (Psalm 62:5, Good News Translation). What a statement of absolute confidence. “I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.”

I wonder, “What season of life was David in when he made this bold statement? How old was he?” I imagine that it was after he had proven God’s faithfulness repeatedly. Had repeatedly found God to be trustworthy. Proved him to be the One in whom he could reliably trust. Perhaps he had also trusted others and experienced betrayal and disappointment.

I hold firm that such a statement could not be based on second-hand knowledge of God’s faithfulness. Gleaned from stories told of God’s delivering Israel out of Egypt in an awesome display of His power. Those truths likely were a starting place for trusting God but I believe that it was his first hand experiences with God which led to him making this statement. And so it is with us; we have to know God for ourselves to be able to say like David did, “I depend on God alone.”

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, “Depend.”