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).

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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.”

Routine

Routine

“A regular way of doing things in a particular order”
This is one of the definitions of routine.
A regular way of doing things in a particular order.

I have several routines.
Some I have developed over months.
Others I have over my lifetime.

But there is one that I desire deeply:
I want to develop the routine of turning to God first in every season
(whatever are the spiritual equivalents of the natural seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter).
And for everything:
For comfort.
For approval.
For direction.
For hope.
For peace.
For satisfaction.
For joy.
For strength.
And the like.

This routine requires practice.
Practice that stems from an increasing knowledge of who He is.

FMF

I am participating in the weekly writing adventure for Five Minute Friday, a writing community hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is “Routine.” To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. (The definition of routine used in the post is from merriam-webster).

Five Minute Friday: Tired

Tired (1)

“Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become tired or grow weary; There is no searching of His understanding. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power” (Isaiah 40:27-29, AMP, emphasis added).

1-5 In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception) (John 1:1-5, 14, AMP, emphasis added).

“Now He had to go through Samaria. So He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (noon)” (John 4:4-6, AMP, emphasis added).

“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin” (Hebrews 4:15, AMP).

When God, the Word, became flesh, He became “tired from His journey” (John 4:6, AMP). He became “tired from His journey.” We have a High Priest who is able to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations. He was tempted and knows exactly how it feels to be human in very respect as we are, yet without committing any sin. Stretched out on this truth, I pray for my siblings in the faith and for myself:
“Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings” (Ephesians 3:16-19, VOICE). In Jesus name. Amen.

FMF

I am joining Kate Motaung, our host, and other members of the Five Minute Friday writing community (on a Saturday), for our weekly writing adventure. The prompt is, “Tired.”

Five Minute Friday: Regret

regretto mourn the loss or death of

“Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed with no one’s regret (sorrow). They buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings” (2 Chronicles 21:20, AMP). Click here for a summary of why no one felt sorrow when Jehoram died.

Dr. Billy Graham was 99 years old when he died and at least hundreds of thousands mourned his passing, among them, ordinary people and past presidents. The Charlotte Observer documented,

A parade of mourners filed by the casket of evangelist Billy Graham on a soggy Monday in Charlotte, paying their respects to a local son who went on to become America’s most famous preacher and kicking off a week of events commemorating his remarkable life. Visitors, dressed in everything from Carolina Panthers gear to suits and ties, waited patiently for their chance to view Graham’s closed casket in a tribute held on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. The guests included former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. Graham, who died last week at his home in Montreat at age 99, will continue to lie in repose in Charlotte on Tuesday, when former President Bill Clinton is expected to pay his respects. On Wednesday and Thursday, Graham’s body will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol before returning home for Friday’s funeral service …”  

Most of us will not die unmourned like Jehoram or  have the accolades Dr. Graham received; however, like Dr. Graham,  every child of God can be sure of this, “The death of saints of the Lord is precious in his sight. (The Lord is deeply moved by the death of any of his saints.)” (Psalm 116:16, WYC).

FMF

I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday writing community (on a Sunday) for our weekly writing adventure. The prompt is, “Regret.”

 

Five Minute Friday: Privilege

privilege

Giving to our brothers and sisters who are poor. Do we see doing so as a privilege? The Corinthian church did. Paul testified of them, “For I can verify that they spontaneously gave, not only according to their means but far beyond what they could afford. They actually begged us for the privilege of sharing in this ministry of giving to God’s holy people who are living in poverty. They exceeded our expectations by first dedicating themselves fully to the Lord and then to us, according to God’s pleasure” (2 Corinthians 8:3-5, TPT). “They actually begged for the privilege of sharing in this ministry of giving to God’s holy people who are living in poverty.” “They actually begged for the privilege of sharing in this ministry of giving to God’s holy people who are living in poverty.” How incredible is that.

I think the key to their incredible generosity lies in the fact that before they give of their substance, they first dedicated themselves fully to the Lord. Before they give of their substance, they first dedicated themselves fully to the Lord. (End of 5 minutes). When we have fully surrendered and continue to live lives of full surrender to God, I believe it is easy to see giving as a privilege. A surrendered life is a life of stewardship. Persons who are fully surrendered to the Lord and continue to live lives of full surrender understand that they are stewards, not owners. They understand the truth of 1 Chronicles 29:14 (VOICE), “All our offerings come from You, so we can give You nothing that isn’t already Yours.” When we habitually struggle internally with an opportunity to give, especially sacrificially, could it be an indication that we have slipped from the mindset of a steward to that of an owner and that a fresh surrender to God is needed?  Father, may we be cheerful givers, people who see giving to those in need as a privilege.

FMF

I am participating in a weekly writing adventure (on a Sunday) with the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is, “Privilege.” 

Five Minute Friday: Surrender

Surrender

“Resist” – to exert oneself so as to counteract or defeat. “Resist” – to withstand the force or effect of.

“Resist.” It has been described as “a battle cry” for many who oppose the current administration and the hashtag #resist has been trending on social media for more than 12 months.

Children of the Most High are to resist unjust laws and stand up for those who are powerless and lack our privileges. We must remember however, that our first place of resistance must always be in the spiritual realm. We are told in Ephesians 6:11-13 that, “We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil.” We are also given instructions for battle including this, “Therefore you must wear the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power…” (End of 5 minutes)

Our ability to resist “the unseen power that controls this dark world,” beings with surrender. Total, ongoing surrender to our Father.

“Sin is a dethroned monarch; so you must no longer give it an opportunity to rule over your life, controlling how you live and compelling you to obey its desires and cravings. So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose. Remember this: sin will not conquer you, for God already has! You are not governed by law but governed by the reign of the grace of God” (Romans 6:12-14, TPT).

“But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says,
God resists you when you are proud
but continually pours out grace when you are humble.’
So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you” (James 4:6-7, TPT).

In the Stark Trek franchise, the Borg told those they intended to assimilate, “Resistance is futile.” Sometimes, as we are bombarded by news of recurring atrocities in the world, the forces of evil can seem insurmountable. In addition, sometimes in our personal lives, after repeated failures in a specific area, we can be tempted by the evil one to believe, “Resistance is futile.” That is a lie. Resisting evil is never futile. Think of the concept of resistance training. Also referred to as “strength training or weight training,” resistance training, is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so. When you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles become stronger.”

The last sentence is worth repeating, “When you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles become stronger.” Restated in spiritual terms, “When you engage in spiritual resistance repeatedly and consistently, your spiritual muscles will become stronger.” Let us repeatedly and consistently surrender to our Father, and repeatedly and consistently resist the evil one. And let us resist from the place of victory won for us by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the One who led captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8, AMP). And the knowledge that, even when we are at our weakest, our God, “always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2 Corinthians 2:14, AMP). Surrender and resist!

FMF

I am participating in a weekly writing adventure with the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is, “Surrender.” Links were added after the five minute window closed. The definitions for “Resist” are from http://www.merriam-webster.com. The definition of “Resistance Training” is from www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.