General Data Protection Regulation (European Union)

Shall we continue or is this goodbye_

Dear Reader,

Whether this is your first time reading a post on the WORD…breathed blog or you are a frequent reader, thank you for visiting. It is important that you know how I use your information.

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Thanks for wading through this with me.

Regards,

Esther Wright

 

 

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Five Minute Friday: Why?

Why_

“Come,” Jesus said to Peter. It was not the first time that He, the Word made flesh, spoke this word while walking on the earth He sustains by the power of His word. He had spoken it to Peter and Andrew, his brother, while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee. He told them, “Come and follow me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God”  (Matthew 4:18-20, TPT).

He spoke it also as part of an invitation to a crowd of people. “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” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).

But in this instance when He said to Peter, “Come,” it was in response to Peter’s request, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And at His command, Peter did what no man had ever done, he began to walk on water. He walked on water, that is, until he saw the wind was boisterous. Then he became afraid and began to sink. Fear changes things, does it not? But then so does crying out to God, and that is what Peter did. And Jesus responded. (End of 5 minutes). Immediately, we are told, Jesus “stretched out his hand and caught him, and said, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:25-31, NKJV). Or as another translation states, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” (Matthew 14:31, TPT, emphasis added).

We know that when God asks us a question, He is not looking for information. He is omniscient. I believe that one reason He asks us questions such as, “Why did (or do) you doubt Me?’ is to prompt reflection on our part. The reason Peter began to sink is one of the same reasons that we all are overcome, are derailed by our circumstances, good and bad – We are overcome, are derailed when we take our eyes off of Him and focus on our circumstances. There are other reasons each of us has but none that are uncommon to man. Each of us must answer this and other questions for ourselves. I am thankful that our God is so gracious and so merciful and so full of compassion. He never asks these questions to embarrass or condemn us, only to bring us face to face with ourselves so that He can deliver and heal us. He is committed to transforming us into the image of His Son.

FMFI am participating in a weekly writing adventure with the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is, “Why.” Links to Scripture verses were added after the allotted five minutes had expired. 

Five Minute Friday: Agree

Agree.png“Amen,” defined as to express agreement, most often during worship.  “Agreement” – the act or of fact of agreeing. “Worship,” not just what I do on Sunday morning or during my quiet time. “Worship” – a lifestyle, as highlighted in the story of Hannah and Samuel.

“After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always …  After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, ‘Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there” (1 Samuel 1:22-28, NIV; emphasis added).

“Amen,” defined as, to express agreement, most often during worship.  “Agreement” – the act of fact of agreeing. “Worship,” not just what I do on Sunday morning or during my quiet time. “Worship” – a lifestyle, as highlighted in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (TPT), “Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.”

When others look at my worship, my lifestyle, can they tell that I agree with the following? God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do. (End of 5 minutes)

Are we living a consistent “Amen,” an expressed agreement to what He has spoken, regardless of what we feel or what our circumstances suggest? For example, are our lives an “Amen” to Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”? Or are we living like persons who are unloved or loved inconsistently? Are our lives an “Amen” to Hebrews 13:5-6 (AMP), “Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed — be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, ‘I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in an degree leave you helpless], not will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]! So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” Or are we living like persons who have been forsaken and have to be self-dependent?

Father, show us the areas where our lives are not a consistent “Amen” to who You are and to Your word, and help us to make the needed changes.

FMF

I am participating in a weekly writing adventure (on a Sunday evening) with the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is, “Agree.” The definition for “Amen” is from www.yourdictionary.com. The definition for “Agreement” is from  http://www.merriam-webster.com.

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: Share

share

It can be easy to share our successes,
our victories,
our triumphs,
with the people we love.

But our failures,
our weaknesses,
our struggles?
These we can be tempted,
even inclined to hide,
minimize.
Sometimes out of pride.
Sometimes out of fear
that we will be rejected.
Judged.
Disapproved of.

But true intimacy requires vulnerability.

Help me to remember this truth, Abba,
When I am tempted to hide and pretend with those I love.

Let me counter this temptation with the truth that You know me fully and love me completely.
Let the truth that I am accepted in the Beloved, be enough for me to risk being vulnerable with my loved ones.

And let me be a safe place where they can feel free to share their struggles and troubles, and flaws and know that they will be accepted and loved and supported.

Abba, I pray once more, help me love my loved ones well.


This post was written for Day 18 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Share.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.

31 Days of Loving Well: Write

Write.png

“Do not let mercy and kindness and truth
leave you [instead let these qualities define you];
Bind them [securely] around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Proverbs 3:4 (AMP)

I read the Amplified Bible’s translation of Proverbs 3:4 and wondered how to implement it in my life. Especially the last part of it, “Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Thankfully, the VOICE translation provided insight. It reads, “Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth; engrave then on a pendant, and hang it around your neck; meditate on them so they are written upon your heart.”

Okay, meditating on mercy and kindness and truth is how I write them on my heart. But how is meditating on mercy and kindness and truth connected to loving well, especially loving myself well? Because to mediate on these qualities, I have to first focus on the One who is Truth, the One whose mercy (also translated lovingkindness), is from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 103:17), and whose kindness is unfailing (Jeremiah 31:3). And as I mediate on Him and the mercy He has shown me, I am reminded to show mercy to those who hurt or disappoint me. And forgiveness is both an act of obedience and an act of self-care, a way of loving myself, because it liberates me.


This post was written for Day 12 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Write.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here or the image below.

Loving well

 

31 Days of Loving Well: Remember

Remember

“Make tassels for the corners of your garments,” You instructed the children of Israel, through Moses. “And put a blue cord on the tassel at each corner.” The tassels were to serve as a visual reminder of Your commandments and of the need to obey them.

“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the LORD your God brought you out with a strong hand,” You also instructed. “Remember that the LORD your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years,” You also said.

But what they remembered was the food of Egypt, not the hard bondage and toil. Not Your mighty deliverance. They remembered what they should have forgotten and forgot what they should have remembered.

And I too am guilty of this sin, remembering what I should forget: the things that You have forgiven.

And forgetting what I should remember: that I am a sojourner; to freely offer the grace that I have received from You. These are just a few.

Help me properly remember, Abba. Help me remember.// Especially help me remember how desperately I need You for everything, every moment. For remembering well is nourishment. It is self-care. It is an act of love.

—-

This post was written for Day 11 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Remember.” The content after the // was written after 5 minutes had elapsed. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here or on the image below.

Loving well