Helpers

helpers

 

In the video above, Mr. Fred Rogers, shares what I believe is one of the wisest, most comforting piece of advice I have heard: When scary things are happening, in times of disaster, “Look for the helpers.” He notes that when we look for the helpers, we will know there is hope. Knowing there are helpers will give hope.

Hope. How desperately it is needed at this time as we face another disaster, an ongoing one, from the horrendous impact of  Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey, in the state of Texas. “Look for the helpers,” he said. What an incredible thing to realize that we can be the helpers. We can be those who bring hope to our neighbors.

Jesus taught us that our neighbor is anyone who needs help, not just those who live near us. And, God instructs repeatedly, to help. Here are some examples:

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrew 13:16, ESV)

 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4, ESV)

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17, ESV)

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27, ESV)

 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17, ESV)

It is likely that many individuals reading this post can be a helper in some way. Please click here for ways to help.

 

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Five Minute Friday: Guide

Guide

//The lyrics of the hymn, “Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,” written by William Williams in 1745, came to mind, rose up in my spirit, in response to this week’s prompt, “Guide.” “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,” the first line states, “pilgrim through this barren land.” In just one line, I am reminded that I am a pilgrim and that this land through which I am traveling is barren at times. And perhaps always barren, in comparison to the opulence of heaven, made rich with the joy of seeing Him face to face.

“I am weak, but thou art mighty,” the song continues. And I am reminded that being weak is not a place of shame in His eyes, because He has assured me that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and “when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,” states the next line. And I sense the songwriter’s hunger, his longing, and I long to long also for the Bread of life. This Bread of Life who nourishes me for life’s journey but is also my Guide.//

He is not my GPS giving me directions. He is my Guide. Hear these words from Isaiah 58:11 (AMP):

“And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

And also in Psalm 48:14 (AMP):

“For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide even until death.”

This God. Elohim. Jehovah Tsidkenu. The Almighty God. The Omnipresent, Omniscient One. This God. The One who sustains all things by His Word. This God. The One whose ways are not our ways. Whose thoughts are not ours. This God is our Guide. This God is my Guide. This God is your Guide, “even until death.”

And I am reminded of words from my sister-in-Christ, in her FMF post this week.

“We don’t have to be lost. We don’t have to panic. God is ever-near, speaking through the words on the thin pages or the smartphone screens. His Spirit breathes life into the ink and graces our minds with understanding. We don’t have to wander. We don’t have to attempt to cut our own path blindly in the darkness.”

Thank You, Abba Father. Thank You.

—-

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. The content between the // // was written within the 5 minute window.

 

 

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.

Five Minute Friday: Speak

But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth] (1)

I speak with my words and my life. And my Father tells me in Ephesians 4:15, to speak the truth in love, in all things, both with my speech and my life, “expressing His truth,” (AMP).

Speak the truth in love, in all things… it does not matter if is unpopular, or scary, or pushes me way out of my comfort zone. This is what He requires of me, to speak the truth in love with my words and with my life. To express His truth. Not my opinions. Not the opinions of learned men and women.

And what aspect of His truth am I to express in this season when just last week, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis, and people of similar views and beliefs, expressed clearly, with their words and their actions, hate? This – “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, through He is not far from each one of us.”* He is near and He loves and calls me to love those who hate me.

 

speak

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, “Speak.” 

*Acts 17:26-27 (AMP)

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.

Five Minute Friday: Place

Stay Strong and Free
There have always been strong opinions,
in America’s storied history,
of the appropriate place for people like me:
The cotton fields.
The back of the bus.
The limbs of a tree.
In segregated school systems.
At water fountains marked, “Colored Only.”

Oh yes, there have always been strong opinions,
in America’s storied history,
about the appropriate, the proper place, for people like me.
I have been told that Black lives do not matter.
But the Father disagrees.
And His truth is what matters,
for He who is Truth has set me free.
He left His place in heaven.
Walked the earth,
and took my place on a tree.
And He welcomes me
to be at home in His presence,
here on earth,
and one day, in the place He has prepared,
I will live eternally.

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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,”Place.”

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.