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).

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Five Minute Friday: Provide

Provide

It is a familiar story, this story of Abraham and Sarah and God’s promise that she would have a child after decades of not being able to do so. It is a familiar story, this story of God keeping His promise and Isaac being born when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90. It is a familiar chapter in this story, the chapter in which God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. And how Abraham obeyed believing, as we are told, that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.

It is familiar also, this scene in this chapter when Isaac asked his father, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And Abraham responded, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” And He did. And we understand that this familiar story also points to the Lamb of God, the Word made flesh, who would willingly give Himself for us (end of 5 minutes). God provided the Lamb.

Genesis 22:14 notes, “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’” And we have this promise. This foundation to build our lives upon. This blanket to wrap ourselves in. This shield against questions such, “Does God care? Will He provide what I need?” We have this promise of provision enfolded in three questions: “In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need?” (Hebrews 8:31-32, PHILLIPS, emphasis added).

He is with us. He is for us. And even when He does not provide the thing, He always gives Himself. And when we have Him, we have all that pertains to life and godliness

FMF

I am joining (on a Monday) 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, “Provide.”

 

Midweek boost: Promised light

20180314_0810431635886720.jpg

“For God, who said, ‘Let brilliant light shine out of darkness,’ is the one who has cascaded his light into us—the brilliant dawning light of the glorious knowledge of God as we gaze into the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6, TPT).

 

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.”

Declaration of Dependence

 

Declaration of Dependence

I say it without shame.

I shout it clearly

without restraint.

I need God.

Desperately.

Every moment.

In every situation.

In all seasons.

This is my Declaration of Dependence.

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing” (John 15:5, VOICE).

This God made us in all our diversity from one original person, allowing each culture to have its own time to develop, giving each its own place to live and thrive in its distinct ways.  His purpose in all this was that people of every culture and religion would search for this ultimate God, grope for Him in the darkness, as it were, hoping to find Him. Yet, in truth, God is not far from any of us. For you know the saying, “We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God.” And still another said, “We are indeed God’s children.” Since this is true, since we are indeed offspring of God’s creative act, we shouldn’t think of the Deity as our own artifact, something made by our own hands—as if this great, universal, ultimate Creator were simply a combination of elements like gold, silver, and stone (Acts 17:26-29, VOICE).

 

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.”

 

My Mother’s Hands

 

My Mother's Hands (1)Today is my mother’s birthday. How can I honor a mother such as mine? Never adequately. I can only share some of what she give to me and attempt to follow her example of loving God and people. One of the lessons she taught me with her life was, “No tangible gift received is too valuable to share with someone in need.” Below is prose I wrote in 2014 as part of an online writing community. I hope it will give you a sense of my mother. Happy Birthday, Mom.

By the time I knew her, brought into this world through her womb and love, the Father’s and my parents, her hands were worn.

I never saw them with polished nails but I saw them dirtied by labor and washed clean after dishes or laundry.

I never saw them clenched, although I know there were times that she was angry.

I did see them closed in prayer. Oh, how she prayed, not only for her biological children (and there were enough of us to keep her prayer list filled) but also for extended family members, and for neighbors, and for pastors, and missionaries. Oh, how she prayed.

She would often touch my head as she walked by. Sometimes, I would be startled because I was caught up in the books that I devoured regularly. She would speak volumes in her loving touch, without saying a single word.

My mother’s hands. Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.