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.

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Five Minute Friday & 31 Days: Eat

FMF & 31 Days_ Eat (1)

“No, you will spoil your appetite.” This response or a variation of it may be given to a child who is asking or reaching for a snack close to the time a meal will be served.

“You will spoil your appetite.” Indeed it is hard to eat or do justice to a meal when you do not have an appetite.

But there are times when the problem is not a lack of appetite. No. We know that we are hungry and need to eat but the problem is that we mistake the nature of our hunger. When this happens, we can find ourselves reaching for food which seems appetizing and eat our fill of it but still feel empty. This is the expected end when we attempt to fill a spiritual hunger with natural things.

We reach for things and engage in activities which will give us these things when what we need is not a thing but Him. When we have deprived ourselves of the Living Bread, for whatever reason, no matter how much of the desserts and meals of this world we consume, we will never be satisfied.

Father, helps us to discern the true nature of our hunger and no longer try to meet our need of You with anything or person.

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Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing adventure which, for the month of October, is included in the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. The prompt is “Eat” and this is Day 28.

Click here to read previous posts for the series.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday & 31 Days: Mail

mail

 

I was a child when I received my first letter in the mail. It was from my brother Samuel. I cannot remember what he said but I do remember how special I felt to receive it from him. That first letter began our letter writing exchange which spanned decades. Our primary ways of communicating now is via email and the occasional telephone call (we live in different countries).

I credit him with the love I developed for letter writing and receiving letters, and some of my most cherished possessions are letters I received from my parents. I recall reading once about a woman’s experience of holding letters she had received from her father, who was a prolific letter writer. She described the feeling of holding his letters after his death and having the awareness that she was holding something her father had touched many years before. I can appreciate this sentiment.

And I like to think of the Bible, in a way, as God’s letters to me. 2 Timothy 3:16 informs us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable  for teaching the truth convicting of sin, correcting faults, and  training in right living.” So when I hold the Bible and read the words, I am hearing from my Father. And His words are spirit and they are life. Life changing “mail.”

Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing adventure which, for the month of October, is included in the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. The prompt is “Mail” and this is Day 14. Click here to read previous posts for the series.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Help

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Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community for our weekly writing adventure. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Help.”

I attended the funeral of the sister of a dear friend today.
My friend and I hugged.
I looked at her and later at one of her sisters who walked by.

I looked and I remembered.
I remembered when the first of my two sisters who are now living forever, died.
I remembered how I felt too young to cope with such a life altering event.
I remembered how I longed for my parents and my grief seemed unbearable.

Note that it seemed unbearable only because I knew it was not.
I had already walked through the darkness of grief several times before, with the greatest lesson coming from the death of my mother.
I knew that although I felt unable to cope and to some degree this was true –
I could not cope in my own strength –
I had help
I had help from the One who is the God of all comfort.

I experienced His hand on my heart and spirit, an internal touch.
But I also experienced His hand through the human helpers He sent my way.
I know He will provide the same help for my dear friend.
And, Abba, let me be one of Your helpers.

Five Minute Friday: Build

Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the courageous Five Minute Friday community for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is “Build.”

GO

Sometimes we build.
And at other times we rebuild.
Whether or not the devastation was our doing
or someone else shared the blame.

But both building and rebuilding involve choices,
for no one builds by accident.
At least not anything that will endure.

And both involve resources.
And knowledge.
And a heart to build or rebuild,
because without heart
or commitment,
and the belief that what is being built is worth the effort and the costs,
we will lose heart.
Because there will always be opposition to building anything worthwhile,
as demonstrated in the story of Nehemiah and his fellow Israelites’ process of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

Fierce opposition came from Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonities, and the Ashodites,
the Bible records in Nehemiah chapter 4.
And the story also shows us how to build in the face of opposition:
We do so with prayer to the God of Angel Armies.
We do so by encouraging ourselves and each other.
We do so by arming ourselves for battle,
and carrying our weapons with one hand as we build.
And relying on the truth that
“Our God will fight for us.”

STOP

We can be confident of this
when what we are building
is what He has called, commissioned, and equipped us to build.

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Five Minute Friday: Want

Joining Kate Motaung and the encouraging Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn more about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is “Want.”

“He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.”

“He made know His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.”

God communicates this truth to us through the psalmist David, in Psalm 103:7

And I believe the difference in how God was experienced by Moses vs. how the children of Israel experienced Him was not because Moses was chosen of God to lead them out of Egyptian bondage into the promised land.

I believe what accounted for the difference, for Moses knowing God’s ways, instead of just His acts as did the children of Israel, was wanting.

Moses wanted to know God’s ways.

Hear him pleading in Exodus 33:13, “… let me know Your ways so that I may know You [becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly] And that I may find grace and favor in Your sight…”

And I think of the list of wants I too often bring to Him:

Peace

Healing

Provision

Protection

Forgiveness

All good things.

But I want to want Him above everything else.

As Jesus Culture sings

I want to know You

Let Your Spirit overwhelm me

Let Your presence overtake my heart

 want

Five Minute Friday: Cheer

Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the encouraging Five Minute Friday community, for our weekly writing adventure. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please click here. This week’s prompt is, “Cheer.”

In the final days before His crucifixion, Jesus had much to say to His disciples, preparing them for what was to come. Some of what He said filled their heart with sorrow, Luke records in his gospel.

And others things confused them. And yet still, others things He said filled them with fear. Understandably so when He spoke of them being rejected, and killed, and hated of all men for His name’s sake.

He also told them, “These things  I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer (also translated as “take heart,” and be “Courageous, undaunted and filled with joy) ; I have overcome the world.”*

“Be of good cheer; take heart; be courageous, undaunted, and filled with joy… not because you can do so on your own, but because I have overcome the world.” He said so to His disciples and says the same to us, regardless of what we are facing now and will face in the future. In Him we truly are more than conquerors.

Luke 16:33*