Invite ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

It’s Friday again and that means that the word prompt for the Five Minute Friday free write, as part of the Write 31 day challenge, was sent out at 10 pm last night.  I’ll be honest, it’s been a long week and so I didn’t look ahead so that I could consider the topic.  And this one has several directions in my mind:And GO…

Let’s start with the definition, as has been my practice.  To INVITE is:

to request the presence or participation of in a kindly, courteous, or complementary way,

to request politely or formally

to act so as to bring on or render probable

to call forth or give occasion for

to attract, allure, entice, or tempt

Looking at the part of the definition “to request the presence or participation of…” immediately took my mind to Jesus and how He INVITED Zacchaeus to come down from the tree where he sat so that he could see Jesus.  And then, Jesus went to his house for dinner.  He INVITED Himself over.

Admit it, you are singing in your head…..🎶 Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.  He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see. 🎶  {smile}

The two INVITATIONS in this have always  amazed me.  First, Jesus INVITES Zacchaeus to come to Him.  To leave the place he is in and come to where Jesus is.  He does that with us too.  Jesus INVITES us to spend eternity with Him.  In order for that to be a reality, we have to INVITE Him to live with us.

The second is that Jesus INVITES Himself over.  Now we don’t get INVITATIONS in the mail from Jesus but He does want to be with us all. the. time.   He wants to come to our house — not our street address, although that is a natural byproduct!  He wants to indwell us in the form of the Holy Spirit.

And STOP…

I’ll conclude with a song that I think sums up our INVITING the Holy Spirit to be a part of our lives.  It’s a favorite of mine.

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

For a complete listing of all the posts in this 31 day series, click HERE to go to my landing page.

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Story ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Post

31 Days ofFive Minute Free Writes(1)

Welcome to day 6 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.  Today is fun because I didn’t know until 10 pm last night what the prompt would be.  I went to sleep thinking about the word:

And GO……….

When I think of the word STORY, I have three directions that my brain immediately goes.  Yes, I know that makes me sound a little crazy {smile}. The first is the old hymn by Fanny Crosby Blessed assurance.  The chorus goes like this:

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior all the day long;

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior all the day long.

Oh how I want others to say I praised my Savior all the day long when they tell STORIES of me.

Another direction was when my grandmother wasn’t quite sure if I was telling her the truth.  She would say, “are you telling me a story?”  Let me clarify that I did not lie to my sweet Nanny. At least not that I remember {smile}.

Anyway, I digress.  As has been my typical task with the Five Minute Free Write prompts, I first look up the definition of the word and then the synonyms.   The definition of STORY is:

a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.

a fictitious tale, shorter and less elaborate than a novel.

The synonyms are in my daily graphic around the word prompt.

The third direction is something given to me awhile back as food for thought and it has changed the way I think about the Bible in relation to STORIES.

All my life, I’ve been told STORIES out of the Bible.  In Sunday School, the teacher would say something like, “Today we will read the STORY of Noah.”  And we have Bible STORY books. I get it.  And in many ways, that is an accurate description…at least according to the one of the definitions of STORY … the Bible is a narrative of true facts.  And it is used to instruct.  There are verses and it can even be amusing.  (I mean I do think our creative God has a sense of humor).  I completely agree with all of that.  And then when you look at the synonyms…it is history, adventure, biography and even tragedy.  But can I ask you a question?

Do you think of referring to the accounts in the Bible as STORIES, makes it seem less important?  Less true?  I had never thought of this.  I grew up in church.  Every Sunday School class, VBS, even most of the Bible studies I’ve attended and gone through refer to them this way.  And then one day, I heard a pastor ask if we are honoring God by referring to His Word as a STORY.

And STOP…

My time is up and I do not want to belabor this topic but I can not stop here so please bear with me.  I really do see the value in expressing to children that we are reading or talking about STORIES from the Bible.  It helps them to understand, especially for very young kids.  But I also want to honor the Lord. So, my prayer as I close is that God’s STORY is honored.  That as believers we don’t water down these accounts to just a tale about people and places that could give anyone reason to doubt that God’s Word is true.  That when I am sharing or teaching others an account of the Bible that I don’t make light of the people and events that took place.  It’s Biblical history.  And it’s part of who we are.

I’ll leave you with something fun that I read – or heard – somewhere that said we should think of the Bible not as just a STORY but as HIS STORY.  Hint:  look at the word HISTORY.

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

 

For a complete listing of all the posts in this 31 day series, click HERE to go to my landing page.

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes (A 31 Day Challenge)

It’s that time of year again when a group of wonderful bloggers get together, so to speak, and write for 31 days.  The challenge is hosted by Write 31 Days. This will be the 4th year I have participated in this challenge.  Here is the link to my Write 31 Day Challenge page … just in case you want to take a look.

This year is just a little different.  I had grand ideas for a topic but that topic needed research.  And research takes time.  I am at a place in the journey the Lord has me on that I just didn’t have the time to commit to research.  So, instead, I am jumping in and writing short posts for 5 minutes a day.  The prompts come from the Five Minute Friday community…another group that I just love being a part of.   By the end of October, this post will serve as a landing page for all of the prompts.  So hear goes:

  • October 1 ~ Worship
  • October 2 ~ Tell
  • October 3 ~ Create
  • October 4 ~ Hope
  • October 5 ~ Trust
  • October 6 ~ Story
  • October 7 ~ Hold
  • October 8 ~ Truth
  • October 9 ~ Plan
  • October 10 ~ Listen
  • October 11 ~ Remember
  • October 12 ~ Write
  • October 13 ~ Invite
  • October 14 ~ Try
  • October 15 ~ Remain
  • October 16 ~ Read
  • October 17 ~ Grow
  • October 18 ~ Share
  • October 19 ~ Brave
  • October 20 ~ Prompt to be Announced
  • October 21 ~ Give
  • October 22 ~ Light
  • October 23 ~ Work
  • October 24 ~ Revise
  • October 25 ~ Because
  • October 26 ~ Change
  • October 27 ~ Prompt to be Announced
  • October 28 ~ Connect
  • October 29 ~ Follow
  • October 30 ~ Refine
  • October 31 ~ Rest

Until Tomorrow……..Joy to You!

 

 

Guide ~ A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s Friday again!  We have taken our son to college and so we have a new normal around our house.  I miss him but I have a peace that can only come from the Lord knowing that our son is where God intended for him to be right now.  He’s at a small Christian university 6 hours from home.  I have been watching the live feeds of their chapel services this week and I am so excited to see how his walk with the Lord grows while he’s there.

Because it’s Friday, I get to do one of my favorite types of blog posts.  I’m joining together with other bloggers to write about one word ~ for five minutes.  The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is …….

And GO……….

As I considered the word GUIDE, I realized that this week I have had numerous opportunities to pray for others.  Something that I am honored to be able to do.  Some of the requests have been straightforward, but some….well, I wasn’t exactly sure what to pray.  I had the opportunity to pray over the phone with a friend this week.  I honestly had no idea what I was going to say when she answered the phone but I had prayed that God would give me the words she needed to hear.  I prayed He would GUIDE me.

I’ve had similar situations over the years.  I remember the time that I ran into a friend in the produce section of Walmart.  I knew that she was going through a very difficult time.  Honestly, I had no idea what to even say but by the time I left the store, I knew that the Lord had GUIDED me in my words and my actions.  I prayed with her right there beside the lettuce.

I thought of another way that I relate to the word GUIDE.  And it also has to do with my walk with Christ.  I believe that the Lord has plans for us.  Not only are we so serve and worship Him but we are to follow His direction.  How do we know His direction?  We have to seek Him.  Jeremiah 29:13 says……

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Studying God’s Word, spending time with Him in prayer and even the fellowship of other believers are all tools that God uses to GUIDE us.  For me, I just have to be sure that I am paying attention.

STOP

As usual, I have just a little more to add.  When I get discouraged, I sometimes question if I misunderstand what I believed to be God’s guidance.  This is where prayer is so important.  And not just talking to Him but sitting still and listening to what God wants to speak to our hearts.  In those quiet moments, He will confirm and GUIDE us.

Until next time…

Joy to You!

 

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “GUIDE”.

 

 

Try ~ A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s Friday again!  Time just seems to fly by, especially in the summer.

Today is the day that I join together with other bloggers to write about one word ~ for five minutes.  The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is ……And GO……

When I think of the word “try”, I think of my mom asking me to taste a different vegetable or food.   I wasn’t brave growing up.  As a matter of fact, I’m still not very brave when it comes to new things.

I’m a word nerd so I really wanted to know how the dictionary defines “try”.  There are two that stuck out to me:

to attempt to do or accomplish

to endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience

The first goes with my mom wanting me to taste cabbage or liver ~ yuck!  The second took my heart and mind to one of the Psalms that I learned years ago.  Psalm 139:23 says,

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

This verse has been included in many of my prayers over the years.  When I am upset or hurt…when I am nervous or anxious…when I want to head in a new direction, I pray these verses.  I ask the Lord to search me, to “try” me so that in the end I know that whatever I am headed into is with the right heart and motive.

STOP (As usual, I have a little more to say)

Whether “trying” laser tag for the first time or “trying” to start a prayer group at my church, I believe that the Lord wants us to “try” new things with the end result being to bring glory to Him.  I also know that there is another definition of the word that means “to test”.  Yes, we are tested sometimes by the Lord.  Not knowing that today’s word would be “try”, I wrote about being refined earlier in the week.  That kind of being “tried” leads to refinement.  It’s all necessary.  The new stuff and the hard stuff.  It’s not always fun but can always be glorifying to God.

Until next week…

Joy to You!

 

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “TRY”.

Inspire ~ A FMF Post

In the spirit of wanting to write more, I think getting back in the habit with the “Five Minute Friday” link up is a great way to start.  It’s been awhile so, for those who aren’t familiar with “Five Minute Friday”, it’s the day many other precious bloggers join to together to write about one word – for five minutes.

The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is ……

Here goes….

What inspires me?  He does!!!

This man that God brought into my life just over 23 years ago and made me his wife almost 22 years ago.  It has been a journey but also a blessing.  He inspires me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, a better friend.  Most importantly, he inspires me to be a better follower of Jesus.

 

 

 

What inspires me?  They do!!!

 

These kids that God gave to me and my man. They are funny, talented, smart, loving and kind.  They, like my hubby, inspire me to be better than I once was.

 

 

 

What inspires me?  The many people that God has put in my life to help me grow.  My parents, my sister, my in-laws, my friends.  It would be a very long post if I added pictures of all the people that INSPIRE me. {smile}

And my  minutes is up…..but I am going to finish my thought because truly, this is the most important.

What inspires me?

The Word of God

It spurs me on to be more like Christ.  To pray more. To give more. To love in ways that sometimes are just beyond my own ability.

How about you?  What inspires you today?  I’d love to know.

Joy to You!

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “INPSIRE”.

Embrace ~ A FMF Post

Friday is the day that many other precious bloggers join to together to write about one word – for five minutes.  Despite the fact that I’ve not joined in this exercise in a long time, it is one of my favorite kinds of posts to write.  The link-up is hosted by Kate Motaung.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word hit me as something that I definitely needed to consider.  So here goes…

I love to look up the meaning of words so, of course, I had to see just what the word EMBRACE really means.  Here are a few of the meaning that I found on dictionary.com:

hug…to take or receive gladlyaccept willingly…to encircle…surround…enclose…to include

I like those meanings.  Especially the last five.  It reminds me of the church and how we are directed by God’s Word to treat others.  You know in good times and in hard times.

Thinking about God’s Word, I did a little digging to see if the word EMBRACE is found in scripture.  It is. Sixteen times in the English Standard Version.   Most of the verses that include EMBRACE speak of friends and family embracing, or hugging.  But one passage jumped off the page.  It’s one that I have considered many times as we have navigated our ministry journey.  The entire passage is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.  Right now, I’d like to focus on a portion of the last part of verse 5.  It says:

a time to embrace,…

You may wonder how that phrase relates to ministry?  For our family, as God has called us to new ministry opportunities, we had leave people we love dearly.  That’s where the “hug” (EMBRACE) comes in.  We’ve had to look at what God was calling us to do and “accept willingly” (EMBRACE), stepping out in faith and to do what He is asking of us.  We’ve had to go to the new places and people and “include”(EMBRACE) them.  But that’s not just in ministry.   I believe that as followers of Christ, we are all called to EMBRACE others.  We are called to “receive gladly” (EMBRACE) what the Lord asks us to take on or go through.  We are called to “encircle” (EMBRACE) the people that God allows to cross our paths, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

My time is up………but, of course, I find that 5 minutes just isn’t enough. {smile}

Let me say that I, in no way, think that our call – or our family – is anymore special than the call God has placed on others.  We are all called to minister to those around us.  I am keenly aware that God has a purpose for all of us.  The one for our family happens to have included being in three wonderful congregations.  It’s a bonus for me as now I have more people to EMBRACE (hug).

I have no idea what – or who – the Lord is allowing in your life that He is asking you to EMBRACE.  Whatever…whoever….it is, know that it is the Lord’s time for that in your life.  EMBRACE it!

Joy to You!

This post is linked up with Kate Motaung.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “EMBRACE.”