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.”

NOW ~ A FMF Post

It’s ironic that the Five Minute Friday word of the week is “NOW.”   The irony is that it’s Saturday and I am just writing.  The link-up stays open for a few days and well, I felt like what I have on my heart is worth posting past Friday.

For anyone not familiar with the purpose of Five Minute Friday, Kate Motaung hosts this link-up where many women come together and write about one word – for 5 minutes.   As mentioned, this week’s word is NOW.

Here goes:

In the last 4 months our family has two friends to pass away in their sleep.  Both have left my heart broken.  Not just for the loss of this friend in our lives but for their families who unexpectedly went to their heavenly home….without warning.

Both had a personal relationship with the Lord.  Praise God for that!  I know where they are.  I even kind of envy them.  I mean, can you imagine, Christmas in heaven?  Worshipping at the feet of Jesus for eternity!!! What an eternity it will be.

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Oddly enough, over the past several weeks, our church has been going through Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love.    In one of the chapters, Chan tells of how we never know when God will call us home.  He tells of a man who gave a eulogy at a friend’s funeral and died immediately after he sat down from speaking.  He was at a funeral when he died.  In the eulogy, he told the attenders of the funeral that they need to be ready for the Lord to take them home.  He told them of the importance of accepting Christ.  Then he died.

Last week, we attended the funeral of our second friend who passed away.  The pastor at the funeral clearly presented the gospel.  He shared with the friends and family of our friend that he (our friend) would want every one of them in heaven some day.

(STOP) …. (But, of course, I’m not quite done!)

The time is NOW.  We can not afford to delay sharing with those we love about Jesus.  I’m guilty!  I’m not very vocal about my faith.  I mean I live it out…or at least I try to.  My goal is for others to see Christ in my.  But I’m not perfect! I still mess up.  That’s called sin.  The cool thing is that Jesus continues to offer me grace and mercy.  Daily.  Sometimes minute by minute.

I have no idea how many days the Lord will allow me to walk on this earth but what I do know is that He has me here for a purpose.  And part of that purpose is to share His love with others.  To share the gospel and to walk alongside of new believers.

I pray that I don’t let the opportunity I have NOW slip away.

Joy to You!


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

Exactly what is FMF?

FMF stands for “Five Minute Friday.”  It’s a writing prompt.  A one word prompt for folks to write about for five minutes.  The word of the week is revealed by Kate Motaung, the host of FMF, on Thursday nights.  Then on Friday, we write for five minutes about that word.  These posts do not have to have fancy graphics.  They don’t have to be super long.  They are from the heart.  For me, the “word”….the prompt is often relevant to something the Lord has had on my heart recently.  It’s a fun way to keep writing without the pressure of a fancy post.

I first heard of Five Minute Friday almost a year ago. I’m not an every day blogger but the thought of writing about one word was intriguing and I just love the community of bloggers that are a part of this link up every week.   We encourage one another as we share our thoughts on that one word.  Often, the many posts that are linked up share common traits about the word prompt.  Especially when scripture is quoted in the posts.  I think that’s just really cool!

So why am I explaining this today?  Becuase I’m excited about a book that is being released today.  A Five Minute Friday book.  As mentioned last Friday, a collection of FMF posts have been published into a book.  I am honored to be included in the book.  This is exciting for me and all the others that have contributed.

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The best part about the book is not that I have a post in there.  The best part is the sale of the book goes to benefit two different ministries in South Africa.  All profits will be divided equally between The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe.  If you’ve not heard of these ministries, please check them out.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, click HERE to purchase through Amazon.

Thanks for allowing me to share this fun news.

Joy to You!


 

 

 

Five: A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s Friday! And that means that I get to sit down and join with many other precious ladies, and a few men, that blog about one word, for five minutes.  It’s called Five Minute Friday and is hosted by Kate Motaung.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word seemed a bit challenging when I learned of this week’s prompt.  I had to give it some thought.  I mean how do you write about the word FIVEBut now, I know.  FIVE has always been a part of my life.  It’s tied to a few significant, and random things. So here goes:

5

I’m a May baby.  That is the 5th month.  That means that every form I have filled out, my entire life – that asked for my birthday, I’ve had to write the number 5.

My daughter was born on the 5th.  Of January.  Again with the forms for her.  I have to write 5 every time her birthday is requested. And I actually found out I was pregnant in May with both kids.  Just another cool thing about May, the 5th month.  {smile}

Every so often, I read through the book of Psalms in a month.  When I do this, I read FIVE Psalms a day.  So if I wanted to read 5 Psalms today, I’d read Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, and 143.

This time FIVE years ago, we were settling into a new town.  A new home.  A new church.  With new friends, who are more like family now.  We began homeschooling which was also new.  I never expected, FIVE years later, to be once again settling into a new town, home, church, meeting new people.  But God moved us so we’re experiencing new things again.  I’ve learned some lessons from this move and will be blogging about those in October as part of a 31 Write Challenge.

One of my favorite things that involves the number FIVE is this Five-Minute-Friday community.  I began linking up to this community in November last year.  And, as a matter of fact, this post on FIVE will be my 5th Five-Minute-Friday post.  So even though I haven’t linked up that often, it’s still kind of a cool little coincidence!

STOP!

its-a-five-minute-fridaybook1-1Before I go, I wanted to share something pretty exciting – at least it is to me.  This coming Monday, September 26th, a collection of Five-Minute-Friday stories is being released in book form.  Susan Shipe from Hope Heart Home compiled 150 posts into this book.  The really exciting, one I am thrilled to share, is that I have a post published in the book.  If you’re interested in purchasing, please come back Monday for a link.

I hope your weekend is full of blessings!

Joy to You!


Listen: A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s been a long time since I have completed a post.  I’ve wanted to write, but the truth is that life has just been crazy busy.   There is a wonderful link up called “Five-Minute-Friday”.  The goal is to write about one word for five minutes.  It’s hosted by Kate Motaung.  I’ve participated a few times in the past and it’s always fun.  Today’s word is perfect for me so I decided that a five minute post is a good way to get back at it.  So….for the next 5 minutes, I will be writing on the Five-Minute-Friday word of the week:

(Go)

What does it mean to really listen?

For me, it means I have to be really still.  God’s Word tells us to “be still and know that He is God..”  I try, I really do.  But often I get caught up in the “noise” of the world.  The photo above reminded me of myself.  There is a lot going on in the photo.  Leaves, grass, dirt, limbs, shadows, light, darkness…oh, and tress!

There are also probably birds in the tress. Frogs, crickets………… you get the idea.  I remember walking through this grove of trees and just listening to the sounds of nature.

My life is busy.  Our family is in a new city.  That means a new church, new neighbors, new friends, new…well, everything.  It’s overwhelming.  Just last night I woke up feeling unsettled.  I know that God is in control, but I get caught up in it all and often forget to just LISTEN to Him.

Through a series of events today, I realized that I don’t always LISTEN so well.  Not to my kids, not to my husband.  Or my friends and extended family.  But I especially don’t always LISTEN so well to my Heavenly Father.

He desires to speak to us through His word.  Through the wisdom of others.  And even through the peace that He gives us deep in our hearts.  He wants us to know and understand that He speaks through the peace He gives but can also be speaking to us through a lack of peace.  In order to know that difference we have to LISTEN.

In our prayer times, we aren’t supposed to do all the talking.  Is that a surprise to you?  It was to me the first time someone said it to me!  Now, years later, I understand.  Yes, we are to talk to Him.  But we are also supposed to LISTEN to Him when we pray.

This is hard but it’s worth it!

(stop)

This “Five-Minute-Friday” word prompt could not have come at a better time in my life.  I needed the reminder that I need to sit and just LISTEN to Him.

Please hop over to katemotaung.com to see what others have to say about our word for the week: LISTEN

Happy Friday & Joy To You!


 

 

 

 

Forget ~ A Five Minute Friday Post

I’ve taken a little time away from writing but have much on my heart that I want to say so I’ll be back at it soon.  In the mean time, I thought I’d do a Five Minute Friday Post teaming up with Kate Motaung and other bloggers who also sit and write for 5 minutes about one word.  No real prep.  No fancy photos – at least not for me.  Just writing.

So here I go:

Today’s word is FORGET

This is a word that really hits home.  Seems I am forgetting everything these days. I often chuckle and say that I birthed my memory.  Somewhere between 12 and 17 years ago, I now remember nothing and my kids….well, they remember EVERYTHING!!!

But I think the word FORGET is bigger than that.  I’ve been thinking alot about God’s grace and forgiveness lately and was reminded that He forgets.  He forgets our sins.  He forgets our bad attitudes.  He forgets our short comings. He forgets our blatant sin.  True repentance is part of the equation with this but when we do repent in our heart of hearts, I believe that He does forget them.

Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

That means that He doesn’t hold them against us.  They are gone.  They don’t return to be held against us.  For me, that means that He forgets them.  I won’t stand before Him one day and have my sins listed out before me.

 

What a beautiful thing!

 

So now I’ve decided that I, too, want to FORGET.  I want to follow the example Christ gave and forget the bad attitude that my kids have about cleaning their room, our doing their school work, or whatever makes them cranky.  I want to forget that the cashier at the grocery store wasn’t very nice to me.  After all, her bad mood doesn’t have anything to with me but with the rude person in line before me.  There are a plethora of examples that come to mind as I encounter people daily.

 

Instead, I want to remember that God extends grace and mercy to me every day.  And everyone.  I mean everyone that I come in contact with deserves the same.

 

I doubt my memory improves much but in some cases, that’s not a bad thing.  Sometimes it’s good to FORGET.

 

Joy to You!
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FIRST – A five-minute-friday post

This little musing is linked up over at katemotaung.com with many other bloggers who participate in this fun writing exercise called “Five-Minute-Friday”.

For the next 5 minutes, I will be writing on the first Five-Minute-Friday word of 2016.  That word is:

FIRST

(GO)

When I discovered that the word for this #fiveminutefriday was FIRST, two things immediately came to my mind.  The “first” one was my son.  My FIRST born.  He will be 17 this weekend.  Wow!  Hard to believe that I’ve been a mom for 17 years.  I was thinking of all the things that come with having a child.  There are tons of “first” moments that can never be repeated.  At least not with that particular child.  My favorite “first” for my little…..okay, not so little anymore guy was his very first lollipop.

He was just a barely 2 months old.  My dad, who had cancer at the time, had been in the hospital since my son was born.  Dad was home and we went to visit.  It was a tradition in my dad’s family that the grandfather introduced the little one to a lollipop.  So, my dad did.  As you can see in the photo below, that “first” taste of sweetness brought a precious smile and an even more precious moment.

first lollipop

That memory, thinking of all the “first” things that happen in a child’s life, immediately took me to a passage that I read this week as I have begun a reading plan to go through the Bible in a year.  Matthew 6:25-35 is a beautiful passage about being anxious.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

A new baby…just like a new year can come with new experiences…things that we will worry and lose sleep over.  But the Lord tells us not to be anxious.  We read that He cares enough to clothe the grass and if He cares that much for a blade of grass, won’t He also take care of us.  The beginning of verse 33 gives us a very important “first”.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,…

(STOP)

I ran out of time {smile} but do feel the need to finish.  Seeking the Lord FIRST in all we do, is the key to living our lives as He created us to.  My prayer this year is that as I face the good and the bad that I will seek Him and His ways.

Joy to You!

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