Category Archives: Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Friday

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Today I tip-toe back to this space after a long break – more on that another time.  I am using Five Minute Friday to stretch my weak and flabby writing muscles before diving into the longer stuff.  Now hosted by Kate Motaung, this same group of amazing writers continues to gather, encouraging and supporting each other as we write on a specific prompt for five minutes each week.  Today’s prompt is…

BECAUSE

because Your words are trustworthy and true

because You have proven Your faithfulness and presence time after time

because everything in this world that offers direction, advice, or hope eventually crumbles and fails

because other people – even those who love me dearly – will at some point hurt me or fail me

because this life is hard and broken and confusing

because the people I meet are also broken and confused

because no matter how often or how hard I try to do things on my own, to be self-reliant and self-sufficient and independent, I find that I stumble and fail and come up short

because I am desperately searching for joy and meaning in my life

because I want, I need answers to the pain, the search for meaning and purpose I see around me – and in my own heart

because of all these things I turn my searching, stumbling, aching, lonely heart to You.

You give abundant life.

You rescue me from this broken and desperate world.

You provide purpose and meaning.

You heal hearts and restore relationships.

You give joy when happiness and pleasure fall short.

STOP

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Five Minute Friday: Mess

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Today this beautiful community of writers practices saying, “Yes!” in the midst of life’s messes.  We declare together that we do not have to have perfect homes or children or budgets or hearts for God to use us.  And the places God asks us to serve?  They can be equally messy as well.

 

MESS

Haiti, image via Haiti ARISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are places in this world that seem to stagger from one disaster to the next.  They are tangled messes of poverty or war or natural disasters or neglect or the wrong kind of attention from outside powers or all of the above.  From the outside, they appear the places God has forgotten.

But He has not forgotten and He who never sleeps or slumbers is gently, quietly, actively at work.  And He invites us to join Him in the messy places.  We whose lives may appear so tidy – who want so desperately to appear to have it together – but whose hearts are tangled messes of spiritual poverty, wounds caused by a war of words, disastrous circumstances, neglect or the wrong kind of attention.   We are Messy People invited to serve in messy places so that our perfect, gracious, loving Father may fix the messes in us all.

I am traveling to Haiti in a few short weeks – more on this later! – and the devastation there, even four years after the earthquake, is still staggering.  In so many ways I feel ill-equipped and ill-prepared to serve there.  And I am entirely overwhelmed by the need and the scale of the mess.  Our good God, though, He says I am a rebuilder-of-ancient-ruins.  We His messy children are called, are empowered by His transformation in us to restore devastated places and renew long-ruined cities.  Stone by stone, we clear the rubble.  And as the dust clears and the ruins take shape into something new, God’s glory shines through.

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Five Minute Friday

 

Five Minute Friday: Garden

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This edition of Five Minute Friday is pretty special.  Lisa-Jo Baker is opening the door for us to join her in funding the Maubane Community Center in South Africa.  This community holds a special place in her heart – and now in mine as she has shared how her story and their story intertwine.  I am joining her in holding the door open.  Won’t you come in?

veggies from garden

GARDEN

The smell of freshly turned earth literally makes my heart beat a little faster.  It is a heady smell that means spring and new life and fresh food and beautiful flowers.  I garden because I love it.  I till the earth with my hands to bring the bounty of the earth to our table.  I day-dream of flowers because they add beauty and softness to our lives.  Certainly, the food is a welcome addition to our table, easing the strain on the grocery budget.  I enjoy knowing where our food came from and how it was raised.  The food tastes better when you’ve cared and raised it from a seedling.  But I do not have to plant and harvest.

Sisters half a world away, they have to garden.  It is often a matter of life and death, or at least a choice between sickness and health.  Mothers, wives, daughters, aunts carefully tuck seeds into the ground, praying for the food it will bring.  But what if they have no space of their own to grow their food?  What if they don’t know how to till the earth or water the tender shoots?  There are people standing ready to teach them.  A community water point has already been built.  Can we join with those mothers, wives, daughters, and aunts, hand-in-hand across oceans and continents, to provide a community garden?  To give their families the nourishing food they need, food that can change their lives, save their lives?  The door is standing open.

Update: By God’s grace and the generosity of so many, the garden has already been funded!!  Visit the Maumbane Community Center site at Pure Charity for other ways you can be involved.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

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There is a group of brave writers who take five minutes each Friday (or in my case Monday, or Tuesday, or…) to write together on the same prompt.  We set the timer and let our fingers fly for 300 seconds and see where we end up.   Today’s prompt is:

 

HERO

Oh, how we all crave a hero!  We make heroes out of men, women – flesh and blood celebrities that we exalt until they inevitably crash at out feet.  So then we create imaginary ones.  Long lines of superheroes who rescue us from evil villains.  And this is not a phenomenon that started with comic books or Iron Man movies.  Ancient literature is filled with heroes, people who do the impossible, take on giants, monsters, gods in search of love, peace or fame.  What is it in us that craves a hero?

There is evil in this world.  You don’t have to look much beyond the first few minutes of your local news show to know this.  We are wounded by evil.  Scarred by the claws that seek to rip our hearts and lives to shreds.  We are desperate for a way out, for hope.  And so we imagine men and women who can defeat the monsters in our world.  They become caricatures of our better selves.  And this is not a bad thing.  Unless.  Unless we miss the Hero that stands in the wings of our lives, ready to rush into the chaos and destruction and bring order and hope.  He won’t fight His way in uninvited.  But He wants – so much! – to rescue you from the pain, the weight that threatens to suffocate your heart.  He wants to do more than give you a safe, pleasant, comfortable life here.  He wants you to join Him on His quest.  He wants you to fight back the darkness with Him, to whisper words of the coming revolution into the hearts of the captives.  And then, with your arms heavy from battle, your body scarred with the wounds of the enemy, He will take you to His kingdom and there you will find the peace and joy and love that your heart longed for and believed in.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday!

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I met a group of ladies a week ago who a part of a unique an wonderful writing community. Five Minute Fridays is a chance for us to write for five minutes, unedited, on a prompt provided by our lovely hostess Lisa-Jo Baker. This is my first link-up (yeah, it’s Monday but the weekend was nuts!) so with nervous fingers I write about…

GRACE

We names our son Johnathan.  The baby name books said his name meant “gift from God” and he certainly was that, a little bundle of smiles and big blue eyes we weren’t sure we could have.  Since then I have learned a better translation is “God is gracious.”  This seems even more appropriate.  His grace pours out daily through me and through this little man.  Grace covers the mistakes I make as a new mama.  Graces gently relieves me of the burden of perfection.  Grace gives me the joy to be a mama when I miss my job and my profession.

Grace is often defined as giving us what we don’t deserve.  Who of us deserves the privilege of  pushing new life into the world?  Of holding a tiny human that God knit together deep inside us?  Johnathan’s mere existence is a miracle of DNA and cells and chromosomes that takes my breath away.  That God would chose, would allow, women full of sin and shame and brokenness to bring new life into the world speaks a hope to my soul.  And for me, the woman who fervently declared she would never be a mom, who shied away from motherhood like it was a contagious plague, that He has allowed this pride-filled heart to love a son of my own is a shocking gift of kindness that makes no sense in the economy of earn-and-deserve.  He truly is gracious.

Five Minute Friday