Five Minute Friday::Opportunity

Opportunity-the difference between being able to just get by and to flourish. Opportunities come in many different forms-job opportunities-volunteer opportunities-opportunities to rent or own a home. Lots of opportunities!

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Christian Writer’s Retreat. We had wonderful times of learning, brain storming, writing and just being in nature. The opportunity was a blessing and I was able to write almost 2700 words of a book I am writing.

When the opportunity arose I had two choices. First to say “Who me? I’m not that good a writer” or “YES!” and embrace the opportunity to grow and learn.

Grow and learn is exactly what I did and also made long lasting friendships!

This post is brought to you by this week’s one word prompt from Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung. Click this link to read more fmf posts!! fmf opportunity

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Five Minute Friday::touch

And behold, a women who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fridge of his garment, for she said to herself,”If I only touch his garment, I will be well.”. Matthew 9:20-21(ESV)

I suffer from periodic Major Depression. Yup, Christian, I know His truth, I know who I am in Christ, yet from time to time for anywhere from 4 weeks to several months a darkness hangs over me.

In the past, I felt no hope during this time. This past episode was different. Intellectually the enemy was telling all the lies that knock me down.

No good

Not qualified

Failure

This time was different because deep in my heart my hand had hold of the hem of his garment. I knew if I kept hold, kept doing the next right thing I would be well. Thank you Jesus that you touched my heart so deeply that I knew you had me, know you love me and will never push me away from holding onto the hem of your garment.

Praise God today for his mercies are new every morning!

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Five Minute Friday is a weekly writing prompt under the leadership of Kate Motaung. Click here to read other blogs on the word Touch

Five Minute Friday-Next

Next-the next right thing. That is what everyone keeps telling me during my hard, waiting time. Ten years is a long time to be waiting to see her beautiful face and feel her hug. Ten years without hearing her voice. Ten years without forgiveness on her part.

I know I made many wrong choices, when she was a child. I am so grateful that Jesus died on the cross to cover my sins, your sins, everyones sin. Today, Good Friday, is a dark, dark day for Christians but Sunday is coming, Jesus will rise. Salvation is for all who call upon his name.

Hosanna in the highest-blessed be the name of my Lord who loves me unconditionally!

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Thank you, Jesus for your grace, mercy and most of all for your unconditional love to this wretch that once was lost but now is found. Are you lost? Feeling emptiness inside that nothing fills-it’s a emptiness only Jesus can fill.


Ephesians 2:8-9
 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Five Minute Friday is a 5 minute writing prompt led by Kate Motaung and accepted by many. Click here to see more fmf posts! fmf::next

Five Minute Friday-Lack

When I think of lack I often remember the verse in the 23rd Psalm-reminding me I will not lack anything. Without much thought I think I lack nothing-I have more than enough food, have shelter, a great car, our dogs that follow me around, our chickens and my amazing husband. I.lack.nothing.

Then I am reminded I often lack:

Patience

Grace

Forgiveness

Manners

Self Control

and then I am so grateful that I live a life that strives to improve but is not expected to be perfect. Perfection will come when I see my Lord face to face. So, for now, yes, I lack no material needs and as for the spiritual things I lack I will continue to look to Jesus for his grace, mercy, love and wisdom.

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

Five Minute Friday is a 5 minute writing challenge led by Kate Motaung and accepted by many. Click here to see more fmf posts! fmf::lack

Five Minute Friday-Offer

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)

Offer, what do I have to offer up to Jesus who has blessed me so much. Nothing I could do could do justice. I sit in awe at all God has done for me.

I can offer praise to God by using my gifts to bless others. Words of encouragement. Food for their bodies and sharing God’s word to feed their souls.

I can offer songs of praise as I look at all God has created-birds, animals, butterflies, all the beautiful trees and flowers. All cause me to burst out in praise and to offer my joy. Ultimately Jesus wants us to take time to enjoy his creation and continually offer up praise for all he has done and created in this world and my life.

An unexpected day…

Two years ago, at about this time, I was driving home from visiting my friend in Buckner, MO when all of a sudden I felt really sick, nausea, clammy, panic feeling and I immediately said, “No, God, I can’t be sick I have 3 more hours to drive to get home”. I had an odd feeling because my husband wasn’t returning calls, which is not like him. Even more unlike my sweetie, who dislikes texting, was a one word text.

About an hour out from home I stopped at the McDonald’s in Cassville for a potty stop and decided to get a Hot Mocha cappuccino and I remember saying to myself “You will regret this caffeine later” and distinctly hearing, “No you won’t”.

I drove the final hour home to be greeted in our driveway by Bill’s best friend, Jim. He uttered words no wife wants to hear “Bill is ok but we need to get to the Mercy ER now”. On the way over Jim said Bill had an accident and possibly cut off his pinky finger. We got to the hospital as he was about to leave, by ambulance, to go to a bigger hospital to have emergency surgery. He was smiling and laughing-I figure he was either drugged up pretty good or was doing what he does, putting on a brave face for me. They drove off as I drove his truck home and Jim then drove me to the hospital where the surgery would take place in Harrison. Got there just before he was rolled into surgery at 9:30pm. The surgeon promised to save what he could but was fairly certain he would be amputating the pinky and ring fingers on his left hand. 

What I didn’t know then was that Bill’s push stick broke and the table saw blade mangled two fingers and cut about 90% through the middle and index fingers on an angle cutting nerves,muscles and tendons. Exactly at the same time I suddenly felt sick, clammy and anxious on my way home. Yes, when we got married God join us and two became one. It was a long 2 1/2 hours later when the surgeon came out and said he had to remove two fingers and was hopeful the other two would heal. With Bill in recovery I went home and tried to get some rest.

The next day I went to bring him home and the first time I saw his hand, all wrapped up, I was stunned. It made it all real. The fingers were gone. He was in good spirits and, as usual, he simply said we will get through this.

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What I learned later was that when the accident occurred he had the focus to go in the house, get a clean shop rag, wrap his hand, clean up the blood on the saw, floor and where ever he found it, let the dogs out, fed the dogs and then pondered how to get to the hospital. His final decision was to drive himself. Living in the country he felt he could get himself there quicker. He will tell you he cleaned up the blood so it would not upset me. I don’t know anyone with that much where with all in a time of stress. Must have been his Marine training Hoorah!!

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That day is one of several that have been life changing for us. At first he couldn’t dress himself, tie his shoes, cut his meat, so much he couldn’t do. Bandage changes several times a day. The VA determined he didn’t need occupational therapy so he knew it would be up to himself to get mobility in the remaining fingers. With do diligence he has been able to get his fingers to bend enough that he can hold things between them and his thumb, somewhat like a claw.  I think I will always need to wait, as I hand him something, for him to say “ok, I’ve got it”. Today he is unable to work but is able to, ever so slowly, do most of what he could do before as far as taking care of himself and some things he likes to do in his shop. Some things he will probably never be able to do again. I am his helper when he is not able to do something and it is something I am able to do. We truly are each others helpmate.

We have learned a lot since this accident. We are very intentional about how we do things. We thank God for his protection and our lives. While neither of us is able to work we know that God provides all our needs in the most amazing ways. 

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Looking back over these two years I am in awe at how God watches over us and guides us through the difficult days. We are closer today, we are stronger in spirit. We are very blessed!!

In all circumstances

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians5:16-18 (ESV)

A pretty tall order in this very broken world we live in. Tragedy is all around us. One just need to turn on the news or to social media and we hear and read about:

Senseless mass murders

Senseless loss due to the poor choices of others

Senseless loss of life due to cancer and other illnesses

Senseless loss of the lives of children

I have often read the question “How can a good God allow such senseless things to occur?” but the truth is that God hurts along with us. God only wants good for us, he has plans for us that are good and for our good.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)

So how do these verses, promises from the Bible, fit in with all the senseless things that happen here in this world where we live? Truth is, these are what God chooses for us but he created us with free will and, unfortunately, many make sinful choices that have a ripple affect. That ripple affect causes these senseless losses. It seems no one ever thinks about this ripple affect of their choices until it is too late. I can sadly but, honestly, say that choices I made years ago have caused a ripple affect that has caused a break in my relationship with my beautiful daughter. Do I look back and wish I had the opportunity to make different choices-say different words, absolutely, but that is not possible so instead I:

Rejoice always: I rejoice remembering the good times and cling to them.

Pray without ceasing: I pray that God will heal hearts-hers and mine.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances: Yes, even in the worst of situations and times I can find things to be thankful for.

This is the will of God for me (and you): God’s will for me is to live a life that rejoices, prays without ceasing and lives in gratitude.

When I am faced with all the senseless things, in this world, I focus on what is good and true. We serve a good, good, God who wants only the best for us BUT we live in a fallen world that often tries to take our focus off of Him and put it on our circumstances so we turn from God. It’s at times like these we need to frustrate the enemy and lean into Jesus and allow these circumstances to strengthen our faith.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

In times like these when I can’t change my past and make better choices I don’t have to like my circumstances but I do have a choice to wallow in my loss or look to the Lord to give me comfort, peace, mercy and surround me with His love. When my mama heart hurts and I feel reconciliation is impossible I cling to this scripture:

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Precious Heavenly Father, I praise you and thank you for your peace that surpasses all earthly understanding in this troubled world we live in. I ask, Lord, that you forgive me for choices that I made, years ago, and the ripple affect they created. I rejoice in knowing you are who you are and that you are good and only want good for your children. I pray, Lord, that you touch the hearts of all that are hurting in this world and I thank you, Lord, for your grace, mercy and love. In Jesus name, Amen