RISE {Five Minute Friday}

22 May rise

rise

It’s Five-Minute Friday and I am joining Kate Motaung and the FMF girls to write with no polishing for five minutes. The word today is RISE.

These verses were the first thing that  came to mind when I saw the word prompt for today.

Psalm 1391-4

When I rise up every morning He knows it.  I awaken each day early and excited and jump out of bed to go to the bathroom, wash my face, sip a drink of water and make the bed.  After breakfast it is two, or some days five cups of coffee with a little sweetener and gingerbread creamer.  Yep, I freeze the creamer at Christmas when the stores have it so I have enough to last until next season when the pumpkin and gingerbread creamers arrive back in the stores.

While I’m drinking coffee, I am doing my Bible study and blogging and treasuring those sweet, quiet moments in the morning before the sun rises with my Lord, my Bible and my coffee.  He knows when I am sitting down and is with me every single morning.

This verse reminded me today that He is always near.  He’s there even when we don’t feel it, even when we think He is milliions of miles from us, when our heart are breaking, when we are praising.  He is there.

He sees our defects, our faults, our longings, our misgivings.  He knows our thoughts and He knows our dreams.  He knows the words I am thinking.  He knows those words I feel like blurting out when someone almost runs me off the road.   He sees.  He knows.

I love The Message version of these verses.   It says I am like an”open book”.  What a way to describe it, and may I model the Bible as my open book.  He knows when I am, and He knows when I am not.

He searches me or in other words, examines me.  He knows things that my friends and family do not know about me.  He knows my good habits like when I want to clean and when I want to exercise, and He knows my bad habits when I don’t eat right and yes when I go get that unhealthy snack out of the pantry.  He knows every good and every stinkin’ thing about my days and nights.

I am ALWAYS on His mind.

“God sees us with the eyes of a Father.  He sees our defects, errors, and blemishes.  He also sees our value”  Max Lucado

Planting Seeds – He Is With Us

20 May 1 Corinthians 37

As we began Chapter 7 of What Happens When Women Walk in Faith which was titled God Is With Us, I could not help repeating this song:

“He is with us, he is with us  – ALWAYS.” Love that song, and I love this Bible study.  Yes He is with me, little ‘ole me and He is with you too.

Have you ever felt God calling you to do something, and your mind jumped into that “impossible” mode?  I have and do. Lysa was convinced that there was just “no way” she could fit two more lives into her already busy  life. She was in the middle of the “famine stage” and knew that something would have to give so she began to pray and watch an answer from God.  She went to a retreat and each person was handed a name of God – her’s was “The Way”.  What a confirmation from Him!

That part of the chapter reminded me so much of me, and I bet it does you too in some way.  Fitting more in my already busy life seems to be the norm.  This past 20 months I have fit two grandsons into an already busy schedule of housekeeping, yard work, volunteering in on-line Bible studies as a team leader, blogging and substitute teaching because they are things I feel that really matter in the Kingdom.   It could be impossible for some, but I know right now that God has called me to do all I am doing.  Sometimes I think it’s just too much, and I need to give something up, but then when I pray about it He gives confirmation that “He is the Way”, His plan is perfect, and He will help me each day as I go His way, not mine, and some days I just have to depend on Him each step of the way.

I look at all I’m doing today and honestly sometimes I am tempted to doubt that God called me to substitute teach after I retired. End of year subbing is hard – all the teachers are using vacation days and many subs have dropped out and honestly some days I want to drop out when that phone is ringing and the computer is dinging. Did I hear Him wrong?  Does He really want me out in the worldly community ministering to teachers and students?  Like Lysa said when these doubts abound, “we are looking at the entire mountain and losing sight of the part God wants to help us move today.  Don’t try to make your whole dream come true at once.  Just fulfill the small part of the mission He’s asking you to do today. Just carry that one rock.  Ask God, what is my assignment for today?”  So I’m taking it one day at a time, still have a full calendar even though I’m R-E-T-I-R-E-D. I find my assignments right now are what is important and first it is my family.

1 Corinthians 37

Plant seeds today.  God makes them grow.  His plan, not mine.  His instrument.  What is His assignment for me TODAY?

Encourage One Another TODAY

19 May

Hebrews 313

We all need a little encouragement each day, and what a better world this would be if everyone received just a word.  We live in a broken and scary world of terrorism, sickness, storms, deaths, child abuse, financial problems, loss of jobs, our religious freedoms being questioned,  and that list just goes on and on depending on the season of life you are in.  As Christians, God calls us to be encouragers.  I am encouraged to think about being a light to someone that just needs to hear from me.  How different would our world be if each one of us encouraged just one other person today.

Encouraging words can get overlooked in the busyness of life.  We are too busy to pause and speak to the cashier, to a teacher, to a police officer, to a military person – all who serve us.  If you are like me, you need reminders.  Perhaps it should be on our to-do lists each day so we don’t forget.

We need to be sowing with our words.  It does not come easy for me.  I am always in a rush, but God is teaching me to slow down.  So how do we sow?

  • I think first we need to be sowing seeds right in our homes.  How long has it been since you said “thank you” to your husband or children?  How long as it been since you said “well done”?  How long has it been since you just stopped and gave a hug and said “I love you”?  Notice what they are doing well and thank them.  I used to just take things for granted. Today I always try to remember to say thank you even if we go for a hamburger.  Is a family member discouraged?  Don’t tear them down, build them up.  Does your husband love to come home?  He should because you should be his cheerleader, his encourager, and one he can share about his day.   Do you start telling him how bad your day was as soon as he walks in the door, or on the phone during the day when he is busy? Don’t.  Ask him how his day went, he will know you care,  and then he’ll want to hear how yours went.
  • Sow encouragement with your neighbors or friends through acts of service.  Is someone sick?  Take them a meal and tell them you are thinking about them and praying for them.  Does someone need a yard mowed that is sick or has someone in the hospital?  Go mow that yard.  Do you know a couple that needs a night out?  Offer to babysit for their young children or maybe an ailing parent who lives with them.  Does someone you know have a new baby or maybe sick?  Offer to clean their house for them or run an errand while you are in town.
  • When someone calls to mind that needs encouragement, have you texted, called or emailed them? Sometimes on a drive in from town, I just dial a number and talk to a friend for a bit (got hands-free calling).
  • Are you a blogger or do you love Facebook?  Your words can be encouraging or they can be negative.  Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”  Watch your tongue!
  • Encourage with gifts.  It does not have to be expensive.  Share some plants you dug up out of a flower bed. Send a card – e-cards are free.
  • Pray – It’s encouraging to me if I am down just to hear someone say they are praying for me.

There is power in our words.  Use them wisely because our words can cause problems with family and neighbors.  It only takes a moment to ruin relationships that might never be rebuilt.

Encouraging Words

I found it interesting in all the versions of Hebrews 3:13 that I looked up have the word today capitalized.  The verse says to do it Today.  Today will be our yesterday tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be too late to encourage someone that needed encouragement Today.  Think about Today every single day.  Encourage someone Today.  Make sure it is on your to-do list Today.   Pray for God to show you who needs encouragement Today.

A kind word of encouragement can not only change someone’s day, but may change their life for the good.

Today I am joining others over at Finding The Grace Within.

Faith in Adversity

12 May 1 Peter 57

Chapter 6 of What Happens When Women Walk in Faith is titled, God’s Extraordinary Invitation.  On the first page of this chapter Lysa was talking about two young boys they adopted from an orphanage in Africa, and how the orphanage taught them, “how to pray, how to have faith in the face of extreme adversity, and despite times of starvation and deadly attacks by the rebels, how to keep God’s joy dancing in their hearts.”

1 Peter 57

How do we face extreme adversities and keep joy dancing in our hearts?   We have to KNOW that our joy only comes from a deeply-rooted trust in God.   Some days the pain is so great that we have to look for the smallest of blessings to move forward.  Some days we can’t even find words to utter to pray so we just utter Jesus!

Today as I woke up and looked at the calendar it’s May 12, and it would have been Mom’s 82nd birthday.  When she died, I had to look for blessings – a text, a phone call, a card.  I had to ponder on precious memories.  What were the blessings?    It was knowing she was not suffering another day from rheumatoid arthritis, the loss of a leg from a bacteria caught in the hospital, depression from losing my Dad, osteoarthritis, and COPD.  It was knowing she was spending that Valentine’s Day with my Daddy.  It was knowing she was healed.  It was not about me and my loss, but that God had picked her up in His loving arms and carried her home.  I was sad and still am today, but I can find joy in all the little memories and times we spent together.  When I see a dragonfly, a butterfly, a daisy, or a sunflower I think of Mom with precious, precious memories and so I walked outside and took a picture of my first daisies that are blooming in my front flower bed this morning.  There will be many more to come in the weeks ahead.  So many are shooting up out of the ground right now. Happy Birthday Mom!  We miss you.

John 1511

Our futures are in God’s loving hands.  Sometimes our adversities are so hard, so devastating, our hearts are breaking, and we don’t know how we can get through another minute, much less a day as we throw ourselves on our knees and bawl our eyes out, but we must embrace whatever life is handing to us and depend on Him to carry us through.   Thinking about making it another day can be impossible, but stopping to look around for a little piece of  joy and embracing it can bring a joyful moment – a child smiling, a flower, a bird, a beautiful sky, memories.  Embrace a moment and find something to honor Him and thank Him taking it one step, one moment at a time.

Romans 828

What are your fears, anxieties, tears, burdens, or trials today?  It’s time to trust and pray and roll everything over to let Him take care of it.  Know that if you truly love Him that He is working for your good in whatever your circumstances may be.


Lord, Change Me As I Embrace Walking in Faith

11 May cardinal 1

I’m enjoying a study on What Happens When Women Walk In Faith, and trusting God to take me to amazing, new places I have never dreamed about, and some that I have, but haven’t had the courage to pursue.

I’ve been blogging through chapters but so far behind right now with my blogging. In an effort to catch up, here are some nuggets I’ve learned from Chapters 5 which talks about the famine stage of our walk in faith – a dry, barren time for us.  It’s a time we have to press through, a time of trust and knowing He has a perfect plan even in the midst of our discomfort.

Lysa reminded us in Chapter 5 that we “must go to the place where we pay more attention to God at work in our daily lives”  and “we must get to the place where we pay more attention to God at work in our daily lives.  If we are unaware of God in the small things, we’re probably living unaware of His presence in the big things as well.”  Are you aware of the small things – a rose, a baby bird, a crawling baby, a parent in good health, a child doing well in school?

For me, that has been easier as I am growing older.  When I retired a few years ago, my husband gave me several bird feeders.  It was a perfect gift although I wondered why he was giving me those.  I find myself looking out all seasons, but especially this winter at all the birds, and a special added blessing is our oldest grandson (20 months old) loves watching them as much as I.

.cardinal 1And then there are all the beautiful flowers this time of the year.  How can we not just oooh and aahh when we walk outdoors right now and see all the flowers in bloom.  Stop a moment and look at your flower beds or drive down the street and look.

What I treasure today is what I invest my life in!  May I treasure Him first and all else will fall into place.

Some of my favorite quotes from Lysa TerKeurst:

“Faith is found through life.”  I can only say that is a true statement, and if we are not growing in the valleys and the joys something is wrong.  No matter what we are experiencing right now in the everyday happenings we should be experiencing God in the messiness and in the good times.

A couple of my favorite verses from Chapter 5:

Blog 1 Samuel 167

Blog - Matthew 621

Treasure definition from Dictionary.com

  1. 1. wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
  2. 2.wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.
  3. 3.any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

What or where is your treasure?  What does the Lord see in your heart?

Here are my previous chapter blogs:

Join our studies at Proverbs31.Org.  What Happens When Women Walk In Faith
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