Saturday, February 21, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Open

Here we go again, doing the free writing thing where we don't worry about anything except getting things down on paper for 5 minutes, and linking up to encourage one another along this writing journey.

Here's where you can find out more about this community of word-loving writers:

This week's prompt is: 


I hate change.

I am faced with a major life change, and my flesh is fighting it tooth and nail.

And why? Because it doesn't go with my vision. My perspective.There's that word again. Perspective.

And it makes me so frustrated, because I need to have God's perspective on this, and His view is wide open to all the tomorrows that I face, and He sees how little (or how big) this change is, and He knows where it will take me and how important it will be.

And I need to have His perspective so my view will be open to whatever He wants to do.

But I want to curl up in the fetal position and nurse my fears and guard my dreams and goals and vision. I don't want to be open because that feels vulnerable.

But I have to be willing to be vulnerable, if I am going to go forward. If I don't embrace change, no matter how hard it is, I am like squealing tires that make lots of noise but never get anywhere.

I need to put into practice what I preach, which means I need to be willing to trust and obey Him, to be open to His leading, even when it is hard. And it is really hard right now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Encouragement and Fun

Once again I am posting a plug for a fun and encouraging blog that I visit.

Kaitlyn hosts the Five Minute Friday Snail Mail party, which is where we do the "five minute" writing thing, only via Snail Mail instead of online.

How fun it is to get some cards in the mail instead of just bills!

She also has fun giveaways during each round. Sound interesting? Click here to check out the details.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Keep

This is a Five Minute Friday post, and that means I will set my timer for 5 minutes and I will write something on the prompt, and I will not critique my work.

Sound hard? For some of us (ahem) perfectionists, maybe. But it is also glorious in that you can write and not worry about it being write right. Just let the creative juices flow.

Sometimes this takes practice, and since there's one Friday in every week, if you join us you'll do that at least four times a month!

Click here to learn more.

This week's prompt is: 


". . . keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me...," (Psalm 19:13 NASB).

I chose perspective as my one word for this year, and God has been opening my eyes to many things in the past month. Such as the way I read my Bible.

This scripture has always caught my eye, and I first remember reading it as willful sins in the NIV. The NASB calls them presumptuous, which means: too confident especially in a way that is rude, done or made without permission, right, or good reason overstepping due bounds, taking liberties (according to Merriam Webster online).

But the word I'm writing about is keep, which in this case means restrain or hold back. And that is why I put this scripture up. My perspective on this verse has always been focused on the type of sin that would, as it is worded, want to rule over me.  

But this time I noticed the word keep in the verse—which is a plea to God for help to keep me back from such presumptuous sins.

And this is how God is altering my perspective. I tend to focus on the negative and what I can do to change or fix it. God wants me to look to Him, to worship and rest in Him, and let my communion with Him be the agent for change in my life, not my own effort. He wants me to let Him keep me.


Linking up with others at:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

You Do It

Chapter 8 of Acts is interesting. It begins with Stephen being buried (after his stoning death) and then talks of Saul's hearty persecution of believers in "the Way." Those believers scattered about (to avoid Saul) and began preaching the gospel wherever they went. Phillip was one of them.

Phillip goes to Samaria and many people believe in Jesus, including a magician named Simon. Because of the number of those who believed, but hadn't yet received the Holy Spirit, Peter and John came to Samaria. Simon saw them lay hands on the new believers, praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit, and he asked them to give him that authority. Actually, he tried to buy the ability to pray like they prayed.

Of course, they rebuked him: 

"May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you," (Acts 8:20-22, NASB). 

And what was Simon's response to this rebuke?

"But Simon answered and said, 'Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me,'" (verse 24, emphasis mine).

My first instinct was to judge him. How could he respond that way to such a rebuke? But then, how many times have I called someone, anyone, to ask them to pray because I haven't wanted to pray to God myself. Is it laziness? A sense that I'm not worthy enough to pray the right (or good enough) prayer? Or maybe just wanting sympathy from someone, so I want them to know what my prayer request is?

I was once told that no one will pray for my need more than I will. If I don't feel enough passion to pray to God for myself, why would I think that someone else would feel that passion for me? 

Yes, God does move people to pray for us when we can't, and there are those who pray for the lost (who don't even think of praying, let alone feel like they can). But when we have a need—or as in Simon's case, have received a rebuke (or conviction of the Holy Spirit)—the best thing we can do it take it straight to the Lord ourselves. 

So the next time I have a need, instead of first thinking of who I can call to pray, I am going to tell myself: you do it.

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