Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Together

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TOGETHER

Funny that this word comes up now.  Recently our work group has been huddling over what it means to be a team; to work as a team; to be a member of a team.
Image Courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At the end of it all it means togetherness.  Cliché, I know, but there's no "I" in team.  Period.

We weren't designed to be alone, to do it all on our own.  God's Word, in the very picture of the Church, is togetherness.  Starting with our togetherness in God through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  A togetherness that is oneness.  That oneness fuels our purpose and enables us to practice this togetherness.

This togetherness is based in service.  We work together and serve one another.  In our togetherness no one alone gives.  We give and receive; give and take; back and forth; again and again.  Together we can.  Alone, well, is lonely. 

Aloneness has its time and place but we are rarely called to give aloneness a right to be front and center.  In our separation, times of quiet and seeming aloneness we are able to renew our spirits through all that is whispered to it by the Spirit.  Empty for refilling, we are ready again for togetherness.

Agreed, we sometimes leave our time of quiet aloneness kicking and screaming, not feeling ready or equipped to face togetherness, but grace upon grace, perpetual grace, gently whispers, "Go.  Yes, you can.  Trust Me."

Ready, set, go.  Not just for Five Minute Friday but for the busyness of the day; for purpose; for togetherness.

Your Turn:  How do you benefit from togetherness?

Monday, October 21, 2013

5 Minute Friday - Laundry



Photo Credit:  Microsoft Office 2010
Is it just me or is there not something comforting about the routine of laundry?  Like most household chores it must be repeated again and again, but there's always something refreshing and renewing that comes from doing laundry that I don't really get from something like sweeping or toilet bowl cleaning; know what I mean?
 
I guess one of the things is that it engages my senses more than other chores.  While the dirty laundry is not the favorite fragrance of the routine, it is, nonetheless, a familiar one.  You recognize your loved ones in the piles, don't you?  Then, the clean laundry!  Oh, how I love the smell of clean laundry!

Another thing I love about laundry is the sound of it.  My favorite day is a spring or fall day, windows raised, no television or other noise, and the sound of the washer and dryer humming their special life rhythm.  The dryer's fragrance floats back through windows raised and it's just a perfect day.  

No, sweeping and toilet cleaning just don't treat the senses the way laundry does.  Laundry, I suppose, is the rhythm and fragrance of life.

Your Turn:  How do you feel about laundry?


Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Minute Friday - Ordinary

Taking the 5 Minute Friday writing challenge to ease myself back into (hopefully) blogging.

Today's prompt:  Ordinary
 

 ordinary, plain, nondescript, dull, lacking - the opposite of extraordinary
 
Life is usually lived out in between the two, tides of ordinary punctuated with extraordinary.  Ordinary brings thoughts of smallness, of little merit or contribution, but because we live the majority of our life in it, it is vital.  It is fabric, right?  We have threads of extraordinary but there'd be nothing to weave them through without the ordinary.  You can't even say extraordinary without ordinary.  Connected.  There.

Jesus came in the form of the ordinary, the daily, the human.  That's us.  Ordinary encapsulated in Extraordinary, that's Jesus.

Put us together when we accept our inheritance and you have the beauty of our salvation.  Christ in us moves us into the realm of the extraordinary and gives us new eyes to see, at times, where the two intersect.

Oh, sweet ordinary.  You are not dull, indeed.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Storm Warning


Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 119:11 KJV



The news had been forecasting a winter storm approaching for days. We knew the chances were good it was coming, just not exactly whether it would be mostly ice or mostly snow. There was time to stock up on milk and bread and prepare for possible power outages, still, I'm sure, some were not prepared. There were tips for driving safely, still cars were in the ditch on my drive home. As usual, I started thinking, what if.......?

What if God had a Holy Emergency Broadcast System and our station was interrupted to bring us a warning about an approaching life storm - a health emergency, a financial crisis, a relationship problem, you know, the seasons of life.

As quickly as the thought came, His Word reminded me that He has provided that very system.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33 KJV

How wonderful to hear God's Word answer my heart's questions! The power of hiding God's Word in our hearts is immeasurable.

In the storms we can have peace and good cheer because of Jesus; because He lives; because the grave couldn't hold him. We don't just have to endure the storm, we can actually thrive in it! Just as driving home through the storm provided an experience that was both beautiful and frightening, so are life storms.

Knowing God and His Word is the ultimate storm shelter!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reflections: The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanks-giving; I will pay that that I have vowed, salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2:9 KJV

Spiritual sacrifices are noted in 1 Peter 2:5 and I have been noting the various forms of spiritual sacrifices as I read my Bible, taking notes and thinking often on them.

When I study a theme, I usually start with by looking at the definitions of the words, and my favorite definitions usually come from Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary. Most definitions contain spiritual references, I believe, because faith was so intricately woven into our everyday lives at that time. A country built on faith, still relatively young, who had yet to stray so far away from the original principles upon which it was founded.

Although the 1828 definition of "sacrifice" is "the thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion", the more recent definition offered in The American Heritage Dictionary is "forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim". This time I think the modern definition helped clarify the importance of our sacrifices.

Since "spiritual" means "of, concerned with, or affecting the soul" our spiritual sacrifices, and especially the sacrifice of thanksgiving, are an offering from our souls to God wherein we willfully choose to open our hearts to His blessings and thank Him, giving up as we do a sense of entitlement to hold on to a negative, grumbling attitude.

Although next Thursday is officially Thanksgiving day, our cups overflow year-round and so should our thankfulness. As Robert Caspar Lintner said, "Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."



Gray though the day may be
The Light of His love shines through to me
Blessings disguised as trials teach
That I'm never farther than His Hand can reach

Child of God, do not despair
His loving touch is everywhere
The smile of a child, the song of the birds
A hug from a friend speak volumes without words

But most precious of all, the greatest of these
Is the gift of His life sacrificed for me
The least I can do is offer while living
My Lord my spiritual sacrifice of thanksgiving

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Counting My Blessings - Day 5

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 95:6 KJV

(Drawn, I think, in 6th grade -- another found treasure placed with the Thanksgiving booklet)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Counting My Blessings - Day 4


Slow, lazy Saturday mornings........... Several cups of coffee, laundry, cleaning, reading, more laundry, more cleaning, more reading..............

Clean windows looking out into an Awesome Autumn Day.......

A thoughtful mother who held onto my third grade Thanksgiving poem collection that blesses my heart 39 years later........

The help of my tween daughter with the mopping.......

The napping husband dreaming of somewhere good to eat out later this afternoon.....

A few stolen minutes on the laptop to count my blessings...........

The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. - Proverbs 10:22 KJV

(Cornucopia Cover of 3rd Grade Thanksgiving Poem Collection - Mrs. Bettye Burns Class)