Friday, December 1, 2017

Near: Five Minute Friday

It's Friday! Time for another Five Minute Friday linkup. This week's prompt is "near".


I'll admit, the very first thing I thought with this prompt was the theme song to the movie "Titanic".

"Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that my heart will go on.
We'll stay forever this way, you are here in my heart and my heart will go on and on."

I thought that maybe I could take Celine Dion's vocals and over-spiritualize that chorus, but then I thought that just getting the song stuck in your head was probably enough of an offense. (laughing over here on this side of the screen)

Is God really far away, or is He near?

Eventually another song I sang in worship often during my college days came to mind.
It is scripture based, and draws lyrics from Nehemiah, another prophet, and James.

"Sing for joy to God our strength
Sing for joy to God our strength, our strength

If we call to Him, He will answer us
If we run to Him, He will run to us
If we lift our hands, He will lift us up
Come now praise his name, all you saints of God.

Draw near to Him, he is here with us
Give Him your love, He's in love with us
He will heal our hearts, He will cleanse our hands
If we rend our hearts He will heal our land."
(Sing for Joy by Don Moen)

If you read the actual passage in James, this was a rather harsh rebuke he was issuing in Chapter 4. Not so light and fluffy.

James 4:7-10
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."

Perhaps, though, when we ignore the Lord, He feels distant to us because we are not focused on the right things. He is near, and we can hide ourselves in the cleft of the rock, and the storms will rage around us and we will get wet, maybe even soaked, but we will not be drowned.
Challenges that are fierce push us, propel us to the feet of God where we cast ourselves on His mercy. He wants us to come to Him, and He will fight our battles for us!

Nearer My God to Thee

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raise'th me,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
There let the way appear, steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I'll fly,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
There in my Father's home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior's love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be,
Nearer my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Songwriters: JOHN S HURT

Timer has gone, and I will leave you with two videos. "Sing for Joy" and an amazing, tear-causing Cello version of "Nearer My God to Thee" performed by Stephen Sharp Nelson (The Piano Guys)


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Silence: Five Minute Friday

Due to my infrequent contributions to FMF during the school year, my blog will appear to be "silent". :) Our prompt this week is 'silence'.
Ready set go!

The silence of the room, the hushed moment of intimacy shattered in a surprise attack!

Torn away and dragged off to her death, she struggles to contain herself.

Thrown to his feet in the crowd, she cannot meet his gaze. They announce her sins for even Caesar to hear, and yet the Rabbi is silent.

Tears flow down her face as she steels herself for the stinging stones that will be followed by crushing cobblestones.
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!"
Strangely, the whispers fade into whispers until all she finally hears is, "Woman, where are your accusers?"

We, like helpless sheep, cannot defend ourselves against our accusers, but our silent appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ are heard.

It is in the silent discipline of listening that we hear the voice of God. It is no coincidence that the letters which spell "listen" also spell "silent."

*time has ended*


Friday, October 27, 2017

Overcome:Five Minute Friday

When I saw that the prompt was “overcome”, I thought hard. Am I overcoming or am I being overcome?
I have had some refining and growing experiences over the past seven days.
And, some reinforcement of those principles as the days have gone on.
God had my full attention, He was calling me to press into him.
And yet, I still was not ready to fully embrace the calling of the moment.
I was stirred, passionate, ready for action, and then I froze.

The results of my inhibition were the exact results I’d predicted, but the aftermath did not leave me unscathed either.
I still had to learn some things about myself.
I’m still processing much of this.
Remember the verse about Mary pondering this in her heart?
I’m trying to do more of that.

I’m reading a book titled “Fiercehearted”, the very first story is on conflict. On embracing conflict.
On the ways that going through conflict actually makes relationships deeper.
I’m the opposite of embracing conflict. I’d rather know I’m right and hold my tongue than risk a flare of nostrils from one being challenged by my words.

There is a time and a season for everything, and I need to see these moments with my spiritual lenses.
My battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces. (Eph 6:12)

My friend Marie speaks of standing firm in her post here:
I could so relate! I’m wanting to be Barnabas and encourage others, but sometimes that means speaking truth in love.
It means bracing myself for what is right and how it can clash with what is wrong, and being willing to state that something is wrong.
Oh, friends, this is a scary new place for me, and along with it is overcoming my need for approval.

*time has ended*

Here's the FMF link

Thanks for walking with me, one day at a time.
- Tammy