Thursday, May 18, 2017

Truth: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday! Here's the link to Kate's Linkup!

Okay, I just noticed it's been a month since I've contributed to the linkup. Wow. And the journey has been wild in the in-between.
But tonight's prompt, "Truth" was too good to stay back from.
Also, my middle school students have been away at outdoor school which has given me a little more creative energy to pour out into the atmosphere. I have been painting their hallway all week!

The reason that "truth" is so important, is that it is the key ingredient of trust. If somebody is not truthful, they are not to be trusted. Whether this is in a work relationship, a parent-child relationship, or a regular person-to-person relationship, we don't wish to be lied to.
(Alright, except for vanity. Tell me I still look young and beautiful and I will probably appreciate the compliment)

It says that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free. Free from what? What lie have we listened to?

Hint, it's in the book of Genesis.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

This was the lie. That because we were made in the image of God, we believed we could be "like" God.
And this is the struggle in our hearts that is the root of all sin. We want to be like God. We want to be God. We want the control, the power, the steering wheel in our lives.
We don't want pain, discomfort, suffering, poverty, cancer, or anything else we deem "bad". We like to see others get what they deserve. (This is a painful truth. But, since the theme is truth, I'll call it out)

We, however, never want to get what we deserve.

The last time I looked, I really couldn't control anything. And it's been freeing to realize this, though not easy to learn. You see, when the power rests in God's hands, so does the responsibility!

We get to lean on His grace and mercy which surpass our frazzled feelings and emotions. We get to smile and graciously forgive when we'd rather breathe fire and return the wounding a little (or a lot).

And, He gives us perspective. Will this matter in 5 minutes? 4 hours? 3 days? 2 months? 1 year? (calming countdown, yes?)

Oh the little things that could stir us up, but He is quietly whispering to us, "come, hide in the shelter of my wings. I will protect you and keep you from being battered by this storm. You'll get wet, but you won't drown!"

Listen, dear ones, for He is speaking the Truth. He is and was and always will be. So, why not realize He is and was and always will be in control? And you don't have to be?! :)

Love,

Tammy

P.S. Please include your linkup number in your comments. I'd love to see your thoughts on the "truth".

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Empty:Five Minute Friday

What a fun week it's been and it's already time to link up again!
That's right. We're linking up with Kate Motaung for the Five Minute Friday prompt.
This week the word is "Empty".

Go!

Last week's prompt was "enough". I centered around the thought that we are lacking something and aren't enough to fill it.
That ties in so well to the "empty" thought.

But you know? God doesn't have room to fill jars of clay with His presence when they're too full of themselves for Him. :)
Sometimes it is the breaking, the cracking of our clay pots that allows the self to drain out and the empty that is so uncomfortable begins to make way for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to sit in the throne.

Oh self, why do you constantly creep back up to that throne and try to sit on it? You're really not the right size or shape to sit on the throne, but you keep trying and my Jesus is a gentleman. He could squish you easily, but He won't. He'll patiently wait for you to move out of His way.

I wish I could teach you to stay in your place. Seated at His right hand, you're in His favor, allowing Him to lead, to rule, and to reign.

Oh but the hope we have, that nobody else has!! When they feel empty, there is nothing to take it away. All substitutes leave them longing for something that is out of reach.

I'm linking a YouTube video of a song that I composed this Wednesday at school with our youngest kids at chapel. https://youtu.be/o4QibA5jGDI
At school I was strumming a guitar and telling them the Easter story (without revealing that I was telling them that specific story), and then the song just came bubbling out. They began to sing it with me, so we sang it a few times.
The lyrics are simple. So is the melody, and well, so are the chords. You could easily be a musician with this one!! G, C, D, G, E, C, D, G. Yep. That's it. Feel free to raise or lower the key.

I hope you'll recognize that the empty place is a gift and an invitation for fresh, living water. We can become filled with stale water and if we don't get it out, it doesn't benefit us OR the others around us. We need those mercies renewed every morning!! :)

Blessings on you this Resurrection Weekend!!
Love,
Tammy

P.S. Please tell me your linkup # or your url in the comments so I can find you! :)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Enough: Five Minute Friday

Our weekly linkup is never a disappointment. For more fun than you can possibly handle, and to meet the most amazing community of deep and caring writers, join us at Kate's linkup every week for a five minute free-write with no edits on a one word prompt.

This week's word prompt?
Enough.

I'm experiencing a deja vu. I am certain that this was already the prompt recently, but I have looked and it's just not so.
What can this mean, other than I have been mediating on this very word and it's finally time to write my thoughts.

This has been a struggle for most of my life. The world tells us that we are not complete. That we lack something. That we are not enough.

It's clever, really. Because it is the truth to say that we are not complete. But the world offers us multiple ways to feel complete that do not satisfy that hole that only Jesus can fill.

The truth is, that our best is good enough for Him. He wants all we have to offer and THAT is enough.

Our strivings and righteous deeds don't add to our salvation, nor do our mistakes and sins take away from it. It is finished.

I must admit as I think about Easter coming up in one week, that I have spent most of my life trying to be good enough for God to love me. To be worthy of Jesus' sacrifice. It's exhausted me at times when I am in a puddle of tears looking at my failures.

I'm so hard on myself because how can a Holy God love such wretched beings as us?

And yet, the Bible promises us that "as far as the East is from the West, so far has he taken our sin from us." And "while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us." (Romans 5:8)

(Psalm 103:11-13, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;)

Is God's love enough for you? Will you believe that He has redeemed you?
Will you allow His redemption and grace to cover you so that you are no longer feeling guilty and ashamed, but you will rejoice in His promise to make His mercies new every morning??

-Tammy

(p.s. please leave me your linkup number or URL in the comments so I can find your post and return the blessing!)