Friday, February 27, 2015

Visit: Five Minute Friday

Today's five minute prompt is the word "Visit". Here's the link-up over at Kate Motaung's website.

My husband and I met in the summer of 2003. I came out to visit my best friend from grade school and the job she'd set me up with promised to pay for my last year of college.
I never got to go on a call, but I met my best friend for life and we did a short-distance summer dating before I drove the 1,000 miles back to my college.
During our long-distance separation and many phone calls and letters, he gained my trust and won my heart, asked my dad's blessing, and proposed over the phone.
He came out then, for a visit, at Christmas. I did not know he'd secured my engagement ring, as he'd told me a tall tale about not having the resources until Spring Break.

So, the word visit, to me, has always been bittersweet. It's always temporary, and though wonderful, the parting is awful.

My parents live in another state, about 400 miles away, and we love to visit, but the times between visits are long.

I hope that my relationship with Christ is not at visitor status. I don't want Him to simply pop in for a "visit" from time to time when I need a friend or encouragement, but that He would be a permanent member of my family. That He would be a fixture in my house.
I don't ever want to be saying goodbye to my One and Only Savior.

If He lives here all the time, I am not putting on a show of a clean house to impress Him, but rather, letting Him experience the clean and the messy, the great and the awful, and knowing that He loves me through all of it. I am raw, real, and sincere. There is no pretense of anything, but the deep, undying love of my Jesus.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Open: Five Minute Friday

Write for five minutes without stopping, but that's all you get. No edits, no extras, just writing from the heart. The link up is over with Kate Motaung every Friday. It's wonderful and exciting and takes hardly any time (five minutes!).

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you, I want to see you.

Perhaps it's my analytical nature, but often when I hear a word, I think of its opposite in order to explain.

For us to be open, it means that we perhaps once were closed. Certainly, in my own heart, there are areas I still have cordoned off, not ready to let God in and permeate them with His Holiness.

A certain amount of burning will have to happen in order for the refining to transform what was dark into light.

And yet, I long for that transformation from impure to pure.

That my heart would become so clear that when God's light shines into it, there are no obstructions casting shadows any longer.

That God's light would be so brilliant within that it could not be contained within but that all areas of my life-every relationship-all of the lives touched by mine would be marked with God's fingerprints.

I am open to this.

He has been showing me lately that our hearts can be filled and then He can multiply what is within to reach others. If we choose to hold onto hurts, we are closed off to His healing, and the darkness and bitterness and woundedness just spreads from our heart to all the hearts around us.
Would it not be better to spread love, life and joy?!

I want to open my heart, open my hands, open my deepest soul to the only One who will never discard me once I have served my purpose.

God does not view us as disposable, but as eternal. In our disposable world, He is the only safe being to which we can open our hearts.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Life is Priceless

Sometimes, you can't keep quiet.
The words are burning like a fire within you, needing to be written, spoken, heard.

This week, I awoke too early (we have cats and they use the great outdoors rather than their backup box), and almost couldn't get back to sleep with the words running through my head.

Occasionally, I have written letters to the editor, but it has been a while.
This time, it had to be written immediately, and it published the very next day.
And to my surprise, I received a message via Facebook from a person I don't believe I know, thanking me for my letter.
"Thank you for that amazing and brave letter to the editor today. I'm sure there will be some negative feedback but so many of us appreciate what you said."

The editor titled it "Evil disregards the value of human life"

Here is the letter:

The core principle of humanity is that human life has value. What dollar amount can equal a human life?

Yet this principle is exploited by terrorists such as ISIS with their executions. Evil disregards the value of human life.
Evil straps bombs to young children and women and sends them running toward others. As a society, if we fail to value life at its beginning, then our tears are false at its end. Ask an infertile couple what the value of human life is.
The Pregnancy Hope Center offers free ultrasounds, and seeing is believing in many cases. When as a society, we and our doctors view life with more value than dollars, we will have no need to legislate abortions. We will rejoice at the miracle of pregnancy.
Our young women will receive support to make the difficult decision of raising their child or sharing that life with another couple and allowing an adoption. We will begin to heal some very deep wounds, and once again, we will set ourselves apart from others. Life is priceless.
Tammy Belau

Friday, February 13, 2015

Speaking From The Heart (Guest Post)

Today, my post is featured on One Word 365. Here's an excerpt and then a link to finish over at their page. So thankful to be sharing what God is teaching me in order that others may be edified and encouraged!
The words always come from Him and just flow through my fingertips. It's never something I'm able to do on my own!

In February, the image of a heart is frequently before our eyes as a symbol of love. When it comes to hearts, God is a multiplier. Whatever is in our heart, He will multiply for His use and His glory.
In Luke 6:45, Jesus said, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (NIV)
A heart full of love will be multiplied, and love will abound. A heart full of hurt will be multiplied, and hurt will abound. The words we speak come directly from our hearts. What are we offering up to be multiplied and served to others?
When Jesus asked his disciples to collect food for the crowd of 5,000 men (plus women and children), Andrew said to him, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9 NIV)
Many of us have a small offering, but God is the multiplier of all and can feed many with what we have. If you are filled with joy, He will share that joy to people you never knew needed it. If you are filled with love, He will cause you to share love with those thought unlovable. If you are filled with negativity or bitterness, your bread is moldy and your fishes smell like fish—not fresh or life-giving. The multiplication of such brings sickness of heart, and is not to His glory whatsoever. Still, even Pharaoh who had hardness in his heart—God used his offering to display the hand of God in delivering His people out of an impossible situation.
Always, it is for God’s glory that our heart endures—that it is not of our own might or strength or power. Proverbs 4:23 gives us a warning “Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” (ISV)
Read the rest over here at


When: Five Minute Friday

Today's Five Minute Friday prompt is "When".

When is always followed by a question mark for me.
"When?" (and often is led by a feeling of unhappiness or discontent or impatience)
When is also a conditional word.
When will that happen? It will happen when you... It will happen when this...

The disciples asked in Matthew 24 "When will these things happen?" Jesus then tells them many things and concludes with "Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father."

We want control, security, the ability to depend on our own timing.
That is not God's way, though.

We say When?
He says Wait.

We say When?
He says Trust.
We say When?
He says Not Now.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
This is the when we should pursue. All else will fall into place when God is our pursuit. We won't care about "when", because He's here right now. Surrounding us, embracing us, filling us, nothing else will matter. 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Keep: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday. Find five minutes on Friday to focus, stop, breathe, type, and stop. I am so grateful to be in this group of friends, typing. Though, some weeks I am typing pro-actively on Thursday night, and some weeks I find myself Friday afternoon with the realization that it's Friday and I missed it.
But, I haven't missed it. I'm just not the first. Here's the link-up for this week.

Today's word is keep. It is Friday afternoon, and I've been challenged the last two days. The first thing that came to mind was "Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." I love the old Maranatha records I grew up listening to. Whether or not you appreciate the timelessness of the sleepy folksong music, the verses have forever remained in my mind.

I looked up the passage in parallel for a little less King James finesse and found even greater strength in this one.
"You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on you, because he remains in you." (International Standard Version)

"You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. " (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

I want God to keep my mind at peace. It is so easy for the peace to leave as I look around at circumstances. God wants me to look over the tossing, crashing waves and up to Him, who is over all.

He is my keeper. If I am placing my thoughts and trust in Him, I will be more likely to see the current situation as passing. And He gives the peace that passes all understanding. Oh, yes, sweet Lord! Wash over me with your perfect peace!