Thursday, September 24, 2015

Doubt: Five Minute Friday

Another week, another chance to write on a one-word prompt for only five minutes. We set timers, type quickly, and let it flow without criticism. Then, we link-up our posts so we can read others' posts and they read ours and we have a community that grows from one word each week.
Five Minute Friday.


Wow. When the prompt came up "doubt", it surprised me, comforted me, guilted me, and yet, I was ready to write!

How can five letters bring up so many different emotions within us? We are made in the image of the all-knowing God, but we really don't "know it all". We sincerely wish we did.

When we become independent in one realm of life, we gain confidence, but sometimes are too confident in our own abilities.

I think God gives us the emotion of doubt intentionally.

Doubt is a gift from God.

Yes, I repeated myself.

Because I just "got it". If I doubt myself, then I will reason that I might not be the answer. That will prompt me to ponder my inability. And, hopefully, will point me toward GOD's ability!

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-13)
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10)

The world markets to our doubt and insecurity with many products with all sorts of enhancing features. Physique, physical beauty, status, the list goes on and on.

When Peter walks on water and then falters, how does Jesus respond??
(Matthew 14:29-30)
"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?

Friends, doubt is a gift from God. We question whether our faith is placed in the solid rock, or in quicksand. If we cry out, Jesus reaches out His hand and catches us IMMEDIATELY!!! :D

I've been journeying through the end of Psalms this month. David is afraid for his life and hiding in a cave but repeatedly is calling on the Lord. And the Lord is answering and saving him.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    and will praise your name
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
    that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me;
    you greatly emboldened me."
(Psalm 138:1-3)

Bold is the answer to doubt. I doubt, I despair, I discourage, and yet, God. So if I turn my lips and praise Him in that dark disappointed ('light and momentary') trouble, He will embolden me.

Brave because of my God,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Celebrate: Five Minute Friday

Another week, another chance to write on a one-word prompt for only five minutes. We set timers, type quickly, and let it flow without criticism. Then, we link-up our posts so we can read others' posts and they read ours and we have a community that grows from one word each week.
Five Minute Friday.


This week's word is "Celebrate".
That word instantly made me smile.
We enjoy celebration. Life. We celebrate life. New babies, life anniversaries (birthdays), wedding anniversaries, and many other things.

Today I am celebrating fulfilled promises. In 2011, we began a journey at a private school with our oldest daughter. The next year, we had two daughters at the school. Then we had a major change at the school and we were in a transition year. It was so difficult for many reasons. Our administrator felt called away. We had one interim administrator followed by another one at semester (due to health problems). Year 3 was the year we had to choose. Many people had choices. Stay, go, trust, move on, and for everybody, the choices were different. We chose to stay.

Last year was year 4. We had prayed for a long time for a new leader for our school. God brought somebody who has cast vision of "God first, students next".
Because of this purpose, and that God would get glory, we have a servant leader modeling for the students what a Christian leader should act like. He mows the lawn on a riding mower. He pushed through the hurdles and we had a football game on our new field at home last weekend. This is year 5, we have all three daughters at the school and I'm a "part-time" teacher on staff! Next year we are supposed to have a better playground for the elementary.

Today, God showed me a rainbow as I was coming back to the school and it stopped me. He is so faithful to us! I'm journeying through Psalms this month. Yesterday was Psalm 136. Twenty-six times we repeat "His love endures forever."

Not only when we're thankful or have something to celebrate, but when it's bleak and dark.
In the photo, you see the darkness contrasted with the vibrant colors of His promise.
When it is dark and stormy, "His love endures forever."
When enrollment is dropping and they can't afford to fill the positions but still want your service, "His love endures forever."
Two years later, enrollment is rising and they need more desks. "His love endures forever."

Today, I celebrate God's faithfulness to keep His promises. Even when I don't know what He has promised, He is using His children to complete His work. And that is certainly something to celebrate!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Same: Five Minute Friday

The linkup is over at!
This week the prompt is "Same".

I'm typing this post on my phone and it will affect my five minutes greatly. Sometimes less is more.  Today is Friday, September 11. Today is my 11th wedding anniversary! 12 years ago, I drove over 1000 miles for a summer job. The job was a bust, and I barely paid my bills, but I met my eternal best friend. When you make a relationship on earth with somebody who loves this same Jesus, your friendship will be eternal.
Dave and I have so much in common! Our upbringing was basically the same. Our fathers were self-employed, we were born two months apart in 1981. We are both the oldest child. Our parents are both still married to the same person they first married.  We were both involved in 4H with animals, we both valued academics and hard work. We both laugh at wit and British humor. We work well together.  We both wanted a stay at home mom for our children. We went to the same beach at the ocean for much of our childhoods.
 We both value what is right more than what is popular. We had both been hurt in relationships and had sworn off dating two years prior to meeting each other. On September 11, 2001, we were the same.  We were single, lonely, hurting, and thrown upside down by what had happened in a recent relationship. We both found God to be our everything. Two years later, in September, I was already away from him and back at college. At that time, we had been dating for three months, but we knew without doubt we would be married.
After 11 years, Dave's wedding ring has rubbed at his "freckle" or "mole" a lot, but we have matching marks on our wedding ring fingers!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. We are made in His image to bring glory to Him. As Dave and I grow in our faith, the two become one. As we journey as Christians we become more and more like the Jesus we follow.  When I pass away on this earth, I hope I will be the same as Jesus. That when you meet me, when I speak to you, there would be nothing different between how Jesus would speak to you and how you would feel.   My prayer is that someday I will be so immersed in Jesus and His Spirit that after we part the feeling would be the same as if you had actually sat with Him. That you would be thinking upon Him long after we have parted ways. He is my comfort, He is my strength, and He can be the same for you!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Yes: Five Minute Friday

Another week, another chance to write on a one-word prompt for only five minutes. We set timers, type quickly, and let it flow without criticism. Then, we link-up our posts so we can read others' posts and they read ours and we have a community that grows from one word each week.
Five Minute Friday.



Jesus loves me, This I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, This I know
As He loved so long ago
Taking children on His knee.
Saying, "Let them come to Me."

Jesus loves me still today
Walking with me on my way
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide
He will wash away my sin
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way
Thou hast bled and died for me
I will henceforth live for Thee...

It's urgent on my heart to write today about somebody else. Somebody who said "yes" to Jesus and all that it has entailed for him.

Saeed Abedini is currently imprisoned in Iran for the crime of Christianity. He is my age. He has a wife and two children. They have been married for about the same number of years and the children are close to the ages of my own.
This could have been my husband.

Saying yes to Jesus means saying no to many things. For Him, "are you a Christian?" is a "yes" he did not back down from. How brave would we be in the same circumstances? When you walk faithfully with Jesus, is there any answer but "yes" that we could offer? When you breathe His strength to get through the most difficult days, is there any other answer but yes?

I long to see Jesus' eyes. To gaze into them, though it terrifies me all the sin He will see in mine, I know His love is so merciful.

Join me, please, in praying for Pastor Saeed. Soon the Iranian President will be here in the United States for United Nations meetings. God can be glorified in the midst of the ugliness. You can click here and sign a letter to the Iranian President on behalf of Pastor Saeed, or you can even compose your own in the form and it will be sent on your behalf.

In the darkest prison, in the foulest hole,
Saeed is waiting, his hope still full.
The prayers of saints lift him each day
and to our Jesus still he prays.
His wife and children wait in Boise,
the enemy's schemes are loud and noisy
like Paul and Silas, he waits in chains,
but ever trusts in Jesus' name.

Lord, please let my faith be strong when I am tested. Let me not deny you because of fear or desire for what feels "safe" or comfortable. Let me say "yes" to you first, instead of myself.