Thursday, March 31, 2016

Decide: Five Minute Friday

Kate's linkup is live. This week's prompt is "Decide".


Over ten years ago I was at a Christian conference at the Kahler Motel in Rochester, MN. They did baptisms in the hotel pool, up on the top floor. After we'd all done baptisms, something burned inside of me urging me to lead everyone in song.
I wanted to do anything but pipe up. I love performing in front of others and the like, but this was unscripted and felt like I was interrupting.
Obedience, though? Always a good choice.
I called out very loudly "Um, excuse me! I think we're supposed to sing a song. And the song we're supposed to sing is 'I have decided to follow Jesus'."
I started it out too high, as I was nervous, so it was a little squeaky.
But, that song has so much meaning to me. I decided to be bold because I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
My life has been forever changed.
In the year 2000, just after Spring Break, I decided to follow Jesus as a college freshman. For my own sake. I had always loved Him, but I hadn't truly known Him. I was newly 18. I'd been in a relationship with compromise and was discouraged at its end. And then I came to church and heard the Prodigal Son in a new way. I was weeping silently and hoping nobody noticed.
A couple summers ago playing worship at our church's summer service in the amphitheater, I was introduced to a new version of the song.
"Man of Sorrows".
Oh, Lord. How I was moved!

At the end of your life, you will decide your future. Because it begins the moment you choose. I'm already living my eternal life today because I have decided to follow Jesus. And 16 years later, I have no regrets. I have plenty of mistakes, but Jesus cloaks me in His righteousness and I move on toward His purpose for my life.

What is it? Why, it's His glory! That every breath would declare His praise.


***Edit*** So the song I meant to link and reference is not "Man of Sorrows", but we learned them at the same time. They are both from the Hillsong "Glorious Ruins" Album.
The song is "Christ Is Enough"...which uses "I have decided to follow Jesus" as a bridge. :)

P.S. Please include your linkup # or URL for me so I can find you. :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Surprise: Five Minute Friday

We're linked up again at Kate's place. Lisa Jo Baker stopped by this week at the Twitter party. What a treat! Hopefully you will have a chance to read some of the amazing posts this week.

Here's my little offering.


When I saw the prompt last night, I wasn't sure what I'd write about as so many things raced through my head. So I began my morning, the last day before our Spring Break, in my classroom. It's my first year as a full-time teacher. And, there have been many moments of surprise.

But, it is God who holds all the future in His hands and nothing is a surprise to Him.
My desk calendar is full of Thomas Kincade painting details and King James scriptures.
Today's passage?
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
-2 Corinthians 12:9

And, that was the encouragement I was prompted to share last night as well. "God rarely calls us to His dreams in our own strength." If you're unable to do it alone, that may well be confirmation that you're exactly where God is leading you. I will not have the power of Christ resting on me if I'm able to do something in my own power. I won't need Him. Or His power.

But, when I'm unable, and ready (and humble), and I yield to Him, letting His strength take me through: then His power and glory are beyond measure and the world takes note of something extraordinary and supernatural, and I'm ready to direct all that glory up to the King of Kings who is the King of Glory. I don't need it for myself. I'm enough for God, and He's delighted in me, so I don't need all the earthly accolades. (It makes us immune to the criticism as well. We don't need to let it get us down.)

May the power of Christ rest upon you this week as we get into Easter week! Glory indeed! He is RISEN!!!!

Ha! Surprise, Satan!
"Oh death, where is your sting?!"

I'm linking the video again. So good. Kari Jobe. "Forever"


And a postscript. I ran out of time to say all I wanted to. :)
I have been so surprised by this FMF community. Little did I know when I began writing on five minute prompts, and then participating in a web interview with Asheritah, that I would begin to make lifetime friendships. And, because we share a love of the same amazing God, these friendships are eternal.
I was so excited to surprise our friend Andrew with cards. But, I couldn't. Because we had to ask permission and then if granted, give his address out. You can't always do those nice things as a surprise.
What I didn't know is that sometimes, anticipation brings hope and life and is even better a gift.
I wasn't even sure he would get to celebrate Christmas, or Valentine's Day, but there's a great chance he's going to celebrate Easter still here and still posting.
If you haven't found his blog yet, here's a direct link.
What I didn't know is that so many of the rest of you would also want to send cards. And money to help feed all those dogs that he and Barbara care for. Truly, I should not have been surprised, but it's amazing. God's love poured out is always amazing.
I love this community, and hope you do too!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Holey, Wholly, Holy (and Share: Five Minute Friday)

I missed this week's linkup over at FMF. It was "share".

Thursday night I was sharing my time with a new friend at our Thursday night service. It was medicine for my tired soul. Friday was a full day, and I just didn't get a chance to write. Saturday I shared the joy of seeing a new baby goat jump and frolic, and saw it through the eyes of my three girls. I shared breakfast with my in-laws who surprised us with a visit.
A new friend shared Joy with me by sending me a small vial of essential oils blend entitled "Joy". I'm blessed!
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanked my husband and I for our monthly support by sharing a print with us. It's going up in my classroom.

So, instead of following the prompt alone...I'm writing about the word Holy.

You see, God made us with a Jesus-sized hole. We're constantly feeling inadequate and discontent and unsatisfied. That's natural. It's because we're HOLEY. We have a large hole that we need to fill.

When we allow Jesus to WHOLLY fill that hole, well, we become whole.

And then, we can contain His righteousness. We are HOLY. We are saved. We can then begin to be filled and pour out our overflow on others.

Perhaps this is not completely solid theology, but the word progression really helped me think of what this week's chapel will hold. To show how a dark heart won't hold things...and then when illuminated, you'll see the large hole spelling Jesus...and when it's filled, all at once, that heart can be filled and stay filled!

What are your thoughts??

I thought that "Share" the Good "News" tied in perfectly with last week's FMF prompt, too. :)


Thursday, March 3, 2016

News: Five Minute Friday

We're linked up at Kate's place for Five Minute Friday. A word-prompt five minute free-write with no edits. (Though I'm known to pause the timer so I can copy and paste some verses into my post.)

This week:



So, I began in August going through Proverbs with some friends. I posted daily on Facebook. Then in September, a Psalm a day. We began at Psalm 121 and went through Psalm 150. In October, we began at Psalm 1 and just recently finished through Psalm 120. (We did each stanza of Psalm 119 at a pace of 23 days?) Where to head next?
God led me to Ephesians.
Here's the link to the Facebook page I created. (Daily Encouragement-tammysincerity) 

I was elated to hear that the prompt this week was news. Here's the post from Sunday:

Ephesians 2:13-17
Reconciliation! Good news! Peace!
13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.

It's easy to be caught up in the temporary news being thrust at us about politics and human suffering and forget that we are to be the Light of the World and the Salt of the Earth and "Go ye therefore, teaching the Good News!"
Mark 1:1-3 reads, " The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him."
If the Gospel is the Good News, and we can share it, why don't we?

Just know that Heaven rejoices more over one sinner who was lost than 99 who are righteous. You can affect change just one life at a time. :) Be a joy, a light, and share hope. It's needed now more than ever!!


P.S. Please include your linkup so I can find you (or your URL).