Five Minute Friday 2018.06.01 “Return”

[Sng 2:15 NKJV] 15 [Her Brothers] Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines [have] tender grapes.

Catching little foxes doesn’t necessarily remind anyone about the word return. To me, return means to go back- to visit again. The foxes in this verse, to me, are the little hidden things, traps or sins that we keep going back to. Things we repeat over and over and can’t seem to escape from. These are the annoying things that get in our way, cause us shame and keep popping up in our lives. So we give in and return.

But God says, these can be caught and trapped. These pesky little things aren’t what define us. We can break the cycle and stop returning to the same places where we find these annoying things. He offers a way out. He is the way out. He is the way to freedom.

I guess this means a lot to me right now because I’m working on finding these foxes in my life: the patterns I keep, the mistakes I make again and again. I’m refusing to return to them and they seem to be angry with me because the drawback is real, people. The temptation to get sucked back in is strong. But I don’t want the trip, fall, get up, repent, and repeat cycle anymore. I’ve drawn a boundary line around these things and am walking away from that field. I’m done.

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Five Minute Friday, or Monday, “adapt”

The fiveminutefriday.com community hosts a prompt every week and part of the commitment is to comment and share other contributor’s posts. Writers literally set the timer for five short minutes and let loose.
This past week, I enjoyed these two posts:
This is mine:
Adapt is my middle name. From my earliest remembrance, I’ve been changing to blend in- almost chameleon like. I would change my accent as soon as I could when we moved from Michigan to Pennsylvania. I’d change my wardrobe when we moved from suburban Pennsylvania to urban New York (City). Changing became survival.
Now I’m adapting to new seasons- I’m the parent of an adult female who sees me differently now. I have an aging parent who needs me differently now. My husband and I aren’t adapting, probably for the first time in 30 years, but that’s adapting too, isn’t it?
Adaptation isn’t wrong. Or right. It’s what we do- it’s how we fit in or stand out. It’s how we change. It’s how we grow. Isn’t it amazing that we are capable of it. That we don’t repeat the same action over and over with the same result but expecting something different.
That’s insanity.

 

 

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Biblical Poems- Life of David

My chronological readings have been jumping around a bit, so I’ve decided to write a poem about all of David’s life from 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles and some of the Psalms.

Chosen as the king

A boy shepherd plucked from field

Threw stones at a giant

 

Plays harp for King Saul

Calms the rage causing madness

Hides in caves above city

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Takes throne of Israel

Battles, brides, pals and mighty men

Mistakes as frail man

 

Cries out, forgiven

Honors what is right and true

Son is wisest man

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Week-end 2018.05.06

Well what went fast, was the weekend!! Don’t blink and it’ll be gone.
Here’s what my senses were up to last week:
Sight: This hangs from my car mirror. It’s where I’m at this week.
Smell: black tar- the whole of Northern NJ is being paved. Yuck.
Taste: homemade cheeseburger mac and mini ham quiches- I cooked!
Touch: I feel like a puzzle being laid out in order to be assembled into one beautiful picture. Stay tuned.
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Weekend Fast 5 2018.04.28

Sight/Reading:
These two are fellow hope*writers whose blogs posts caught my heart this week:
This book! Adamant by Lisa Bevere is spot on. In today’s confusing culture of melding Biblical truth to our own interpretations this book calls us higher. I admire her voice in the desert calling for the Church to stand strong against the rising tide of compromise. She’s launched with a podcast highlighting similar voices, live teachings and a study guide. I’m diving in.
ad·a·mant
ˈadəmənt/
adjective
1.  (adj.) refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind.
2.  (noun) a legendary rock or mineral to which many, often contradictory, properties were attributed, formerly associated with diamond or lodestone.
Touch/Feeling:
I manage for my boss his rental  properties. One tenant, a little Polish lady who’s been in the community for 30 plus years, fell and can no longer run her business. We went in to see what has been abandoned and to strategize about how to prepare the space for a new tenant. Though I’d walk by the store on the way to other stores in the strip, I hadn’t been in. The place is packed. Overflowing, actually with fabric and notions. She hoarded. It seemed like not a scrap was thrown away, just in case it might be needed. Here’s a couple of photos I took.
It reminds me of how we all hold onto our junk. I am slow to let go of patterns and behaviors even if I know it is for my betterment. I’m in a place right now where I’m asking myself, why. Why do I want to keep these old mindsets? Why do I stubbornly refuse the help of God to infuse me with longevity, wisdom and help.
Taste:
Mexican. Enough Said.
Hearing:
The Greatest Showman soundtrack!
Smell:
Flowers are blooming; grass is being cut. Spring is in the air.
see you next week,
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Five Minute Friday- “STUCK”

I walked past the place where yesterday, I slipped on the mud. There were ruts that my Converse had made, thankfully I didn’t fall, but after seeing today’s word, “STUCK” I saw those ruts with new eyes.
When we are stuck in ruts, we can’t move to the side. We have to move forward, but we can’t change direction. Sometimes, I’m in ruts. I toddle along: get up, feed dogs, make lunches, go to work, eat dinner, watch TV, got to bed, repeat. These ruts get depression.
What breaks us out of ruts? We need a bursting. Or a jump. Something to jar us over the edge.
I’m reminded of valleys and mountaintops. We travel in valleys unable to see what’s on the other side, unless we fly.
What can we do to fly? What can we do to change our perspective so we can see past the rut we’re in?
We can talk to people who aren’t in our ruts. We can take a risk and try something new. We can acknowledge our rut and look for even the tiniest means to break free of the mundane that’s trapped us there.
Perhaps stuck doesn’t have to be mundane, perhaps stuck is an attention grabber to open our eyes to something beyond.
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Searching for Spring

I heard a podcast recently, Simply Wholehearted (link: http://simplywholeheartedpodcast.libsyn.com/47-waiting-forward-a-conversation-with-author-christine-hoover) with author Christine Hoover on her book, “Searching for Spring.” Here’s the description from Amazon about the book: 

In Searching for Spring, Christine Hoover takes readers on a treasure hunt for beauty in both familiar and unexpected places. Framed by the changing seasons, this journey will heighten readers’ senses and awaken their affections for the creator of it all.

The title really resonated with me because of the journey I’m on. I haven’t dug into her book yet, but I’d like to share a little about why this hit my heart.

Seasons are physical, emotional and spiritual. Let’s look a little bit at these. The Bible talks about seasons a lot. The Words of God can guide us by helping us know which season we are in, where we are going and hints at what to expect in each season. 

1) Physical seasons are quite evident outside. We see with clarity autumn leaves falling, winter snow piling, spring’s buds and summer’s sun. But there are also internal seasons for us. Teen puberty changes, pregnancy changes everything, and menopause hormones reek havoc. 

[Psa 1:3 NKJV] 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

Planing ourselves in position to drink from streams of living water ensures that whatever place we’re in will yield fruit. God, the Father, is the Giver of life giving water. 

2) Emotional season are trickier, for me, to helm. I think God has us travel these rivers of emotion so that we learn to empathize with others, renew our minds by training them to press into the Word and increase our trust in His purposes in our lives. 

[Ecc 3:1-2, 4 NKJV] 1 To everything [there is] a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck [what is] planted; … 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;

Emotions are tough to navigate. It’s hard to hear God in the midst of feelings to clearly discern HIs ways. It’s also important to be honest with our feelings, which aren’t always pleasant, but also not act impulsively with them. God the Holy Spirit is our Helper who teaches us to navigate life.

3) Finally, seasons are spiritual. Wandering in the desert dry and thirsty, up on the mountaintop of seeing victories and faith that moves obstacles. But then we crash into the valley of disappointment and can’t find our way out. These ups and downs are like meandering in a forest where we can’t see the son. But Jesus, the Son, guides us and walks with us through it all. Leaning into Him while in the desert strengthens us. Seeing HIs eyes of love looking at us in our mud and mire or celebrating with Him our little victories means we are alive and living fully with Him. 

[Deu 11:13-16 NKJV] 13 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 ‘then I will give [you] the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 ‘And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ 16 “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,

Jesus’ came for our seasons. His life, death and resurrection provides for us the strength, grace and momentum we need to navigate through. Without HIm, we are without a map to follow. With Him we learn and grow. 

The rains come in the right season. Snow forces plants to rest so when spring comes bud bloom. Summer is when everything flourishes and is vibrant. Each season depends on the one before and the one after. No season can be skipped or cut short. Finding Him in the midst is beautiful.

 

Your turn:

  • what season are you in right now?
  • what is helping you through that season
  • what scriptures are anchoring you through this season?
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Biblical Poems 1 Samuel

1 Samuel is an important book. We see a desperate momma’s plea, a boy grown into a prophet and the battle of 2 kings.

Samuel prophet

Hannah dedicated mom

Word of God spoke clear

 

Saul is appointed

Struggles with mental illness

Trouble comes after him

 

David anointed

Fights Philistines with five stones

Saul chases David

 

 

Mom prays tears and joys

Obedience is better

Sin destroys a heart

 

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Five Minute Fridays, “TURN” 2018.04.20

Turn over a new leaf
Turn from your sin and choose life
Turn from your wicked ways
Turn Turn Turn (there is a season)

So many turns in life, up and down. Knowing which way is one of adultings hardest moves. Finding your way is too. I find I make many turns when driving, sometimes just to avoid a left hand turn.
Do we get to really choose which turns we make? Do we order our own steps or are our turns predestined for us? I’d like to believe that with age and **cough-cough** wisdom comes the ability to make decisions and turn correctly, but I doubt it.
God wants to direct me. He takes great interest in my turns. His nudges to the left or right keep me on the straight and narrow. It sounds easy to let someone else lead, but it’s probably the most difficult thing ever.
I tell a lot of young people that making an emotionally riddled decision is so harder, harder still if you’re seeking God’s advice because it’s so easy to convince ourselves, we’ve heard from Him and He’s signed off on the decision. But perhaps, the day-by-day moment by moment decisions are even harder.
He never promised it would be easy, did He? He just asks for us to look for Him on the road.
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Friday Fast Five 2018.04.20

Taste (and see that THE LORD is good): This Psalm is speaking to me. David pours out his heart, goes through battles over and over and then, realizes his worth, strength and deliverance is from the Lord. So honest, so needed.
Psalm 18:1-3, 19, 25, 28-30 NKJV 1 To the Chief Musician. [A Psalm] of David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said: I will love You, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. … 19 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. … 25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; … 28 For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. 29 For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. 30 [As for] God, His way [is] perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He [is] a shield to all who trust in Him.
Also this tastes amazing! So worth the extra $$
 
Sight (here I’m going to share a photo I’ve taken during the week, either on my iPhone (today) or my camera)
These are my pups. Brown one is our baby, Molly and white is Cali, the super poodle. Both are desperately in need of grooming. (fur mom fail) But watching them, yoked together, walking side by side albeit unwillingly, I’m reminded of being tied to friends, family, husband/wife, children- permanent connections that often push and pull.
Molly & Cali
 
Sound Have you ever gone back to old, old worship songs and just felt the hit of His Presence again. Not so much remembering the time/place but just that refreshing sound of His voice again, whispering in your ears truth.
Here’s one that brought me to smiles this week: (and my Pastor wrote it so yay!)
 Rose of Sharon, brightest of all stars

Lily of the Valley, Prince of Peace, You are

Voice like many waters, passion in Your eyes

Ravisher of the love sick, this is my Beloved.

 

Lost in Your beauty, caught in Your gaze

The pureness of worship, now surrounds my days

I danced in the fragrance of love better than life

Washed in Your mercy that opened my eyes to my Beloved.

 

God of brilliance in awe of all You do

Majestic in Your glory, I lift my eyes towards You

Your face it shines in glory when I lift my eyes towards You

Fulfillment of my portion

Your name takes me away to a place of fresh surrender forever I will stay…

written by Gary DePasquale

This song reminds of who He looks at me with love and how I look at Him in need.
Touch **that feeling of running hands through recently cut hair**
Smell I’m longing for the smells of spring: blooming flowers, cotton candy, the ocean, and sun kissed line-dried clothes.
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