Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday blog posts

FMF Writing Challenge October 2021

Oct 15, Treasure

Storing up our treasure in heaven and not on earth reminds us how temporal this world is and not as important as our immoral soul. This parable in Matthew teaches us not to hold on so tight that we lose our own soul. In James, our life is like a vapor in the whole timeline but has a lasting effect. With Jesus' death and resurrection, the twelve disciples, Paul, new believers in Acts, and every one thereafter established the church age. 
Today, we have the Bible in our hands, we can hear from Him every day. Psalms 119: I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. Knowing God's word and treasuring it in our hearts is how we know God. 
When doubt and confusion come, read the Bible for clarity. It is a roadmap. Hide God's word in your heart, memorize scriptures, so they will come to you in times of need. 

Oct 14 Toward

Philippians 3:14, Paul said, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Whenever there is a challenge facing you, you must learn how to press on. Paul uses the analogy of a race to show that we are constantly striving toward our goals. God wants us to keep on striving, keep on trying, and to keep moving on; trying to reach our goal.
Stay with the Lord. Stay in His word. Hide his word in your heart that you may see the light on the path. 

Oct 13 Redeemed
The fight has already been won. I am redeemed. Jesus is worthy of being praised here on earth and in Heaven for all eternity. Accept Him as Lord and Savior because He welcomes you with arms wide open to hold you and protect you forever. Jesus saved me, and He is the one and only Savior. It is well with my soul. Song: Big Daddy Weave/ Redeemed. 

Oct 12 Everyone 
Luke11: 10-12 And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. 
God answers prayers. Luke 11:8 and yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 

God isn't a Santa Clause, and prosperity preaching is false teaching. Don't confuse the two. God does answer your prayers. How presistent are you in your prayer life? 
Oct. 10. God established Time
Time is a fixed entity that is set for a season and is always moving forward. God cannot undo time. God's purposes are unchangeable and set for a season of salvation as a test to man's free will. (Hebrews 6:17-18) There is no variation or shifting of shadows for God's unchangeable plan. All things being possible for God ( Phil 4:13, Matt 19:26) is predicated on a few impossibilities concerning His nature. God cannot lie and therefore He is the plumb-line for the truth to be measured. God exists outside of time. He is the Alpha and Omega. Imagine God holding the ribbon of time, the beginning in one hand to the end in the other. He surveys all of time, simultaneously. (Read Oct 4 & 9)
(NOTE: Moses convinced God not to destroy Israel for their unbelief and events were change when David prayed and ask God what would happen if he remained in the city. So David left and Saul did not attack.)
Oct 9. The Power of God's Word
We have entered an age where everyone is right in their own eyes. Each version is at odds with the other. God's Word is the plumb line by which all truth is measured. A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string used as a vertical reference line to ensure a structure is centered. God cannot lie; it is impossible for him to do so; therein lies the power of His Word. 

Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Psalm 119:105,  Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.


Oct. 8 Complete
Ephesians 4: We are equipped for the work of service, to building up of the body of Christ; until we attain unity....no longer children, tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him. Romans 5 and James 1, tells us that trails produces endurance and perseverance to proven character to hope. And hope does not disappoint. 
Paul tells up to run the good race. Positional I am complete in Christ but I work everyday toward being more like Christ. When I doubt myself or wonder about my purpose, I repeat to myself as a reminder that Jesus' death is the complete propitiation for my sin. I am totally loved, approved of and accepted by God.  Whew! Something to be thankful for. 

Oct. 7 Encourage 
Encourage means to inspire, bolster, uplift, cheer up, reassure, have faith and fortitude. 
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. 
We are to mutually encourage each other, be a friend, reach out to the broken-hearted. Step out of our comfort zone and find that person who needs a friend today. 
A good word makes another person glad. 
A smile given increases a person worth. 
Your time is a valuable gift to another.
Oct 6: Whole 
And the two shall become one...a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Gen 2:24 and Ecclesiastes 4:12. 
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
For a marriage to be whole certain boundaries must be set in your words and actions. Namecalling, jealousy, abusive language cross the boundaries of respect and love into control and selfishness.  It is hard to unsay something that cuts deep into one's heart. Forgiveness may be given but trust will be lost and has to be earned again. 
Begin your marriage with clear-cut boundaries that you refuse to cross, not only in words but in your thoughts. Never speak a curse, always speak a blessing. 
https://brontebrown2.com/2021/01/01/a-wedding-blessing-for-my-son-and-new-daughter-by-rl-brown/
Oct 5: Patient
Patience seems to be lost in a world of instant gratification. Acquiring patience is a complex skill of reason, forethought, emotional stability intertwined with kindness, cooperation, and selflessness. It is not for the faint of heart or someone with a me-first attitude. 

Jesus called men from all walks of life. He was patient with Peter's headlong ways, Thomas' doubts, Judas' unbelief, the Romans who gambled for his garments and hung Him on the cross. 

How is it that we have no patience for our fellow man who does not believe as we do? The world has gone so far as not to suffer the mention of Jesus' name. Don't be offended by their ridicule, sneering, and mocking for Jesus' name. 

I Peter 4:14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, and of God, rests upon you.

John 15:25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
Oct 4: Comfort

God loves your soul like the soil loves the tree. 
God's Word is the soil where we firmly root our faith. 
The soil gives the tree all the space it needs to grow. 
God's will is His Word. 
It is not a roadmap but a relationship. 
God is more interested in what you become than what you do. 
Colossians 1:9. 
Having received Christ Jesus as Lord, you are: 
     firmly rooted, 
     grounded, 
     built up in Him, and 
     overflowing with gratitude- 
     one faith, one hope, one Lord. 
Comfort comes by knowing that you are firmly rooted. 
Love your God-given soul like the soil loves the tree. 
Oct 3: Peace

Have you ever doubted your salvation, God's loving hand, God's guidance? I have. Maybe, I got it all wrong; I'm doing it right, I work so hard, where is God? 
I go back to the Bible. Even when my heart is heavy, and His Words cut deep. I go back to the basics. Justification by faith is just that. Repentance is only a sign of what God has done through Christ Jesus; it is not repentance that saved me, that is the evidence of what God has done. I am made right with God because Jesus died for me; It is not the effects of repentance that saves- that is the fruits of living for Jesus. 
When I turn to God by belief and accept what God reveals, "the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God." Oswald Chambers 
Cain tried to gain acceptance based on his efforts. God said no. Know me, believe in Me. 
Rest in peace, knowing your salvation rest in the Cross of Jesus Christ. 
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and then reckoning yourself to believing that salvation rests in Jesus. 
Be at peace with what God has done. 

Oct 2: Contentment within, not by comparison.

When we try to fill our lives with things or buy things for others to satisfy them, the void only gets bigger. The solution to buy more creates a bigger void. Many of us are trying to fill a void of some kind in our lives, and unfortunately, we try to fill that void with things that can’t satisfy. 

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. 
My favorite verse about contentment is the 10th Commandment. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods. 

Psalm 128:2 "You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you." Proverbs 21:25 "The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor." Proverbs 14:23 "In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty." There is your argument against socialism. It doesn't work and is a form of theft. 

Your gifts, talents, strengths, and struggles define who you are. God says not to covet what others have. It is because they are on a different road than you. Each person will need their own unique God-given ability to meet life's challenges. 


Oct 1: Need

Inner autumn calls,
time to embrace season’s change.
The wind howls for rest.

Light narrows yet shines.
Truth displayed for all to see, 
God’s bountiful grace. 

Counterfeit death nears. 
The last harvest, winter comes.
Weary souls find rest. 

Each season of life has specific needs. The winds howls at times for us all to find rest. Your inner cycle is (or can be) guided by the light of God's Word. Plant your seeds of faith and let them grow deep so when the winds of adversity come you will not wither. Jeremiah 17: 7-8.  
When the church age ends, winter will come for those left behind. My inner autumn calls me to plant a mustard seed of faith and allow Him restore my family. 

Take Care

Take care in what you say. 
Take care in what you hear,
Take care in what you see.
Take care in what you taste and eat. 
Take care with what you think.
 
Sticks and stone
May break my bones
But words will never harm me.
 
This poem is about your head protecting your heart, shielding your heart from stinging words that go deep.
The truth is your heart and mind are a balancing act. They work together to decipher facts.
God doesn’t measure you by what others say.
God doesn’t measure you by how you look.
God doesn’t measure your worth by success or failure.
God measures beauty by the kindness of your heart and the renewing of your mind.
Imagine if you were as tall as you were kind. You grew an inch for every ounce of kindness.
You would be mighty tall, and some would be very short.
Imagine you were as bright as your depth of knowing God’s Word. God’s word allows you to reason, question, seek and learn.
God measures a man by how he was made. You are wonderfully made, and God knows it very well.
You have gifts, talents, strengths, and struggles define who you are. God says not to covet what others have. It is because they are on a different road than you are and will need their God-given ability to meet the challenges they face. Everyone will make an account of how they used their talents to glorify God.
Take care with what you think. Lace it with God’s word.
Compare what you hear by the truth of God’s Word.
Avoid, run from evil sights and sounds that entice and trick you into false confidence.
Take care not to compare yourself with others today. Take time to praise God just for how you are today-
Take care to spend time with God today and know who you are. 
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

Moss Mtn/Rose Garden Path Photo by RL Brown

Purpose

My mother and aunt love to visit estate sales. (Reading Kate’s blog brought them to mind, they are both with the Lord.) They usually came home with an antique from bygone days. They bought a memory. I have even purchased furniture, thinking I would pass it down. My family has great memories of sitting around an oak table. My daughter’s trinket box is full of flattening pennies from the places we visited.

Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com

It is not the things or object but the memories tied to a moment in time that fleshes out echos of the past with family.

It is not the object, memories of a moment, echos of the past.

God established the family as the basic unit in society long before He established the church. Worship begins at home and sets the heart toward God. Raise a child correctly; when they are old, they will find the truth again.

Worship was the responsibility of the head of the household. Cain’s refused to worship God but instead offered his work, offering instead from the fruits from cursed ground. Only God saves and offeres forgivness. Our efforts always fall short. The ten commandments proved our need for Jesus’ death on the cross. Aftter the flood, God removed the ground curse but the other three remained.

Through progressivism, Marxism, and a few more isms, the family as the basic unit in society has been under attack for the past 100 years. From Woodrow Wilson to allowing pornography to be blanket everywhere, removing prayer from schools, teaching false history to abortion, the family is suffering.

The family is a child’s first clan, first home, the first taste of love and security. The family is worth saving as an independent unit, separate from government interference.

These comments may seem like a weird direction for the blog, but as a teacher who has taught the significances of the family- it just flowed out.

Rescue

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying. Jesus is merciful. Jesus will save. The word rescue brings this song to mind immediately.

The twentieth anniversary of 9-11 is upon us, and Americans still need to be rescued from Afghanistan. Our country needs saving from a socialist/Marxist agenda. Our school children need protection from the indoctrination of radical thinking. They need rescuing from social media, movies, and music. People need to be rescued from apathy and busyness. The church needs rescuing from adopting worldly philosophy. Victims need rescuing from trafficking, drugs, lies of worthlessness. Still, so much rescuing is needed.

I pray for the rapture to come quickly but what about those who still need rescuing.

Jesus will rescue you- from drug addiction, from trafficking, from terrorist, from apathy, from cruelty, from empty thoughts, from lies of all kinds. How?

By renewing your mind, it is transformative; it is healing. It brings peace. Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The consequences are not gone, your free will still exist, but your eyes are opened to Truth. Truth heals. It will be painful, and trust must be rebuilt, patterns of behavior altered, changes in your lifestyle. On the road to recovery, you will face difficulties. As you strengthen your heart and mind, you will find courage. This time you are not alone. Your faith in Jesus is your rescue. He will walk with you on your road of recovery. You are no longer alone.

The city

The first big city I ever visited was New York city. It was crowded, noisy and full of life.

I was preparing to go overseas with Campus Crusade for Christ. The training session diverted to New York City. Teams were assigned to study various ethnic groups; my assignment was to observe the Russian-speaking community. We traveled by train, subway, or walked. I will admit to having a headache at the end of the day from the noise.

Surprising was, as soon as I entered the Russian Burroughs, the atmosphere changed. Signs were in Russian; everyone spoke Russian, the food, the smells, people’s dress, and mannerisms took on a very different cultural feel. It was utterly foreign to me.

I experienced the same thing when I rounded the corner to Sak Fifth Avenue. The business district was ablaze with lights, crisp, warm, and inviting. Each borough had its feel and a community that brought it to life. I will admit, too, that I thought the city was full of separatists. Everybody seemed to stick to their community. But each community had its take on life.

Nine months later, I’m Manilla, capital of the Philippines: God prepares you for where he will take you. I traveled all over Manilla by Jeepney. The craziest drivers in the world were there. Jeepney drivers never stop until you tap the roof indicating you want off. Traveling across the world as a missionary allowed me to see people as they lived. I lived where they lived, and that experience taught me to value life. People love their homelands.

Now imagine heaven full of Burroughs with every people group imaginable. Each borough fulls of scents, spices, and flavors—flowers from every region on display, children at play—a calm and peaceful reign in the air knowing that our Lord Jesus is here.

Jeepney: After WWII, the Americans left behind their army jeeps. Phillipino people are very resourceful.

A Call to Arms for Afhganistan

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Life is like a vapor
Death grins when the pulse is weak. 
Smiles when breathing ceased. 

Light gleams in darkness. 
Shatters the stillness of time 
Death, where is your sting? 

Past and present one. 
Dominions lost victory. 
His love set us free. 
 


Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Arms yours self with the Gospel; it is time to fight.
How? Prayer and fasting is the key to winning this fight. 
Find your prayer closet, your church pew, and get on your knees. 

2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Teach and Teachable by applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to the Christian life.

Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels.com

As a teacher, my first thought when I saw the word teach was Bloom’s Taxonomy which is very applicable to the Christian life.

Knowledge is remembering, discovering, naming, and labels. Hearing the Word is the first step. Matthew 28: 19 & 20, Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. (This is the church’s directive now and will again be Israel’s directive after the rapture with the 144,000 Jewish men.)

Comprehension is understanding and discussing. I Peter 2:1-2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy, and all slander (judgmental attitude) like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Application or applying is your testimony, young and immature but yours. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to change the desires of the flesh. 2 Peter 1: The whole chapter. As you grow in God’s Word, expect a more profound understanding, but you must move away from things found in I Corinthians 3:2-3.

Analysis or analyzing is to break apart the whole to grasp a deeper meaning. Inspect God’s Word compare scripture to scripture, don’t rely on others to tell you what to think. Romans Chapter 5 illustrates this progress or growth beautifully- Peace, introduction by faith, tribulations produces endurance or perseverance, to proven character to hope. And hope does not disappoint. Also, read Romans 5:8-9

Evaluation- measure what you know by God’s Word with understanding, with application to your heart and soul by standing on the solid rock of God’s Word, not being an ignorant doormat—calling sin a sin. It’s adultery, fornication, murder, and it’s a lie, it’s is a depraved mind, it is witchcraft, etc. It is a deception, subtle and insidious. John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the LIfe, no one come to the Father but through Me.” Time to measure scripture by scripture, if you believe there are many ways to God; know that it is not so. Scriptures call for you not to be subtly deceived by the empty philosophy of this world. God calls for the renewing of your mind by faith and understanding will come. Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who have their senses trained to discern good and evil because of practice. (Ouch!) Colossians 2:8.

Synthesis. Go and tell the world with full meaning and understanding, no longer babes on the milk of God’s Word but dine on the meat of God’s Word with full awareness, able to stand against the winds of empty philosophy.

I moved this paragraph to the end instead it being the first paragraph because blaming teachers for what a student isn’t learning is just wrong. Kids must come to school with basic skills. I will say teaching children to be quiet on Sunday morning is a skill that kindergarteners need. I agree that a teacher is full of knowledge but may not have excellent classroom management skills. Management skills comes with experience. Today, teachers are not allowed to discipline students, fail students, and are mandated what to teach. But that story is for another time. But even an inexperienced teacher can teach what they know, they may not manage a class well at first, but they can still teach. What a student learns is always up to them, not the teacher. The rate one learns is always depends on the individual: willingness, ability and determination. Teachers know this. So does God.

Accountability

Photo: by RLBrown/My grandson

Accountability rings with drudgery. It comes with duty, work, follow through, keeping your word, task after task, get it done, then go play.

Everyone loves summer fun: swimming, picnics, vacations, family visits, etc. Everyone loves the leaf turning green, flowers in spring, the return of summer fruit and vegetables. Everyone loves the colors of fall and the first snow flake.

When I look at those spring bulbs in full bloom that I planted last fall, I smile and think effort well spent. When I take out a package of sweet corn that I put up this summer for Thanksgiving, I will smile and remember the taste of summer. When I am raking up leaves, I will remember that I planted that tree and how I relish the shade it provides in the summer heat. In the depth of winter, I will remember the seeds planted, steps taken, tasks finished, things still to do, and know that God is good. When I looks at things accomplished and see smiles, I will think this was time well spent.

A view of accountability from the backside…

From There To Here,

From there to here, here to there, God’s Presence is everywhere.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. 4The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, 6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

Laura Rowe captured the picture of a lifetime on (May 17, 2021)

The uniqueness of creation is that God’s fingerprint is present from the tiniest of molecules to the vastness of space. Sometimes we lack perspective to see the whole picture.

In Job, God rebukes Job’s counselors by saying, “Who is this that darkens counsel by word without knowledge (of ME)? (Job 38:2) Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place? (v.12)

I stop here thinking the science behind that statement is immense. God set boundaries for the sea and made a cloud its garment. He binds the chains of Pleiades and loose the cords of Orion (v. 31). Is it by my understanding that a hawk soars or nature fulfills it course? Of course not.

Then God asks Job (paraphrase) Do you condemn me to prove yourself right?

Job’s reply: (paraphrase): Whoa, I shut my mouth!

The book of Job is a lesson in perspective from heaven to earth, earth to heaven. God’s Presence is everywhere.

Drive: How to fix a flat.

Have you ever been on a drive then have a flat?

Writing picture books seems like that afternoon drive on the Natchez Trace. Car windows down, trees limbs hanging over the payment, casting shadows with intermittent sunlight. You and your best friend chatting and laughing away.

Road down the Natchez Trace Parkway in fall

Boom! Screech, and you wheel-off to the side of the road. FLAT Tire!

Sometimes your best dreams get flatten. Goals you have struggled with go a rye. You get another rejection letter in the mail.

What do you do?

Well, you fix the flat, sometimes with a bit of help from a critique group, talk to a friend, listen to the positives more intently. Discover what is good about your dreams and hold on for the ride. It is hard work to attain your dreams. Drive and perseverance go hand in hand.

Then work on your dream, fix the flat(s) in your stories, and resume your drive down the Natchez Trace. Happy Writing!