Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday blog posts

Rushing Through the Middle

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I’ve often read the beginning and end of the book to see how it starts and how it will end. I’ve even put a book back on the shelf if I didn’t like the ending. I’ve rushed through the middle of a book and stayed up all night just to get to the end.

Life before 18 seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t wait to be 18. Oh, the joy of being 18 again and the wisdom to know what to do with it. ( I would stop rushing around like a grasshopper and never looking up…God’s description of man.) It seems I’ve been in the middle all my life as:

  • The middle child
  • Middle of the sandwich generation
  • Center of my family negotiating
  • Middle-grade teacher
  • Middle of mid-life crisis

Even in retirement, I am still in the middle of my husband’s surgeries. I guess life is really lived in the middle. The best part of any book or life is in the middle: happy moments, life events, friendships new and old, and life. Life is lived in the middle of whatever stage you are in.

So, my advice to myself is to slow down and make sure I’m walking in the middle with Jesus. It will be messy but a much better story with Him in it.

Isaiah 40: 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number. He call them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing.

I’m an like a star, in the middle of His creation and I am not missing. I am not missing in the middle of a messy life. Jesus is stuck in the middle with you…and me.

Deborah: She was a prophet, warrior and Judge.

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Deborah, in the Old Testament, was known for her wisdom and courage. Many Israelites sought her ruling on matters.

She was respected and valued as a Judge.

She was a prophet, able to hear God’s voice.

She was a warrior. Barak would only go to battle if she came.

What is my takeaway?

First, be obedient to God’s Word. Calling out sin is not hate. It is telling the truth. Know God’s word and be ready to answer. Deborah was prepared.

Second, stand firm in your convictions even when you don’t have all the answers. My part is to speak the truth; the Holy Spirit draws the person to Jesus. People sought her ruling and knew her to be wise and fair.

Third, be courageous and don’t waiver in your faith. Today more than ever, we need to stand in our faith and take back our country.

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Brokenness: Where does it begin?

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The blame for the girl wielding a knife attempting to kill another girl doesn’t begin with the officer taking her life. It started long before she ended up in a foster home full of defiance, anger, and a disregard for life. For her, it began at home.

Long, long before God created the church or established Israel as a nation, before cities, God established the family as the basic unit of society. Parenting is one of the most demanding and most rewarding jobs ever. It is where we teach the love of self and others. It begins at home.

No parent is perfect, and even when you think you’re doing your best, things still go wrong. Missing subtle signs of depression, bullying at school, a child’s desire to be liked, willingness to sacrifice their (or your) values to succeed but then realized it costs them their soul. Parental conversation, church, counselors were still no help. It’s still the parent’s responsibility. It was mine.

Today we live in a world that flaunts Christian values as outdated, ridiculous, and even judgmental of others. The plumb line of Truth for the world has moved gradually in the seventies to drastically today. Raising a child amid that change can leave one blinded. Hind-sight has that glorious 20-20 vision.

Moving away from God’s design for the family, away from the families’ umbrella of protection, using the world’s plumb line for truth is the path to brokenness. There are many ways that brokenness enters our life and will whether or not we’re Christian. Healing comes by trusting God to mend our brokenness.

Permission to Love Your Soul like the Soil Loves the Tree.

Photo by RL Brown, Edinburg, Scotland

How many times have you started your day like you were already behind? Your list of things to do is long, necessary, and mundane. You have pulled up into the driveway on auto-drive and didn’t pick up the milk. In the Bible, there is a reference to people being like grasshoppers. The grasshoppers never lookup.

Maybe today, you take a long way home and slow down, knowing your destination will always be there. Raising a family is for the long haul, but you are here right now. Give yourself permission to enjoy the ride, take time to look at your moments, write them down.

Love your soul like the soil loves the tree and gives it all the space it needs. (That is not my metaphor. It is by Dovan Beck, my niece, Chloe sent it to me through FB) I’m borrowing his metaphor with a different application.

Colossians 2:6 speaks of being rooted in faith, growing in knowledge, and overflowing with gratitude- one faith, one hope, one Lord.

Colossians 2:6: Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude.

God’s Word is the soil where we root our faith. The soil (God Word) loves the tree (me) and gives the tree (you and me) all the space it needs to grow. Give yourself permission to look up and take the rest your soul needs.

Pressure

Photo by RL Brown, Niagara Falls

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

I have learned life consequences can take you beyond your emotional ability to handle, especially if it involves family and their decisions that cost so much. Grief and sadness are natural and break the heart in two. Tears well up, and loss overwhelms and hopes dashed. These emotions are overwhelming and indisputable, know that. But also know that God’s heart for you is real.

God intends me to place my faith in His Word and not in the caboose of my emotions. The engine is God’s Word, and my faith is like coal that I put in the engine. Faith in God’s Word is putting your trust in Him, not your feelings.

I said to a friend one day, if I were writing the Bible, I would leave out a bunch of David’s sins or wiping out nations, but then I would not have seen the depth of David’s torment, his hurt —his return to God and a relationship restored.

Now that is a wow! God loved David and He loves me too, even when I doubt.

In Romans 5 describes a sequence of growth. Tribulations brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character and proven character, hope: and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hears through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A Gentle Spirit Within by RL Brown

Will, I created you with a free will to know Me or not,” say God.

“It is my choice,” says Will.

Yes.

 I can choose.

Truth weathers time with no variation. You can trust it.

How can I be sure?

I created time for you to know Me.

Why free will?

During your time here, you have with-in you the capacity to love and not hate; to experience joy and peace, not to stir discord; to develop patience and grit as you overcome anger and idleness; to show kindness, not intolerance or selfishness; to have a heart filled with goodness, not meanness; to have a gentleness of speech with others; and to grow in discipline and self-control as you hone your mind. 

I created all that’s within you.

I have all that inside me, cool.

YES.

Hello, God, I’m Will. 

SAVOR Each Season /fmf

Picture by RL Brown

I savor each season.

I savor the changing season from melting snow to flowers peeking through the warming ground, a splash in the pool on a hot summer day, the colors of autumn and a harvest moon, and the stillness of winter.

I savor the changing season of life. Reaching eighteen took an eternity, and yet, the rest of my life seems like a blink of the eye. I savor the moments with my husband, the busyness of raising my children, and the pleasure of being a grandparent.


I savor my church, lessons learn, friends made, and lives touch. I savor giving back and volunteering for my community. I savor the lives I’ve touched as a teacher.

I savor God’s Word that is it forever true and is a plumb line for this world.

Life has seasons, each to be savored for the blessings they bring.

Beyond Hurt! by RLBrown

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Beyond Hurt- lies hope
Photo by R. Brown Moss Mtn.

Hope hurts! So how does one live beyond the hurt and maintain hope?
Hurtful words dash across the heart. Dreams unrealize by the busy cares of the day lie in waste. When children refuse to talk to their parents, hope for restoration dims when the years roll into another. When the future seems clouded by nefarious purposes, we pray for a turn of events. Sadness and regret fill a life once lived. Hope lost in the darkness cries of despair. We cry.
Yet, we still hope. Why?
Hope lies beyond our regrets and missed opportunities. Hope restores the heart and clears the way for renewed dreams. Hope rests on the foundational Truth of Christ Jesus. When love seems lost, and we’ve lost our way, hope shines a light. It dispels the darkness of despair. The heart responds. Hope carries the vital healing power of frankincense and myrrh. Its soothing components restore our faith and love.
Hope heals!
This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!http://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup/

Renew

Warmer days melt away a rare 15-inch snow from the previous week. The air still cold is clean and crisp, the sun warms the ground. I walk to my flower bed hoping my pansies made it through the snow. The pansies survived and seem to love the chilly air and the warming sun. But that’s not all. The green of early bulbs are beginning to poke through. What a thrill to see the hope of spring, days warming and a break from the bleak. I don’t mean winter. Winter has a beauty of its own. Flowers and trees sleep, rest as they wait to burst forth in spring array. Their sleep is their rest.

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Bleak state of affairs is man’s heart to control man. Freedom cannot sleep. We cannot let it die. Freedom is our spring.

Last fall I planted bulbs in anticipation of spring. Many hours of toil, back ache, covering the ground with netting to keep the squirrel from stealing the bulbs. Today, my back hurts from racking dead leaves, pruning bushes and trees. So to our founding fathers planted the seed of freedom for mankind in the Constitution…with God’s guiding hand.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Marxism, Humanism)

James 1 Consider all joy my brothers when you encounter various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result…if you lack wisdom, let him ask God….without doubting. v.6 The one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

Romans 12: 2 Spring into the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Enabling God’s Spirit

Enable means give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something.

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Acts 1:8 …you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand God’s Word, to trust God in time of difficulty, and to get on our knees and pray.

Enable carries with it a true authority or means to do something. Police have the authority to enforce laws. Parents have the authority to discipline and guide their children. Teachers have classroom authority. When a person is enable with true authority a right mind-set develops and understanding takes hold. Men are biologically men and women are biologically women; not every man is burly and brisk and not every woman is soft and dainty. But we are recognizable as God’s design.

The term “enabler” generally describes someone whose behavior allows a loved one to continue self-destructive patterns of behavior. Maybe that’s why teaching became so difficult because I didn’t believe in enabling a kid to fail. If you refused to do the work, get your zero. My principal told me once that central office called about a particular group of kids failing my class but after they looked their grade and the zeros earned by students for not turning in their work. (She told me the story later.) I didn’t play favorites and I got flack for that.

Hard times have hit many people losing their livelihoods, homes, savings but that is not the same as a major inconveniences. If you were able to get water and food and had enough gas to drive and get there. Whether devastating times or a major inconvenience, enable a spirit —

–of gratitude for those willing to help those who are struggling.

–of service by getting out and helping.

— of thankfulness by saying it may be tough but I’m thankful for the help.

–to hold your tongue from uttering harsh words because of inconvenience.

–to spread God’s love with a word of kindness or an outstretched hand.

— to kindly apply a word of truth.

Discipline, guidance, correction kindly applied produces good fruit to those willing to receive it, — enable God’s Spirit to work through you.