Friday, August 16, 2019

The legacy of hospitality ...

I'm writing 5 minutes on the topic hospitality.

GO

There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. Entertaining is having people over to impressing them with food and decor; but hospitality is sharing your life with your friends.



You could entertain by serving a beautiful scrumptious meal but withhold yourself from being fully present with your guests.

I picture hospitality more as an invitation to pull up a chair and engage in conversation with me. I want to hear all about how God is working in your life, and I want to share what He has done in mine.

I'm not good at having people over to my home.

It's sad I'm not; because I'm the offspring of a lady who was epic at hospitality. My granny was always and forever cooking little dinners and having friends to her house. People stopped by for coffee and conversation often as well. She also loved to have people come and sit for hours at her table and play Scrabble and talk.

Her house was not fancy nor her food expensive; but she didn't let that stop her. She offered love and a listening ear, and people ate it up!

(Stop)

I find it funny that I've written this week on hospitality on the blog and legacy on Instagram. I realize my granny's legacy was hospitality. I know that is true, because on Facebook - just this week - one of my cousins mentioned Granny's cooking and opened up a floodgate of comments from people remembering her hospitality.

Even though I'm working on having people over to my house - I live in the sticks, and I don't ever see my people traveling to come to my house like Granny's friends did - I still can be hospitable and engage in sharing in other people's lives whether it is at a coffee-shop or a church fellowship.

What about you? Do you consider yourself hospitable?

~~~

Hey! I'd love to have you come see what I've been up to on Instagram. Click here.


Also, I'm linking this post at:

Friday, August 9, 2019

Again, MiMi!

Today's prompt for Five Minute Friday is "again." 


GO

At my house, the twins and I play games every night after dinner. I love doing this with them, but sometimes we get stuck in a rut. When the twins learn a new game, they want to do it over and over again. They forget about all the other games we have; we must play the new one night after night. (Right now, it's the game, "Barrel of Monkeys." You'd be surprised at how much skill it really takes to make a monkey chain.)






So, in desperation, I will go buy a new game. "Look, Baylee and Brody!" I'll say, showing them the new game, "MiMi has something new for us to play."


Something new! They happily give up the old game and settle in to learning something new.


Something like that happens to a believer as well. When we are focused on learning God's ways and pressing in to become all we can be, sometimes the enemy will distract us with bringing up something new.


Look! Here's something new!


And just like children, we take our eyes off the goal of pressing in to Jesus again and again, come what may, and look at the new shiny thing.


(stop)


The thing is, the new shiny thing will become old super-fast, as Brody likes to say. I don't want to get distracted by it. The only life for me is one where I am getting closer and closer to Jesus. It's a greater challenge than a barrel of monkeys!

~~~

I'm linking up at Five Minute Friday and Grace&Truth and Inspire Me Monday


~~~

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to over at Instagram, click here. I'm often posting new content.

Monday, August 5, 2019

July Reflection Journal


Yes, it’s August 5th and I’m just now posting about July reflections but that’s how life has been for me lately. You too?

Something That Made Me Smile
In July, I tried something new. I joined an author’s challenge on Instagram. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve met some interesting people. (Authors are just naturally a different breed! I think I’ve found my people.) What is so exciting to me is the fact that I now have 3 times as many followers on Instagram as I do my blog. I’m smiling as I realize I am reaching more people with my words.

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to over at Instagram, click here.




Something That Made Me Think
July is also the month we finished up our study of Daniel in our Adult Bible Study at church. What a powerful book! I’m going to be reflecting on Daniel for ages.  We then dove into the book of Nehemiah; and so far, have covered chapter one.

During our study of chapter 1, I encountered the principle of hesed. We don’t have an English word that adequately describes hesed; basically, in a nutshell, it means unfailing love based on a covenant relationship.

I was really struck by Nehemiah reminding the Lord of how He was a God of covenant. Digging deep and unpacking all hesed (or chesed) really means would take much more study than what I have done so far. Here are just a few nuggets from 4 different scriptures:

·        God demonstrates hesed in the form of unfailing love when we are being attacked. (Psalm 31:21-22 NLT)
·        Hesed assures believers of tender mercies and protection. Psalm 40:11 (NKJV)
·        Merciful kindness = unfailing love = hesed as Psalm 119:76 (NKJV) shows us
·        Hesed atones for sin! Don’t believe me? Look up Proverbs 16:6 (NLT)

Hey! I hear there are 247 instances of hesed in the KJV. I need to study more about this!

The thing is, when you realize just how important hesed is to the Lord, you realize how much He is interested in you! It gives you the ability to pray BOLD prayers.

A Win For The Month
One strategy I’ve been working on to feel a little less overwhelmed is to have some self-care goals set for every weekend. I might not be able to do them all, but they are little things to shoot for that make me feel better about my life in general. In July, I managed to do all 5 goals each weekend. (In August, the first weekend was my first time NOT being successful at achieving my goals. No matter, an overarching goal is this: don’t beat up myself! There is always next weekend!)


How about you? What's been going on in your world? Leave a comment and share!

~~~


I'm linking up with the community at Inspire Me Monday#TellHisStory, InstaEncouragements Link Up, Let's Have Coffee, and #TuneInThursday.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Five

Today is Five Minute Friday! I'm joining in with a group of writers who will write 5 minutes on one word. Today's word is "five."




GO


When talking about goal setting, you will often hear the question, "Where do you want to be five years from now?"

It's a valid question because if you don't think about it and set goals, chances are, five years later you'll be exactly where you are now.

I do have a five year plan. I'm nearing retirement and want to be debt free by the time I give up working full time.

It's good to have goals. It keeps you focused and working. But sometimes life interrupts. What then? Should I just chuck the whole thing?

Giving up sure feels like an option. 

I'm too stubborn for that. If interruptions happen, so be it. I am going to keep on keeping on. If my Journey Home is suddenly completed before my 5 years are up; at the very least, I want to go working towards my dreams.

STOP

What about you? Do you have goals for 5 years down the road?



Today, I'm linking up with: 
Grace&Truth 


Also, I've been hanging out a lot on Instagram. I'd love for you to drop by and read some of my shorter offerings. Click here.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Not now! I'm in the middle of something ...

Don't you hate to get interrupted when you are in the middle of something?



It happens to me all the time at the office. I will have my agenda laid out beautifully and then someone comes by with a random question and the next thing you know, I've left the plan and stumbled down a rabbit hole. I'm lucky to get out before the end of the day.

But such is life. After all, it's impossible to make people wait until you totally finish one task before addressing them.  So you must juggle all the things until you can get to them. In fact, that is part of the challenge of being an administrative assistant. It would be boring to just be able to tick off tasks one after another without a challenge or two being thrown in.

Isn't it great, however, that we can approach God at any time. He never has to put us on hold while He finishes up something. He's never impatiently tapping His foot, thinking, "Spit it out, I've got things to do!

(Five minutes are up!)

I'm wondering how He does it. I've got 3 kids and I feel bad that it seems I can never have enough time for all of them at once - how does He do it with His millions of kids? Oh! He's God, that's how - another reason to praise Him with wonder ...

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

He says, "I will answer," and not "Not now! I'm in the middle of something."


I want to be respond more like He does the next time I'm interrupted.

What about you? How do you handle interruptions?

~~~

This post was written in response to a one-word prompt, "middle," shared at Five Minute Friday, where writers free-write for 5 minutes on one word.

I'm also linking up at Grace&Truth and #FreshMarketFriday

Friday, July 19, 2019

Don't be Distant!



Today I’m joining the Five Minute Friday group of writers who are free-writing on the one word prompt, distant.


I always like to look up the word prompt first before writing. Here is a condensed version of what dictionary.com said about it:


Distant – far away in space or time, remote – or aloof, reserved, detached


Today, I’ll include both meanings in my writing.




[GO]


When I think about a far away space, I always think of missionaries in distant lands ministering to the natives and telling about Jesus. However, the bible says the gift of the Holy Spirit gives us power to witness about Christ, both at home and in remote places.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)


In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, we are told we are to witness in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. To the original group of people who received this commandment, it would have meant, “witness to those at home (Jerusalem), then to your region (Judea), then to neighboring countries (Samaria) and finally across the seas (to the end of the earth).”


First, you witness to the people around you. Your Jerusalem, in other words. And of all the groups mentioned, this is the group that will probably be the most resistant to your words – because they know you best! But your witness is not limited to your words – it includes your actions. Your example. Living life among them.


This is where the second meaning of the word distant comes into play. You can’t expect to make a difference for Christ if you present yourself as a distant, uninterested party.


[STOP]


A believer can only be an effective witness if he jumps in with both feet and does life with those around them.

Hey! I know it can be pretty scary.

That's why this assurance was given:

... and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)



~~~



I'm linking up with the Five Minute Friday community as well as with #FreshMarketFriday.

Monday, July 15, 2019

How do we pray? The 5th Question.

Today, I’m finishing up my series, The 5 Questions of Prayer: WhoWhatWhyWhere and How. (If you missed any of the series, just click on each word to be taken to that particular post.)




Here is my last point: How do we pray? We could spend a long time on this – the bible is rich on this topic, but I want to hit two areas.

First, the order of prayer: I love the little acronym of how to pray using ACTS:
·        Adoration
·        Confession
·        Thanksgiving
·        Supplication

I have a pastor friend who doesn’t agree with me. He thinks the order should be CATS, because he wonders if God hears us if we haven’t first confessed our sin?

I think I’m right, because of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave reverence and praise to the Father first thing in the prayer. Later, He says forgive us our sins as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us.

What say you?

Secondly, I want to talk about praying in faith. The book of James says:

James 5:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

But you might say … “I don’t have enough faith.”

I believe you have all the faith you need. Why? Let’s look at

Luke 17:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 

“The faith that we must have is a faith that has more to do with what kind of faith it is than with how much faith there is. A small amount of faith – as much as a mustard seed (a very small seed) – can accomplish great things, if that small amount of faith is placed in the God who can do the impossible!”

Have you seen the meme going around Facebook that shows someone with a mustard seed balanced on his finger, saying, “Stand back! I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it!”

I love it! I want to shout out to the world, “Stand back! I have faith and I’m not afraid to use it!”

To Sum It Up: How do we pray? We first confess anything standing between us and God, remember His awesome attributes, and be thankful for His past provision. Then? ... We unleash our faith!
~~~

I'm linking up to the communities at  Inspire Me Monday, #TellHisStory and #TuneInThursday