April 29, 2019

Learning a New Dance... -A Five Minute Friday post.

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Hey there, sweet readers! I hope you had a great Easter! I've been meaning to sit in this chair and write, but alas --Spring has sprung here and that means the return of Patio time and, Oh My Heart... I lose track of time out there! Plus somehow we found ourselves out of town over the weekend. Still... I'm back now and ready to write!

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: TOUCH

{GO!}

I see the word and I laugh... just a little at first,
but then the Ah Ha giggle starts to build.

Because... Gah!


It's been a LONG time since I was a young new Mama...
and a LONG time since I mothered a toddler...
and a LONG time since I reached the end of the day
so dog-tired and completely drained...
and a LONG time since I had had my fill of touch
by 2pm and what I wanted most was just for
no one to even think of pulling on me
until the sun rose on a new morning!

Right? Anyone remember those days?
(Anyone living them right now?)

Fast forward some 20+ years and here we are!
Right back to All those Feels!

April 23, 2019

The Expectation of Glory... The Colossians Series.

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Welcome back to another post in the Colossians series! Today, we wrap up the last few verses in Chapter One! (Yes... Chapter One. It's fine!) 


{If you are new, the basic layout of each post in this series includes the text in several translations, a few of my thoughts on the passage, possibly a deeper truth or root word meaning found there, and then we close with prayer! This is a new type of series here and I can't tell you how honored I am to have you here, reading through the Book of Colossians with me!}

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COLOSSIANS 1:24-29:

Let's dig in! We like to start things off by reading the full passage from The Passion Translation Bible:

"I can even celebrate the sorrows I have experienced on your behalf; for as I join with you in your difficulties, it helps you to discover what lacks in your understanding of the sufferings Jesus Christ experienced for his body, the church. This is the very reason I’ve been made a minister by the authority of God and a servant to his body, so that in his detailed plan I would fully equip you with the Word of God.

There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!

Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ." (The Passion Translation)
So, listen... the temptation is to just dive right into the 'secret surprise', right? I mean... it makes me think of the prizes in cereal boxes when we were kids... who wants to wait until it just spills out while pouring breakfast into a bowl? We dug around or emptied the whole thing out to get the surprise!

But let's not rush through the first couple of verses here.  I mean... we are all familiar with Paul and his sufferings... He, along with many (read: all) of the disciples and early apostles truly did endure trials and tribulations... so let's not gloss over the fact that he starts here by saying he can even celebrate his sorrows... 

This, my friends, is a lost art 
in our Western culture.

April 19, 2019

Next! (Tag You're It!) ...A Five Minute Friday post.

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Hey there, friends! I'm not even gonna small talk... let's just get into it, alright? This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: NEXT

{GO!}

Today is Good Friday... 


I already pondered a bit on facebook about how on Good Friday, in the shadow of the Old Rugged Cross, nothing felt or looked or could be fathomed to be Good at all! 

It was dark and doubtful and full of Fear... 
and Saturday comes in Silence... 
full of confusion and chaos 
and the quiet is almost always just too much... 
but then comes Sunday 
with all its celebration and salvation
and we see that what looked like the end,
was not the end... 
but in fact, 
a new beginning!

I almost titled this, "Thank You, Next!" but had a check.
I knew it was the name of a song and thank goodness I looked up the lyrics
(--so you don't have to! Just trust me on this... it was only funny in my mind until I read the words!) 
But the sentiment of the thought still rings true!

Jesus rose from the dead
and that was NOT the end!
It is Finished, yes... 
but it is like He was saying,
"Next! Tag! You're It!"
as He ascended back to on High!

April 14, 2019

Leading with No Lack of Humility... A Five Minute Friday post.

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Hello, Sweet Readers! We are officially entering what is known as Holy Week and I pray you are giving yourself a little room to breathe... to rest and reflect on what Easter really means and on how, way back then, the next few days changed --well, they (read: HE!) changed everything!

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: LACK

{GO!}

Today is Palm Sunday...

I see the word prompt and I immediately envision Jesus sitting on the donkey, entering the gates and going into Jerusalem.

What constantly strikes me while reading familiar portions of Scripture is how Jesus never just does something... 

He is always saying more with His actions than He does with words only.  Everything He does --almost always really, but especially starting with this day-- has layers and layers of meaning!

Nothing He does during this Holy Week should be glossed over or ignored!

In biblical times, a donkey symbolized Peace and Humility while a horse symbolized War and Power! And an unridden colt? Those were considered ideal for royal use!

So Jesus riding a donkey entering the city gates, on this particular time and day of the Passover festival... well, it was a visual example that He came to change things up and He planned on being a different kind of king!

April 9, 2019

So That You Would Dwell in His Presence... The Colossians Series.

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Hey there, sweet readers! We are back with another installment in the Colossians series today! I promise we will move on to Chapter Two maybe by the end of April or the beginning of May! Sure, we could go faster --but I'm intentionally going slow for two reasons: 1. There is just SO MUCH GOOD STUFF packed into every portion! and  2. I felt like the Lord highlighted this Book in the Bible for the year... so why not keep it open and in front of us all year long? 


{As usual, the basic layout of each post in this series includes the text in several translations, a few of my thoughts on the passage, possibly a deeper truth or root word meaning found there, and then we'll close with prayer! This is a new type of series here and I can't tell you how honored I am to have you here, reading through the Book of Colossians with me!}

***
COLOSSIANS 1:21-23:

Let's dig in! We like to start things off by reading the full passage from The Passion Translation Bible:

"Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored, if indeed you continue to advance in faith, assured of a firm foundation to grow upon. Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel you have believed in. And this is the glorious news I preach all over the world." (The Passion Translation)
Wow! I don't know about you --but me? Yeah... I was living in the shadows alright!

Aren't you just so glad that He did it? Aren't you thankful that He reconnected us back to himself? 

And did Y'all catch that 'so that' verse again? 
I love all of these 'so that' verses! This one... well - He released Peace to you through His death on the Cross SO THAT you would dwell in His presence! (I mean... Come ON!?!!)

So my question is: Are you?  
Are you dwelling in His Presence? 

April 5, 2019

An Offer We Can't (or Shouldn't!) Refuse... a Five Minute Friday post.

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I know!? I wrote TWO posts in one day, PLUS the monthly newsletter for subscribers already this week... but I've managed to miss #fmfparty for too many weeks and months to keep track and I haven't written a Five Minute Friday post for a couple of weeks so --here I am! Sitting in the chair... right? #WritersGonnaWrite


This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: OFFER

{GO!}

My first thought upon seeing the One Word prompt was,
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Which, of course, made me laugh because --well because,
God... You're SO FUNNY!


You may or may not know that --even though I've never actually watched (any of) The Godfather(s)... God often quotes a line or two from that movie to me to get a point across!

I referred to my favorite Godfather quote He whispers to me over and over a few weeks ago on the blog.  
You can read that one HERE.

But here's the thing about the quote above about making us an offer we can't refuse... We CAN...

We CAN refuse it, but
Oh, how He hopes we won't!

April 2, 2019

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman... A Book Review post.

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Here's the thing... 
love pretty much everything
Emily P. Freeman does! 

I love her voice in every format. I fell in love with her words written first over on her blog back in the olden days... and ever since then, I've been a fan.  I read her first book, Grace for the Good Girl and realized part of why I love her so much is she writes so many pieces of my story within her own. 

Somehow I've been able to be a part of her launch teams for all of her other books so far: A Million Little Ways, Simply Tuesday, and now for The Next Right Thing!



I was able to interview Emily right here on the blog a few years ago and have met her in person once or twice. I've heard her speak a few times at writing events and semi-stalked her at venues. It's fine. She's not afraid. 

And then, of course, there is her Podcast! #Swoon

It took me a little while to figure out why I so adore her voice -whether it is live at a conference, on video, in print, or in audio form but I did... and this is why:

A Language Fluent in Hope... Glorious Weakness - A Book Review post.

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I wrote a post last week, sharing two different visions I had during prayer that happened just days before I got an advanced copy of Glorious Weakness. 'Seeing' what I saw, and then reading the gift of words found in this book was such a confirmation! As I mentioned last week, this book was written and bled out by my friend, Alia Joy!  I highly recommend her book --but not just because she's a friend!

I recommend it because I think we all need it! 


Glorious Weakness - Discovering God In All We Lack by Alia Joy

This, from the Introduction:
“These days, when I am adrift on rough seas of life, and the tidal wave of my own limitations crashes against me, I need the X written down and mapped out so that I can believe in treasure again, to believe in beauty. I need to believe that lost things can be found if we only know where to look. My saltwater tears have mixed with the ash from the Refiner’s fire, and they form the ink to pen my story, a story that helps me find my way to the beauty that was always buried and waiting... 
So many people don’t have a way to talk about these kinds of struggles. The thing is, we all want to be able to tell the truth about ourselves and God. Some of us just didn’t know we were allowed... I hope this book gives you permission to illuminate the darkness in your own life, to skip the shortcut, to weather the storm, and to seek out the treasures along the way... There’s power in truth-telling, in resurrecting the sunken things and sifting them, a couple good shakes to get the sand out and let the light back in.”


Listen, Sweet Readers, it's no secret that I adore Alia!



I have long been a fan online and have been leaving '{insert gushing comment here!}' comments on posts throughout the blogosphere for years and years now. She is a friend in real life as well and when I heard she was writing a book I knew three things: 



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