Next ~ Five Minute Friday

What Happens Next?
An Easter Poem
Based on Matthew 21:1-11, 26:1-28:10, John 19:30

 

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – but anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:5-7 (NIV) / Pixabay

Upon the back of a donkey, Jesus rode slowly by,
Beneath waving palm branches being lifted high.
He was exalted as a King, by the growing crowd,
A chorus of Hallelujahs were joyfully offered aloud.

Envious of all the praise and cheers
The Chief Priests plotted to ease their fears.
They had a plan to be rid of the One
The people believed to be God’s son.

Oh no! What happens next?

Thirty pieces of silver was all that they would pay
For a kiss upon the One, Judas would betray.
They came into the garden, arresting Jesus that very night,
The disciples were afraid and ran, hiding out of sight.

False charges were made; they spit in His face,
The sent Him to Pilot to finish the case.
“Are you King of the Jews?” he wanted to know.
Jesus answered simply, “YOU have said so.”

Don’t stop! What happens next?

Pilot said, “He’s committed no crime I can see.”
But the crowd still chose Barabbas to be set free.
Pilot washed his hands not knowing what else to do,
“This innocent man’s blood is not on me, it’s on you!”

Dressed in a robe and a crown of thorns forced on His head,
They beat Him and beat Him, then laughed as He bled.
Step by agonizing step, they dragged Him up the hill,
Jesus knew this was all a part of His Father’s perfect will.

I can’t stand it!  What happens next?

They pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, with every powerful blow,
His cross was lifted between two thieves, as the guards gambled below.
From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness filled the sky,
Then, “It is finished.” Jesus said, as He prepared to die.

Jesus gave His spirit up and the earth began to shake,
Mary and Mary fell to their knees as their hearts began to break.
Joseph wrapped Jesus in linen and laid Him in his tomb,
Then rolled a stone to close it, as His followers were filled with gloom.

Wait! That can’t be the end! What happens next?

Returning to find an empty tomb, the women were distraught!
Someone had stolen His body, at least that’s what they thought.
An angel appeared and told them, He had risen and wasn’t there,
They ran joyfully to tell the others, the news they had to share!

This wasn’t the end of the story, but the beginning of saving grace!
Through His life, His death, and resurrection, Jesus did our sins erase.
What happens next? It’s up to you, just like it was for me:
I’m praying though, you’ll accept God’s gift, and live eternally!

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 (NIV)

I’ve written this poem to join in with the writing community at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com The prompt was “Next”.  In addition to writing to the prompt I also am writing poems as part of National Poetry Month.  These words came together in such a way that I know God was guiding them.  I pray they touch you as they have reminded me of all Jesus went through because of my sins!   It’s because of God’s great love for us that we can wait expectantly on this Good Friday knowing that Sunday is Coming!!! Hallelujah! Happy Easter!

 

Lack ~ Five Minute Friday

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1 (NIV) / Pixabay

What Do I Lack?

I don’t lack in clothing.
My cupboards are filled with food.
I don’t need more gadgets.
But, what about more gratitude?

I don’t lack the space
For nice, comfortable living.
Friends and family abound.
But, do I abound in thanksgiving?

I don’t lack in opportunity
For making the most of my days.
Time is mine to offer.
But, do I offer praise?

No, I don’t lack in life’s blessings
Neither contentment nor in love.
What I DO lack is always remembering
To thank God above!

Easter is a reminder that,
My many blessings cannot compare,
To the gift of Jesus upon the cross
With all my sins to bear.

The price he paid for each of us
Is one we can never pay back.
For no other reason than this alone,
In praise and gratitude to Him, we should NEVER lack!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

 

It took a while, but finally finished this poem for the link up at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com The many creative writers over there have also written to the prompt “Lack” this week.  I know you’ll enjoy reading their posts! Inspiration is just a click away!

 

 

 

 

 

Offer ~ Five Minute Friday

What Do I Have to Offer?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)/ Pixabay

What do I have to offer?
What could I possibly bring?
Fitting for the Savior,
Who offered ME everything!

I wish there was obedience
I could lay down at his feet.
If only my fears and failures
I could once and for all defeat.

Strength in every situation
Is what I’d like to give,
But weakness is the lowly place
Where I most often live.

What do I have to offer?
I’ve no riches nor sweet perfume.
No gift that could repay my debt
To He, who walked from the tomb.

Oh, to sing like the Angels,
Songs of praise He deserves to hear.
Or eloquent words of thanks spoken
With a voice so confident and clear.

Instead here I stand empty-handed,
With nothing to impart.
When a still small voice reminds me,
Grace is a gift from God’s own heart.

This gift to us was given
When Jesus hung upon that tree.
Because our God so loved the world,
We who believe are eternally debt free!

Now that the burden’s been lifted
What we have to offer comes from above.
Faith, hope, and mercy,
But the greatest offering is love!

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)

I’m privileged to be joining the other gifted writers at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com To see what they are “offering” up today just click on over.  I know you won’t be sorry!

Measure ~ Five Minute Friday

Measuring Stick

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT) / Pixabay

“Compare measurements of an object over time”. This was one of the many new math standards my Second Graders had to master during their school year.  At first, I struggled to think of a way to help them achieve this goal, that is until an idea came, as often happens, in an unexpected way: the gift of an Amaryllis bulb! Every year at Christmas time my mom would send one of these fast growing plants to me for my classroom. I finally realized it was the perfect way for my kids to measure change!

What about us? How do we measure change over time? Oh, not physical growth, but more importantly, our spiritual growth! Do we compare ourselves with others to determine how we’re doing? Unfortunately, I know I’ve been guilty of doing just that! “Well”, I’d tell myself, “I have a long way to go to catch up with her but just look at me!  I’m towering over her!” Anyone else play that game?

“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How Ignorant! 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NLT)

Looking at others as our standard gives us an unrealistic view of where we are, how far we’ve come, and where we still need to go. The only thing actually being measured when we compare ourselves to those around us is our pride and Paul tells us quite clearly “how ignorant” doing that, really is! Instead we need to be focused on God’s standards and on growing to be more like Christ.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children.  We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.  We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:13-15 (NLT)

An Amaryllis starts as a dormant bulb but once placed in the soil, given water and light, it grows quickly. Buds form and soon burst open to reveal their inner beauty. It seems to happen almost over night!  Maturing spiritually however, is a much slower process. Like a bulb though, on our own our potential lies stagnant. The full measure of who we can truly become started with Jesus on the cross. When we are planted in His gift of salvation, receive the Living Water, and live in the Light of the Son, we begin to change over time. Inch by inch, day by day, challenge by challenge, grace upon grace we grow “in every way” to be more like Christ and soon our inner beauty, which is an overflowing of God’s love, is revealed to the world.

My students used their rulers to help them observe and compare the progress of our class plant. As we monitor our spiritual growth, we don’t have to worry about how we compare to others, instead we must examine how our lives align with God’s standards.  Thankfully, we can look to the life of Christ to guide us and help grow our faith and with confidence, know that He is the only measuring stick we’ll ever need!

Joining in (a little late) with the Five Minute Friday Community to write on the prompt “Measure”. I know there will be many wonderful posts on this subject.  If you’d like to read more just click on over to http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

 

 

Reward ~ Five Minute Friday

Birthday Reflections

“You have let me experience the joys of life and the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence.” Psalm 16:11 (TLB) / Pixabay

I just celebrated my 60th birthday. Milestone birthdays like this one can be challenging; at least they have been for me. Maybe you, too.  As this big one approached, I found myself reflecting on my past significant birthdays:

Thirty:  This seems to be the first birthday we dread.  I think it’s because we feel as if we’re leaving youth behind and facing adulthood square in the face.  That was the least of my worries on my thirtieth birthday, though!  On the day I turned thirty I was almost two weeks overdue with our second baby, on bed rest, and my thoughts were not on myself but instead totally focused on that new little life.

Forty:  As difficult as it seems to turn thirty, becoming forty somehow feels worse! We think of our parents being forty, not us! I can honestly say I wasn’t looking forward to it at all! Then, the boxes began arriving…..Every old age gag available filled box after box. Black balloons, Oreos on a “40” plate, a giant ear with hair growing out of it! The list goes on and on.  My sister took a day I was dreading and turned it into a time of joy and laughter!

Fifty:  Ok, let’s face it, the big 5-0 is tough to handle! I had friends who crossed over to the dark side before me, so I was already hearing the horror stories of how your teeth and feet are the first to go. Our house was an empty nest, my internal thermometer was on the blink, and I felt adrift. Celebrating was not on my agenda but love changed my plans! My sneaky family orchestrated a huge surprise party and surprised I was!!! I laughed. I cried. I. Felt. Treasured. Suddenly, turning 50 didn’t seem so bad. Love changed that for me, too.

That brings us to yesterday….

Sixty:  You should know that I’d been struggling with the thought that I was going to be sixty. SIXTY! I can remember my grandma telling me two things that I now relate to: 1) The older you get, the faster time passes (so true) and 2) That even though her body looked her age, she still felt like a young woman on the inside (ditto!) It just seemed so weird to think that I could possibly be sixty years old but the more I began to think about my life and after a few pep talks and devotions that seemed written just for me, God reminded me that 60 years is a gift worthy of celebration! Life itself is a gift worth celebrating! And I’m living a great one! Yesterday was made so special by the wishes, messages, cards, and gifts that I received and to tell you the truth: sixty feels pretty good!

Looking back has a way of putting things into perspective and I have found that each decade has taught me a lesson about what it means to be not just alive, but alive in Christ! My thirtieth birthday came and went without anguish because my thoughts were focused on someone other than myself and isn’t that how we should live everyday?

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)

Facing forty seemed overwhelming but once laughter was added, suddenly I was able to find  the joy and the dread faded away.  Life offers us plenty to dread, but what we do with it makes all the difference, not just for ourselves but also for those around us. Counting our blessings has an amazing way of helping us focus on what’s most important!

“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.  And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” Psalm 126:2 (NLT)

Love. It changes everything!  We are called to love…our neighbor, ourselves, and even our enemies! On my fiftieth birthday love was a light in the darkness! What a great reminder that we are to be that same light of love in the world.

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 (NLT)

And finally, the lesson I’m learning right now as I type this: I am blessed to have been given the gift of these 60 years! Turning 60 isn’t something to regret, but something worth celebrating, something to embrace! It’s true for whatever year you’ve been gifted with!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)

My birthday reflections have shown me that it isn’t the number of candles on the cake that we should count as important. What we’re going to do with the number the Giver has gifted us with is what really counts. Living out these birthday lessons by putting others first, finding joy in all situations, loving those we come in contact with, and recognizing that each day we’re given is a gift help us celebrate not our birth but our rebirth. The reward that awaits us as we live in Christ is the best present we can ever receive!  So with that in mind I say, Hello sixty! I can’t wait to see where you take me! And if it’s God’s will, look out seventy! Here. I. Come!

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)

I’m joining the writing community at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com today on the prompt “Reward”. I’m looking forward to reading what others have written  If you’d like to join me just click on over. You won’t be sorry!

 

 

Expect More ~ Five Minute Friday

As usual on Fridays I’m joining Kate Motaung and the other talented writers at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com The prompt today is “More”.

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) / Pixabay

Expect More

My children accuse me (and maybe, just maybe, rightly so) of introducing my grand dogs to the art of fine dining from the kitchen table. Whenever I…I mean SOMEONE…offers them a tidbit, I’ve noticed something: they don’t take it and leave. No, they accept the offering and then continue to sit right there looking up expecting more. Funny thing is, as I think about it, I’ve come to realize that I need to follow their undeterred example, not with food (I’ve already learned that lesson) but rather, with God.

“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

I don’t know about you, but “wait” is one of those four-letter words I’d rather avoid! And wait patiently? Not something I’ve mastered at all! This past week though, God reminded me that His timing is always perfect even when it seems too slow to me!

This past summer, I felt the Lord urging me toward an undertaking that was outside my comfort zone. I hemmed and hawed. I reminded Him of all the reasons why I wasn’t the right one for the job. I worried and complained. In the end though, it was clear to me this was my assignment to complete and so I did. Excitement filled me as I anticipated the smorgasbord of blessings that would result from this project, but instead, it was only a tidbit I was offered. Did I stand firm, wait patiently, and look up expecting more? Not even close! Though I hungered for more, disappointment set in and I left believing the whole thing had failed; I’d failed.

“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.” 2 Peter 3:8-9a (NLT)

Fast forward eight months to today…. God has brought an unexpected outcome to the table from this very same project and I’ve been feasting on His goodness ever since! Goosebumps have tingled, tears shed, and praise has been lifted! Maybe you know exactly what I’ve experienced because you’ve had a  prayer finally answered, a God-given dream come true, or like me, a hope for results realized. As I continue to be amazed by this turn of events, I’m also realizing they were long in coming not for the sake of the project, but that He’s been being patient for my sake!

God is using this opportunity to remind me of some important truths: to step out in obedience (without complaining) even when it is uncomfortable, that His timing is much better than ours, and that He can use our little to do something BIG! But most of all, He’s teaching me and all of us, that we should not be people who are unexpectedly surprised by what He does but rather those who are bravely undeterred, who keep looking up, and those who are always expecting more!

Share Four Somethings ~ February

February has been a weather extravaganza!  We’ve had rain and more rain. Sleet, snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures, and today it is sunny and 50 degrees! Plans have had to be changed, there’ve been unexpected challenges, and also moments of immense beauty. We can’t control the weather. It plays with our emotions and definitely gives us something to talk about!  Isn’t that just like life? I pray your life has gone a little more smoothly than the weather has this past month!

I love being part of this link up at http://www.heathergerwing.com where we share “Four Somethings”: Something loved, Something said, Something learned, and Something read each month. Here are mine….

Something Loved

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:25-26 (NLT)

I don’t know about you, but these days my mail usually consists of bills, requests for donations, and advertisements for things I don’t want. This month was a little different though because in the midst of the everyday delivery to my mailbox, I unexpectedly found my something loved.

Opening a tiny box revealed a big surprise. Nestled inside, lay a necklace created from my Grandma’s signature. Memories immediately filled my heart and overflowed down my cheeks. The accompanying card, containing words I’ll treasure forever,  was as much a gift as the necklace itself.

Going to the post office that day, I never imagined I’d come away with a blessing. A blessing that reminds me that Grandma’s life is inscribed upon mine and that, inspires me to be to my own grandchildren, who she was to me. This something loved also motivates me to look for unexpected ways to show my love and appreciation for others, just as was so generously done by a special someone, for me.

Something Said

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, jus as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

I recently watched a documentary on PBS about Fred Rogers, better known as “Mr. Rogers”. Watching the evolution of his passion for and commitment to his show was inspiring! But more than that, Mr. Rogers’ love for and understanding of children touched my teacher’s heart deeply. His message of kindness and acceptance are timeless and so vital for us today! Here is something he once said that has resonated with me:

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time.  So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.” Fred Rogers

Just imagine what our neighborhoods could be like if we would live these words Mr. Rogers said!

Something Learned

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him that they are?” Matthew 6:26 (NLT)

I’ve learned that birdwatching in my front yard is now so much more exciting, all because of my Valentine’s Day gift!  My husband surprised me with a telephoto lens for my iPhone! Who knew such a thing even existed?

As you can see, it just clips right on to the lens and you’re ready to get those close up shots! Because of the extra weight (of the lens not me)  I’m not as steady as I’d like to be. It will take some practice to produce clear, focused pictures, but I won’t mind at all! Camera + Birds + New Gadget = Learning Fun

Something Read

“I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.” Ezekiel 34:16a (NLT)

Oh. My. Word.  This book!  The story of a wayward donkey who is rescued, cared for, and loved by a family who never expected to be his owners. And while you might think that Flash, the donkey is the lucky one, the story is actually about how he transforms and blesses his people! Rachel Anne Ridge writes in such a way that you feel you’re sitting across the table from her drinking coffee together or on the sofa side by side sharing a bowl of popcorn as she tells you her story of how a large eared donkey taught her about “life, faith, and second chances”. It’s one of those books that I wanted to highlight line after line in!  I can’t wait to read her soon to be released sequel!

Well, there you have it!  February with her ups and downs, sunshine and snow, peaks and valleys is all but finished. What surprises did she bring you? Be sure and let me know in the comments. Until next month, Happy Loving, Listening, Learning, and Reading!

Just ~ Five Minute Friday/#Write28Days

Just When You Least Expect It


 

“If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously.  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them.  Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.” Romans 12:7-11(NIV) 

This is the scripture I used to describe my boss, my mentor, and my friend: Ken Price as I spoke at his funeral, fourteen years ago this week.

As a young teacher looking for a job, I’d about given up hope.  School had started in most districts and there I was still without a classroom. But then, just when I least expected it, my phone rang and Ken was on the other end offering me a job in West Virginia.  I immediately said yes! He drastically changed my life that day.  Not only did he give me the start to a career I loved which lasted 32 years;  he also had a hand in changing this city girl into a country girl and  introducing me to my husband. Ken pushed me to leave my comfort zone, think outside the box, and he continuously challenged me to be a better teacher and person. Somewhere in the process he became a treasured friend, both to me and my family.

The crowded gymnasium was alive with energy. Our daughter was in the middle of cheering the basketball team on to victory and we were joining in, shouting at the top of our lungs. Then in the midst of the excitement, just when I least expected it, news came that Ken, our Ken, had suddenly passed away. In that moment, I felt as if the basketball had hit me and knocked the air from my lungs. The cheering continued but I couldn’t hear a thing. Making my way out of the gym, I didn’t want it to be true. It was.  I prayed it was a mistake.  It wasn’t. And once again, my life changed that day.

As I stood on the stage in that same gymnasium a few days later, the crowd was quiet this time. Speaking from my heart, I shared how Ken had allowed me to be me without judgement. That he compelled me to expect more out of myself without condemning and how he shared his wisdom without reservation.

The truth is, my life would have been profoundly different had it not been for Ken Price. He possessed many of the Spiritual Gifts listed above and his spirit was a gift to me. Oh, how I wish I would have told him so when I had the chance. The anniversary of his death reminds me how very important it is to always let those who mean so much to us, know! Not just on holidays. Not someday. Not even tomorrow.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” 
Proverbs 21:1(NIV)

Let me ask you: is there someone you’re thinking of as you read this? Please don’t wait! Tell them now; because you and I know that just when you least expect it, life changes and the chance is gone. So make the call, send the text, FaceTime, or wrap them in your arms. You won’t be sorry! And who knows? Maybe you’ll change a life, just like Ken did mine!

Confident ~Five Minute Friday/#Write28Days

Confident Like a Tootsie Pop

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)/ Pixabay

Do you remember getting a Tootsie Pop when you were a child? Their commercial challenged us to find out how many licks it took to get to the Tootsie Roll center; so we’d carefully start counting trying to keep the hard outside intact. Before too long though, the inevitable happened and CRUNCH! The covering cracked and we found the chewy center.

When it comes to being confident, I’m kind of like a Tootsie Pop. Maybe, you are too! On the outside, I appear solid, sure of myself. As I lead a meeting, present a children’s sermon, speak to a crowd, or visit someone who’s in need, it looks as if I’m that rock-like sphere atop a sturdy stick: assured and fearless. In reality however, I’m nothing but that soft, gooey center: insecure and scared, hiding behind a sugar-coated shell.

I’ve often wished to have true confidence, to be certain and bold in my abilities. But lately I’ve begun to look at it in a different way.  When I’m in the midst of a situation or task where I don’t feel self-assured but am still able to handle it, I’ve found my focus turning from myself to saying things like: “To God be the glory”, “The Holy Spirit guided my words”, and “This was an answer to my prayer”.

“But he replied, ‘My gift of underserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (CEB)

God has been showing me once again that it’s not about me! I’m learning that even though we may not be sure of ourselves in all areas of life, God can use that “soft middle” to teach us about His power in our weakness. What a comfort to know, confident or not, Christ is the one who makes us strong!

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? I don’t know.  Lots, I’m sure. What does it take to uncover and use each of our soft centers? That I do know! Our One and Only God!  And He won’t stop until our work is finished. Now that’s something we can really sink our teeth into!

Joining up with  http://www.fiveminutefriday.com and http://www.anitaojeda.com today to write on the prompt “Confident”. Why don’t you “pop” or “roll” on over and see what others have written about!

 

 

 

Build ~Five Minute Friday/#Write28Days

Building Towers

“a time to tear down and a time to build,” Ecclesiastes 3:3b (NIV)/ Pixabay

I’ve recently returned home after spending a few days with my grandsons.  Oh, my heart is happy! We made a tent, read stories, played on the swings, and blew bubbles. Along with other little boy fun and games we also spent time together using blocks to build towers.  Here’s what I’ve noticed over the years, we adults are very protective of our towers!  While the wee ones like laying one block upon the other, their favorite part of building is actually the knocking down! And they are good at knocking down!  I’m ashamed to say that there have been times that I’ve had to bite my tongue because I was about to whine (or even get a little angry) when they chose my tower to topple!  Silly, right?

But aren’t we the very same way about building our towers in real life? I don’t know about you, I like to be the architect and contractor in one! In other words, I want control over my tower! We carefully stack our “blocks”: the job we have, where we live, who we marry, the goals we pursue, the people we spend time with and the tower gets higher and higher. We’re in command of it all. That is….until we’re not. The promotion we were counting on doesn’t come….a block wobbles. Someone we care about betrays us…..blocks fall. The phone rings and life is never the same…..the tower topples to the ground. We whine. We worry. We cry. We. Get. Mad.

Here’s what I’m learning: Our towers will always get knocked down.

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake,
you will save it.” Matthew 16:25 (NLT)

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21

In other words, we need to stop trying to do the constructing ourselves and hand the job over to the true Creator, allowing Him to do the designing. When we build on the foundation that is Christ, our towers may teeter in the winds of life; circumstances may rearrange our blocks, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. Our towers will not fall.

I’m going to be honest; it’s not easy for me!  Just like I wanted to protect and keep the carefully made tower I built with my grandsons, I desire to control my everyday.  Silly, right? Maybe you’ve been watching your own towers get knocked over, too.  It’s time we put away the self-made architects’ plans, give up the contractor’s hats, and instead become laborers building a life under God’s direction.   A life that when given up, is actually saved. It doesn’t get better built than that!

“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)

Linking up again with the wonderful writers at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com and at http://www.anitaojeda.com