fmf {community}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Friday.
Time to write for five minutes;
one word
no edits
no worries.
Join in!

Today’s word is {community}

START
Community is hard.
It’s something we all need, yet struggle so deeply to find and maintain.

It’s looking that person in the eye who is walking down your sidewalk.
It’s saying hello to the person on the elevator.
It’s actually talking to the person sitting next to you at church.
It’s being ok with who you are.

We are 18 months into our new community. We’ve left our former church in order to find one within the town we moved to. We’ve changed schools.
We’ve changed so much and we are longing to become deeper involved in our community.
But it’s hard. Why is it so hard to talk to my neighbor and actually get to know her?
Why is it so hard to involve myself in a new place of worship?

Because true community comes from letting ourselves go and becoming involved in something bigger than us.
It’s getting in the dirty of others lives and washing their feet with our hair.
It’s loving like Jesus.
With abandon.

STOP

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Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of  the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and pat once a rooster crowed. ~from John 18

I love this story of Peter.
It is such a great picture of how “real” the disciples were. I read the stories of the calling of the disciples and them just dropping their stuff and following Jesus and honestly it just seems so hard to picture in my head…just dropping everything right then and there?
But this passage seems so much more real to my heart.

Peter has walked with Jesus. Sat with Jesus. Reclined with Jesus.
He has witnessed all sorts of miracles and been in the thick of it all.
He is even warned by Jesus that he is going to deny Jesus and just blows the whole thing off.

Then everything starts snowballing. All the things that Jesus had been warning the disciples were going to happen; they start to happen. Jesus is arrested. Jesus is taken before the Council.
And then the rooster crows.

Peter is standing and warming himself outside the gates. He is standing among those who have accused Jesus.
He is mingling amidst the world.
Then he is cornered. Instead of admitting the truth. He denies it.
He is hiding and denying.
Then, all of the sudden, he hears a rooster and he is awakened.
The fear that had gripped him of being found out is washed away with the sound
and the memory of Jesus’ words.
(I often refer to this as a “smack in the head.”)

This smack in the head is a free favor of God. A favor that He bestows on us, especially with our recurrent sins. The ones we so easily find ourselves slipping into. Then we hear or see or remember something and we are awakened to the reality of our depravity.

But when we are awakened, we aren’t alone. These sins might have choked my heart, but someone greater resides there. And it’s only through that Spirit that I can move on, in grace and forgiveness.

So I ask myself…
Where am I hiding right now? Who am I hiding with?
Am I trying to blend myself in with the world just enough not to draw attention to myself?

Or am I answering the question…who are you with?

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Continuing with the thoughts about “good works” the verse from Matthew 5:14, 16 hit me square in the face this morning:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The crux of this verse for me is twofold. First is the idea of attention. I’ve come to realize during this time of Lent of one of my greatest sins and idols right now is seeking attention. This verse from Matthew is all about attention getting. We are to be bright shining cities on a hill (surrounded by darkness, mind you). As believers, we aren’t supposed to be hidden, but shining bright for others. But where does that fit in, when one of my greatest struggles is seeking attention?

My sin lies in the fact that I’m not seeking to shine for Him. I’m not seeking for people to notice Christ in me. I might say it, but deep down in my heart (and honestly, it’s pretty close to the surface) I want them to see me. I’m wanting people to like me and like the things I write and create. In essence, I want to be found out by the world. My blogs, my etsy shop and even facebook aren’t idols, but I’ve made them an idol by seeking a response through them.

Instead of seeking a response from Him.

The other part of this verse are the words “good works.” Whose good works? In continuing the thoughts about idols, I want others to see my good works. I want them to see the things I do and create and see me in them…not Him. That’s not what this verse is saying at all. It’s not our light that is shining, it’s His. We don’t have any light in us. We are all darkness and it’s only through the saving grace of Christ, that we can even begin to shine. And shine we will, as we move deeper and deeper in our walk with Him.

As I read in my Lenten devotional this morning: Our purpose is “transformation into the likeness of Christ by detaching from our idols and attaching to Him.” It’s the only way we will ever shine and ever have any good in us. Our works by nature are not good. We need Christ.

Daily…before the computer comes on, before I check my email, before I think about listing anything on Etsy and before I even start on an order for a customer I have to pray and give over to Him everything. Praying for protection and a continued detaching of the world and attaching of myself to Him.

Deliver me from the natural darkness of my own mind,
from the corruptions of my heart
from the temptations to which I’m exposed
from the daily snares that attend me.
~ Valley of Vision #14

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fmf: LOUD

five minutes
one word
zero edits
join in!

today’s word is: LOUD

 

GO

My first thought when I read today’s word was all the birds outside my house. Dang they are loud this morning! Maybe the sense the coming rain and thunder? I don’t know, but it was amazing to me how just a few birds can create such a beautiful (and yet sometimes I have to admit, annoying, song).

My second thought was to the passage in John 16 that I read yesterday. The disciples have had the Last Supper with Jesus and have all headed up to the garden to retreat. The disciples are sitting around and this following is the picture in my head when I read this passage starting in verse 16:

Jesus has shared with them over and over again that he is leaving, but will come back. They don’t get it. So now they are sitting huddled together and whispering to each other…”what in the world is He talking about?”. They don’t think they are being loud at all. They think they are being sneaky and talking quietly behind His back. But to Jesus, who knows what they were going to whisper even before they did, these 11 are loud and clear. Jesus goes up to them and “he knows that they wanted to ask Him what was going on.” He knew.

So many times I think I am moving and whispering behind God’s back. That my choices and decisions are quiet enough for Him not to hear. But those thoughts…my good dreams and my sins…are loud and clear.

And honestly, that’s a good thing.

STOP

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fmf: grit is cleansing

On Fridays I join with many others, writing on a word given to us by the gypsy mama. We write with freedom on one word for five minutes. No editing, no backtracking, no thinking about what others might think…just writing.Join us!

Today’s word is: GRIT

START

When I was a little girl, I remember falling down and busting up my knees all the time. Funny that the Lord has given me a daughter just like that. Every time I pick her up and put her on the bathroom counter to clean up her scuffed up knees, I remember my mom doing the same thing to me. As I clean out all the dirt, tiny pebbles, the grit that is all stuck in her wound I remember how much it hurt. In some ways the anticipation of that cleaning after I fell was worse than the actually cleansing.

Cleaning those wounds, cleaning out that grit, is a picture of my life right now. This week as we begin the season of Lent, of confession, the Lord prompts me to begin the process of cleaning out the grit in a friendship. My sweet friend and I have fallen and we have busted up our knees. There is a bunch of grit in there and through our confession, apologies and forgiveness it’s painful. It’s humbling. But it’s the only way that we can move on and heal. Like I have to gently dab at the wounds on my daughter’s knees, we are dabbing at the wounds we have caused each other.

But that grit is good. It’s moving us to a new place. It’s causing us to be real. We could try to ignore all the grit in our wounds, but over time it would become more infected and our friendship would suffer.

How thankful I am for a friend who is willing to dab my knees…as I am hers.

STOP

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