Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Worship

I think I may have a slightly different view or self-made definition of "worship" than some people who might be posting on FMF today as well.
To me, worship is more than a type of music. Worship is more than something we do for a set amount of time.
Worship goes beyond that.
To me, true worship happens when we devote our whole lives to Jesus.  When everything we do, everything we say, points others toward the greatness and majesty of our amazing, incredible, loving Lord.
Now, often, music enhances that feeling of awe we may have when we are relishing the presence of the Lord.  And yes, we may feel that intimacy a little truer when we are in our quiet time that we try (sometimes desperately!!) to set aside to be with Jesus.  These things and important, and even essential to growing our spiritual relationship with Christ.  But to me, this is not the end-all, be-all of worship.
When our lives are lived in and through and for Christ, every second of every minute of our life is a source of worship, and so our whole life is a continuous flow of worship.
This is my prayer, that my life be one that helps others see the goodness of God through the sacrifice of Christ, His Son.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Last

Five minutes to write on this prompt:  Last.
I don't remember many "lasts" in my life.  Some people have this amazing gift to remember things, and remember things well. I see it as a gift because I don't think I remember things well.
There are times when I'm together with friends or family, and they start talking about certain instances, or funny stories.  Most of the time, after we start talking about them, I do remember them, but to just pick a moment or time at random and start talking about it?  Not me.
Because of that, I don't remember many "lasts" going on.
I remember I was happy on my last day of high school.  I remember I was relieved when I got to leave a bad job for the last day.
Oh, yes, and I remember the last time I got to have lunch with a good friend.  It was awesome -- an hour and a half at the Cheesecake Factory.  Delicious.  The food, and the fellowship both!
And I remember the last kiss Dave gave me.  (That's easy, it was about an hour ago!)
And I remember the last beautiful sunrise I saw.  (It's going on right now!)
And I remember the last time I was overwhelmed by God's goodness and grace.  (About 20 minutes ago during my Scripture study.)
So maybe it's OK that I don't remember all my "lasts".
I just remember the good ones.

Friday, August 9, 2013

FMF: Lonely

Five minutes on the topic of "lonely."
A couple days ago I finally did my FMF post on "Belong."  So in a way, I kind of thought I covered "Lonely" by what I shared in that post.
Then today happened.
I hadn't been looking TOO forward to today for some time, to be honest.  First day back to school.  I was feeling sad, discouraged, down in the dumps, so I did what any normal person with social media did:  I posted it on Facebook.  Then walked away to get the day going.
A day of workshops and sessions at work.  In a previous blog post, I had talked about how it seems hard to break in with people at work, to get into their pre-formed circles.  Cliques, if you will.  Much of the time, I feel like I don't belong.  So, walking in to the first session, almost everyone was seated.  I did the old middle school sweep-across-the-room-hoping-for-an-invitation-to-sit-down look from someone.  Anyone.  It didn't come.  Since I didn't see too many open seats without crowding a table, I sat down at a table by myself.  A couple other teachers did sit down at the same table, eventually.
Now, picture it -- I had just posted my down in the dumps post online, then walked into the replication of the dreaded lunchroom experience.  My day was not getting better.
Then, God did His amazing thing.  He reached out to me.
My phone notification started going off with Facebook comments.  God reached out to me through some of my amazing friends.  I felt the presence of God through Denise, and Susan, and Beth, and Rhonda, and so many others who offered hope and encouragement in my day.  I have been humbled, and honored, and blessed by their words today.
These comments did much more than give me something to read for part of the first session of this work day: they helped me remember I really am never alone.  I may be in situations where I feel lonely, but I know God is always with me, and His Spirit is working through others to remind me of His goodness and His grace.  
I pray I can do His work to reach out to others -- especially when they may be feeling lonely, and remind them they really never are alone.
STOP (A little more than 5 minutes, but not too bad!)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Different Take on FMF: Belong

So I haven't done a Five-Minute Friday post for a few weeks.  Yes, I've been doing lots of things as summer draws to a close.  But honestly, one of the FMF prompts a couple weeks ago stopped me cold: Belong.  There's no way I can do a five-minute post on that one word.  It's loaded. Here's why:
Am I the only one who feels like I don't belong much of the time?
Let me give you some examples of what I mean:
The teachers I work with are great, but they've all established quite the working relationship that it's hard for me to "break into" since I've only been there two years so far.  I feel like I don't belong.
The church my husband belongs to is an incredible church.  They've welcomed me, they reach out to me, they include me in many activities, but when it comes down to it, I don't belong.
For many years, my friends and neighbors have gotten married and created their own family units.  When they talk of their kids, when they have endless activities and are so very busy keeping up with their wonderful families, I don't belong.
I used to be a relatively decent runner.  Sidelined by my broken foot a couple years ago, and just due to my own laziness, I'm not much of a runner anymore.  But I'm working to get back to that point where I can talk running strategies with others.  But for now?  I don't belong.
I can go on and on and on.....I don't belong with ladies who do incredible needlework and amazing quilts.  (Sure, I do OK, but compared to some.......sheesh!) :)  I don't belong with people who are great cooks.  (Sure, Dave and I aren't starving, get it.)  I want to have a blog that makes a difference, that helps others know God's love.  Do I belong with the ladies I see at that level?  Not at this point.
I know insecurities can find us wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we find ourselves.  I can wallow in those insecurities - and sometimes do! - but I know this is not where I am meant to be.
So, this is where life gets interesting.
I know I have two definite "belongings" in my life:  with my husband, and with Christ.  And I don't feel I can talk about one without the other.  Dave brings Christ to my life every day -- he shows me God's mercy through the forgiveness he offers me, he brings me Christ's love in countless beautiful ways, he offers me reassurance through Christ that I DO belong. I am every day, and forever grateful to our almighty, loving God who brought Dave and I together.
I belong with him.  And I belong with Him.