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Posts from the ‘Five Minute Friday’ Category

The Way of the Cross

Today, I am joining Kate’s Five Minute Friday community, writing on the prompt: next.

 

 

 

 

May you know God’s nearness this Easter. His resurrection breath in each loss, trauma and sorrow.

 

 

The Way of the Cross 

 

I know the pull of the next

The quick of the fix

Believing in lists

In this and that step

And then you’ll be free.

 

I’ve walked in the law

In the cruel of yeast

In striving for morsels

In hungry, bereft

And alone.

 

But now I am learning

The Way of the Cross

The slow of the pressing

Contracting, the hard and the holy

Communion.

 

Now I am learning in silence

“It is finished” to hear

For abundance is breaking

In my daily falling and dying

Open and spacious the yield.

 

 

John 12:24 (ESV)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

No Good Thing Will He Withhold

Joining the Five Minute Friday community a little late this week to write on the prompt:

 

 

Psalm 84: 11 AMP

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

 

When I was a preteen, my heart yearned for the deep down grace I saw in new believers’ hearts, in those who had lived in darkness as children and came to Christ as adults. They had something I wanted. Something I knew I didn’t possess. God gave me what I wanted and yet I didn’t see that until more than twenty years later.

 

What did He give me? He gave me a heart spilling out in the midst of trauma. He gave me light shining into my darkness. As a preteen and teen, that scared me. I wrestled with what was spilling out. I was afraid of God’s light. No, I was terrified. Why? Because I believed good Christian girls didn’t struggle as I did.

 

What was spilling out most? Distrust, doubt, anger, pain and unbelief. And in my wrestling, I yo-yoed between turning toward and turning away from God. Between numbing and pouring out. Between sinful distractions and brutally honest laments. There were ugly moments of sin and there were beautiful and powerful moments of mercy.

 

Until, my eyes began to rest more on human idols than they did on God. Until I began to see God, through the lens of man. Until Scripture, which was used to justify a truth void of grace, began to frighten me, rather than move me to trust and faith. Until I no longer worshipped God, but man, believing man to be God personified.

 

When I finally fled my idols, believing those idols to be God, it didn’t take me away from God. Instead, my Prodigal path set my Savior’s sovereign plan of redemption into action. He guided me blind, as without even knowing it, I began to walk into truth and grace. Into the depths of His mercy and His everlasting love not just for me, but for each one of His children.

 

When He opened my eyes to faith, I returned to my idols without even realizing it. My as yet untransformed, legalistic mind turned toward explaining away, controlling and sinking my feet into what was known and safe. Until my untransformed mind began to grate with the mind of Christ at work in me. Until my Savior challenged me to question what I had always believed to be true and what others told me was true. Until He encouraged me to still to hear His Voice, and to surrender to His will. A will that called me, not to clamp down in control or to sit still in my known, but to step out into the unknown deep.

 

It’s then, the trauma that first began my Prodigal journey was triggered again, as I met the same religious responses I once did as a child. But this time, as I wrestled and yo-yoed between sinful numbing and brutally honest laments, my roots of faith did not give way. Instead my feet did not move, even as I longed for them to, because my roots were no longer shallow, but growing deep. They stretched out through the darkness of the earth below to drink from my rivers of delight: Christ.

 

I cried out to God again and again and again, and each time, He heard my cry. He reached out and drew me up out of the deep, setting my feet upon the Rock. In my terrible lack, I discovered not just once, but again and again, that in Christ I lack no good thing. God has begun to break open the seed He planted deep in my heart all those years before (Psalm 139:12 ESV):

 

“even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light with you.”

 

Praise God! “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).

Leanna Tankersley, On Being, P.154 – 155

“Who has the capacity to sit compassionately with herself, over and over again, when all she wants to do is condemn? Who, among us, has the Love within to forgive herself again and again? Who can open their hurting heart that has clamped shut yet again? Who could let God in once again, even though our faith has not protected us from disappointment, maybe even devastation, maybe even disaster? When we’ve been burned by people who said they believed too? Who could have the resilience and resolve to go on believing when faith hasn’t seemed to produce much of anything? Or so it feels today.

I’ll tell you who: none of us […] we will never—not one of us—be able to muscle our way through it.

God, in his grace, shows us the door, and Love, only LOVE, invites us through. We bring that wounded, wide-eyed part of ourselves to him—the one we’re constantly tempted to appease. We do this over and over and over again. And then, the truth is, there’s really not that much to do. We bring him our burden and he gives us rest.”

 

Offering Sweet

 

Joining Kate and the Five Minute Friday community this week with my offering:

 

Isaiah 52:7 ESV

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Offering Sweet

 

Count your blessings
I tell myself
Be thankful for the gifts
My heart, it longs to sing.

And yet impoverished
Poor in spirit
What can I bring
What can I offer You, My King?

Blessed, My child
Are you, the poor in spirit
For the Kingdom of heaven
Is yours: Come!

But I am filled with grief
My LORD
What thankful gift can I here bring
When tears fall like rivers from my cheeks?

Blessed, My child
Are you who mourn
For I shall comfort you
And hold you in My arms: Come!

But even in my longing

You alone in worship to raise
I see my weakness, LORD

And know my love is weak?

Blessed, My child
Are the meek of heart
For they shall inherit
My earth: Come!

But LORD, I cannot get enough
I thirst and hunger for more of You
Each day it only grows
What’s wrong with me?

Blessed, My child
Are you, who hunger and thirst
For Me, true righteousness alone
For I will satisfy, each day anew: Come!

But LORD, my heart aches
It bleeds each day
For all those turned away
Your sons and daughters shunned?

Blessed, My child
Are the merciful
Those who turn toward
For I will show them mercy too: Come!

But LORD
Every day I am clothed in sin
All I bring to You is shame
And to my fellow man?

Blessed, My child
Are you, the pure in heart
The ones who confess your sin
For this reveals your righteousness in Me.

But LORD
Each day I bring Your truth in love
But silence shames and anger hits
They keep me on my knees.

Blessed, My child
Are the peacemakers
Those who come in My Name
For you shall be called My Son.

But LORD
Each time Your call I heard

And walked toward Your truth to speak

They turned me cold away.

Blessed, My child
Are those who are persecuted in My Name
For yours is the Kingdom of Heaven
Just wait and see My people in love return.

My blessing is poured
Not in easy and worldly gold
But in bowed down low
My hand will raise.

Count your blessings, My child
In My Kingdom Come.
Each time your knees are bowed
My strength is poured.

For My Power is not perfected in strength
But in weakness bowed here low
In yoked to perfect
And tethered strong
To Son of Truth and Grace.

Bring your offerings
Pleasing and sweet
Each day anew
And watch Me build

My Temple True.

Poor in spirit
Pouring your tears
Humbled of heart
Hungry and thirsty for more of Me
Mercifully weeping My many tears
Purely clothed from shame to grace
Bringer of Peace to softening hearts
Persecuted, reviled 

This is My Son in you. 

These are the blessings
Upon which I build
A worship in Spirit and truth
To swing wide My gates.

The stone builders reject
My Son in you
But I have made Him, My cornerstone
My Temple True in you.

So raise your hands
And praise My Name
Rejoice and be glad
Count your blessings each day anew.

For blessed is He who comes
In the Name of the LORD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reward

Blessed to be linking up to Five Minute Friday.

 

 

 

 

I remember the dark

The night engulfing

But oh how I remember

Your blazing fire

Setting my night alight.

 

Truth spoken deep

Clutching my soul

Setting feet firm

Upon You, my Rock

Tethering me

Speaking new life.

 

 

Your arms embracing

Reminding me

I AM

Spoken free

Seated in heavenly places

Adopted Yours.

 

I remember

You always

Open my eyes

That I may see

You’ve never left.

 

 

But even in stillness

Aching

My heart

You’re ever calling

Home.

 

Only my yearning

For deeper knowing

Intimate growing

Seeds sown dark

Breaking new life

Light ever unveiling.

 

My reward

Present

For You’re Living Water

Promise already mine

I am now living

My joy fulfilled.

 

Fruit on my lips

You are releasing

Ever rejoicing

I am now singing

My new song

In You.

 

Place – Five Minute Friday

I am so excited to join in with the Five Minute Friday community again. It’s been a long long time since I’ve taken part!!

Kate said: “place”. So, here we go. A poem on the word “place” … that took me a little longer than 5 minutes 😅.

 

Psalm 34:4 ESV

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
   and let us exalt his name together!

 

PLACE

That little girl who knew her place at the table.

 

“Magnify Me, Anna

Fan the flame

I’ve set ablaze

In you.”

 

My eyes are closed

Mesmerized

Soaking

In this worship, known.

 

Pouring out my heart

In journalled prayers

In tears upon

Your lettered Words.

 

My hands I’m raising high

Surrounded by so many

But oblivious

To the world around.

 

Old letters reading

My father penned

Speaking of this child

I’ve long forgotten.

 

Of songs she wrote

Her childlike own

To magnify her LORD

In tongue now foreign.

 

Of dancing lost in Spirit-joy

Of singing solo

Trembling

Into confidence.

 

Of loving books

Of “marvellous” stories

Penning

In such confidence.

 

Oh, yes, LORD

I’ll fan the flame

Magnify

Your breath in me.

 

I promise I will sing again

In full abandon dance

And weep again

In confidence pen the many stories

In faithfulness

You’re birthing.

 

I will share

Of Your uncovering

And covering

No longer my dross 

In shame return to cling

But Your flaming gold

Now live

Declare.

 

Believing You

Have more for me

More than

Crumbs I sought

More than hiding shunned

Believing myself, mistake

You’d penned.

 

For now I know  

You call me come

My purposed place

In confidence to take

The many waiting hands

In Spirit clothed

Already known

To clasp and hold.

 

Yes,

I will pursue again

Trusting

In this sacred

Place You’ve set

For me.

 

Yes,

I will pursue again

Your glorious awakening

In feet upon these stormy waters

Tread.

 

Yes,

I will pursue again

Embracing little girl in me

Her face so radiant, awash

In oil of joy You’re ever pouring.

 

Yes, I promise

I will pursue

And magnify

MY LORD AND KING

In me.