FMF – Worship

Writing with Lisa-Jo and fellow writers for Five Minute Friday (yes, is Saturday, I know).

Visit Lisa-jo (at the link below) and join up with a great group of writers as we take five unedited minutes of writing on a unified topic. Make sure you take the time to comment on your neighbors entries and get to know some new faces and voices.

Topic: Worship

We used to go to a cottage about 5 hours north of our house. We drove down a rocky road off the main road and down to a lovely place nestled next to a cove off a lake. Every year for about 12 years we spent the last 2 weeks of August in this beautiful place. There were five cottages and several of us spent these summers together. In the early morning or in the afternoon when some of the kids had gone off to explore, I’d make my way down to the dock and sit on the edge and listen to the waves gently touch the shore, the boat creak against the dock and the sounds of the pines moving above me.  I would look out on the water and just  breathe deep of the peace of that place. Sometimes I would bring my bible and do my devotions and other times I’d bring a book I was in the midst of. I didn’t get too far in my reading though before I was distracted by the beauty around me.

and I found in those moments, in that quiet, in that fresh air and beaming sun…it was so easy to find worship for God. To declare the wonder of His creation, to see the way He gently cared for all of creation around me, how clearly this world couldn’t have just been made out of a big bang, but has such clear artistic plan. And I breathed deep and whispered ‘thank you Lord’ into the quiet. And my heart was at peace.

– – –

In 1999 I attended a conference called Urbana. A huge gathering of young people that gets together to learn about missions and to just be united in one place learning about God and his work in people’s lives. It was a beautiful experience and one that I”m not sure could ever be recreated. It takes place the 27th of December to the 1st of January. On December 31st at midnight we sang praises to our Lord and had communion together, thousands of young people in one place in unified praise and worship of our Lord. and tears ran down my cheecks, my hands raised of their own accord and for one moment I felt I saw and felt and heard just a piece of what heaven’s glorious praise of our Lord for eternity might look like, sound like, be like…yet I know its beyond my wildest imagination

– – – –

Both such different places and yet places that both turned my heart towards the Lord and giving him the Awe and esteem he deserves.
Five Minute Friday

Things I’ve read today

from Denise

http://denisejhughes.com/for-the-night-owl-who-struggles-to-rise-early-to-read-the-bible/

Rachel

http://dramaticelegance.blogspot.ca/2013/08/a-question-selah-cottage.html

Loretta:

http://dancingonthedash.com/the-beauty-in-ing/

Kelli:

http://jasonandkelliwoodford.blogspot.ca/2013/07/what-lies-within.html

SheReadsTruth:

http://shereadstruth.com/2013/07/17/day10/

Jen Hatmaker:

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2013/08/29/hope-for-spicy-families

Ken: 
http://kenwytsma.com/2013/08/29/ethics-of-soren-kierkegaard-and-dietrich-bonhoeffer/

Relevant:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/slices/matt-pitt-famed-youth-pastor-arrested-impersonating-police

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/miley-cyrus-and-pop-musics-double-standard

Matt Appling:

http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com/2013/03/clarifying-thoughts-on-why-i-dont-believe-in-equality-but-why-im-a-feminist/

Amy:

http://arock4him.blogspot.ca/2013/08/a-dare-for-whoever-to-rethink-perfection.html

Seth Haines:

http://sethhaines.com/uncategorized/watching-the-parade/

via Mary deMuth’s blog

http://writewhereithurts.org/

via a different blog

http://writetodone.com/the-wtd-dreamteam/

Kelley’s questions about Jonathan Martin’s book:

http://kelleynikondeha.com/jonathan-martin-responds/

Cara Strickland

http://caramichelestrickland.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/listening/

pistol annies

http://www.pistolannies.com/merch/

in a dark time

 

In the dark time, the eye begins to see… – Theodore Roethke

As the images flash unbidden across the screen of my mind
flickers of faces in pain, moments of horror
and I try to categorize
putting them into places that I might begin
to make sense of it all.

And I realize…that my vision is becoming blurry
My head is spinning and my mind is overwhelmed
I don’t have the ability
to begin to comprehend, to place, to ruminate…

because the horror is to great, the darkness is squeezing in
my peripheral vision is becoming clouded
moments I used to be able to see sideways into
are now stark black and white in my sight line
and I’m deer in the headlights stricken

because the areas that are clear
they are the ones that flicker in this darkness
that have emblazoned themselves
in my heart and my mind
these thoughts…they have searched for light
for that one flicker of hope
that will rekindle my mind’s eye

and yet…the searching seems in vain.

and yet there is clarity
in this black and white
because grey’s always got me
in a tizzy
right and wrong
good and bad
evil and angelic
all seems to be seperate

and yet when the horror goes beyond imagined
to a place you don’t want to even begin to place in your mind
and yet you know others lives there, others cry there, others writhe there

it goes deep
and your heart is steeled
and you find resolve
because you have a voice
and while it might be small
its strong
and while you have little light
at least you have a flame
and your eyes
they are clouded
but they can still see

so speak, light, look

and HOPE.

 

 

by Janel Andrews // AUG 28/2013

Last – FMF

so much goodness on the link-up today. Lisa-jo shared two wonderful entries…Tonya‘s sharing of what FMF is to her, and also some inRL connections that some of the beautiful FMF writers were able to make. How fabulous is that. Connecting not only online but in real life as well…I love it. Lisa-jo has connected a fabulous ‘family’ of writers here…I am so blessed to be able to contribute my meager offering.

So…writing for five minutes on one topic…without editing or worry about what others will think. Heart pouring out as we all free-write on the same topic. Don’t forget to check in with those wonderful writers around you… and see what the topic brought of their hearts and leave some blog love.

TOPIC: Last

Working at Starbucks is the last place I would have expected to be. When I was in high-school I knew that I wanted a University education. I wanted to be a teacher. When I was young I was forever defaulting to role of teacher when my brother and I would play our ‘let’s pretend’ games. I knew that I wanted to help people, to help give them a voice…and being a teacher was the most logical step.

However when I went to school, it was for Social work. After one semester and seeing all the red tape I would encounter, I immediately changed to English and History as my program of choice. I did all my volunteer placements in the school about 5 minutes from our school. I loved that school and loved my involvement with the students and was blessed to be under some absolutely amazing teachers who spoke into my life and my love of children.

After graduation, I began to realize that because I had attended a Christian University, many of the teacher’s colleges here in Ontario were not willing to accept my degree and I gave p my search to become a teacher. I also experienced a life changing event during this time, which had me in a place of trying to figure out next steps in my life.

After having time to ‘recover’ for five months my parents encouraged me to look into getting a job. I ended up at a coffee shop called Tim Horton’s. I was thankful for a job…but really overwhelmed by the very derogatory atmosphere I found myself working in. God blessed me with a couple dear friends and an amazing supervisor and I found myself able to continue on. But I was unhappy and then found myself connecting with someone who told me about Starbucks. I applied and became a barista 7 years ago. And it isn’t where I saw myself spending the last 7 years of my life…I had other plans.

I went away to teacher’s college two years ago…and it ended up being another life experience that totally blew me off the path of what I thought my life was going to look like. I am thankful that I was able to return home and also return to Starbucks as I continue to seek out what is next on the journey for me, according to this plans. I know now that while plans should be made, there isn’t a lot that turns out exactly how I thought I would look…and I’m learning to be content in this season of life, and where he has me serving him

END

Five Minute Friday

Who walks beside you?

twistedmetal by nateluzod

I believe it was 1996. So many years ago, and yet it feels like yesterday. Every December the day comes around…and my heart drops low and I think about Christmas differently. Seventeen years ago…On December 20th, I received a phone call that four young men from my high-school had been in a serious accident. Two of them were dead and one of them was in the hospital on life-support. I don’t know how many seconds into the phone call before I started screaming…but I did. And my family came running, and I managed to stay standing and take in the info but inside I was not present whatsoever. I couldn’t take it in. ‘But I JUST saw them yesterday…we had the last day of school yesterday, they were laughing and joking around…I JUST saw them…’ was all I could think and repeat over and over again. And that day lingers still…Christmas has become a more somber event for me…many things about life on my minds. How we celebrate Christ’s coming but we don’t think about the fact that his birth leads to Easter, which is also a sorrowful time of celebration as well. And while my friends were not Christ like at all, I wonder about God sending his son to earth and how his heart broke for what was to come..and I imagine it greater than the pain of those here on earth experiencing the loss of their son…but yet He resonates.

and today…while I was at work…I was informed that a young man who had been at our store last year, was in a serious accident on a motorcycle late Saturday night. The details still haven’t become clear (I’ve only heard bits and pieces) but in the accident they both lost alot of blood and his friend lost his leg. They both had to be in surgery almost immediately after arriving at the hospital and both are now in stable condition but still have along way to go. I was in the middle of training when I heard this…and didn’t even know what to do. I take things like this to heart and it went deep. This young man loves the Lord, and so does his friend. In one moment, their lives were changed forever….and the comment was made at work by someone in passing ‘Almost makes you believe eh? He totally had someone looking out for him.’ and I thought for a moment about that statement. Because either way, weather he had died in the accident or suffered as he does now, God still would have been looking out for him, loving him, being with him on his life journey. But how do you explain that to someone who doesn’t believe.

I read the other day about how people think that they are living by a standard of good and have it all together and then when it all falls apart tend to blame God though they never saw his blessings in how they were doing in the first place. And this whole idea of why do good people have to suffer bad things is part of a fallen world, and an idea that we’ve made up ourselves…because no where in this journey with Christ does it say anything like that. Blessing will come yes, but so will suffering. We are still living this life…we just have the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and rejoice with us in life.

Its hard to see God’s hand in these things. Alot of us had to just trust that God was in the accident because there wasn’t anyway else for us to keep on. and the one things that resonates from this accident and I want to share with my friend is ‘you and I both know that God’s not done with using your life yet’….because its true. He could have been taken, he could have died during surgery…but it wasn’t his time. that wasn’t the journey for him to take. He was going to be entering his third year of a Masters in Theology in September. His friend is a father of two small boys and husband to a wonderful wife. Both of their lives are changed forever…and I can’t even imagine the struggles they will be dealing with as they work through their healing and the trauma from the accident.

I hope they are able to cling to this: Deuteronomy 31:6b “… the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

And it makes me ponder my own view of life and thinking about how each moment is not our own, how we think that we have a handle on our plans, what we are going to do today or in the weeks to come…and yet do we realize that each moment, each breathe is a blessing from Him? A gift from him that His grace gives us?

I am reminded today, in the midst of images of blood and twisted metal, that yes Some-One was looking out for him and his friend…but weather they live or die, that someone is always present…what will I do with the fact that each breathe I have is a gift I so often take for granted? Will that make me thank Him more for the life he has given me, despite my not understanding what He’s up to…but trusting that His plan is being worked out in my life?

 

Small – FMF

Take 5 minutes…and write. On Five Minute Friday’s we gather together with other writers friends at Lisa-Jo‘s for a word prompt and five minutes of just letting the words flow unedited. Join up at the link (after my writing)

Prompt: Small

GO

I’m not sure at what point Lisa found out this wasn’t going to be a normal pregnancy.  Her baby was struggling and they would have to do surgery on it in-utero. She knew the risks and she knew the struggles what would plague her little one…but she believed in a great and powerful God and she said yes. She also found out that her precious little one had a serious syndrome that would affect her for the rest of her life after being born. She had known this for awhile. Early on in the pregnancy the option of terminating this little one’s life had been suggested by someone in the medical community who didn’t know much about Lisa and her husband’s beliefs or faith. The answer was immediately NO. They knew that their God could give and take away according to his will and desires, and they felt that this child was God’s gift to them as long as they were granted time with her.

She was born 9 months ago. She has spent the majority of her time in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) in Sick Kids in Toronto. She had numerous surgeries and some of the best doctors and nurses taking care of her. She had people loving on her parents and siblings day and night. There were prayers going up every day all day for the strength of the family and healing in little Ava’s life…

The Lord gave them 9 months together. Little, sweet baby Ava has returned to the arms of Jesus today. She was on this earth to bring him glory. She was here to build a faith unlike I’ve rarely ever seen in her mom and dad. and others who loved her. She was here to bring smiles to her brother and sisters faces. She was hear to remind us of the amazing work of creation that God does when he knits together each of us in the womb.

She was most of all a reminder, that no matter how small, no matter how out of our hands a situation might be…He is holding it in His mighty and loving hands. He holds the universe in place. He knows our heart breaks, He knows our joys. He sent this precious gift to Lisa and Jason for this time…to show them Him heart, to have them know her heart and to able to know the love of this little girl.

As they held her in their arms, and surrendered her to the arms that loved her all along and knit her together in the perfection of her being (he knew her needs here on earth and crafted her as he saw fit)…their hearts are full of sorrow, and yet there is faith…and there is hope.

Because one day, small Ava…will be seen again. She and her family will be reunited in His presence and that my friends…is the hope we have, even in the midst of heartbreaking grief.

Five Minute Friday

behind the loom

So thankful for Carrisa stopping by from FMF. I got to reading her blog and was just loving it. So much to ponder. and so I thought I’d share a bit with you. Here is the blog that I read:

On Days when they call me “Mommy” every six seconds

I am blessed to have two little people call me Mommy, but sometimes it is just hard to not lose your mind on days when you hear “mommy” every six seconds.

Today I finding myself imagining that being a stay-at-home mommy (or daddy) is like being a one-man band… juggling all sorts of roles and sometimes literally juggling multiple children, too… except the kids, unlike the one-man’s instruments, have the free will to make noise when and as loud as they want to. In fact, I have very little control over them, or anything, at all!

But maybe all of this – not the literal noise but just the whole of the moments, the measures of life, even the hard ones, all strung together – if it wasn’t surrounding and all so close to my head, would sound lovely if I could just step back and hear the entirety of the song.

Today I am hearing only one measure of the song. It is abrupt and loud, messy and unimpressive, and up so close I can only hear it out of context… but the whole beautiful song wouldn’t be the same without it.

and some things that came to me upon reading that:

I replied: //“if i could just step back and hear the entirety of the song…the whole beautiful song wouldn’t be the same without it”…sometimes I feel this about alot of life. That God’s got the big picture…but right now all I’ve got is the chaos and something beautiful has to come out of it right? I’m thankful for the reminder to step back and see it for something besides which it first appears as. Lots of loud noise, little people calling out your name…but when looked at from a bit more space…definitely a melodious calling out. Sometimes hard to get to that space of being a bit removed from the sound though…I hear you.//


(photo from Adrienne Morris)

And I got to thinking about ‘right now all I’ve got in the chaos and something beautiful has to come out of it right’? This reminded me of a picture I once saw of the tangled backside of a beautiful quilt that had been made on a loom. The back was a mess of color and tangles and really didn’t look like much of anything. If someone entered the shop and looked at the back of the quilt they would see something that didn’t appeal to them, and trod off in search of something more appealing. But if they took a moment to wander around the loom, and see it from the other side, the creative’s view, they would see the delicate artwork that was being crafted one thread at a time.

Sometimes I get to feeling like looking at my life and the little pieces that I see the ends of and not really feel like they are leading to anywhere is the backside of the quilt that God is weaving of my life. And while it all looks like a bit of chaos and un-ravelled bits, when you see the Creator’s side I am being made into something of Beauty, a true reflection of the Son. And that is where trust comes in. Knowing that as the Artist, as the Creator…each line of my life is gently threaded on the loom, and as the shuttle flies fast and furious in the rhythm of creating…I am being made new. I am seeing the image as if for the first time. I am catching a glimpse as I begin to move away from staring so intently at what I see as chaos, and begin to see moments where His hand was and is clearly at work…and will continue to craft me, shape me, encourage me…towards being His Masterpiece.