Friday, September 30, 2016

The word is collect with Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung

//What Am I Collecting?

When one is seeking answers there is a process of collecting bits of information and gathering it all into one place. I am very conscious at this time in my life of things I have collected over the years. Whether it be accomplishments, assets, people, material things, or values I am wondering if they are enough to sustain me. As I ponder and pray I open to the book of Genesis.

The beginning of God's story to His creation suddenly incites an interest. If you have ever read it with any serious intent you will discover there is a wealth of themes and illustrations that describe God's plan for redemption and His character and attributes//.God gathered all the information about Himself and  mankind, put it in the first book of the Bible, and then spread it out across the pages of time right to revelation, where we see the edge of eternity before us.//

What has this got to do with my decisions? As I read the first chapter God sheds a tiny  beam of light on my understanding. To paraphrase, the earth was formless and void and dark and deep. And the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then light separated from the darkness. I imagine seeing the water now because of the light. Maybe it was all water because God separated it to create heaven, vs 7,8. Verse 9 “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”, and it was so.

Is there anything unstable as water? It flows everywhere if no container holds it. God gathered it up and when He did, there was dry land for planting, building and starting new. It was there, under all that water.

I am not without answers.  They are not in everything I've amassed in my lifetime. If they are I come up short and am in trouble. I cannot depend upon all I have done. What God does is shine the light and gathers up everything He knows about me until His plan is revealed in my life. Before He created any of it, He knew all of it. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. PS 23:5. What is on that table? Everything about Him. Those are the things I want to collect and spread over my life.

How do you make a decision? What kind of information do you collect?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Don't Let the Past Hold You Captive in Your Present.
Hope Moves Forward.

I like to walk, but I find myself running most of the time. Call it ADD. My mind is in a hundred different directions when I'm supposed to be focused on one. That is why it's hard to finish things.

My soul gravitates toward the ocean. My childhood was spent at sea level. The older I get, the more value my past has. I spent many years being told the past is gone and doesn't matter. I believed it. I wanted to believe it. I have spent so much energy trying to erase it. It won't go away. I now think it is not supposed to.

I stand on the beach, watching the tide rush over rocks, salt like sand paper smoothing out their rough edges. I'm careful not to walk on them as my feet might slip out from under me. How many years have they been there? It is obvious some are smoother than others. But they don't move. It will take as long as it takes. I see broken shells and dirt and wonder how many things have been washed upon them. I see evidence of crabs, barnacles, people, dogs, seaweed, all mixed with the salt.  Every stage of every rock makes the reef that goes out to the sea. As I ponder it all I remember what a friend has told me several times. Every time I read the Bible I am reviewing the past and their sin. And I think, I am seeing God's great work in all of it.

Most of life is walking with and walking through. We don't erase it. Every step adds to the last and brings us closer to our destination. If it hurts, we walk through it. I would rather walk through it and be able to look back and see what God did in spite of it than to say it has no further purpose. I miss things when I run. This life is more a marathon than a sprint. I have been racing and not walking. I have been trying to erase my past but it doesn't let me. Without my past, I have no memories. I don't learn for the future.

It is true that God sees me through the eyes of redemption. Christ's blood washed away my sins. It is also true however, that working out my salvation means seeing how the past effects my present and future. How I relate now to what has been before will show what will be later on. Too much ignoring and excusing and waiting for things to get better just makes for stagnant waters. There must be some intentional action; some walking on the water, some believing God when you are too scarred and too scared and your life is simply too hard.

Rocks don’t move, but they become smooth over years with salt water; a constant pouring over emanating beauty just by being. People are not rocks. They need to grow. Trials, sufferings, circumstances are all salt. They too are constant and faithful. We are not meant to do nothing and be swallowed by them. God wants us to learn and be strengthened in our relationship with Him and with others as a result of them. In allowing the salt of the trial to move us, we become salt for others.

 A pioneer can clear a path. He doesn't know if any will follow. He doesn't know what he will find. I have a sure hope and a destination already in place. My sins are forgiven. I have to start walking.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I'm learning about this Five Minute Friday with no edits and no overthinking. To be honest, I do the thinking before I write so I just don't have two lines to submit (is that cheating)? How many things can really be said in five?

Let's see, I have five fingers on each hand to hold things tightly and five toes on each foot to balance my whole body. Satan used his senses to determine five wills to go against God. I have five senses to use my will to honor God.

I can miss opportunities in five minutes or create opportunities in five minutes. When you are stressed during the day, take five and change your perspective//

Five minutenFriday with Kate Montaigne.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Let the wise listen and add to their understanding and let the discerning get guidance." Pr 1:5

It's so much about our senses. What we see, what we feel, what we hear gives us our perspective in life. Hope, to me, is having our perspective enlarged. That means going outside the normal realm of my senses and learning what Jesus thinks about all of it.  I so often fall into literal thinking. It's my default when I'm overwhelmed or tired. I give in to my natural senses. But the world is every shade of color, not just the primary ones.

I had to meet a man and received information about him from another. As I listened I heard some things I had dealt with previously. My heart sank. Tired of mentally battling through the differences between people and me, I sat and prayed and tried to listen beyond my complaining attitude. Anger and anguish are loud when words don't communicate. We really want our hearts to be heard more than the words we say. God bids me to draw near to Him, not so much so He can hear us , but so we can hear Him.//

So I went. As I looked around, what he told me about himself was reflected all around  him; his art, his photography, his books, a synopsis of his 82 years in less than 10 minutes. In the remaining time I listened deeper and heard loneliness and pain mingled with anticipation and hope for continued and increasing strength. We connected in ways I never expected. I had presumed according to yesterday's  experiences.

Everyone really just wants the same thing, to be loved and heard. Our manifestations only serve to unveil how much we really listen to how much love we receive. Jesus loves us. Period. It's based on who He is, not who we are. Drawing near to God and listening will clear out all the presumptions and prejudices, putting us in a place to give others hope.

When I finished my visit I left as a friend. No assumptions I had when I came lived. I didn’t have to be concerned about our differences. I listened and love was the result. The rest is up to God.

Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung

Friday, September 2, 2016


//Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. PS 16:11

She released her yellow lab from the leash as we started down the Appalachian Trail. A familiar stretch of ground, Lily, unburdened, stayed close but walked free. Myself, being the first time on the path was grateful to see a clear path with identifying markers on the trees, not for myself, per se, but because I was thinking of the many thousands of people who take this stretch of land very seriously. From Maine to Georgia, 2,200 miles through woods and over mountains, hiking, tenting, through all manner of weather, finding shelter and food along the way, it seems to be a great source of accomplishment, comfort, and soul settler for some time after, even when done in sections.//

I remember telling my daughter I was on the trail that day for the first time in my life. Even though it was only a short walk with a couple of friends, it felt good to me. Hearing about it all these years but never stepping foot on it, somehow in my psyche had left an emptiness, like I was missing something. Being a New Englander all my life without trace of it, well, just wasn’t right. To my surprise she said I was wrong and mentioned two or three other places I had been. When I researched them I found she was wrong. Even Tuckerman's Ravine that I had scaled, fearfully, is not the trail. It is close to it but veers to a different direction.

Makes me think of the ways I walk. I can think I am on the right path in life and be totally off the mark. On the right path there are no shackles. I know there is freedom to move within its margins. There are identifying markers. There is light, shelter, and nourishment provided along the way. Sure, they may be distractions. It may be dark and lonely at times. I may want to find another way that looks easier.

What about you? Is it time to consider the path you walk? What is the end of the road you’re now on?

I just want to stay on the right path so I reach the right destination.

5 minute writing
// marks beginning and end