Five Minute Friday: Rise

FMF Rise

The horrendous smell of burnt bread wafting through the air of my home is never good. Though rare, it means that I neglected to keep a close eye on the bread batter as it was rising. It went too high, causing it to overflow in the oven and create a mess.

There are moments in life when we make choices that we’re not the most proud of. Our pride can rise mighty quickly. Sometimes tempers flare or fears escalate. We rush a word here or neglect an action there. Before we know it, someone gets a bit burnt.

There are also moments that are beyond our control. Take Joseph, for example. He was the second youngest brother in a historically dysfunctional family. Yet, the family was anxious to be rid of him, without his permission. He found himself in jail after a false allegation, while he was attempting not to disappoint God. When he finally had a hope for a prison release, he was forgotten by the one person who had influence in that moment.

In all of that, God was there.

God carried Joseph, dried his tears, comforted him, protected him… the list is endless. God had His watchful eye on Joseph and raised Him up. In all that is happening in and around your life, God is here.

When we try to rush ahead or rise in our own way and time, we do alright. While we have hopes and dreams for our future, we cannot actually see ahead. We’re limited in what and how we rise on our own.

When we trust God to lead and guide us, He will cause us to rise up to the right place and at the right time.


{linking up with Kate for Five Minute Friday}

Give Me Grace: Joy in Him

I take joy in doing Your will, my God...

“I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” – Psalm 40:8 (NLT)

Lord, please show me Your will.

As I began to pray, I found myself asking God—again—what is His will for my life.

Again. It seems to be a request I make quite regularly.

Then God spoke to me mid-prayer.

He’s been showing me His will for some time now but I was confusing myself.

I was asking for His will but expecting to hear about my purpose.

Will and purpose are two completely different topics, in my mind.

Purpose has to do with how God is going to use me.

Will is what God wants for me; how He wants me to live.

He’s been showing me His will all along.

Throughout His Word, He says trust Him. Depend on Him. Give Him everything. He cares about every single detail of our lives. He forgives freely and completely. He restores.

He loves unconditionally.

I need to take joy in doing His will; in living my life as it currently is. I’m not to wait until I fully understand my purpose.

Even if I’m unclear about what to do, it’s clear about how I should be living.

I can find joy right now, in Him.


I’m linking up over at Lisha’s place today.

Five Minute Friday: Follow


When approaching an associate for help in a store, the response sometimes is ‘follow me’. I make sure I have my cart or other various items in hand and stick closely by. I wouldn’t want to forget my purse or potential purchases behind in a rush to follow the associate.

Jesus looked at his first disciples and said ‘Come, follow me…’ and they went immediately behind Him, no questions asked. Unlike my example, however, they left everything behind.

They were mid-task; on the job, earning a living, and they just dropped everything to follow Jesus. Matthew left all his cash right there and walked away. He didn’t stop to lock it in a safe or ask his co-worker to step in.

What is it about Jesus that made them drop everything to follow Him?

In a few words, He managed to convey such a profound message to them.

I am.

Jesus was their friend, teacher and master. He explained the scriptures with such mastery and yet cuddled with children. He met needs and touched society’s untouchables. He is firm, passionate, gentle and loving. The list of all that Jesus was and is and will be for you and for me is unending.

In a few moments, the disciples felt drawn to Him enough to leave everything they had to follow without glancing behind them.

Jesus calls us to trust Him. Now. To follow Him and let Him lead the way and direct our steps. Are we willing to let go of whatever’s in our hands right now and just follow Him as we are?


If you took five minutes to jot down some thoughts on the topic ‘follow’, what would you say? You can join in on the fun over at Kate’s place.

Five Minute Friday: Meet


It had been years since they had seen each other. They were to meet again, but he couldn’t know. Her plan was pretty good—as long as she stayed in disguise. Covered with a veil and wearing different clothes, she sat at the side of the road, waiting. As rumoured, he arrived soon afterwards. Believing she was just there to receive male guests, he approached her. Judah propositioned his daughter-in-law, Tamar, making a significant dent in history.

I always wondered how Tamar managed to slip by Judah undetected. I mean, if I’d lost two of my children to the same spouse, I’d have been highly suspicious of her. I’d keep track of her, her face a target forever etched in my mind. Two points jumped out at me during this story.

First, Judah wasn’t expecting Tamar, so he wasn’t expecting to meet her. We tend to drop our guard at times when we feel safe. He knew Tamar was at home with her family, awaiting the word to marry the next son. Being lonely and missing the physical intimacy from his marriage, he felt okay to proposition a foreign woman in a foreign town to fulfill his desires.

Lastly, how was Tamar able to change herself so completely that she was unrecognizable? She went from respectable widow to a woman of questionable reputation within a moment.

Do I do the same?

I claim to be a Christian; a follower of Christ. One who tries to follow the standards and guidelines He has laid out in His Word. Are there times when I quickly disguise myself, veiling my spirituality in order to accomplish my goals? Do I have moments when I’m completely unrecognizable amongst my family and my friends?

Lord, please help me to be one person at all times. Take my goals and adjust them to match with Your purpose for my life.


It’s Friday! You know what that means—you can join Kate and her five-minute Friday community here.

And umm…seriously, this story from Genesis 38 was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the prompt of ‘meet’. This business of following Christ is never dull…

Five Minute Friday: Door


I’m not sure how I would have reacted if I were there that day.

Rushing in anticipation of seeing Jesus while slowed by a heavy load. The men shared in their friend’s burden as they carried him. But no one passes up the chance to see Jesus.

I can’t imagine their defeat as they saw the crowd spilling from their destination. Full beyond capacity.

There was no way to get in the door. This was before fire code regulations, so you know the people were crammed in tight.

Access denied.

I’d probably try to wait it out. Surely someone would have to leave and make room for others to come in.

His friends didn’t waver, however.

The door may have been blocked, but there had to be another way.

Somehow, someway, they maneuvered themselves and the stretcher safely up onto the roof. They began to dismantle the host’s home. They were willing to do whatever it took for their sick friend to get his healing that day.

The crowd must’ve been speechless as they saw a stretcher being lowered right down in front of Jesus.

All that mattered in that moment was that they got in.

It was unconventionally creative. It wasn’t even through the door.

But they got in.

And Jesus, being so awesome, didn’t miss a beat.

He didn’t berate the men for damaging property. He didn’t ask the paralytic man to take a number and wait in line. Jesus forgave the man and then healed him right away.

Am I desperate to connect with Jesus that I’d be willing to do whatever it takes? Would I dismantle this part of my life or disrupt that part of my life to get close to Him?

May we not get distracted by the crowds and the seemingly closed doors. Let’s do whatever we must to connect with Jesus.

For our forgiveness and our healing.


It’s Friday and I’m linking up with Kate and the five-minute Friday community. The door is always open there. I’m also linking up in a second place today, with Deb over at Counting My Blessings.


Five Minute Friday: Hide


It had become familiar to hide. To shy away from various people and places. Like the front of a camera lens, especially any full-bodied shots. Selfies aren’t overcrowding my Instagram feed at all. Shopping? I was fine in a grocery store. My fellow shoppers are too busy minding their own carts and lists to notice me. However, one’s the risk of being noticed is higher at the mall, so I didn’t go there often. When I did, it wasn’t to shop for myself.

The hiding slowly crept its way into other aspects of my life. For example, I preferred to play the piano at church or to speak from behind the pulpit. Anything with a huge obstacle to grant me partial coverage and leave me less exposed.

I didn’t like how I looked. Mistakenly, I believed that if I wasn’t comfortable with myself, then neither were others. So, why not keep a low profile.

This was not how God intended for me to live for Him.

“ Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16, msg)

What a reality check from the Word!

In my attempts to remain unnoticed, I was blocking my God-given light. This light helps others to see better through the dimness of life. My life, my story, is a testimony of the goodness of God. When I hide, I’m hiding Him from others. It’s hard to point others to God when you’re living as a potential stumbling block.

I pray often for the strength and the courage to quit hiding. God is faithful. He is always finding ways to encourage me to trust Him more.

Is there something that you’re struggling to keep hidden? How can I pray for you?


I’m linking up with Kate & the five-minute Friday community.

Five Minute Friday: Tomorrow


I’ll admit that I don’t treat my tomorrows with the utmost care. I tend to presume that they’ll faithfully appear each morning so that what I planned (read: delayed from the previous day/days) will finally take place. Some things get done, yet many don’t. This isn’t an ideal way of living. It leaves me dissatisfied, most often with myself. And if I keep it real: others around me are affected too. Uh oh!

As I like to do when I get stuck, I look to Christ for motivation.

He was intentional about His today so that He was able to make the most out of His tomorrow. When the disciples asked how to pray, He didn’t complain of weariness and urge them to come back the following day. Jesus never put off spending quality, quiet time with His heavenly Father. When He called Zacchaeus down from His perch, it was with plea that ‘I must be a guest in your home today!’ (Luke 19:5, nlt). There are many examples throughout the Word where Christ is intentional in His current situation. He understood that His days were literally numbered and that time was precious. Every moment counted in His mission to save the lost.

The danger of always relying heavily on tomorrow is that it’s easy to keep pushing things back. I trick myself into believing that I have time; that if I don’t want to do it today, then tomorrow will work just as well. I need to change my thinking.  Time is precious and I do not have a contract with God as to how many more tomorrows are guaranteed. Every moment counts because every person in my path matters to Him.


It’s your turn. What would you pen/type about the prompt ‘tomorrow’? You can see more at Kate’s place. In case you haven’t yet heard, she’s sharing details for the first ever Five Minute Friday retreat. It’s coming up this August.

Five Minute Friday: Relief


If I were in his shoes, I’d have been sweating after the first few times. There was a lot at stake; this was not the time for errors. Usually clear skies are wanted, but not in this moment. Not only was rain expected in the forecast–it was desperately needed.

Because God had promised.

Elijah prayed seven times for rain to come. After each prayer, he’d expectantly sent his servant to look for any change on the horizon. The skies were unmarred for the first six times. On the seventh time, a cloud was visible. Finally!

What a relief!

Only hours earlier, Elijah had prayed one time and fire came down from heaven. So to pray seven times before any hint of a sign would be nerve-wracking.

How easy it is to forget about the character of God in just a short time. Despite my inconsistency in believing, God is consistent with His promise keeping. He always comes through.

If He says He will do something, then He will. I need not worry about a backup plan for ‘if’ it doesn’t happen. Planning for God to fail only hampers my relationship with Him.


It’s Friday, where we write freely and uneditedly for five minutes (ish). You can learn more about this over at Kate’s place, where she hosts this gathering each week.

Five Minute Friday: Break

MyMorning Routine-

I was trying to be quick. Dinner guests were coming the following day and I finally remembered to dust the china cabinet. My plan was to wipe at the dust on the shelves, around the candle holders. No need to move them, I thought. Before I knew it, my hand bumped one of the holders and it tipped over.

It broke.

With an annoyed sigh, I cleaned up the shards of glass and moved the other holders to safety while I wiped the now clear shelf. I was sad that my candle holder set was now incomplete, but even more annoyed with myself. The breaking was avoidable, had I done the chore properly from the start.

Our hearts are like those fragile candle holders. When we aren’t careful, hearts can break. A careless word here; a thoughtless action there. Even unintentionally, we may ‘bump’ another person and cause heartbreak.

Unlike my unsalvageable candle holders, there is hope for the heart.

God restores.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:10,12 NLT)

If your heart is currently broken or if you’re the one breaking hearts, God can give you a new heart. The beauty in that is that God always gives His best. He won’t just patch up your heart, but give you something completely brand new. He also promises to restore us.

He’s the Ultimate Repairer.


I’m linking up with Kate at her Five Minute Friday community. You’re welcome to check it out. There are some fun things happening over here.

In case you missed it earlier this week, I was invited to guest post over at Club31Women. You’re invited to read more about what I shared there: 3 Things to Do If You’re Ready for a Real Change.

Five Minute Friday: Real

It was early in my teenage years when I glimpsed one of the coolest turning points of my life. A group of us young people had just finished an outing, and my Pastor had come to pick up his kids. While he was waiting by the entrance, I saw him drink a can of root beer!

I was amazedly stunned. In that moment, my Pastor instantly became the coolest guy ever. He had great taste in pop and actually drank the stuff. We had something in common.
That made him real.

It’s easy to go around hiding behind false pretenses. We live trying to make the best first impressions because you never know who is watching or what they might be thinking. Like circus performers, we bend over backwards, contorting ourselves here and there to fit into some pre-cut molds that we didn’t design. As a result, we’ve lost a lot of who we are in the process. And in living for ourselves and for others, we’ve also forgotten Whose we are. 

Jesus kept things real.
Jesus’ whole life embodied realism. His life was simple and honest. He didn’t do things to flatter anyone or stress about acceptance. In fact, He even told His disciples to expect rejection and that they were to keep moving when it came. He didn’t overextend himself and then struggle midway through life in crisis of who He really was.
In choosing to live a real life, simple as it may be, Jesus had peace.