Five Minute Friday: Hope


In the face of adversity, there are people who have been beaten, battered and well-bruised. Yet, they still continue. They press forward, one step at a time, even if it’s a hair’s width of a step. I marvel at their courage, tenacity and perseverance. Too many times, I find myself wondering if I could keep moving ahead if that were me.

What keeps them fueled, particularly when there seems to be nothing left?


Queen Esther was driven by hope. With the weight of an entire population resting on her shoulders, she dared to see the King uninvited. As this was a big no-no in those days, she resisted the idea at first. Even the Queen needed a special invitation to see her husband. The risk of appearing without invitation was death. But, as her cousin reminded her, maybe this was the purpose of her appointment as Queen. In the midst of prayerful consideration and intercession on her behalf, Esther approached the King. He welcomed her without chastisement, and in the end, her people were saved.

One definition of hope is the feeling that events will turn out for the best.

This feeling is something that God implants in us because He wants us to live and live abundantly. While sin has marred God’s original intent for our lives, it has not marred God and His graceful and generous love for us. He gives us hope by speaking to us directly and through His Word. He gives us hope to share with others, especially those who struggle to understand God and can’t look at Him in the midst of their pain.

As we cling to hope and draw strength from God, it encourages others with similar struggles that they too can rely on God.


{Linking up with Kate and the five-minute Friday community}

Five Minute Friday: Favorite


Favorite items are often the most treasured. I enjoy indulging in a favorite dish, taking time to savor every last scrumptious crumb. Favorite songs can be looped for hours, never growing weary while I sing every last note and riff as though I were the artist. The clothes that are my favorite to wear make me smile each time I put them on because I believe they look fantastic on me.

It’s easy for things to be favored. You decide on how little or how much energy to invest in them. They never insult you or grate on your last nerve. Our favorite things never exhaust us or toy with our emotions. Life is grand when we’re surrounded with our favorite things.

All that I’ve described have had one commonality—they are things. Inanimate objects.

There are days I wish it were as easy to love living creatures—my fellow humans. Our favorite people have not risen to the top of the list randomly. We hesitate to invest energy in each other. First, we weigh the potential benefits to see if it’s worth the hassle. It’s risky to take a step and be kind to someone, because they may not reciprocate. People can—and do—hurl insults. Yes, we can even grate on nerves, intentionally. It’s unhealthy to hang onto unbalanced relationships; they can hurt us in many ways.

Have you ever tried to confront deeply-rooted hatred from people who are unwilling to change? I had a social media acquaintance who labelled Blacks as ‘animals’. I gently asked them how this fit their Christian mission, and after a second thought, they recanted. Yet, a few weeks down the road, again there was more vitriol from the same source, as inner thoughts about Black people as ‘animals’ plus other derogatory words, were exposed.

These moments are my least favorite. It’s tempting to interchange moments for people. Without realizing it, some people fail to make it on our list of favorites. Relationships are fractured and broken, as the ripple effect takes place. When really, it’s a few (and in some cases, many!) qualities about a person that are not favorites.

This is unpopular talk—to look beyond a face and into a heart. This is how Jesus treats us and it’s one of my most favorite things about Him.


{Linking up with the five-minute Friday community}

Five Minute Friday: Dream


Once upon a time, there was a girl who quit dreaming. Any aspirations or goals that she’d set for herself would not quality as ‘dream worthy’. She was uncomfortable and somewhat unfamiliar with failure. Disappointment? That she knew and preferred to avoid it as much as possible. Whatever she set her sights to do, it was right in front of her. Goals were made with short-term timeframes and very achievable. If, while aiming for her target, she felt that success was not possible, she’s readjust her goal line, setting a new, decreased success.

But as the girl grew, she listened and watched. She observed those around her dreaming of lofty goals—and even achieving some of them. For those who at least tried something, anything, to reach their dreams, they still came out happy, despite their lack of success. Was it possible to do both?

So she prayed.

God showed her how she was not only hurting herself, but hurting Him too. God, who can make all things possible, was being limited by this girl who thought she could only dream within her own strength. God loves to show up and show out for His children, because He adores them all dearly and unconditionally. By not trusting Him with her dreams, her aim or her end results, she was not leaving God any room to work with.

Slowly, she let go and began to dream. She set goals and visions and saw herself doing some pretty cool things. Mostly, she gave her dreams to God, asking Him to do something of significance with her dreams, as long as He got the glory.

She’s learning to dream big, reminding herself that God is even bigger than anything her mind can fathom.


{It’s your turn on the prompt ‘dream’. Where does this word lead your imagination? You’re invited to write down your thoughts and even share them if you so desire. The major ‘rule’ is simple: Write freely for five (or five-ish) minutes without going back to edit (and yes, this is hard and quite unnatural to do…at first). Join the link-up or find more posts here.}

Five Minute Friday: Fear

Five Minute Friday

Popular blog-building advice suggests that bloggers place their photographs on their main page, somewhere near the top. So that visitors to their blog will have a face to identify with, adding to one’s authenticity.

This is something that I’ve been reluctant and kinda sorta afraid to do. It’s not that I doubted the quality of the photos or my own beauty. I’d had professional photos done so that I’d have images worth sharing on a website. There’s one on my ‘Meet Sabrina’ page.

Instead, I was second-guessing what visitors to my site might think if they saw I was Black first, before getting to know me. And as a Christian, the field seems even narrower.

There are some magnificent Christian bloggers around. They have such eloquence and musicality to their writing. You can feel the love of Christ seeping into you through your screen as you read their words. Their names and faces graze book covers, websites, viral posts, podcasts, conference invitations, etc. Yet, there is still an unbalance in the racial diversity in the Christian blogosphere. begins their description of fear as ‘a distressing emotion…’ Sounds accurate to me. I have yet to meet someone glowing from fear. Cowering, yes, but not exuberant and enthusiastic in their fear. Fear isn’t usually the happiest of emotions. You can use fear to propel you into positive action and make changes that have a marvelous impact on your community and the world.

Fear is what cripples us and stops us from doing much of anything worth noting. I may not have many answers, but I do have ideas. I have my own stories, experiences where sometimes race has played and continues to factor into my life. In speaking up, I’m taking a gamble, but choosing to trust God for the outcome.

This post is a step in tackling fear. Sitting in fear keeps us unproductive and unmoving. Being overly fearful about how my words may be perceived because of who I am who God created me to be only paralyzes me into silence. This form of silence does not change hearts or soften opinions. Instead, I’m choosing to take God at His word when He says

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His love. 1 John 4:18, NLT


{I’ve done something a little different today. The news stories of last week, today and tomorrow show that life is precious and that more people are willing to listen to the experiences of those different than themselves. There still a lot of close-mindedness in the world, but one heart at a time is being opened to hearing, listening and healing.}

{As always, you’re invited to join the five minute Friday community over at Kate’s place.}

Five Minute Friday: World

For God so loved the world...

It seems we tend to live in two worlds.

First, we have our own world. Our little bubbles, surrounded by our family and friends of our choosing. We do our best to control what happens in our world. We choose education levels and career paths; where to live and who to befriend as neighbours. A space we try to keep as a safe haven.

The there is the world. The planet, on a larger scale. Full of people God handcrafted, just like you and me. Yet, we’re all from different parts of the globe. We vary in all hues and speak all sorts of beautiful words in dialects that are like a symphony to the ear.

For God so loved the world.

Yes, He loves me in my world too. He loves me with all my idiosyncrasies and quirks. Even when I’m trying too hard to do my own thing and daring to run independent of Him, He still loves me. And you.

For God so loved the world.

The world.

He loves everyone. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e. Even with all their idiosyncrasies and quirks. With the customs that are foreign to me and the mannerisms that are so unlike my own. He loves people.

For God so loved the world.

How do I link my world to the world?

Let’s look to Jesus. He was the ultimate in foreigners to this world. He was God, encased in human flesh but with a supernatural intellect. Despite the drastic differences, He simply loves us.

He never looked at anyone as a threat to His own little world. Christ had a broad perspective on the world and was able to love people because of who they are and not what they appear to be.


{I’m linking up with Kate and the five-minute Friday fun. You’re welcome to join in too. The more, the merrier. You’re free to let your words flow freely on this week’s prompt: world. You’re invited to share if you feel comfortable doing so.}

Five Minute Friday: Gift

The Lord will withholdno good thing from

If only I could play by ear.

This is something that’s said aloud too often, bemoaning what I think I’m lacking in my life. Music is one of my gifts. I grew up juggling piano and violin lessons with rehearsal times and homework. I’m able to sight-read music, even on the spot, if necessary. As long as I have something to play from, I am safe.

But to play by ear? That gift is not mine.

For a while, I felt incomplete. How could I be unbalanced, having capabilities to read but not to play by ear? While I’m always willing to accompany various groups and friends, if there’s no sheet music (yes–even guitar chords are workable) then I cannot help you.

But God! When we’re ready to listen, He always has a timely word.

The Lord will withhold no good thing for those who do what is right. (Psalm 84:11b, NLT)

I wasn’t incomplete at all!

It’s just that playing by ear is a gift that He chose not to give me. God doesn’t have justify this to me either. I need to accept that He knows why and that it’s the best thing for me. This is part of a growing faith. If I stop complaining about what I don’t have, I can appreciate the gifts that I do have.

I can read music. I can sight-read music on the spot. I know people who struggle with reading even simple music without rehearsing it first or hearing a recording of the song.

God is good!

He doesn’t hold back any of the goods. If you find yourself wondering why you think this or that is missing from your life, it may be because it’s not good for you.

God loves us too much to let us wallow in things that are not good for us.


{I’m linking up with Kate and Karen this week.}

Five Minute Friday: Blue

Add subtitle text Can I tell you a secret?

I recently purchased a colouring book for grown-ups.

I remember, as a child, opening the big box of 64 crayons. There was almost a solemnness in watching as the perfectly rounded crayons were unveiled. That many crayons finally meant options. The water in your drawing could be one shade of blue, while the sky would be another, brighter shade of blue. And there were even blends, like blue-green. Those were the days when we’d let our imaginations run rampant. It was okay if your zebra was more than the standard black and white. Your pets could have polka dots or even be rainbow coloured. In fact, we were encouraged to think outside the box. To just fill the page.

As I grew older, the message shifted. The time for creative fun was reduced to fleeting moments here and there. There were guidelines on how to achieve the ideal shade of colour. You have a basic blue, for example. And if you want it purple, then add some red. If you need a dark blue, add black.

Then there are official documents, which clearly state in their margins ‘please print using only black or blue ink’. You risk rejection if you dare to print outside the box.

But by always staying in the box, creativity can sometimes be stifled.

My creativity needs a nudge, hence the colouring book. It’s time to relearn how to let my imagination soar with colour.


{I’m linking up with Kate, the host of the Five Minute Friday community. This was a different type of prompt today. Never a dull moment here.}

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}

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…