Day 13: Talk #write31days2018

I’m a day late posting this free-write because I just desperately needed a day off from pretty much everything yesterday! But here it is, regardless…

This week my son and I were reading a passage in John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress for his school lessons. The part we were reading a conversation between the characters named “Talkative” and “Faithful.” We learned that Talkative liked to discuss ideas of faith and Christianity, but that in his hometown he was known as a hypocrite, doing all sorts of things that were definitely un-Christian. When Faithful confronted him with the truth of his actions as opposed to his words, Talkative was quick to leave. My son and I noted that it isn’t enough to be able to talk about following Jesus. You actually show by your behavior what you believe.

This is a difficult thing for many of us who were raised in the church. We know how to give the right answers in Sunday school. We can talk about what we believe and even why we believe it. But too often there is a disconnect between our religious talk and our real life action…and our actions flow from our hearts. So I have to ask myself, is my faith all talk, just words I say or type? Or is my faith lived out in my actions at home and beyond? 

Paul said in 1 Cor. 13:1

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Let’s not be noisy gongs, like “Talkative.” Let’s be true to our words, that we may be found “Faithful.”

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 12: Praise #write31days2018

As the wife of a music pastor, the words “praise and worship” carry a lot of connotations and ideas with them that I don’t have time to go into here. But one of the things about being involved in leading church music is this: Sometimes I have to praise God when I don’t feel like it. And I have to do it in front of people.

Now, I know that may sound like I’m saying that I sometimes I’m being fake and just putting on a show. But no. Actually, the truth is that when I get up to sing with my husband and lead the congregation in song to the Lord, that is often the time when God works on my heart most during the whole church service.

It is in those times I can almost forget the room full of people in front of me, and I feel like I am alone with my Savior. Sometimes I come with a heavy heart or a weary mind, and I don’t want to praise Him. But when I open my mouth and sing the words of truth about Who He is, something happens in my heart that washes His Spirit’s power over me in a way that nothing else can.

I wrote earlier in the week about doing creative things even when I’m not feeling inspired. Praising God in the times when I don’t feel like praising Him is similar, but even more powerful.

Praising God tells Satan and his minions that I am on the side of the Victor, even when the battle feels like it’s going badly. Praising God reminds me that my feelings are not always telling me what is True. Praising God shows the Lord obedience and love and faithfulness, and He always rewards that act. So I would challenge you today, bring your sacrifice of praise and see what blessing He will pour out as a result. I think you will be glad you did!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

 

I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today. To read more posts by bloggers on this prompt “praise” visit the link-up.

Day 8: Comfort #write31days2018

I have been contemplating the idea of comfort often of late. There are many ways we seek comfort in life: comfort food, comfy clothes, a cozy blanket on the couch, hot tea on a chilly morning. And those are just examples of physical comfort. As modern Americans, we do not like to be uncomfortable. We like to be happy and healthy. And when we are uncomfortable we want to fix it.

I’m not saying being comfortable is all bad. We need some level of peace and rest in life to recover. But this life is not free of pain, discomfort and inconvenience because we live in a sin-sick world. We will always have struggle and pain here on earth. The pain of earthly life points us to look forward to the relief of all hurt in heaven.

I am saying that instead of seeking to avoid all pain and numb all discomfort, we need to learn to deal with it. Where can we go for the ultimate soothing of our souls? Jesus. He is the Comforter. He alone can give us the inner peace and rest we need as we travel this weary land. He understands our needs. He knew hunger, thirst, weariness, pain, abandonment, poverty… Because He knows our need, He is the one we must seek for true and lasting comfort. Let’s lean into Jesus, the Comforter of our souls.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 7: Hope #write31days2018

I took a little liberty with the timer on this one today because I wanted to try something different. It has been many years since I have tried writing any poetry, and this is a rather sorry attempt. But in the spirit of the “creativity” part of my theme this month, I decided to give it a shot anyway! Enjoy!

When Hope Breaks Through

When hope breaks through,
The darkness flees.
When hope breaks through,
My heart soars free.
Amidst the dark and stormy nights,
I find a deep and lasting peace,
When hope breaks through.

When hope breaks through
I lift my song.
When hope breaks through
The hurt and wrong,
My soul at last can find its voice.
My spirit sings the whole day long,
When hope breaks through.

When hope breaks through
The captives dance.
When hope breaks through
The vast expanse,
The Lord will win the victory.
And fear won’t have a fighting chance
When hope breaks through.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 5: Share #write31days2018

When I first saw today’s prompt of “share” I thought I would go in the obvious direction of community, friendship, etc. Thus the photo I chose to today’s graphic. But this morning my devotional contemplations led me in a different vein of thought, so here goes nothing! Timer on…

This morning my devotional meditation was about feeling pain but not acting out of pain. As I meditated on that idea, I was also thinking about why we are supposed to feel pain and suffering. The Bible says that we are to share Christ’s sufferings so that we may rejoice all the more when His glory is revealed.

But if I am honest, I don’t like suffering. I run from pain. I try to numb it. Don’t we all shy away from that which causes us discomfort? Of course. But are we really supposed to? Or are we supposed to let the pain and hurt of living in this fallen world point us to something greater?

Sharing in Christ’s suffering allows me to understand his sacrifice more deeply. It allows me to empathize with the pain of those hurting around me in the world. It allows me to see the deeper cause of my discomfort, the sin hidden deep within, if I will let it.

Pain has a purpose. If I run from it or try to soothe it with a temporary fix, I only delay the healing. But if I lean into Christ, sharing His grief for a hurting, sin-sick world, then I can also experience His healing more deeply. Then I can rejoice all the more when the final healing and restoration come, when His glory is fully revealed! Hallelujah!

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.

1 Peter 4:13

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today. To read more posts by bloggers on this prompt “share” visit the link-up.