Five Minute Friday: Change

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Change.

There’s nothing like spending a lot of time with someone who you wouldn’t see much normally.  All of a sudden You see the good and the not so good in them.

There’s nothing like thrusting the spotlight on a certain character trait in someone, and then realizing that you too struggle with a similar issue – maybe not to the same degree – but it is still there, it is still present, and it is something you should totally get rid of.

I’m pretty analytical.  Black and white.  I see things in others and I see things in myself.

When you use a magnifying glass the image you’re looking at appears bigger in front of your eyes, right?  A certain amount of light goes through – but also a certain amount of light is reflected back onto you.  Yep.  A magnifying glass focused on others, illuminates you as well.

When we see these problems in others – that we know we have in ourselves, there’s only one thing for it.

Change.

We gotta change.

We have to change ourselves before we become the ugly for others to see.  We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Paul got it right.  Change.

We can’t go around belittling others.  we can’t go around pointing one finger when there are four more pointing back at us.

We need to profoundly care for those we profoundly disagree with.

Change.

We can’t change others, but we can use our magnifying glasses to change ourselves.

The church needs the ability to flex the muscle of ethical conviction and the muscle of compassion. – Simon Smart

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Five Minute Friday: Join

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

My brain is mushy.  My heart is emotionally strung.  We’re two and a half weeks into having my in-laws stay with us.  It is all crazy wonderful, crazy wonderful.

Tonight I’d love to be able to write fluidly with heartfelt words and gorgeous similes, to be able to paint beautiful word pictures.  But I just don’t have it in me……what I do have is a definition.  A new meaning to the word ‘join’.  I learnt something today.

JOIN (noun)
The noun JOIN has 2 senses:

1. the shape or manner in which things come together and a connection is made
2. a set containing all and only the members of two or more given sets

There you go.  A join is a set containing all and only the members of two or more given sets.

We’re a join.

You and me.

We’re part of the wonderful world of Five Minute Friday.  Bless that Lisa-Jo’s very heart.  And we’re part of God’s family.  You’re my sister.  My brother.  We’re bloggers and readers united.

A join.

Welcome to my world, friend.  We have a duty to love each other, to encourage each other. To be real and to be authentic.  To break down walls.

What a blessed responsibility.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday: Stretch

Five Minute Friday
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Stretch.

If I wasn’t so proud to wear the silver fern, and to boldy proclaim my kiwiness, I would want to be Italian.

Truly.  I adore Italians.  I think Italian food is straight from heaven, I drool over pictures of coastal Italian villages, I dream of shopping every day at the markets…..but most of all I adore the people and the way they embrace life.

Life!!

In all its fullness.

Life!!

The embracing of the extended family.

The passion the Italian people hold for things they feel are important…it is infectious.

The stretch as they open their arms to friends and family, and to new friends.

You know the people that move me the most are the people that stretch open their arms.  Stretch open their hearts.  Open wide their homes.  They share with me the good, the bad and the ugly.

While I haven’t met many Italians here on this journey we’ve been on over the last three and a half years….I’ve met a few people who HAVE stretched open their arms.  And they have taught me and reminded me of the importance of making room for others.  Stretching open the doors.  Seeking out those who are hurting.  Looking out for the lonely.  Feeling the pain of those around me.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday: Connect

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Connect.

My in-loves flew into town this week.  They flew over six thousand miles to be with us, trading 40 degree weather for our hundred degree weather, and now are relishing their time with their three grandsons.

With them they brought special toys for the boys.  Toys with lots of little parts.  Toys that take time to put together….to only be pulled apart, and then put together in another form.

As the kids are working on their toys, so are their grandparents.  Side by side.  On hands and knees.  Talking, laughing, chatting together.  Learning about each other.  Connecting.

Connecting in the only way that really truly works – side by side.

Time together.

A common interest.

Investing in each other.

Listening and learning.

It’s almost magical.

Connecting.

But I know it is a gift from God.

 

Wise and Harmless

Arrogant.

Alienating.

Assuming.

These are not very nice words associated with not very nice feelings.

These negative feelings can easily be put on, likes pieces of clothing, covering up our souls, bodies and spirits.  We can dress ourselves in these sad feelings as quickly as we can dress ourselves in the feelings of:

Humble and unconceited

Integrated and included

Thinking the best of and not jumping to conclusions

But here’s the thing.  I know which feelings I would rather clothe myself in.  Today and everyday.  And I know what feelings I would like my friends to be dressed in.

And I know my written words have the potential to dress people in feelings.

As corny as it sounds – I love all my friends. I really cherish friendships and I really value my non-Christian friendships as much as my Christian friends. BUT  I fear I clothe my non-Christian friends with my arrogance from time to time. I fear I throw ideas out there that alienate them and I fear these friends bear the brunt of a lot of my ill-assumed ideas.

Do you ever stop to think about what yours and my ‘Christianese’ does to our friends?

Our social media worlds filled with Christian-speak?

When you’ve been a Christian for a while you have certain things ingrained in you.  You think and speak certain things in a certain way because it is what you believe and what you can relate to and some of it is a direct result of the hand of God at work in your life.  Changing you.  Moulding you.  The master heart surgeon at work.

And this is good and this is right and we shouldn’t hide our lights.  For we may indeed be the only bible some people read.

But.

In this and through this, my words still need to bless others.  Not to assume superiority.

In this and through this, what needs to come first always to Christian and non-Christians are words that are loving, kind and thoughtful.

The gospel does offend people.  We are in a battle where people’s eyes and ears are blinded to the truth.  There will always be people in my life who don’t understand the way I think, and the way I live. I can be open and honest with my thoughts, beliefs and convictions – but I can do it with conscious thought as to not appear arrogant.  Not to alienate the minority of my non-Christian friends from my majority of Christian friends.  And not to assume that all my friends are on the same wave-length as me.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” – Matthew 10:16

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Five Minute Friday: Here

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write.  Simply write.  So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

It is getting late on a Thursday night, but Friday is already here for a lot of countries.  I’ve got the Olympics on, even with NBC’s dismal coverage the games still brings with it a huge element of wonder and awe.

I find myself swelling with a whole bunch of national pride.  For a tiny nation of only 4.4 million New Zealand seems to do all right on the medals chart for medals per capita.  I’ll take that!

I was thinking how hard it must be for those athletes who train so very hard, for some of them it is their one chance of a medal.  Their performance can be over in minutes and doesn’t really represent all those hours and hours of training – of physical and emotional work.

Commentators talk of focus.  Of being present.  They have to be fully there.  Fully here.  What enormous grace under pressure they display.

Here.

Yet their ‘here’ is not a permanent thing.

‘Pray for us Christians to honour God through the sport we do, but also that we’d use it as an opportunity to show the world that there’s something more to life than the games’ – Richard Chambers, Silver medalist, London 2012.

There’s more to life than those games.  What they train for – sweat for, miss family events for, travel many miles for.  There’s more to their ‘here’.

What are my eyes and ears not seeing about my ‘here’ and now?  Are my legs standing firmly in my present – or is one foot itching ahead…sneaking into the future?  Or, could one of my legs be dangling in my past?

STOP.