Friday, April 28, 2017

5 Minute Friday-More

Today's prompt for 5 Minute Friday is "more". Proverbs 30:15-16, talks about 4 things that are never satisfied with enough-the grave, the barren womb, the land and fire. Our culture and society are consumed with "more".But, I have found that in many cases, "less is more". Being contentment with what the Lord has already  blessed us with gives us more-more peace, more joy, more of Him! Once when visiting the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, Martha asked Jesus to make Mary help with the serving. Jesus replied that she(Martha) was cumbered about with many things, but that Mary had chosen the ONE thing that was needful. Doing more things-even good things, left Martha harried, frustrated and irritable. The Lord desires that we spend much time at feet as Mary did and find the "more" that comes with desiring the ONE GOOD THING!

Friday, April 21, 2017

5 Minute Friday-Sing!

Today's prompt for 5 Minute Friday is "sing." Lately, my 9 yr-old and I have been enjoying some of the hymns of the faith. Yesterday, we sang one of my favorite hymns, "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me" by Fanny Crosby. A mother soothes and rejoices over her infant with singing.I remember a special song I composed for my first daughter. I was so elated to finally be a mother and I would sing this simple little song over and over to her, "Amaris, Amaris, She's a pretty little baby, Amaris, Amaris, she's a pretty little girl."  I appreciate the verse in Zephaniah that says that God rejoices over us with singing. Singing comforts, lifts the spirits and encourages. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. At creation the angels sang, at the birth of Christ they sang and when Christ is glorified they will sing! In between, there is singing by Miriam and the children of Israel upon their deliverance from Egypt, Deborah sang when Israel defeated their enemies, Christ and the disciples sang on the night He was crucified and Paul and Silas sang while imprisoned. I have sung with choirs, by myself and of course with my 9 yr-old, but the singing that I enjoy the most is the singing  with Christ now and forever! Praise Him!

Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Minute Friday-Empty

Today's 5 Minute Friday word is "empty". You can read more about it at Kate Motaung.

Empty. Sarah had an empty womb that she longed to be filled. The woman with the issue of blood had an empty purse after years of money spent on doctors and still, no cure. The woman at the well brought her empty heart and her empty bucket to a well one day. She met a man that told her all that ever she did. She left her waterpot that day to proclaim that she had found the Messiah. Still today, we find Him when we simply bring our waterpots-cracked, marred, stained, empty or maybe they are full, but full of things that will never satisfy. Before Him, we can pour these things out and find, like the woman at the well, the Living Water.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Contentment is wealth

"The real things haven't changed. It is still bet to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."--Laura Ingalls Wilder

I love this quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder because it sums up how I endeavor to live my life and because over 100 years later, this remains a timeless truth. More is more is not necessarily true in every situation; sometimes less is more and because of this many have begun to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. You can read more about minimalism here, here, and here. Of course, like many movements and lifestyles, there is much variation along the spectrum. 

As we journey to become debt-free, I have found that minimizing in some areas and learning to be content with simple pleasures are THE BEST ways to experience true wealth.  My parents demonstrated this beautifully. They both grew up poor in rural Alabama and in their adulthood moved North where they acquired factory jobs that allowed them a lifestyle that they could only imagine as children. They were able to provide music lessons, basketball shoes, the latest fashions and travel experiences to the nation's capital and each coast of our vast country, and although they each had their own luxury purchases at times, they lived simply. Later, they were able to buy a second home in their beloved Alabama, travel more and even take a cruise! However, they were still content to take a walk  around the block after dinner, eat produce grown in their own garden, line dry laundry and accept hand-me-down clothing. 

My father died 10 years ago. After his funeral, I was impressed and deeply touched by the number of people that he and my mother were able to help financially. They bailed the sons of single moms out of jail, kept people's homes from going into foreclosure, provided meals and paid utility bills-all this by two unassuming people with a modest income and only a high school education between them. 

I believe that wealth can buy a lot of things, good things even, but it can never provide the contentment that is found only in Christ. The Bible asks, "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). The parable of the the rich fool aptly illustrates the fate of those consumed with acquiring wealth to the detriment of their souls. This is a sober warning that I am to use money wisely and to love God with all my heart, soul and mind will keep me from falling prey to the love of money which is, as the Bible says, "the root of all evil."(1 Timothy 6:10)