Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Collect your apples and use them

I have 4 apple trees in my back garden. Each year they produce an amazing amount of apples. You would think now that I would tell you about the amazing amount of food that I am able to bake from all those apples.

Well, for those of you that know me, I’m not really much of a baker. It takes time and energy, both of which I have little of. I have grand thoughts of what I would like to bake though, and they look stunning in my mind – it just never reaches the plate!

What happens to the apples then? Well, I never collect them. I leave them to rot or to be eaten by the birds. Not intentionally though. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve already cooked all these apples in my mind! I just never get around to collecting them though.


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I went out into the garden yesterday and saw how delicious the apples looked, and again thought to myself that this year I must not waste them. Even if I don’t collect them for myself, I’m sure that I have a friend or two that would make use of them.

Daniel 4:12
Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all living creatures fed themselves from it.

An apple tree was designed to bear fruit. Why then waste what is provided from it if it can bring about further good things. If you have a fruit tree in your garden, why not collect the fruit from the tree so that you can multiply it and give good things to others. Or, give the fruit to other people so that they can multiply it and give good things to others too.

This is the same with our own lives. Each of us has unique qualities and gifts that we can bring to the world. It’s how we use them that makes a difference to people’s lives.

Something to think about…

Do you bear fruit that can bring about good to others? Think about the gifts and qualities that you have and see how you can implement them to help others.

Prayer

Lord, I thank you that you have created each of us for a specific purpose. Help us to realise what gifts we have so that we can bring about a difference into other people’s lives. Amen.


You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. The word prompt write is “collect”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.) If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.

Stepping Out Of Our Comfort Zone

We all have something in our lives that has broken us in one way or another.  Something that is hidden deep in our closet that we don’t like to talk about or share openly.

It may be that you lost someone really close to you…

…Or your parents separated when you were younger…

…Or you had someone you looked up to and they made a comment towards you which hurt you really deeply…

…Or you didn’t have a great time growing up in school…

Whatever has happened to you, it has probably affected you in one way or another.  You may not notice it straight away, but what happened to you in your past affects how you are today and how you perceive situations you are in.


Let’s just say that you are someone who experienced your parents splitting up when you were younger, and you never saw one of your parents again.  This may then affect you in your own relationships with other people. You may not receive love very well from those that are showing it to you.  This then in turn could bring about feelings of rejection.

Or, you maybe someone that was bullied in school.  It may not have been physical bullying, but the constant name calling of how ugly you were…or that you would never amount to anything…the little comments behind your back in classroom of people threatening to “get” you after school.  This may then affect you on how you perceive yourself.  You hate to look at yourself in the mirror because you detest what you see. You are constantly trying to seek people’s approval.

You see how what happens in your past, which broke something inside you, affects how you react towards situations today?

If you are still reading this, then maybe I am resonating with you in what I am writing about.  If so, I want you to listen closely to me as I share with you a truth that you need to hear.  What happens in our past doesn’t have to define ourselves, or our future.

What happens in our past doesn't have to define ourselves, or our future. Click To Tweet

I believe, with a passion, that it doesn’t matter how broken we are inside with what has happened in our lives, we can still turn out to be beautiful people.  For me to believe this though, and for me to get you to believe this too, I need to be able to step outside of my comfort zone.

Do you know what this might mean though?  It means me sharing my deepest stories with you.  Stories that may open up my wounds and seep a little (and it may sting a little in the process too), but I hope that it may help someone to realise that they too can heal from their broken past and become beautiful.

Some of you may be thinking that sharing openly about something that is so personal is a little daunting and that you are not brave enough. I don’t think it’s about being brave enough to do it, and actually, I will admit this…it is down right scary for me to do this.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

One thing I am sure of is this…I have God by my side through every step of my journey. He will send me His Holy Spirit, not to make me afraid of what is going to happen, but to give me the strength that I need so I can step out of my comfort zone. In doing so, I hope the messes that I have been through in my life, become a message for you to give you a glimmer of hope.

Something to think about…

Can you identify an area in your life where you feel you have been broken? Consider asking God to show you how to use that brokenness to step out of our comfort zone to help others.

Prayer

Lord, there is an area in my life where I have been broken. Send your Holy Spirit upon me and give me the strength and courage that I need to step out of my comfort zone and to use those fragments of life to show others that you can piece together a beautiful picture.  Amen.

You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. The word prompt write is “comfort”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.) If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.

Steady As You Go

Life is full of ups and downs – wouldn’t you agree? One minute you could be on cloud nine with excitement about some good news you have received…and then next you come crashing down to earth when something drastic happens. It’s not that easy to stay steady when things don’t go quite the way you planned, is it?

2 Timothy 4:5
As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.


When Paul writes to Timothy he gives him four directives that he should live by.

Be steady

My mum use to tell me this whenever I came to a situation that was beyond my control: “remember the three c’s – cool…calm…and collected”. It use to get on my nerves a little if she said it too much, but deep down I knew she was right.

Timothy’s first directive was to remain steady in what he was doing. He had to remain the three c’s – cool…calm…and collected. He needed to take seriously what he was doing in his life and remain focussed.

Be accepting of suffering

Accept suffering? Seriously? Now this is deep, but then Paul would know what he’s writing about after all the suffering he had endured. To name a few…

•He was in prison (and more than once);
•He constantly faced death;
•He was shipwrecked;
•He received whipping, flogging and was stoned…

…Shall I carry on?

Endurance is the ability to keep doing something difficult, unpleasant or painful for a long time. Like Paul, Timothy was instructed to keep steady whilst enduring his suffering…and he had to maintain the right perspective that would honour Christ.

Enduring our suffering and keeping the right mind throughout helps us to build on our character. This then in turn creates hope.

Carey Scott on her latest blog post “How to hold on to joy… no matter what’s trying to beat you down” reminds us how we can be steady and gain that hope…

“Friends, praise will always usher in joy when we’re struggling to find it. It’s a negativity-buster and gratitude-generator at the same time. And it will keep us tethered to hope… no matter what comes our way.”

Be an evangelist

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and where you are…spread the good news of Christ. It might not be your forte to communicate with other people the gospel, but we are commanded to do so.

Anyway, if Jesus can use a tax collector, some fisherman and, wait for it, even a political activist…then guess what, He will use you! What you do does not stop you from spreading the good news of Jesus.

Be the winner…

…and finish the race. Keep on going, not just endure, but to actually finish what has been started.

It’s been heard often that when runners compete in a marathon, it’s the last couple of hundred yards that seem the hardest. Just as you see the finish line in sight, everything seems heavier.

When things seem heavier, there is always a temptation to quit, especially when it comes to doing what God calls you to do. Each new day provides us with new challenges to complete the race.

How do we overcome this? By keeping our eyes fixed on the prize…Jesus Christ. As we run the race of life and we keep focused on Him we find that He is actually running the race with us and helping us along the way.

Something to think about…

Is there an area in your life where you are struggling to see the finish line and it’s hard to carry on with the race? Don’t give up. Just like runners who need to train constantly to keep on going when it gets tough, so do we.

When you feel off balance, keep steady by using Jesus as your weight to lean on. You will never be too heavy for Him as He can handle any weight you pile on. So, keep on keeping on and don’t give up!

Prayer

Lord, I know that I am going to go through life at times and feel like the race is too hard to run. Help me to be steady on my tracks and to keep focused on you so that I can endure whatever I run through. Amen.


You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. The word prompt write is “steady”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.) If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.

You Are Worth Your Weight In Gold

IMG_8819.PNGApparently, we are made in God’s image…Did you know that? Also, there is not one person on this earth that is exactly like you? I guess that makes us a little unique then.

Me? Created in God’s image though? Seriously? With everything I have been through it must have been some image! And it’s a pretty good job that there is no-one else like me…I mean, can you imagine having two of me?

I’m guessing this is what some of you must be thinking when you read that you are made in God’s image, or that you are unique. I want to tell you something though, and I want you to listen very carefully. Come in closer.

You. Are. Worth. It.

Have I got your attention, or are you just shrugging your shoulders? I’ll let you in on a little secret…I use to shrug my shoulders too when someone would tell me that I am worth it.

Ok…I still do…a little.

Ok…hands up…maybe a lot!


This is a journey, right? And you don’t arrive at your destination at the click of your fingers, although that would be nice so that we can skip out all the bumpy rides. Life isn’t like that though, is it?

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those “hey you, listen up” blogs and that I’m going to tell you how amazing you are…and then expect you to believe me…and change the way you think about yourself. I’m not going to expect you to do that as I don’t do it myself.

Do you know what made me realise that I was worth it though? It was hearing the story of Jesus giving His life on the cross. Yeah, I know, it’s the same old story…it never changes each year I hear it. But this year was different. It was me that changed.

It really hit me that God really does love me.  It didn’t matter to Him what I had been through in my past and how imperfect I was, and still am.

He.  Loved.  Me.

He loves me just the way that I am, even with my broken pieces.  Guess what?  He loves you too…just the way you are…warts an’ all!

Romans 5:8   But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Changing the way you think takes time. Knowing that truth in your head is one thing, but believing it in your heart is another and funnily enough, there isn’t a switch inside your heart that you can flick when you truly want to believe something.

I knew the story inside out about how Jesus came to this Earth to save us all from our sins. Knowing the story and truly believing it with all your heart are two different concepts though.

Isaiah 43:4   Because you are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

I have no firm answers, or a step by step plan to offer on how to believe that you are worth it. All I know is that we need to keep an open heart. The more your heart is open, the more it can be filled with the truth…The truth that you are loved…you are precious…you are valued…you are worth your weight in gold.

The more your heart is open, the more it can be filled with the truth...you are worth your weight in… Click To Tweet

 

Something to think about

If you are struggling at the moment at knowing how worthy you are, try this…get a post-it note or a piece of paper and write down your qualities. It maybe that you are kind and generous, or that you are compassionate and caring. Whatever it is…write it down.

Everyone has worthy qualities. Ask a close friend if you are really struggling. Keep that note with you or pinned up somewhere you can see it. Next time you feel you are in a situation where you feel unworthy, look at it and remind yourself that you have worthy qualities.

Prayer

Lord, help me to have an open heart that can be filled with your Truth today. Help me to believe that I am loved. I am precious. I am valuable. And I am worth my weight in gold. Amen

 

You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. I am a little late to the party, so this was last weeks word prompt write, which was “worth”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.)  If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.

Look For The Unexpected

I am sitting in a waiting room with about fifty other people and we are all expecting one thing…to find out what is wrong with us.  Each of us have come from a different place and we all have a different story to tell, but we all expect the same outcome…to be given an answer.  I guess we are all expecting, as well, to be given something that could heal us.  It’s not guaranteed though.


Looking around, I see people texting on their phone trying not to make eye contact with the person next to them…just in case that person might actually want to talk to them!  I see a few people with their heads tilted to one side and their eyes closed tight, shutting everyone else out around them.

I hear a child screaming with frustration and stamping their feet with the lack of something to do…and the mother with her head in her hands wishing that she had a child that would sit quietly and patiently.  She’s frantically trying not to make eye contact with those that are looking down on her in dismay.  I feel for this woman, as I know all too well what this feels like.

What do we expect to happen if we looked at someone…smiled at someone…dread to think, even talk with someone?  I think these days, too often, we are too scared to engage with the other person.  Maybe, because we are scared of rejection?

Colossians 4 v 5-6: Walk in wisdom to those who are outside, redeeming the time.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may knowhow you ought to answer each one. 

Something to think about…

Next time you are in a waiting room, or sitting on a bus, or maybe even having your hair done, look at the person near you and smile at them.  Pray in your heart that God would open a door for you.  You never know they may actually smile back at you and a conversation will start.  Look for the unexpected.  You may be the salt that they need to season their lives.

You may be the salt that they need to season their lives. Click To Tweet

Prayer

Lord, give me wisdom to see those who are around me that need seasoning in their lives.  Give me the grace I need in the conversations that are stirred and help me to be the salt that adds a little flavour.  Amen

 

 

You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. I am a little late to the party, so this was last weeks word prompt write, which was “expect”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.)  If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.