Five Minute Friday: Mighty (III)

I’m more than a little excited.

My efforts at including friends, writers and non-writers all, in a little blogging project had generated just the kind of interest and enthusiasm I had hoped for. This morning Su is laying down plans for a real time Five Minute Friday blogging party at her house with food, lap tops and live writing. Steph has launched a new blog, dedicated to writing and I have two new posts to share with you.

Watch this space!

We will be blogging again next week for Five Minute Friday and would love you to join us. Even if you have never written before or if you only usually write for yourself this is a truly inclusive endeavour: everyone is welcome.

Sarah

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I don’t think Sarah will mind me saying that she doesn’t by nature put herself out there, and for that reason I am especially glad to share her writing here. I wasn’t surprised when I went on Facebook to steal a photo of her and found that there were none. So instead I chose this picture of an ice cream van and tractor from the albums available and you will have to carry on imagining what she looks like. Many of you commented on the beautifully structured poem that Sarah presented for Five Minute Friday two weeks ago on the topic of CROWDS. This week she has written a prose piece in response to the word MIGHTY.

 

Mighty… What does it bring to mind? Well, there’s God, of course. Too obvious though, and how can my few words hope to describe that awesome power.Then there are the mighty men and women of the. Bible  – the great examples given to us to encourage and inspire. To be honest, much of the time all that they inspire in me is feeling of hopelessness – that kind of faith and sacrifice seem out of my realm of possibility most of the time. Sometimes, though,I catch a glimpse of a kind of mightiness in those around me – in the anorexic teenager struggling through all the food on her plate;  in the old man walking down the road every day on  painfully arthritic legs because his dog ‘likes a walk’; in the young mother working the night shift at Sainsbury’s so that her daughter can continue the ballet lessons that she loves.In all of these, varying on quietly doing their best for others without complaining, I see the mighty strength of a human spirit made in God’s image, displaying a reflection of His might however unknowingly, and I realise once again the mighty potential he has put in each one of his creations.    

 

Heidi

 

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Heidi has also come out of a type of writing anonymity to share this post on MIGHTY. She can write for England (or maybe Wales) but mainly chooses to write for the kingdom. Like Sarah she offers no photos of herself on Facebook, but her profile picture says it all.

 

HE WAS MIGHTY EVEN BEFORE HIS BIRTH. Prophets dreamt wide awake of His coming, Scriptures foretold Him, nations awaited Him and history held its breath. Even His very conception confounded the laws of life as we know it.

HE WAS MIGHTY FROM BIRTH. Yet this might was barely recognisable, concealed as it was by outward layers of helpless humanity. He was born in poverty and obscurity. Still, angels proclaimed Him, wise men worshipped Him and unwise rulers plotted against Him.

HE WAS MIGHTY IN LIFE. His power controlled the forces of nature itself, calming tempests, walking upon water and healing miraculously. He was mighty in power, indeed, but mighty in compassion, too. As then, still now, He loves the unlovable, the undeserving, the ungrateful and the unaware with such a senseless, relentless love that can never be explained, only felt.

HE WAS MIGHTY IN DEATH.Ultimate sacrifice begat ultimate victory as His death and resurrection abolished forever the separation between the Creator and His created. No exceptions and no exclusions. His nail-pierced hands offer redemptive reconciliation to all, because His Salvation, like His might, knows no bounds.   

HE IS MIGHTY FOREVER. His superlative status is established throughout eternity. He was and is and is to come. He is as powerful as He is infinite and incomprehensible. Job observed : “Behold, He is mighty, yet He despises none. He is mighty in power and heart”. And for that, we will all be eternally grateful.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday (II) Eshet Chayil

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The family hurry home to beat the setting sun.

When the stars appear in the sky, with the closing of curtains against the night, the Shabbat candles are lit and the family gather round to welcome in their rest. Here and now, hearts and homes filled with the blessings of G-d. Words of thanksgiving and deep remembrance. G-d has touched their past and he touches the here and now. And I am told that amongst the words of  kiddush and havdalah and the challah loaves, the father of the home will celebrate the everyday valour of his wife with the words of proverbs 31.

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.

The Hebrew words are Eschet Chayil: woman of strength, valour and esteem, woman of achievement, mighty woman  of G-d.

She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.

Eschet Chayil!

Like the anthem for a warrior returning from war, the woman of the home is praised. Praised amongst her children and her friends. Praised in the work place, out and beyond.

In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Eschet Chayil!

Across this table of blessing, in the glow of candles the words light up, not as an agenda of impossible high standards but as a celebration of everywoman and who her creator intended her to be.

Eschet Chayil!

A woman of valour who can find? But we have found her here. She was in our home caring for our children or out at work earning the daily bread. When a problem arose she committed to solutions and where there were none she never gave up. How the mighty have fallen, but this woman just picked herself up.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honour her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Eschet Chayil!

I am indebted to the writing of Rachel Held Evans for my understanding of Eshet Chayil, alongside the poetic and beautiful writings of her warrior sisters Sarah Bessey and Glennon Melton.

May you be as inspire as I am, mighty women of valour, Eshet Chayil!

 

What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, ‘MIGHTY’

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Five Minute Friday: Mighty (I)

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A couple of weeks ago now some friends joined me in writing a short piece for Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday.

It was great fun and what I liked was the variety of people who joined in. I call that inclusive: some who write regularly on public blogs, others who write regularly but only in private and those who, as far as I know, hardly ever write at all.

I’m forever thankful to the internet for the ways in which it gives a voice to us plain people who would not usually be heard. It connects, in one click, us plain people from all over the world who would otherwise live in quiet domestic obscurity, speaking mainly to ourselves, in our silent heads or dimly on the closed pages of private notebooks and journals. The internet is a great equaliser in this sense. For, as long as we have wi-fi we have a place to tell our stories and make a fragile connection with the world outside of our family and most intimate circle of friends. In the same way the internet becomes a space where our stories are more equal and slowly we close the gap between, small, amateur, domestic, insignificant and big, powerful, professional and important. We can all be world changes (or writers) in our small corners of life and we can encourage others to do the same from the platform that is our own phone screen or desk top PC.

So if you would like to join today’s blogging party, it’s an open invitation. This is what you should do,

  • Write for 5 minutes using the prompt MIGHTY, anything you like (free-fall) !
  • Email the piece to me and I will post it on my blog or you can post it on your own blog and send me the link
  • If you post on your own blog you can also use the linky tool at the bottom of Lisa Jo Baker’s post and share your piece there
  • If you share on lisajobaker.com you should check her guidelines and comment on the post that appear immediately before your own

This is what I can share so far, from early arrivals for the blog party fun …

Steph

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Steph is a youth leader from our church. She inspired our young people last night with a message from 1 Timothy 4.12 about not being intimidated because you are young. She was the first to respond to my invitation this morning, sending me this from her phone. I believe she was still in bed when she wrote it! But that’s the best thing about Five Minute Friday: it’s a chance to write without the accompanying worries over content, style, form, grammar, punctuation and other types of editing anxiety. Steph writes,

 

Mighty?

When I think of mighty I think big. When I think of mighty I think unshakeable, unbreakable and undeniable.

When I think of mighty I… Well I think redeemer, saviour, healer, overcomer, provider, protector… God.

As a young woman who’s still finding her feet and growing up in the world, I sometimes find it hard to comprehend exactly what is in store for me. But through him we are also called to be mighty; I spoke a mere 12 hours ago about the importance of not letting your age get in the way of standing for what you believe in, for God has called us to do so… Does courage not go in line with might?

We have been empowered to do all things, so don’t back down, don’t be afraid…

For you, YOU are mighty.

Suzanna

su

Su writes at her own blog and I’m particularly fond of this contribution because it includes a mention of my own wee daughter Lucy, small but MIGHTY.

Carolyn

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Carolyn is a regular and experienced blogger. We are friends since university and though we haven’t spend much time together since, we have remarkably similar stories to tell. She blogs at carolynphillips.co.uk and has written a piece called, On being a Mighty Woman, which leads me on to also recommend her book review of Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist, which you can read here.

I really hope some more everyone-a-writer friends will take up their pen or their typing digits and share some Five Minute posts with me before the weekend is out.

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To run from here and find a quiet place …

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I’m delighted that so many friends are offering pieces for the Five Minute Friday party. This one is from Sarah; our first piece in poetry form.

Voices ring like claxons in my head

My eyes assaulted by a coloured blur

The mingled scents of humans in my nose

The acrid taste of fear invades my mouth

Surrounded by too much to take it in

Each sense clamours for my minds review

Each touch, sight, smell or sound another blow

I cannot comprehend the things I feel

So buffeted in every sense I stand

And standing in itself becomes a fight

My younger self trying to wrest control

To run from here and find a quiet place

Then deep within speaks a familiar voice

‘Be still my child, and know that I am God’

And quiet returns to still my anxious soul

For even in the turmoil, He is peace

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Why not join us? Write for 5 minutes on the subject of CROWDS. Post it on your blog and link up to mom blogger Lisa-Jo Baker using the linky on her site.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a blog, post it in the comment section on her website or send it to me and I’ll post it for you. You’re welcome!.

What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, “CROWDS’

The crowd grows …

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Today I’m encouraging my friends to take five minutes to write for the heart, and this post is form my dear friend Katie who has taken out five minutes to pen her thoughts on the subject of CROWDS.

CROWD is a place or space were I do not feel safe

Space all filled with noises, smells and people a place I want to escape with haste
It’s taste makes me feel fear, I want to run from here!
But each time I am in the crowd I learn to stand and take my place as part of the space
I learn more ‘n’ more that God is with me and for me so I shall not be afraid I will learn to stand n take my place in the space and not leave with haste

5minutefriday

Why not join us? Write for 5 minutes on the subject of CROWDS. Post it on your blog and link up to mom blogger Lisa-Jo Baker using the linky on her site.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a blog, post it in the comment section on her website or send it to me and I’ll post it for you. You’re welcome!.

What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, “CROWDS’

 

More crowds

Sometimes at the weekends I like to join mom blogger Lisa-Jo Baker on Five Minute Friday and this week I have invited some friends to join me.

I’m delighted that one has already responded to the challenge. She’s a true wordsmith and gifted communicated with an incredible grace story to tell. She would like her offering to be published anonymously (which I shall respect) and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have.

START

Crowd. Is that ‘crowd’ as a noun or a verb ? I need to know. It matters. I don’t want to start off wrong. Or… maybe, I get to decide – even worse ! I’m a woman of a certain age now, you know, where any kind of minor decision making sends me into a mental tailspin. The big stuff is easy. Its the small, everyday stuff that causes a fog to descend within my brain…….

Right, well, I choose both. There ! But, now what ? Is this supposed to be about what ‘crowd’ means to me ? Um…. that could get personal.

I could write about how lonely I feel in a crowd and yet how I crave the anonymity brought by being within one. By the way, at what point does a group become a crowd ? Is there a specific number that constitutes a crowd ? And why does my brain ask questions so incessantly ? Four here already and I’ve barely started. Questions, thoughts, forward planning and backward reflecting all crowd my mind on a daily basis. So I run – literally – to escape them, and success comes fleetingly as my ipod blares, my body strains and I delight in the feeling of  revitalising fresh air brushing over my face. No crowds there today, but come the summer, there surely will be. Crowds bring this town to life. So crowds can be good. Crowds can test your determination to not just go with the flow but, rather, push through them to reach someone or something that you really, really want. Crowd means people – an undeterminable number of them – doing something and being something. Crowds bestow a sense of togetherness, a sense of safety and of belonging.

Now, isn’t that what everyone really wants ?

5minutefriday

What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, ‘CROWDS’.

Why not join in sharing some words. Message me!

Crowds

Today I’m sharing my post on Five Minute Friday, a weekly link up from mom blogger Lisa-Jo Baker.

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What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, ‘CROWDS’

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START

Mark is the gospel of the crowd.

News of him spreads on the inland winds, it’s in the fresh flow of water pulled from a deep well and on the tongue of every passing vagrant, rebel in hiding or woman cast out from her home. The sun sets and the day ends and still they gather, the whole town at his door because everyone is looking for Jesus. No time to eat or rest as the crowds collect and swarm, pressing in closer to hear or to touch him. People are travelling mile upon mile, step by humble step, over mountains, through ancient passes and in from the desert. Some come on crutches and other are carried, they’re tardy and weary, walking and running, the lost and the lame all searching for Jesus. No house can keep him, no town can hold him, no demon can stand him, no soul can contain him, not the words that he says not the things that he does. The whole thing now started, must run to its end.

There in the early morning whilst it is still dark, solitary on a boat, on a mountainside alone or secretly seeking sanctuary in the home of a friend, Jesus prayed:

“Our Father, thy will be done. Thy will be done and not mine.”

And Jesus is master of the crowd. No individual missed in the blurring of faces, in conflicting voices  that battle attention, he fixes his gaze on the ones he came to save. Just the one.

A man with leprosy is made clean, a paralysed man lowered through the ceiling in front of Jesus is healed, five thousand are fed in a place called nowhere from a resource called nothing, a mute boy speaks, a blind man by the roadside receives his sight, a foreign woman from a far Northern place rushes home to find her troubled daughter now at peace.

At the Mount of Olives and entering Jerusalem the people of the spreading cloaks and branches  on the road cry out and their voices horde and swell. In the temple courts amongst the money changers and religious elite time is running out and the greater crowds arrive for the Passover feast. A quiet room, in secret, Jesus gathers friends, just a few, to tell them what must pass. So that when the crowd cry, “Crucify Him’ and he’s as good as dead and gone, there’s still a few good men and women from amongst that crowd who can not quite give up on a solitary and lonely truth: the truth that surely this man was the Son of God.

STOP.

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