FMF – Rush to Ask Our Friends {4 Questions}

: : Rush : :
A Sudden Movement

** While this post is designed for reaching our chronic illness friends, I believe these are questions to ask any one of our friends. All can benefit!**

Lately, I have been aware of my life and how isolating it can become. As I look at my life, I can’t help but think. . . Would I want to be my friend? Not particularly.

I honestly think it might be scary or intimidating to have a friend to someone like me. Chronic illness is scary. And it is so easy to be concerned that we might say something wrong to someone who is already in great pain – physically and emotionally.

But, what if we rushed to our friends’ aid anyway (obviously listening more than speaking)?

Our friends need us to rush toward them, so they aren’t alone!


What To Say

I want to share some things we can ask our friends who are hurting. These are questions I mentioned elsewhere, but they can help us meet our friends right where they are. These things can truly deepen our friendships.

How is God speaking to you right now?

This can open up many doors for our conversations with friends. Our Lord Jesus Christ can speak to us through so many things! Let’s begin asking this big question and grow – as we learn from one another!

How can I pray for you?

Ohhh, how our friends need us to ask this question. In all honesty? They probably aren’t asked this question, enough.

What are you watching on Netflix or YouTube? Or reading?

Chronic illness or not, many of us use one of these sources of entertainment. Even if we are not a TV watcher, we can share what we are reading.

If someone asked me this question, my answer would change depending on the day. While one day I may be a Gilmore Girls observer, the next I might be fully wrapped up in the book of Isaiah.

This is a very basic question that we can ask, even to a brand new friend. And, it opens doors to new shared interests.

What is on your mind?

This one, can open so many doors.
Our minds can wander to many places. Even if we may not feel well, our hearts might be focused on the Middle East or the homeless.

This question allows us to really meet our friends, and see what is on their hearts and maybe even breaking their hearts.

How is your mental health holding up, in spite of your trials?

This is such an important question. We need to check on our friends, so they aren’t fighting suicidal thoughts on their own. It is so easy to find ourselves in our own war. We need to join our friends, and help them however we can.

Featured image by Tim Foster (of Unsplash).

Blessings to you, my friends!

In Christ,

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Community: The Time’s Now

Friends and readers,

I have a wee little announcement to make. For a long time, I have talked about the need for community. The passion for companionship with like-minded followers of Jesus Christ – is something that can drive many of us. It can influence our decisions and lead the way in our lives.

For my own life, I have felt the intense longing for companionship and seen how this longing can drive me the wrong direction if I am not careful. Even so, I have seen how we treat “needing community/companionship” as though something is terribly wrong with us.

The Bible teaches us about the truth. In the Gospel, we see humans with a sinful nature come to know they need Jesus Christ. In learning about our need for a Savior, we learn also about our need for His beloved Church.

We need one another.

We aren’t capable to live our Christian life on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, those who are experiencing the Gospel and His powerful transformation.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we were made for community. And so, I am pursuing a new avenue in connection with this blog.

With that said, my announcement: I have made an online small group for my blog readers and myself to draw near to Jesus together, pray together, search the Scriptures together, and stay encouraged despite circumstances – together!

I want to invite you into a closed Facebook small group. Only God knows the outcome of such a step in faith. But, willfully I come and invite you all to join me too in our online small group. Don’t worry about the “what if’s” or “possibly not keeping up”. I invite you to come and join me. Let’s “do life” together, and just enjoy Jesus Christ – our Savior!

On Monday, we begin a four week Bible study on the book of Philippians. As someone who struggles in her quiet time, I invite you to join me as we dive into Scripture at our own pace and support one another in our walk with the Lord.

Image by Hannah Busing.

In Him,

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The Jesus-Girl Who Reads Her Bible

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Some of us are quite familiar with Psalm 1. Contrary to what one might think, it isn’t because of the actual Psalm itself. There is a different reason for it.

For myself I am familiar with many first chapters of the Bible, because I have “attempted” to read through a particular book of the Bible. Even though I am aware of the first chapter’s existence, this doesn’t mean I am without a lesson to learn. Neither are you, my friend, because God stands ready to meet us here.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night (Psalm 1:2, AMPC).

Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night (MSG).

How much do you want to be an influential woman whose life is stamped by God’s transformative power?

We become God’s daughters, from the first moment of our responding to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. As God’s daughters, we are invited into a whole new world, that we would not be able to experience – outside of our spiritual adoption.

As God’s daughters, He wants to joyously overwhelm us with His presence and power. This happens, as we dive into His Word.

We are invited to sing – dance – jumping up and down – and thrill after God’s very word – the Bible! This is a desire God wants to give us, as His daughters. It is something we can only do, as God gives us that craving for the spiritual things.

While this world may leave us feeling empty, God wants to fill us up. He wants to make sure that our spiritual cup (lives) never run low on His living water (Jesus). God wants to make sure we stay satisfied, and it is in Him that we find such satisfaction.

In Jesus, we are made whole. Our faces don’t need a make-over, but our hearts do. God wants to give us a spiritual make-over and He does this, as we willfully seek Him through the Bible and prayer. God wants to give us the eternal make-over.

Reading the Bible needs to be something we habitually do. In our daily lives, let us run and grab our Bible at the chance of eating spiritually and becoming fully nourished.

Everything in our lives has a tendency of revealing how well (or unwell) we are being spiritually nourished. As we sit with Jesus, reading our Bibles, soaking up the Holy Spirit’s influence in our lives, we are being transformed. Our attitude changes from distasteful and anger-filled to that of a patient Jesus girl who loves and explodes with kindness on those around her.

When the Bible becomes our daily companion, God shows up in our lives – in growing amounts. As we go through our day today, may we become Jesus girls who run to Him and soak up His Bible-based truths – seeking to apply them!

Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez.

FMF – Joy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “joy”. FMF is a weekly online gathering of writers where we write for five unedited minutes. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details…

After two decent health days, I am back to any motion of standing trying to bring me down like a deck of cards (which apparently means I rather skip dinner than stand again…). It’s been weeks of feeling like this. Nonstop almost, or so it seems. I could scream. I could verbally share my frustrations with the world, or even manipulate my facebook account into sending out word weapons in effort to share my true thoughts on the subject (of standing).

… But, it will not bring me joy.

Joy isn’t a feeling.

It has to be a heart felt response to – yes- our lives, but more than that. Joy is something God is capable of giving us – even when we feel like we are in a place that is quite rough.

Joy is deliberate.

It is found in my mindset, and where those thoughts wander.

It is found in what I choose to do with my time, mind, and energy level – while I sit in captivity and do anything but stand.

. . .

I started writing out the Word of God. As a chronically ill person, I have quantities of time available. But, that’s not my identity. My identity is wrapped up in my Savior, not these moments where I sit on my bed wondering what to do with myself for the rest of the day… God is where the joy is found.

I have been trying to write out the Word of God, in these moments. It’s a new habit I am forming. It allows me to get to know my Abba Father on a much more intimate level. This is where the joy is found.

While standing is not anything joyful, God is present in the storm. God is the One strengthening my body as I rise, and giving my heart the courage to stand.

God is the One giving me courage and joy, in midst of heartache.

While our trials don’t last forever (imagine that!), my God does. Scripture is clear. God endures forever. It is found in Scripture many many times. Just as God endures forever, so does every single one of His attributes – including joy. This is what He gives, He lovingly offers to those who have believed in His Son Jesus Christ and been called into His beautiful family!

During today’s Scripture writing, I came across this verse in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

“God is faithful! God has chosen you to share life with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I absolutely love this verse. Jesus is my forever companion, and that is where my joy is found!

Jesus is my full-time Companion who walks with me during the storm, and brings with Him joy to be available to me.

I really enjoyed Andrew’s guest post on Five Minute Friday. Be sure to check out his post.

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Impact #1

im·pact

  1. to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
  2. to press together

The Introduction (I Should Probably Give. . .)

I love visiting blogs, where the writer shares their lives. I have seen on, at least, one blog – where the gal will write in – with specific things in mind. So, I thought I would give it a try. I am calling it, impact. This is the name of this part of my blog, for one simple reason.

Many things impact our lives, which lead us to impact others by what we say and do.

Our goal in life, ought to be Jesus. Let’s run to Jesus and the abundant life He wants to give us, shall we?

The Questions –

Feeling – It has been a trying week, but I am seeing God’s handiwork. I am pretty joyful (overall, not without my sorrow-filled moments), considering standing brings out debilitating symptoms (and sometimes a little too close to blacking out).

…ehem…

Actually, I have even woken up many times with specific praise songs laid upon my heart. The Holy Spirit has caused my spirit to start singing the lyrics to specific songs, throughout the day (or during the night). For me, it shows I am pursuing Christ (and He is working in my heart)- even in the middle of my storm. Humming songs in silence isn’t my common practice, but it shows God’s working and causing my faith to become stronger.

Studying – I have been studying Psalms 98 and Luke 19:37-40. This is such a powerful set of Scriptures to get our hands on. God is doing incredible, out-of-this-world, things in our lives, and we need to praise Him. We need to break out our musical instruments and voices, to sing our hearts out with an abundance of joy – that God gives to us.

Reading –

Listening To – Last few weeks, I have been enjoying “Everything” by Lifehouse (Find the “Everything” skit on YouTube, if you get a chance). Then, there is the whole “Party Like a Princess” by Jamie Grace. That one I am really enjoying celebrating too.

Celebrating – Today, I am celebrating who God is. God is providing me with the encouragement, strength, and ministering that I need. Even while I face health struggles, God is my Constant and shows me that He is the One fighting for me! (Exodus 14:14; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Romans 8:31).

Loving – These days, I am loving silence. While I enjoy entertainment in form of iTunes, Netflix, and movies, I love the option of shutting it off to read a book or just talk with the Lord. I am learning to be okay with silence (even crave it). Silence helps me draw nearer to the Lord and feel His presence.

Silence ushers me into God’s Presence, through the Holy Spirit.

Which reminds me that… I am whole, completely full, and lacking nothing.

So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Col. 2:10, NLT).

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Ps. 23:1, NIV).

Praying – Right now, I am praying for my family and our needs to be met. I am praying for God to work a miracle on our behalf.

Holding Onto – Knowing God is fighting for me (see 1 Peter 1:5).

Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you (1 Peter 1:5a; VOICE).

Other Scriptures – Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 10-13