Truth: Look for it With Eyes and Ears Wide Open

The word truth is the Five Minute Friday word for this past week. I am a little late with mine, but I have not been idle.

The truth is, I couldn't seem to find the words to write, but I did spend more time outside. Click To Tweet

 

My garden needed attention, and I needed the exercise and the fresh air. While outdoors I looked for beauty and found it in many places. Truth can be found in creation. I took photos, wrote haiku and must have found words, because I went slightly over five minutes. 

 

Truth in the beauty of creation

 

What is truth?

 

Many people are divided over that question. Thinking about truthfulness, the word honesty comes to mind. When we ask questions, we expect that the answer given us will be true.

But what happens when people see things from different vantage points? Each tells a different story, but which is true? Or are they both true but told from different perspectives.

 

Sometimes we jump to conclusions before we have heard the whole story or seen all the evidence. Click To Tweet

 

We have been watching “Father Brown” on Netflix. It is a series loosely based on G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories.

The inspector in the series is always jumping the gun based on circumstantial evidence. But Father Brown is slow and methodical, thinking things through and asking questions.

Eventually, he uncovers the facts and always seems to confound the inspector.

 

That is why it is important to listen and weigh the facts. Click To Tweet

 

That is why it is important to listen, weigh the facts and then make a decision or come to a conclusion. I know at times I came to a wrong conclusion with my kids, because I answered before actually listening to all that they wanted to say.

 

 

God has been teaching me to “hold my tongue” more, especially in the area of politics. I don’t like the way people accuse others, and even Christians can be very unkind. It seems to me the best way is to learn to listen to each other and together search for the truth.

 

Truth Sets You Free

 

In the Bible we are told that the truth will set us free. Jesus said that he is the way, the truth and the life. He is truth personified. By the sacrifice of his life and subsequent Resurrection, he made it possible for us to have life eternal. He has set us free from the chains that would bind us and hold us down.

 

(John 14:5-6 NIV)
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

(John 8:31 NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #Glimpses, #InspireMeMonday, #MomentsofHope, #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord

Less Equals More When Stress is Lost and Rest is Gained

It’s Five Minute Friday time again.  The idea is to write for five minutes whatever comes to mind based on the prompt. We don’t worry about editing and try to keep within the limit. This week the prompt word is More. Sometimes more can actually mean less. Stay with me and I’ll show you what I mean. 

 

More or Less

 

We are a culture who always wants more. Click To Tweet
There never seems to be enough of whatever it is we want or think we need. We are constantly being told that we need this car or this dress or these shoes or that house…. It seems that in order to be happy we have to buy the latest and best. At least that’s what the ads want us to think.

 

Is There a Better Way?

 

What if we stopped craving what we don’t have and take a good look at what we do have? If we could learn to be satisfied rather than always wishing for more, I think our lives would be less stressful.

 

Late afternoon sun spreading light.

 

I realize that some people have found this secret and they have learned to live with less. Instead of wishing they had more, they are finding more freedom with less. Click To Tweet

When you don’t have a lot of stuff around, housecleaning can be simple. If you only have a few dishes, you have to wash them before the next time. If you have tons of dishes you can just put them in the dishwasher, get a clean one every time. Then they just pile up.

The same thing could be said about clothes and shoes. I know I have too many of a lot of things, but it takes intention to go through clutter. I am making progress, though.

 

A relaxing place in the woods.

 

I know that as I minimize I will have more free time, more time to enjoy life and much less stress. And that's the kind of “more” we could all use, don't you think? Click To Tweet

 

Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 

 

Phil. 4:12-13 CSB

I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

I’m linking up with: #Five Minute Friday, #FaithonFire

 

Singing Transcends Cultures and Peoples and Time

Sing is the prompt for Five Minute Friday this week. I remembered singing this chorus in my church when I was a teen. I don’t know who wrote it, but it was on the back of our small chorus book.

Sing when the day is bright
Sing thro’ the darkest night
Every day, all the way
Let us sing! Sing! Sing!

 

Music Speaks to All

There is something about music that transcends all cultures and peoples. Click To TweetMusic can speak when you don’t know the language. And when singing isn’t possible, a smile also goes far to reach other people.

 

Singing

 

My sons love to listen to a *Japanese group and have many of their albums. They are learning the words, but even without knowing them they are drawn to this group. My youngest said he read the translation of some of the songs and found that they have hope in them. Somehow, he seemed to know that anyway, even before he read the words.

A song can brighten our spirits even when we don't feel like singing. Click To Tweet

I love to listen to music when I’m in the car whether alone or with others. When I’m alone, driving somewhere, I often put the music up loud and sing along. I’ve even been know to move a little with the music. It loosens me up and lifts my spirits.

 

 

Music Comes in Many Styles

I listen to a variety of music from Louis Armstrong, Cliff Richard, Downhere, Tenth Avenue North, Michael Card, Fernando Ortega, Gungor, Switchfoot and many others. There is something about music and singing that reaches almost everyone. Click To Tweet

 

*The Japanese group is MUCC.  I’d like to share one of their popular songs called Yasashii Uta, which in English means Gentle Song. It sounds very upbeat and happy.

 

Below are a few of the lyrics translated into English. The whole translation can be found HERE.

The people who walk the streets, without change
With grim faces and a quick pace
Where are they walking off to?
What are they walking for?

Hey, please listen! Let’s stop and stand here just a bit longer.
Lalala lalala, we sing under totally different skies.

Everyone has a singing voice
Here and now, let it resound
With singing, you’ll be able to become just a little bit stronger. Let me hear it, your unique song.

We all have our own special song which is the unique story of our lives. Click To TweetMay we let our praise ring out to our glorious Lord, who gives us life and hope and carries us through even the dark days.

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #Glimpses, #InspireMeMonday, #MomentsofHope, #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord, #RaRaLinkup, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #porchstories, #HeartEncouragement, #TuneInThursday, #FreshMarketFriday

Resurrection of Jesus Means Hope Will Never Die

The Resurrection of Jesus is one of the greatest events in history, but the few days before it were filled with sadness and pain. Empty is the Five Minute Friday word for this week. I thought of the emptiness the disciples must have felt when Jesus died. Click To Tweet His mother, Mary, would have been crushed as she saw him hanging there. But I like to think she knew the prophecies and held onto the hope He would rise again.

 

Resurrection Hope

 

There was darkness all around. People began to lose hope, because they thought Jesus was going to come with power to overthrow their oppressors.

People began to lose hope. Click To Tweet 

But His power was in His willingness to take the sins of the world upon his own shoulders, break sin’s hold upon us and conquer death by His resurrection.

As I pondered these thoughts I wrote the following poem during my five minutes of free write.

 

An Empty Tomb

 

Empty were their hearts

As hope seemed to be dying

Jesus breathed his last

 

Empty and afraid

Hiding in an upper room

His disciples cried

 

Empty was the tomb

On that first day of the week

Where was his body

 

Mary knelt and cried

Someone gently spoke her name

She gasped! It was He

 

Jesus had risen

Hope was very much alive

Praise His holy name

 

 

I’m linking up with: Marvia’s Holy Week Reflections, #FiveMinuteFriday, #FreshMarketFriday, #Glimpses, #LMMLinkup