HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Five Minutes of …Be(ing) Still with GypsyMama and my Five Minute Friends


So on Fridays, we take the dare to become Word Artists. To throw editing and proof reading and critically raised eyebrows out the window. We finger paint with our words – in pink and blue and dark purple. In glitter glue and bright green.

Just five minutes. No more. No less.

Come play word art with us, why don’t you. It’s easy. Lisa-Jo is over on (in) courage this morning with todays prompt.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word on the prompt, “Still.”
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Get a little crazy with encouragement in the comments of the five minuter who linked up before you.

When you’re ready give us your best unedited, post on the prompt …

STILL … Go…

” He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; …

Still

Which is easy in good times … and maybe even after the trials. But day to day I know that I forget to be still … I sometimes forget to be still.

“The Lord will fight for me and I will keep my peace.” Exodus 14:14

Sometimes I forget to be still in the fight of this life.

I love it when life is at ease and pleasant and still.

I remember wanting the time when the boys would talk and walk, thinking life would somehow become easier to decipher. I was alone with two of the greatest little guys on the planet! I wanted them to talk and be independent. And then somewhere in my singleparenthood I expected them to be more mature and independent…

I now wish I had been still … that time had been still…because it wasn’t and it isn’t and these guys are adults now and life is not easier.

There is a place I have found where I am still. In my spirit there is a meeting where I am able to stop time and recoup the day and seek solutions for the life that is doing everything but being still.

Prayer … Praise … Worship

God has guided me to prayer. I surrender in prayer … I commune with God where immediately waves of life, crashing around me are incapable of pulling me under and drowning out …

His STILL small voice. Under the wings of the Almighty where things are still and quiet and safe….

STOP!

Paddling to the Still

“Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.” Eckhart Tolle

Crash

“Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.”Aldous Huxley

Be(ing) Still

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”  Hermann Hesse

Prayer

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.”Amy Carmichael

Mentions after the Five!

The surfer in these photos from last summer is one of my dearest friends,mentorm the assistant pastor of my church. and lead singer and leader of our Worship Band! She is the mother of 6 children and grandmother to 2 (yes, in these pics!). She is an incredible person and her ability to be STILL is amazing and I have spent the last 10 years aspiring and learning from this incredible lady. She has taught me so much about God and Prayer and Leadership and yes … STILLNESS. I love her deeply, much more than she knows, she sometimes takes me to God,when I can’t find Him, where He saves my life again.

These pics were taken on LBI in New Jersey … where I believe she is surfing at this very moment. She once told me the most beautiful experience she had with God was on the Atlantic Ocean …. much like you see in the first photo … and it began to rain. She said the music of the rain on the water was the most beautiful music and the most peaceful sensation she has ever enjoyed.

I try to imagine that … and my heart aches to know that kind of Stillness in God.

* quotes inserted after the five minutes…however they were found before the writing began.

Blessings Loves


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Courageous Prayer … few words thursday


Few Words Thursday ~ Summer

Welcome

Here on HOPEannFAITH Thursdays are about intense and concise posts.

There are no real rules. No strict word counts. However, it this writers attempt at getting the most content in the least words possible.

Why? Because Hopeannfaith is longwinded…and if you’ve read any of my posts (yeah, even the thursday posts!) you know I’m stating unadulterated fact.

Click the photo above and the page will explain what I am merely attempting.

I welcome your comments and participation! I would love to spend this Thursday with you! Simply place your blog link in comments and I will add them to this post!

Blessings Loves

✫✫✫•°*”˜˜”*°• ☀.ƸӜƷ ☀..¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•✫✫✫

It’s been over a week since I’ve posted … I was at an awesome conference with my church family. God‘s focus for me was prayer. Others got great things that God wanted them to receive…and God pointed me to prayer.

A friend and fellow writer/blogger posted this a few days ago:

When you pray dangerous prayers, good-bye to the safe, ordinary life!” ~ Dawn King

I’ve experienced this “dangerous prayer”; I’ve said at least one and it led to the last year being one of personal change, transition and transformation; Spirit, Soul and Body!

I prayed a specific prayer for God to remove all that was not producing fruit for His Kingdom. It was a sincere prayer, that was honestly focused first on my health and God being a faithful parent answered. I was stunned at the quick answer and the results of that prayer.

That sincere prayer resulted in the  Heart Event. Since then things have been slowly improving. The damage I did to this Temple of God is mine to repair, and God is faithful to help and keep His promise of Divine Healing.

But what of the “dangerous prayer”? What does that mean?

Dangerous is defined:1: exposing to or involving danger. 2: able or likely to inflict injury or harm.

Dangerous in Dawn’s quote means exposing that which is not producing fruit for the Kingdom of God to danger and removal.

It speaks to God answering our prayers according to His will and glory. This definitely puts the enemy in danger.

I like the term “Courageous Prayer” …

Courageous is defined: 1: having or showing courage; having or showing bravery.

The bible calls for me (us) to be courageous.

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you?                                                                                 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”                                                                                                                                                    ~ Joshua 1: 7-9

God wants to transform us through prayer! I found that TRUTH when I prayed that prayer 14 months ago!

And praying is how that transformation comes about. Praying a courageous, sincere and fearless prayer for one’s life can be truly dangerous.

Why?

Because, when entered into with a sincere heart, God will seriously begin to perform surgery in your darkest corners. God knows a sincere and pure heart; and He will faithfully remove each and every thing that is contrary to His Word and Will.

Courageous Prayer causes absolute change in ones Spirit, Mind and Body. It is the teardown before the renovation. The renovation where we become the who God planned us to be.

But this courage takes practice.

My friend, and Author, Margie Fleurant: The River Ministries, said this while teaching on Prayer for Transformation at the conference:

“The practice of prayer goes from … Sacrifice to Joy … from … Desire to Discipline to Delight.”

I’ve been practicing prayer in a focused fashion for a year now. It has TRANSFORMED me, my life, my family and my household.

Now I believe I am in a place where my desire is being transformed into a discipline. And while I delight in prayer once I am there, I look forward to the desire to do nothing but pray, very soon. 🙂

I desire to delight in the delight of simply praying.

I have a friend whose calling is Intercessory Prayer. Now I don’t know if that is what I am being called to; honestly my calling is to write what God gives me to write; to evangelize, to minister and to encourage, through words.

And … how much better will that calling do it’s job when backed by courageous prayer? I focus on this transformation in the call of writing on my life!

The bible says I am the righteousness of God ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21.

The bible also says that the prayers of the righteous man avail much. ~ James 5:16

Where are you in your Practice of Prayer? What transformation are you ready for in your life?

Will you prayer for these things Courageously? Let me know, I will pray in agreement with you!

 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  ~ Matthew 18:19

Blessings Loves  ♥

Now it’s your turn! JOIN US … I will add the link to your post here. If you don’t blog, leave your thoughts and prayer requests in comments!  ♥


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Change Your Thinking: Change the World


Change Your Thinking by Maryellen
Smith

“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” – Ralph
Waldo Emerson

At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?

(Author: Maryellen Smith)

Self Reliance was a writing prompt that was supposed to last 31 days. As you can see it continues far past the announced time frame of the original prompt … so they keep coming.

I found early on that I DID NOT resonate with the prompts. The spent an inordinate amount of the prompts on the same concept, simply worded differently. Like those psych exams I took, when I was a social worker, to see if I had the ability to help others consistently (and let’s be honest, to make sure I wasn’t a sociopath) before I was employed.

Therefore, I really didn’t participate as much as I would have liked to, in the prompts. I did participate, however, when I was able to see the Faith of Emerson’s writing; where it appeared that the people who were running the prompts either did not see it (how that was possible, I don’t know) or chose to ignore it.

Like the prompts and the psych tests … repeating a thing or action over and over does not make it truth. It simply proves insanity!

You know the definition: Insanity is doing (saying) the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

Yeah … if you are intelligent (sane) that thinking doesn’t fly. This is a given, as you are sane. 🙂

That (long-winded explanation) being said, I liked this prompt so I will write, because it does not require me to rely upon my …

‘Self Reliance’

… which I am not supposed to do. I am directed to rely upon God‘s knowledge and not my own understanding. We are directed to let go and let God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

My fate does, most certainly, rely on my thinking (my internal attitude).

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

The only way I change my fate is to change my thinking, and with my thinking changed, I change my attitude.

The bible says:

1Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

If mine is the doctrine of the world … which our first scripture warns against, I become self-reliant. Self reliance, for me, leads to grandiose thinking and reasoning. It leads to an attitude of entitlement and self centeredness. These are the things the world endorses.

“Every man for himself”.

A personal character defect of mine.

When my doctrine becomes the Word of God I become reliant, dependant, upon God, my creator. The Man with the plan; Jeremiah 29:11. I can crawl out of my self thinking and self-exalting and relax, knowing things are being handled at a higher level of thinking …

Isaiah 55:9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

When I change the way I think about where I am today, with the understanding that the plan is God’s, not mine, then I begin to believe His Word as to who, what and why I am.

My attitude becomes that of a loved child who is encouraged to succeed, expected to succeed; therefore I succeed.

My attitude becomes one of the child who is loved and sees the need to give that love out. I know that others, who do not know that they have the backing of the Creator, as I do, need me to extend that UNCONDITIONAL LOVE to them.

Our pastor said somethingdifferently yesterday.  Something I knew as a truth, yet he was able to illuminate it for me, He said:

Compassion much overtake empathy.

I heard this in my Spirit:

“My empathy for you is useless, unless … my compassion for you moves me to action.” This is God thinking … Kingdom thinking.

When I change the way that I think … I change my fate.

When I change my thoughts to God thoughts … I change the world!

Blessings Loves


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[at a] Loss … in five {not}


       Happy Friday Loves ♥

       I’m joining the ladies over at The Gypsy Mama again this friday.

       Where we share our hearts, in five minutes or unedited, unchanged writing. This prompt is not about the writing. It is about the heart of the writing, the story or the writer and the unedited emotions evoked by the prompt.

So put your eraser and your inner critic away for 5 and show us your heart on this weeks prompt … [it’s a hard one, and Lisa-jo has loosened the time limit …]

{ I have battled this prompt for quite a time this morning. Typing and deleting thoughts and concepts, not for asthetic writing purposes, but because I would get to a point and be at a loss … pun, very much intended.

I find my best writing is words that actually belong to the Spirit of God. You, my loving readers, resonate best to what God has to say through me, rather than me trying to convey God through my writing. So I struggled and then God, faithful always, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “are you at a loss?”

Loss … Go …

I stand at a loss with this subject. Literally!

In my constant quest for Wholeness and Serenity I find that this subject flies in the face of those positives.

Loss asks me to view the tatters of my life … the discarded things that made me ill; physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually.

So what have I loss(t) that was good to loss(e)?

I’ve lost the priviledge of ignoring my health. In this I have found a better way of living.

I’ve lost my desire to please my mother. In this I have gained a peace that is only troubled when I allow her to rattle the latch of my gate …

I’ve lost my parenthood to my son’s adulthood. In this I am gaining [I haven’t mastered this one yet] a different view of the boys who have become men.

I’ve lost my bustling full house to an empty nest … not sure what will be gained here, now.

Over the years I’ve lost and discarded some hard things. Mostly little by little. Somedays I think, ‘when was the last time…?’ Therein is a great loss, because I didn’t even realize there was a loss.

When we look back we will realize there has been tremendous losses … tiny losses that we didn’t feel fall away, and tragic losses that took huge chunks of our hearts with them. But at the end of the day this is a life.

And life does what life does … it moves and adjusts and fills in where things have been lost.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed
away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

STOP…

{not sure I am happy with this post. but that is what five minute friday is about, right? I wrote, at the end, my heart. when I look at this one it seems small and unexplained. but then, how does one really explain the loss in a life accurately in these tiny containers we call words? Loss is an integral part of life … without it new cannot be added. and God wants to add to our lives, abundantly, and that requires us to loose those things that are not of Him.}

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see
it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the
dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Blessings Loves.


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The Grace provided in Serenity ♥


few words thursday …Good Morning my friends.

Today I will attempt to describe where I am in regards to Serenity … if you’ve been here on Thursdays before you know the route … if not, WELCOME and feel free to join me … simply click through my surf photo for the (non) rules!

In an earlier post(s) on one or the other of my blogs I have wondered, stressed over or delved into SERENITY. In a recent post I defined it.

Quietude … a condition of the mind, a peacefulness with the status of one’s being right where they are …

There are slogans a many that some will recognize and identify, while others will recognize without knowing the origin of the phrase. Like a comfortable form of de ja vu they will know that they know where to slogan came from, but it will escape them for the moment…

Time takes time…

Pain before Serenity…

Be where you is…

First things first…

We have a choice…

God could and would if He were sought…Sobriety then Serenity…It’s a selfish program…

These are the ones that struck me between the eyes this morning.

I woke up to God re-wording Reinhold’s prayer for me:

God…Has granted me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change…He has granted me the courage to change the things that I can … and He has granted me the WISDOM to know the difference.

[God could and would if He were sought…] Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

[Sobriety then Serenity…] For me it is the Sobriety of Mind … I must work each day [time takes time…] toward sober thinking. Then and only then am I granted, GRACED with COURAGE and WISDOM.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

… a sound mind, self-discipline, good judgement…sobriety of mind!

I just found this!!! It has me a bit excited and now I must find this particular bible …Douay-Rheims Bible

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of sobriety. 2tim1:7

[It’s a selfish program…] For me this one is important because of the world’s view. While the world, society, is into entitlement and hedionism to the enth degree … if a thing is about IMPROVEMENT it is considered “selfish”.

I am entitled to live and indulge as I please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Right? I am justified in my vengence and revenge if I have been wronged. Right? … society sees these as inaliable rights! When these are rooted in selfishness and self centeredness. The world view tells this society that these are entitlements, rights, yet somehow they are NOT selfish.

Yet, let me improve myself. Let me seperate myself out to recover from the confusion and choas of [my] life. Let positive change and boundaries take hold; changing who I am, and I instantly become …

SELFISH and SELF INVOLVED and SELF CENTERED

When I call out to God in my trial He will only focus on what it is in me that needs fixing!

The disturbance in me … is me!

When I call out to God, begging Serenity … begging Peace … He requires that I fix something in me.

SO… YES … IT IS a self program.

LIFE is a selfish program … Spirituality is a selfish program …

For my life to be about Christ [because it isn’t about me … it IS about Jesus] I must focus on recovering, repairing, fixing the disturbances in ME.

Reinholds prayer is beautiful and cathartic. Yet, when one [I] comes to a place of truly knowing God one must see that the wording is wrong.

When I woke this morning I realized as this prayer whispered it’s request in my soul, my Spirit [My Holy Spirit] rose in me and whispered sweetly …

” Child, I HAVE granted you these things, by the GRACE of MY ONLY SON. Now… take hold of them. Grasp them and embrace them, they are my gift each day.” ~ GOD

How do you seek serenity? What would give you peace today love?

May you know Peace today … the Person Peace … may He walk with you on this path!

God could and would if He were sought…May you find Him now. 🙂

Blessings Loves

 

 


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Five Minutes of Grateful …


Welcome to Friday!

I’m hooking up with Lisa-Jo again to share her 5 minute writing prompt. A wonderful community of women who spend a short five minutes of writing their hearts, in real life… No edits, no corrections, no take backs!

Although, we sometimes admit to adding just a touch of extra love in pictures, videos and such! 😉

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back to thegypsymama.com and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code
in my right side bar}

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words
meant to you.
Every writer longs to feel heard.

OK, ready? Share with us  your heart and best five minutes for the
prompt:

Grateful…

Sunshine and flowers, puppies and laughter are things I enjoy in my day to day.

For these I am grateful!

A bible to read in a world where there really are people who have never seen one, and tragically those who have died for possessing one!

For this I am grateful.

The ability to write my heart and have it shared in an infinite environment, reaching others I will likely never know.

I am grateful for this.

Coffee and clean water in bottles.

A roof and walls and floors of ancient wood, with lacey curtains fluttering in the warm summer morning breeze.

For these I am grateful.

Salvation and Favor, Grace and Unconditional Love …

for a Loving Heavenly Father who truly loves and never fails, no matter my failures …

For that I am eternally and infinitely grateful.

For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but enjoy eternal life. God did not send his Son to the world to condemn us, but to save us through Him! Those who believe in Him are not condemned but are SAVED through Him …

Light has come into the world…

Whoever lives by the Truth comes into the light, so that it can be seen clearly that what they have done (everything they have done!) had been done in  the sight of God.

John 3:16-21 [in my words]

For this my very center clinches and renders me to my knees in an unbearable gratefulness that in my humanity I cannot bear, but in this tremendous gratitude my Spirit rejoices and thrives!

Blessings Loves


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Doing What I Know to Do …


welcome to few words thursday …click the picture to go to the [not so strict] purpose and rules of the ‘fwth’ prompt… 🙂

today i was intrigued by this Self Reliance prompt.

Honestly I was intrigued more by the Emerson quote:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”

I don’t know how to do that. Correction … I am learning how to accomplish this.

 

Worthwhile Day by Jessica Dang

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you
could.”

What is one thing you can do that would make today worthwhile? What’s
stopping you from getting started right now?

(Author: Jessica Dang)

——————————————————————————————

what is the #1 thing i can do to make today worthwhile?

This was a very sharp, double-edged question today … Easy and terribly difficult, at the same time, particularly today.

The #1 thing I do that makes any day worthwhile is to respond to my Calling … to respond to my day to day … by  writing my LIFE and my HEART in a ministering manner.

That makes my day worth while, in the only true way I know … following the Holy Spirit with my pen {keyboard}, to the heart and spirit of a like-minded person who needs to know what God says about things …

THINGS: meaning our day to day life, as we see in Psalm 138:8

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

Other translations say “the Lord perfects that which concerns me…”

Do you know the purpose God has on your life? Do you know your calling?

FYI: Only you and God know what you’ve been called to do, and no one can take that from you …

That is, except [me] YOU.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

the second half of this prompt is:  “what is stopping you from getting started right now?”

Again … that would be me.

Somewhere in the bible it says that satan steals my blessings … and my #1 blessing in this life is God’s Word.

He gave us His Word so that we might exhibit such in our day to day lives and interactions… so that we might SHARE His Word by the telling and example of it in our lives.

Most times we do this through our individual CALLING.

Then the Word says…

2 Timothy 3:16  (MSG)

14-17But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Today I am doing my best not to be fazed … and to write. So nothing is preventing me from getting started doing what it is that makes this and all days worthy while.

I am writing. I am sharing the Word, and my heart ,in the hope that it reaches like-minded souls and assists them, as the Holy Spirit and my trusted counsel assist me.

It is what I do … and while I may be hesitant this day, due to God’s correction [see the scripture verse in bold]… God has provided me everything I need to complete this task He has given me.

What stops you from using you calling? How do you overcome the mental or emotional block that stops you from doing what would make your day worth while?

~~~~~~~~~

I read a something this morning that really spoke to me on this subject, even before I read todays prompt.

Lysa TerKeurst’s blog today dealt with a very similar subject … in her blog she wrote something like this …

My choice is whether or not to give away the power to control my emotions.

When I react, rather than respond, I give away the power to control [my] self, because of the emotion of the situation.

~ when I react to something, I respond and communicate through my emotions, and I have been taught not to respond while I am in an emotional state….there is a popular slogan that speaks to this emotion thing quite well and  some will recognize it quite well:

don’t think … don’t drink … go to a meeting

In instances like these it is the don’t think that is vital. Drinking is not a concern any longer and I go to meetings frequently to maintain sober mindedness and sober behavior.

When I react I give someone or something else power over me.

Void of Power = Void of [self] Control.

Therein, my friends lies both my problem and my solution.

So today I thank God for the work He is doing in me. It always amazes me that He, our Omnipotent Creator, takes the time to …

Perfect what concerns me … even the writing down of my thoughts.

Simply Amazing Faithfulness!

Blessings Loves ♥