Hello, and welcome to Five Minute Friday!

Can you believe we’ve nearly reached the end of August?! Say it isn’t so!

How many of you have kids who went back to school already? (I won’t mention that mine only start after Labor Day …) 😉

Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time!

The prompt for this week was a suggestion from Mollie over at Faith in Plain Sight! Thanks, Mollie!

This week we’re writing on the word:

 

Cristina Re

 

 

Ready? GO!

I dare you to find someone who hasn’t been emotionally hurt or verbally wounded by someone else.

Do you think you can?

I would be very surprised if you could.

Sadly, it’s the nature of human beings, isn’t it? Even if we don’t do it intentionally, we still hurt people.

I suppose the worst is when the wound comes from someone you thought you could trust. Someone you love. It’s easy to place certain people up on a pedestal, almost to the point where we think they can do no wrong.

Perhaps they may even have a specific title, like pastor or counselor, and you think their job should make them immune to hurting others. But guess what? They’re sinners, too, just like you and me.

Jesus Himself chose not to entrust himself to any man, for He knew what was in the heart of man (John 2:24-25).

We would be wise to dismantle any disillusions, to lower any self-made pedestals, to realign our expectations.

Ultimately, our best bet is to place our hope and trust solely on the one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:14).

He’s the only one who will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Place your hope in Jesus Christ, for He will never let you down. Ever.

STOP.

 

Thanks for being here, friends! And guess what? Only one more month until the Five Minute Friday book releases into the world! Spread the word! 🙂

 

It's a Five Minute FridayBOOK!(1)

 

 

Link up your own five minutes of free writing below, then circle back and leave a comment for your link-up neighbor!

 

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What to dowhen you're

 

“It’s not fair!” my insides screamed. My mom was only fifty years old. I was twenty-one and working over 8,000 miles away in South Africa when she got the diagnosis: breast cancer.

Fear clutched my lungs. Tears flowed as I heard about the surgeries from afar. The chemotherapy and radiation treatments she endured, along with all the hostile side effects, seemed like too much.

I thought God was being unjust. My mom deserved more. I made a mental list of all the reasons she shouldn’t have to suffer. She loved the Lord, and people. She had labored as a single mother for years, sacrificing her time and energy for my sister and me. Mom was a perpetual optimist, never complaining, always cheerful. Of all people, why would God allow this to happen to her?

My spiritual pulse went flat. I was supposed to be teaching college students about Jesus, but couldn’t bring myself to crack open the cover of my Bible. I couldn’t even make myself pray.

I wouldn’t have called it anger at the time. Experience in the church taught me that I wasn’t supposed to be angry toward God. But looking back, my spiritual apathy and neutrality during that period were symptoms of underlying animosity.

Through this experience, I learned three important steps to take when you’re angry with God.

Find them over at iBelieve.com by clicking here.

Read Three Steps to Take When You’re Angry with God, over at iBelieve.com.

 

 

Hello!

Welcome to another round of Five Minute Friday! I’m so thrilled that you’re here!

If you’re new in these parts, we’re a community of online writers who gather around a single word prompt every week and free write for five minutes flat.

Sound like fun? It is! And we’d love to have you join us!

Before we get any further, I want to pause and say a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have rallied around our dear sister, Jen Daugherty, after the sudden loss of her mom last week.

I’m so humbled and awed by how you’ve committed to sending cards and even contributed a total of $230 in just a few days to send a sympathy gift from Five Minute Friday. You guys amaze me! You really do. Thank you for being such a blessing.

Secondly, if you missed it this week, Fistbump Media has a brand new course called 31 Days to #BlogAwesomeness!

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If you have questions, feel free to ask! Or just go ahead and get the course to see for yourself just how awesome it really is!

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Okay, who’s ready to write?

Our Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is:

team

 

Ready? GO.

I admit that I haven’t watched much of the Olympics (gasp!) … For one, we don’t have TV (gasp again!) — but also, I just know myself. If I started streaming Olympic events online, I would get sucked in entirely, and may not see the light of day until after the closing ceremony. And in this season of life, I just can’t afford that kind of hibernation.

It happened when I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Until then, I’d never been much of a soccer fan. But oh my goodness. The vibe in the country during that time was inescapable. I became soccer crazy. I drew up handmade brackets and taped them to our kitchen wall. We even borrowed a TV so I didn’t miss a game. It was ridiculous.

Then came the ultimate identity crisis –if the U.S. played against South Africa, who would I support? I’d lived in Cape Town for eight years by that time, but I was still very much American.

I held an internal debate for a few days until the scale tipped in favor of South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

 

South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup

South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup

 

I may not have been one of hers by birth, but South Africa had adopted me as one of her own.

However, I did come to another conclusion — no matter what team we support, whether in the Olympics, the World Cup, or our son’s T-ball game, there are really only two teams.

Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30).

There’s Team Jesus and Team Satan. We already know who wins in the end.

Where do you stand? Whose team do you belong to?

 

STOP.

Link up your own five minutes of free writing below! And make sure you visit your neighbor to leave an encouraging comment!

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Welcome back to another round of Five Minute Friday!

A huge thank you to all who stopped by last week to celebrate my two-years-hosting-FMF anniversary! It was so much fun!

And congratulations to Catherine T., Amber T., and Diana R. on winning the giveaway prizes!

HappinessDare2

 

 

(Psst … if you didn’t win the giveaway, you can still snag The Happiness Dare and the KraftyKash writer keychain here and here! Don’t forget to use code katemotaung at KraftyKash for a 10% discount off your order!)

 

 

 

 

Last week on Twitter, when the prompt, HAPPY was announced, one FMF member admitted that she didn’t have much to be happy about lately.

Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare, immediately jumped in and confessed that she wrote a lot about being unhappy in her book about happiness.

Then she added this:

DukesLeeTweet

 

Last week, we were celebrating. This week, we’re making space for tears.

I’m very sad to share that we have reason to grieve with a dear FMF friend. This past Tuesday, our sister Jen Daugherty lost her mom unexpectedly.

Jen was one of the four planning committee members for the Five Minute Friday retreat last August.

 

Jen is second from left in this photo. Photo Credit: Mollie Hardman, faithinplainsight.com

Jen is second from left in this photo. Photo Credit: Mollie Hardman, faithinplainsight.com

 

Since Five Minute Friday is all about community, I want to extend an invitation to rally around Jen during this time of acute grief.

Here are three ways you can help:

  1. PRAY! Pray, pray, pray for the God of all comfort to be near and dear to Jen and her family.
  2. If you’d like to be part of a card drive for Jen, please contact me using the form below. I will collect cards for Jen at my address through Friday, August 19th, and send a bundle to Jen at her home address. Let’s be a blessing and show our support through the ministry of words.
  3. I’ve never done this before, but I thought it would be a nice gesture to send a gift to Jen as a token of our sympathy as a Five Minute Friday community. Depending on the amount of money raised, I will select a nice plant or maybe even a tree for Jen to plan in memory of her mom. If you know Jen, you know she loves gardening! Please click on the Go Fund Me campaign to contribute toward a gift.

To send a card to Jen, contact me using this form and I’ll send you my address:

To contribute toward a group gift, visit this GoFundMe campaign.

 

Thank you in advance, friends! This is a large part of what FMF is all about — linking arms and lifting each other up.

On that note …

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

lift

 

And … GO.

The second half of Exodus 17 gets me every time I read it:

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword” (Exodus 17:10-13).

I see this blessed Five Minute Friday community as a precious group of Moseses, Aarons and Hurs. When one of us is growing weary in battle, two more come — one on each side — to lift up hands and sustain tired arms.

We need each other.

I need you. Jen needs our prayers. We each have our own burdens, and many of us are oh, so tired. We long to let our arms fall to our sides in defeat — but God provides help. He sends us Aarons and Hurs and by His grace, we are held up.

My encouragement to you this week — whose arms need lifting up? Who can you stand beside to strengthen as they grow weary in battle? How can you be a blessing, and a welcomed right hand?

Aaron and Hur may have thought their role was small or insignificant — but I doubt Joshua thought so.

STOP.

Related post: When You Have a Burden that Needs to be Lifted

 

Finally, in case you missed it last week …

 

It's a Five Minute FridayBOOK!(1)

 

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