You’re invited!

The 3rd annual 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes is gearing up to kick off October 1st, and we want YOU to play along!

The brave, creative Christina Hubbard from CreativeandFree.com is hosting the challenge this year, and it’s going to be the best yet!

 

five minute free writes

 

As we’ve done in the past, we’re joining the broader Write 31 Days community, hosted by Crystal Stine.

What’s 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, you ask? Head on over to Christina’s site for the full scoop, including three fun Choose Your Own Adventure options for the challenge!

One option to help you write for five minutes flat every day in October is to follow along with these provided prompts:

 

five-minute-friday-writing-prompts-2016

Who’s excited??

I’ve had so much fun doing Write 31 Days for the past three consecutive years. I hope you take up the challenge and join in as well! You might just surprise yourself! ūüėČ

AND … to warm up your typing fingers and give them some pre-October conditioning, Christina is hosting a special edition link-up on Tuesday, September 20th!

Remember during #fmfparty on Twitter one week, how we said it would be fun to share our writing playlists?

Well, Christina is making it happen!

Read more here and get ready to join the What’s Your Groove Playlist Link-up next week!

So go ahead and subscribe to Christina’s weekly newsletter so you don’t miss out on any key info in the coming days and weeks, and follow her on Twitter for some #write31days updates and encouragement!

Write on, friends!

 

 

Some things just can’t be half baked.

The word “almost” doesn’t fit into certain boxes. It’s a square peg that just won’t work in a round hole.

It’s not possible to be “almost” pregnant. Either a person is pregnant, or they’re not.

In a similar way, we can’t be “almost” Christians. We might straddle the fence for a time, but there has to be a definitive landing on the side of Christ.

Jesus didn’t almost die on the cross, as some would like us to believe. God didn’t almost save us from our sins. That sin you committed yesterday? If you’re a believer in Jesus, you aren’t almost forgiven — you are forgiven. Totally and completely. Full stop.

Praise God, we don’t serve a Master who is almost able to save us. Jesus wasn’t almost resurrected. He rose again, and He is coming back.

The Bible urges us to stand firm in the faith, not to be wishy-washy, or blown about by every wind of doctrine.

Thank God for His complete, sufficient work in Christ.

It’s not almost done — it is finished.

***

Speaking of work being finished — WE DID IT!

31 Days logo - 2015We made it to the end of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes! Fistbumps for everyone!

THANK YOU to all who stayed the course, who wrote with us, and who kept coming back to read and comment! We appreciate you!!

If you’re looking for a summary of posts in this series, click here — and be sure to visit the blogs of other fabulous writers who took the challenge and linked up!

 

 

 

Well, you’ve done it.

I should’ve known this would happen. I promise to let you choose the prompts for a whole month, and you go and make this your most voted for word:

 

B

 

That’s why I love you guys.

You’ve become my people. You’re quirky and kind, encouraging and gifted. And a little bit crazy, sometimes.

 

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Look around, and you’ll see the body in this place. You’ll find recent grads and recent retirees. Widows and orphans. Singles, marrieds, and divorcees. Abuse survivors and cancer survivors. Homeschooling mamas and working grandmothers. Students and missionaries, diaper changers and board members.

We are the body, and I adore it.

 

Photo Credit: Jen Daugherty, faithmustardseed.com

Photo Credit: Jen Daugherty, faithmustardseed.com

 

So I’ve written you a little love story … It goes a little something like this:

 

GO.

Let me tell you a story.

It goes like this:

Once upon a time, over five years ago, a beautiful woman had a beautiful idea.

She thought to herself, “What can I do with just five minutes?”

Then she didn’t keep her question to herself — she shared it with her people, and they asked themselves the same question.

Then they all gathered together and formed this sort of family, called the Five Minute Friday community. And they’ve been congregating ever since, week after week, for five whole years, even when the address changed and the home changed ownership.

And just as the house key was being passed to the new owner, the builder of the house gave a farewell message with her adorable kiddos. And at the tail end of the video, just as she was about to close the door, one of her boys misheard the word, “Begin,” and yelled out that the word of the week was … “BACON!!”

And the whole family laughed until they cried.

Because this family is one of a kind, they didn’t forget their laughter or their tears. So over a year later, when given the chance to choose their own word, the drew up their laughter and their tears, and they voted for bacon.

Because that’s just how cool (and crazy) they are.

STOP.

 

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, don’t run away! We love newcomers, and can’t wait to get to know you!

Click here for more info about how this fabulous clan works.

AND … It’s your LAST CHANCE to order a limited edition Five Minute Friday tote bag!¬†

FMF bags 1.2

Limited offer!

Order your bag by clicking “Buy Now” below! Orders accepted through October 31st, 2015.



 

Can’t wait to read your five minutes of free writing on BACON!

What better way to end off a whole month of free writes, hey?  

Link up here: 

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Whew! We are in the HOME STRETCH!

It’s Day 29 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, and I’m SO proud of all of you for hanging in there for the long haul!

I hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from this series as much as I have.

Today’s prompt is:¬†

 

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Setting the timer for five minutes, and … GO.

 

There’s a song called¬†Oceans by Ten Shekel Shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood on a salty shoreline and this song has welled up within my chest. The chorus goes like this:

There’s something about the ocean
Makes me rise up and praise
There’s something about the heavens
Makes me stand in awe again
There’s something about the sunrise
Reminds me of Your faithfulness
There’s something about the ocean
And I’m lost in love again

 

It’s true, isn’t it? There’s just something about the ocean that demands praise. The sea’s¬†beauty and magnitude¬†command a reverence and an awe for its Creator.

On those days when I’m feeling emotionally dry or vexed by God’s providence, those days when I’m cheeky enough to think I have a better plan than His, I open my Bible to the book of Job.

I flip to chapter 38, and I let these words put me back in my place:

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, ‚ÄėThis far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

                                           ~ Job 38:1-4, 8-11

Then I remember that He is God, and I am not. He is so much in control, He even tells the sea how far it can come, and no further.

Can I really doubt His ability to control the events of my life?

So I stand before¬†the sea, or maybe I just close my eyes in my house and¬†imagine the¬†salty spray of crashing waves — and I remember the greatness of God.

I realise this post has the potential to spark a measure of controversy, though¬†that’s certainly not my intention.

Here are some questions for you:

What makes Christians different from those who don’t love Jesus?

What do they have that non-Christians don’t possess?

What marks them and sets them apart from the rest of mankind?

You might be thinking of the word, “forgiveness.” Amen, and thank God for it.

Forgiveness is a huge aspect that sets Christians apart from those who are not.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is another major component we shouldn’t ignore.

There’s another significant difference that always strikes me whenever a non-Christian person has died:

It’s the element of hope.¬†Its absence is deafening in a funeral home.

 

hope

 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul writes to the believers, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed¬†about those who sleep in death,¬†so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (emphasis mine).

“The rest of mankind, who have no hope.”

Isn’t that just so sad?

Doesn’t it make you want to reach out and offer hope to those who don’t have it?¬†

Hebrews 11:1 tells us,¬†“Now faith is confidence in what we¬†hope¬†for and assurance about what we do not see.”

As believers in Christ’s death and resurrection, we have¬†confidence. We have¬†assurance. We have¬†hope.

Let’s rejoice today in this gift of hope. Let’s hold unswervingly to the anchor of our souls.

 

Anchor Hope

And let’s do everything in our power and in God’s to be a beacon of hope to those in the darkness.

 

***

Letters to Grief - Final cover

Part of the reason I wrote my e-book, Letters to Grief, was to offer hope.

If you know someone who might be in need of hope today, consider sending them a copy of this short book. It’s only 20 pages long, and it’s only $0.99, so you really can’t go wrong.

Maybe it’s¬†the first step¬†that God is nudging you to take in offering hope today. Or maybe¬†you’re the one in desperate need of an anchor.

Either way, I pray this book is a blessing.