Accountability

Joel Tabora, SJ on Twitter: "Walk Humbly with your God  https://t.co/KKirzgy21e… "

Mmmh all sorts of thoughts and feelings are conjured up at this word! This is the One Word prompt today in the #Five Minute Friday Group of Writers.

Accountability? Love it or hate it? Love it because we get things done? Hate it because it means that we have to do what we said we would do and there is little room for procrastination?

I think accountability takes humility, it takes humility and honesty to open up to someone else and even confess those thoughts which have been in your mind simmering away, that to share them, tell someone else about them and what we want to do about them takes guts.

But in the opening up, in the sharing comes clarity and direction. With another can come a plan of action to reach a goal. With another comes the accountability to keep on with that plan to keep that goal in focus.

And with accountability to another comes support, the carrying of one another’s burdens, along with the sharing comes a caring, a partnership, a friendship, a fellowship in Jesus.

Sometimes Jesus is our accountable partner; but often Jesus will place someone on our path to be our accountable person and we have to take the guts, be brave and share with that person and have that person walk along the road beside us, and as we open to them, we open a bit more to Jesus and the thing which has been holding us back is no longer a stumbling block, but a step along our path to healing.

Drive

Desire, drive, and determination! | Running motivation quotes, Running  quotes, Running motivation

I am joining with the #Five Minute Friday group of writers to write for 5 minutes on the Word prompt: Drive.

Drive = A drive is a very strong need or desire in human beings that makes them act in particular ways. … If you say that someone has drive, you mean they have energy and determination. (Collins English Dictionary)

In the bible the Israelites were to drive out those already living in the promised land; they were to drive out all worship of foreign gods and we see how Jesus drove out demons.

There is a force, a might, a power, an action, a determination to see it through.

So what do I need to drive out of my life today?

Do I need to drive out lukewarmness? Grumbling? An ungrateful spirit? Cares and worries of the world?

Do I need to be determined and take the action required to drive out prayerlessness and unbelief?

Lord, show me where I need drive in my life right now. Amen.

Order

Pin on Jesus

I haven’t been on here for a while, so thought I’d jump on today to bring a bit of order to my life. Order is the prompt word today from the #Five Minute Friday community of writers.

I like order! I like a nice peaceful, ordered life with routines, rhythms and seasons. I like headspace and I would like to live a serene life, passing through seemingly unruffled by life’s trials.

However, Life is not like is it? Sometimes it is chaotic, with demands from others, demands from work, demands from church, from community, from family. Or crisis strike, there is an illness, hospital visits, an accident, or even just children, marriage, moving home. There are so many things which can through me off my stride and send me into chaos.

That is why I love the creation narrative where we see God bringing order out of chaos:

Genesis Chapter 1:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 

4 And God saw that the light was good.

Then he separated the light from the darkness.

 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

The earth was empty, formless, without order, a bit like life without Christ – empty of meaning, no purpose or order, no sense of identity or being rooted in eternity.

The same God who brought order to the universe can and does bring order to my otherwise chaotic life.

Today, I am grateful for that order.

Met by Compassion

One of the biggest things which has come out of this Pandemic and Lockdown situations is our need for kindness; our need for compassion.

We have been writing a series for our church looking at people Jesus met and how He stopped; listened; acknowledged; respected and showed compassion to those individuals. Today I share my own contribution to that series:

Today we meet a woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  She was publicly dragged out and accused of her ‘crime’.  She was publicly humiliated with fingers-pointing & tongues wagging; so-called friends began to withdraw away not wanting to be associated with her.

She was labelled; she was condemned.

Except by Jesus – He stood by her; He stood up for her and faced her accusers for her, “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her”.

That sent them packing; some grumbling; some a bit ashamed, till there is no-one left to accuse.  Jesus asks her, Where are they?  Did no-one condemn you?

And then Jesus speaks the kindest words;

‘Neither do I condemn you.”  I don’t condemn you either.

Jesus doesn’t condemn her, nor does He leave her where she is or has been; He delivers her from that past; from those labels; from the sin.  He gives her a new life; the past has been dealt with and He says ‘go now and sin no more”.  The past is gone; forgiven; not condemned; but set free.

Maybe you need to hear those words today.  Maybe you have been labelled in the past and people remember; people still point the finger; tongues still wag.  But Jesus doesn’t condemn you; He sets you free; He delivers you; there is new life to be found in Him.

Know today that Jesus will stand by you; Jesus will stand up for you; Jesus will face your accusers for you; Jesus will deliver you.

“Go now and from now on do not live in that sin anymore.”.  Forgiven; set-free; redeemed!

[This story can be found in John 8:1-11]

Human Connection

Essays Touched by God - Deborah Smith Douglas

With more Lockdown and travel restrictions being imposed in parts of our country, one of the things my elderly mum very much misses is that human connection. None of her children live nearby, she has friends, very good friends and lots of cousins she would normally she would meet up with, so to face more isolation in yet again another lockdown is actually just depressing for her. She has done so well, she was in a routine, she was going out for walks and chatting to people from a safe distance, and in the summer she could even sit in her front garden and chat to people passing by.

But now? Drawing the curtains against the dark at 4 O’clock in the afternoon is isolating, taking a walk involves wearing multiple layers of clothing and waterproofs which weighs down and frankly just seems too difficult at times.

These restrictions on family/friends/social life are so hard on the elderly and those living alone, they need to see a friendly face, they need to be able to get out and socialize or the danger is that they will wilt under the isolation, they need contact to keep them going, give them something to do, have a focus other than themselves.

And what about touch? Some people have not experienced human touch for months. No kissing as a greeting, no hugging to say goodbye, no holding hands in empathy, no laying your hand on an arm as an act of solidarity. Nothing, none of that warmth of human contact. Just cold and empty.

What is it about touch? There is no substitute for it. It comforts and reassures in ways that other gestures and words cannot. Touch can be like medicine to relieve stress, calm nerves and ease tension. Without touch, without that feel of another human being, life is lonely.

I wonder if that is why Jesus when He was healing people often reached out and touched them, they needed more than a Word of healing, they need the feel of compassion, the feel of being heard and seen, the feel of worth.

He took Peter’s mother-in-law by the hand and took away her fever (Matthew 8:14-15). He touched the eyes of two blind men and gave them sight (Matthew 9:27-31). He touched the ears and the tongue of a deaf mute and gave him hearing and speech (Mark 7:31-35). He even touched a leper to make him clean (Mark 1:40-42) and He allowed a hemorrhaging woman to reach out and touch Him (Luke 8:44). Touch, oh to be touched by the Saviour!

Lord, when we can’t be there, when we can’t reach out and touch, will You do that for us? Will you reach out and touch our loved ones? As You reached out to those in need, will you please reach out now and touch those who are lonely, those who are struggling, those who are weeping with no-one to even see, those with heavy, heavy hearts and those who just don’t know how they are going to survive another lockdown, please reach down and touch them.

Respect

got Respect?

Joining with the #Five Minute Friday group of writers, where we write for 5 minutes on a one word prompt. Today’s prompt is: Respect.

Respect is something we all wish for, don’t always get and don’t always earn!

But we want to be respected as a person, we want to be heard, we want our opinions to matter, we want our needs to be met in a dignified and respected way. This is most seen, and most needed in our Care Homes which have been very much been under the spotlight in recent times during this Corona Virus Pandemic.

I believe since we are all made in the image of God, we all have the right to be respected, to be treated well, to be loved even. When do I see Jesus doing this for others? When he washed their feet.

the evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13: 2-5

Dirty, prideful, sinful, corrupted men they may have been, but Jesus got down on his knees and respectfully, lovingly washed their feet.

And He says to us … go and do likewise.

Week 3; Day 4 – Drinking

Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them, a spring of water welling up to eternal live.

John 4:13

Hens have a sweet wee way of drinking, they don’t gulp it down in one go, they take it up in their mouths and it is as if they savour it there for a moment or two before swallowing. The chicks do this too, very interesting to watch!

Another lesson for us – do we savour the Word of God? Do we let it sink in or are we always in such a rush that we just take a big gulp and then rush into our day without savouring it, without really tasting it, without being refreshed by it?

We need to slow. We need to take the time for the Word to get into us and refresh us. We need to drink long and deeply of the Word of life.

Lord, refresh my soul in You today. May I drink long and deep of You today. Amen.

This is part of a series, ‘A Month With Mother Hen’, if you would like to return to the introduction/contents page please click here.