Five Minute Friday: Better

better

Gentle Reader,

Truly glad to rejoin the crowd of flash-writers. Two months away from this blog did me good, but I sure did miss them.

Kate says: better.

Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a “law” in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?

John Wesley, letter to William Wilberforce (emphasis mine)

Are all of them together stronger than God? What an excellent question, and one that Wilberforce must have contemplated on multiple occasions during his decades-long battle to bring an end to the British slave trade (and, by extension, slavery itself). One that I myself have wrestled with often. And yes, sometimes, all of them together have seemed to be stronger than God.

What villainy is this? Another great question, the answer to which may be summed up in one word: sin. The evil that humanity can do knows no bounds. That’s not just the big things. The “real sins.” How about gossip and slander, the death by a thousand piercing cuts?

But is that evil stronger that good? Are the wicked stronger than God?

No.

Weary one, lift up your head. I say this to myself even as I say it to you.

There is a better country up ahead. The road may be long, winding and filled with unexpected dangers. But you do not walk it alone. We are together, shoulder to shoulder, forging ahead to the Celestial City, though we be battered and bruised. Better yet, Jesus is with us. Every moment. Every breath.

His presence, through Spirit and through word, empowers us to go on.

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31 Days of Cheering Them On: Closing

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

What a month.

A good month. Filled with good things.

But a long month.

As I sit here today, refusing to answer any knocks on the door and anticipating an evening of pizza and potentially smashed pumpkins (I hate Halloween), I am tired. Completely exhausted. I gave everything I had to give to book launches and women’s events and Bible study. My body is telling me it’s time to hit the brakes.

I am profoundly thankful that I had the chance to participate in 31 Days, though it was an extra helping added to an overflowing plate. There is real joy to be found in cheering others on. May we all stop, look around, and see what we can do to encourage those around us.

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For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.

31 Days of Cheering Them On: Yums

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

I hate cooking. I hate meal planning. I hate grocery shopping. People who enjoy and are good at all of these things are marvels to me. I chose each of the below at random; none is more significant than the others. Most of the recipes can be modified for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Those that can’t…enjoy, carnivores. Away we go.

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…although I am Italian and grew up in Italy, I did not spend time in the kitchen with my mom learning how to cook. I was  much too busy for THAT! It wasn’t until I moved from Italy to Florida in 1985 to attend the University of Florida that I HAD to learn to cook out of necessity. I didn’t like the food served at the dining halls and I couldn’t afford to eat out all the time…

Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day

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Since I get home at 4:30 and dinner needs to be on the table for Hubby between 5 and 5:10, the easiest way to cook dinner is by cooking it in the slow cooker…

Cooking with Traci

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When the urge to grab a pizza or get a box of fried chicken may be strong on those days. However, I keep a few secret weapons on hand to get a home cooked supper on the table…

Cookin’ Mimi

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Since I began changing my eating habits, I’m always on the look out for healthy dinner ideas. It’s still too easy for me to fall back into my old habits and eat less than healthy…

Frugal and Focused

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In a similar way, when your space feels cluttered and out of control, it’s a subconscious stress-er that can affect how much you eat. It follows that it will positively affect you to eat in a space that feels more tidy and self-controlled, or on top of things…

Tico & Tina

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My problem with typical freezer meals is I don’t want to just throw together a dish filled with cream soup mixes and sugary marinades. Over the past few years, our family has come a long way with how and what we eat. I don’t want to compromise that even though my time for cooking requires much freezing and planning ahead…

Jess Newland

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Having a structured plan doesn’t mean that you can never find a new recipe on Pinterest, go straight to the market, and make it that night. It also doesn’t mean you have to give up the drive-through forever. It does mean that you have something to work with on all the other days (and will help you say no to making the drive through a major habit). It perpetually answers the “What will we have for dinner?” question…

Coffeesnob

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When I first got the request to do this cake and cookies, I wasn’t certain I could pull it off.  I mean… making a spine?  out of sugar?  Eeeh… I never even took an anatomy class…

Rose Bakes

Thank you, foodies, for helping people like me avoid starving!

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For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.

31 Days of Cheering Them On: Cleaning Up

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

It’s no secret that I like a calm, clean environment. One of my favorite things to do when I have a little spare time is to jump online and see what others are doing to keep their lives and home organized. I chose each of the below at random; none is more significant than the others. Away we go.

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When I was very young, I lived with my parents and two brothers in humble homes, on a single income, in a small quiet town. We did not take extravagant vacations or own particularly nice things. I wore mostly hand-me-down or thrifted clothes (which I didn’t mind a bit until I was a teenager), and I remember holidays being simple, but full of love. The gifts I was given were always thoughtfully chosen, and the vacations we took were always to majestic outdoor locations where there were rivers and mountains nearby…

Emily at Light and Loveliness

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If you feel like your sentimental items are taking over your home, it’s time to declutter.  If your past is getting in the way of your present or your future, it’s time to declutter.  If you want to live more simply, it’s time to declutter.

It’s not easy though…

Hilda Rodgers

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Our meal plan definitely isn’t fancy but I think it will work for us and the season of life we are in right now. I am really trying to focus on being in the moment when I plan so that I don’t set myself up for failure…

Ashley at Blossoming on a Budget

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Making a house into a home and keeping it clean is hard work. That’s the honest truth.

Ready for some more honesty? Sometimes it feels like impossible work.

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning under the weight of the mess and dirt and clutter, and you just wish you could make it go away…or at least move and leave it all behind? I know the feeling…

Amy Clark Scheren

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I am convinced that the best years were the simple years.  The years when we had little money and few engagements are those that are etched in my mind and bring a smile to my face…

Blessed Simplicity

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A planner allows you to structure your time around your priorities, can keep you on track when you need it to, and can be a go-to resource for many different areas of your life…

Scattered Squirrel 

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Between running my own family practice and a free health clinic, operating our boarding kennel, coordinating care of my dad, writing a weekly column for the local humane society, helping out with my husbands re-election campaign (he is currently a quorum court justice) and keeping our fourteen old rescue dogs healthy and safe, my to-do list is always a mile long and often my husband has no clue what I have on my plate…

Connie Kay

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I know that I am not the only woman out there that feels overwhelmed.  In fact, I bet there are a large portion of my readers that feel overwhelmed in some way or another.  My goal is to try and encourage you (and myself!) to move forward, and to make some necessary changes in order to thrive…

Heather Townsend

Thank you for teaching us how to clean up, organize and move forward!

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For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.