I am linking up for Five Minute Friday.  The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “connect”. It was so good to see this crew and get back into the groove of FMF. I’ve missed these peeps, Tonight we talked all things; wine and chocolate, one words and snow, skiing and cold. We’d love to have you join us.  Just hop onto Twitter on Thursday evenings and follow the #fmfparty. Hope to see you there! 

My hands clasped 
Around my cuP
And warmed up
By the sheer warmth 
Of it 
As we listen and chat
Over a hot cup 
On this cold winter day.
Our hearts connected
In just a few moments
Over life and love and faith.
My fingers tap 
Across the keyboard
On Twitter 
Across computer and phone screens.
So many question
These connections
But they are sincere and true
True in every sense of the word.
Connections made
From east to west
North to south
Across faith lines
And connected
As family of God.
Like a puzzle
Snapped into place
Piece by piece
God pieces our lives
And connects us together
With beloved brothers and sisters 
In Christ.
And as each piece
Finds its proper place
In the puzzle
A beautiful masterpiece
Unfolds before our very eyes.
A masterpiece
Through the love
And grace of God;
Connected when we move
The table to where 
All are welcomed and connected
At the holy altar;
Connected in water, bread, wine
And the Word
To reveal 
A beautiful elegant masterpiece 
Of Gods people

Sunday Blessings 153

(1) A great chat with FH

(2) Texting with my faves

(3) Knoephla soup

(4) Playing Rook with the family

(5) Getting our cars free of ice

(6) Time with grandma and grandpa

(7) Dumplings

(8) Making it home safely

(9) Voxing with KA

(10) Texting with MW and TM

(11) Snow shoveling angels! Thanks RT!

(12) Good Earth chai tea

(13) Binge watching Fuller House

(14) A quiet NYE at home

(15) Flying solo at church

(16) Brunch with great church peeps

(17) A gift of a bucket of fruit

Firmly Planted in Hope

“And so, Lord, my only hope is in you!”–Psalm 39:7 (Living Translation)

“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain.”–Hebrews 6:19 (NRSV)

For the last several years, I’ve participated in the One Word 365. The last three years have been shaped by the words “gentle,” “brave,” and “embrace.” As 2016 comes to a close, I’ve been waiting for God to show me my new word. Several friends gave me great words but my one word made me feel different from the other words. My new word is a word that is grounded in my faith and the ways that this word is brought about in this world. My one word is……HOPE!

It is the one word that keeps showing up. One of my friends chose hope for me. My friend KK tweeted about driving past a town named “Hope.” I came home to mega snow and found hope in the three souls who came to shovel me out. Another friend TR tweeted about how her word is resist and how she will resist in hope. In each of these instances, there was that word “hope.” So this year I will be open-hearted to hope.

2016 has been a hard year; a year that I didn’t want to particularly embrace at times. A contentious election. The unnecessary killing of people simply due to the color of their skin. My Muslim, Jewish and LGTBQ+ friends afraid for their lives. Several of my friends losing their first born children.  My heart breaks at all the hatred, evil and loss that I see in our broken fractured world

Yet I’ve seen glimmers of hope. Hope in church leaders. Hope in leaders who are working for change. Hope in family and friends who show radical love to all Gods children. Hope in the Word made flesh; in Emmanuel “God with us”;  who births messy messy hope through his life, ministry, ultimately death, and resurrection.

So hope is something that I can cling too and am choosing to cling to in 2017. In fact, “hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” Hope breaks into this world like a rising sun at sunrise. It shines light into the darkness just like a candle lit in the darkness. It is just enough light for us to be able to see. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.”–Emily Dickinson

As hope settles in my heart and mind, hope will anchor my soul in the midst of all of life’s storms. Hope changes things. It changes things for the better. It gives itself to this broken fractured world. It perches in our souls and is unending.

May 2017 be a year firmly planted in hope!

Eye of the Storm–Ryan Stevenson