Our God is Greater

God is so big He can cover the whole world with His love, and so small He can curup inside your heart.” ~ June Masters Bacher

 
This is what makes you so great, Master God! There is none like you, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we’ve heard with our own ears. And who is like your people, like Israel, a nation unique in the earth, whom God set out to redeem for himself (and became most famous for it), performing great and fearsome acts, throwing out nations and their gods left and right as you saved your people from Egypt? You established for yourself a people—your very own Israel!—your people permanently. And you, God, became their God.
2 Samuel 7:22 – 24
 
Our God – Chris Tomlin
 
There is nothing like worshiping in song as a group.  Nothing.  You can experience joy at a Billy Joel concert, your favorite rock group, your favorite orchestra.  However, all those voices, raised in praise to the God of our fathers!  Everyone knows the words, and the Word knows everyone.
Chris Tomlin has the light of God shining from his face, the people are joining him in concert, praising God, re-affirming that if God is for us, who can be against us! 
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, our God is higher than any other…
Walk in that today dear ones,
 
Lord, you are greater, stronger and higher than anything that could come against me. Help me to walk in that today. In Jesus’ name.
 
Because of Him,
Linda
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Fear, He is a Liar

“Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid! What sane man is not?”
                                      ~ Luciano Pavarotti
 

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers. Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them. If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!”— Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing— they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are.

                                       ~ Proverbs 1:8-9 MSG

 
Fear, He is a Liar
 
Both of these quotes have to do with fear.  Both of them can result in failure whether you say yes and try the high notes, or yes and do the wrong thing, but in both cases, fear is a liar.  I cannot believe how much of my life I have spent being afraid of upsetting a person, or holding back on a truth because it might cause waves.  
 
This year, the Lord has restored a friendship to me that I thought was lost.  I am happy that it got deeper because I said what I thought when asked, even though I was afraid.  The result is an honest friendship that I never dreamed would be mine.  I have moved forward with this and am being much more truthful when asked what I think.  That truth is seasoned with love before it is served, but it is served.
 
The relationships in which it is served have improved so much and I am moving forward in a new freedom.  “What is the worse thing that can happen if I speak the truth?” I consider the answer, and consider I have spent enough time feeling afraid.
How do you handle fear?  Just remember, fear is truly a liar.  Jesus is the truth.
 
Lord, help me to cling to your truth, and answer with no fear, love with no fear, speak the truth with no fear and with your guidance. In Jesus’ name amen.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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Through Heavens Eyes

As friends, we don’t see eye to eye, but then we don’t hear ear to ear either.” 

                                                                                       ~ Buster Keaton
 
Do not boast about tomorrow,
    for you do not know what a day may bring.
                                                                                        ~ Proverbs 27:1
 
    For sure, we don’t always agree.  I asked for advice recently on social media. I had a dusty basket and I wanted to clean it without destroying it.  Traditional methods did not work. Everyone had a method that was SURE FIRE. 
     I read them all, decided on one, and proceeded to clean the basket.  It worked like a charm!  Here is what I did not do:  I did not post what method I used.  Thank you was my only response, no pictures, no description, nothing.
     It would have been so easy to do any of the above, but I was just thankful that the method I decided upon worked, first try. Everyone’s solution was so important to them.  Their intent was pure and lovely and helpful.  And that was the ultimate goal after the basket being clean, was to thank everyone who offered some help.
    That was just asking for a method to clean a basket! And we certainly did not see eye to eye, but we had a common goal, and the lens was “helpful.”
    When dealing with larger issues, (oh my), we have to decide, just like a photographer, which lens to use.  If you are reading this post, your lens is probably a God lens, Jesus Christ, son of God, died for our sins, loves us beyond measure – lens.  That is why we can have any conversation, let alone approach big issues.
     After September 11, 2001, there was a lot of hatred floating around, at church as well. Our pastor had called for a workshop on how to have a conversation about such a difficult issue. It all boiled down to the lens we use to see through, and minister through.
     Today, as you negotiate 24 hours news channels, newspapers who have lost their ability to report objectively, crazy drivers, adjust your glasses, and look through your God lens.  It will probably not be rose colored, but there will be love involved in the frames and the prescription.  Listen.  Pray for God to hold his hand over your mouth while you listen and respond in His name, in His love.
The Eyes of Heaven – Prince of Egypt
 
Lord, I give you my eyes. Help me to have Your vision. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Because of Him,
Linda

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You Were No Accident

“Name the greatest of all inventors?” asked humorist Mark Twain. “Accident.”

 
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
1 Peter 3-5
 
There are a few inventions in the article above which have changed the world.  They include chocolate chip cookies, 
  • The First Practical Implantable Pacemaker, Microwave Oven. 
  • Penicillin, Ink-jet Printer, X-Ray Images, Artificial Sweetener, Post-it Notes, potato chips, silly putty, fireworks, slinky, scotchguard, coca cola, there are many.  You however are not one of them.
  • You were fearfully and wonderfully made.
  •  
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.
 
Whether you were planned or not, your craftsmanship is God’s design. 
Often too much time is spent in front of a mirror, taking critical note of God’s creation. We have control over some of what that looks like.  Never for one minute should we doubt the beauty of our own creation and our role in God’s plan.
God will not fail you.  You are loved.
Lord, I was no accident, though many inventions that we marvel over were accidents and have changed the world, none are as great as the things wrought by your hands. Praise You Lord.
 
Because of Him,
Linda
Do It Again – Elevation Worship

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What a Blessing!

Every day I wake up, I thinkwhat a blessing– I’m alive. I don’t care if it snows, it rains, it thunderstorms–a heatwave. I think, I’m here–this is terrific.”                               

      ~ Richard Harris

 

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

     ~ Matthew 5:11-12 MSG

 
Two very different applications of the word blessing.  I am happy, and blessed to have reached this place in my life and be alive, recognize that I am blessed and able to give thanks for it.  
There came a time when that was not so.  I can remember sitting on a street in Plymouth, N.H. waiting to get run over. To be fair, it was a back road, in the woods, in broad daylight and there were hardly any cars.  But still, the man in my life had dumped me for an old girl friend, and while I put on a brave face when I encountered him, I had never been that hurt before.  This one had met my parents, this one had called me “honey.” This one had brought me home to meet his parents.  And then she came for a weekend visit and that was that. 
 
I did not want to live.  I was mad at God.  I went to my campus “mom,” and cried my eyes out.  She taught me how to act. And so I learned how to be brave in front of this man, and keep my tears for the turning around, for the walk away from him. So he never saw me cry. But on that country road, the Lord did. 
 
A situation happened at work (no, I will not share which job,) where I was told that I was considered to be the boss’s mole.  My decision came down to trying to fit in to the crowd, or maintain my excellent relationship with my boss, who was a wonderful mentor, one of the three best mentor/bosses I have ever had.  I chose the boss, and stepped into learning some of the best lessons of my adult life.
 
When given the choice between the world and the Lord, the choice is easier with every step.  No one loves me like Jesus does.  No one ever will (although my husband is an incredible earthly rep for Him!)  Today, as you walk out in faith, know that you are blessed, no matter what kind of heavenly trouble you encounter on His behalf.
 
Lord, you know the soles of my feet, and the roads upon which I walk. Help me to greet you in every one I encounter, and help me to rejoice in times of trouble on your behalf.
Never Alone – Tori Kelly
Because of Him,
Linda

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Wear Your Love Like Heaven

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” 
                     ~ Lauren Bacall
 
 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
                   ~ Matthew 6:30-33
 
Wear Your Love Like Heaven – Donovan
Image result for fornos of spain newark nj
 
Yesterday, we gave a lift to a friend. She needed to go to the dentist.  The tricky part was, the dentist was in Newark, NY and we live on the North Shore of Long Island, NY. We drove, and drove (and drove) and finally arrived, dropped her at the dentist and went in search of parking, a bathroom and food – in that order.  There was no parking to be found on the street due to road work by PSE&G.  We did find a church in our denomination, that was nice.  We passed a sign, but it was deceiving, did not give any indication as to the integrity of the place.  
Image result for fornos of spain newark nj
We circled again and found a restaurant with their own parking lot.  BINGO! We went in.
This photo does not do the stone columns, stairs, entryway, justice. We were greeted by the hostess, shown to our table in a grand dining room, given seating.  A member of staff delivered a drink menu, rolls, water. Came back after a few moments, asked about drinks (no thank you.) and delivered salad, and a small plate of olives, on the house.
I knew that we were not in a factory eatery.  I began to recognize heaven in this place. There was a full compliment of wait staff:(minus the maitre frommager – not enough cheese I guess.)
Host, General Manager, maitre’ d, floor manager, captain,waiter, front waiter, sommelier, maitre frommager, runner, back waiter or busboy.
Each member of staff had a smile, a posture, an attitude of service.  Then there was the man in the suit, not a uniform.  He was watching everything, walking out, coming back in and just standing, watching.  I asked the floor manager who he was and found out he was the owner, and the man just behind him, also watching, was the son of the owner.  I cannot tell you the degree of stress that rolled off of me, the amount of comfort I found in the service, and the unmistakable hallmark of God.  
Okay, you guys know me, I am emotional, and I do tend to let a tear or two escape (!) however, I do not generally cry when a meal is delivered.  There was more delivered on the house, more wait staff, and when we were served our food, I asked for a spoon and it was delivered on a plate, all by itself. I filled with tears because God was speaking to me in this place, telling me that I was valued, loved and worthy, sitting with the man who delivers that message every day, in oh so many ways.  And when that man (my husband) spoke the words “this is perfect, I would come back here for lunch again.” I knew we must be in heaven, because those words are oh so rare.
The rest of the meal was delivered at that same standard, and I told both the owner and his son how honored I was, and how the food made me cry upon its delivery in such service.  Then came the gifts, delivered to the table separately, just because I said something.
God loves you that much. And I have felt that same love in some of  your kitchens, homes, vehicles. You deliver that quality of love and detail.  I was so happy to have been able to let go enough to feel that love.
Indeed I wore my love like Heaven, and for the record, we left with our arms and legs (cost wise) and our vehicle and literally a foretaste of Heaven.
Thus the song by Donovan which is not an anthem… but more a suggestion…
Wear your love like Heaven,
Lord, give me your eyes, that I might see heaven all around me, in the love of your people.
Because of Him,
Linda

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Communion of More

There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk.” ~ M.F.K. Fisher

 
For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
                                             ~Hebrews 10:30-31
 
I hesitated at M.F.K. Fisher’s words at first, and then I thought of what I really heard.  Communion happens in the soul for me.  When the bread is broken, the wine drunk, healing pours forth, spirits are lifted, bonds are broken, sometimes I think that even time stops.  It is that special.  For me it is not a ritual that one must get through, it is, in that service, the focal point.  When the loaf is broken, light is released. (At least for me..)
 
Perhaps communion should be offered before major decisions in a person’s life. A place to focus, a melding of the senses, the smell of the bread, the feel of the liquid going down one’s throat. The feeling of truly being a vessel of the Lord physically as well as mentally and spiritually.
Perhaps it should be offered in the Houses of Congress.  I know, the folks who don’t want to see church and state together might complain, but if it were made available, perhaps the joint Houses and all that enter in, might have a different way to proceed. A way that includes the whole person: body, mind and soul.
 
Lord, please enter in. Be the light that fills us, the bread that feeds us, the wine that warms us.  Guide those in places of decision this day and every day, including me.
Communion Song – Jonathan Stockwell
 
Because of Him
Linda

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