Higher!

A flock of geese leave their lake and take wing, turning to poems in the sky.               
 
       ~ Dr. SunWolf
 
 
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
 
     ~ Philippians 1:9-11
 
     I would like to share a song that hit me, bam!, yesterday.  Because of the pure love it shows, and sets as a goal.  I was plunged into the light as I listened and considered my current challenges.  And as I listened, I began to lift His name, not my problems, God’s only Son, not the state of the world.  
     Lift Him higher.  Fall in love with Jesus again.
 
Because of Him,
Linda
Higher by Unspoken
 

I’ve gotta try to do right When life’s doing me wrong Gotta shake the dust off my feet and

Keep marching on When trouble weighs me down And brings me to my knees Lord my needs are many But that’s a pretty Yeah a pretty good place to be Don’t blame it on the preacher cos the preacher done told: “The devil’s got a target on my heart and my soul” But let me tell you, brother, what the devil don’t know The lower I go, the more I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher God Almighty You are worthy Higher Higher Higher I may never get money I may never have fame But if I’m ever in a spotlight I’ll point it back Your way Cos standing at the top was never ever my goal But if you put me on a mountain then I’ll tell the whole world Singing ‘Hallelujah’ til I hit the dirt Oh I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher God Almighty You are worthy Higher Higher Higher Hallelujah He is worthy Hallelujah He is good Leave me in rags and ruins And I’ll praise You through it Clothe me in glory and riches I’ll praise You just the same All that I have, all I’ve been given All of my life’s ambition Is to worship Is to honour Is to bring You praise I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher I’m gonna lift You Higher Higher Higher God Almighty You are worthy Higher Higher Higher God Almighty You are worthy

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I Will Trust In You

A dream has power to poison sleep.  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Mutability”
 
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
 
~ John 3:20-21
Trust In You
 
    I woke up from an awful dream.  I was being accused of things that were not true, my classroom was out of control and when I tried to do the right thing, I was threatened and a visitor vowed to never return.  These are things I do not associate with myself or my professional norm.  In my dream, I had no defense, and no one would listen.  This on the heels of a crunchy day at work where there was some professional conflict.
 
     I like the chorus of Lauren Daigle’s song “Trust in You”:
  
     If you don’t move the mountain, I’m needing you to move,
     If you don’t part the waters I wish could walk through,
     When you don’t give the answers, as I cry out to you,
     I will trust, I will trust in you.
 
    Ultimately, it comes down to trusting God.  I got good advice yesterday, I followed it, and though it got results, this is an ongoing challenge.  The other person will not change, I know that God is changing me and that I am learning from this other person.  Important lessons for the next challenge.
     I will trust, I will trust in you.
Because of Him,
Linda

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That Old Shoe

An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to notice the hole in it. 

                       ~Robert Brault
 
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
 
                       ~1 Corinthians 2:14-16
 
     My mom had a spot in the bathroom where she left a pair of (once) white loafers.  They were always there.  They were her go to shoes when she got home from work.  The seams were splitting, the color was more of a dusty grey, the soles were worn.  She loved them till the day she died. 
     I have a pair of boat shoes that I bought for my first sailing date with my husband.  They were brand new Sperry Topsiders and known for their functionality.  (They have since become a trendy shoe in some circles.) I wore those shoes on every sailing adventure through our first years of marriage.  We are married over 30 years and those shoes are among the very few things I have from that time.  I loved them for what they stood for, the love that launched those journeys.
    Sometimes, we have beliefs like that; long held since our childhood, or picked up in the infancy of our faith.  Instead of getting a new pair of shoes, or discarding the old ones, sometimes we try to squeeze into that old pair, like the step sisters in a well known fairy tale, just to make sure we have a chance at getting the prince, or staying in our comfort zone.
    Letting go of these things can be so difficult.  Seeing something all over again in a new way is nearly impossible but for the eyes of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
     I pray for you and for myself that this becomes an easier task, that you and I may see what the Lord has in store for us.
 
   Lord, be Thou my vision.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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Goals and Ladders


The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.
     ~Thomas Henry Huxley, An Address to the Students of the Faculty 
       of Medicine in University College, London, May 18, 1870, On the
       Occasion of the Distribution of Prizes for the Session
 
 “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 6:31-33
       
I love this painting.
Inline image 1
It is called Ladder for Booker T. Washington. by Martin Puryear.  When I first viewed it, it made me sad.  But when I read the scripture this morning, this picture popped into my head immediately.
     There is only one way out of this impossible situation.  Only one who can stand in the gap that makes this goal possible.  God. While searching for this image, I found another that brought this thought home for me.  This is Chickasaw’s Ladder by K.Hoover.  
     God knows where we are.  God knows the plans that God has for us. Perhaps you feel as if you have been resting interminably and your body aches from the standing on that last rung.  God’s got this.
Hang on.  He will see you through.
     Because of Him,
     Linda 
 
Surrealism Painting - Chickasaws Ladder by K Hoover

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He’ll Take Care of the Rest

Each one of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement. 

 
                                                                                         ~ Max Lucado
 
If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
                                                                                     ~ Hebrews 10:26-31
 
Keith Green – He’ll Take Care of the Rest
 
This song is from one of the Contemporary Christian music, gone home way too soon for some of us, but what a life he lived, and what a legacy.  He did it with humor, conviction and truth.  When we are tempted to take vengeance into our own hands, start singing this one!
 
Oh wait…when I want to take vengeance into my hands, Lord, remind me of this song.
You will take care of the rest.  Meanwhile, Lord, help me to live a life stirring enough to start a movement. A movement that gives you glory.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze…
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind—
Thy windy will to bear!
~ Emily Dickinson
 
     There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 
                                                ~ Romans 5:3-4
     I am so happy to see Autumn’s chill (not too much chill, just a little).  To smell a wood fire’s call mingling with the salt air and pine needles is near heaven for me.  I want to sit around a campfire with my loved ones and toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate.  
All of this and it fall weather has not really begun.
    This summer was hemmed in, and mining my memory of it, there were some amazing high points.  I also know that all those other things effected a change.  God knows where we are headed, and what the story ultimately looks like.  The blessings are there amongst the winding in the road, the prickly pear folks that surround you, the patience that God is forging.
     This hymn got me through the summer and haunts me still.  It is still underscoring these days.
 
If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee.
Today, I lift you up in prayer, where ever God is guiding you.  Bring lots of compact containers.  As He fills them, set them on the path.
Every once in a while, take a look back.  You are blessed then, and now.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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There’s Hope in Front of Me

The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale. 


     ~Cornelia L. Tuthill, “Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke,” 1840

     So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance:

Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;
I’ll sing to your name!

And this one:

Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!

And again:

People of all nations, celebrate God!
All colors and races, give hearty praise!

And Isaiah’s word:

There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,
    breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,
Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

                                                      ~ Romans 15:7-13

     It is a new season.  One I welcome with open arms.  Summer has passed, along with so many unrealized hopes and tasks that were left like the withered spring flowers I never got to plant, ghost plants.  Plants that will probably never bloom again.  I will place them in the “plant graveyard” that we have, and wait.  Maybe they will be revived.

     There is something about the fall that makes my soul sing.  It is a new season, it is full of amazing bursts of color before the greys of winter.  And this fall I want to sing a new song for the glory of God.  One that says, “Yay! You’re outside your comfort zone!”  

     Sometimes if feels as if I am stuck in this birth canal of change, but I know that there is light even when I cannot see it.  Just read through the scripture.  If ever there was cause for hope, there it is.

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss57e3b6e1def43

There’s Hope in Front of Me – Danny Gokey

    Because of Him,

     Linda

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