Category Archives: Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational

Words…and Social Media

Words, like angels, are powers, which have invisible power over us. They are personal presences, which have whole mythologies… and their own guarding, blaspheming, creating, and annihilating effects.” 
 
                                            ~ James Hillman
 
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
    wise children become proud parents.
 
                                             ~ Proverbs 23:24
 
Hawk Nelson
 
     Where do your words come from?  What is your thought process before opening your mouth.  In this culture of unrest, sensitivity, nasty social media comments, how do you aim your words?
      One of my professors gave me a quizzical look when I said I couldn’t see the value in Twitter.  She looked through me, and said, “Linda, it all depends on how you use it.”  Those words changed the way I saw social media.  I stopped posting my every move and endeavored to post uplifting, positive, heart healing comments, posts, responses.
     I have let a lot go.  I have resisted saying so very many things.  I do not haunt my own grown children’s accounts, though I am very interested in my children and the things that they care about.
     Today, look at the words that lift you, the ones that pull you down, the ones that made/make a difference.  Think on that as you get ready to write your next email, send  you next tweet, “like” your next Facebook post.  Be His voice.  Make the Lord your proud parent.  He is!
     Because of Him,
     Linda

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You’re a good good Father

“I have spread my dreams under your feet
tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.” 


~ William Butler Yeats, “He wishes for the cloths of heaven,” 1899


 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”
 
     ~ Luke 11:10-13
  
     We grow up, watching our parents, choosing the things we don’t like about the way they “parent us” claiming “I will never do that when I am a parent.  And then we become parents.
     We may not do the things we dreaded that our parents did, but somehow we come up with our own special glitch. Some that make our own children say, “When I am a parent, I will never do that.”  We try to step outside of our worst nightmares and do wonderful things for our children, and those are not to be discounted, but we also say things out of fear, hope, anger, dreams we never fulfilled that guide or sting our children.  Then they say, “I’ll never do that when I have kids.”
      The bottom line is: we all make wonderful choices, and awful mistakes.  It is so hard to give ourselves a break, and not focus on the things that hurt, the things that we would do differently.  The one thing that redeems us (my opinion) is that we have trained our children to know and love God, who is the perfect parent, the perfect friend.
     That is a wonderful thing.  When they look up, when they get to know God, God will fill in the gaps that we have missed, remove the splinters (if they allow it) that they have gotten caught on.
 
     Lord, you’re a good good Father and we thank you for straightening our course, tending our wounds, healing our hearts.
 
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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Pray Hard, Work Hard, and Be Kind to Yourself.

“I pray hard, work hard, and leave the rest to God.” 

 ~ Florence Griffith Joyner

 

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
~ Matthew 7:13-14
 
     Just like with our bodies, change takes time.  We alter our behavior, we eat a little less, increase our activity a bit at a time.  Following God can be whole hog, never look back. For some that works, and for others, it is like a familiar scent that you keep encountering and you look for the source.  Little by little, the path changes, the focus on the sounds around one changes.  We go from hearing the clink of a coin on the pavement, to hearing a whisper in a cricket’s song. 
     Once God has our attention, and we want more, we must exert more effort, and once we do, as with a new regimen, we are feeling better, following more nearly, hearing more clearly, loving Him more dearly.
   Inch by inch, step by step, Day by day.
    Because of Him,
     Linda
 
Day by Day

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Fix My Eyes

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog — the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.” 
      ~ Corrie ten Boom
 
God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
 
     It is so easy to tear down. So easy.  Before 2010, I had never heard the word snarky.
snark·y
ˈsnärkē/
adjective

NORTH AMERICANinformal
  1. (of a person, words, or a mood) sharply critical; cutting; snide.
    “the kid who makes snarky remarks in class”
    • cranky; irritable.
      “Bobby’s always a bit snarky before his nap”
    Since then, it is close to replacing “sarcasm” as a way of life, at least where I live.  It is so easy to grab a gavel and judge, point that finger and pontificate, shake one’s head in disgust and forget to pray.
          Where we are now in the world, we cannot afford anything but to pray.  Build up, vocalize that word of affirmation, that compliment.  It is important to build up those in the body of Christ.  Sometimes we are the only thing standing in the gap between life and death.  No matter what front we are on, standing together in Christ is integral and more important than any other way one can stand.  Jesus has to fill us up, wash our core, be our core so that He is the lens through which we see, hear and speak.  In HIM we live and move and have our being.  How can we afford anything else but to build up the body of which Jesus is the head?
     Today, use your faith radar to see, to hear, and to speak.  Build up another believer, or the one that God prompts you to build up.
 
Fix My Eyes
 
     Lord, help me to accept praise in the light of your word, help me to give praise, encouragement according to your love. Keep my faith radar in working order, that I may use it for your glory.
     Because of Him,
     Linda

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Grace

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” 

                         ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
 
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
~ Galatians 5:13
 
I sit in the corner, if given the chance.
Back to the corner, I can sweep with a glance.
 
The room full of people, relationships bare.
A room full of strangers or church members there.
 
Then he enters in, and all I can see,
is his reflection, the room is all free.
 
The gift is not opened by all in the place.
But this day, I open it.  That pendant marked Grace.
 
A New Hallelujah
Because of Him,
Linda

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Even If

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
                                  ~ Romans 11:33
 
“All love that has not friendship for its base, Is like a mansion built upon the sand.” 
                                  ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
 
Even If – Mercy Me
 
      When I first heard the song, I was caught on the last line.  “It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.” I am always caught when I hear the line of a hymn used in a contemporary song.  So of course, the next time I heard it, I listened for more.  Pretty soon, I was having church in the car, worshipping and crying on my way to work because, every time I turned on the radio “Even If” was what I heard for a few weeks, no matter what time I got in the car.
     I listened to the testimony of Bart Millard with regard to this song. He spoke of his son’s diabetes, and how he knew God could heal his son and that diabetes is not like a cold, or the flu, a chronic illness just never goes away. Bart wanted to have the faith of the three in the fiery furnace.  He knew God could heal it, but he wanted the courage to say, “even if he does not, I will serve him.”
       Then, Bart heard his son say, “I will be changing the world as a diabetic.”
     That is where this song was born.  We still stand in hope of healing, but we serve God no matter what the circumstance.  Then, the line from It Is Well With My Soul that is the line that says, “I am standing in this trial, and I praise you, no matter what.”
(Bart’s testimony is in the first 3-4 minutes.)
     Next time, we’ll take a look at the hymn from which that line comes.
Until then, please stand on the promises.  He knows, He cares,  Praise His Holy Name.
 
Lord, help me to sing, It is well with my soul, in the midst of the trial, the fire, the hurricane, the tornado, the illness, _______. Even if I don’t receive that which I hope for, help me to sing anyway.
 
    Because of Him,
    Linda

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It Is Well

“Hands are the heart’s landscape.” ~ Pope John Paul II
 
God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
Hebrews 6:10-12
 
It is Well With My Soul
 
     I am including the story of the It is Well With My Soul. The loss that this couple experienced was unfathomable. Child, business, and then the rest of his children.
He had experienced the loss of nearly everything.  And yet, Horatio Spafford remained anchored in the Lord, and was able to pen a hymn that has stood the test of time.  
So often we “get through” a hymn to move on in the worship service.  Sometimes it has to do with our singing ability, sometimes we don’t care for the tune, sometimes it is ot lively enough.  The next time this hymn comes around, focus on the lyrics and remember this story.  It is why Bart Millard from Mercy Me included it in the song Even If.  Because despite what life throws, it is well with his soul.  Here now the story:
 

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family — a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Chorus:

It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul

Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August 1881, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

Lord, keep me anchored in you. Loss is unsettling, unbalancing, heart wrenching.  Help me to stay, when all is stripped away, in a place to sing It is well with my soul.

Because of Him,

“Hands are the heart’s landscape.” ~ Pope John Paul II
 
God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
Hebrews 6:10-12
 
It is Well With My Soul
 
     I am including the story of the It is Well With My Soul. The loss that this couple experienced was unfathomable. Child, business, and then the rest of his children.
He had experienced the loss of nearly everything.  And yet, Horatio Spafford remained anchored in the Lord, and was able to pen a hymn that has stood the test of time.  
So often we “get through” a hymn to move on in the worship service.  Sometimes it has to do with our singing ability, sometimes we don’t care for the tune, sometimes it is ot lively enough.  The next time this hymn comes around, focus on the lyrics and remember this story.  It is why Bart Millard from Mercy Me included it in the song Even If.  Because despite what life throws, it is well with his soul.  Here now the story:
 

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family — a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Chorus:

It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul

Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August 1881, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

Lord, keep me anchored in you. Loss is unsettling, unbalancing, heart wrenching.  Help me to stay, when all is stripped away, in a place to sing It is well with my soul.

Because of Him,

Linda

Linda

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