“Like a Dance that You Called”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Miracle, Faith in God, One Prayer)

Something, a miracle
Wondrously Yours.
Life forsaken, unshaken
in Spirit’s Grace poured.

Here, motion lifts, there the enthrall.
Heart mine, fully captured
in a dance in that You called.

This is One prayer
in the midst of many more,
lifted towards wonder,
towards horizons that pour.

Gifts from Love’s bounty,
in Promises kept.
Fullness in the keeping,
of lives given, Times wept.

Heart mine sweetly softened,
Carved like your clay;
Here for Your sweeping
in miraculous Day.

We gaze at your beauty
and mystified, sigh.
Praying to Holiness
our humbled hearts cry.
Waking to witness,
we come-
You alone know why.

Something; a miracle,
Wondrously Yours.
Hearts enraptured,
Like a dance that has been called.
This is One prayer
for us All, for us All.

© 2020 Linda Willows

Jeremiah 32:27 –“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

Matthew 17:20 –He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Mark 9:23 –And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

Psalm 86:10-12 –For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

“Walking Towards Hope”, from L.Willows (Revival, God’s Goodness, His Glory, Believe)

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Walking Towards Hope, from L.Willows

The other day, I went to a nearby garden park that has been closed due to the pandemic. The loosely gated entry has not prevented locals from wandering in for private walks.  It is like a paradise inside.  Beyond the gate are gardens that volunteers lovingly tend to on a usual year.  The crews were absent but their labors from so many years past were still evident. That day was a real gift to me.

I  had been praying for a “second wind” in this journey of endurance during home isolation in our region. My heart felt heavy. I was deeply missing loved ones. I felt distant from all that I loved.

Then I stepped beyond the gate of the park. My heart lifted with gratitude that fell over me. Nothing of the world and its concerns seemed real in the gardens. Life seemed to be continuing without knowledge of the news or any updates of what tomorrow might bring. This was an isle apart. I smiled as I listened to birds singing to one another and stepped towards the largest fushia petals that I had ever seen.

Then I stepped amongst delicate yellow buds that reached up to feel the warmth of the sun. My heart melted and I became like a child walking in God’s open green, breathing His sweetened air.

I said to myself, “I am willing to believe that at this moment, everything is new. The bluebells tell be so. The lavender pearl buds on the bushes that run through the field tell me so. The lush green grasses that are dancing in the breeze are telling all that life is moving. A red cardinal flies majestically by.  The deep blue of the vast sky lives like the freedom that I long for. I walk but my heart is dancing. My soul is singing to God. I am praising Him.”

He is the Good Gardener. Nothing can prevent or delay God’s Goodness from rising. The Hope of His Presence and the beauty of His Creation lifts our hearts, from wherever we are.  I understand that there is no time, but the one that He sets. In the beautiful sky that I gaze at, my heart is set free, I am reminded of the vastness of God Himself. That freedom, which is the Altar of His Presence dwells within each of our hearts.  The Gateway is Jesus who is the Door .  My prayer was anwered. I had been revived by the sweetness of His Spirit. He led me to these Green Pastures.

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

I had been free all the while. Because of the isolation, I allowed my heart to believe that the “walls that I saw” were real. They were really only walls within my own heart. I allowed myself to believe that the limitations of life during home isolation though they were tangible and physically confining did not have to confine by heart and soul. The Good Shepherd, Jesus was leading me once again to the truth of His Kingship and most especially of the gift of salvation.

The Lord, my Good Shepherd had led me to His Green Pasture. There I was, praying for renewal and revival. God sees our hearts, each burden, each care – wherever we live and wherever our walk takes us, He is there. I am so encouraged as I write, yet there is no tangible evidence in life, except that I had the great privilege of this walk. Yet, I realize that the great Glory of our God displays in intangible ways. I am reminded that we can’t always ask to see and have or even feel what we want in a mortal way. The goodness and Glory of God are beyond the gardens of this world, they are only “sighted” by the eyes of our heart when they have been opened by believing.

 

John 11:40 -Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

That evening in my home, I did not feel enclosed by any boundary nor did I feel isolated. I looked out to the sky and I felt hugged by everything that is good. I felt wrapped in the Presence of God. He is beside us each and with us wherever we are. The paradise that I longed for is a blessed eternity in His Kingdom that is promised to all in His Care. For some reason, the words to a familiar song that we used to sing in Church comes to mind as I write:

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one…

and we will sing together again!

Hebrews 1:3 -He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Believing in God”, The Gospel of John with commentary from Nathan Bingham of Ligonier Ministries (belief, near to God, hope)

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Introduction from L.Willows: I need to “Believe”; to believe with all of my heart, my mind and to live it in the hours of each day. “This world” and “this life” need BELIEF in GOD as our leading value. Without this, we have no way to measure or direct our footsteps forward. Our hearts would lean upon circumstance for hope. We have been given more. In the Gospel of John, we are reminded that by the power of faith we receive the Son of God, Jesus Christ and become Children of God. 

This is what BELOVED is about. I celebrate, with you that at every moment we are blessed in the presence of The Holy Beloved, who is with us, whose Spirit is placed within our hearts, who intercedes for us and whose Father loves us with might that we can scarcely comprehend.

Remembering this, I’d like to highlight some passages from the Gospel of John with an introduction from Ligonier Ministries. (L. Willows

The Gospel of John from Nathan W. Bingham

A special challenge to interpreters of John’s Gospel is the relation between seeing “signs” and belief.

The author places great emphasis on the unique significance of Jesus’ miracles because they reveal much about His Person and work (John 20:3031). But some passages seem to suggest that belief based solely upon having personally seen the signs is not a good thing.

In John 4:48, for instance, Jesus rebukes His hearers, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

This passage brings to mind the statement of Thomas in John 20:25, “Unless I see … I will never believe.” Therefore, many readers have concluded that an ideal faith has no interest in miracles. The problem with this conclusion is twofold.

First, if faith resulting from miracles is not good, why does Jesus perform miracles? Second, why does John link these signs to faith in Christ (John 20:31)?

To believe in Jesus means not only to acknowledge His ability to perform miracles, but also to accept what those miracles as “signs” reveal about His Person and work.

The evangelist indicates that the written record of Jesus’ signs is sufficient testimony for those who are not eyewitnesses. This understanding is implied by what Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Paul’s formulation gives a similar relation between faith and sight: “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7; cf. Rom. 8:2425).

Faith can be produced and encouraged by the signs Jesus performed. But the goal of this faith is to apprehend Jesus in His fullness, not merely as a miracle worker.

Jesus is revealed by His “signs” as the eternal Word of God, one in glory with the Father and the Spirit.

It is not necessary to be an eyewitness of the signs; the record of them is sufficient to convey their power for eliciting and strengthening faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

One of the most striking distinctives of this Gospel is the Prologue (John 1:1–18) that presents Jesus as the eternal Logos, or Word, the One who reveals the Father.

Christ reveals the Father because He shares in the Father’s deity. He is the One who made the universe (John 1:3).

He met the needs of the Israelites in the wilderness, and now He provides spiritual water and bread (John 4:13146:35). In short, He is one with the Father, the “I am” (John 5:188:5810:30–33; cf. Ex. 3:14).

From Nathan Bingham

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

John 1:1-51

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:18

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 6:35

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

John 10:38

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

John 11:40

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

John 14:1

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 20:31

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 5:4

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.