“For God wins His Song”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Blessing, God’s Goodness, a New Day)

For God Wins His Song 

Oh, heart, don’t look back, you will not lose for long,
All that is lost, will gain again strong.
In his Love there is Good, for God wins his song.

Oh, heart, don’t mourn, you must not be drawn.
The times, they are swift- seasons pass, they conform,
We are held in His midst like a wild summer storm.

Oh, heart, don’t look back, The east comes with new dawn-
Bringing gifts of life’s future from Goodness, full drawn.
See what brightness does beckon, what mercy does sing.
At the Gates of our Lord, from the announce of our King.

There in the East, in the clearing that Lights
Angel wings form as cloud’s heavenly sights.
Misting, then granting the dew that brings Day
Here upon each that bends down to Pray.

Oh, heart, don’t look back, you will not lose for long.
All that is lost will gain again strong.
In His love there is Good for God wins his Song.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Psalm 33:19

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

Exodus 33:19

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

“God is With You – All The Time”, from L.Willows (justice, Overcome, stand with Love, do no harm)

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Hearts that have been broken by trials and challenges can be lifted by God. They are given the strength to be stronger than before.

Sealed and healed by His power to walk forward in Love, we are given grace upon grace to walk beyond and through worldly circumstances.

Are there any of us that have not faced forms of brokenness? We all have examples from life, whoever we are, wherever we live. There are personal stories that line the insides of each of our hearts.

We pray that God is with us during these times; that His Goodness is greater than the experience of what is visibly broken.

God is With You, All the Time

Looking closely, we see that since we are living in a broken world – one that is not yet redeemed by Christ, in which, we ourselves, grateful for the gift of grace in Christ; are not yet fully redeemed (not perfect and removed from all sin), we are subject to personal brokenness and trials that recur.

Romans 8:19- “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption…”

Recently, I have listened to hearts sharing courageously about the corruption of evil, the forms it takes and how that feels when it becomes a ‘like a mountain’ in your path as you are trying to walk forward- even on behalf of your family or for others that you serve.

2 Peter 2:9- “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”

1 Peter 5:10- “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Revelation 3:20- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

He is The Door to Freedom from Brokenness

Our lives are each so different but our hearts are similar. How we face God is similar and the way that it feels to go through a short or long season of inner brokenness in this world or one’s own “inner world” is similar. We live as God’s family. We are His children, His Beloveds. God is with us- all the time.

Joshua 1:19- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

For one moment I need to be specific. Sadly, our culture and world today call out some things that families and communities face in degrees of severity regardless of where they live or what their status is. Evil, which is the opposite of Love seeks to win the ‘battle’ for our hearts and lives. Evil, which is Sin, is the equivalent of death. Love, which is Christ – is Life.

The Choice between Life and Death; Deuteronomy

See What Kind of Love The Father Has

Recently there have been numerous accounts of bullying. This may sound sensational and blown up on the news, taking on perspectives and short interviews but it is far more personal and with far-reaching for the hearts involved. It is an assault on the spirit. Bullying happens to people of all ages. It is aggression towards those perceived to be vulnerable.

  • It wounds his or her trust and sense of innate protection and safety of self.
  • It violates the boundaries of his outer and inner heart and mind.
  • It places a false shame upon the identity of the individual because it causes one to question “why me?”.
  • It potentially violates the natural progression of trust in peer, and or authority relationships.
  • It potentially shakes trust in the caretakers that were supposed to be in the role of protectors, this includes spiritual figureheads, mentors and inner “promise keepers” that one looks to. (sometimes people that are harmed unknowingly lose faith in “God the Protector” as well, questioning why He did not prevent the harm)

This has equal implications for all ages. People in their 30’s, 40’s, even seniors can be on the receiving end of bullying.

How is bullying defined? It is a form of aggression that inflicts harm on the vulnerable. 

It is described as the action of seeking to harm, intimidate or coerce someone that appears to be vulnerable. This breaks my heart because vulnerability to me is a quality that is appealing. It is often the sweetest part about a kind and open person, not only a child but someone with a soft and pure heart; especially a Christian that has an intimate relationship with God.

Psalm 105:15- “Saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”

Romans 13:10- “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Christian “weakness” is Strength in the Sovereignty and Infinite Power of God.

The interesting thing is that the worldly definition of vulnerability is that one is open to attack but the Biblical definition of vulnerability is very different. Christian vulnerability is allowing God’s power to be supreme and sovereign!

2 Corinthians 12:9- “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:10- “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Romans 8:26- “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

I could go on into hundreds and hundreds of scriptural quotes but there is no room! The Old and New Testament are filled with the encouragement of God’s Sovereignty and Divine ability.

In this article, I only mentioned bullying as a form of agression that inflicts harm. Please consider how much goes on in this world – all of the trials that our neighbors face. There are so many things that attempt to steal our spirit and take away purity of the heart.

Aggression and forms of anger are like underground streams of toxic waters that are often unknown to us. Sometimes we have to stumble into the result of them before we know that they exist. Then we respond, we feel, we want to repel, understandably.

We Must Choose to Stand With Love

Can we pray that we are more loving and kind to one another? If you sense that there is even a seed of unkindness, bullying or aggression of any nature – know that its source is evil, that there are currents pulling in powerful directions in our world today but really there are only two directions. One is for good and the other is the opposite.

Where will you stand? We must choose to stand with Love.

1 Corinthians 16: 13-15- “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

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.”

Romans 11:22- “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”

Ending with these thought-provoking quotes from scripture, I have few words to add except that when I read Romans 11:22, I am reminded that the kindness of God is gracious, full and good. I am grateful that I abide in Him as a Christian and have been given the gift of salvation. It isn’t something that is to be taken for granted or that is a ‘once in a lifetime offer’. It is a daily, hourly, heart-altering journey that brings me humbly before God knowing that I need to ask that my heart be searched, reviewed, seen by His Spirit. I am not the judge or the arbiter of my destiny. I am not the one that is in control. I am not the one with the power or the strength to “do life”. I confess vulnerability. I go to God, to Christ, to His Spirit for “all things”, for wisdom, for help and in most especially in challenging times. I pray that He is sovereign in my life, in all life.

Isaiah 30:15- “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

Zephaniah 3:17- “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

God is With You. He is Good. Behold, He is The Door

I am so grateful that God is with us, all the time! Behold, He is at the Door. How could we navigate this life in any other way – with anyone else at the Door?

Revelation 3:20- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
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© 2019 Linda Willows

“Faith Stays! Bold Humility”, Scripture, Notes, and Prayer from L.Willows

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Faith Stays! Bold Humility from L.Willows

My Pastor, during our fellowship meeting this week concerning answered prayers, said, “It is nice to have answered prayer. It is nice to ride the wave as long as you can but also good to see the pain of it and see what it feels like to see Jesus there and see what it feels like to have his love there. That is more. It requires humility to stay in the corner station with Jesus even when he is silent. Faith stays! He may not be speaking but He is always listening.” (Pastor Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church)

Sometimes our lives and the lives of those around us become complicated. Things unforeseen to us happen. Life and the unexpected begins to call again. Perhaps something that you felt was certain has been “taken away” or a prayer that you have been faithfully persisting seems left unanswered. Here, he is saying is ground for fertile faith. Here is where we really find our hearts with Jesus and have a chance to feel and know his love.

When we don’t get what we want, our hearts start to measure the distance between the longing and what it will take to find peace.

The next thing that my Pastor said was that “It requires humility to stay in the corner station with Jesus even when he is silent.”

Now I am stepping back from that a bit and asking myself if I really had any humility, to begin with. Of course, I assumed that I did but what if I didn’t? If part of me felt regret about unanswered prayer, or part even pitied myself for the loss of what I did not receive that was a form of turning away from that “corner station” with Jesus when he is silent.

It can look lots of ways:
+I could be silent myself and just stop praying.
+I could be silent myself by becoming “too busy” for God.
+I could turn away by deciding that I want to explore ‘alternative ways’ of getting what I want.
+I could ‘resist’ by pretending that I just don’t care anymore and close up my heart.
+I could rebel and shut down my “feelings” for The Lord.
+I can leave in many ways.

But we need to go the distance, we need to stay in that corner station with Jesus. We need to have the courage to stay! Be stronger than our fears. Be larger than closing our hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to have more faith and deepen our strength.

We need to dig in the most when we want to leave or at least when our “hope does”. Our hope sometimes feels like it wants to just let go and walk away. That is when we need to hold fast and remember the love that Jesus has for us, how much he held on for us! We can ask for help. We can say, “Lord, help me” when we feel like we are weakening. It works.

The Humility that staying requires is filled with surrender. It asks us to face our hearts boldly and take risks. It asks us to be strong and dig into faith.

Humility is not something that belongs to a weak character,  it is a bold strength. It comes from shedding what is not true about ourselves. We are not what is apart from God. We are not our feelings, our doubts, our fears or our flights and losses. Most especially we are not our desire to control outcomes. That is a fantasy of our minds!

The Humility that staying requires is the welcome mat before the doorway to Faith. It is what we stand upon when we knock at the door and say, “Lord, help me.”

I am so grateful for the lesson that was presented. I needed to take a second look at the status, or what the “corner station” of my own humility was. Do I need to keep refreshing this? Is humility something that we need to “shake out” on a regular basis just like the welcome mats at a doorway that gets dusty? Or even very heavy laden with the weight of what we don’t realize we have put on it?

If it is before the door to Christ, I would wish that this precious entry be the fabric of my greatest treasure, pure love woven and grounded in a faith fibered with his word, his truth and God’s promises of His Goodness and eternal assurance of abiding Presence.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

 Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”