“All The Love in The World”, from L.Willows (The Lordship of Christ Jesus, Our Hearts, Day by Day)

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Many hearts are feeling the lament of the suffering that exists in the world right now.  We approach Holy Week, tomorrow is Palm Sunday – most of us are in the experience of home isolation. I don’t believe that anyone could have fathomed that this would be what life looks like a few months ago. Here we are. Our hearts seek the Lordship of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We must bring our hearts to God and trust that He hears every prayer now more than ever before. I am thankful that His Love is always faithful and Near.

In my own life, I have needed the Lord’s Presence countless times in these weeks. Remarkably, I have been witness to many miracles even though there have been times when I felt lost. I have seen bold prayers answered in the lives of many that I know. His Nearness is vivid and palpable.

These are not normal times. I find that there is no way to prepare for life “now”. The only way to live is by putting complete trust in God.  To me, that meant for everything, large and small and in-between.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I needed to pause and step back, to go again to God and ask for His Help. Prayer has been a way of life. Needing the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the most essential protection. Most of all, for my heart- I need to be filled with the Love of God. It is the Bread, the only Bread that will sustain and feed me or any of us throughout this and our lives.

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.”

Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

We are in days, unique times- but not the first times in the history of mankind when all have gathered in homes to pray to God and ask for His leadership and favor.

We need to open our hearts with gratitude for what we receive from Him. He offers us daily bread. Help us to see it and receive it. His Love, wisdom and the power of His Lordship is here for us.

God provides all the love in the world. The power of His love is here.

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.”

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are in the safe grasp of The Lord. His comfort is near to each of us. Nothing that happens in this world, no matter how grave the crises, or close up the danger feels- can or will ever alter the truth of who God is, and of His Promises to us. This time that we are all in, as difficult as it can be is to walk through, is part of a trial that we each are called to courageously face.

We cannot face it with our own strength alone. We need God’s strength. We need to call upon His Love. It is a remarkable Power.

God’s Love is granted to us as a Treasure to be given out.

Our hearts not only need to be filled by His Love for personal healing and restoration, but we are also His people- His ‘responders’, able to fulfill His will and purpose on behalf of others.  We do not have such knowledge but by allowing the treasure of His Love, His pure character to move through our hearts, we become instruments of His Love.  In this way, we are equipped to respond generously to the world around us. There is a call for us to love one another in courageous ways right now.

Acts 9:15 “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Christians who have spent years in prayer and had the privilege of community and study now have an opportunity to live their faith boldly, to entrust to God all of their hearts and with full belief in His enduring goodness – take all and every action in their immediate surroundings using every gift, ability, and talent for the benefit of others so that His Love is forwarded outward. What was entrusted to us, needs to be given selflessly.

Joshua 1:9 “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.”

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

We are connected by our need for God.

Now, more than ever we live in a world that needs to be bound together by love. As we witness daily counts of how many are dying worldwide of COVID 19 our response can’t be fear. We need hope. We know that death is not the end of life. Yet the suffering that exists is in many other forms of loss. It is one that my words do not need to repeat.

Each reader knows too dearly what the sources of suffering are both in their own lives and in their communities near and far. It is a loss beyond words. It is economic, cultural, national, spiritual and deeply personal. It takes hearts and presses them in ways that I cannot write.

The most important thing is that suffering brings our hearts to God. We need Him desperately. He answers and is vividly Present. I am reminded that in scripture we have not been promised that life is exempt from suffering, but that it is like a refiner’s fire that strengthens us, more as we are given mercy and comfort from God- we are able to be merciful and comforting to others.

Romans 5:3-4 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

The Way that God Loves us.

We need to pray that God’s immeasurable Love runs like rivers of mercy. 

Today and in the next days and weeks, I pray that you will receive fresh fillings of God’s Love in your hearts. Jesus Christ is our Lord. Most especially, remember as I hope that I do- it is a time to love one another. If we each search our hearts we will find that there are some that we need to reach out to and others that we need to forgive. We may have burdens on our hearts that need to be brought to the Lord. He is There, miraculously able to be with each of us to transform it all in the Power of His Love. It is personal. The Lord Jesus Christ is a personal God that we can call at any moment of the day or night.  

God is always with you. His Love is constant, unwavering, steady and faithful.

1 John 4:7  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

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.”

Each day as we mark this time, we can remind our hearts that it is also a beginning. We can start the days with a remembrance of God’s call to each of us to Love faithfully as He does, to remember to be generous with the Love that pours to each of our hearts and to open our hearts softly towards Him with trust, listening to the calling of His Spirit. We each have specific “instructions” on the way we need to walk forward. We will know. We will feel His prompting. God’s Loving Hand is always with us. He is always leading. Call upon the Lordship of Christ Jesus. 

 

He is giving us all of the Love in the world. He Is All of the Love in the World.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”

Pray boldly. Be Strong and Courageous. Put your life and heart into the Lordship of Christ Jesus. 

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Living in Joy; Secured by God”, from L.Willows (Near to Christ, the Spirit of God, “this world”)

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The Joy of The Lord is Near, He Secures Each Heart

Living in degrees of confinement because of the threat and dangers co-vid 19 gives us new opportunities to refine the ways that we each find joy in life.

For me, my first sense of the loss of joy (after not meeting directly in church, of course) was not being in nature, in parks with blossoming trees and watching the smallest details of each new flower that rose up every day from the ground. I missed hearing particular birds sing, even watch familiar ones make nests and prepare for the season and fly by. Each color and hue was appreciated as God-made. I could be found with my nose in a  fragrant blossom just like a busy bee, fortunate not to be stung. The parks are closed. I don’t have a private garden to tend to. I loved it when I did. But our lives, and the world around us that we do not control- has seasons that God predestines.

I realized that I did not lose anything. Everything that I just described is still there, still growing and blossoming in God’s timing. I just cannot see it or touch it. I can’t smell it. My senses have been removed from the experience. My senses have been removed from the experience of “going to church” as well. There are beloved people that I long to see and be with. Voices that I wish that I could hear “LIVE”; sparkly faces that tell me a thousand things just by looking into Expression up close. It is all still there, but it is preserved by God’s deepest loving care and protection.

I believe that there is a gift of joy that is being offered at this time to each of us that is greater than the losses that we are experiencing. He offers intimacy with Himself. He extends His own Heart and invites us into the Aroma of His Spirit.

Every day we each have countless opportunities to know God in new ways. We need to recognize these invitations in our lives, the lives that we are leading in our homes in isolation and protected spaces. First, we need to remember that we are protected by the Lord. We are not isolated from God, especially not from one another. We are and always have been connected by His Spirit. This is a gifted opportunity to enhance the ability to be strong in Spirit and to heart-fully connect in that way. The more that we pray together and feel Unity as one body in Christ, the greater our sense of joy will be.

1 Timothy 2:1 -First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.

The first path to joy is Unity by the call of the Spirit of God.

We also have unique individual opportunities to discover joys in our hearts and in our lives (right now). Heart joy is spiritual. It starts with Prayer. Prayer begins with being connected to God’s Word. We have a special gift of time now. Each day needs to begin and end with the joy of meeting with God in scripture, contemplation, and worship. We can’t find unity with one another before we each have personal peace with God. The “verticle” relationship needs to line up first before the “horizontal” one can flow and the point of Meeting is at the heart.

 Prayer leads us to know the Spirit of God. It fine-tunes our hearts to be sensitive to His Calling not only during prayer but throughout the day.  It changes our hearts. We look at the world and life around us with spiritual vision and a perspective of love. When you live in personal worship, you “see” goodness. When you live in fear and despair you experience the same.

Acts 4:13 –And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Joy is like a spectrum that is There. It is living with the Spirit of God.

Living in this kind of closeness with God gives a sense of true security. It is possible to withstand the shakable circumstances of this world and though we do and will still mourn, weep and know great loss- the heart’s security remains with God. In times when we witness or may have personal suffering, we need to remember that nothing in this world can separate us from the love and protection of God. Wherever we are and whatever state our mortal bodies are in, God is able to hear our individual prayers. More, they are answered. His Mercies never cease. We call upon Him by Name. Lord Jesus Christ, hear my prayer. Calling Jesus

Romans 8:38-39 —For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 55:16 –As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me.

We are Secured by God.

Sometimes we need to remember and be grateful for all of the ways that God has secured us in the past. Gratitude is not only a way of replenishing joy, but it also restores our worship and places value on what is most important to us. Times like this are a good chance to view what we value most and to be grateful for all of the good that God has given. Remember that “where your treasure is, there will be your heart”. (Matthew 6)

 One way to experience the Security of God’s Presence is to read His Promises to us in Scripture. We are secured by His Love. We have nothing to fear. The Joy of the Lord is Near.

As I read through what I have written, I realize that I valued nature (in this world) much. I loved what I received through my senses. But there is a greater treasure that God wanted me to find. He gave us each “Senses of The Spirit”. They are far greater riches. I value them so much more. God’s Garden is greater than any worldly splendor. He asks that I explore and roam through the beauty and majesty of His Kingdom. What a breathtaking invitation. Thank you, Lord, for this time with You.

© 2020 Linda Willows

Psalm 27:1 -The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 4:8 -In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

and the one that we all need to keep near to our hearts~

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

“Loving Our Neighbors Well in Challenging Times,” from L.Willows (Tangible Good, Motion Love, Become the Blessing)

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I join countless others at this pivotal time in history by asking that we join together seeking to share with one another by lifting our hearts, as we face the challenges of self-sacrifice, and the disciplines of home isolation during the coronavirus trial here and around the world. There is a great need for all to love and to love one another well. 

We need to remember that God is Near, His faithfulness will restore our hearts.

During this particular challenge, we face more than a virus- there is a trial that we face in each of our hearts as well. Many long to surge to action to assist others and loved ones, in the usual ways, often, we can not- many of us feel helpless. In distant places, there may be loved ones that are suffering. On the news every day we watch something that seems unbelievable, yet this “thing” is really happening in a world that was so different mere months ago. We see heroes and leaders in the medical community and on other fronts that sacrifice their wellbeing so that they can serve in hospitals, communities and in points of leadership all over the world.

From wherever we are, we can be praying for them every day. We pray that they will be restored protected and renewed. May God Bless them and keep their families near to Himself.

I ask that God give us wisdom, discernment, and protection – that His mercy touches all of our hearts and His Spirit anoints al with the Breath of His Loving Life.

 God hears each of our prayers and leads us all forward. We pray for revival in the hearts of all, that prayer is bold and strong at this vital time. We long to feel infused with His Loving Presence and meet together at the Altar of His Love from wherever we are and from whatever condition we are in. This is His Promise to us. He is ALWAYS with us. He hears EVERY prayer.

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Deuteronomy 9:7 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.

We can be in His Presence directly and know that whatever happens today, tomorrow or next week – we be able to receive His Comfort and His Mercy directly. 

More importantly, we can do that for others. God love pours into us abundantly and generously.

Romans 8:37-39 -No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jerimiah 31:3 -The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

As our hearts are filled with God’s Love, we become sensitive to the needs of others, and while we are not the Healer, as God is- as we are infused and inspired by His Spirit, the love that is poured into us outflows in unlimited ways. “Our cups run over”.  We become vessels for His Love. God’s Love Pours Outward.

We are reminded that our lives are not about ourselves. Even during these crises, we are urged to do several things.

1. Draw close to God. Connect whole-heartedly with His Presence so that we experience personal renewal in our individual relationships with Him.

When we are in a crisis, whether it is personal or a collective one that affects us all at the same time- our first response always needs to be to call upon God. We are born into a mortal condition that instills fear and sin that leads us in the opposite direction, into darkness. From the darkness, we can find no solutions- only more chaos and deeper anxiety. Because we have been born anew by the power of His Spirit into Light, into the Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ- we can call upon His Power by Grace.

If any readers do not know Jesus and desire to be able to call upon Him at this urgent time please link to this amazing article by Randy Newman for a wonderful article on Following Jesus.

Suggested Resource: Randy Newman“Follow Jesus”, the Invitation C.S. Lewis Accepted, from Dr. Randy Newman (Christ, Faith, Eternity)

Suggested Resource: Drawing Near to God, The Saints Happiness by Richard Sibbes

2. Have an ongoing honest dialogue with God about the present condition of our hearts.

Do not be afraid to pour out how you are feeling “right now” with God. Confinement over a period of time tends to pull out past or recent heart wounds in an honest way. Whatever has been hiding in the recesses comes forward because of the severity of the stress of isolation and these unique circumstances that stress and trigger so much. (a sense of loss of control, fear and anxiety, health, mortality- just a start…) It is important not to ignore the signals or to cover up the normal anxiety as it arises with buffers. We need to appeal to His Wisdom and lift out of the distress. Unless we face the heart stories that surface, things can begin to simmer- inner stress can cause anxiety and we begin to develop other symptoms that stray from the peace that we are seeking.

We can look to the way King David spoke to The Lord in the Psalms about everything that he was experiencing and feeling. He held nothing back from God, The Father.  Sometimes I do this during a “prayer-walk”. I start with worship and gratitude, then I confess everything that I am feeling to the Lord. Before I know it, I am Lamenting. Then, I pray by making my requests known to God. I finish with Gratitude, remembering all of the prayers have been answering in the past. Try reading the Psalms and you may find some that may express how you are feeling in these hours. Some Psalms of Lament are Psalm 44, Psalm 60, Psalm 74, Psalm 79, Psalm 80, Psalm 85 and Psalm 90. 

Suggested Resource: “Trusting God; how do we develop strength for tough times?”…the works of Maria M. Kneas

3. As we become motioned by Love, we begin to enter a realm of personal heart healing.

As we are confined in isolation for whatever reason and by this or new trials in life will find that there are one or more specific heart issues that may be recent, new or quite familiar to you. Sometimes, rather than feeling what is going on at the moment, we insert “buffers”. A buffer pads us but only momentarily. It is false insulation from what is going on in the heart. It will only help anxiety increase.

Most of us, just because we are mortal have difficulty fathoming our own hearts. We don’t have eyes with the ability to “see” ourselves. We try to analyze our hearts but we end up using our Minds to look at the Heart. One organ tries to “spot” another. Have you noticed what a tangle that ends up in? We make lists but they never end. That is the Mind trying to be the Specialist again.  We need the eyes and heart of God to See and to heal our hearts.

We are not specialists at our own hearts, nor at finding peace within. We need  God. Our pride believes that we are so that we can keep control. When we release pride and control, we soften the space, we allow an opening for the Light- for the inflow of God’s Spirit to enter in. There, we begin to open a door that allows a Kingdom View. Our hearts open to Love.

Suggested Resource: “Finding Peace amidst the chaos of this world; Scripture and Prayer” from L.Willows

4. Gain perspective from the past and present. Open our hearts to our neighbors around the world. Ask for The Kingdom View.

I am reminded of the second world war when so many endured close quarters and hardship for years on end. They lived through every kind of loss with tenacity and courage. Families were separated. Soldiers from many countries sacrificed courageously. Faith heightened as all worked towards peace.

I worked in the Middle East just during and after the Gulf War and then in Bosnia Herzegovina during the Balkan war for a number of years. My heart witnessed and people and cultures that have suffered greatly; whose lands have been ravished. In many cases, there was no food or electricity, nor supplies of any kind. Every night we learned of new death tolls and soldiers returned from the front lines with stories of horror.  Orphans roamed deserted streets and hid in empty hollowed outbuildings while the towns were shelled from nearby mountaintops. When they dove for cover, their heart must have gone away somewhere. I knew them. I was with them. My perspective is shaped by the children of war. There is a place in my heart that remembers them today and wonders how they are and if they are “sheltered in place” as adults with the coronavirus. I pray that these adult children know God today and that He Bless them. Maybe some of them grew up to be Doctors and Medics that are now helping others in crises. I pray that.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Imagine the wounds that these generations carry into these hours. Today, there are many countries that suffer civil war and other kinds of deprivations and poverty. We learn that we are not the center of everything. Even the scenes of horror and crises that we view on the news are scenes that someone with a camera found. In distant places, there are hospitals, villages, and tents that no one is seeing. It is humbling to realize that much of our prayer needs to go to what we cannot even see.

Suggested Resource: “Humility, The Beauty of Holiness”, Andrew Murray, Pastor and Author (humility, the root of grace, see Jesus),

Suggested Resource: “Seeking Greater Things or Seeking God”, from D.A. Carson (leadership, motive, serving God)

Only God, who is sovereign over the earth and our sojourn past, present, and future, can deliver us and open our hearts and minds to help us to see His Purpose and His Goodness in us and in this Journey that we are all walking through together. Ask for a Kingdom View.

5. Love our Neighbors as ourselves.

Sometimes, perhaps because of the age that we live in, we lose the skill of connecting with one another in tangible ways? Now, because of self-isolation, the business community, by necessity, continues over the computer from home. Children are learning from home in most cases from schools by technology from the schools. Without going into more specifics, countless families that were once separated for 6-10 hours a day are now home together even as parent or parents must work from home. Cities and lives that once bustled with life are not shutting down. Life as we knew it has shifted into a different landscape. Even if one venture out, it does not look like “this world was before”. There is much sadness in everyone’s heart about loss. There are many, many losses.

Pray for inspiration and wisdom about how you can be a blessing and an inspiration at this time to others.

We each have specific gifts given to us by God. The purpose of a gift is that it be used for the benefit of others. Can there be a more vital message that this is the time to use the blessings that have been given to us on behalf of others in need? I believe that we are especially challenged now to begin to recognize kinds of need that we may not have been listening to as sensitively before this crisis. Right now, I notice and listen to needs being articulated that are specific to now.

Suggested Resource: “Quotes on Spiritual Gifting and Service”, Pastor Tom Holliday, APC sermon notes (Kingdom hearts, perspective, serving God)

Suggested Resource: “Giving the Gift of Encouragement”, from L.Willows (Hope, Joy, Prayer)

6). Become a Tangible Outreach of God’s Love.

Reach out to friends and helpful people in your family, friends and church communities. Don’t sit and wait for someone to call you in an isolation puddle. Be the first one to call someone else that you sense needs to be drawn out. By taking the initiative to help someone else, you are actually emptying a space within for more of the Power of God to move into your own life. It is a dynamic of motion. But we all sometimes have to take the first step rather than digging deeper into our out lonely ditches.

We need to accept God’s invitation to lift up and out, by accepting His invitation to Love. His command was to love one another as He loved us. He always put others before Himself. His sacrificial love that pours into us is meant to be shared as a blessing. We are His vessels, that out-pour the love that is given so generously to us.

Reach out, become the Blessing to others:

Respond and Reach – Make a tangible difference in the lives of others now:

Here are some ideas and practical examples, remember to be safe under our present circumstances (you will have more!):

a). It is welcome to others when we offer to reach out, yet there is a special joy that comes at this time of restriction and isolation that is received from the “old fashioned” phone call (as opposed to texting- which also has a welcome place!).

The blessing of the voice of a friend or family member brings remarkable healing for the heart.  We have imprinted memories around the voices of one another. And, since we are all home, (for now) perhaps we could temporarily suspend the Voicemail and answer our phones as a kindness to one another. It brings back the message that says “you are important to me” or at least try to call each other back. We need to get outside of our own stories, and agendas and consider that for now- the hearts of others are “God’s work for us”. We may not be placed at home just to idle or develop new hobbies that are about ourselves. As my Pastor said before all of this began, “our lives are not about ourselves”. It has to still apply. A virus is not going to conquer my heart nor yours. Will it?

Remember, even though many of us still feel overloaded with new home responsibilities, the gift of Time to one another is still one of the greatest resources that we have to give.

We seem to have gotten to an overload point where though everyone was “connected” to one another, no one was able to REACH each other. Maybe this can soften the heart of that. Time, prioritized as a gift blesses each other with selfless love is the message of Christ.

b). We can each be Givers of God’s Kindness each day.

As we come to a deepening awareness of how greatly we are being blessed during this journey together, it becomes vital to keep the blessings (which are God’s Mercies and generosity) in Motion. Can we each find ways, as an expression of gratitude to pass along His kindness to two other people every day? That can take many forms. Your own ideas will surprise you. Some people write cards to people in nursing homes. Some drop off care packages to neighbors. Others always buy for someone in need when they pick up fresh supplies for themselves and distribute them specifically. (and safely)

I recently thought of a “Living Call Outreach”. Each participant prays first and allows their hearts to be inspired by the names of one or two people that they are prompted to call. Trust God. As you enjoy the outreach call, explain the prompting and the purpose of reaching many with hope and honest conversation about our hearts. Express that we desire to grow His Spirit by Reaching with Love. Ask if the person would make one or two calls to share hope and encouragement forwards and continue the Outreach in His Name.

The Living Call Outreach is like forming a miraculous Tree of God’s connective Spirit that branches out in a Loving way among us. Keep going. Pray for the Holy Spirit to sustain each branch with His Life and Christ’s Love. 

c). Do you have a skill, gift or talent that could help others?

Many of us have skills and abilities that we have “put away” because we were busy doing other things, or even because we didn’t feel good enough. Sometimes, we develop the heart reason (which is not true) that we think that we need “permission from the world, or from an authority that confirms our reputation” before we are willing to contribute a skill. This is not a time to wait.

Here are some examples of Tangible Good;  your skills, your gifts-

    • form a prayer group by phone or virtual meeting in your town or community.
    • form a local (virtual)community support group for people at home with heart needs; include a health expert.
    • Are you well versed in the Gospel? Could you be a blessing or uplift to a neighbor with God’s Word? What about Prayer Cards left under the door?
    • Share your expertise in the arts, crafts, gardening, or cooking with friends and community by virtual or phone chains.
    • Do you have a gift or expertise in Life or Biblical Counseling? Can you offer your services to those that are homebound? Will it be by phone, internet, Livestream?
    • Find communities that need fellowship (senior homes and housing communities that are isolated) and arrange to send encouraging cards and handmade notes to them.
    • For artists and writers, create handmade notes for distribution to the home-bound. Become the Encouragers of your Community. Distribute Hope.
    • Bakers and Gifted Gourmets, consider creating special treats for those celebrating birthdays, weddings and anniversaries during this time, brainstorm on how to deliver and connect.
    • Bread Bakers, unite. Fresh Bread is a great Blessing. Is there a way in your town or community to produce bread and safely have it distributed to those in need at doorsteps and distribution centers for the elderly?
    • Prayer or Hope Cards are all over the internet but they might be a more personal blessing if they arrive anonymously and securely wrapped (sanitary) at the door of people in apartment buildings that are in lock-down. Especially in places that are in hard-hit areas. Is there a way to do this, with just one inventive artist and lots of computer paper?
    • Do you have a garden with flowering trees or blossoms? Using plastic gloves, create gifts of florals wrapped in “safe wrappings” and leave them at the doorstep of neighbors that do not have access to the outdoors with a note. Be sanitary and safe!
    • Are you a teacher with skills that can help students at home, can you help as a tutor that gives Parents additional resources, tutorials, websites to use at home? How will you connect the parents to your abilities?
    • Whatever you are able to offer, remember- it is all for the blessing and good of others, not for raising up one’s own reputation or advertising one’s one “market”
    • Pray. Pray every day. Pray unceasingly. Increase the capacity of your heart to pray and pray faithfully. 

Now is a time for personal sacrifice, a time when we look outside of ourselves to the needs of the world and those around us. God provides for us generously and faithfully. It is His Promise.

Would you like to add to this list with your own ideas? Please do! We are one family, God connects us.

© 2020 Linda Willows

Isaiah 40: 27-31

Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.