To my friends in London and the UK,
It is with such sadness that I turn on the news and listen to reports of a terror attack in London. Lives, families, communities, a country and heart responses are felt around the world. We listen to political commentaries of the implications. It is human to feel alarmed, somehow always shocked-even though this is part of life in the world that we are living in. I don’t want to become immune in my heart to the suffering that evil renders. But rather than feeling afraid or becoming over involved in reviewing the reports again and again -I want these incidents to increase the resolve and bold stance that lives in me which gives me strength.
During crises, emotions can run high with conflicting perspectives on how we can solve what can feel like an incoming peril that ticks like a clock on the horizon. We challenge it in so many ways and seek a Power to overcome it and control our destiny on Earth.
I grieve on a day like today for the families and the many repercussions of the attack. I will take it in slowly but then go to the One that is our Creator and Sovereign. My faith is that He knows what is happening in the world. My own understanding in insufficient and limited. No matter how many facts I collect, or how I arrange them, it will not have the power to alter the world or summon nations.
I will often read The Psalms and roam through the words of those that called out before us.
Today, I found these words in Psalm 91 this afternoon. I wanted to include the entire Psalm, it is so moving so it follows. Love, more love and Relentless Love that does not bow to evil.
This wondrous work of Art by Thomas Blackshear 11 illustrates the words of Daniel in the Old Testament. I would like to include a commentary by Matthew Henry from the site “Blue Letter Bible”which I love for the abundance of resources and variety of commentary and thought.
Some scholars take time to research the original Hebrew text and Greek origins of the meanings of words in The Bible which can offer fascinating insight as well. Some say that The Gospel can be read on many levels beginning only with the apparent text upon first read. This except of commentary by Henry (and there are a multiplicity of amazing sources of commentary even on the site that I suggested) begins earlier in the text with…
Nebuchadnezzar, before he relates the judgments of God that had been wrought upon him for his pride, gives an account of the fair warning he had of them before they came, a due regard to which might have prevented them. But he was told of them, and of the issue of them, before they came to pass, that, when they did come to pass, by comparing them with the prediction of them, he might see, and say, that they were the Lord’s doing, and might be brought to believe that there is a divine revelation in the world, as well as a divine Providence, and that the works of God agree with his word.
Now, in the account he here gives of his dream, by which he had notice of what was coming, we may observe,
I. The time when this alarm was given to him (v. 4); it was when he was at rest in his house, and flourishing in his palace. He had lately conquered Egypt, and with it completed his victories, and ended his wars, and made himself monarch of all those parts of the world, which was about the thirty-fourth or thirty-fifth year of his reign, Eze. 29:17. Then he had this dream, which was accomplished about a year after. Seven years his distraction continued, upon his recovery from which he penned this declaration, lived about two years after, and died in his forty-fifth year. He had undergone a long fatigue in his wars, had made many a tedious and dangerous campaign in the field; but now at length he is at rest in his house, and there is no adversary, nor any evil occurrent. Note, God can reach the greatest of men with his terrors even when they are most secure, and think themselves at rest and flourishing.
II. The impression it made upon him (v. 5): I saw a dream which made me afraid. One would think no little thing would frighten him that had been a man of war from his youth, and used to look the perils of war in the face without change of countenance; yet, when God pleases, a dream strikes a terror upon him. His bed, no doubt, was soft, and easy, and well-guarded, and yet his own thoughts upon his bed made him uneasy, and the visions of his head, the creatures of his own imagination, troubled him. Note, God can make the greatest of men uneasy even when they say to their souls, Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry; he can make those that have been the troublers of the world, and have tormented thousands, to be their own troublers, their own tormentors, and those that have been the terror of the mighty a terror to themselves. By the consternation which this dream put him into, and the impression it made upon him, he perceived it to be, not an ordinary dream, but sent of God on a special errand.
III. His consulting, in vain, with the magicians and astrologers concerning the meaning of it. He had not now forgotten the dream, as before, ch. 2. He had it ready enough, but he wanted to know the interpretation of it and what was prefigured by it, v. 6. Orders are immediately given to summon all the wise men of Babylon that were such fools as to pretend by magic, divination, inspecting the entrails of beasts, or observations of the stars, to predict things to come: they must all come together, to see if any, or all of them in consultation, could interpret the king’s dream.
It is probable that these people had sometimes, in a like case, given the king some sort of satisfaction, and by the rules of their art had answered the king’s queries so as to please him, whether it were right or wrong, hit or missed; but now his expectation from them was disappointed: He told them the dream (v. 7), but they could not tell him the interpretation of it, though they had boasted, with great assurance (ch. 2:4, 7), that, if they had but the dream told them, they would without fail interpret it. But the key of this dream was in a sacred prophecy (Eze. 31:3, etc.), where the Assyrian is compared, as Nebuchadnezzar here, to a tree cut down, for his pride; and that was a book they had not studied, nor acquainted themselves with, else they might have been let into the mystery of this dream. Providence ordered it so that they should be first puzzled with it, that Daniel’s interpreting it afterwards might redound to the glory of the God of Daniel.
Now was fulfilled what Isaiah foretold (ch. 47:12, 13), that when the ruin of Babylon was drawing on her enchantments and sorceries, her astrologers and star-gazers, should not be able to do her any service.
IV. The court he made to Daniel, to engage him to expound his dream to him: At the last Daniel came in. v. 8. Either he declined associating with the rest because of their badness, or they declined his company because of his goodness; or perhaps the king would rather that his own magicians should have the honour of doing it if they could than that Daniel should have it; or Daniel, being governor of the wise men (ch. 2:48), was, as is usual, last consulted. Many make God’s word their last refuge, and never have recourse to it till they are driven off from all other succors.
He compliments Daniel very highly, takes notice of the name which he had himself given him, in the choice of which he thinks he was very happy and that it was a good omen: “His name was Belteshazzar, from Bel, the name of my god.’ He applauds his rare endowments: He has the spirit of the holy gods, so he tells him to his face (v. 9), with which we may suppose that Daniel was so far from being puffed up that he was rather very much grieved to hear that which he had by gift from the God of Israel, the true and living God, ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar’s god, a dunghill deity. Here is a strange medley in Nebuchadnezzar, but such as is commonly found in those that side with their corruptions against their convictions.
Thank you for your interest!
“Heart, Patched by Grace”
This heart, patched by Grace from such mercies above…
Has been covered by acts of full kindness that poured-
And landed to all of my parts that then soared.
I bow upon friendships and Your Godly known Love.
Yes, Lord I can fathom how in all life, You
Do live throughout all the miraculously formed;
From even the smallest and most humble cause…
Life rumbles to quake Your Love’s birth and imbue.
© 2017 Linda Willows
Prayer is the most powerful thing that we can learn to do with our hearts. When we Pray we are trusting that God, who Loves us, is listening, able to understand all of our experiences and longings and also has the Wisdom and Power to Intervene, Help, Heal and led us into the experience of His Presence….
Please know, I am not an authority, nor a teacher… only one on a long an joyful journey in prayer. I share only wishing to inspire you to seek further and feel my own joy.
In Prayer we pursue that which is Holy. We long to come alongside the Presence of Love Itself. When we do that, we experience the Relentless Love of God for us. Our response is to choose to turn towards Him and respond to His call to Awakening to a New Birth or to fall back into the ‘familiar’ until our hearts are touched once again.
When we know how to pray…we begin Prayer with Worship. We are humbled by awe at The Infinite Love that The Lord has for us; our hearts fill with gratitude, wonder and we bow in our heart’s reach as we aspire to know and whisper our own words to The One That Created and has Known us from the beginning of Time.
We must come to acknowledge that by our own Power, we can do no thing. The Power of God is Sovereign in the seen and the unseen worlds in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom. This Eternal is the source of Creation and formed us in “His” amazing image with purpose, plan and design. With our mortal minds and transient feelings, we do not have the tools to perceive God. We can only begin to know God through His Spirit, which described in the Bible. The following are two of my favorite quotations of Christ Jesus.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love…
In Prayer we seek to commune with God. We feel called by something greater, larger and unfathomable by our minds, perhaps only perceived by our Hearts. We respond by calling back, calling out and deeply desiring to hear, feel and know God.
We must “Pursue Love Relentlessly’
It is difficult to persuade anyone against the promise of power and peace. Life though, is the greatest Teacher– for we are not Alone, nor created Alone. We have been created by God.
Ultimately there is no quick fix to alter our circumstances or ‘patch in’ a positive to our emotions on top of something unhealed or un-forgiven. God finds us where we are and and is able to embrace all, the whole of us in a way that is almost unfathomable to our mortal hearts. We are human; imperfect, fallible. When we seek the love of our Maker, seek reunion with That which formed our Being in innermost core of Creation-we begin a journey which ends in a Birth and a death. We die, or find degrees of surrender of the ‘gross’, all that we carry which is earthbound and “leads to death”….
Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
and embrace The One That God, ordained by the Holiest of Holy’s where we find Grace.
Prayer and The Holy Trinity
The followed list of affirming Christian belief is taken from my Church’s website Alexandria Presbyterian Church which includes many links to more detailed information on every subject that I would want to bring up further on all things related to prayer, worship, Christianity and deeper subjects.
upon my heart rests this prayer:
“Pursue Love Relentlessly”
The Sermons and Fellowship Group directly inspired my Prayer life and cause a surge forward that awes me to tears of gratitude and happiness. Life, Purpose and Perspective have altered for me 360 degrees in the last 5, is it 6 years? Time is flying by…
I can only offer my testimony that Prayer, and its fruit-the molding of one’s heart into a vessel for the Love of God, It’s Joy and the desire to out-pour His Spirit and Being in life and community with all Life is an astounding journey.
The Holy Trinity in The Westminster Confession of Faith
Alexandria Presbyterian Church statement of Belief in concordance with The Holy Bible.
I pray that all be blessed by God, that their heart know Him and lives be touched by His Love, find Unity among-st us all and Mercy now and forever.
© 2017 Linda A Willows