“Drawn into Christ’s Song”, from L.Willows (Scripture, Christ, God’s Spirit)

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This morning I read scripture aloud. I have found that there is something special about taking the time to do this. I imagine that I am ‘there’ as I read, right inside of the words. I especially take my time reading aloud when Jesus is speaking. It lets the tone and fullness of the words flood into my heart as they are spoken.

Often we drift into a “thinking knowledge” of God’s Love and Grace, even memory of Scripture can become dry. It rehearses in our minds and the truth, the real  Spirit behind it fails to capture our hearts in the way that it is intended to. We are not transformed. We need to refresh.

Scripture is alive. It is a living experience, just as our relationship with Christ is alive and living in the present.

There was such delight this morning in reading. All that had become settled and flat in me lifted up and was refreshed. As I read I was so moved by the tenderness and mercy of Our Lord that His Grace flooded me. His Love for me became a palpable Living experience once again.

God’s Spirit moves it through us, like miraculous music that fine-tunes everything that was formerly “singing out but wandered off”, longing for harmony and lulls it back to Love, to God Himself. We are drawn into the chorus of Love. Our hearts are filled again with delight. We are drawn into the Song of Christ.

Isaiah 12.2 –“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

Psalm 28.7 –“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I will thank Him with my song.”

Psalm 32.7 –“You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 40:3 –“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”

Psalm 103 1-5 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name…”

Isaiah 42:10 –“Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who dwell there.”

Prayer to Worship Well

Father,

Yield my heart to the hearing of your call
help me to turn from the world that I see…
from all that is called “this”-
from matters called “that”
and open my eyes and ears to the majesty of You.

Let me bask for moments, holy
in the stillness of your peace so beautiful and blessed.
Return me to the womb of your Love.

Soften all the calls that are not your own
and draw me into your glorious Song.
I long for you alone.

Soak my heart in your mercy and grace.
Direct my path and strengthen my faith.
Thank you for calling me into your peace,
I praise you for singing such Love into my soul.

In Christ’s Name
Amen

© 2019 Linda Willows

“Softening, We Become His Own”, from L.Willows (a New Heart, Soft Love, God is With Us)

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Recently I encountered an old friend. In a conversation with her, she asked how I was now, as so much time had passed. “Softer, I said. “I am softer with time, after many years and experiences. Life had made my heart softer where before it had many edges and ridges. Now it sinks here and there.” I tried to describe to her what is indescribable.

Afterward, I felt thankful and filled with memories. I knew that she could not really understand. We had been separated by such distance, like the many mountains that I have traveled through in my journeys.

Life softens. God knows. He walks beside us.

Sometimes it takes time and ups and downs to soften our hearts. Only God sees our lives and our hearts in truth. Surely, He had known each detail along the way. He has been with us, beside us for every step.

What is a soft heart and what does that mean? Well, soft is new. We are born with hearts that need to become new. We need a second birth. We feel alone until we find it. We sense vulnerability and powerlessness until we find our true heart in and with God.

When I thought that I was alone, I tried harder, I often created much effort believing that I needed to do things on my own. I thought that I needed to form strengthening skills to survive. We all develop heart-survival skills because we forget that God is with us on the journey. He is our true and only strength in life’s journey. Everything else falls away or may fail. Real Strength was not even about me!

Real strength is about God, not us.

Psalm 76:26 –“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Philippians 4:13 -“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

As we find Him, we are given a new Heart.

Ezekiel 26:36 –“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

2 Corinthian 5:17 –“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Soft is the Spirit of Christ’s Love in our hearts.  

When the new forms in us, and we belong to Christ we, are saved by faith. The process of becoming like Him is ongoing, it is Sanctification. That new heart grows. It becomes our new inner Influencer!

We and our lives are never the same again. The ridges become containers that are filled with the pourings of God’s blessings, with His Spirit – like waters that fill us and our hearts with newness. Imagine a thirsty valley in the springtime receiving the rains of God’s love season after season. We Soften, we are fed and the fruit of His Spirit grows in us.

Galatians 5:22-23 –“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

When we become new, we live as His Own. We can live with hearts softly, lovingly. I am not there, I pray that I live a life that gives rich evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. I have a long way to go still. But the parts that ‘sink here and there’ are soft enough to be filled by God’s Spirit. I am so grateful for His Goodness, and for so many Blessings – surely there are challenges but the Lord is at my side. (and with you) This is the only journey that I would ever want to be on.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Pray Soft

I pray that we soften to the miracle of knowing God’s Love,
to the reunion of walking each hour of the day in His Mercy.

I pray soft listening for our hearts, that we hear His Voice
amidst the challenges of our lives; from the calls that we are each given.

I pray soft walking in this world as we journey with one another.
Let us find each other in His Arms as One.

I pray for soft forgiveness in our relationships near and far; help us
all to remember how much we have been forgiven, and open our hearts.

I pray soft tenderness so that we open doors for others; let us be generous
and gracious givers in this wondrous life that we have –

for the Lord God has been so good and kind to each of us.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

“Tomorrow Can See”, a worship poem from L.Willows (See Jesus, the Altar of God, the Glory)

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Tomorrow Can See

Here in the Gift
is a newness that breaks
known as God’s Calling,
in the Dawn of His wake.

Burdens born then,
come round to the fore,
lifted like children they’ve
gone through the Door.

Here in all hearts
are the rooms, coming more-
Altars that pray,
they worship, they pour.

Tomorrow can see,
Love will be throughout time.
Given, our living,
forever, as Thine.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Exodus 17:15 –“And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner.”

Isaiah 41:40 –“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Revelation 6:9 –“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.”