“Praise of The Faithful”, worship prose from LWillows

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When world recedes only high trust proceeds
Gathering, gleaning all forward with lead.
Called from the Altar of worship that sings
Praise of the Faithful, of the One named Our King.

Our leanings may shatter, a day may bewilder,
Hours, even minutes can steal the familiar.
Here is the opening, there is the door.
Wondrous moment casts us to the fore.

Holy instant born, drawn near to the crux.
Opportune can soak with Grace in such flux.
Herein we enter the highest thrones gaze,
With Marvel, heart’s awe and the deepest of praise.

© 2018 Linda Willows

Psalm 34
I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart.Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name.

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Psalm 34:19
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

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“Lose Your Life and You Will Save It” from C.S. Lewis author of Mere Christianity…Romans 6:5-8

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Lose Your Life and You Will Save It
Excerpted from Mere Christianity, Chapter 11, “The New Men”
C.S. Lewis
Topics: Christ-Likeness Self Knowledge Authenticity
Editor’s note:
In his wonderfully clear, entirely inimitable, and slyly witty way, C.S. Lewis calls us ever deeper into relationship with the Triune God in this excerpt that closes out Mere Christianity. Here he asks us to consider that we will only find our unique, irreplicable selves in Christ—and that the life we lose for his sake will only be the faint imitation of the “real, new” life we find in him.

—Renovaré Team Renovare

Excerpt from Mere Christianity
At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.

But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away “blindly” so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all.

The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are
making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all
life from top to bottom.

Give up your self, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will
ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

Excerpted from C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

Romans 6:5-8

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

“You, Lord are the Sanctuary that Love keeps”…Prayer of appeal and faith from LWillows

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Jesus, I need You..there must be a way to find You Near — for You, Lord are the Sanctuary that Love keeps….a Prayer of appeal and devotion from LWillows...sometimes life, hope and faith are deeply personal experiences and testimonies, yet the hope that Faith brings is for all to know. May you be given Love  and encouragement today.

Tears fall, I turn from the ocean of grief that rises.
I search for the one oasis that can save me; my only hope…
huddling in a cave of the deepest silence
I pulled all up and around my face like a cloak.
There was nothing on the outside of that moment that could help me.

I could only seek You, Jesus..
I need You. Christ Jesus, please be there..Please be here with me.
I closed my eyes pulling into a darkness so far that it approaches light. This, my tunnel, searching, for the path to Your Cross. I had gone to you before. Before and before.  Found. Christ Jesus. You always did come Near on Love’s appeal.
There must be a way to find you Near again.
I know that You are can be with me.

I know that You can be Here. I appealed…Oh my Lord I am seeking you.
I began to speak and pour out my heart, knowing that You would hear me
as as I spoke to You…as all of me fell like the whole a being with nothing attached to an “elsewhere”, or an other gravity holding me….

I began to see Your Face.
It looked like many thousands of lights coming together into a Form
that was leaning in towards me with Love.

You looked like a radiance, a galaxy unknown but Real, able to pull close enough to Touch with arms that reached into eternity from an eternity.
You felt like Comfort, My Father of Forever, a Nest of Love that I would never want to leave. Tears of love and relief replaced all else.

I told you each thing that was heavy upon my heart
Every burden fell from me as I unfurled like a child in the arms of her Father.

All that had formed me into a frightened and hopeless one poured
out to you.
I reached the end of my own limits.
I shivered with the pain and anxiety all that has held me captive
and wept before you at of that which has caused suffering in my heart.
I sobbed and groaned of the obstacles that I have faced now and before,
and I pleaded to You from my loss of hope.
You Held me in Comfort as wept. My tears ran into a river that flowed towards Your Holy Cross.

I became aware that you had known mortal pain and knew the deepest of our suffering, much more than anything I could be feeling in that moment.
I knew that your immortal Heart heard every voice and each heart that called out to You. I was unable to fathom how great You Love is but I could feel it Near to me.

I started to remember the Promises that You spoke in the Bible
and I affirmed them before you.
Was my Faith strong enough? Help me of my weakness…
I was moved to speak to You of the verses most that my heart
cherished most from the Psalms.
Joy started to cover me.
These words joined us more… They were part of You, of Your Life.
You came closer; so Near that I felt I could touch Your shining Face.
Father, Lord Jesus- I felt the love of your unceasing embrace.

I began to feel You, Lord encouraging me and Praying with me.
No longer weeping, I was drawn into prayer and devotion.

Many moments flew by as I soaked in Your Love and Presence.
My heart was Comforted as nothing in this world could provide.
Lord, you asked me to be bold and move out in new directions; to carry your Love
to places where fear used to live.
I could not question your prompting.
Lord, you asked me to move despite my own hindrances and weakness; to step out with the courage of Your Spirit.
I could not question your wisdom.
Lord you asked me to remember that You were with me.
You said that by Your power I am strengthened.

Lord, Your Presence is Here, direct and Near.
I am living, yet made new for You live in and with me,
and I am made; created to be with and for You.

For, You Lord, are the sanctuary that Love keeps;
the Guardian of all that I seek,
The One that sees me weep and the Beloved of my hearts fullest reap.
Father, Christ and Lord Here and Near
Thank you, Abba for healing every tear.

© 2017 Linda Willows
Art by J Kirk Richards