Monday, December 31, 2018

Reflections as a New Year Begins - 2019

Seasoned

But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11: 11-12) 

On the first day of each new year, I read this Scripture passage. It is a reminder that another year has arrived. I know it will hold seasons of days. 

Before I look forward, I look back on the highlights from the year just completed. Yes, there were mountains and valleys. I came through them! I will face joys and challenges in the year ahead. I intend to walk into the unknowns of each new day aware of God’s faithfulness. He guides me if I choose to let him.

True. The Lord cares about the land and the year. But He cares about me more. 

His presence is steadfast. His eyes are continually on me. He desires my cooperation as He accompanies me daily with his grace. I best not dwell on each day of the whole year. That would be overwhelming! God sees those days ahead. I release them into his caring hands.

I commit to accepting his grace as I live out one day at a time. Will I discover it to be a mountain or a valley day or somewhere in between? Maybe it will be a day comprised of all three! 

As I read this Scripture, I know I will have questions as some of my days arrive. That is alright. Seasons from other years in my life have helped me recognize that my not-knowing is simply part of God’s all-knowing. He sees the land’s obstacles. I trust and follow his lead. I become a seasoned traveler by choosing to accept both the mountain days and the valley days. 

Each nourishes me as I drink the rain from heaven— God’s presence itself.
Prayer

 Lord, you are my constant Comforter as I face the seasons of my life and the unknowns of each day. Thank you for being my hope, my trust, and my guide as I treasure you in each of my moments. Amen.



(This passage is from Lynn's Devotional Book: "Seeking the Light of God's Comforter - When Challenges Dim Our View".  Redemption Press, 2017)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December, 2018 Reflection

Trusting Your Purposes, Lord.

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. 
LUKE 1:35-38

PRAYER

 Father, overshadow us with the plans of this day and this coming new year. As we step into the ‘unknown’ may we have the willingness to trust You unconditionally as Mary did. May we be patient as we wait for dreams yet to be fulfilled believing our ‘barrenness’ mirrors what seemed the thwarted dream of Elizabeth. Help us hold fast to You and your promises and your perfect timing - the unfolding of your recorded days for each of us. Amen. 

Music:
Point of Grace: Breath of Heaven



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Compassionate Love


“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love” (Lamentations 3: 31-32).
Lord of compassion. One of your children cries out to me in her despair and excruciating physical pain. Her diagnosis is new. She feels lost and and abandoned by you.
 “How could a God of love afflict me in this way?”
 How can I reach her?
“Share my love with her.”
My Dear Friend,
I don’t understand the whys, but God has not abandoned you. He understands your anger and your pain. Do not hide from him. You can’t. He is in this pain with you. Pour out your feelings. Shout them into him. He will soak up all that troubles you until you are empty enough to feel he is close.

He waits for you to know he is the strength you need. Together you will face the trials and fears. He has promised never to forsake any of us and he understands, in ways we may never understand, what happens to us. 
I will wait with you. 

Someday you will write a letter to a friend who needs the words that only you will be able to share. You have faced the fear, met God within the pain and found him real as he loved you back into his care.
Praise

Composer of love notes, 
gifts of comfort received and given, 
 praising you with my thank yous 

from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”Lynn L. Severance

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Holy Spirit and Our Afflictions

“Jesus Christ is the same 
yesterday and today and forever” 
(Hebrews 13:8).

God’s promised Comforter, the One to lead us into all truth was first given to Jesus’ apostles -- hovering, filling them with boldness to walk out their calling. (Acts 2)
God’s Holy Spirit is also his promised Comforter to each of us. I ponder the words that accompany the gospel account. “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:4).
There have been the times I have had to learn a new language as I faced unknown experiences. Some required changes that were work related. Others were emotional turns that set me in motion, grasping for words to convey the disorientation, pleas of hope to return to a grounded center.
Within me, during these times, God’s Comforter was interceding, hovering heart-close, beckoning me to the rhythm of my new language because only He had the true words to meet my needs.”And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27).
My burdens found his light and shone as gifts. Others, having experienced their own impacting moments, were met walking upon the same road. We unwrapped comfort from one another in the encouragement of recognition. 

Praise

Your Presence reveals the depth of your brightened care, 
O Comforter, perfectly named.


from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”
Lynn L. Severance


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mansion Builder

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1a, 2-3).

I was part of a discussion about the importance of physical exercise and how maintaining a target heart rate is necessary for the exercise to be fully beneficial. It raised this question within me. “How is my spiritual heart rate these days?” As Christ is preparing a place for me, yet to come, my earthly home which is a temple where his Sprit dwells, needs attention now.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” 

When my mind churns with anxieties, I am not on target with Christ as my center. My problems take center stage and bring disrespect to his temple. Problems cannot be denied but they do not identify me. 


Christ does.
As I do my best to tend to my literal home here on earth, my body, soul, and spirit also need attention. I don’t want to trip over any clutter within or without. I want the target of my focus to be filled with him so that his purposes will rate the most.
Praise


Your building plans here and to come
 are targeted perfectly for me!


Mansion Builder
as sung by The Second Chapter of Acts
(click on link to listen)

from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”

Lynn L. Severance

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Night Watch

“Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, 
to the place where you dwell” (Psalm 43:3).

Many members of my family worked in law enforcement. Their preference was working the night shift as there was more action during those hours.

For me, there are times the night hours easily bring fears that make me long for the light of day. In the quiet of the night’s dark hours, fighting afflictions can be harder - not any action I find preferable!

Yet I am told in Scripture that my God never sleeps or slumbers. He is an ever present help in time of trouble. The Old Testament speaks of the twenty-four hour watchmen on the high towers, trained with keen eyes to keep the enemy forces outside the city gates, be it day or night. As the men in my family worked, trying to keep safe those who were preyed upon at night, I have the One who is deeply watchful from without and within me. He is light - a light that dispels darkness. 

To whom or what will I give in when the night watch becomes a deep valley of challenge? I want to focus on the One who will lead me up and out of the dark, dampening any enemy schemes. 


Praise
 O Comforter with keen eyes!  
You are my watchmen bringing your light and lightness.


from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”

Lynn L. Severance

Monday, August 20, 2018

Facing Goliath

“Deliver me from my enemies, O God; 
be my fortress against those who are attacking me”
( Psalm 59:1).

This Scripture reminded me to the story of David facing Goliath, one I thought I knew well. I was blessed with some insights that helped me during the time I revisited it. The ESV translation of this Psalm blessed me with enhanced  perspective.

 “. . .O my God; protect me from those 
who rise up against me;”

Young David heard the insults being hurled at the Israelites. Shocked by the words and the atmosphere in the camp, he went into defense mode.

Fearless, mocked by the others, climbing out of Saul’s armor in which he could not move, David was confident to face Goliath. Why? How? Saul and his troops were shaking in their boots!

David never questioned that God would deliver Goliath into his hands. Five smooth stones and a sling shot were his natural armor. The deeper protective armor was his trust in his God who had consistently delivered him from dangers in his past. God dominated David’s view.

We will face Goliaths -- challenges in body or soul, mind or spirit. When whoever or whatever comes to bully us, our battlefield can be covered with our confidence in the One who is our armor. 

We can exchange the roughened stones that bind us in fear for God’s smoothed stones of trust and faithfulness.

Praise

Lord -- 
Greater in me than anything 
within or without coming to destroy -- 
Let’s triumph!


from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”

Lynn L. Severance