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



Monday, August 13, 2018

Allowing Jesus to Woo Me When Set Apart in the Desert

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor, [bitterness] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt” 
(Hosea 2:14-15).


Anointed approval from his Father greeted Jesus during his Jordan baptism. Then he was led immediately, by the Holy Spirit, into the desert to be taunted by the devil. His Father trusted Jesus. He was in preparation for the days that lie ahead when,not only the devil, but others and circumstances would come against him. 

What if my perspective, when set apart and needing the grace to persevere was to take better notice of the One who is always with me reminding me of his faithfulness? Could his purposes thus be better realized? 

I know I am grafted into the Vine and therefore ready to also be faithful. I refuse to be wrenched away from the nourishment available when in barren places. His abundance never runs out. He is abundance! 

When what he has to convey to me is received, we both rejoice as my hope is restored. 

Praise

Held steady in your grace-filled, wellspringed Presence 

is gift enough when set apart. 



from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”


Lynn L. Severance


Monday, August 6, 2018

Expressing Gratitude to God

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).

Mary was pregnant and had traveled a distance to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who also was with child. “. . . when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41).

Mary’s response glorified the Lord. Both women magnified God’s gift of life within them and were in wonder at the bestowal. 

Am I to be different knowing I am filled with the same Spirit? I cling to his nearness. 

I need his strength magnified. I want to magnify him when I have the opportunity. With him, I am more than any challenges that shout at me for attention, more than my hopes, more than my dreams. 

I want to leap with them and let him do the shining while I watch in wonder. He has all of them safe in his heart and knows the timing of their release and fulfillment.

I want God to use all I have experienced and am experiencing for his glory, be I alone or with others. 

 “I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation” (Psalm 40:10b ESV). 

A congregation of one or more? 

The numbers do not matter. 
How I choose to walk and share does.

Praise
Rejoicing in You!
 Your birthed self within, leaping in wonder!


from “Feathered Whispers from God’s Heart”


Lynn L. Severance