God’s Zephyr

God’s spirit moves forever in the mighty wind
Know it is his presence that never ever dims
It is the very air we breathe that softly blows
Feel his very essence his living waters flow
He is the great I am and the bread of our lives
Believe he takes us through and helps us daily strive
God’s wind like his spirit shows his omnipotence
Cease never to show his royal preeminence
His wind trumpets notes of sweet melodious chimes
Lift our hands and voices to praise Him one more time

Deirdre M. DeLoatch

 

I wrote this poem in response to someone who doubts the living God. Although we cannot see the wind, there is evidence all around us that the wind blows. Like wind, God is real; we can look at our lives and see evidence that he exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). He opens up the eyes of the hearts of those who look for him and enlightens so that we know the far exceeding riches of his glory (Ephesians 1).image

I know God is real. Many things in my life could not have happened except for the presence of a true and living God. In my next post, I will share some evidence! I pray that we all have fresh encounters with Him.

 

For edification read: Ephesians 1; Hebrews 11.

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God’s Love

God is the potter we are the molded clay

He is the freshness like the morning dew

That greets at the start of every blue day

Helping us to see our lives so anewimage

 

His love sustains us now and forever

Often when our friends are not to be found

His compassion will never be severed

Lifting us up when our spirits are down

 

Jesus’ love sticks closer than a brother

He shows great grace and mercy at all times

The greatest father and our souls’ lover

We will never need another paradigm

 

Drink in his rivers of abundant loveimage

And taste the sweetness of the greatest dove

 

 

 

For reflection read: Jeremiah 18:3-4; 1 John 4

Reflections on A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor

imageFlannery O’Connor was an American writer of the twentieth century. A writer who was mainly known for her short stories, O’Connor was a devout Roman Catholic whose personal journal titled A Prayer Journal was published posthumously two years ago. She died from lupus at the age of thirty-nine, nine years later than what the doctors expected. God gave her fourteen years to live after the initial diagnosis (I cannot help but think that like Hezekiah in the Bible, she was given more years to do the Lord’s work). During her young adult life, O’Connor penned some poignant words to God. Intimacy is what O’Connor desired most and it was evident in her writing. Knowing that apart from God, she could do nothing, she desired a closer walk with God. She said, “Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon…” O’Connor continues writing,”I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside…”image

Over two years ago I read O’Connor’s journal and her words impacted me greatly. The sincerity of her heart blew me away. As a Christian writer, O’Connor wanted her beliefs to permeate her writing. She worried about losing her faith, about “intellectual quackery” swaying her mind. She realized that the fear of Hell is no valid reason to become a Christian. Loving God, she believed, should be the primary reason for coming to Jesus. O’Connor recognized that “Prayers should be composed…of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication.” Never viewing her vocation separately from her faith in Jesus, she wanted God to help her with every aspect of her life. She could not have fathomed that more than fifty years after her death, her words would continue to reverberate throughout the world.

In the spirit of Christ exemplified by O’Connor, let’s pray. Jesus, forgive me for my recent sins. Search me and know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties, and if there is any wicked may in me, lead me in the way everlasting ( Psalm 139:23).  Lord Jesus, help me to put all of my trust in you. Help me to draw near to you and recognize your greatness. Help me to lay aside every weight that keeps me from serving you. Give me the grace and mercy to carry out your will and to spend time everyday reading your word, talking to you, and listening to your instructions that are specific to my life. Help me to praise your name, and to tell others about you. Help me to be humble, and to  recognize that everything I have (my health, my intellect, my possessions, etc.) comes from you. You are the “Rock of my Salvation” and you cover me with your love. I praise you with my entire being, and I thank you for all the grace and mercy that you have bestowed upon me. For there is no other God, but you. I thank you for hearing and answering my prayers. I thank you that your spirit is drawing me closer to you and that You will have the preeminence in my life. I thank you that you will help me to not be too busy for you. I thank you that your Holy Spirit will continuously fill me and refresh me. Have your way in me. I ask all of these blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Please read A Prayer Journal. You will be blessed and inspired to seek God’s face, and have Him use you in everything that you do. You might have a lasting impact on many lives to come. Take heed!

For further reflection and encouragement, read Colossians 1 and Psalm 139.

Remembering the Rwandan Genocide: A Review of Left to Tell

imageTwenty-two years ago this month, one of the worst ethnic crises occurred during three months in Rwanda. This tragedy has been documented in many forms (Sixty Minutes, Hotel Rwanda, Sometimes in April, etc). Last summer, however, I read Immaculee Ilibagiza’s memoir of the Rwandan genocide, Left to Tell. In her memoir, she chronicles, with specificity, the impact that the Rwandan genocide had on her, her family, the Rwandan community, and even the world. She grew up in a devout Catholic family where she learned to have faith in Jesus through prayer. In 1994, her country experienced the genocide of approximately one million Tutsis in response to an ethnic war with the Hutus. Her family raised her to not value others based on artificial classifications, but on their actions. Unknowledgeable about her own cultural classification for many years, when she did come to learn about the classification system, she experienced discrimation to a high degree. Highly regarded in their community, her parents taught her that faith in God and service to others were the answers to life’s problems. Never did she fathom, however, that her faith would be tested and subsequently sharpened. Given the opportunity to attend college away, Ilibagiza did not hesitate to take advantage of an excellent opportunity. While attending college, there was an exacerbation of the conflict in Kigali, the Rwandan capital. Not realizing the conflict’s severity, she came home to celebrate Easter with her family. While home, the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president ignited a machete driven slaughter of Tutsis for the next three months. Ilibagiza lost her entire family except for one brother who was away from home at the time. Thanks to a Hutu pastor who covertly hid Ilibagiza and seven other women for ninety-one days in a tiny bathroom (hidden and unknown to most), she survived. During this time they experienced the following harrowing conditions: limited food, limited toilet use, no contact with the outside world, anger, and no bathing (they could not run the water because visitors would hear the water or the toilet flush). They also experienced severe emaciation, dehydration, and despair as they heard of the death of loved ones.image

Throughout this time, however, Ilibagiza learned to call upon the name of the Lord. She prayed, without ceasing, that God would deliver her and the others during this crisis. At the time, she did not imagine that God would take ninety-one days to deliver them. Day by day, her faith grew. God sustained her and developed her faith to the extent that He could use her to minister to hurting people everywhere, and to teach reconciliation to the Hutus and the Tutsis. The entire time, God’s hand was upon her and the others. After her rescue and learning of the deaths of family members, God began restoring her manifold, although the process was not easy. The horrors of the conflict and the conditions under which she lived during those three months and after  would likely cripple most, but God revealed himself to her and strengthened her faith. Her life was spared and now she is left to tell the world about how God “delivered her out of the mouth of the lion’s den.” Reconciliation through forgiveness for most Rwandans has been difficult, but Ilibagiza is committed to putting a fractured people together. She travels throughout the world giving people hope from sorrow and encouraging forgiveness. Several years ago, she appeared on Sixty Minutes. That is when I first heard her story. Her message of faith is timeless. As difficult as her experience was, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:28, that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

Most of us might never be in such horrific situations similar to Ilibagiza’s; nevertheless, our God is waiting on us to call upon his name. Sometimes it takes a mountain to realize who God is. God uses life’s situations to urge us to seek his face. He is waiting for us to pray, to ask him to meet our needs and to deliver us from situations; however, it is through these situations that we learn true faith. Many of us have difficult situations that rob us of joy and weigh us down. All we have to do is relinquish control, and give God the situation. If we ask anything in God’s name, we know he hears us and will grant our petition ( John 15:7). Furthermore, the Bible tells us that our weapons of warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4,). God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). And, eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, what God has in store for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). God has great things in store for us. Let him use us in a great capacity.

I encourage you to read Left to Tell. Giving hope in the midst of life’s difficulties, is a major benefit to reading this memoir. It will strengthen your faith. I pray that God’s purpose in your life will be revealed to you and that your faith in him will increase. Let’s remember to be fishers of men.

For personal growth and development, read: John 15; Colossians 1.

In His Presence

Keep me in your perfect holy will
Show me how to walk and yet be still
Let me drink in your living waters
‘Cause I’m one of your lovely daughters
Help me to meditate on your word
As I ask others if they have not heard
That you provide rest for the weary soul
There is no other note worthy goal
But to seek your face and be bold
To tell others you’re the lamb to behold
As my time in your presence never ends
Help me to reflect proudly and say Amen!

Deirdre M. DeLoatch

Key Verses: John 1; Matthew 11; Acts 28; Ephesians 3

Personal Note: Please respect my copyright. Thanks and may God give you an abundant life in his presence.