Monday, January 23, 2012

My Utmost for His Highest



I sat down at the computer today with great intentions to write about an observation or two that had been part of my walk here.  But, yesterday the choir director handed out the CDs for our Easter cantata, “My Utmost for His Highest”.    “Here, have a listen and I’ll hand out the music on Tuesday night,” he told us.

‘I’ll listen to this while I write,’ I reasoned.

But the music said “Oh, No!  You won’t!”


It started with bagpipes playing “I’d Rather Have Jesus”, made famous by George Beverly Shea from the Billy Graham Revivals.  Both men are near 100 years old, but when asked about their thoughts about life and faith, each one unequivocally affirmed their unshakable belief.  


The music continued and moved into the words of memorable Christians in years past:

Remember the Scottish missionary Eric Liddel who ran for English in the 1896 Olympics? Those memorable words about “God made me fast…”  He ran for the Gold medal, then moved out of the public eye.  He went to China where he served God until he died at a young age .



Remember Corrie Ten Boom?  She wrote The Hiding Place about her experiences in a death camp during World War Two.  While the writing told a riveting story of survival and faith, the book is mainly about faith and forgiveness.  Her own steps of forgiveness, and her steps to forgive the German guards who caused the death of her sister and many many others.


There were other voices whose names I did not know, but words were familiar.  The book written by  Oswald Chambers has reached out to Man in a way that humble pastor never anticipated.  Compiled after his death by his wife, My Utmost for His Highest, these devotions pull the reader into a closer relationship for God.  

 The voices heard on my CD each spoke of abandoning personal goals, and giving all to God.  Giving “My Utmost for His Highest”—can or do I do that?  Do I love God with such passion and selflessness that I can be used by Him to effect change in a harsh and corrupt world?

I have been negligent in shouting out "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Light!  NO ONE comes to the Father, except through Jesus!"  So afraid of offending, afraid of confronting other beliefs.  So afraid I will have to summon courage to be what God wants me to be.

As we practice this cantata for Easter on April 8th, I will be asking that question daily.  I invite you to ask this question as well.

42 comments:

  1. Ah, the tough questions. The answers to which cause us to hang our heads in shame.

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    1. Yes, but shame is the beginning of salvation, especially if we move to the next step of confession.

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  2. Sadly my answer to the question is easy, a big resounding no..haha..I guess I'm screwed and will be going down below.

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    1. Screwed up? No, I don't think so. Having some treacherous and hard life experiences can cause one to change their answers. I hope that isn't the case with you, Pat. Just don't stop listening to the question.

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  3. I am a non believer, but try and lead the best life I can.

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    1. I value your comments, and look forward to your post.

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  4. Your spiritualism is beautiful and I know enriches your life, however, I consider myself a humanist and believe in the life we have here on earth. We all follow different paths with the hope of finding peace and love along our journey called life.

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    1. Arleen, your words mean a lot to me. Life is a journey, and sometimes a difficult one. My faith has saved my life, and I wanted to share it today.

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  5. Dear Susan,
    That isn't the question I ask myself, but it reflects my desire to live in the Holy Oneness of All Creation. For me that is an Infinite Energy or Spirit that unites all of us into the divinity of Oneness. My choices come from realizing what makes for Oneness.

    The comments you received today show how seriously your readers considered your question. Thank you for calling forth from us our belief. That took courage.

    Peace.

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    1. Thanks, Dee, for your comments. I appreciate all who read my blog, and share their perspectives. Makes life interesting and richer.

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  6. Susan,
    I love it when the Lord calls us deeper. Sounds like he is speaking to you through the music and you're going to have a time of growth.

    I have struggled on my blog (The Write Soil) on whether to post on my faith. Last year, I posted all the faith ones on 1st Writes blog. This year, though, I changed mine to "writing, faith, life" as my theme. I am also opening up more to share my faith with other writers. If they don't like it, they won't stay.

    I have some followers who are Muslim and some who are atheists. Perhaps something I write will touch them or plant a seed.

    I am with you in your journey to "share" your faith...if you are willing to take some baby steps.

    Hugs.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. 'Deeper' is a great word. I feel that is what is happening to me: deeper in my relationship with God, my friendships with others, my appreciation for God's gifts....

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  7. You are such an amazing and strong woman. I'm tweeting this.

    Corrie Ten Boom is one of my personal heroes ;)

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    1. I still remember the first time I read The Hiding Place. I was and still am amazed at what God can do, even in the hellish Nazi death camps.

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  8. I love the freedom to completely be ourselves and share our deepest commitments that blogging offers. Your desire to live your faith and give verbal witness to our incredibly loving Savior are the same threads that I hope others will find running through my work. We can encourage and support one another, Susan. It's always such a heart-felt joy to find a kindred spirit.
    Your bloggy friend,
    Pam Williams

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    1. It is a joy to have freedom in blogging world to write what is in one's heart and mind. And it is a joy to find so many friends.

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  9. I've struggled with witnessing my faith. There was no need to before college because all of my friends shared my belief. During college I was trying to come to terms with the fact that not everyone believed in Jesus like I did and everyone I grew up with. After college, I adopted a don't ask; don't tell type of attitude. I didn't express my faith and didn't ask others about theirs. At this point in my life, I am comfortable sharing my own faith but I still don't try and convince others. I'm a non-confrontational person and don't like to argue, but no one can argue with my personal experiences. I write about these experiences and pray that my words will do God's will. He has the power to reach non-believers, not me. Write the words on your heart, Susan and trust that God will use them as He plans.

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  10. I am like you in so many ways! I am a non-confrontation person, one who tries to mend and ameliorate relationships. Yet, I know that God's word will go out, and will not return void. Thanks for your comments on this day.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!