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Spiritual Journey : First Thursday of February 2017.

I join fellow bloggers in posting this month at Turn
where Leigh Anne is hosting the February round-up for Spiritual Journey.
* * * * * *

Off and on during the four-hour flight between DFW and PDX on Friday, I closed my eyes, leaned my head back and pondered Leigh Anne’s single little word rise.  I had read her February 1st post “Rise Up and Pray.” And I knew I should be reflecting on my one little word, rejoice. But as my thoughts often do when I relax, they rambled every which way they wanted, and it was mostly about the word rise. I noticed that other words seemed to link up quite naturally with the word rise, words like fly, freedom, shine, healed, live, resurrection. What follows are stops along my thought ramble. I hope you will ramble beside me for a few minutes as I reflect on Leigh Anne’s one little word.

Stop 1.  RISE to FLY

I recently read David McCullough’s Wright Brothers.  I found their story fascinating. Perhaps, because I visited Kitty Hawk numerous times in my childhood. Perhaps, because I’ve flown literally several million airmiles in the last 25 years. Perhaps, because of the persistence of these two brothers. In the face of hardships, failures, and ridicule, they kept rising to try again and again until at last, with the wind beneath their wings, they rose above everyone. They had without a doubt created the great-granddaddy of today’s airplane.

Stop 2.  RISE and FLY to FREEDOM.

Virginia Hamilton’s wonderful picture book The People Could Fly is a compelling retelling of a Black folktale, illustrated with beautiful, powerful paintings. The tale begins, “They say the people could fly. Say that long ago in Africa, some of the people knew magic . . .”  But then, they were taken far from their home. They were forced into slavery. They were subjected to the unspeakable cruelty of Master, Overseer, and Driver. Some of them who possessed the ancient magic, rise and fly away to freedom. And those who can’t fly tell the tale until they too are free.
(February is Black History Month.)

Stop 3.  RISE and SHINE

In the soundscapes of my childhood—from kids camps and DVBS (Daily Vacation Bible School)– floats a cheerful, optimistic song that paralleled my dad’s philosophy with which he often woke me, “Time to rise and shine!”

Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine and (clap once) give God the glory, glory!
(Raise hands to shoulder level and sway back and forth.)
Children of the Lord.

Click HERE for the lyrics.

Click HERE to hear the song.

Stop 4.  RISE and be HEALED

In a painful and uncertain time, forced for several months to be flat on my back due to a serious spinal injury, I held to a promise in the Malachi. And the words of a gospel song from the 70s stirred up my faith.

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out . . .
–Malachi 4:2

Here are the lyrics, words of truth.

Listen to the song HERE.


Rising from the ashes” is an idiom that means to be renewed after destruction.  In Greek mythology, a mythical bird, the phoenix, lives and then in death burns on a funeral pyre to rise out of the ashes reborn, renewed with youth to live again.

Do you know the story of Jarius and his daughter?
Jarius, one of the synagogue leaders, came to Jesus to pleaded for his daughter, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” Jesus went with Jarius, but before they could get there, Jarius’ daughter died. Upon arriving, Jesus took the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha cumi.” (Daughter, I say to you, rise.)  And immediately, she arose and walked.  -Mark 5.


In the Bible we read of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus:

Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
-John 11

And remember the women, the ones who went to the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid, taking spices they had prepared for his burial?  When they arrived at the tomb in the garden, they encountered two men in shining garments who said to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”  -Luke 24


Thank you, Leigh Anne for hosting!  I didn’t answer your question, What part has God played in the choosing of your one little word? Perhaps I will answer that in our March roundup.