Stay With God

Julian of Norwich (1343-1416)

Revelations of Divine Love

The oldest surviving English book written by a mystic and a woman. Possibly the first book written by a woman in English!  Julian of Norwich wrote during a period of great suffering and uncertainty. 

The 100 Years War between England and France began before she was born and continued long after she died. Her era was befallen by what often accompanies war:  Famine and Disease and great suffering on the poor

Most catastrophic of all, she wrote during a time of pandemic.  The decimation and death of over half of Europe’s population by the bubonic plague. Three outbreaks occurred in her city throughout her lifetime, and she herself nearly died from plague and / or other ravaging diseases. She spent some time in isolation and quarantine.  All in all, the pain must have seemed overwhelming. Many in her day attributed the horror to the wrath of God. 

Julian’s theological response is not one of despair or inditement or judgment but of love and solidarity and hope.

HE said not: “Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased.” HE said, “Thou shalt not be overcome.”

Julian of Norwich 


All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
Julian of Norwich


Our life is all grounded and rooted in love, and without love we may not live.

Julian of Norwich


PRAY, even if you feel nothing, see nothing. For when you are dry, empty, sick or weak, at such a time is your prayer most pleasing to God, even though you may find little joy in it. This is true of all believing prayer.

Julian of Norwich


Psalm 27 –The Message

1Light, space, zest — that’s God!  So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and no thing.

2When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces.

When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing:  To live with him in his house my whole life long.  I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down.  I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:  “Be good to me! Answer me!” When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!” Don’t hide from me now! 

10 You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn your back on me now. Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open. My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on. Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again:  Stay with God.

Psalm 27 (Psalms Now)

With the living and eternal God as my goal and guide, fear and anxiety need have no place in my life. 

All the evil in the world cannot destroy Him nor can it destroy anyone within His loving embrace.

The very legions of hell lay siege to my soul, only to be thwarted by a power far greater.

I have one primary and ultimate desire:  to abide within the love and acceptance of God.

Within His tender care I know I am safe.

Thus I shall stand tall regardless of threatening enemies and the tyranny of evil.

I will counter the subtle voices of temptation with exclamations of praise to my God.

My God does hear when I cry out to Him.

He does not ignore my needs; neither is He indifferent to my desires.

He will not let me go even if my own family should turn against me.

He will sustain me and keep me on course through the dangers and pitfalls of this life.

It is possible to know and experience God’s love in this uncertain, tumultuous existence.

Take courage, step out in faith, scorn the consequences, and let God have His way with you.”

By Dr. Allen Stewart

Dr. R. Allen Stewart was appointed to Hartwell First United Methodist Church in 2003.  His gifts of preaching and teaching are being utilized every Sunday and throughout the week as he leads this dynamic and growing congregation.  Allen is a devoted husband to his wife Tracey and father to three beautiful daughters, Lauren, Taylar, and Ashton.
 His vision for Hartwell First UMC is to be the church that God shall have us be.  Nothing more and nothing less.  He is called to help persons to find their role in church and thus, in life.  He works in the community of Hartwell and Hart County on various community support groups and committees.