Searching

Keep searching…

1. I’m searching, Lord, for perfect bread,
For perfect water; perfect wine.

2. I’m searching, Lord, for perfect truth,
For perfect hope, and light, and love.

3. I’m searching, Lord, for perfect peace,
For perfect freedom from all sin.

4. I’m searching for the perfect way
And finding you, Lord God, within.

…and you will find (Matthew 7:7; HCSB).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us
(Colossians 3:11; NLT).


References

1. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever, and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh (John 6:51; NLT).

If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water (John 4:10; NLT).

He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it” (1 Corinthians 11:25; NLT).

2. The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13; NLT).

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

3. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you (Isaiah 26:3; NLT).

Now you are free from your slavery to sin (Romans 6:18; NLT).

4. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

Enough

Those who gathered a lot [of manna] had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough
(Exodus 16:18; NLT). 

You love me, Lord,
And that’s enough.

You love us all,
And that’s enough.

You hear, and see,
And suffer, Lord, with everyone
On earth –
And that’s enough.

My grace is enough for you
(2 Corinthians 12:9; NET). 

Why?

I am the one who answers your prayers
and cares for you (Hosea 14:8; NLT). 

1. Why do you care so much for me?
It’s not as though I’m perfect.

2. Why do you carry me each day?
It’s not as if I’m good.

3. Why do you make your home in me?
It’s not because I’m sinless –

4. Father, it’s your nature,
You can’t help it: you are love.

God is love (1 John 4:16; NIV).


References 

1. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7; NIV). 

In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:25; NLT ). 

2. Each day he carries us in his arms (Psalm 68:19; NLT).

3. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them (John 14:23; NLT).

O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner (Luke 18:13; NLT).

4. That is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die (Psalm 48:14; NLT). 

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT). 

Do you love Jesus?

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:16; NLT).

Do you love Jesus
More than clothes,
Than how you look,
Good times, or clubs? 

Do you love Jesus
More than food,
Than sweets, or alcohol,
Or drugs?

Do you love Jesus
More than cars,
Than money, power,
Sex, or health?

If not, consider this:
His love
Is better far
Than life itself. 

Your unfailing love is better than life itself (Psalm 63:3; NLT).

Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1; NLT).

The Apostles said to the Lord, “Give us faith” (Luke 17:5; WNT). 

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To talk with you both night and day,
To listen, learn, and grow like you,
By following your way.

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To pray for others day and night,
And serve you in all humankind,
By walking in your light.

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To worship you unceasingly,
To praise your name, and seek your face,
By trusting you implicitly.

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory (1 Peter 1:21; NLT). 

Don’t give up


I might as well give up and die (Psalm 28:1; NLT).

Since God in his mercy has given us this new way,
we never give up (2 Corinthians 4:1; NLT). 

1. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
Weep and pray with me.

2. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
I will hear your plea.

3. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
Weep, then weep no more.

4. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
I have good in store.

5. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
Try again with me.

6. Don’t give up,
And don’t give in:
I will set you free.

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed
(John 8:36; NLT).


References 

1. While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence (Hebrews 5:7; NLT).

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens (Psalm 68:19; NIV). 

2. I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy (Psalm 116:1; NLT). 

3. “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 31:16; NLT). 

4. “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; NLT). 

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28; GNT).

5. Come on, all of you, try again! (Job 17:10; NLT). 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NIV).

Be sure of this: I am with you always (Matthew 28:20; NLT).

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me (Psalm 23:4; NKJV).

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (Isaiah 30:20; NLT).

6. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36; NLT). 

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NIV).

The Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17; NLT). 

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32; NLT).

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10; NLT).

A silent smile

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world (Psalm 19:1-4; NLT).

1. A silent smile,
A silent tear,

2. A silent hug,
A silent touch,

3. A silent prayer,
A silent sigh –

4. If full of love,
Can mean so much.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.
(Romans 12:9; NLT).


References

1. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

2. They sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words (Job 2:13; NLT). 

3. The Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26; AMPB).

Sigh in silence (Ezekiel 24:17; DRB). 

4. Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

How we look

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles,
expensive jewellery, or beautiful clothes
(1 Peter 3:3; NLT).

Christ is all that matters,
and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

1. How we look, Lord,
Doesn’t matter:
You are all, in all.

2. Rituals
Are not important:
You are all, in all. 

3. Suffering, Lord,
Doesn’t matter:
You are all, in all.

4. Even death, Lord,
Makes no difference:
You are all, in all. 

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord
(Romans 14:8; NIV).


References 

1. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God (1 Peter 3:4; NLT). 

2. I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6; NIV). 

3. The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more (Isaiah 30:20; GNT). 

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; NIV). 

4. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-9; NLT). 

Jesus

They laid them all before Jesus, and he healed them all
(Matthew 15:30; NLT). 

Jesus, 

1. May your healing hand
Touch all of us today,

2. Your mercy and forgiveness
Show everyone the way;

3. Your blessed Holy Spirit
Help all the world to pray,

4. Your light and your example,
Bring back all those who stray.

I will search for my lost ones who strayed away,
and I will bring them safely home again
(Ezekiel 34:16; NLT).


References

1. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:30; NLT).

2. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him (Daniel 9:9; NKJV). 

3. The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

4. I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2; NLT). 

Personal change 16.5.22.

1. Diagnosis

My health has been deteriorating for several years, but I have never had an explanation for this. However, last Thursday I was given a diagnosis of Autonomic Neuropathy (AN).

AN is an incurable degenerative disorder, in which the brain loses the ability to regulate processes that normally happen automatically. It affects the functioning of multiple body systems, including, for example, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature control, bladder, digestion, eyesight, balance and energy.

There are several sub-types of AN. Some are more severe than others. Some progress more quickly than others. A battery of tests over the next few weeks and months should eventually indicate which type I have, how quickly I can expect to deteriorate, and my anticipated life-expectancy.    

2. Realisation

About a year ago, as my health deteriorated, I reached a point where I could no longer go to church. Since then, I have hoped in vain that some of the people there who I thought of as friends might notice my absence and make contact with me. However, only one member of my local congregation has stayed in touch.

Over the last few days I have realised how deeply I lack sources of spiritual nourishment with like-minded people. This has made me see that I need to stop hoping for contact, understanding and support from church, where there is so little available. Instead, I want to accept, share, and develop, relationships that are available to me, for example, with spiritually-minded friends online.

So, it’s time for me to start afresh, to change, and to focus much more on some reciprocal relationships. This feels like a very positive realisation. Indeed, it’s already leading me to explore a much more universal faith than is possible within the narrow confines of a single, rule-based denomination. 

With this new-found approach, I can start putting my very limited energy into seeking and finding God in everyone and everything, a prospect which fills me with joy. God really does work in mysterious ways, bringing good even out of situations that can appear wholly negative.

3. Recognition

Accordingly, yesterday, as I prepared my blog for posting, I found great pleasure in illustrating it with a wonderful photo of a woman priest joyfully celebrating communion. This simply  doesn’t happen in my denomination, where all women are automatically excluded from the priesthood, simply because of their gender. 

Using the photo of the woman priest made me recognise that I could also include photos of older women and disabled people amongst my website headers, so I spent a very happy hour or two on this task. Until today, my thinking had always been so blinkered that it had never occurred to me to do this.

4. Freedom

Right now, I feel my diagnosis of Autonomic Neuropathy is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It has made me realise that I’ve only got one life here, and that it might be a lot shorter, more limited, and more unpleasant than I had previously imagined. So, as my heath and mobility deteriorate, I want to make the most of whatever freedom and independence I have, at each stage of this disorder.

However, I’m not thinking of the conventional “bucket list” of places I want to go to, or things I want to do before I die. Rather, I’m already experiencing a deep, joyful sense of inner freedom to be myself. This gives me space and permission to think what I think, believe what I believe, feel how I feel, and be how I am. I am also working on my outward freedom, by speaking the truth in love, and taking pleasure in doing what I still can, however limited this may be. 

5. Future 

I’m sharing all this with you because as I deteriorate, I will probably need to change my approach to blogging. This might mean expending less energy on formal, disciplined poetic structures, instead describing whatever spiritual insights God gives me in simpler, more direct prose.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling optimistic, the future looks exciting, and I will continue to post here each day for as long as I can.

✝️ My greetings to every follower and visitor to this website. I appreciate every one of you, and pray for you all each day.

With love and blessings, from Ruth xxxx


References 

1. Diagnosis

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave (Psalm 89:48; NLT). 

2. Realisation

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (Isaiah 30:20; NLT).

Truly, O God of Israel, our Saviour, you work in mysterious ways (Isaiah 45:15; NIV). 

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28; GNT).

3. Recognition

Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognised him (Luke 24:31; NLT).

God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NIV).

The Almighty … blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and the womb (Genesis 49:5; NIV). 

“As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our mother” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 59, Julian of Norwich).

4. Freedom 

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32; NLT). 

If the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:36; NLT).  

When you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go (John 21:18; NLT).

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth (John 4:24; NIV).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NIV).

5. Future

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts (Psalm 90:12; CSB).