Life to the full

Hello, everyone. Today’s blog might seem a bit strange unless I give you a bit of background. Recently, I spoke in a religious setting about the importance of being lovingly honest and direct with one another if we want to build a healthy, trusting, supportive group. This went down very badly with some of those present. One, in particular, said we should be paying very little attention to our thoughts and feelings, but rather “deconstructing” ourselves, until there is nothing personal left at all. With this approach, feelings, thoughts and honesty have very little importance. Rather, they would be seen as childish and immature.

I do hope I’ve done justice to this man’s words. I thought about what he had said for a long time afterwards, and eventually wrote the prayer/poem below. Remembering that we can’t all think the same, do see what you think.

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Lord, you never said
We should detach ourselves from life;

You came so we can have life
To the full.

You never said
That we should deconstruct ourselves;

You came so we can have life
To the full.

You never said
Get rid of your emotions;

You loved, wept, raged –
And lived life to the full.

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

Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus (John 11:5; NLT).

Then Jesus wept (John 11:35; NLT).

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry (Mark 10:14; NLT).

He was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

Just like us

 

Lord,

You had emotions,
Just like us,

Yet you faced your trials and sorrows
Without sin.

You loved,
Without possessiveness;

Got angry,
Without blaming other people;

Wept,
Without self-pity;

Feared,
Without avoidance;

Suffered,
Without hatred;

And despaired,
Without losing faith in God.

Lord, you had emotions,
Just like us,

Yet you faced your trials and sorrows
Without sin.

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This High Priest of ours understands all our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).

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

Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:26; NRSV).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

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Nothing less

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13; NLT).

He himself gives everyone life and breath (Acts 17:25; NIV).

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

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Father,

You are all
That truly matters,

Yet, thankfully, this means
We matter too;

Because you make us all,
And deeply love us,

For we are nothing less
Than part of you.

 

Mental health

Hello to all readers. Today’s blog takes the form of two short pieces under the same heading, rather than one longer one:

Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

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1. The more we hide from others
What we truly think and feel,
The more depressed and anxious
We will be.

2. We build our prison,
Brick, by brick, by brick,
Out of all that we believe
We can’t express.

Learning to love

This is the life
God gives to me,
Lord Jesus,

With all its countless trials,
Fears,
And sorrows.

May it teach me wisdom,
Kindness,
And endurance,

Just as it did for you,
Through whom
Love flows.

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

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

We prove ourselves by our […] kindness (2 Corinthians 6:6; NLT).

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).

I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices (Hosea 6:6; NLT).

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

Rivers of living water will flow from his heart (John 7:38; NLT).

Lose and find

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Anyone who loses his life because of me will find it (Matthew 10:39; CSB).

Keep on seeking and you will find (Luke 11:9; NLT).

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Lord,

May I lose myself
In you
Today,

And find myself
In you
For evermore.

Infinite love

 

The infinite love
That keeps the stars
In motion,

Hears all our cries,
And holds us
In her hand.

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All the stars are at my command (Isaiah 45:12; NLT).

Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice (Psalm 55:17; NIV).

In his hand is the life of every creature (Job 12:10; NIV).

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27; NIV).

As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our mother (Julian of Norwich, Showings, translated and introduced by Edmund Colledge and James Walsh; Paulist Press, 1977, p231).

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