28.1.23: Jesus

When I reached the first bead of the second decade on my prayer-circlet yesterday morning, I suddenly saw the word Jesus, in bold lettering. It was shining just above a dark shape I was looking towards. I don’t know what the dark shape was, because my eyes were closed and my inner space was very dimly lit.

Christ’s name was spelled out in golden light, and curved like a rainbow. The letters partially encircled the dark object, though they did not touch it. The effect was rather like a halo. Unfortunately I can’t represent their curved shape in my picture above.

Instantly, I thought how fantastic it would be to see Jesus’ name like this wherever I look, always reminding me of his constant presence in everyone and everything.

Then today’s prayer burst out so fast that I could barely keep pace with the words as I hurried to note them down:

God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9; NIV). 

Everywhere I look today:
May I see your name shine out,
Lord Jesus.

Everyone I meet today:
May I see your face in theirs,
Lord Jesus.

Every thought I have today:
May it be like one of yours,
Lord Jesus.

Every word I speak today:
May it be as if your own,
Lord Jesus.

Everything I do today:
May I do it all for you,
Lord Jesus.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:49; NIV).


References 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5; NLT).

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 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).

I will see you face to face and be satisfied (Psalm 17:15; NLT).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

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

Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17; NLT). 

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; NLT). 

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (James 2:12; NLT).


Reading: Philippians 2:5-11; NIV.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


The Rosary Hospital

A very welcome influx of fresh materials today included a strong magnetic clasp, so I was able to enjoy experimenting with a shorter prayer circlet that opens and closes, to be worn around the neck. I had to make it twice, as the first time I used larger beads than usual, which made the cross hang too low on my chest. NB: I particularly like the cross on these circlets to rest as close as possible to my heart.

Whilst trying out different approaches to this task, I stumbled on the possibility of making rosaries in a completely new way. I was too tired to take this idea any further at the time, but hope to try creating a rosary with the new approach tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here is the second prayer-circlet I made yesterday, which I am already wearing. It’s very easy to put on and take off, as it doesn’t need to be pulled over the head:

11.1.23: My eyes are closed


As I woke two days ago, I began to pray without words. My eyes were still closed, and I found that I was exploring the darkness of my mind. After a time, the first words for today’s prayer arrived, so I wrote them down, then returned to my silence. And, as often happens, the rest slowly followed:

Live a life filled with love (Ephesians 5:2; NLT). 

My eyes are closed,
And I can see the darkness
Of my mind.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:
Please shine your light.

Keeping them shut,
I move into the darkness
Of my heart.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:

Please speak the truth.

With eyes still closed,
I stumble through the darkness
Of my soul.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:

Please save my soul!

Save my soul (Psalm 22:20; NASB20). 


References 

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

Give light to my eyes (Psalm 13:3; NIV).

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5; NLT).

Make your face shine upon Your servant (Psalm 31:16; NKJV).

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

When the Spirit of truth comes, she will guide you into all truth (John 16:13; TIB).

Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake (Psalm 6:4; KJV).

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety (Psalm 18:2; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

Yesterday, to my delight, I received the little wooden cross-shaped beads I ordered not long ago. These will serve as the “Our Father” beads on some of my rosaries.

Although the first rosary including them isn’t quite finished, here is a photo to show how these new beads will look. The idea is that they will mark the end of each decade is a very clear and tactile way. Hopefully, this will be particularly helpful for people who have difficulties with their sight, or their sense of touch.

28.12.22: Come, Jesus

Context: This prayer arrived on Christmas Day, and took two more days to write. Maybe I’m slowing down in my old age…

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20; NLT). 

Come, Jesus, come –
Be born again in me,
And I in you.

I’ll do my best
To share your cross,
Your love for others, too.

The way is long,
The path is hard –
My efforts seem in vain,

But, Lord, despite
My fruitlessness, I long
To serve your name.

For you’re my Saviour
And my King,
My genesis and goal,

So come, Lord, come –
I offer you my heart, mind, strength
And soul.

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:30; NLT).


References

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).

The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:14; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

To my great pleasure, the rosaries posted before Christmas are gradually reaching their destinations, despite the postal strikes and challenging weather conditions.

Meanwhile, I remade my Fiat rosary with the inadequate knot. It came out much better the third time, so I have no regrets about starting again – it’s all good practice.

One exciting development (from a purely personal point of view), is that over the last few days I’ve become more confident about the strength of my joining knots, so I’ve stopped reinforcing them with superglue. It’s taken quite a while to reach this stage, but I’m pleased to be getting there. Purists don’t use glue when making rosaries – perhaps mine could be held together with faith!

If you would like more rosary news, or if you have any broken rosaries to donate, you are very welcome to contact me at “The Rosary Hospital”, on Facebook.

Lastly, here is the Fiat rosary I made today:

25.12.22: Christmas Day

Context: God often gives me a special prayer well in advance, ready to post on Christmas Day, but this year it didn’t happen. In fact, I had begun to think there would be no Christmas prayer at all this year. To begin with, I felt I should be able to write something appropriate, but I knew I couldn’t do this without inspiration, so eventually I placed the matter in God’s hands, and let it go.

Then, on the 21st of December, I received a long Christmas prayer, which was very difficult to put into words, to condense, and to edit. Eventually it took the form of a spoken exchange. The first section pictures Christ speaking to us, whilst the second pictures us responding to him.

✝️ She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them (Luke 2:7; NLT). 

I was born in the shadow of want,
And lived in the shadow of fear.

I worked in the shadow of hate,
But knew that my Father was near.

I wept in the shadow of grief,
And prayed in the shadow of pain.

I walked in the shadow of death,
Then rose, to save all, and to reign.

The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15; NLT).


✝️ We all have sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT). 

Though we dwell in the shadow of sin,
And grieve in the shadow of loss,

We pray, and give thanks, and rejoice,
For we follow your way of the cross.

Though we walk in the shadow of death,
We trust in your staff and your rod.

Lord, you are here, in earth’s darkness,
So we sing in the shadow of God.

Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 63:7; NLT).


Christmas greetings:

My very best wishes to every reader who visits this website. May God bless you. I pray for you all every day.

✝️  With love, and many thanks for your support, from Ruth xxxxxxx

21.12.22: Blissful warmth

Context: After the best night’s sleep for as long as I can remember, I woke yesterday morning, blissfully warm in bed, with plenty of time to pray – in fact, time seemed to stand still whilst I was praying, to my amazement. Then today’s blog came to me:

I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14; NKJV). 

God: my blissful warmth;
My raging fire.

God: my gentle glow;
My blinding light.

God: my still, small voice;
My inner tumult.

God: my brightest day –
And darkest night.

Moses approached the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:21; NLY).


References

God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!” (Acts 9:3-5; NLT). 

After the fire came a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; BSB). 

Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him (Psalm 50:3; NLT). 

For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:2; NLT).

Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light (Matthew 7:2; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Today the first little rosary parcels were posted out, and more were wrapped. I’ve been working in the sitting room so far, with all the rosary parts in trays, dotted around on the furniture, and my tools on the window-sill. This looks very untidy, and makes the room hard to clean.

So I’m planning to turn one corner of our living area into a work-station with a lower visual impact. Plus, there is a narrow bit of wall close by where completed rosaries can hang from little hooks, ready for packing. Organisation seems to be key to staying on top of my enterprise!

Today’s work in progress, on the window-sill.

10.12.22: In darkness

Context: When I was feeling really ill with Covid, I could barely pray, and wrote nothing. It seemed as if all possibility of having any quality of life had come to an end. I wanted to die, but as the days passed, I faced the fact that I have to stay here a while longer – exactly as long as God wants.

As I started to improve, inspiration began to flow again. I prayed that all the sick and suffering in this troubled world would be blessed with patient endurance, and that we would all be welcomed home when our time comes. Out of this prayer came the spark of inspiration, resulting in today’s blog:

If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God (Isaiah 50:10; NLT). 

I walk in darkness,
Sense your grace,
And know that you
Are in this place.

I follow you,
And glimpse your light:
Soon, Jesus,
We will reunite. 

I see your face:
Bone of my bone,
And hear you saying:
Welcome home. 

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


References 

Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh (Genesis 2:23; NKJV).

Surely you are my bone and my flesh (Genesis 29:14; NKJV).

I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:18-20; NLT). 

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12; NIV). 

3.12.22: As I wake

Context: As I wake, eyes still closed, I’m in my familiar, warm, dimly-lit inner space, looking down at the dark, still surface of my unconscious mind, repeating, “I love you, Lord; I love you.” 

The face of the deep begins to stir, creating ripples which spread out from the centre until they are lost from my sight in the surrounding darkness. Then I hear myself saying aloud, “Let it be done to me according to thy word”. After this, I lie in silence, amazed and awed.

Eventually, I pick up my iPad, and start to write down what happened. I have a sense that something is coming: a change, a gain, a loss? What might it be? I feel a ripple of apprehension and excitement, which persists throughout the day.


References 

Darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:2; NLT). 

An angel of the Lord came from time to time and stirred up the water (John 5:4; NLT). 

I love you, Lord; you are my strength (Psalm 18:1; NLT). 

Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38; KJV). 

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29; NIV). 

Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:13; CSB). 

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; RSV).

I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).

25.11.22: Silence

Context: The days tend to blur into one with Covid, but there are signs of improvement. Yesterday, my husband made bread, we gratefully received our second batch of online grocery shopping, and I walked about 5o yards down the road, which was as much as I could manage. There was no traffic, and the light, waves and gulls gave a strange, dream-like quality to being out of doors. Afterwards, I was so tired that I fell asleep repeatedly.

Be silent before the Lord (Zechariah 2:13; NLT).

In the silence of my mind,
I praise you, Lord,
Who sets me free.

In the stillness of my heart,
I worship you
Continually.

In the darkness of my soul,
I seek your face
Unceasingly.

In the dying of my flesh,
I thirst
For your eternity.

I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain (Psalm 143:6; NLT).

I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:2; NLT).


Rosary news:

Following help I was given on Wednesday by a religious Sister, I made my first rosary with a centrepiece, which proved to be a game-changer. It’s holding together so far, with cautious, gentle handling:

7.11.22: God in all

Context: Last Saturday was a rare, blessed, unpressured day with no hospital appointments, and no building work taking place at home. I had breakfast in bed, followed by the luxury of a whole morning to write this prayer, which arrived soon after I woke up:

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5; NLT).

God: in stillness, silence, darkness;
Here, in yearning –
Our unknown.

God: in worship, wonder, rapture;
Here, in bliss –
Our stepping stone.

God: in nature, labour, service;
Here, in love –
Our source, our home.

God: in weakness, envy, anger;
Here, in sin –
Our cornerstone.

God: in conflict, terror, trauma;
Here, in carnage –
Our shalom.

God: in sickness, sorrow, anguish;
Here, in pain –
Our flesh, our bone.

God: in striving, yielding, dying;
Here, in all
Our Lord, alone.

The LORD is our God, the LORD alone (Deuteronomy 6:4; NLT).


References

Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign LORD (Zephaniah 1:7; NLT).

God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).

By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22; NLT).

I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

Yield yourselves to God (Romans 6:13; RSV).

Now yield and submit yourself to Him [agree with God and be conformed to His will] and be at peace (Job 22:21; AMP).

Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit (Matthew 27:50; NKJV).

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

There is …one God and Creator of all, who is over all, who works through all and is within all (Ephesians 4:5-6; TIB).


Rosary-making news:

I’m longing for the arrival of some 1mm cord from the UK. This should hopefully thread through the wooden beads I’ve already bought. At present, I only have 1.5mm cord, which is too thick to go through them. Until the thinner cord arrives, I’m limited to making necklaces and bracelets, practicing barrel knots and threading a few beads by chewing the thread. Still, today I made my first ever equal-length sliding knots.

21.10.22: Gifts

Context: Yesterday morning I prayed with words, then without, until I suddenly saw this little poem:

God has blocked my way so I cannot move. He has plunged my path into darkness (Job 19:8; NLT). 

You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT). 

I give you my darkness,
My weakness and sin –
That’s all I can offer, Lord:
Failure, within.

I give you my loneliness,
Sickness and fears –
That’s all I can offer, Lord:
Mourning and tears.

I give you my sorrow,
My anguish and shame –
That’s all I can offer, Lord:
Longing and pain.  

I give you my suffering,
Body and blood,
My mind, heart and soul, Lord:
I give you my love. 

I will give you my love (Song of Songs, 7:12; NLT).