11.9.23: Mysteries

Engin_Akyurt: Pixabay

This prayer began to form last Friday, when several Bible verses came together in my mind, and I saw a connection between them. The link is that life and death, as well as many other “positive” and “negative” things, are the same to God, and they can be the same to us, as well. Knowing this can make suffering easier to bear.

If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NLT).

1. All through our lives
And when we die,
Lord, we are Yours:
You watch, close by.

2. Darkness and light
Are just the same
To You, our origin
And aim.

3. Father, you call us all
Your kin,
For we are Yours:
You live within.

4. God of the living,
And the dead:
All are alive
To You, our Head.

5. Lord, all these mysteries
Are true:
May we explore each one
With You.

He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; he brings light to the deepest gloom (Job 12:22; NLT).


Verse 1:
The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade (Psalm 121:5; NLT).

Verse 2:
To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you (Psalm 139:12; NLT).

Verse 3:
We are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NIV).

Verse 4:
He is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him (Luke 20:38; NLT).

Verse 5:
I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven (Ecclesiastes 1:13; NLT).

8.9.23: Follow and worship (updated today)

Hans: Pixabay

I posted today’s prayer at midnight last night, when it only had seven verses. However, this morning, when I was praying without words, I suddenly received the final couplet, which makes it complete. So that email followers don’t miss this, I’m now posting the final version for their sake.

A thoroughfare will be there – it will be called the Way of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8; NET).

Follow Christ on the way of love:
Worship Him who reigns above.

Learn from Christ on the way of faith:
Worship Him and seek His face.

Talk with Christ on the way of prayer:
Worship Him, our thoroughfare.

Serve with Christ on the way of light:
Worship Him both day and night.

Weep with Christ on the way of pain:
Worship Him who rose again.

Walk with Christ on the way of death:
Worship Him; one final breath

Then rest with Christ when life is past,
And worship Him with joy, at last.

Lord, though I’m on the way of dust,
I’ll worship you with steadfast trust.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3; NIV).


The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; KJV).

You were made from dust, and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

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

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:1; NLT).

Those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die (Isaiah 57:2; NLT).

31.8.23: Things I used to do

Walking on the Isle of Man in 2009.
Collecting litter with my beloved electric bike in 2018.
Using my new electric wheelchair in 2023.

Yesterday I woke early, remembering immediately that I would be setting off on a journey today for a hospital trip to the United Kingdom. It will be my first time travelling alone for several years. I’ll be using a wheeled walking frame, so my packing has had to be pared down to the absolute minimum.

Despite feeling slightly anxious, I managed to pray for a while before today’s blog began to emerge. It puts into words the losses I experience as I get older, steadily becoming more limited by my health, energy and mobility issues. 

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
(Job 1:21; CSB).


1. Help me to give up gracefully
The things I used to do,
To offer thanks, and let them go,
Returning them to you.

2. One by one you take my joys,
The things I used to do,
Like walking, cycling, seeing friends –
I yield them all to you.

3. My energy, my health, my strength,
The things I used to do,
They fade and die, but faith remains,
Surrendering to you.

4. Day by day you take away
The things I used to do,
So we draw ever closer,
While I’m coming back to you.

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


Verse 1:
*Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).
*Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17; NIV).

Verse 2:
*Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (Habakkuk 3:17; NLT).

Verse 3:
*I tell you the truth, 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).
*Maryam said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of THE LORD JEHOVAH; let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38; ABPE).

Verse 4:
*May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NLT).
*I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).
*Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7; ESV).
*The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:24-5; NIV).

28.8.23: When we die

Kranich17: Pixabay.

These verses came to me yesterday as I was saying my final prayers in bed, late at night. This doesn’t happen very often. I broke off to begin working on it right away.

The Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 10:7; NLT). 

When we die, Lord,
Heaven is near –
There won’t be time to weep,
Or fear,

For you will clasp us
To your breast,
And welcome us
To share your rest.

There won’t be any grief
Or pain –
Your touch
Will make us whole again.

Then we’ll rejoice
That life is done,
And sing forever, Lord,
As one.  

Those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! (Isaiah 26:19; NLT). 

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

16.8.23: Beyond praise

Blumary: Pixabay.

Yesterday I was praying without words in brilliant, white light when this hymn of praise began to arrive. Thinking about it afterwards, the light seemed to be both inside me and all around me. Everything was one, and I was one with everything. I couldn’t see anything but the brightness, which was very beautiful. These verses proved exceptionally difficult to express in words, and I don’t feel I did the whole experience justice at all.

Who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2; NKJV).

1. You are my Maker,
Earth’s living Creator:
A shining, refining,
Unquenchable blaze.

2. You are my Teacher,
My Prophet and Preacher;
My yearning: returning, Lord,
All of my days.

3. You are my treasure,
My wealth beyond measure;
Compelling, indwelling:
My spirit obeys.

4. You are my story,
My future, my glory;
My crying, my dying, Lord:
Far beyond praise.

The Lord our God is great beyond all gods (2 Chronicles 2:5; BST).


Verse 1
* He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:1; NIV).
* The LORD your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

Verse 2
* I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2; CSB).
* Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28; NLT).

Verse 3
* The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field (Matthew 13:44; CSB).
* Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book (Revelation 22:7; NLT).

Verse 4
* We believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us (Romans 8:23; NLT).
* The LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory (Psalm 84:11; NLT).

9.8.23: Joy and tears

Tumisu: Pixabay.

This prayer arrived spontaneously whilst I was saying grace before breakfast last Saturday.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV). 

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
(Psalm 16:11; NLT). 

Thank you for the joy of living, Lord,
And for the tears.

Thank you for the joy of striving, Lord,
And for the fears.

Thank you for the joy of loving, Lord,
And for the pain.

Thank you for the joy of dying, Lord,
To rise again.

Those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!
(Isaiah 26:19; NLT). 

7.7.23: I look on you

The Crucifixion
Fra Angelico, Italian, ca. 1420–23, metmuseum.org.

Today’s blog came to me swiftly as I prayed before my icon of Christ yesterday morning:

They will look on the one they pierced.
(John 19:37; NLT).

1. I look on you:
The One we pierced –
The God who died,
And rose again.

2. I look on you:
The One who heals –
Who sets us free
From sin and pain.

3. I look on you:
The One who hears –
The God who listens
To our prayers.

4. I look on you:
The One who sees –
Who saves us, helps us,
Guides, and shares.

I will be with you in trouble.
(Psalm 91:15; TIB).

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


Verse 1
Jesus died and rose again (1 Thessalonians 4:14; RSV).

Verse 2
I am the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NLT).
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin (Titus 2:14; NLT).
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

Verse 3
God hears (Genesis 16:11; NLT).
He listens (John 9:31; NLT).

Verse 4
You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13; NLT).
Our God is a God who saves (Psalm 68:20; NIV).
He helps me (Psalm 28:7; NLT).
He guides me along right paths (Psalm 23:3; NLT).
In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).
Give your burdens to the LORD and he will take care of you (Psalm 55:22; NLT).

1.7.23: In your arms

geralt: Pixabay.

This simple poem arrived during a time of quiet worship:

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

We wake, pray, and rejoice, Lord,
In your arms;
We give, share, and receive, Lord,
In your hands.

We toil, strive, and progress, Lord,
In your arms;
We fail, sin, and repent, Lord,
In your hands.

We suffer and submit, Lord,
In your arms;
We grieve, weep, and endure, Lord,
In your hands.

We rage, doubt, and despair, Lord,
In your arms;
We hope, trust, and believe, Lord,
In your hands.

We love, serve, and remain, Lord,
In your arms;
We live, die, and unite, Lord,
In your hands.

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


Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever (Psalm 28:9; NLT).

Our lives are in his hands (Psalm 66:9; NLT).

In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28; NIV).

There is…one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:6-7; NLT). 

The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NLT).

Remain in me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4; NLT).

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

You…are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 

19.6.23: I’m smiling

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,
Paolo Gerolamo Piola, Italian, ca. 1700, metmuseum.org.

This blog came to me towards the end of my online movement to music class yesterday, just when I was least expecting anything. Fortunately I managed to keep hold of it, and to write it down afterwards:

1. I’m smiling with you, Lord,
And laughing with you;
I’m talking with you,
And rejoicing with you.

2. I’m singing with you, Lord
And dancing with you;
I’m eating with you,
And debating with you.

3. I’m praying with you, Lord,
And weeping with you;
I’m grieving with you,
And enduring with you.

4. I’m living with you, Lord,
And serving with you;
I’m dying with you,
And uniting with you.

God has united you with Christ Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 1:30; NLT).


Verse 1
He talked with us (Luke 24:32; NLT).

Verse 2
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; NIV).
I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High (Psalm 9:2; NIV).

Verse 3
He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38; NLT).
I want to suffer with him (Philippians 3:10; NLT).

Verse 4
Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them (1 John 3:24; NLT).
If we die with him, we will also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11; NLT).
Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too – and die with Jesus” (John 11:16; NLT).
Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever (1 Thessalonians 5:10; NLT).
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16; NLT).
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

Because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God (Ephesians 1:11; NLT).

15.5.23: Darkness and light

Milky Way photo from Pixabay, made into a watercolour.

Today’s blog is very short and simple:

He made darkness his hiding place (Psalm 18:11; BSB).

How deep is the darkness
That hides you, Lord God,

Yet how dazzling
The light you revealed:

For you gave us your Son,
So that all who believe

Will not die, but be ransomed,
And healed.

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death (Psalm 103:3-4; NIV).