Questions

Image: Francesco Paggiaro, Pexels


1. Why do we long for beauty, Lord,
While you hold out forgiveness?

2. Why do we thirst for luxuries,
While you pour out your blood?

3. Why do we dream of riches,
While you offer us salvation?

4. Why do we yearn to see the world,
While you wait in us all, with love?

 


References

1. Beauty does not last (Proverbs 31:30; NLT).

You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love (Nehemiah 9:17; NLT).

2. You have lived on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter (James 5:5; NLT).

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28; NIV).

3. A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God (Luke 12:21; NLT).

If the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it (Romans 11:12; NLT).

4. The younger son gathered together all he had and travelled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living (Luke 15:13; CSB).

The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

Darkness

Image: Matthias Heil, Unsplash


1. When all my peace and joy
Are stripped away,
You are in the darkness I must face.

2. When all my health and strength
Are stripped away,
You are in the stillness I embrace.

3. When all my hopes and dreams
Are stripped away,
You are in the sorrow that remains.

4. When all I thought I had
Is stripped away,
You are in the silence, Lord, that reigns.


References

1. You have covered us with darkness (Psalm 44:19; NLT).

O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness (1 Kings 8:12; NLT).

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

2. My health is broken (Psalm 38:7; NLT).

My strength is gone (Daniel 10:17; NLT).

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NLT).

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm 73:26; NLT).

3. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken (Job 17:11; NLT).

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NIV).

4. Even what they think they have will be taken from them (Luke 8:18; NIV).

After the fire [came] a sound of sheer silence (1 Kings 19:12; NRSV).

May terrors fade

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He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain
(Revelation 21:4; NLT).

1. May terrors fade, Lord,
Leaving only peace;
And bad dreams finish,
Leaving only good.

2. May darkness pass, Lord,
Leaving only light;
And evil perish,
Leaving only love.

3. May anguish end, Lord,
Leaving only hope;
And doubting wither,
Leaving only faith.

4. May weeping cease, Lord,
Leaving only joy;
And sickness vanish,
When we see your face.

Now we see in a mirror, dimly,
but then we will see face to face
(1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

The hopes of the helpless

Photo: KELLEPICS

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

Lord,

1. You know the hopes
Of the helpless,

2. The dreams
Of the damaged,

3. The faith
Of the friendless,

4. And the prayers
Of the poor:

5. Hear our cries
And comfort us, we beg you;

6. Mend our bodies,
And our anxious minds;

7. Fill our hearts with care
For one another –

8. Then we will share your love,
Which heals and binds.

References

1-5. Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them (Psalm 10:17; NLT).

6. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

7. I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other (John 13:34; NLT).

If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12; NIV).

8. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14; NLT).

Morning prayer


1. Thank you, Father, for my night,
For all my dreams,
And this new day.

2. Help me to pick up my cross,
And follow Christ,
And always pray,

3. Rejoicing in your Spirit, Lord,
Who loves me,
Though I’m fully known,

4. While waiting patiently in exile,
Till you come
To take me home.

References

1. Thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

3. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).

The believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52; NLT).

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

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

He knows the secrets of every heart (Psalm 44:21; NLT).

4. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7).

I sent them away to exile and brought them home again (Ezekiel 39:28; NLT).

Dream: 16.8.18.


I dreamed I was looking up at a beautiful late-evening sky, filled with stars. As I gazed, I could see that behind them, much further away, there were countless millions of fainter, smaller stars.

As I watched, the stars parted, like clouds, revealing hundreds of small brightly-shining white shapes, rather like crosses.

For a few moments, I thought they too were stars. But then I realised they were moving: great flocks of birds, like swans, some black, some white, wheeling together and filling the sky above me.

And as I watched, all these things began to fade away, and I woke up. 

References

I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command (Isaiah 45:12; NLT).

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born (Psalm 33:6; NLT).

God is more glorious than the moon; he shines brighter than the stars (Job 25:5; NLT).

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge (Psalm 19:1-2; NIV).

A dream 27.2.19.

Here is a strange, vivid dream, which I would like to share with you:

I was sinking deep into my self, towards a small, intense, single cell of white light. It had a clearly outlined border, and a dark nucleus. I watched it slowly moving and changing shape, rather like an amoeba. It was alive!

As I descended towards it, I realised that this light was far larger and brighter than it had seemed at first. Suddenly, I plunged into it. The light surrounded and inundated me completely. Instantly, I lost all sight and sense of it having any boundaries at all, and realised it was limitless. Then I understood that this light was God.

There was no separation between this light and myself, other people, animals, the living, the dead, creation, past, present, or future. Rather, all things were the infinite, incomprehensible oneness of God, who is, “Over all, in all, and living through all”.

I woke up with daylight streaming into my room. Later, whilst I was dressing, it came into my mind that whatever the future holds, I have been healed. Then I was overwhelmed by awe and wonderment. 

References

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

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 8:39; NLT).

How great is God – beyond our understanding (Job 36:26; NIV).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

O Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you (Luke 5:8; NLT).

Dreams and nightmares

Like many people, when I’m dealing with significant emotional issues, I often have disturbing dreams.

Last night I dreamed I was walking along a street with my mother, saying firmly to her, “You usually yelled at someone on journeys.” She laughed heartily at this, as if I were joking. “That wasn’t a joke,” I continued, very seriously, “You did usually yell at someone on journeys.”

As I woke, still talking aloud, I was left wondering whether the fact that journeys with my mother were so incredibly tense and stressful had anything to do with the development of my agoraphobia.

Dreams and nightmares

Father,
Without dreams and nightmares,
Trauma would fester
In my unconscious mind,
Generating panic attacks
That seem to strike
Out of the blue.

Instead,
Through dreams and nightmares
You help me confront my demons one by one,
Learning new ways to handle them,
As I slowly come to terms
With my past.

 

References

A dream comes when there are many cares (Ecclesiastes 5:3; NIV).

I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means (Daniel 2:3; NIV).