Yesterday I woke very early, which gave me lots of time to pray and write. This is what I was given:
Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32; NLT).
May every human heart, Lord, burn,
And may we take your hand, and cling,
Accepting all that life will bring
May every human heart repent,
And ask you to forgive our sin,
Embracing you, our closest kin,
May every human heart rejoice,
And follow you, our Shepherd King,
The One from whom new life will spring
Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life (1 Corinthians 15:22; NLT).
The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. May the name of the LORD be blessed! (Job 1:21; NET).
Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 4:17; NLT).
Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50; NLT).
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).
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep (John 10:11; NLT).
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-3; ESV).
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them (2 Corinthians 5:15; NLT).
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:4; NIV).
Fun with fermentation
Alongside writing and making rosaries, I love making fermented foods. Recently I began making fermented oats, which are delicious, and have lots of probiotic health benefits. Here is a photo of my second fermentation, which I started yesterday:
I’ve also just begun making my first ever leaven (yeast), by fermenting raisins. It’s so interesting to watch the process, and to see the changes every day with these living foods:
Last Thursday, whilst praying for those who wage war on other people, I saw that whenever we harm or hurt someone else in any way, our behaviour reveals that we are unconsciously at war with some aspect of ourselves. Then today’s prayer started to flow:
We don’t understand (John 16:18; NLT).
Lord, please help us to understand ourselves, because:
When we judge others,
We are are unconsciously judging ourselves.
When we don’t forgive others,
We are unconsciously unable to forgive ourselves.
When we hate others,
We unconsciously hate ourselves,
And when we wage war on others,
We are unconsciously at war with ourselves.
Lord, please help us to choose your perfect way, because:
When we learn to accept ourselves,
We will spontaneously accept others.
When we learn to care for ourselves,
We will spontaneously care for others.
When we learn to forgive ourselves,
We will spontaneously forgive others,
And when we learn to love ourselves,
We will spontaneously love others.
Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).
God’s way is perfect (2 Samuel 22:31; NLT).
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).
Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).
“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 14:4-6; NLT).
He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:19-21; NLT).
The Rosary Hospital
Yesterday I enjoyed fulfilling a request for a smooth, comfortable Fiat Rosary. It is destined to be worn around the neck, always ready for use, and always ready to bring comfort:
A few days ago I was thinking about what a struggle it can be just to give to others, though perhaps giving is relatively easy in comparison to many of life’s other challenges. Almost before I knew it, I had to start writing today’s blog:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT).
Many things in life
Are hard, Lord:
Giving, saying sorry,
And forgiving those who hurt us;
Facing fear, enduring failure,
Illness, disability, and grief.
Yet, with prayer and practice,
They get easier to manage,
Till they become
A source of growth,
Of thankfulness –
And even inner peace.
PeaceI leave with you; mypeaceIgiveyou (John 14:27; NIV).
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and arecalledaccording to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28; NLT).
Today’s blog came to me when I was praying yesterday morning. It links back to the day before, so if you want to refresh your memory, here is a link: https://wp.me/p45bCr-d9R.
Whilst writing the poem below, I saw in my mind’s eye a very simple circlet of beads to go with it. So, later in the day, I made a prototype, pictured above. Afterwards I realised it needs to have groups of eight beads, rather than 16.
It will have one bead per line, and will be said silently, in time with my breathing. A larger bead will mark the end of the last line. I will kiss each marker-bead as I come to it, before beginning the prayer again on the next eight beads. There will be enough beads in the circlet to say the prayer several times, making it a source of comfort and strength. Using it requires only one hand, so it can easily be said whilst lying down, sitting, standing, or walking.
Anyway, after this long introduction, here is today’s prayer. Of course, a circlet of beads is not necessary for praying this little meditation. You might like to try breathing in as you silently and slowly say the first line of each couplet, then out as you say the second.
I love you, LORD; you are my strength (Psalm 18:1; NLT).
Jesus, I love you.
Jesus, forgive me.
Jesus, I thank you,
My staff, and my rod.
Jesus, please help me.
Jesus, I praise you.
Jesus, you love me,
My Lord and my God.
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).
In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body (Colossians 2:9; NLT).
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11; NLT).
God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself (2 Corinthians 5:19; NLT).
God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ (Colossians 1:19; NLT).
The Rosary Hospital
Do you remember me saying that I’d been able to give up supergluing the final knots on my rosaries? Yesterday, to my horror, my own (unglued) rosary came apart. Now I’m imagining all the unglued rosaries I’ve sent out coming apart. There’s nothing I can do about this other than to start using glue again, and making sure people know that if they have a problem, I’ll be very happy to re-cord (and glue), their rosary.
Context: Today’s prayer describes a rare moment late one evening, when I was able to accept and believe that God really had forgiven all my sins. This meant I could start afresh next day, without looking back, to my great joy. These verses arrived the next morning:
Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looksback is not fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62; NLT).
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23; NLT).
I start again today, Lord,
Without sin –
For you forgave me yesterday,
And healed my guilt within.
I start again today
Without a grudge –
For I’ve forgiven all who hurt me:
You, alone, will judge.
I start again today, Lord, Without fear –
For you will walk beside me
Giving comfort, always near.
I start again today
Without regrets –
Instead, I’m looking forward,
For you’ve cancelled all my debts.
When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both (Luke 7:42; ESV).
He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2; NLT).
Her guilt has been removed (Isaiah 49:2; NASB20).
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NIV).
Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12; NLT).
Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all – the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; NLT).
God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12;14; 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).
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory (Romans 5:2; NLT).
Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world (1 Peter 1:13; NLT).
Context: I wrote this prayer very late at night a few days ago, after a really bad day health-wise. I was exhausted, and it was time to settle down, but the words were so insistent that I had to rough them out as best I could, then work on them next day. This prayer falls naturally into two related halves:
1. He refreshesmysoul (Psalm 23:4; NIV).
Jesus refreshes me,
Jesus delivers me,
Jesus releases me,
Jesus advises me,
Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).
2. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42; CSB).
Jesus, unshackle me,
Jesus, replenish me –
Jesus, my Friend.
Youaremyfriends if you do what I command (John 15:14; NIV).
Rosary Hospital news
The hospital had a good day yesterday: one Fiat rosary completed, one parcel prepared for posting, three orders received and a new work-station, which I hope to photograph for you tomorrow, God willing.
Update next morning: I made yesterday’s rosary for myself. When I came to use it in the evening, I discovered that I’ve missed out one bead, so I plan to re-make it today. I’m definitely a perfectionist, but I also really do feel that all my rosaries should be as good as I can make them!