8.9.22: Starting afresh

Today is my 70th birthday, and it marks a fresh start here on my blog, as outlined yesterday (https://wp.me/p45bCr-cbb). From today, until a review in one month’s time, I will be sharing much more directly what God gives me, without trying to shape it into poetry or articles. Instead, my blogs will take the form of an honest daily, spiritual diary.

Hopefully, this change will enable me to continue communicating with you, whilst reducing my workload appropriately as my health deteriorates. Introducing this change is exciting, and makes me feel much more optimistic about the future, no matter what it may hold. So, here is the first entry in my new spiritual diary.

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” (Genesis 28:16; NLT).

Lord, please help me to remember that I live in your presence. I want to be conscious of your nearness, day and night.

As I get older, you’re slowly revealing the contents of my unconscious mind. Please help me to learn from all you show me. Thank you for everything you bring out of my inner darkness. By the time I die, I want to have discovered, faced and accepted as many as possible of the treasures hidden there, however challenging this process may be.

Help me to shine as a beacon of your love wherever I am and in all circumstances, confident that everything is just as you wish it to be. May I learn from all I experience.

Lord, my life here is an exile and a pilgrimage. Whatever happens, please help me to keep on heading back home to you, whilst doing what I can to serve those I encounter along the way. Thank you for taking care of everything else.

I ask all this in your dear Son’s name. Amen.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord (Isaiah 45:3; CSB).

He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness (Daniel 2:22; NLT).

You alone suffice

Context: After having the most astonishing, wonderful, joyful and liberating day yesterday, today’s blog just poured out as soon as I woke and started to pray this morning.

My grace suffices thee: for my power is perfected in weakness.
(2 Corinthians 12:9; LET). 

Yahweh,
You alone suffice:
My hiding-place,
My paradise;
My book, my priest,
My light, my peace –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are God:
My resting-place,
My staff, my rod;
My night, my day,
My truth, my way –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are good:
My dwelling-place,
My flesh, my blood;
My jubilee,
My liberty –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are bliss:
My life, my death,
My longed-for kiss;
My welcome home,
My great shalom
I love you.

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


Reference

Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. It can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between a person and God, or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals (Wikipedia).

Why?

I am the one who answers your prayers
and cares for you (Hosea 14:8; NLT). 

1. Why do you care so much for me?
It’s not as though I’m perfect.

2. Why do you carry me each day?
It’s not as if I’m good.

3. Why do you make your home in me?
It’s not because I’m sinless –

4. Father, it’s your nature,
You can’t help it: you are love.

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


References 

1. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7; NIV). 

In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:25; NLT ). 

2. Each day he carries us in his arms (Psalm 68:19; NLT).

3. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them (John 14:23; NLT).

O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner (Luke 18:13; NLT).

4. That is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die (Psalm 48:14; NLT). 

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

With you (#2 of 3)

Many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”
(John 6:66-8; NLT). 

I want to spend my life with you,
Absorbing all you say,
And watching how you talk with those
We meet along the way.

I want to spend my life with you:
One flesh; one soul; one mind;
To make my home within your heart,
And love all humankind.

I want to spend my life with you,
To share your grief and pain,
And help to bear your heavy cross:
Then I’ll be born again.

🖤

Unless you are born again,
you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
(John 3:3; NLT).

 


We come from you

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

Put on your new nature, created to be like God –
truly righteous and holy.
(Ephesians 4:24; NLT). 

We come from you;
To you, Lord, we return,
And though we are dust,
We strive to grow like you.

Your Spirit, within,
Shows us your Son’s example,
Helping with all we feel, think,
Say, and do.

We are your home;
Your resting-place; your temple.
Filled with your Holy Ghost,
We serve your Son,

Finding you, Lord,
In all you have created,
And living with you in love,
For we are one.

🖤

Whoever lives in love lives in God,
and God in them
(1 John 4:16; NIV).

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

 


In darkness

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 grope towards you, Lord,
In darkness,

Blunder,
On your narrow way;

Burdened
By my trials and sorrows,

Trusting you, Lord,
Every day.

I grope towards you, Lord,
In silence;

Lost in stillness;
All alone;

Yearning, Lord,
To see your face,

When you draw near
To take me home.

They shall see his face
(Revelation 22:4; KJV). 


In his hands

All his holy ones are in his hands
(Deuteronomy 33:3; NLT).

God holds us in his loving hands,
No matter how far we stray.
Whatever he sends, he cares for us,
Guiding us through each day.

God holds us in his gentle hands,
No matter how far we roam.
Whatever he sends, he carries us,
Bringing us safely home.

God holds us in his mighty hands,
No matter how great our fear.
Whatever he sends, he comforts us,
For, even in death, he’s near.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
(Psalm 23:4; KJV).


You gave your only Son

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; NIV).

Lord,

You gave your only Son
To live and die for all,

And then you raised him
From the dead,

For we still hear
His call.

Lord,

You sent your only Son
To claim us as his own,

And now he waits
Within us all,

To make our hearts
His home.

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).


God’s presence

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). 

God’s presence surrounds you
Below and above:
Rest in his shelter,
And breathe in his love.

His presence extends
On your left and your right:
Live in his goodness,
And walk in his light.

God’s presence supports you
Without and within:
Tell him your sorrows,
And whisper each sin.

His presence goes with you
Before and behind:
Pray; rejoice; thank him,
And always be kind.

God’s presence stays with you
Wherever you roam:
Trust in him, always –
Your heart is his home.

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).

When you give me light (for A.K.)

I send good times and bad times.
I, the Lord,
am the one who does these things
(Isaiah 45:7; NLT).

The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord
(Job 1:21; NLT).

Father,
When you give me light
I praise your holy name.

When you send me
Clouds and darkness,
May I do the same. 

Father,
When you grant me peace
I bless your sacred name.

When you send me
Fear and anguish,
May I do the same.

Father,
When you give me joy
I praise your holy name.

When you send me
Grief and sorrow,
May I do the same.

Father,
When you grant me health
I bless your sacred name.

When you send me
Pain and sickness,
May I do the same.

Father,
While you give me life
I’ll praise your holy name.

When you call me home
In death,
May I do just the same.

I will praise the Lord at all times
(Psalm 34:1; NLT).