26.11.22: You wake me

Context: I’m slowly improving after becoming ill with Covid just over two weeks ago. Yesterday I walked about 100 yards, which was exhausting, and resulted in a migraine.

Today I’d like to share a poem I wrote a short while ago. That day, I woke at about 5.30am. Still drowsy, I hoped to go back to sleep, but started to say The Lord’s Prayer, as usual. However, within moments my words ceased, as my soul was filled with the most delightful light, warmth and love. All too soon, I had to surface, so I could write about what I had experienced. It wasn’t easy to put into words, but here is the result:

God awakens me morning after morning – wakens my ear, to listen like a student (Isaiah 50:4; TIB). 

God of all people,
All creatures, all things,
You wake me so gently,
For sleep, Lord, still clings,

And over all people,
All creatures, all things,
You call to me softly:
The King of all kings.

You live through all people,
All creatures, all things,
And though I’m still drowsy
You give my soul wings,

Then, in all people,
All creatures, all things,
You stir up my spirit,
Until my heart sings. 

Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! (Zephaniah 3:14; NLT).

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).

19.11.22: God is near

Context: The night before last, my seventh with covid, I managed for the first time to cope without taking any cough-suppressant. As soon as I woke in the morning, I began to pray, but within seconds I was overwhelmed by today’s blog:

He is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:27-8; NIV). 

God is not far away,
But very near:
In everyone we meet,
And see, and hear;

In every joy and sorrow,
Smile, and tear;
In pain and anguish,
Suffering, and fear.

God is not far away,
But deep within:
In every mind, and heart,
And soul, and skin;

Despite our hatred,
Selfishness and sin –
God is not far away,
And God is King. 

God is the King over all the earth (Psalm 47:7; NLT).


References 

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

You
are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16; NKJV). 

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NIV). 

Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NLT).

Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44; NLT).


Rosary news:

Despite covid, I made a (hopefully) more accurate Fiat Rosary today, with the colours in the right order. Here is is:


…and here it is again, lying on my shrine overnight, soaking up God’s blessings:

Sister and Brother (#3 of 3)

Context: This is the last in a series of three blogs which arrived in rapid succession on the same morning. Whilst I was praying, I saw that everyone is my sister, my brother and my mother, and that every child is my child. God is within us all, so we all belong to one family, and we are all one. Jesus, of course, understood this long ago:

There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:32-5; NLT). 

You’re my Sister and Brother,
My Child and my Kin;

My Teacher, my Shepherd,
My Saviour, my King;

My Mother and Father,
My Staff and my Rod,

For, living in all,
You’re my Lord and my God.

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).


References

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 25:40; NIV).

He gives the childless woman a household, making her the joyful mother of children (Psalm 113:9; CSB).

Mother, Father (#1 of 3)

Context: This prayer is the first of three which arrived yesterday morning, one after another. By the time I went downstairs for breakfast, my head was reeling:

Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings (Psalm 61:4; NLT).

Mother, Father,
Priest and King,
In everyone,
And everything,
I come, each day,
To dance and sing
Beneath the shelter
Of your wing.

Stranger, Neighbour,
Friend and Kin,
In everyone,
And everything,
I come, each day,
To hide, and cling
Beneath the shadow
Of your wing.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by (Psalm 57:1; NLT). 

Love

Context: By the time I had written and posted “A crash course on suffering”(https://wp.me/p45bCr-bTR), I was exhausted, and had yet another migraine. So with a sense of relief, here is today’s much simpler blog, for which I am very grateful:

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

Each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me.
(Psalm 42:8; NLT). 

1. I love you,
And you love me.
I look around:
You’re all I see

2. In everyone
And everything –
My Shepherd, Saviour,
Priest and King.

3. You love me,
And I love you.
I look within:
You live there, too!

4. So, may I show
Our love today
In all I think, and do,
And say.

I want you to show love (Hosea 6:6; NLT).


References 

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

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

2. There is one Lord …who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5; NLT).  

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need (Psalm 23:1; NLT). 

I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:3; NLT). 

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).

God [is] the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; NIV). 

3. You are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians 6:16; NKJV). 

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

4. Those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment – to love one another – is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it (1 John 2:5-8; NLT). 

Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NLT).

Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NLT). 

Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart (Deuteronomy 15:9; ESV).

Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14; NLT).

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

Take life as it comes (for J.C.)

Context: When I woke up today, this prayer was already arriving. I began writing it down immediately, without even a moment to pray. As I have a migraine, which started yesterday, eye ulcers and a corneal abrasion, I was deeply grateful for the way this poem came together over the following hours.

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

1. I want to take life as it comes,
To praise, as it unfolds;
Accept your will,
And love you still,
Be faithful, brave and bold.

2. I’d like to take life as it comes,
For you send bad and good;
To hear your voice,
And learn, by choice,
Until I’ve understood.

3. I need to take life as it comes,
For you both wound and heal;
To do my best,
And face each test,
Until you are revealed.

4. I’ll try to take life as it comes,
For you bring good from bad;
To value both,
Delight in growth,
And let my heart be glad.

5. I choose to take life as it comes,
Right here; right now; today;
Face everything
With you, my King:
My life, my truth, my way.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6; NLT).


References

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

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

3. I am the one who wounds and heals (Deuteronomy 32:39; NLT).

4. In all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28; NIV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

5. Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19; NLT).

Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:34; 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). 

You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall (Psalm 18:28-9; NLT).

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God (Psalm 84:3; NLT). 

Please help me

Serve the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

1. Please help me, Lord,
To serve, not sin,
To follow Christ,
Your Shepherd King,
Love everyone
Like kith and kin,
And bear my cross
Each day

2. Please help me
To grow more like him,
Obey his quiet voice
Within,
Rejoice, give thanks
For everything,
And never cease
To pray.

Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NLT).


References 

1. Do not sin (Psalm 4:4; NIV). 

Follow me and be my disciple (Matthew 9:9; NLT). 

I am the good shepherd (John 10:14; NLT).

He is Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14; NIV). 

Love your neighbour as yourself (James 2:8; NLT).

Love ye therefore the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; KJV).

You, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

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).

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

Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT). 

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

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

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

More questions

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

1. What makes life on earth worth living?

Loving people, and forgiving;
Prayer, rejoicing, and thanksgiving –
Letting Jesus in.

2. What makes faith in Christ worth choosing? 

Peace, despite the world’s abusing;
Gain, in spite of all we’re losing –
Following our King.

3. What makes trouble worth enduring?

Learning, growing, and maturing;
Meeting others, helping – turning
Minds and souls to Him.

4. What makes Jesus’ way worth taking?  

Service, though our hearts are breaking –
So, choose Christ, all else forsaking,
And unite with Him.

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 3:9; NLT).


References 

1. My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:24; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; RSV).

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

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (Revelation 3:20; NLT).

2. Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

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).

On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Revelation 19:16; NLT).

3. When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:2-3; NLT).

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12; NLT).

Grow to maturity (2 Corinthians 13:11; NLT).

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35; NLT).

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone (Mark 16:15; NLT). 

Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

4. Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT). 

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

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

We can’t fight God

It is useless for you to fight against my will (Acts 26:14; NLT).

We can’t fight God
For he is strong.
He reigns supreme:
His will be done.

We can’t fight God,
For he is King.
We’re in his hands:
His will be done.

We can’t fight God,
For he is Lord.
In life and death:
His will be done.

We can’t fight God,
For he is great:
His kingdom come,
His will be done.

May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NLT).

 


My example

He is your example and you must follow in his steps.
(1 Peter 2:21; NLT).

Lord,
You’re my example,
My Saviour,
And my Friend;

My Shepherd,
And my Teacher;
My Maker,
And my end;

My bread, my wine,
My water;
My way, my truth,
My breath;

My King, my God,
My Spirit;
My love, my life,
My death.

✝️

If we die with him, we will also live with him.
(2 Timothy 2:11; NLT).