Wherever I go

Context: After yesterday’s very concentrated writing effort, today I’m posting a much shorter blog I prepared a little while ago. At present, my energy for writing is in very short supply. However, since I started this website in 2013, I have always had some unpublished pieces set aside, ready to use during the periods when I can’t write. Here is one I’m glad to have the opportunity to share with you:

Be sure of this: I am with you always.
(Matthew 28:20; NLT).

Wherever I go, we go there together.
However I feel, we share it, as one.
Whenever I fail, we mourn it together,
For you never leave me,
My Saviour, God’s Son.

Whatever I lose, we face it together.
Wherever I am, you’re close by my side.
Whatever I bear, we bear it together,
For you never leave me,
Good Shepherd, my Guide.

Whatever you ask, we face it together.
Whatever you take, *I give with a smile.
Whenever I fear, I turn to you swiftly,
For you never leave me
Throughout every trial.

*Give whatever he takes, with a big smile.
(Mother Theresa).

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).

Thank you

Context: Yesterday I went to watch my grandson have his riding lesson. This brought back memories from so long ago that they seemed to come from a previous life, when I was able-bodied. However, it is God who gives and takes away, so I’m entirely happy to be as I am now.

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). 

Thank you, Lord, for all you send,
For all you share, and all you lend;
For all you do, and all you make –
For all you give, and take.

Thank you, Lord, for life and breath,
For joy and pain, for birth and death;
For Christ, who came to set us free –
For loving even me.

Thank you, Lord, beyond all time,
For I am yours, and you are mine,
And though you wound me, yet you mend –
And always, Lord, defend.

For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal.
(Job 5:18; NIV). 


The angel of the LORD is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
(Psalm 34:7; NLT). 

In darkness

Context: Today’s poem came to me this morning. For once, I had lots of time to pray and to enjoy God’s presence, so I was relived to have a day off, with no writing. However, just as I was getting out of bed, the following arrived in a flash. It was easy to catch hold of, but much harder to write! 

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12; NLT). 

I live in darkness lit by Christ,
And walk here, guided by his steps.
I serve here, aided by his strength,
And weep here, solaced by his kiss.

I feast in darkness on his bread,
And share his water, meat and wine.
I rest here, settled by his peace,
And sleep here, cradled by his bliss.

I wake in darkness at his call,
And pray here, kindled by his fire.
I learn here, nurtured by his truth,
And thirst, like him, for God above.

Thus, I spend my life in darkness,
Hid with Christ, my Risen Lord,
And, dwelling here in paradise,
I sing in darkness, lit by love.

Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
(Psalm 42:8; NLT).


References 

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).

Your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3; KJV). 

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:6; NIV).

You have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God (1 Peter 1:23; NLT).

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43; NIV). 

Worship

Context: Despite a migraine, I was able to go to hospital for a stack of blood tests. Then my wonderful husband met me, and we went in the lift together: one floor up, and one floor down. This was truly the achievement of a lifetime for me, and I wept with joy afterwards.


Worship

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:1-3; NLT).
 

Yahweh,
Speaking and creating,
Caring, sharing,
Giving, taking;
Comfort when my heart
Is breaking:
You alone are God. 

Yahweh,
Never once forsaking,
No beginning,
No berating;
Joyful, loving,
Liberating:
You alone are God.  

You alone are God (Psalm 86:10; NLT). 

What is prayer?

We do not know how to pray as we ought.
(Romans 8:26; NRSV).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

Prayer is sharing every thought,
Sensation, feeling, word and deed
With God.

Prayer is sharing all our weakness,
Judgement, sin and selfishness
With God.

Prayer is sharing stillness, silence,
Darkness, need and loneliness
With God.

Prayer is sharing all our joys and sorrows,
Pain, fear, life and death
With God.

Prayer is listening, trusting, loving –
Facing all we undergo
With God.

Yea, though I walk in 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).


References 

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

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

God’s presence

I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth.
(Psalm 116:9; NLT). 

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

🌺 To live in God’s presence is rejoice all the time, and to rejoice all the time is to live in his presence. Nothing in life or death can ever separate us from his love, which is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to pray constantly, and to pray constantly is to live in his presence. There is nothing we can ever feel, think, say, or do that we don’t share with him, and that he doesn’t share with us.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to give thanks in all circumstances, and to give thanks in all circumstances is to live in him. There is nothing we can ever experience that he doesn’t send, and from which he will not bring good.

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


References

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting him (Hebrews 10:20-22; NLT).

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12; NLT).

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 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 8:38-9; NLT).

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).

Trials and sorrows (#2 of 3)

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

1. We have our trials and sorrows, Lord,
It’s true –

2. We’re privileged to bear our cross
For you.

3. Help us to face our lives
With constant prayer,

4. Until we rise
To meet you in the air.

First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; NLT).


References 

2. You have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him (Philippians 1:29; NLT). 

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Mark 8:43; NLT). 

3. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NIV). 

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB). 

Trials and sorrows (#1 of 3)

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

Lord,

1. We have trials and sorrows,
Just like you.

2. We share your anguish,
And your suffering, too.

3. Facing our final passion,
All must die –

4. Then, we will rise to meet you, Lord,
On high.

First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; NLT).


References 

2. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

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

If you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10; NLT). 

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it (Mark 8:35; NLT).

All of us must die eventually (2 Samuel 14:14; NLT). 

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

Wait quietly

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him
(Psalm 62:5; NLT).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord
(Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

1. Wait quietly with God,
Who hears your silent prayers.
Talk quietly with God,
Who feels your silent cares.

2. Walk quietly with God,
Who sees your silent fears.
Weep quietly with God,
Who soothes your silent tears.

3. Work quietly with God,
Who knows your silent aim.
Sit quietly with God,
Who shares your silent pain.

4. Plead quietly with God,
Who loves your silent trust.
Dwell quietly with God,
Who forms you out of dust.

5. Grow quietly with God:
Make this your only goal.
Rest quietly with God:
His Spirit is your soul.

I will put my Spirit in you,
and you will live (Ezekiel 37:14; CSB). 

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).


References 

1. When you pray, don’t babble on …for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; NLT).

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:4; NIV).

2. Walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8; NLT). 

You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13; NIV).

When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul (Psalm 94:19; RSV).

3. The Lord knows all human plans (Psalm 94:11; NIV). 

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him (Psalm 62:5; NLT). 

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT). 

4. He is my God, and I trust him (Psalm 91:2; NLT).

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23:6; KJV). 

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7; KJV). 

5. Learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT). 

Let love be your highest goal (1 Corinthians 14:1; NLT).

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself for God bought you with a high price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; NLT).

He jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us (James 4:5; NIV).

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

More like Jesus

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT). 

1. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to say
In prayer,
For, as our minds grow more like his,
We share our thoughts all day.

2. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to fear,
Or grieve,
For, as our hearts grow more like his,
We share each dread and tear.

3. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to ask
Of him,
For, as our souls grow more like his,
We share his sacred task.

4. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to cling
To life,
For here, on earth, and after death,
We’re wholly one with him.

This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ (Ephesians 4:13; NLT).

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


References 

1. We are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT). 

When you pray, don’t babble on …for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; NLT).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:4; NIV).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

2. Do not be afraid, for I am with you (Genesis 26:24; 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). 

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

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

3. 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).

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24; NIV). 

All of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him (2 Corinthians 5:18; NLT). 

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10; NLT).

4. Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NIV).

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it (Matthew 10:39; NLT). 

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

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (John 17:23; NLT). 

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