2.2.23: Every heart

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
Each day.

May every human heart repent,
And ask you to forgive our sin,
Embracing you, our closest kin,
Each day.

May every human heart rejoice,
And follow you, our Shepherd King,
The One from whom new life will spring
Each day.

Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life (1 Corinthians 15:22; NLT).


References 

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:

30.12.22: Catch me out

Context: Waking with a migraine yesterday morning, I sleepily started saying the Lord’s Prayer. But when I got to “Forgive us our trespasses”, today’s prayer arrived with a bang. I knew I had to write it down immediately, though I always worry because this means breaking off my prayer. Of course, I tell myself that listening and writing are just another way of praying, but I’ve never fully resolved this inner conflict.

Anyway, the background to this prayer is that I lived with constant anxiety as a child (and even as an adult). I knew that everything I did was being watched, and would be roundly and angrily condemned if it was not to my mother’s liking. It’s still very hard for me to grasp that God is nothing like my mother.

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6; NLT). 

You don’t wait to catch me out
In sin –
You’re rooting for me daily, Lord,
Within.

You don’t wait with rage
Till I confess –
You wait till I repent, Lord,
Then you bless.

You don’t wait
To punish my mistakes –
You wait to heal me,
When my poor heart breaks,

Because you love me, Lord,
And sent your Son –
To help me grow like you,
For we are one.

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


References 

God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:17; NLT).

God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; NLT). 

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

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

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Below is a photo of a five-decade rosary I made on Wednesday. Very daringly, it left home yesterday without glue. I’m deeply hoping it will stay together properly. If not, at least I’ll be able to remake it for the recipient.

29.12.22: I start again

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 looks back 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).


References 

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). 

26.12.22: Faith

Context: Today’s prayer came to me whilst I was praying on the morning of Christmas Eve. I was so grateful to receive it:

I love you, LORD (Psalm 18:1; NLT). 

I love you, Lord, and I have faith
That you love me still more.
Please help me where my faith falls short,
For it is weak and poor.

I love you, Lord, and I have faith
That you have sent your Son
To help us when our faith falls short,
So we can all be one.

Please rid me, Lord, of every sin,
And help me to follow Christ.
My mind, heart, soul and strength are yours
In humble sacrifice.

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:30; NLT).

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17; NIV).

15.12.22: That’s easy

Context: I wrote this poem quite a while ago, after experiencing a series of shattering realisations during prayer. Yesterday I rediscovered it amongst my drafts, and decided to post it today:

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

The Father himself loves you dearly (John 16:27; NLT). 

I love you, Lord – that’s easy!
But: You love me, too – that’s hard!

Why do you love me, Yahweh?
Why do you guide and guard? 

You know my every weakness,
And my sins are all too real,

So why do you help and comfort me?
Why do you cleanse and heal? 

Ah! It’s because you’re perfect, Lord,
Pouring out love and peace,

And sending your Son to make us all one:
Your mercy will never cease.  

His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34; NKJV).

12.12.22: Suffering #2 (for B.B.)

Context: Today’s prayer continues my exploration of how God can use our willingly-embraced and gladly-offered suffering to help others. This thread started just a few days ago. Here is a link, in case you want to read that blog first: https://wp.me/p45bCr-cZE. I’m now numbering these linked prayers about suffering, as there is at least one more to come.

I am nothing but dust (Genesis 18:27; NIV).

I’m nothing but dust, Lord,
I’m nothing but sin;
I’m nothing but grief,
And I’m nothing, within.

Yet, Jesus, like you,
I am ready to sup:
To share in your anguish,
And drink from your cup.

So I offer my suffering,
Sickness, and pain:
May your will be done, Lord,
Again and again.

I offer my life,
And I offer my death:
May I share your sorrows,
Then enter your 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 (Matthew 11:29; NLT).

God’s rest is there for people to enter (Hebrews 4:6; NLT).


References 

He became anguished and distressed (Matthew 26:37; NLT).

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39; NLT). 

Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptised with my baptism of suffering” (Mark 10:39; NLT).

O LORD, I give my life to you (Psalm 25:1; NLT). 

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

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT).

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church (Colossians 1:24; NLT). 

Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT). 

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT). 

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18; NIV).


Rosary-making news:

On Saturday I made a requested five-decade rosary for my priest, which for some reason proved very difficult, though I managed in the end. Today I’ve made one and a half rosaries, and am starting to feel more confident about my method, as it slowly evolves:

4.12.22: Step forward

Context: After a very tiring day last Friday, I fell deeply asleep in the evening. When I woke at about 10pm, these lines were already forming in my mind, so I wrote them down, and worked on them yesterday:

He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward” (Mark 3:3; NKJV). 

Step forward,
And never look back;
Trust in Jesus:
There’s nothing we lack.

Step forward,
And don’t turn aside;
Trust in Jesus:
Our Shepherd and Guide.

Step forward,
And never give up;
Trust in Jesus,
Who drank from God’s cup.

Step forward,
And never give in;
Trust in Jesus,
Who pardons our sin.

‘I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Matthew 9:6; NLT).


References 

Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62; NLT). 

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1; NIV). 

Be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 5:32; NIV). 

My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done (Matthew 26:42; NLT). 

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up (2 Corinthians 4:1; NLT). 

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Mark 14:38; NLT). 

2.12.22: Forgive me

Context: I chose this prayer from my storehouse whilst waiting for treatment at the hospital. Because of having had Covid, I’ve missed several weekly sessions there,  so it was good to start picking up my old routines again, and to see the familiar reception staff and nurses. Unfortunately, I somehow accidentally pressed the “publish” button, so it has gone out early, as a bonus for today!

Do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour…

Lord,
You know my faithless heart:
Forgive me; make me fair and kind.
You also know my foolish thoughts:
Forgive me; let me share your mind.

Lord,
You know my careless words:
Forgive me; may I speak with love.
You also know my fragile soul:
Forgive me; heal me; make me good.

Lord,
You know my selfish deeds:
Forgive me; may I serve like you.
You also know my wasted years:
Forgive my sins, and make me new.

…Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:30-32; NLT).


References

For the honour of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins (Psalm 25:11; NLT).

Put new life into us, and we will worship you (Psalm 80:18; CEV).


Rosary-making news:

Again, no post for me today, as I wait keenly for all my rosary-making materials to arrive so I can get properly launched. Every day I say, “Thank you, Jesus”, when I see the empty letter-box, and strive to practice patience, which is very hard! It will arrive at the correct time, I’m sure, so I need to accept this situation, just any other.

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:

18.11.22: Commitment

Context: Yesterday I was able to pray silently for a while, which has been impossible since I became ill with Covid.

The day before I had felt very sad not to have died, but yesterday I saw that as long as God wants me to live, I will live, however exhausted I am, and that when God wants me to die, I will die. So now my only aim is to say, “Yes” to God, and to give thanks for everything God sends. Whether I live or die, I want to embrace God’s will completely.

As part of this realisation, some verses swiftly arrived to crystallise my thinking. Today’s blog owes a great deal to a special prayer I say every day. It’s used by the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, and is quoted in full below the references.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Lord,

Forgive my sins,
Though they are many,
As I forgive the people
Who’ve hurt me.

I’m ready now to live, Lord,
At your pleasure;
I’m ready, now, to die,
When you decree.

No matter what you send
May I give thanks, Lord;
No matter what you take
May I say, Yes –

Today, and every hour,
And every moment,
With steadfast faith, hope, love,
And humbleness.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6; NIV).


References

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

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; RSV).

The LORD gives both death and life (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Put on mercy, kindness, gentleness, humbleness of mind, meekness [and] patience (Colossians 3:12; LB).

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3; NIV).

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).


COLW prayer:

O Mary, teach us always
To say YES to the Lord,
Every moment of our life.

O Mary, teach us always
To give THANKS to the Lord,
Every moment of our life.

(Page 17, Community of Our Lady of Walsingham Prayer Book, Verbum Publications, 2019).