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).

I seek you

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
(Psalm 63:1; NIV). 

1. Father God, I seek you,
Mother God, I greet you,
Mighty God, transcending all,
Your Spirit falls like dew.

2. Father, I adore you,
Mother, I implore you,
Spirit, intercede for me,
Forgive me, make me new.

3. Father, you defend me,
Mother, you befriend me,
Spirit, plead within my soul
Till I am one with you.

4. Clouds and darkness hide you,
Yet I walk beside you
In the light of your dear Son,
For Christ is shining through.

For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.
(Malachi 4:2; NLT). 

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).

His face shone like the sun (Matthew 18:2; NIV).


References 

1. Transcendent power belongs to God (2 Corinthians 4:7; RSV). 

Your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people (Isaiah 26:19; NLT). 

Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants (Deuteronomy 32:2; NLT).

2. The Spirit, too, comes to help us in our weakness. For we don’t know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit expresses our plea with groanings too deep for words. And God, who knows everything in our hearts, knows perfectly well what the Spirit is saying, because her intercessions for God’s holy people are made according to the mind of God (Romans 26:27; TIV). 

3. Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

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

4. Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV). 

He makes darkness his secret place, around him, his dwelling place, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies (Psalm 18:11; LSV). 

You are a God who hides (Isaiah 45:15; CSB). 

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

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (John 20:31; NLT). 

Trials and sorrows (#3 of 3)

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

1. Let’s face our trials and sorrows
Just like Christ,

2. Bearing our cross
As he bore sacrifice,

3. Doing our best to serve like him,
God’s Son –

4. Then, at last, he will say to us:
“Well done”.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matthew 25:23; NIV).


References 

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

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. (1 John 4:17; NLT).

2. 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). 

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds (Titus 2:14; NLT). 

People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood (Romans 3:25; NLT). 

3. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Matthew 4:10; NLT).

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-8; NLT). 

Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross (1 John 5:6; NLT). 

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

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

Looking at others

No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven
(John 3:27; NLT).

Father,
Fill us with your truth;
Flood us all with hope and faith –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will always see Christ’s face.

Father,
Fill us with your love;
Deluge us with grace and peace –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
All our fear and hate will cease.

Father,
Fill us with your light
Until we shine, just like your Son –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will know that all are one.

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).


References 

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

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18; NIV). 

Before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured – his face becoming as dazzling as the sun and his clothes as radiant as light (Matthew 17:2; TIB).

We will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT). 

Love

We know how much God loves us,
and we have put our trust in his love…

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Lord, your love for me is true;
One in Three, and Three in One:
I have put my trust in you.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
You are God; you speak to all;
Three in One, and One in Three:
May I listen when you call.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Touch me; change me; make me good;
One in Three, and Three in One:
So I always dwell in love.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
May I live as one with Thee;
Three in One, and One in Three:
Then you’ll always live in me.

…God is love, and all who live in love live in God,
and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).

Communion

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

Father, Spirit, much-loved Son,
May we always live as one,
Our conversation, never end –
My way, my truth, my friend.

Teacher, Shepherd, constant Guide,
May we suffer side by side,
And our communion never cease –
My hope, my joy, my peace.

Threefold God, though you are light,
I must walk by faith, not sight,
Until this earthly life is past –
And I see you, at last.

We walk by faith, not by sight
(2 Corinthians 5L7; KJV).

One in love

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(1 John 4:16; NLT).

1. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my hope, my peace.
May I be one with you in love –
Alone, I’m incomplete.

2. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my way, my life.
May I be one with you in love –
Then I’ll reflect your light.

3. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my faith, my truth.
May I be one with you in love –
So I can be of use.

4. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my fire, my soul.
May I be one with you in love –
For then I will be whole.

His hands make whole (Job 5:18; KJV).


References 

1. I will put my hope in God (Psalm 42:5; NLT).

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT). 

You lived in this world without God and without hope (Ephesians 2:12; NLT).

If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12; NIV).

2. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT). 

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

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; KJV). 

4. The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

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; WEB).

There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them (Job 32:8; NLT).

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

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


 

You are my source

All things come from you (1 Chronicles 29:14; NKJV). 

You are my source, and my formation;
You are my rock, my sure foundation;
You are the Lord of all creation:
You are Almighty God.

You are my way, and my salvation;
You are my shield against temptation;
You are my truth, my liberation:
You are the Son of Man.

You are my peace, my consolation;
You are my light, my revelation;
You are my fire, my inspiration:
You are the Holy Ghost.

You are my hope, and my vocation;
You are my faith, my consecration;
You are my life, my consummation:
You are the Three-In-One.

Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; NLT). 

The Lord is One (Deuteronomy 6:4; BSB).


Pray constantly

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

Lord,
May I pray constantly,
Sharing all I feel with you,
Holding nothing back at all,
Remembering you’ve felt the same.

Lord,
May I pray constantly,
Sharing all I say with you,
Trusting you to give me every word
I need, to spread your name.

Lord,
May I pray constantly,
Sharing all I think with you,
Taking captive every thought,
And knowing you’ve been tempted, too.

Lord,
May I pray constantly,
Sharing every deed with you,
Growing more like you, God’s Son,
And serving you in all I do.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

 


Close your eyes

The Lord is full of tenderness and mercy (James 5:11; NLT). 

1. Close your eyes to seek Christ’s face:
Full of mercy, light and grace.

2. Lift your gaze to catch his smile:
He won’t censure or revile.

3. Look at him, and watch his love
Pouring down from heaven above.

4. Talk with Christ; ask him to heal:
He will know just how you feel.

5. Your faith, your doubts, your hopes, your fears,
Your suffering throughout the years –

6. He sees, and knows, and shares them all:
Each loss, each pain, each grief, each fall.

7. He sees, and knows, and shares each one:
Our Lord, who died for us – God’s Son.

8. At last, receive his healing touch:
Rejoice! He loves you very much.

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


References

1. I will see you face to face (Psalm 17:15; NLT). 

2. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).

3. 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).

4. I love the Lord because he hears my voice (Psalm 116:1; NLT).

5. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).  

6. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

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

God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were sinners (Romans 5:8; NLT).

8. I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).