Bending to your will

Lord,

May I face my enemies
As you did —

With swift forgiveness, 
Bending to your will. 

May I face my deepest fears 
As you did —

With cries for help,
Yet bending to your will.

May I face my suffering 
As you did — 

With full acceptance, 
Bending to your will. 

May I face my life and death 
As you did —

With constant prayer,
While bending to your will.

References

When they came to the place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross […] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:33-4; NLT).

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).

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

May your will be done (Matthew 6:10; NLT).

You offer us forgiveness

 

Lord,

You offer us forgiveness,
And healing,
Blessing, too —

If only we will hear your voice,  
And turn our hearts
To you. 

You offer us redemption,
Bought with your flesh
And blood —

If only we will seek your face, 
And turn to you 
With love. 

 

References

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

God, our God, blesses us (Psalm 67:6; NIV).

If only you would listen to his voice today! (Psalm 95:7; NLT).

Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 4:17: NLT).

With his own blood […] he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever (Hebrews 9:12; NLT).

Seek his face always (1 Chronicles 16:11; NIV).

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

You offer us creation

 

You offer us creation,
And you offer us your earth;

You offer us your advent,
And you offer us your birth.

You offer us forgiveness,
And you offer us your love;

You offer us your body,
And you offer us your blood. 

You offer us salvation,
And eternal life with you —

But we can spurn them all, Lord,  
For you offer freedom, too! 

 

References

The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it (Genesis 2:14; NLT). 

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [God with us] (Isaiah 7:15; NIV). 

I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6; NLT).

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life (John 6:54; NIV).

God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9; NIV).

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

You are my heartbeat

 

Lord,
You are my heartbeat,
The pulsing of my blood;
The breath that keeps my mind alive,
My readiness to love. 

Lord,
You are my Maker,  
The Friend I don’t deserve;
My Saviour, and my lifelong goal, 
My readiness to serve.

Lord,
You are my Father, 
The One who will forgive;
My life-force, and my heart’s desire,
My readiness to live.

 

References

He himself gives life and breath to everything (Acts 17:25; NLT).

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

God created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).

He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2; NLT).

Choose life instead of death! (2 Kings 18:32; NLT).

Do not judge

 

Do not judge 
Or condemn,

But be kind,
And forgive.

For the mercy
We show

To all those
Who live

Is the measure
We’ll get, 

Not from those 
On life’s way,

But from God,
For eternity –

So, don’t
Delay!

 

References

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you (Luke 6:37; NLT).

A servant of the Lord […] must be kind to everyone (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT). 

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

In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured out to you (Matthew 7:2; NIV). 

We will all stand before the judgement seat of God (Romans 14:10; NET).

God himself will be the judge (Psalm 50:6; NLT).

You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected (Luke 12:40; NLT).

My mother’s death

 

Last night, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. She was 102, and had been increasingly deaf, blind, bedridden, incontinent and confused for the last few years.  

On hearing the news early this morning, my initial reaction was one of relief that she isn’t suffering any more, though it’s too early to tell what feelings I might have in the longer term about her. I’ve spent many years in therapy working on the consequences of her behaviour towards me, so hopefully that will now help me to cope with her death.

My mother was a complicated, intelligent, energetic and demanding woman. She was very controlling, dominating, angry, frustrated, and emotionally abusive. Throughout, and beyond, my childhood, her unpredictable, explosive rages were utterly terrifying. During these uncontrolled episodes she was verbally aggressive towards those present, and could be could be violent and destructive towards objects nearby.

She was also a very selfish, manipulative and egotistical woman. Despite the efforts I made as an adult to talk to her about her behaviour, and the ways in which it has affected me, she always minimised it, never acknowledging, or apologising for, all the damage she caused.

Recently, I’ve been trying to forget the bad things she did, and to remember instead the good things about my childhood. However, the positives are so few, so undependable, and so short-lived, that I quickly gave up the effort, which felt artificial and unhelpful. 

Well, none of us is perfect. We all have many faults, including me. Fortunately, I started working hard to forgive my mother several years ago, and have continued to pray for her, and try to forgive her, every day. 

Some months ago, I spoke to her privately for the last time about her behaviour, its effects, and my forgiveness. However, by then, she was incapable of replying. I’m glad, though, that I was able to be completely honest with her, after a lifetime of anxiety, fear, dread, panic attacks, depression and physical illness caused by her abuse. May she rest in peace, at last.

 

References

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

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

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

Smile

 

Smile –
For God is giving you 
His blessing from above. 

Smile –
For Christ is pouring out 
Forgiveness through his blood.

Smile –
For Mary lifts your cares 
To God each time you pray.

Smile –
For God’s great Spirit dwells 
Within you every day.

 

References

God, our God, blesses us (Psalm 67:6; NLT).

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7; NIV).

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19: NLT).

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NKJV).