Even when it goes all wrong…

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A while ago my precious friend and prayer partner and I had, what I must confess was close to an argument, during our prayer morning. She’d asked prayer for a long-standing and very sensitive problem. Many well-meaning friends had tried to help her in that area, but she wasn’t ready to receive their advice and I in clumsy, insensitive manner “hit a nerve” in my prayer for her.
We are from very different backgrounds and the Lord uses this to give rich, well-rounded prayers but these things can grate on us sometimes, and that morning resulted in a flare-up. She was hurt by my prayer that she’d be able to give the situation to God and leave it in His hands (something she insisted she’d done to no effect). I was hurt, as my prayer had been well-meaning, and was rather shocked she’d interrupt a prayer to insist it wasn’t the kind she wanted. Worse, this was in front of a new Christian that had recently joined our group.
Amazingly he intervened, praying the kind of prayer she wanted which enabled us to continue with other requests thank God. I didn’t have a peace in my heart about it though, feeling the disunity just there under the surface, so at the end confessed I was feeling under attack and asked if we could pray and rebuke the enemy. My friend was a little hesitant but thankfully went along with it.
As soon as we began to pray and rebuke the enemy the spirit fell heavily, and the Lord spoke. We felt like naughty children, pride and hurt vanished and deep abiding unity was restored. My friend and I hugged, expressing our love for each other. We’ve been close for a while, but this brought us even closer. The young Christian friend was encouraged that he’d been of help, saw we weren’t perfect, and got a firsthand example of the unity only God can give.
Walking home, everything seemed alive and glowing like my vision had been enhanced somehow. In prayer, I’d commanded anything that was not of Jesus to go. I’d been having a little trouble with my eyes for a while and I realized whatever it was had gone. Later my friend confided that she’d from that time felt peace about the situation we’d prayed for, that she truly felt able to give it to God – a huge victory. Jesus turned our human frailties into wonderful victories.

pride precludes love.

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Only with humility can there be love. The unprotected beating heart must unveil its secrets to another or there can be no love, no intimacy. There can be lust, but not love. Love lays itself open to ridicule, to hurt, to pain. Yet without love life is an empty shell, a husk. Anything worth something costs something and the price of love is often pride, to trust another into those hidden secret parts.

“A man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things he possesses”

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If only we gave that more than lip service it would solve all this world’s problems. We know it to be true, yet still we are tricked into thinking this thing or that thing will make us happier.  The times of true infinite joy, joy that pulsates through our whole being, joy greater than orgasm, greater even than being in love, comes only when naked, alone, without pride or pretence we stand in God’s presence and glimpse His overwhelming love for us, personally. Then our eyes open, we see the infinite glory of His creation, the diversity of the ultimate artist, the father who will make everything right, the lover who loves us beyond reason. Our hearts burst in thankfulness, fulfilment and things… what are things?… dust and ashes…

the ultimate love.

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There was one that loved once. Loved enough to leave all and come, begrimed and dirty, into this world. To venture to an ancient stable, to know dirt, and cold, sickness and pain. Yes, lots of pain it cost him, one who had never so much as pricked His finger before that day he lay, a king enthroned in glory, on what? The dirty straw of a feeding trough! Entrusted to whom? A young girl, herself barely more than a child who in her innocence believed God’s gift – and much it cost her!
Yet love overcame, it stood the test of nails, the cruel and bitter mocking of those it loved. He could easily have destroyed us all or given up at our stupid inability to keep the given law. Instead, love found a way, a way to redeem us, though it cost Him all. We are washed in His blood, His atonement. Why? For love. Love of us, dirty, begrimed in the squalor of our pride and sin. He came to rescue us. To take us in His arms forever.

If not for love I’d ne’er have left these scented palaces and come to the stench of sin,
If not for love I could not have borne the ridicule, the pain, the breaking heart within.
If not for love I would have dropped my hand, given up and returned in disgust
My fingers burnt, vision crushed, cause betrayed, an end to trust.
Because of love I could not yield the game. Win or loose, redeemed or not. I had to see it through
The final throw, my life thrown down. I paid the toll. Eternal grace for you.

 

Death from God’s view.

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Remember the beginning, creation, when all was clean and unsullied, all was fresh and new and mankind, like a child, surveyed his domain. I set him above all things, above the beasts and the flowers, above the birds, the fish and the trees. It was all set there for his enjoyment (and Mine).

Imagine how it was on that day when Adam first walked childlike through the garden, peeping through the trailing vines, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and watching startled as tiny birds took to the sky. Imagine his discovery of taste, exploring the texture and flavour of the many fruits.

Now it has gone, jaded, the joy of exploration has ceased. The world and creation are mapped and catalogued, pictures flash on screen at the touch of a computer key. The heart of man yearns for exploration, especially the young. Now so many seek discovery in perversity and corruption. They don’t understand. Man has yet to begin to delve into the infinity of creation. They have explored one plain, the carnal, but seeing from one viewpoint only, missed the infinite complexity of the universe. True science knows we see but the tip of the iceberg, and even they seldom see beyond their boxed confines.

Death, as you call it, is a ticket to another dimension from which the view is very different. It’s a startling realization of the infinite. At death one is finally freed from the restriction of the physical mindset so prevalent in this modern world. Casting off its former shackles, the spirit, that curious, exploring, creative element of man’s inner being, is finally free to explore infinite horizons of time and space (as you account them). Free to come to Me, at last casting off all confines of flesh, of time, of mortality.

But you don’t have to wait for death, these things are yours to explore now, in life. The door stands open. I opened it for all mankind that they might enter in, that they might explore these hidden things. But to do this they must cast aside the glasses of conformity and crush them under their heel. Let their hair down and surrender to the wind of My spirit and let it awaken their senses in full. They must be open as a new bride opens to her lover, in trust, in expectancy of fulfillment. Then, and only then can they begin to see, to understand, to comprehend the vastness of My creation. Then they would no longer fear death. The journey perhaps, but they would know the door, the portal to eternity.

 

Longfellow’s Christmas thoughts.

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I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play

And mild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep:

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men.”

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807 -1882)

Keep the fun in your doing!

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Refuse to make pleasure a duty. Don’t let your life be a drudge

Of tasks that must be completed, but missing the thrill of the buzz

That comes when immersed in the action of giving creation its birth

The joy and the wonder of doing, the thrill, fulfilment and mirth.

 

To hell with the finished product, to-do lists all duly ticked off

Enjoy the thrill of creation of doing the things that have worth.

Enjoy each passing acquaintance and listen what they have to say

Your life will be fuller and richer and sunshine will brighten your way.

Conversing with Jesus.

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(Jesus)

Such peace I give, as rendered in the soul of man, can look at death’s e’r open jaws and laugh.

Such peace I give that hands of faith can grasp the scarlet cord of fate and wrench it from its path.

Such peace I give reclining on My arm to rest,

The dearest and the bravest, the brightest and the best

Such peace I give in fleeting moments when in your hands you clasp

The essence of a promise brought home to you at last.

 

(me)

Though I should walk a thousand walks the end should be as one,

That I return to that I seek, God’s everlasting Son.

Though fountains brake upon the earth, the sun refuse to shine,

Safe in His arms I know Him still, forever, ever, mine.

No fear can tear, no pain release the hold He has on Me

For at His face, so fitly turned, all pain and darkness flee.

 

No fear can wrest Him from my side, no thing too hard for Him.

He’ll trace a rainbow through my tears, deliver me from sin.

What earthly love to Him compares though, ever, ever sweet

My fullest joy, eternal hope, there’s none but Him can meet.

He’s both beginning and the end, He’s the eternal now.

My need He meets o’er every day, He’s faithful to His vow.

 

Oh life sublime when lived in Him and all life’s shadows flee

The choicest gifts refined above He’s given unto me.

The gifts that now I treasure most were those I sought to miss

The heavy burdens placed by Him transformed into a kiss.

The piercing thrust of life’s sharp edge that cuts into the soul

Reveals within, most precious jewels, refined to make me whole.

 

There’s n’er mistake, when in His hand I rendered Him My life,

When I espoused my love to Him, my saviour – I’m His wife.

When lifted He my feeble arms from muck and mire and sin,

Replenished me and made me whole to dwell again, with Him.

He never left my side, not once, from cradle to the grave,

He formed, reformed, resumed again, and helped me to be brave.

 

He conquered sin with His strong arm. The devil’s naught to Him

Refined, remodelled, from the earth, He heals me from within.

Though all of Satan’s forces run rampant ‘cross the earth

He holds me safe, in His embrace and mocks him in his dearth.

How wonderful has been my life, like pearls upon a string,

All pain resolved and conquered, the lustre comes from Him.

Why not thanksgiving?

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I always breathe a sigh of relief when the morose brooding of Halloween is over and we turn our eyes toward the promise of Christmas, shaking off the shadows and opening our windows to the light.

Even among those who celebrate simply for “fun” and refrain from the more lurid costumes, there is a shadow in the spirit about the event. It’s like everyone is focusing on the negative. You can sense it in the air.

Happily, the former craze for Halloween seems to be dying out here with less and less in the shops etc. Every year I think the same thing: If we had to choose an American event to import why not Thanksgiving!