Blessed

Blessed are those whose kingdom is heaven,
For they are poor in spirit.

Blessed are those who have been comforted,
For they have mourned.

Blessed are those who have inherited the earth,
For they are meek.

Blessed are those who are satisfied,
For they have been hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

Blessed are those who have received mercy,
For they are merciful.

Blessed are those who have seen God,
For they are pure in heart.

Blessed are those who are called sons of God,
For they are peacemakers.

Blessed are those whose kingdom is heaven,
For they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

Rejoice and be glad, all those whose reward in heaven is great,
For you have been persecuted and evilly and falsely spoken against,
For so it is with all prophets.

 

Full

My life is full.
I have witnessed the birth of my child,
And held the hand of my dying mother.
I have had good health and vitality,
And suffered from injury and disease.
I have known comfort and success,
And endured sleepless nights of worry.
I have achieved outstanding results,
And failed at often simple tests.
I have loved and been loved,
And been betrayed and hurt others.
I have given and received wisdom,
And practised and dispensed folly.
I have been overwhelmed by joy,
And flooded with despair.
My life is full,
And there is more to come,
And although I don’t know what
Today or tomorrow may bring,
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy,
But I choose to live life in all its fullness.

Grace

As the Godhead gathered in Heaven, the Father turned to the Son and said, “I love you with the very essence of my being. You are for me the very expression of love itself, and your essence is true love. I delight in you with all of my being and the reality of your being increases and enhances my love, for in you it finds its perfect expression.”

On hearing this, the Son turned to the Father and said, “Truly, truly You are for me a Father. Your heart is overflowing love, for surely I am an expression of that overflow. Your love for me is life for me. To receive your love is to know life, and to love you back is life overflowing.”

The Father, moved by His Son’s words, had an idea. “My greatest and deepest desire is to love you even more, yet within this relationship alone you are limited to only being able to receive my love and the Spirit’s love. Although there is no greater or more complete love possible, yet I desire to love you more. Therefore, I will create for you a universe made of the very essence of our being; not made of us, but from us, as a reflection of us, so that in and through it you can discover even greater dimensions and depths of my love for you.”

The Son was pleased, yet at that moment experienced for the first time something unexpected; he experienced sadness. As the very idea of his Father creating a universe to express his love for him entered his mind, the Son realised that anything made that was not in itself part of their shared being would be inferior to them and would, necessarily, be prone to imperfection and loss. Furthermore, the Son realised that for such a universe to exist it would require creatures with the ability to experience and express love, and for that to be possible, it would also be possible for these creatures to reject love and to turn to hatred.

The Son replied, “Father, if you create for us a universe beyond ourselves, with creatures that can express our love, then surely they might also reject our love. Why would you risk allowing the rejection of our perfect mutual love?”

The Father, smiling, replied, “I will not make this universe from our love alone; I will also make it with grace. Even if the entirety of it, and every creature in it, were to reject our love, grace would still provide a way for love to win through. Grace will continually offer our love, over and over, until one being in this universe finally receives and expresses true, pure, perfect love back to us. Even if no being is able ever to receive and return our love perfectly, grace will still give meaning to my creation.”

”Then let me share in this great creation,” said the Son. ”Let your grace and love flow through me that the universe might indeed be made for me. If there is no being capable of receiving and returning our love, let me be that being, that the universe will always have someone to complete your work. Let your grace provide a way for your perfect love – our complete love – to overcome the very worst imperfections and rejection of our love. If it would fulfil your desire, let me give even my life so that grace might always produce the highest expression of love even at its point of greatest rejection.”

The Father and the Son agreed and sent forth their Spirit to create for them this universe which would fulfil their desire for increased love.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Measure of faith

You assign to me the measure
Of faith that keeps me firmly
In you, and yet invites me to
Walk more deeply into the
Grace you have given and
Are continually giving to me.
As this faithful grace fills up
In me a gracious faith it leads
Me to the One that is higher
Than I – Highest in the highest –
So I can know who I really am
And in truth whose I really am.
Only from that place of knowing,
And being known, can I see,
With sobering clarity, that you
Raise me up higher than I deserve
Through your mercy and love,
And that the path of righteousness
You set before me – the one
Bearing your name – is the road of
Humility leading to overflowing life.
May I walk this path in the light
Of your truth about me and know
The fulness of life lived out by a
Faith that grows in the measure
Of the grace I receive from you.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Romans 12:3

Dear body

Dear body,
I’m sorry that
I haven’t always
Loved you just
As you are, with
Your odd bits here
And creases there.
You’ve always looked
After me even when
I haven’t looked after
You, often dealing with
Things unseen and
Unnoticed that gave
Me health and wellbeing
And kept me safe.
I have not felt enough
Gratitude for all that
You are to me but today
I want to give you thanks.
You see, my mind has
Taken in so many images
And ideas of how a body
Should be that I forsook
The reality of what you
Really are to me – an
Inseparable partner on
My whole life’s journey
Who will be faithful to
The end and who will
Tell me when it’s time
To move into a new body.
They never told me that
You are the outward form
Of my inner soul and I
Was taught that you
Were subservient to my
Mind and ought to be
Forced into whatever shape
My twisted thoughts decide.
This is wrong and I am
Sorry that this has not been
An equal partnership.
I promise to value you and
Cherish you for who you are,
Just as you are.
I accept all the unique strengths
And weaknesses that make
You you and choose to
Recognise that those vain voices
That fearfully define our body image
Only have the power that
My mind allows them to have.
You have been a blessing to me
Even from my mother’s womb
And henceforth I want to be a
Blessing to you all the days
Of our shared life together.
You are a gift to me and I am
A gift to you. May we receive
Each other as that gift and
Love each other with the
Full and true value of our being.
Thank you for being my body
And for reminding my mind –
In your quiet unassuming way-
Just how much I love you.

Choose to be last

Most lives
Are lived
With the
Illusion of
Choice.
We think
We are free
To choose
What we
Want, but
In fact
We choose
Those things
That feed
Our inner
Pride – our
Idol of “me”.
It is not a
Show of
Power to
Choose what
Is already
Predetermined
Through our
Animal instincts.
With this
Choice we
Always choose
To be first.
Real power
Is when you
Can choose
Against that
Instinct and
Discover your
True humanity.
Real power
Is to
Choose to be
Last.

The Rock

When the foundation of the world
Was laid in time immemorial
It was founded on the Rock of Ages,
Of which there has not been a time
When it was not, and this Rock was
The beginning of all things.

The Rock was solid and sure and able
To sustain a good world filled with
Good life and multitudinous landscapes,
Where life could fruitfully multiply
And mirror the rock in its very reason
For being, in perfectly ordered form.

Then the Rock brought forth a being
A little lower than the angels yet
Crowned in the splendour of the Rock,
Uniquely chosen to be the communion
Of soil and spirit, of creation and creator
And the Rock was pleased for it was good.

This being was made of the dust of
Stars and placed in the midst of
The world founded on the Rock of Ages,
To continue the work of the Creator
And creatively bring forth new things
Whilst productively working the earth.

But the man of dust misused his
Creative power and began to build
A world in his image, to his own glory,
Eroding the Rock to create dust for
Clay and sand for cement believing
That he could build a safe world alone.

It’s not the dust or the sand that fails
Or the creativity that lacks power
In man’s vain attempts to play Creator,
It’s the lack of wisdom and the disconnect
From the Rock itself that leads to the
Feeble construction of man’s own house.

For when the rains come and the floods rise
Against that weak structure the sand
And dust are washed away in the torrents,
Returning to the foundation of the world
And to the Rock from whence they came
In the hope that man too may return.

But the house that is built upon the Rock
Where man trusts not in man but in the One
Who founded the world in perfect order,
This house will withstand the rain and
Storms, the howling winds and scorching sun
And the man who built it will also stand.

For everything that is built on the Rock
Will stand – EVERYTHING.
And everything that is built on sand
Will fall – EVERYTHING.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

(Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

A Better Story

Why do we so often
Rehearse the story
Of our lives as a story
Of loss, of regret, of
Disappointment and hurts,
When there is a bigger,
Better story being told –
Even sung – which brings
Forth all the grace and
Goodness which has been
Ours even from our
Mother’s womb.
This song resounds the
Truth of who I am, and
Who He is,
And major and minor keys
Alike complete this song,
Making it beautiful,
Hopeful,
A song of love unlimited.
As we tell the better story,
Singing the truth of our life,
We become who we are
More fully, finding ourselves
In the fullness of
Who He is.

Peace within your walls

May there be peace within your walls,
Peace within your walls, oh Yerushalayim.
Your time has not yet been fulfilled,
And your enemies are at every gate.
Peace, peace be at your borders and
In your hearts towards the foreigner.
May you be a city on a hill that shines
Forth in righteousness and peace; a
Light to the nations on Yahweh’s Holy hill.
May there be shalom within your walls,
And within your hearts, oh Israel.