Good Friday

•March 29, 2013 • Comments Off on Good Friday

Good Friday ~ Isaiah 53.4-5

Oceans

•March 18, 2013 • Comments Off on Oceans

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

 

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) ~ Hillsong United.

His Love

•January 24, 2013 • 4 Comments

Beach - Birgit Whelan

Recently I directed a three-day silent retreat for six women in Virginia Beach. As the retreat opened, I met briefly with each woman and asked her to write on a sheet of paper the one grace that she would most like to receive from the Lord. [One …] told me she wanted more than anything to actually experience just one time the love of God. I assured her that I would join her in that prayer.

The following morning this woman (whom I’ll call Winky) arose before dawn and went for a walk on the beach … Walking along the seashore barefoot with the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean lapping against her feet and ankles, she noticed some hundred yards away a teenage boy and a woman fifteen yards behind walking in her direction. In less than a minute the boy had passed … but the woman made an abrupt ninety-degree turn, walked straight toward Winky, embraced her deeply and kissed her on the cheek. She whispered, “I love you,” and continued on her way. Winky had never seen the woman before. Winky wandered along the beach for another hour before returning to the house. She knocked on my door. When I opened it, she was smiling. “Our prayer has been answered,” she said simply.

~ The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (Colorado: Multnomah, 1990) 95.

This is one of the many beautiful stories in Brennan Manning’s, The Ragamuffin Gospel. What I love in it is seeing the lengths that God will go to, not only to answer our prayer, but to reveal just how much we are loved by Him. That in the spontaneity and warmth of a stranger at the seashore, God would answer this woman’s need to know in a felt way something of His great love for her.

Though we see in His Word and in His cross His immense love, what about in the small, and the day to day? Those Spirit-soaked grace-filled moments when the tenderness of God’s hand is unmistakable?

And though it may be different from the kindness of a stranger on a beach, God is endlessly creative and perfectly particular in His love. A moment from Him, just for you.

He has not left us alone. He is nearer than we might sometimes realise, seeking out the ways this very day that we might be reminded of Him, and His tender love. Let’s ask Him again for eyes that might see, and moments, like the woman in this story, where we are arrested by grace.

 

Protected: Cyprus

•December 28, 2012 • Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

The Christmas Story

•December 23, 2012 • Comments Off on The Christmas Story

 

So lovely :) The Christmas Story as told by little ones back home! :)

 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

•November 27, 2012 • Comments Off on Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

 

Sanctuary

•October 14, 2012 • Comments Off on Sanctuary

Sanctuary 2b

These are photos from church today.

The sun filled the sanctuary throughout the service. 

As if to remind of His glory in the holy place, of hearts and lives set apart to Him.

And of the words of the prophet Daniel, so perfect for this morning,

O our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and cause Your face to shine upon your sanctuary … ~ Daniel 9:17.

 

Sanctuary 3a

 

Sanctuary 8b

 

Sanctuary 5d

 

Sanctuary 6

 

Sanctuary 9c

 

Sanctuary 10

All is Gift

•October 11, 2012 • Comments Off on All is Gift

C35

Where the way of Christ, turns upside down the way of this world, where first is last, and last is first, where the high road to greatness, is walked out on the low road of loving service, there is the question, how, Lord, might we go lower? Show us the ways of humility.

One of the ways that helped me think about this today, was found in part of a book I am reading. The reminder that all that we have, is gift. All that we have is by the hand of grace. By the hand of the God of grace.

“For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours, not by right, but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned – our degree, our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite, and a good night’s sleep – all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love … This and so much more is sheer gift.”

~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p 25.

That all that we have has been given. That even what has come from the work of our own hands, ultimately comes from the grace of His.

To rest in this knowledge of His gift, and the humility of our dependence. And to give thanks.

 

When Decisions are Hard

•October 7, 2012 • Comments Off on When Decisions are Hard

MC900438295

There comes a day when we find ourselves in a situation where right and wrong are not so clearly defined and every choice we have seems to be a troubling mixture of good and bad. We pray, believing that God indeed will give us wisdom and strength to do the “right” thing. We search the Bible with open hearts, looking for God’s will in a situation that perhaps the Bible does not directly address. While we are doing this, the situation continues to develop and either by deliberate action or by default we have to make decisions, ready or not. And in those times of great struggle, the last thing we want is for others to make simplistic moral judgments about us … Only God knows the end of our story from its beginning … Our God is so gracious and omnipotent that he is able to use that weak link (a ‘“wrong” decision’) in a chain of events that will perfect his will in and through us.

~ Karen H. Jobes, Esther: The NIV Application Commentary, pp. 114-115.

I am studying the book of Esther at the moment, for a talk I will be presenting next month, and this is an excerpt which made an impression. It relates to the complexity and moral ambiguity of decisions that Esther faced, and is a bridge with our own experience, when we too come up against decisions that are not easily made. The grey decision, its end this “troubling mixture of good and bad.” The silent decision, the gates of heaven, impenetrable to our prayer. The vulnerable decision, that seems to ask of us something we are unable to give. And though we might wish for more time, until things become clear, until we feel ready, time can show little pity.

What held me though as I read over these words again, these words about how complex decisions can be, and how easy it is to make a mistake,  were two things. First, this line, “in those times of great struggle, the last thing we want is for others to make simplistic moral judgments about us.” That God calls us instead to believe the best of each other. To be kind. Our eyes after all are not open to the most intimate details of each other’s lives. The complex weave of each other’s circumstances and histories and struggles. The way these weigh heavy, on us, and our choices. That it is only God who sees all, and knows all – and loves, completely. It is only God to whom we are ultimately answerable. As well, was the thought about the judgment of ourselves. This can be worst of all. The self-recrimination. The regret. May we learn to speak to ourselves with the grace and gentleness with which He speaks to us.

And the other thought, the way that God can redeem. How far we can go, how low we can fall, how often the same prayer, for the same forgiveness, on our lips. But ours is a God of compassion, whose nature it is to always show mercy. Because of Jesus. And not only to show mercy, but to redeem. His thread of amazing grace weaving our weakness into a garment of praise. Our song all the more beautiful, for His glory upon us, and His love. 

 

Everything

•October 7, 2012 • 9 Comments

You are the light to my soul
You are my purpose
You’re everything
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You?
Would You tell me how could it be any better than this? …

You’re all I want
You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything

 

And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You?

 

Everything ~ Lifehouse.