Shalom to all who enter.

Monthly Archives: June 2013

path lifeIn the Presence of Jehovah

In and out of situations
that tug of war at me
All day long I struggle
for the answers that I need
But when I come into His presence
All my questions become clear
And in that sacred moment
No doubts can interfere

In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty, Prince of Peace Troubles vanish, hearts are mended
In the presence of the King
Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest
A place to find the answers
In our hour of distress
Now there’s never any reason
For you to give up in despair
Just slip away and breathe His name
You will surely find Him there

In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty, Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended
In the presence of the King

In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty, Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended
In the presence of the King

*** I think we owe this song to Cathy Goddard, but I was not able to get any clear information about it. If you know who’s the author/singer of this song, please do let me know so that I can give the right credits.

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Jeremiah is such a heart-breaking book.  The prophet Jeremiah chronicles the story of a son and his Father.

A headstrong foolish rebellious son, intent on finding his own way and who ultimately finds himself in prison. A Father who sees what lies at the end of the road His son is travelling and tries every tactic and strategy to get His son off the path of destruction. Nothing works, for the ears of the son are shut. He does not trust His Father’s love, does not want to submit to the Father’s wisdom. He trusts everyone other than his Father, depends on untrustworthy friends, turns his back on his Father, and even begins to call lifeless things his Father.

Jeremiah brings an amazing revelation of the Father’s heart. A Father who loves with the depth of His being even though He knows that His son doesn’t love Him or trust Him.  A Father who would love to defend and fight for His son but respects His son’s choice to go it alone.  Tough love.  A love that sees the inevitable consequences of His son’s folly and lays plans for His son’s rescue.

Jeremiah hears and records the Father’s pleas. He sees and records the stubborn foolishness of the son. He sees the son suffer the consequences of  his foolhardiness. And Jeremiah gets an amazing window into the Father’s heart who sends a message of comfort and hope to his rebellious son who’s now cooling his heels in prison.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,

says the LORD,

thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jer 29:11 KJV

Even though you are in captivity because of your foolishness and stubbornness

in making alliances with those who most certainly were going to fail you

in trusting in the city walls and the arm of man

in calling pieces of clay and wood your ‘father’

and believing that they were the ones who took care of you…

Even though you refused to listen to Me,

Even though you depised My messengers

and deleted and ignored My messages,

I AM and always be who I AM

I cannot stop being who I AM

Holy and True

Unchanging in my love

For I know the heart with which I think of you:

My  thoughts, intentions,

the plans and preparations I make for you –

each one of them is

filled with a desire for your

peace

completeness

soundness

welfare

safety

health

prosperity

quiet

tranquillity

contentment

friendship

rest from hostilities.

My thoughts are not evil

full of hate and anger

planning pain, unhappiness, misery,

but

friendly thoughts

motivated by a desire to give you

a lifeline of hope

something to hold onto

something to look forward to

to anticipate with pleasure

a certainty that what you wait for

will arrive and be fulfilled.

Then you shall call on Me,

and you shall go and pray to Me,

and I will listen to you.

And you shall seek Me and find Me,

when you search for Me with all your heart.

And I will be found by you, says Jehovah;

and I will turn away your captivity, …

Jer 29:12-14 MKJV


Amazing that Grace writes so much into our lives… and leaves us speechless… 🙂

Innerdialects

Everyday You write a new Line of Love
into these places called my life
I am amazed by
Grace.

VALLEY OF SONGS 24″x 36″ > oil, acrylic, RN, of my TRIBES series, in progress, yes some Oils take a while to finish, for me. Unsure why. Maybe the drying process between layers of my life.

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The Israelites begged Moses to cover his face because they could not bear to gaze upon the glory of God, however pallidly it was reflected on Moses’ face. They feared a God they could not control, a God who could not be bought and bribed, a God who was real – who spoke, who commanded, who did things.

Imagine, each time they looked at Moses face, they were reminded of the holy reality of God.  Fear, fear of punishment, fear of falling short, fear of God’s requirements cast a veil over their hearts. It filtered the words into their hearts. Fear filtered out the love of God. Separated from the character of God, divorced from the reality of His love, the law became drudgery, a heavy burden, an insurmountable obstacle to peace and rest.

How can one submit to that which one fears? How can one believe in the goodness of that which one fears? How can one listen when fear forms a wall? In Jeremiah’s time, fear had so hardened their hearts and blinded them, that the Israelites could not hear the love and concern that God was voicing through His true prophets.  Fear made every message seem ugly and threatening. Fear made them deaf to the promises that were woven into every warning.

Tragic.

But in Christ the veil is removed. He came with the express purpose of exploding the myths and half-truths about God. He came to tear down the barriers of fear and lies that would keep us from running to God. He came to show us the Father heart of God, His tender affection towards us.

He did not come to set some impossible standards, but He came to show us the purity of the righteousness of God, the amazing ‘other’/holy quality of His love. Love full of wisdom, truth, patience, strength and full of justice.

He came to reveal the true glory of God – the character of God. Glory, not as we think of it in our petty human minds, where we associate glory with plaudits and shining lights. Jesus came to reveal the full dimensions of God’s love, righteousness, truth, justice, grace, mercy, power.

And He came to be the Way into the Father’s heart. No more hanging outside with bleating lambs, hoping the sacrifice is acceptable. He became the Lamb that was fully acceptable. No more downcast eyes and prostrate figures – John was lifted up and set on his feet, in the presence of the Holy God.  True, the elders voluntarily fell down before the Throne, but they did that because they could find no words exalted enough or complete enough to express all that was in their hearts after they had experienced  the beauty and glory of God.

The Door – stands open. Each day we can enter into His glorious Holy presence. Nay, more than that he has opened His heart to us to be our HOMES, to dwell in Him…

 No more waiting for Moses, Samuel or Jeremiah to go between, to find out the will of the Lord. No! WE can enter and dwell in the Name of Jesus, to hear the voice of the Lord for ourselves. We can gaze upon His beauty, His holiness  and be transformed by His love.

There is no fear in love,

but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear has torment.

He who fears has not been perfected in love.

We love Him because He first loved us.

1Jn 4:18-19 MKJV

 


“… O Sovereign Lord, holy and true,…“ Rev 6:10

 Lord what do I say.

The words seem stuck somewhere in the depths of my heart.

I can feel thoughts bubbling and boiling in pictures that cannot be put into words. May there should be something like a Polaroid camera, taking snapshots of my thoughts, magically linking them to words, shaping them into sentences

Holy and true.

How can anyone begin to define,

squeeze

into a few pithy words the

awesomeness of all that You are.

Integrity:

no gap between your words, your  actions, your motives.

Showing the same picture to all,

no different faces for different people.

All who come to you and seek you find you to be consistent, faithful, true.

 Completely unlike any other we’ve ever known.

Not squeezable into any mould

Can’t be labelled and pigeon-holed

Constantly surprising and yet constantly consistent

Unceasingly working and yet completely at rest

Intangible, Invisible and yet Alpha Reality

Love unfeigned and unforced

Pure Light, no shadows

Wisdom clear and true

Immovable friend

Unwavering Defender of my cause

Supreme Emperor of the Universe

because truly the universe

and all that’s in it is Yours

King who should be obeyed without a question

yet, respecting us… giving us freedom to choose

You are complete in Yourself

And yet You seek us, Your people

To be the fullness of You who fills all in all!


By the RiverBlurWell, I never felt more like crying all night

 ‘Cause everything’s wrong

And nothing is right, ….

You got me singing the blues…

That’s some of the lines from Randy Travis’ song ‘I never felt more like singing the blues’.

Blues. The problem with ‘blues’ is that they colour everything and envelop everything in the deep dusk of despair. Shadows deepen and shapes distort, till everything seems monstrous and threatening. One feels alone, cut off and helpless.

Perfect setting for the Dark Whisperer to get busy, sowing doubts, fears, lies about self, God and others. Self-pity lovingly waters the poisonous seeds that have been sown. The Dark Whisperer smugly waits for the harvest of Bitterness and Despair to come forth.

I was reading Psalm 43 today morning. David has the blues and he has it bad. He feels surrounded and friendless, and as always he runs to God, His steadfast friend, for help.

Send out your light and your truth;

 let them lead me;

let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Psa 43:3 ESV

By the River

Light splashes colour, ruining the blue monotones.

Truth cuts through the cobwebby fears.  

Brooding monsters are mere trees

And haunted ruins, commonplace homes.

I’m not in vampirish Transylvania!

No! Just in mundane Suburbania!

The Dark Whisperer’s harvest is uprooted.

Worship and praise burst forth in triumph.

I enter the Holy of Holies,

And there at the foot of the Cross-

The ultimate altar of God,

I stand redeemed and made holy,

To sing for joy

To God who is my joy

And Whose joy is my strength.


Last week was a very eventful week. My daughter turned 21, and she graduated.

21 precious years of hugs, shared secrets, sticky hands, tickles and laughter…

21 glorious years of seeing God’s faithfulness and His mercies unfold day by day.

When my daughter was born, something went dreadfully wrong at the moment of her birth. The doctors could not find her heartbeat or detect movement for over twenty minutes. They told me they would do all that they could to save the child, but they wanted me to be prepared for a still-birth.

‘Still-birth? That couldn’t be? It couldn’t be happening to me… could it?’

Where does one go when all the help at hand expresses helplessness?

God. But why should God hear my cry? I had forgotten Him for years without number, wondered if He even existed.. My lifestyle certainly was way out of sync with what He would want for me.

Yet, didn’t He run to welcome the prodigal son? Didn’t He forgive David after he’d murdered Uriah and slept with Bathsheba? Didn’t David say that he’d rather trust himself to the hands of God than to the hands of man? What about the thief who hung on the cross, all he did was turn to Jesus and say ‘Lord, remember me…’?

I dragged my thoughts together to pray:

‘Lord, there is no reason at all why You should listen to me. I have lived a sinful life. There is nothing that I can bring You as an offering. All I can think of at this moment is that I’ve heard You are a compassionate God and that You are merciful. I know that as God You are the One who has the power to give life to my child. I’m asking You not to hold my sins against me, I am asking You to have mercy on this child that is to come into the world. Give this child life. Let this child be normal in every way. Lord, if You have heard and answered my prayer, would you give me a sign? Let the baby cry the moment it’s born ’

As I prayed I felt a deep peace enfold me, and this strong conviction took hold of me, that all was well, that my child would live.

Not long afterwards, my child was born. A girl. I could see her as the doctor held her up. Ashen and still.

‘Please God,’ my heart breathed, and even as my words were forming, she cried.

The neo-natal surgeon cried out, ‘Praise God!!! She lives!!!’

I held the precious bundle for a few seconds, before they rushed her off to the incubator.

Grace. I learnt about God’s grace that day. I deserved NOTHING, and yet, God chose to hear my prayer and He answered me so marvellously.

A month later I met the neo-natal surgeon who had attended my daughter at her birth. He was thrilled with her progress, but he cautioned me, ‘You are not out of the woods. Your daughter did not receive oxygen for 20mins when her heart was not beating. That is a long time. There will be an inevitable impact. Her physical reflexes seem to be ok. She most probably will be a slow learner and she will definitely be stunted in height.’

Again I felt that amazing deep peace and conviction flood my heart that all was well, and I replied, ‘My God does not do things in half measures. I believe that she is completely well, and she will be tall.’

The surgeon looked pityingly at me, but he let it go.

I wish I could meet him now.

My daughter graduated with a double major in psychology and anthropology, and she’s taller than me, and is taller than most of her friends.

Grace. Amazing grace that does not do anything in half measures. Amazing grace that responds to the broken, helpless cry of a sinner. Amazing grace that is willing to forgive my doubts, backsliding and neglect.

Grace. I’ve been reading through Jeremiah, and beneath the prophecies and indictments, one can hear very clearly our loving Father God’s heart – His longing to pour out grace and healing the moment His people turn back to Him.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!

Lyrics: Haldor Lillenas

But God,

being rich in mercy,

because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ…

so that in the coming ages

he might show

the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us

in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:4-7 ESV



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