Day: 03/04/2016

Clarity of Command

New commands given
Clearly in Jesus’ own words
All Law and Prophets

written in response to The Daily Post’s daily prompt for today – ‘clarity’, and inspired by Matthew 22:34-40

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The Psalmists Say #NaPoWriMo2016 #GloPoWriMo2016

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Day 3 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month 2016! Today’s NaPoWriMo2016 challenge is to write a poem in the style of a fan letter to a celebrity. My interpretation is to edit a Psalm to tell God how great He is, made up of lines/verses from others (the offering below is made up excerpts from Psalms 1-50 – I may attempt to repeat the exercise using elements of the other Psalms at some point in the future).

If anyone feels up to the challenge – see if you can unpick the lines and identify which Psalms and verses they come from?

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea

For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High
I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me
For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
we will sing and praise your might.
I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence

what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
the Lord watches over the way of the righteous
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy
In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name for ever

you, Lord, are a shield around me,
Have mercy on me, Lord, heal me, Lord,
I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’
may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up
Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice;
You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us for ever from the wicked,
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed
For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell
Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety
I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever

Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me –
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me
May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God
For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you
Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God

May these words of my mouth
and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer

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If we were having coffee . . .

[I’d make mine a large latte with hazelnut syrup]

My second year of blogging was a struggle – I had started a new job, taken on broader responsibilities in church, and I seemed to have no longer have either the time nor the motivation to write, or to read the writing of others (and for that I am sorry – the blogging community is a wonderfully imaginative, creative and encouragingly supportive group – a real blessing!). So 2015 saw less than a quarter of the number of posts published in 2014.

Those who know my blog posts will know that God is the inspiration and purpose of Faith Unlocked. So much of what I write is intended to honour and point to Him, that I rely heavily on the bible, prayers, worship, and preaching and teaching to prompt the content of my posts. It therefore may not be surprising that the posts drying up coincided with less time spent reading my bible, and listening to worship and teaching. I had found that ‘soaking’ myself in things of God had been the primary means of firing my imagination and letting it be directed to say the things God placed on my heart.

There were a couple of ways I could go – put the blog experience down to, well . . . experience and move on; or accept that I needed a break, and commit to come back when the time was right. Professionally I had also been taking stock to consider what realising my potential might look like, and consequently what the next steps should be. Part of the answer I believe God gave me to all my questions, was to “find my voice” again. So, now into the third year of Faith Unlocked I am trying once again, by God’s grace, with his help, and for His glory, to find the voice He has given me and to use it for the purpose to which it is directed.

I am very grateful to blogging friends who have noticed my return to writing and offered an encouraging welcome back, and also to those responsible for the several prompts and challenges which provide seeds for some of my posts. Most of all, I am grateful to my friends, family, and our great God for sustaining and supporting me more than ever. Bring it on!