The LORD’s my Shepherd

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The Lord’s my shepherd
even when it all
gets a little too real

when no still small voice
calms the storm
no pick axe can thaw
a frozen stream…
when you flick the switch
but the light never comes on
and whatever they gave you
for the pain
doesn’t work.

Even then

the Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is acquainted
with dark valleys
grief – suffering – sadness
rejection – pain – weariness
hope as dim as hope can get
and still be hope.

The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd
even then.

Even when leaders don’t lead
justice isn’t fair
foodbanks are overrun
furloughs end
refugees drown
evil creeps in
and those meant to care
are selfish.

Even then.

Even when
we are selfish.

The Lord is our shepherd
and He wants His sheep back.

Back from dead ends
dungeons – dazzling dreams
dread – death – darkness.

The Lord is the Good Shepherd
of reality
in all its gritty truth.

The Lord is ahead of us
in the valley of the shadow
the hill of the skull
the cross of compassion
the staff
crossing
the rod.

The Lord is my shepherd
your shepherd
our shepherd
and He leads
even then
even here
even now,
right here
in the real reality
as hope bursts into the fog
light explodes into the darkness
as a quiet revolution
of Immanuel
God with us
in the real field – the real valley
the real stream
of life
hope overflowing
the Shepherd abiding
at home
with His flock.

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Abiding

pear-fruit

To bear fruit
bent
under weighty
sweetness
which pregnant lands.
Soft thud.
Exulting sorrow
ascends.
Creation twigs.

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Suspense

drop
I hang on to God
the same way
a raindrop
exhales
its goodbye
to the branch.
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Fields

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Don’t reap to the edge of your fields
leave a bit for the weak.
Whatever your best field yields
let a part of it speak
of Him who will always provide.

Don’t reap to the edge of your day,
leave some room in the week.
Do nothing. Just be. Simply stay.
As you know, we all leak,
so remember to pause and abide.

Don’t reap to the edge of your fields.
it is all done by grace.
A Sabbath slowly heals
in the Father’s embrace,
so leave a margin of trust – and keep it wide.

Leviticus 19 v 9.

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Through Your Eyes

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Jesus, tomorrow, I would like to see.
Show me Your world as it’ll one day be.
Peel back the layers of indifference and lies
and let me see through Your eyes.

Jesus, forgive me, when I look straight through
people whom I should be greeting like You.
When the least of these weep but I muffle their cries,
Lord, let me see through Your eyes.

Jesus, inspire a change in my heart…
Do You think tomorrow could be a fresh start?
Would You be in my seeing, my hellos, my goodbyes
and teach me to see with Your eyes?

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“Jesus Christ and Him crucified” — See, there’s this thing called biology…

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not […]

via “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” — See, there’s this thing called biology…

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Reality

I look
and I try to not judge
but just love.

I listen.
To the noise.
The swear words.

I look
and I stop trying
and just love.

I listen
and God hears Himself
as I forget

my heartbeat.

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Act 6 of the Bible – Revelation 21  

Sat 15 Aug Misha 7

If you ask me: “Do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die, Misha?”, I’d have to say no. Jesus promised the thief on the cross ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’, so I believe that when we ‘fall asleep in Christ’ we will be with Him in a pleasant place, waiting… Rather than going away to a remote place called heaven, I believe that when the time is right (from God’s perspective), heaven will come to us as the ultimate answer to Jesus’ prayer: “Your Kingdom come”.

Paul writes that when Christ returns, we will meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4 v 17). In the Middle East, when important people visit a village, everyone will go out to meet them to escort them in. The more important the person, the further afield the meeting point. Imagine that! You and I, caught up into the clouds, not to live there, but to be like the Palm Sunday crowd who joined Jesus outside Jerusalem and welcomed Him in. Soon, Christ is coming to stay with us! We’ll escort Him back to earth where God’s Kingdom will be fully realised in our lives and in our tangible reality! Have you heard of what some have called ‘thin places’? Places where you can almost reach out and touch the real reality of God’s Kingdom? Now, take the ‘almost’ out of it. One day, God will be King right here in our world. His reign will be forever, peace fully restored and everything once again a temple to God’s glory.

As we have seen over these past few days, all of history has unfurled for a purpose with God shaping and directing it. The story of God’s holy nation progressed towards a designated point, until it came to its climax in Jesus. He lived, died, and rose in a real place, at a real point in history. That beautiful story is a love story of a God who never lets go. A God who makes us beautiful and gives us a place of honour in His plan. A God who acts. It’s not just a distant story, it is the beginning of our story too. And it will continue in very real terms.

Heaven and earth were always meant to be two integral parts of the same good creation. Separation and misalignment are a result of the fall, not God’s intention. His life is the only life there is and it sustains us every nanosecond in this ‘real world’ whether we know it or not. And on this earth, healed, restored, recreated, but still THIS earth, we, healed, restored new creations in glorious real bodies, with pure hearts and right spirits will be fully and gloriously human. Far from whisking us away to a fluffy spiritual place, God will be with us in what we are used to calling ‘the real world’ (hint: there is only one world and all of it belongs to God). At that time God will have done away with our idolatry and sin, completely and forever. We will be ‘like a beautiful bride, prepared’. Then we are ready to reign with Him in love and peace.

For now, we very much live in a now-and-not-yet world where re-creation is both ‘present’ and ‘still in progress’. By grace, as a community of believers, we are part of this re-creation process. In us, the Spirit prays for what we ought to desire but don’t always appreciate. As we are changed, a bit more of creation is liberated as we become like penicillin in a petri dish – or as Jesus said: Salt. Light. Yeast working its way quietly through the dough.

And for now, we look forward with mixed anticipation and apprehension not only to the Christ’s return, but to what these next months might bring. We still at times ache in body and mind. We often yearn. We call this a wake-up call, yet I have been nodding off as much as I have been trimming and re-fueling my lamp. Progress is slow and happens in places I didn’t look or expect; not infrequently despite me rather than because of me. If you feel the same at times, let me reassure you: All of Scripture taken together, from the first page to the last, is the story of a God who is completely faithful and committed to His promise to His people, and who has the power to keep it.

He holds onto us no matter what. He stays with us even when we wish we could have a holiday from ourselves. He came near to us when we were furthest from Him, placed Himself between us and all that afflicts us, and removed the black oil spill from our hopelessly sticky feathers. He let Himself be swallowed, then exploded death from the inside. Something very real changed as Jesus died and rose again, and it makes a very real difference. The door is open. The wedding invitations are out. And let me assure you: You are invited to the party when Jesus comes back. If you want to go, nothing can prevent you. Stay plugged into God, and see you (t)here!

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Wrapped Tight — Visitant

Quite like this poem!

Wrapped Tight Ball of string wrapped tight and tidy yearns to fling itself in a direction to unravel massiveness into feathery strand beckoning in wind for more length to discover more paths no worries of finding way back or to dangle like trapeze swinging back and forth inviting acrobats to fly unlike ball of string […]

via Wrapped Tight — Visitant

 

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Our Father, who art in heaven

Flying bird in crystal river.
Hallowed be Thy name.
Butterfly dumbs nodding nettles.
Hallowed be Thy name.
Shadows dappled. Rays of sinking
sun. Thy Kingdom come.
Rings of trout. A kiss. A hatch of
flies. Thy Kingdom come.
Willow. Willow. Hybrid Willow.
I’ll never guess which one.
Dying ashes. Embers. Kindle
us. Thy will be done.

Give us bread today and always
from the ground below.
And from Heaven all Thy blessings,
more than we can know.
Sky reflected. Branches reaching.
Forgive us, set us free,
just as we forgive each other,
love, to honour Thee.
Grace and mercy, Father, give us;
don’t bring us to trial.
Keep us safe, secure from evil,
bless us with a smile.

Feather on the breeze. A buzzard.
For: Thine is the Kingdom…
Setting sun behind a hilltop.
For: Thine is the Kingdom…
Ruined castles. Dreams of progress.
…The power and the glory.
Withered leaves. A baby crying.
…The power and the glory.
Forever and ever. And ever and ever.
And ever and ever. And ever and ever.
Forever and ever.
Amen.

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