Day 30: Birthing Shalom – In Glory to Us All the Son of God Revealing

On the other side of the world for me here in the Netherlands: this was taken in Arrowtown, New Zealand, 16 December 2015. A wide open field next to our holiday house, perfect for our then 3 and 5 year-old girls to practice their cartwheels with their full of life Aunty, my youngest sister.

At the time, our hearts were being prepared to celebrate the second Christmas missing our beloved Mum and Grandma, who went home to Jesus on April 8th 2014 after a five month battle with the terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme.

This field, its backdrop of a mountain covered in lush green trees and the gift of my little sister (who we will soon be hugging in person – together with her husband and my little niece
and nephew – after 4.5 years apart – thank You, Jesus!!!), remind me so much of Psalm 18:19 “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 HCSB

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” 

Isaiah 40:6-8 NIV

And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47:12 ESV

May we see the delight of our God in us and the spacious places of His grace for us today and every day. I bless us to recognize and delight in the birthing of Jesus, our Shalom, in and through us, each new day as His living Word arises in us, for us and through us. I bless us to stand firmly upon the Rock of Jesus, who has promised to uphold us through the winds sent to prove the power of His living Word in us, for us and through us.

I bless us in our weakness and need to cry out and drink deeply of the living well of water. May that living well of Jesus perfect His power in us each day afresh. May He now propel others through our living testimony to His mighty Word to get up with us, pick up their mats with us and to join us, as together, hand in hand with Jesus, our Shalom, we walk into the peace of God for us all.

I bless us to daily put on our feet the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, that we might walk with steadfast assurance and confidence into the eternal plans and purposes of our God. I bless us to hear and obey the Word of our God in fear and trembling, in absolute awe of the majesty, glory and power of our LORD. May our hearts be filled with praise and great expectation, as we overflow in Shalom. I bless our eyes to see our LORD and Savior, our knees to bend before Him and our hearts and lips to declare the coming of the Son of God in glory.

Birthing Shalom

Grief waits upon no one 
It swells and breaks
Our placid perfect life alive
All buried doubts 
To spit and foam.

The questions we
Have laid aside 
Come spitting, foaming 
Back to Life
Where were You, then?
Where are You now, LORD?

His ways above our own, 
His Word we know 
And so our doubts too dark
Have hid away in drawers 
And fastened shut.

But as the waves here 
Swell and break
The fastened drawers 
Break forth now loosed 
And questions buried, breathe alive.

Our self-sufficient strength
Now breaks
Our bodies, minds and souls
To spit and foam
From strength, undone.

But as He calls us 
Songs to raise
His Face to seek 
Spit and foam unhid
A deep begins to rise.

His deep has called
Our depths alive 
Not there our own, but His.
Our Living God writes death to life
On tablets of these human hearts.

Each wave that breaks
Leads death to life 
Our questions hid to spit and foam 
Released to die and
In our Sovereign God we rise
Our burdens loosed
Into the light we walk
Now, hand in hand with Jesus.

All hearts once shut 
Our Messiah opens wide
His breath raises
All dead to life
For us to know
We are not alone
He was with us then
He is with us now
And will be our Shalom
Into all eternity.

No, not one can lay
A foundation
Other than that
Which is laid
Which is Christ Jesus
Our Lord.

Unless
The LORD
Builds the house
The builders
Build
In vain.

We ourselves
With our hearts
In Spirit and truth
Now laid bare
Like living stones
Are being
Built up
As a
Spiritual house.

To be a
Holy priesthood
To offer
Spiritual sacrifices
Acceptable to God
Not in our might
But through Jesus Christ
Alone.

For all in Christ
Hear the Word speak
And do what
He says
Building their house
On the rock.

Yes, that House
That Holy Temple of God
Cannot fall
Because it's
No longer we
But Christ in us
Who lives

Daily in Christ we die
To be born again
In the Gospel of peace
Into Shalom: Christ with us
Joining all together
In God the Father, Son
And Holy Spirit
Building His House
Upon the Rock of our salvation
In glory to us all
The Son of God revealing.

Day 29: Breath of Heaven

God’s beauty on display in the heaven-breathed artwork of my precious sister in Christ, Becky. Her, her husband and her son’s beloved gifts from God, Faith and Eden, were born into the arms of Jesus. Becky is also the daughter of my dear friend Bettie, who I invited to share any Scriptures God laid on her heart for today’s post. The three God gave her are published below. [Artwork published with Becky’s permission]

“The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1‭, ‬3‭-‬4 NIV

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Romans 8:26‭-‬27 NIV

Today’s blessing over us comes to us through my dear friend Debbie, whose beloved youngest son, Roma, went home to Jesus.

I bless us to understand and embrace God’s redemption for us in all our brokenness, to know in Christ that the world will not always be as it is now, but made new. I bless us because Jesus told us that in this world, we will have trouble. I bless us to know and experience for ourselves the Promise of Jesus to us that He has overcome this world.

I bless us to lean into God’s provision in our every need. I bless us to know our only mandate is in Christ, in trusting in the Word and His provisions, fully submitting by His power at work in us to His perfect will. I bless us to know we are blessed because God is always beckoning, and as His sheep, we hear His voice. I bless us to lean into Christ’s longing to yield us to the Father’s good and perfect will for us.

BREATH OF HEAVEN

Do you see the many leaves
Crushed and broken, torn,
Barren tree
Weeping shittim wood
Arms stretched heavenward
Waiting?

As manna then from heaven
Falls
Bare they do remain
But in praises sway
Many branches, side to side
As One.

Firmly planted
In love's strong roots
Swaying now in Holy Spirit's
Breath of Heaven
Beauty in all barrenness
Life where no life
Man could ever find.

And in their swaying
They beckon
Come
Come, all barren, weary souls
Come find Life in death
Resurrection in arms stretched high
As manna falls.