Yoke of Love


I will not leave you orphaned
You know what it is to lose
To lose such precious life
But I tell you, I have come
To give you life
Abundant life.

On those days your heart begins to ache
On those days you feel forsaken
All alone
Lean into Me
Tell Me all your pain, be not ashamed
But share your yearning deep.

I will not leave you orphaned
Cry those tears and share those fears
Pour every doubt into My waiting bowl
And I'll reflect My Truth there back to you
I'll place My hand upon your shoulder
Not turn away, but turn toward.

Your friend for life
Not just for here, but into all eternity
I'm in you now and I'll never leave
Even when you tell Me
You can't take that one more step.

You see, I know you can't
And that's why I'm here
To lead You here on Me to rest
To lay your head between My shoulders
To sleep secure, knowing I won't leave.

I will not leave you orphaned
When your body, mind and soul here give away
I'll hold you tight
My water to your lips so parched I'll raise
My bread to famished body gift.

I've chosen you.
I've always wanted you.
This path I've set before you
Is the path I have entrusted you.
It's yours to walk, but not alone.

The God of glory, He'll secure your passage
My righteousness will pave your way.
When you pray, I'll answer you.
When you call for help, then I'll say
"Here I am." (Isaiah 58: 6 - 12 MSG)

I will not leave you orphaned
Even when all you see
Is no way through.
Don't grab the reigns or blame another,
But turn to Me.

And know that as you give
And as you share
Your empty, nothing
My full and plenty here becomes.
I'm all you'll ever need.

No, I will not leave you orphaned,
For I've adopted you for life
To live and move and have your being
In Me.
For My yoke of love is easy
And my burden, light.

Faithful Father True

We the faithless turn away
But our Father,
He the Faithful, does remain
For He can never, ever
Disown Himself.
When heart He opens
To confess Him Christ as Lord
There He does bind us to Himself,
Promise spoken:
Work of faith He will complete.

No weapon forged against
Can ever prosper
He holds us fast
Even when we turn.
Lies may lash and whip
Hearts begin to doubt,
Hardening where once soft and true
And yet He holds us fast.

Each cell and fibre
Woven there in mother's womb He knows,
His Word made flesh did bleed
Not just for sin, but for each shard of lying lips
Sown in accusing shame and fear.

His compassion faileth not 
His mercies they still fall
Each morning dew anew
For blood did flow to silence
Our accuser's many schemes.
And so our Faithful Father, He does wait
Love so kind, love so patient
He faileth not.

Each cocoon
Bound and silenced
Waiting there in dark of night
Yet to reveal Christ's final Masterpiece.
Truth and light sent forth
Before each child of His so dear
Holy Word falls afresh
Now dew on tilled and yearning hearts.

And just when all hope seems so far,
Precisely there life begins to birth,
Small green shoot
He buds, growing ever stronger.
That once so tiny mustard seed
Sown so long ago
Broken open wide, multiplied to life,
Strongly rooted, firmly planted.

Now when same winds and storms
Do lash and whip
Faith no longer waivers
Heart no longer hardens shut.
Instead each lash and whip
Do now reveal
Fresh green leaves and fruit anew
Breaking open, death to life.

These new leaves
They will wither not,
Nor will their many fruits ever fail.
For now fresh waters flow
From Sanctuary High.
Fruit of heart's delight
Promise spoken powerfully birthed.
Leaves now balm to heal
Wounds so deep, tended gently whole.

For our Father
He has promised
To seek the lost
Bring back the scattered
Bind up the broken
And strengthen there the sick.
Filled with compassion
He runs toward,
Kindness to repentance leading.
Arms wide open to embrace
Long lost son and daughter
Home.

The Great I AM

Turn not back in pain
But in who I AM
Watching over every step
Before, above, around
My everlasting arms beneath.

Turn not back in despair
But in who I AM
Restory-ing every little piece
Broken to whole in Me
Shining hope before you.

Turn not back in fear
But in who I AM
Entering every single accusation
With the truth of my loving Light
My sheltering wings above you.

Turn not back in shame
But in who I AM
Righting every single wrong
Thought, deed and word
My purifying robe wrapping around you.

For I am He who
Came, not to condemn but save
A well of living water
Springing up to eternal life
Come drink from Me -

The Great I AM.

Secure

"I know," 
I hear You say
"I've always
Seen and known
Your aching wounds
Beneath.

"Come
Let me take
Each curled
And twisted knot
And in My living
Breathing Word
Unravel
And release.

"For then I'll pour
Back out of you
My honey sweet
Of grace
And truth.

"Come, be My child
Calm and quiet
Your soul
In My love
Let Me soothe you
In My arms
And balm
Your wounds.

"Come, lean on Me
And let Me
Remind you
Again and again
That I hold
Your lot evermore
Secure."

A Dwelling Place in Praise

Colossians 3:15 KJV 
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.


Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.




Thank You, LORD
For grace
That covers me
For innocence
You've paid
In scourge
And pain so cruel
I'll never know.

Thank You, LORD
For giving me
What's undeserved
Of cruel and harsh
This heart here turned
To selfish tides
And prideful dams
To anger's chains
And holding reigns.

Thank You, LORD
For love so great
It reaches deeper still
Than cruel and harsh
Than selfish pride
And anger's reigns
To all accuser's claims
Would rather hide
From sight unseen
In shame to chain.

Thank You, LORD
For fencing tight
In holy linen white
For Spirit drawing in
And holding tight
The dust of desert's strife
From hardened heart
To strip and me
Righteous wrap
In dazzling white
Of undeserved bright.

Thank You, LORD
That washing
Dazzling white
You speak
Each hidden sight
The pain, the fears and doubts
I know not bleed
Beneath
My heart
You cast and pour
My cup
Not just outward
Cleanse
But inward
Search to know
In Spirit raise
From death to Life.

Thank You, LORD
For grace
That covers me
For innocence
You've paid
In scourge
And pain so cruel
I'll never know.



Dear Holy Father,

We are amazed that You would choose to come to us, to make Your dwelling here in our heart. We have nothing to offer you except these shards and pieces that are the bones and bodies holding our vulnerable hearts. But we thank You that Your Word declares these very bodies Your holy Temples.

We thank You that where we, and others who look at us, see nothing but brokenness, You see Your chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Your own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of You who called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light.

We believe You, Father, but help our unbelief. Give us an undivided heart that we might fear Your Name above all else. Help us to shed the lies of the world and to clothe ourselves in the light of Your love and grace. Help us to keep boasting in our weakness, that You may perfect Your power in us here, as we proclaim the finished work of the Cross.

We thank You that even as our bodies, minds and hearts fail us, Your Son, in whom all Promises are yes and Amen, remains so strong in us. Thank You that You have placed the seal of Your Holy Spirit upon us, securing our eternal inheritance in You, and that nothing can separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus.

Help us to lift our frail selves up to You in His Name, again and again. Help us to trust You when You tell us that the light momentary affliction we are walking through here on earth is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Help us look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For we know that the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Help us not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but to lay up for ourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Set our hearts on You, as we walk through the fire and are met by storms, that we may find hidden treasure in the darkness.

Thank You that You dwell here within us, in this secret place, created to be Your home: Your heart in us. Thank You that You have hidden us in the clefts of the rock to protect us from every scheme of the enemy. Thank You for the love of Jesus that has been shed abroad in our broken hearts to make us whole. Root us deeper in that love that we might live and move and have our being in You alone.

Thank You for Your great and wonderful promises. Help us to cleanse ourselves in the light of these Promises from everything that contaminates body and spirit. Help us to live our lives set apart for Your purpose in holy awe of You alone. Fulfill the prayer of Your Son in us and make us One in You.

As we come to Jesus, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by You and precious to You— build us like living stones into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You through Jesus Christ, just as You have promised us in Your Word.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray,
Amen.



This is a poem written by Anna Smit and a prayer co-written by Bettie Gilbert and Anna Smit a long time ago, but a Scripture-infused poem and prayer that still express the praises and prayers rising up in our hearts today. For:

"We've no less days 
To sing God's grace
Than when we first
Began" 

Sunshine Pouring

Thick black clouds 
Are gath’ring
Even so, I feel my feet
Treading here
Ever closer, ever brighter.

Hand in hand I’m running
His eyes are opening mine
Sunshine pouring
Light there pressing
Dark clouds away.

“Be not afraid,”
I hear His Voice
“I go before you
A light unto your path
A lamp unto your feet.

“What they may say
What you may hear
What you may feel
Be still and know:
Beloved, You are Mine.

“Go where I send you
Speak what I give you
Still where I ask you
I am Your Light
Awakening freedom.

“Watch the darkness fleeing
Watch my children coming
Knees are bowing
My Name
They’re calling.”

Thick black clouds
Are gath’ring
Even so, I feel my feet
Treading here
Ever closer, ever brighter.

Hand in hand I’m running
His eyes are opening mine
Sunshine pouring
Light there pressing
Darkness full away.

Penned early 2017.

Sometimes to follow Jesus means being sent back to a place where we once knew desolation and indescribable pain [. . . ]

What Jesus wants us to know is that his salvation and his protection extend to those old, horrible haunts. If he can break the death-grip Satan once had on us and set us free, then he can redeem the places of our former slavery and make them showcases of God’s omnipotent grace.

Do not be afraid. The Good Shepherd will walk with you and protect you on the darkest road (Psalm 23:4). Declare how much God has done for you. You are being sent because there are other tomb-people to free.

Jon Bloom, Not By Sight: A Fresh Look At Old Stories of Walking by Faith, Kindle location 1818

I AM

Dreaming again
Pursuing through
Fear and doubt
Broken open to
Arms humbly lifting
A Body wholly
Healing
I AM.

Dreaming again
Seeing my past
Present, future
On the Cross
Every weakness
In power perfectly
Yielding
I AM.

Dreaming again
In celebration
My Promise lifting
Fanning the flame
A hope and a future
Our night sky
Blazing
I AM.

Dreaming again
Remembering
Each and every
Part of the story
Past, present and
Coming again is
Singing
I AM.

Free

I slow to see and hold, to clasp the hand
In childlike trust here calling
To find my heart set free.

This is my first attempt at a kimo. An Israeli version of a haiku. I am learning from David again at: https://skepticskaddish.com/2021/05/03/enchanted-or-kelp-forest/

Go visit him to find out what a kimo is and while you’re at it, go read more of his work there and be inspired.

Love Conquers All

A phantom pain
Still pierces
Gnawing my resolve
Though dead to sin
My past still calls me 
Lie down in shame
To mocking tongues 
Telling me I'm captive
To what's no more.

I shift and fidget 
Nervously
I use my tongue
To defend myself
And those I love
Yes, I subdue 
The phantom's pain
But only now behold   
Not freedom's portion
But fear and shame
My lot becoming.

I've wrapped myself 
In changing
Worth of man
Mocking
Never-changing 
Perfect Love
In me.

But then
I see
The One
Who silent stood
So safe, secure 
In His Father's love
He walked toward
The Cross
For me.

The One who
For the joy
Set before Him
Bore my sin
On a Cross
Esteeming not
Its shame
But declaring
In His surrender
The weight of glory:
That love
Conquers all.

Stripped naked 
And there pierced  
He chose to die 
That I might not
Stay chained
To fear and shame
But tethered to
His love and mercy:
Go free.

So, I take up
My Cross
Dying to the old
To rise anew
To life everlasting
Joining Christ
In His death
And resurrection.

I look upon this King
All our sins
See covered pure
In grace's veil
He's borne our sin
And all our pain
Perfecting us
In weakness
That I might now 
Walk free.

Yes! I am free
To clothe myself
In the Good News
Of the Cross
To run, unashamed
And unafraid
To boast in the grace
That sets us free
To die to sin
And live unto Christ.

So, I yield to love
In silent witness strong 
The Word in me
Securing
My righteous path
Yielding me
To join Christ
In His death and
Resurrection
Set free.

To no longer walk
Away from this world
In seeking the living
Among the dead
But to follow Christ
Into the world
To be sanctified daily
In my Living Word
To recognize
Each one He's sent me
As not of this world
But His.

May I now become
Who Christ
Always created me
To be
His Anna, His grace
Sent from the womb
Into this aching world
To go
To immediately recognize
Him - our Messiah -
In the least of these.

May I now ever declare
In my weakness boasting
Christ's Perfect Love
Conquers

All.
The final birthday card my mother penned, less than two months before she went to be with Jesus.

“This kinship-of-calling was sufficiently strong that—as in the incident at the temple at age twelve—Jesus risked giving offense to his natural family by affirming the priority of his heavenly family. Nothing took primacy for Jesus over surrender to the loving will of the Father.”

“Our self-in-Christ is a self that fits perfectly because it is completely us. It is a self that allows us to be free of all anxiety regarding how we should be and who we are. And it allows us to be absolutely our self—unique not by virtue of our strivings for individuality but profoundly original simply because that is who and what we are.”

David G. Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery, p.91 and p. 95

“The Lord may very well keep you on the outside of a person or group as a way of guarding your own heart. As hard as it is to believe this in the moment, sometimes we must accept, as my friend Salena says, that rejection is God’s protection from what isn’t in our best interest. As we struggle to hang on to hope for finding where we belong, we can absolutely believe that God hasn’t saved his worst for us. We can be for ourselves by trusting him to place us with those who will feed, honor, love, and serve us best as we reciprocate those actions to those folks too. If you are on the outside somewhere, God is simultaneously calling you on the inside somewhere else. You are on the inside somewhere else. Remember, there’s always room at the table God picks out for you.”

Kirsten Strong, Back Roads to Belonging: Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People, P.141

Hands of Mercy

Your hands hold
Me close
Your hands wrap
Around my coming

And going out again
Your hands know me
Each day of my life
Written in Your book.

Your hands let me go
But tethering me in grace
To the path You walked
Before me and behind me stay.

Your hands wrap around
My heart that is aching
To break
In Your mercy.

Laboring in kindness
Your hands teach me to trust
Again and again to let go
Into Your hands every part yielding.

Led by Your hands
You walk me into Your death and
Resurrection, again and again
To learn that I'm free.

Free to depart and choose You
To lay every accusation
Into Your hands
To arise afresh in Your mercy.

To go and bear fruit that abides
Dying to the old of my knowing
You teach me to rest in Your palm
To feel the holes deep in Your hands.

Now, Father, teach me to give
No longer judgment, but mercy
Break my chains of religion fully and
Wholly in Your Spirit abundance to flow.

My life and breath
Let them speak evermore
Of Your hands that were pierced
To hold us all together in mercy.