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 28: My Portion – The Living Stream of God

This feather find is from almost 2 years ago, but lately, I have seen one feather after another and it makes me think of John 3:8 my dear friend Bettie and I had recently lingered with. It also reminds me of what Chaim Bentorah, a Hebrew teacher, shares about the meaning of Jesus being our portion as not so much being an inheritance that is passed down to us as heirs, but rather a living stream that is already flowing down to us, making us glad, even when we are materially impoverished or looked down upon in this world (source: https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2019/09/hebrew-word-study-my-portion/).

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8 ESV


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.

Psalm 46:4 ESV

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! 

Amos 5:24 NIV

I bless us to grow in every way into Him who is the head —Christ, by speaking the truth in love that we may promote the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. I bless us, the whole body, in Jesus to be fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament. I bless us to see ourselves and others through the eyes of Jesus, to have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

I bless us to take joy in the wind of the Spirit blowing us where it wishes, and people hearing its sound, but not knowing where it comes from or where it goes. May the seekers around us notice that we are different from anyone they have ever known. May they take note of the Spirit of God in us. As we continue to boast in our weakness and the changing of our minds to these seekers, may their hunger and thirst grow to know this compassionate and gracious God of ours and the infilling of His life-giving Spirit.

I bless us to notice and thank God for His streams of living water making our body – His holy habitation – glad. I bless us to relish in the sweet stillness at Christ’s feet, that as the storms of accusations hit us, we’ll find His love and grace washing over us there. I bless us to rejoice in our affliction, knowing that the weaker we are, the heavier we lean upon Jesus and His grace for us. May we see how through our weakness He has been carrying us into His love and compassion for His whole Body.

I bless us all to know, more and more of the depths of God’s love, compassion and mercy for us all – the Body of Christ. May we all continue to depart from what the Son of God died to deliver us from. May we shake off the dust as we leave, fully embracing the joy of the LORD ever set before us.

Do you hear those voices too?
The ones that tell you 
You're not enough 
You'll never change 
All you do is make things worse?

Do you hear the voice that follows then?
The one that tells you
Defend yourself 
Hold on tight 
To who you wish you were
Lest he rips it from your weary 
Tight-clenched hands 

Or the one that pushes you
To lie there in that bed
A bed that covers you in blankets
Grief, despair and loathing cruel
Chaining you to who 
You believe you truly are 
Lost
Forevermore. 

Now, stop
And still
Feel Christ's hand 
Clasping yours
Earthquake shaking
And flaming fire
Are but shaking off the old 
And burning all the dross
To reveal 
His gold in you.

Do you hear Him too?
Glorious Truth
Kissing the kind, sweet
Gentle Voice of
Grace.

Feel those 
Rushing waters pure
Pouring now
Upon your shoulders hunched
Let them wash away 
What's not of you
All that's died
Upon the Cross
To now reveal instead
The lavish gift
Of  Christ.

Hear His gentle
Tender Voice
Unveiling
The many gifts 
Hidden in
His heart 
For you.

Beloved
Chosen
Holy
Pure
Purposed 
True
 You are His 
Masterpiece.
 
Created anew
In Christ Jesus
You shall perform
The good works 
HE
Has long
Prepared for 
You.

Unashamed 
Confident 
Sinking in 
His royal cloak 
Be strengthened
Your feet firmly planted
Appointed, upon the Rock
Now rise and stand
As new.
 
Let Christ reveal 
His arms stretched high 
His unclenched hands 
His heart, mind, Body 
Worshipping 
In Spirit and truth
His love flowing
From you.


No, no lying tongue 
Has power there
Where Jesus stills
Our hearts to hear
The Voice of truth
Kissing
Grace.

For God Himself 
Has cast these columns 
This Temple
Not of human hands
But with His own
He establishes
He strengthens
For, He alone 
Is the Great 
I AM.

Our One and Only 
Slayer of all sin
Stiller of all accusations
Defender True.

May this song my dear childhood friend of now 28 years in New Zealand (who I will be hugging in person in a little over a week: thank You, Jesus!!!) sent me through the waves of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2015, sharing the comfort God had given her in her own weakness and need with me, bless and comfort you too:

And may you too, like me, experience the blessing of God’s Body as you see how God is weaving you and others together, through the Word you share with each other.