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.

Day 27: Glorious Light

Walking and praying with the sun streaming onto my face, I so often feel God’s love resting upon me and calling me forth to follow Him into a deeper knowing of His love and grace for me. This is the path toward the bench that became my go-to place to pour out my heart as God called me – a recently returned Prodigal, walking through massive triggers of trauma – to intercede for my pastor and church. It’s there I poured out brutally honest laments and it’s there God continually transformed Satan’s accusations against me and the Body of Christ into faith, hope and deep abiding compassion. The Holy Spirit poured out upon me, stilling my heart to seek, receive and obey God’s Word to me. Yes, God and God alone has the final say: and the Word He speaks to us and through us never ever returns void.

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.

2 Chronicles 20:17

I bless us to see and rejoice in the beauty of Jesus arising and shining in us and through us. I bless us to deep down know ourselves crucified with Christ, dead to sin and the world and set free from all condemnation in our obedience to His call to us. I bless us to glorify God for and in every surrender He works and has worked in us. May we see and praise God for closing the door on our fleshly striving to open the door to a deeper abiding in Him by the indwelling of His Spirit.

I bless us to continually seek the face of God, when our flesh rebels, so that we don’t begin to babble like the idolaters, who imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. I bless us to continually heed God’s call to seek the quiet and pray in secret, knowing and trusting our Father knows the things we need before we ask Him. I bless us to lean into Jesus and His grace for us in our weakness and need that we may sow unto and thrive in the Spirit of God.

I bless us to bless Jesus for laying down our bodies as a living sacrifice, for setting us apart, for our good and the good of the whole Body of Christ. I bless us to be strengthened with power through the Spirit of God in our inner being, that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. I bless us to be rooted and established in love, that we may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. I bless us to be continually thrown over and beyond our present experiential knowing of God’s love, by the power of His Spirit, that we may be filled to the fullness of God. I bless our eyes to be open to see and bless the Presence of Jesus in ourselves and in others.

Strapped to the altar again
In this obedience 
I dread
I'm tethered and taut.

Pouring confession 
Of sin and fears 
Of horrid pain
In seeping wounds.

Burying myself deep
In shame I cringe 
At who I am
A mess, laid bare.

But in my pouring out
You lift my eyes to truth 
My striving dies 
Your Face to see.

Eyes of love
My face in light cascade
My weak and feeble frame
In warmth You bathe.

The tears now flow
Released in streams
My heart unburdened, 
Bare.

Oh no
Not broken mess
But Christ in me 
The Eagle freed.

Your Voice 
Upon this altar cries
"Sin and shame
Are not your name.

"For not you
But I have chosen 
And appointed you 
To go and bear much fruit.

"Now go: depart under
A new authority 
Be cleansed to see
The pure as pure."

Where sacrifice 
Of pain
On altar strapped 
To die, I see.

You lift my gaze
To see 
Your face 
In mine.

Shem yah nihe'ra 
Your renown, Your Name 
Your gold glowing
You're shining bright in me.

No longer I
But Christ in me I see
Your burning coals 
My heart and lips have freed.

A JOY 
My heart explodes
A waterfall of grace 
Splashing on my face.

No! I will not die
But live to tell 
What You: the LORD 
Have done.

My lips 
You've set apart
From a new heart 
Blessings to bestow.

My lamp is shining brightly
On salvation's hill 
For I live by faith not in myself
But in the Son of God.

In the One who loved me 
And gave Himself for me
Who called me out of darkness
Into His glorious light.