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 14: Beauty for Ashes

A single red wine-colored leaf that reminded me of the healing leaves mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophecy. Leaves that are shed and die help to produce new life – not just in the tree they were shed from, but in other plants and trees in the same area. This reminded me of how God sheds our old fleshly seeing and knowing, as He changes and transforms our minds, not just to heal us, but others in our midst, also. For as we openly boast of our weakness and God’s redeeming work in the confession of our sin, we draw others into the light of God’s redeeming grace also.

20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. 

JOHN 3:20-21 (NIV)

I bless us to see the seed of eternity (Jesus) hidden in our own and others’ hearts. I bless us to see how God is revealing Himself to each of us in uncovering more and more of Himself in us and others, through each others’ open repentance. I bless us to experientially know and believe that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus, that the old has gone and the new has come. I bless us to embrace the new and fresh opportunities set before us to obey and glorify the Name of Jesus and to recognize and celebrate in so doing, our growth and development in Christ.

I bless us to daily, in the Holy Spirit’s convictions, step into the light of God’s grace, to shed our pride and self-righteousness at the foot of the Cross and to arise anew in Christ Jesus and His righteousness and pride in us. May Christ’s visceral compassions (a joining with in suffering) be revealed in us and through us in our open boasting in our weakness and the confession of our sin. I bless us and others to see Christ emerging in our midst through every change of our mind. I bless Christ’s intercession in and through us for the restoration of His Body and Bride.

You speak 

Of new wineskins

Of the old that has gone

The new that has come.


Oh, let us taste 

Of Your holiness

In the Son of glory's

Overshadowing.


In the darkness

Of Your covering

Let us find hidden

Treasures gleaming.


Oh let us savor the sweet

Honey of Your Word

Not hoarding but

In heaven's dew bestowing.


Let all else now

Be ashes to ashes

Flame your righteousness

In gemstones aglow.


As we seek a firm footing

In this shaking and breaking

Shod Your Good News

To our feet in the waiting.


Oh make us ready

A new heart of flesh  

In our weakness lay bare

Into heaven's glory sowing.


Let the latter rains

In Your breaking clouds

Gush and pour, the seed

In living waters growing.


Make room in our hearts

For more of You

Move us ever forward

Into Your heart's blooming.


Let us, Your family of stars

Arise and shine

In the light of Your face

Calling all: come!


Let each stone 

In Spirit 'n truth breathe

Alive in Your intercession

A Living Temple: whole.


Shoulder to shoulder

Into Your Kingdom

Come Jesus come

Carry us over the threshold


Into beauty

For ashes

Your Body

And Bride.


19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night.

Exodus 14:19-20 (ESV) [my emphasis: note, as Ann Voskamp did in her WayMaker Bible Study, how God’s cloud – His overshadowing Presence- lit up the night.]