Category: Words from the Word

Fragments

He put it in my hand. A piece of broken pot, carefully shaped into a square. And on the tile it now was, the words, “I am broken” written

There are many who who are broken, some in the sense of financially broken, many have lost their livelihoods, some are heart- broken, grieving for loved ones, and some have come to know they are broken because of sin.

I didn’t know why this little token, was placed so gently on my palm. But I felt I must accept it, take it, turn it over, ponder it, keep it. This little fragment was important to the Lord, it was shown, given for a purpose.

When, the Word of God came, He came, He said to open the eyes of the blind, He came to heal and repair a broken world. To search for the lost, the fragmented, when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, Christ kept His promise and into that upper room the Holy Spirit blew…not a whispering breeze but a great, violent, noisy wind that swept the disciples out into the street and became a broom in their hands… a broom to sweep up and together the pots broken by its ferocity.

I write and speak so often of the gentleness of God, the whisper of the Spirit, the still, small voice. Yet, I know that still, gentle voice is the Voice that breaks twists great oak and strips the forests bare, yes the same Voice, the Lord Thunders over the mighty waters, shaking the desert… the Voice of the Lord breaks…..

The preaching of Peter and the Apostles on that Day of Pentecost was so powerful, breaking strong wills and stubborn hearts, casting down proud hearts and in their shattering the Church was born.

Before the world can be repaired, it needs to know it is broken.

Before the patient visits the physician He needs to realise He is sick.

The least welcome of all preaching is that which shows the world that it is sick, that it is broken and needs mending. Bringing conviction of that is the work of Holy Spirit preaching. It is also the Work of Christ and the Father… God does not thunder out of heaven with intention to destroy beyond all mending… He does it that we may know our brokenness and be put together again…. not as we were but better.

Pondering the fragment that had been given, observing that already it knew the hand of the Craftsman I knew that this would be fitted carefully into place:

Making of Icon
Saint Mary’s Church, Berlin

We are broken to be transformed together into the likeness of Jesus broken for us on the Cross of Calvary, in order that we might be perfectly whole, forgiven, repaired, better a New Creation.

Complete according to
An Icon from Saint Katherine’s Monastery, Sinai.

I don’t, usually write like this, but feel compelled to do so, as Pentecost approaches because on that day, when God bought the Church to birth, Peter preached, and pressed his case with many arguments and pleaded that those hearing would ‘save themselves from this perverse generation’ until about 3000 people were baptised and added to their number. Is our generation any better?

I think not. We just don’t fully realise that the world needs repairing, and making good. It is only when we know that we are broken that the Maker can begin to make the repair!

Lord, press into each palm the token

Of our brokenness, and of our

Need; to be restored, mended, fixed:

Made over; born over;

Into the likeness of Jesus, our Redeemer,

Messiah, your very likeness,

Then, we too, with all the angels of God

Shall cry “Glory”

Amen

Prayer: My own, Jean at Fresh Whispers

Risen, I am with you always…

I am the vine, you are the branches
John 15:5

“Risen, I am with you always”

When I want to do only great things, Lord,

Make me willing to do

Small unnoticed things too

When I want to do what the world will acclaim,

Make me willing to do

What will lift up your name

These weeks of being shut in, quiet and still have been for me, a gateway into another place, a place of calm, and rest, a place of blessing and a joy.

I pray that you also may know these things for yourself. That you may know all the joy of abiding in the Vine, and the love of the Lord.. it is just a thought, but consider this, the branches actually have very little to do with the work of producing fruit, they are not responsible for their pruning; and they don’t water themselves, they cannot bless themselves with the sunshine of the Lord’s smile or care for the soil that covers their root… all of this is the Gardener’s part.

All you and I, dear friends have to do is abide in the Vine. And listen, to Ruach HaKadesh. This is what He says to me,

Go and listen for the sound of the rain in the wilderness”

Your words are a doorway that lets in light, giving understanding to the thoughtless. Psalm 119:30

Every Creature is a Word of God: Duck/Wrong Footed.

Everyone knows that ducks have webbed feet, don’t they?

Sitting quietly in my prayer time, I saw a duck, just his head and unmistakable beak peeking out at me from behind a hedge.

And then, I saw his feet, entirely the wrong kind of feet for a duck..

“Lord” I blurt out, “Why have you given that duck those feet”

Just the kind of question, I thought, just as quickly as the question was out and ringing in my ears, that you should not ask the Lord, our Maker. After all we ought not to ask the Lord our Maker why He makes one Pot differ from another.

Also, I could hear the words of Solomon, the Teacher;

Watch your step when you go to the house of God” and “Don’t speak impulsively – don’t be in a hurry to give voice to your words before God.”

Oh, so gently but firmly, the Lord replied;

“It is not about My giving Ducks, or my children the wrong feet. But about my Children wrong footing it. And choosing the wrong shoes.”

What are the right shoes for God’s children?

Are we all properly dressed?

In Ephesians Paul writes;

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace.

“I could wish,” said the Lord Jesus, “That all my children took time to make themselves ready, and prepared themselves with the study of the Word of truth before engaging in argument and endless, pointless conflict amongst themselves. How are any to prove effective in publishing the Gospel of Peace to the World if they cannot have peace amongst themselves?”

I am still considering all this, and praying about it, and for my church, your church and every church that names itself for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Teacher tells us “Go near to listen, rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.”

You are very welcome to think with me and offer your comments.

Picture: I am unsure of its origin…

Scriptures: Ecclesiastes: 5 and Ephesians 6. 14-15

Thoughtfully yours,

Advent: Watching, Waiting, In Pain and Loss

Another busy week, not busy, as some have been busy with shopping for Christmas presents, foods, etc. etc. (I started that, just yesterday) but a busy week in welcoming local school children into church for their School Carol Concerts and rehearsals. I love to see their shining faces as they act and sing out the Nativity Story for parents, younger brothers and sisters, pushed up the hills in Prams and Buggys by Moms .

Every school has a different way of telling the story, and every child is different. They are walked up to church by Teachers and Teaching Assistants. This year we had plenty of rain, yet the wet and cold could not dampen their spirits or extinguish the bright candle of enthusiasm.

“Thank you Jean,” some said as they filed past at the close.

I like that. I would rather be called Jean than Miss. I am, as all tend to be, still the little child, I always was inside, and our Father in Heaven never gets weary of little children.

The children are of course, counting down the days until end of term, and Christmas Day. Not simply because they want to see what they might find in their Christmas Stockings but also because they have presents to give to… and some find it hard to keep their little surprises secret.

Waiting is a hard thing to do when looking forward at any age.

Harder when we are are distressed, or fearful.


Watching and waiting, looking above, 
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. 

So the Hymn writer, Fanny Crosby put it in her well known hymnBlessed Assurance” ~ waiting for the Festive Christmas Season can be helped by busy preparations, mince pies, cake baking, putting up the tree and decorations, writing Christmas cards, shopping, etc. etc.

But what about waiting if we are recently bereaved, ill or housebound. Then waiting can be empty of everything except the pain of isolation and loss.

Perfect submission, all is at rest! 
I in my Savior am happy and blessed, 

How can we be perfectly at rest, happy and blessed in such circumstances as bereavement, pain or loneliness?

I am going to suggest to you that it is as such times, that we find, that our Blessed Assurance, Jesus, Himself will come to our aid.


He did come to mine. I was grieved, but kept it close, locked up inside where no one could see. Or so I thought.

But the Lord Jesus Christ could and did see.

I woke in the night and as I lay there, silent in myselfI heard, a door opening somewhere way, way above; then the sound of footsteps, a man’s tread, strong and sure running down what sounded like a stone staircase, past the door of my bedroom, down, down, down until they faded to nothing …. I lay wondering…. then the feet began running back up the steps, stopped (so, it seemed to me) just the other side of my bedroom door.

A firm, big man’s voice spoke out: “Well, Jean. You had me worried. I thought you had fallen all the way to the bottom! Just remember to call out when you need help. Speak to me. Always speak to me!”


All this was many years ago but I have never forgotten, and never spoken about it until now. I share it now because someone, somewhere, at a time of loss, pain, or loneliness may draw comfort, hope, and assurance from my experience and “speak to Jesus, our Friend and Saviour about it. Shout to Him, He will hear… God doesn’t wish a single one of us to stay at the bottom of a well of despair. And the most Godly can and do that- Remember Jeremiah? (Jeremiah 38:6) Well God got him out of a deep well; He can do the same for you and all those loved ones we pray for from time to time.


Look, I go before you. There are no deeps my love cannot reach. Speak to me, there are no tears I cannot wipe away, no pain I cannot feel. I know the way … I am the Way. Give me your hand”

May Jesus, our Saviour, speak His peace to every troubled heart and keep you Watching and Waiting and Speaking to Him.

The Word of the Lord: Bringer of Hope

A dark, rainy morning

With no light in it,

Not a glimmer, a day with no ray of hope or encouragement.

The Word of the Lord came to me.

“Shalom! Peace! My peace take it!”

“Do not be worried or anxious. Neither fearful nor dismayed. Cast aside all the burdens carried for all others; take in their place, my burden instead. Yes, take my burden, even the Word of God. Carry my Word with you. Let it be your light in dark places.”

“The days are dismal and dark, you say. So they are!”

“The worries and the tasks are many. So they are!”

“Every neighbour adds to his neighbour’s load; every man, every woman casting off their share of the work, responsibility and blame onto someone else. Every ill, every problem, every grief is caused by human hands.”

“Every word of untruth comes from a human mouth- ”

“Every word of Truth and Wisdom from mine”

“So let Martha be like Mary. Set aside the many things and the many teachers, and choose the good part – come to your Heavenly Teacher – choose Me. For I chose you.”

“Take my Peace.

Take My Burden.

Take my Yoke.

Take my Word and speak it out.

It will not return to Me without bearing fruit-

Look! My Word pierces the darkness like a sword,

It is the bringer of Hope.”

This Word came with the dawning of the day. And after it a vision of the Lord Jesus wearing the crown of thorns before Pilate; forced to kneel to receive the Burden of the Cross for our sake, in my vision I was allowed to kneel at His side. The Lord looked and made me welcome.

It may be that someone reading this feels that they are carrying burdens and responsibilities that they cannot put down, for love’s sake- yet they are conscious of the Lord calling them closer and requiring them to do just that. Listen to His voice please. As I must do and please pray for me, that I may have grace to do the same.

“Come!”

Let everyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift’

There are many words, many commentaries, many books, many WordPress posts written on our Lord’s invitation to come receive the water of life as a gift. This is one more. One more written in love, testimony and gratitude for the Love of my Lord, for mercy and grace so freely given to me.

I had not realised how tired and weary I was. So much to do. In a church there always is, and I was grieved and troubled because, the Lord called me to put my tasks on one side and just sit, in stillness and quietness with Him.

Why? Why should He say, “Come, be still.”

Because,” He says, “There are many things I must speak to you about . Many things you must hear”

I saw a hand cupping clear, refreshing water.

“Because you are very thirsty. Don’t refuse me this. Don’t say to Me that there are others who can serve Me better, others who can speak, others I can send. I want you.

I came to you, to your house, I came in, now you must come Come and sit at my feet. I know you are worried, I know you are anxious and I know no one else will pick up the tasks you put down but put them down you must.

I know in serving others you’re serving Me, but serve Me first in this ONE THING. Come, listen and speak to Me. You are my friend.

I know you are thirsty. And, I know this is not for eternal life, you have that how could I withhold that, from my dear friend? No, you are thirsty, always thirsty for this one thing only, and that is,

My company, my love.

Yes, I see you shaking your head; yes I know I am always with you. But my beloved friend; when will you turn your attention and eyes away from waiting on others? Don’t you know, even now, that I always wanted your eyes, ears and hands for myself?”


The costly ointment we can give to anoint the feet of Jesus, is our whole, undivided self.

Scriptures from NRSV – Ps. 27.8, Rev. 22. 17

Photo: my own.

The message from Jesus from Jesus, on a day I did not expect it, like Martha I was too busy ….

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen.

Every creature is a word of God: Giraffe

“Every creature is a word of God.” (Meister Eckhart)

Once upon a time, all good stories begin with these words. Even true stories like this one.

Once upon a time the Lord God, for what reason, only the Lord God knows, opened a window in heaven to show a very young woman; His creatures, lion, tiger, leopard, rabbit, hedgehog, dove and pelican (by request this last one) and a Giraffe.

For what reason?

Well 50 years on, she often revisits the scene in her mind, and ponders and ponders.

She knows the reason for the pelican. That was given, simply because overcome with delight with all the others, she asked, as only the very young can, “Have you got a pelican, Lord?”

A few years later visiting the Zoo with niece and nephew, standing just watching some of these creatures made of bone and flesh, she realised that with patience, she could predict just what each creature was likely to do next, and eventually she came to realise that human beings were no different, with patient, quiet loving attention the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve are readable like a picture book, and all the more lovable for just that reason.

What great delight, the Lord God must have had in planning and crafting all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, He made and loves them all. And then on the 6th day, as late as that in His working week, it pleased God to make Adam and Eve to give His creatures names and to care for them ~ “Every creature is a word of God” … there is much wisdom in that, if only we are able to see with the eyes of a child, the eyes of a son of Adam or a daughter of Eve.


He showed me a Giraffe. Now I am small in stature, like Zacchaeus, I would have needed to climb a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus and short in knowledge of Giraffes, but this one, the Lord made, or so it seemed to me, to kneel down and reach down, his lovely, strong neck so that I could notice his eyelashes, his markings, his quiet composure, his grace.

And so, as I have thought about the scriptures the word of God, the Giraffe became for me a word of God and a mirror of the Eternal Word of God. In Jesus the Father, Creator God came down to us, and visited us with such Grace that the humble and lowly of heart might reach up and dare, like simple, loving children to embrace the strength of a Giraffe’s neck in perfect love and trust without fear.

In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love.”

Do not think in your heart, ‘who will go up to heaven? – that is to bring Christ down; or who will go down to the depths? – that is to bring Christ back from the dead. What does it say then? The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth; and in your heart, that is the word of faith.”

Always remember that God hates the proud but reveals His heart to the heart of a child, blessed are the pure in heart they shall see God, and to them ‘every creature is a word of God.

Scriptures from the NJB: 1 John 4.18 – Romans 9. 6-8 with reference to Matthew 5.8

Visions of creatures from the Grace of God, may He be blessed who blesses His little children.

Your thoughts and comments always welcome.

Where are you? What are you doing?

Sit a child down at a kitchen table with paints, brush and water jar, ask them to paint you a picture and with great delight they will do. Ask them to paint anything and they will, anything at all. Perhaps not with any great skill at all, after all we are not all going to become Picasso’s, or Rembrandts, but paint a picture they will and present it to you with great joy.

So, what holds us back from being a witness of the things we have seen and heard, from being a “witness to the word of God, and to the witness of Jesus Christ (Revn. 1:2. NJB); bearing in mind that we have the Lord’s promise ‘ I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.’

This morning my waking dreams were colourful, of fragmented shards, pieces of stained glass waiting assembly into a window, pieces of jig-saw puzzle waiting to be sorted and placed into the picture. If I were a child, I would not be so anxious that they were all in exactly the right place, I would just make a start, but as a 7 x 7 years, and then a bit adult, I need the picture on the box lid, I need an art/craft class.


Lately, the Lord has been asking me a question:

‘Where are you?’

In my home, sitting by the fire, in the garden, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, in church, around the shops,

‘Where are you’

Sometimes, The Lord asks,

“What are you doing now?”

I must admit, I have answered, at times, ‘Lord you know all things, you know where I am and what I am doing’ and then I will say, ‘I am with you, Lord’

That is the answer, the Lord has been looking for.

Sometimes, when feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, I have cried out to Him that I felt like Jonah swallowed up by the whale, and have felt His smile plumbing the depths to reach me. It is then that I have realised that my grown up self was running away from some simple errand that a child would just have taken on board as an adventure with Daddy.


Every child has heard the story of Jonah.

God said to Jonah, “Up! Go to Nineveh…”

And Jonah ‘set about running from Yahweh’

Finally Jonah prayed, and ‘Yahweh spoke to the fish, which vomited Jonah onto the dry land’

Jonah’s story does not end there, nor even with the repentance of Nineveh, chapter 4 of the book tells us he was very indignant with the Lord, telling his Father to take away his life because his Father had not destroyed that great city of Nineveh as threatened because the King and people had repented. He then sat down just outside the city, after making himself a shelter for shade to see what would happen to it. We are told that Yahweh God ordained that a castor-oil plant should grow up to give him shade and soothe his ill humour, Jonah was delighted with that, but at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should attack the caster-oil plant … and it withered. So next day, the scorching east wind and hot sun beat down on Jonah’s head so hard that he begged for death, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living’

Now, isn’t that the childish tantrum to beat all tantrums!

But, hear our Father’s answer,

You are concerned for the castor-oil plant which has not cost you any effort and which you did not grow, which came up in a night and has perished in a night. So why should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Our Father did not fore sake Jonah, He prepared the great fish to rescue him, The word of the Lord which Jonah carried to Nineveh did not fail, it bought salvation to those who Jonah could not see the completed picture … our Father gave him shade from the fierce heat … still Jonah could not see that Lord was with him.

Every time, You ask, ‘Where are you?’

Every time You ask, ‘What are you doing, now?’

Father give me grace to say,

‘I am with the Lord, who is always with me, may I always do as you desire’

Amen.

Then I looked and saw:

An artist’s brush dipped into a water jar, colouring the clean, clear water with pigment. In my seeing the pigment was crimson red.

I am still thinking and waiting for more insight about that.

If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to comment,

I am currently using the New Jerusalem Bible and all scripture references are from there. The photos are my own. I am very much a child when it comes to photography. Many blessings to all who read this post.

Who shall stand?

Coming across this picture, I asked, ‘What is the little boy talking to you about Lord?’

I always seem to be asking the Lord questions, I treasure the answers, given and hold them close, pondering them often, as Mary would have kept her son’s questions and answers

I think Our Lord does the same with our questions and answers, holding them close, waiting the right time to answer.

Jesus Christ is still teaching, He is still the same, yesterday, today for ever.

When our yesterday’s are many, we have many treasures folded up in our memory, wrapped up in love, it is so wonderful to me, that Jesus sometimes surprises me by unwrapping my little treasure with me.

This time, He answered my question directly with just one word.

“Smoke”

“Smoke?”


Once again, I was a child, concerned that my room seemed to be filled with “smoke” that was how I named it. Fragrant smoke…. and I had felt dizzy.

“When “smoke” fills God’s House, no one can stand.” The Lord had said, “When many prayers are offered on the Altar ~ there is much smoke”

So now I remembered.


Incense is not offered in my Church, our services are simple, our church building is simple and has seen better days, it is in need of loving renewal, during its lifetime many prayers have been made, many answered, yet it is so unlike the the House which Solomon built:

“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; and His mercy endureth for ever: that then the House was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”

Many prayers much Smoke.

Trumpeters and singers as one, to make one sound.

I cannot imagine what such a little boy, might have thought when visiting Herod’s temple for the first time.

He doesn’t look old enough to have made his first Passover Journey up to Jerusalem, probably he would have been overwhelmed, and needed his father’s arms to keep him on his feet and from being crushed. I can imagine that and a few precious moments with Jesus the teacher gladly answering his questions and asking questions of his own. I catch a drift of conversation;

So I may not do this next year, even when I am ten?”

No. You may not do this when you are ten.”

The dreams and aspirations of children today are millions of light years away, to those of such little boys then. …

I can catch in my spirit’s ear, little boy Jesus asking Joseph the same question, “So I may not, even when I am ten?”

You may not do this when you are ten.”

What I don’t hear is a stroppy murmur in reply.

I recall that Jesus was obedient to his parents in all things, and grew in wisdom and grace, and I recall that on His last visit to Jerusalem that as one, the people proclaimed “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord”

He made that last journey, in obedience to our Heavenly Father to offer the one, complete sacrifice for our sins, unlike the priests on that great day in Solomon’s Day, Jesus stands when the Heavenly Temple is filled with smoke.

Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 5. 13-14, Hebrews 5. 8-10 KJV

Be Joyous, other brothers and sisters will come…

There are times, and this is one of them, when I wish I had time and the skill to draw and paint some of the things shown to me by the Lord from time to time, please read this very short post: it is truthful and not presented boastfully in any way at all; perhaps it will speak to someone who has been feeling as I have lately, or maybe it will speak to them about something entirely else. Please don’t feel shy about expressing your thoughts via comments.

I hunted for a suitable image, and thought the one above most suitable, the credit says “by anonymous artist” but if anyone has information to the contrary I will be very pleased to give credit…

I have been praying with a deep sense of loneliness, that the Lord will send brothers and sisters to build up Fellowship, Worship and Prayer at my church…. ours is a congregation made of older people without the energy and ability to do many things: this is what I saw.

It was morning and I woke up to find myself in the Craftsman’s workshop, He was busy at an extremely long bench, marking out measurements on a length of wood, he was happily, totally absorbed in his work, and did not see the little child who came in, and stood silently gazing up for sometime, before asking,

“What Father doing? Why wood so long?”

At this point, a gentle voice called to me, “Be joyous, listen and receive what is said.”

The Father turned, looked down on his son and answered,

“Building another room.. other brothers and sisters will come.”

I have been reflecting on this for a few days, it was a happy, contented scene, and I can see, two Fathers one Joseph, Earthly Father of Jesus and the other His Heavenly one. Joseph preparing for the enlargement of his family and God our Heavenly Father preparing for the enlargement of His family also:

We are well aware that God works with those who love Him, those who have been called in accordance with His purpose, and turns everything to their good. He decided beforehand who were destined to be moulded to the pattern of His Son, so that He should be the eldest of many brothers; it was those so destined that He called; those that He called, He justified, and those that He has justified He has brought into glory.’

Truly, I do believe that God has a purpose and a plan.. we just don’t have access to His calendar and schedule, or blueprint!

Whatever we pray for we can be confident He hears, what we need to do is watch like Jesus in Joseph’s workshop, like Jesus at the Father’s side and listen. Heaven still speaks, and look!

Outside, posted to the door of the Craftsman Shop a sign:

THIS FAMILY BUSINESS IS EXPANDING AND TAKING ON LABOURERS, PLEASE APPLY. TRAINING GIVEN.

Scriptures from NJB