Sunday, 23 April 2017

God keeps his promises

This is something I wrote nearly five years ago, and I stumbled upon it a few days ago. Well, I say that I wrote it, but reading it back after all these years I have quite another idea where those words came from. I read it again with a sense of awe and amazement. My heavenly Father was there then, and He is here now.

God keeps His promises. He does what He says He will do. If you've ever doubted it, please listen to me: I know He does. 

He keeps His promises.



Dear Helen

Did you think I didn't see? 

I gave you a glimpse of your future self and I watched as you gazed with such longing at the woman that I showed you.   It was to encourage you; to give you hope. To reassure you that we have business, you and I, and I will not let you down. There will be a day when you look back and realise how far you have come.

*****


Continued over at The Association Of Christian Writers' blog, More Than Writers, where I contribute on the 23rd of each month.  

Come and say hello? 



Friday, 14 April 2017

The weight of the world

Good Friday.

Good because we know the wonder that happened on that lonely hill outside Jerusalem, but I can't imagine there were many people there who thought that what was going on was good.  There might have been some, perhaps, who thought they'd got rid of you, solved a problem, but when it came down to it even the soldiers holding the hammer and nails looked and listened to you on the cross and concluded that you were something special.

What must you have gone through?  The agony of rejection, the agony of crucifixion, the agony of the moment that God the Father had to turn away from you. How is it possible that you went through with it at all?

Nobody has ever surpassed the Romans for devising a more excruciating manner of execution; indeed, that's where the word comes from. What a thing to be renowned for: straight roads, plumbing, torture.

Gasping for breath.  Pushing up on the nails in your feet to relieve the dislocating pressure on the shoulders and hands before sinking down again when your muscles betrayed you. Blinking blood and sweat out of your eyes, lifting your head a moment and feeling the thorns pressing into your scalp. the torn and raw skin and muscles of your back against the splintered wood of the cross.  The exhaustion and loneliness. The humiliation of nakedness in front of your mother, your friends, your enemies. And then the dark, dark emotional anguish when your isolation became complete; the Father, with whom you had always been completely in tune, was nowhere to be found. 

You had the weight of the world on your shoulders at that moment and you must have been desolate.

Everything that was bad, corrupt, evil or rotten was laid upon you when you became the perfect sacrifice; the sacrifice to end them all.

You hung there and asked forgiveness for the people that did that to you even as you suffered.

You were afraid - you were human. In Gethsemane you came before the Father and asked if there was another way, could there be another way? - and yet you went through with the Plan because you knew that there wasn't.

What can I say?  There's nothing I can do that is enough to thank you, and you know that. You did it anyway. There's no way that I can repay you - and you know that. You died for me anyway. I am forever in your debt. 

Lord Jesus Christ, thankyou for that Good Friday. 

When I see a film or read a book that tells of your passion I am moved to tears. I can't stand to watch because they are torturing and murdering someone I love. And what adds another layer of awfulness is when I realise that you allowed it to happen, for my sake. You didn't have to do it; at any time you could have called in an army of angels who would have lifted you back to your throne and struck down those who hurt you. You could have called down fire and hail and razed Jerusalem to the ground but you let them drive nails through your hands and feet before they lifted you up and mocked you. You chose to go through with it.

Lord, never let me reach a place where those scenes don't move me. I never want to feel that it is not the world-changing thing that it is. I never want it to be familiar, routine.  I want to hold this feeling of awe and wonder - and horror - in my heart forever.

I want to remember that I was responsible for what happened to you so that I can never forget the magnitude of the forgiveness that you have given me. If I no longer feel the awfulness then I can no longer feel the astonishment. If I don't perceive the depths of my need for forgiveness then I can't appreciate the vastness of your love. 

You died for me. You loved me so much that long before I even turned to you, you thought me worthwhile enough to die for.

'Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget
I will not forget you.
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands'.

(Isaiah 49:15-16)

My name is on the palms of your hands. They were pierced by nails and bled because of it.

I give you my tears and my wonder and my awe and my love. My guilt I don't have to give you because you lifted it from me on the day that you died. It was heavy, I know, but you are strong. 

My God, you did that for me. 


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Psalm (of Helen) : A mission statement

Gentle readers, may I beg your indulgence with this post; I set out to write a psalm, without first making much of a study on how the psalms were written, and I know that there are scholars among you who know and understand things like structure, metre, the little couplety thing that many of the psalms have and so on.  This will clearly fall far short.

My offering below is probably neither a psalm nor a poem, but a kind of outpouring from the heart in the rough style of the psalmists at their most raw and un-poetic. I don't think God is offended by the awkward and unskilled, and this felt important to me. It just wanted to be said.

As a writer who has - and is - struggling to understand what I am called to do, to find a niche, so stop speak, this seems the very bottom line in why I keep opening my laptop and stringing words together even when frequently I feel like giving up for good. I have tried so many different things, nothing seems to fit, and I come back time and again to this one truth: I want to write about Jesus.

I promise I won't often try to do it in verse.

This is what happened when I splurged it all out. I wanted to share it with you.




Continued over at The Association of Christian Writers' Blog, which is called More Than Writers. Please come and have a look around. There are things that are really worth reading. 





Thursday, 23 February 2017

Things you already knew

God loves you. 

You know that, don't you?  Of course you do; this is the ACW, after all. We are in the business of writing, yes, but more than that, we're Christians. At some point we've heard about and responded to God's love.

We probably know John 3:16 by heart:
' For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'  
God loves you. He does. Jesus died to clear the way of sin and rubbish so that we could live in relationship with him, here on earth, and later on for eternity. He loved us so much that when things went badly wrong he organised a rescue plan to remove all obstacles between us. 

He wants us to be together. He enjoys spending time with us. He created us for his pleasure and he didn't want to lose us, even when we turned our back on him and told him we were not interested. 

You get that? Yes? 

Continued over at the Association of Christian Writers' blog, More than Writers, where I post on 23rd of each month. Come over and read the rest of this and then have a look around. 



Banana image courtesy of the School Photo Project. The ones in my fruit bowl were less than photogenic.
For pictures of fruit and much click here.



Monday, 23 January 2017

Unseen forces and beautiful vegetables

Our youngest daughter is doing a project on magnetism at school. This weekend she's been creeping round the house with a large magnet stabbing it at random metal items to see if they'll stick. Radiator, yes. Teaspoon, yes. Grandma's glasses, no. Thankfully.

This thing happened, and the angels were watching with a smile on their face.

My husband, PhD in physics, always delighted when the girls show an interest in something scientific (he's given up on me) got out a very sensitive set of kitchen scales. He placed a key on the scales and then slowly lowered the magnet over the key from above.

The key weighed 17g. As the magnet got closer, closer, the key weighed less and less.

14g...11g... 9.25g... 5.67g...

At 4.3g, the key jumped up to meet the magnet. Whoof. Just like that.



Continued over at the Association of Christian Writers' blog, which is More Than Writers. Please join me over there; I post on the 23rd of every month, and there's loads of wonderful stuff on all the other days, too.


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