Arise and Shine

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Again and again it echoes – ARISE.

Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Arise, arise, leave chains behind. Freedom is calling you higher. Rise up! Do not be silenced. The Lord is calling you to speak His words.

Arise. Shine.

It matters not how big your light, only if you will raise it high and let it bring the life I meant it to bring when I put it in your heart. When the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot stand.

Arise. Shine.

Your eyes are now dimmed to the brilliance you carry, but My light will pierce through and you will see, along with every single person I work through you to touch.

Arise. Shine.

Do not be afraid to be seen or known. You were not meant to hide under a basket, but to be a city on a hill. I have honored and strengthened you to be a light to the nations.

Arise. Shine.

I am the light of the world, and you are My child of light and a new day. My light will break forth in you like the dawn and rise in the darkness as you loose the bonds of wickedness, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke.

Creation began when I called light to shine out of darkness, and even more do I shine My face in your heart that you may know me and see My glory. And as you behold My glory, I am transforming you into My image and bringing you into even greater glory.

So arise, My beloved child. And shine.

p. 1 – Isa 60:1

p. 2 – Acts 16:26, Acts 4:19-20, 1 Pet 4:11

p. 3 – John 8:12, John 1:5

p. 4 – Psa 36:9, 19:8

p. 5 – Matt 5:14-15, Isa 49:5-6

p. 6 – Eph 5:8, Isa 58:6, 8, 10

p. 7 – 2 Cor 4:6, 3:18

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I Am Good

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A golden pen, inscribed with Love,
eternity’s ink flowing like liquid scarlet.
It glides across my heart like a mother’s caress,
like the joyful dance of a child,
like the sweeping baton of a seasoned conductor,
intimately acquainted with the song he leads.
I hardly feel its touch,
only the coolness of the declaration it speaks:

I Am Good.

How strange, these three words lying across my soul, but how comforting.
They begin to sink beneath the beating surface,
seeking the deep wounds
hidden so well, but unhealed.
The torn places that still leak dark blood,
layers upon layers of scabs,
each trying to protect the tender areas,
but pulling away and opening greater rifts.
These words soothe as they touch them,
first wiping away the blood,
then softening the scabs
until they reach the most sensitive interior of my pain.
I flinch, draw back.

  Don’t touch!
Not yours!
 Go away!

A new wave of divine ink billows in to refresh the first.

I Am Good.

No… How could you be?
There is so… much… pain…

I know. I feel it, too.
But I Am Good.

I want to believe,
but the throbbing is so immediate,
so distracting, so undeniable.
Slowly, the inky balm begins to melt gently into the gaping gash,
and the sharpness fades to an ache.

Could I believe?
Could I believe “I Am Good” here, in this suffocating place, as well as on the surface?
I release my tension and look up to see a ready pen,
waiting to pour out its trinity words of healing over an open heart.
I nod, and again they wash over me from the Love pen of God:

I Am Good.

I am poiema

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For we are his workmanship (poiema – masterpiece, fabric, work of art), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

YOU are His poiema!

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I am poiema.

I was hand-created, shaped and molded,
woven with threads of love
and known from the inside out.
When God saw me, He said that I was good.

I am poiema.

I was the broken china,
the shattered glass
that He so carefully re-placed into a
breath-taking mosaic of redemptive grace.

I am poiema.

The radiant reflection of Creator God
that sparkles with the joy of life,
shining the light of truth
into the shadows of desperation and despair.

I am poiema.

I am the Healer’s song
that sings hope and restoration
over wounded hearts
until they, too, can sing again.

I am poiema.

The Masterpiece of God,
created to showcase His glory and His nature –
to display his brilliant color
in a world of shades of gray.

I am poiema.

But until I die, the flower is just a seed.
The color remains unseen,
the fragrance unreleased.
I am the torch hidden beneath this jar of clay.
So break me, Lord.
Break me, that your Spirit may blaze upon me.

Sunset Above the Clouds

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They drift, like piled islands rising from the mist,
silently floating ‘neath the thin-stretched cotton above.
Brilliant sunlight bursts forth,
coating each billow in radiance,
kissing each soft roll with its gentle splendor.
The air is thin here, but the wind is strong,
Fluffing and tossing each white dune in turn.

The atmosphere is brazen with the setting sun,
the hazy sea below turning the color of Arabian sands,
the azure sky above enticing with its clarity.
The breeze is stroking the clouds now,
cat-like mounds purring under its caress
while the the sun beams out the warmth of a winter fire.

Crimson waterfalls plunge into nothingness
as we sink down toward the muddy patches of green and brown
that, expectant, wait for us to return.

Turn Your Eyes

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Turn your eyes to the past.
Not to mourn long-passed goodbyes,
nor to revisit the hurts of yesterday.
Not to run from the difficulties of today,
nor to hide in the warmth of reminiscence.
Turn your eyes to yesterday
to see the record of God’s faithfulness –
let yesterday remind you to trust Him for today and tomorrow.

Turn your eyes to the future.
Not to borrow troubles with your worrying,
nor to daydream of things without worth.
Not to waste your today in empty wishing,
nor to waste it in fearing what is yet to come.
Turn your eyes to tomorrow
in expectation of the fulfillment
of God’s promises and in partnership with God through prayer.

Turn your eyes to the present.
Not to be overwhelmed with its troubles or to-do lists,
nor to lose yourself in chasing its temporary pleasures.
Not to excuse your bad decisions,
nor to forget your past mistakes.
Turn your eyes to today
to see the everyday blessings of grace
poured out upon those who have eyes to see.

And above all, in past, present, and future –
when living in yesterday, today, or tomorrow,
Turn your eyes to Jesus:
the I WAS, I AM, and I WILL BE.
He, and He only, will ever be enough.

Alabaster Heart

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May I be the fragrance of purest nard –
my alabaster heart broken open,
a lavished fragrance you consider priceless
bathing your head and dripping onto the feet
that have faithfully walked beside me on this dusty road,
Every step a testament of how far you would go
to save me from this weak, stained self of sin.

My hopes and dreams I gladly waste on you,
though the world may scold, and sigh, and say,
“Such promise! Simply thrown away. How could she?”
But they can never understand that what I do,
this priceless gift of all I have and all I am,
can scarce return the depth of love found in your gaze.

Though wagging tongues mask blinded eyes, the words still sting,
and accusations to draw the heavy tears to mix with nard.
My heart’s dearest offering scorned and rebuked.
Then Your strong voice disperses clouds of judgment with a
“Leave her be. She has done the right.”

The Master is pleased. Lifting head, defying shame,
I see compassion that I know so well looking down at me once more.
I have received your heart and replied with my own.
I pour out my all before the Lover of my soul.

Resurrection’s Rejoicing!

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The last of a 3-day series about the Resurrection celebration. To start at the beginning, click here. These are written from the perspective of one of the women who walked with and cared for Jesus throughout his ministry, and were faithful to him through all the horrors, the pain, the confusion, and finally the joy of His victory over death.

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Hosanna to the Son of David! Oh save!
He is not dead! Glory be to God, he is not dead!
The death blow that we thought was our defeat was God’s final triumph!
I don’t even know how to feel – shocked? Confused?
But over it all is an inexpressible joy.
My beloved Teacher, my faithful friend, is alive!
He has proven himself once and for all as the Son of God,
and they could not kill him forever!

The stories of his birth tell of angels speaking, “peace on earth, goodwill to men,”
and it has come true this day!
Once again the angels come to proclaim him – Son of Man, Son of God.
Jesus – the one through whom God saves.
“He is not here. He has risen.” The greatest news of all!
And we have seen him, heard his voice again,
touched him with our own hands, and worshiped.
Now we must run to tell the others.
This my Lord commanded, and this my heart cries out to do.