Love divine…

Come down, O Love divine!
seek thou this soul of mine
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.

The words of this well known hymn just popped into my head as I woke this morning. I have to say that this is not a usual occurence, but I always take note when it does!

The opening words of the hymn immediately focus our attention on the Holy Spirit; God’s active agent in the world and in our lives. The hymn reminds us that it is the Spirit who makes real the love of God in our hearts and souls; now and forever.

I simply want to leave you with the opening words, and allow you to experience love Divine.

The Lord bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you.

All you need is love…

The opening words of the Beatles song. But why the photograph of the sculptured rock to accompany the words? Have I taken leave of my senses, or am I just filling in time as I decide what to write?! So many questions and so little time. Shall I just leave it with you and let you draw your own conclusions? It would be an interesting exercise I’m sure.

We came across a whole group of wind sculptured stones in the Danby Forest in Yorkshire; they are very impressive and I used another photograph for a blog, last year. There’s a very powerful sentence in the Apostle John’s First Letter; ‘In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us…’ Rock solid, no ifs, ands or buts. Assurance guaranteed!

We move and change moment by moment. , but God does not. If I sense that God is far from me, who’s moved!? This is a lifetime journey of understanding which carries on beyond this existence. All we need is to experience the love of God. Solid, unchanging, open, giving, everlasting…now and forever…

Ask…

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.‘ The words of Jesus. Reassuring and going to the heart of our relationship with God. Through the good times in life, and the more challenging times.

In times of difficulty I have often found myself unable to express the thoughts and hopes and fears that are in my mind and heart. I can try and rationalise everything, but still the nagging worry and sometimes fear, become the dominant voices in my head.

Jesus’ words above are not given to avoid what may be happening in our lives, but they are offered as a means of resetting our compass. In the stormy times of life it can seem as though someting is being done to us, which we cannot change. But what Jesus encourages us to do, is to ask, first of all. The acknowledgement of what is lurking in our hearts; the positive and negative. Not asking into the middle of an empty space, but straight into the heart of God. The seeking and finding go hand in hand.

God’s love given to our days and moments, whatever they are. The final movement is the almost physical ‘knocking’ onto a real door. But this door opens into the heart of God, every moment of every day.

What ever you face today, please remember these words of Jesus, whose love towards us knows no bounds.

Shepherd….

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

It’s a well known part of the Psalms in the Old Testament, and the opening words capture perfectly the love of God towards humanity.

Here goes!… ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want…’ (Psalm 23 verse 1)

Lost, found, gathered, guided, the list is endless in its scope;

The weaving of the lives,

of both shepherd and sheep.

Trust and guidance, midst hope and fear;

the guiding staff, pointing the way.

Beyond horizon, just out of sight

are the new possibilities

of trust and hope,

fulfilment and peace.

The longing of the soul,

mirrored in the wandering of the sheep.

Needing vision and assurance

and illumination of the next step.

I shall not be in want.

Captured by new horizons

and possibilities yet to be born.

The earth is the Lord’s..

I’d like to start with the opening words of Psalm 24; ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it’. Simple, straight to the point and memorable!

We live in times of uncertainty. It is massively reassuring to hear these words of the Psalmist written so long ago. The starting point draws us to a truth that sometimes is hard to fathom, even though we want to believe it!

Doubt goes hand in hand with faith and allows us to question and try to understand and believe. The bold statement of the Psalmist comes form the heart of simple faith. We live in a complex world that pulls us one way or another. We just have to allow ourselves to stop, and ‘still’ the chatter. As I look at the photograph it draws me in to the heart of creation; life, growth, water, earth, gift, blessing, thankfulness, hope…the list could go on!

Let the words of the Psalmist speak to your heart and soul….nothing is lost, or forgotten. You are precious in God’s sight, as is the whole of Creation. Take that thought into the rest of your week.

Blessings and peace and confidence be yours!

Serenity

Photo by Paula Schmidt on Pexels.com

A word that speaks of a profound peace. The empty chair in a completely white room with a shadow in the corner.

Serenity is probably a word that we tend not to use a lot. Possibly, because we spend most of our days in rushing about, either physically or mentally, and missing the inner part of our humanity; our connectiveness with our Creator.

We need to be stimulated and busy and doing. There’s a saying that came from the pen of the American theologian; Reinhold Niebuhr….’God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’

There is something deeply profound in these words. Take time to try to learn and remember the words and let them occupy a space in your daily thought life. If you can find a moment to reflect make a note of the words and impressions that pop into your thoughts. Offer them to God, as a gift to the Creator.

Signs

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Signs are an important part of our lives. Above, is a familiar sign which directs the bus driver to pull in and STOP! I’m reflecting on this because we need to be aware of the need that we have to simply ‘stop’. Even if only for a moment during the day.

It can often feel that stopping is wasted time. We have so much to do, from the moment we get up to the time we sleep. Even then, our dream life can be very busy!!

There are a multitude of signs that God uses in our lives. I’m convinced that they are ‘tailor made’ for each of us. A kind of ‘bespoke communication. from the Creator to the created.

What we are asked to do is to allow ourselves to be in a place where we can ‘tune in’. That is as varied for each of us, and in my experience, it can change during the day.

Yesterday I had a stop moment; it wasn’t a long time, just enough to allow myself yo gain perspective. Allowing God to speak into moments and thoughts and hopes and fears. There was no massive revelation, just that moment of connection. God does’nt move, we do; I do, all the time. Trains of consciousness need to be ‘parked’ and slowed down. A recurring thought may be the stopping moment, that God gives us, and wants us to focus on.

May your ‘stopping moments’ be fruitful!

Surprise!

Looking though photographs on my computer the other day, I came across this, which somewhat took my breath away, The glass cross was made for us a couple of years ago and is set in a piece of driftwood. The two glass figures are placed in exactly in the right place as the light catches them and the cross to produce a wonderful silhouette on the wall.

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. The words that are resounding in my head. I know that I’ve used these words of Isaac Watts before, but I often come back to them in my own journey, and I want to offer them to you, along with the photograph, for your own reflection today.

Enough said; I’ll leave you to contemplate in your own time.

Ending……

The setting sun has always drawn my attention. The myriad of changing colours and the blaze of light before the darkness descends. It is so easy to ‘get lost’ in the moment and let your soul be drawn to the Creator of all.

As I write this I seem to have gained a smile! Thankfulness, contentment, the assurance of the creative work of Maker of all. ‘Everyting is held within the love of God’, is what plays in my mind. I want to carry that thought into this day and I offer it to you, for your journey.

One of the most profound times in my life was the realisation that God’s love was infinite; without end or boundary. This is sometimes difficult and unexpected, beacuse we live with boundaries and limits. Sadly we then imprint this on our view of and understanding of God.

Take a moment to catch the implication of what this might mean for you. We live in the boundless love of God, but to be honest I miss it, most of the time. Lets start observing and listening and hearing.

It might change our lives!