You are worthy of it all

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Jesus, you have won me and I will exult You.

Be encouraged, oh my soul, and look at Him, the  One who draws me into His all-sufficiency.

I will embrace the conviction and the leading of His Spirit..He is my only  guide as the Word and the Spirit converge and agree on the true and living way. “The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7

“On Your glorious splendour I will set my face
And watch You raise Your precious ones whose
Burdens are too heavy and too long carried.
“Call on Me!”: a saving grace and battle cry as You lift us to our feet,
Put Your words in our mouths,
Give us breath to speak them,
The will to say them,
And a heart that wants to.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desire
Of every living thing.
You are near to us when we call on You,
And the understandings of our heart
Bud, and blossom, and fruit
From the once dead dust of us.
And we will bless You and bless You and bless You,
In that never-ending embrace of Your love.”

Your will be done…..

listening to the sea   My mum  met Christ when I was a twenty-something  antagonist of anyone who said ‘praise the Lord’, and, most particularly, ‘Lord willing’. Hackles would rise and my inner commando would rise and let fly manifestos against shackles of the mind and restrictions to personal freedoms. Here I am , forty odd years later, and the two words that have emerged as words to live by are …Lord willing. I would be happily rambling on about our family plans and mum would gently, but firmly, interrupt and say “Lord willing dear.” This would drive me bananas and my answer would invariably include all possible variations  of “God gave me a brain.” Which He did, and which is in the process of being renewed by His word so I can know what is His good and pleasant will.  Jesus said “I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”  (John 8:28) and “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”  (John 5:19) I have learned that ‘hupakoe’, Greek for obedient, comes from ‘hupa’ meaning about or under and ‘akouo’ with meanings of hearing, listening and giving heed to. Even Jesus, ‘although He was a Son,  learned obedience ….. ‘ Hebrews 5:8. For me this has come to mean being under the authority of what I hear the Father saying to me, giving heed to those things and living out what He has revealed to me. “I will run after You with all my heart for You will make me Your obedient one” Psalm 119:32 the Passion Translation Papa God, I choose to listen to You. Make me a listening one. Mum will be very happy when I tell her how her quiet insistence  on giving over all our plans into His hands has changed how I now live.

I will meet Him on the mountain of Myrrh

 

 

smeared-sunset-matt-molloyphoto credit Matt Molloy

“Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh… to Him whom my soul adores”(Song of Solomon 4:6) and sing songs that awaken the dawn….

At this moment, sitting in this chair, typing these words, I can be with Him in that place where we meet, our place…just us two. Breathing in His sweetness , I am able to release the day and let it slip through my fingers. This is one reality of the  spiritual geographies we make with Jesus. The steps of the dance and the words of ‘our’ song.

These moments of heart to heart connection with my Lord keep me until that day when the Day does dawn and

I will meet Him
On the Mountains of Myrrh
Where the waters are sweet with the taste of His goodness
And wild, with the abandon of His grace
Where the meadows are rich bounty
And soft comfort
Where the Light pierces truly
And the Sword cuts swiftly
As He comes to meet me and His word is the exquisite fragrance
Of His whisper in my ear
As we dance together in the gathering dawn
And Love runs,
Swift and sure and forever.

Dorrigo Life Springs

‘For I know well the spring that flows and runs, although it is night’….

 

The traditional custodians of the land that is now known as Dorrigo are the  Gumbaynggirr nation. “They were renowned as the ‘sharing people’ because their land was so rich that food and other resources were commonly shared with other nations.” http://www.arrawarraculture.com.au/fact_sheets/…/01_Gumbaynggir_Nation.p…

Red Cedar brought the timber cutters in 1841 and the rich soil and good water ensured settlement by the 1860’s. The soil is a volcanic legacy and there are springs of water to be found all over this region.

John and I were exploring the network of lanes and roads that sashay through the  folded hills, green even in drought, and would often see water coming out of a hillside, and again around the next bend, and again. This is one reason our gathering is called “LifeSprings”. The image of God’s people used by Jeremiah, “they are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought”,  resonates in this physical geography.

Jesus gave us Himself as living water so we would never be thirsty again, and He gave us the Holy Spirit so that out of us would flow rivers of living water so that others could drink and live.

This poem, written by St John of the Cross who lived in the latter half of the 16th century, testifies of spiritual geographies that are no less real.

Cantar del alma que se huelga de conocer a Dios por fe

(Song of the soul that rejoices in knowing God by faith)

For I know well the spring that flows and runs,

although it is night.

1. That eternal spring is hidden,

for I know well where it has its rise,

although it is night.

2. I do not know its origin, nor has it one,

but I know that every origin has come from it,

although it is night.

3. I know that nothing else is so beautiful,

and that the heavens and the earth drink there,

although it is night.

4. I know well that it is bottomless

and no one is able to cross it,

although it is night.

5. Its clarity is never darkened,

and I know that every light has come from it,

although it is night.

6. I know that its streams are so brimming

they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth,

although it is night.

7. I know well the stream that flows from this spring

is mighty in compass and power,

although it is night.

8. I know the stream proceeding from these two,

that neither of them in fact precedes it,

although it is night.

9. This eternal spring is hidden

in this living bread for our life’s sake,

although it is night.

10. It is here calling out to creatures;

and they satisfy their thirst, although in darkness,

because it is night.

11. This living spring that I long for,

I see in this bread of life,

although it is night.”

 

Wisdom

daybreak

“when wisdom wins your heart and revelation breaks in, true pleasure enters your soul” Proverbs 2:10 the Passion Translation.

Why do I keep reading Proverbs? Because I want to have access to ‘the treasuries of true knowledge’. Learning to ‘demonstrate wisdom in every relationship’ is essential, as is the ability to ‘choose what is right and just and fair’. The metaphors for the maelstrom of insistent, conflicting voices that encompass us are fading into cliche, but the synonyms are useful: turbulence, tumult, turmoil, uproar, commotion, disorder, jumble, disarray, chaos, confusion, upheaval, seething mass, welter, pandemonium, bedlam, whirlwind, swirl etc.

Wisdom’s lyrics, God tells us, can be heard above the din ‘of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.’ We can walk with Wisdom whose ways are “the ways of sweetness’ and where we will find peace.(Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

Dorrigo LifeSprings Facebook

Come Away my Beloved

dancing against the dark

For Mother’s day 2014, one of my four daughters gave me “Come away My Beloved” by Francis J Roberts, a devotional on The Song of Songs. This,from the preface,has framed this series of reflections.”He who knows you by name and understands your deepest longings will speak to your heart from these pages,shutting out the world about you and bringing you into fellowship with Himself” FJR

day 1 The Call of Love

He spoke to my heart and said “My love for you is at all times as flame of fire…..lay thy head upon My breast and lose thyself in Me”

Reflection:

Dancing against the dark

This fire by night
This burning bush
This flaming living Love has found me in the pause between this and that.

The fire roars and dances against the dark.
Warm and bright, fierce and true.
The heat of His love melts me and
we become one, dancing against the dark”

Prophetic Artwork by Ineke Hopgood

Oh, how He loves us

His Banner over us is Love

Love is the banner which flies over the Kingdom of God. John the Beloved said in the first of his letters, “God is love”.

In the words of the urban dictionary, ‘love’ is spectacular, indescribable, and deeply euphoric.

Following this word trail…I do so love the power of words… euphoric is found to be “characterized by or feeling intense excitement and happiness. Synonyms being “elated, exhilarated, happy,  joyful,  joyous, delighted, gleeful, excited, animated, jubilant, exultant, ecstatic, blissful, rapturous, enraptured, rhapsodic, in rhapsodies” and  God has excited all of these emotions in me over the thirty five years of our betrothal. Yet I have memories of the days before that. Days when my Lord was  wooing me. Days of drive-through experiences of perfection and longing. One such day in 1975 or thereabouts, John and I were driving from Elanora Heights to Newport, both suburbs on the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia.  The sky was glowing aqua and merged with the ocean, I was in a bubble, suspended. My window was open; the wind was sweet, the air was tingling with anticipation, the trees were shimmying and it seemed like the whole, wide world was an explosion of joy ….perfection. Thirty nine years later and writing this, I remember other such times, glimpses into what I now recognise as the glory and wonder and delights of our God. He showed me in those moments that what I longed for was all around me, if I could see it aright. We are exploring  meanings here, and to see something ‘aright’ means to see it correctly or properly.

John the Beloved also said ‘God so loved the world that He gave’ what was beyond price so He could gain you. His love for you is spectacular, indescribable and deeply euphoric. His love is all around you, it holds you as He speaks to you. “Here I am, enjoy My love”

This is the banner under which we live, the principle that permeates God’s kingdom. “He brought me into His banqueting house and His banner over me is love” Song of Solomon 2:4

How blessed are we……

Dorrigo Life

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Dorrigo is a rural community, funded primarily by potatoes and cattle, sitting on a plateau fifty kilometres inland from the Pacific Ocean. The soil is rich, red and deep, the climate is friendly forty-six weeks of the year and the people are kind. There are the same challenges faced by any community, yet there is a buoyancy of spirit and a deep courage to be found in this place. The inspiration of crows-feet smiles and paddock-muddied boots in the face of too little rain for too long is easy to see as you walk down the street.
Some people avoid Dorrigo because of the drive up the mountain, the vision-impairing bends, the occasional exposure to uncertain edges, the narrowing of the way. This drive has become one of my favourite things; a metaphor for risk and reward…just like the people that populate the town where the mountain ends and the plateau begins.
My husband, John Woolhouse, pastors the Dorrigo LifeSprings Church and I am particularly happy that our life together has brought us here.

This blog is about the Kingdom of God, found in all places at all times and where there are geographies of risk and reward that reflect the nature of its King. . I am expecting extravagant  amounts of personal enjoyment in exploring this landscape.