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a pure love, 1

21 Feb
they, purely, so, loved me

a wedding, jeff&ellice

18 Feb
Ellice&Jeff

on the occasion of their wedding 13th february 2021
This prayer comes the principles of Romans 12 version of The Message. From Paul, speaking by the spirit to a new community,
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Lord, have Ellice and Jeff’s embraces this day and all embraces going forward be with your hands and theirs joined together as one. Allow their love to be fuelled daily by yours; their touch of others be by your spirit; bless the day as the first of many love offerings, many days of love, for each other, for friends and families and for you Lord Jesus.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Ellice, Jeff, as your lives daily grow and develop, embrace your changes, individually, together and in your shared communities. From Mexico to Brooklyn; from Wisconsin and Iowa; from Colorado to California; – love ‘quickly’ with all His power working alongside and with all your gifts. Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Play ‘second fiddle’ – jeff love ellice as our Lord loves his church; ellice honour, respect jeff as Christ’s personal gift to you.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, … pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. 

In love, in your love jeff, ellice, weep with those who weep; rejoice with those in joy. Feel others always.

Finally, as you have both lived by the generous Spirit in the past, continue to do so sacrificially in all your future coming ‘today’s’ 

Discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.

Jeff, Ellice may generous love infuse you from your joined new life. Blessed be your love.

Blessed be Jeff and Ellice.

job 41, an epilogue, epithumia

12 Feb
a leviathan

“I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs, (12) NIV

and…

Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.’(8) KJV

After a catalogue of His, the Lord God’s creations, ( both great and small ) Job is given, handed, the Leviathan, a sea monster to consider.

A most fearsome creature – Job is to see and touch; to hear and to imagine anew.

An entire chapter (41) is devoted to this Leviathan, this monster and its limbs. Why?

Because we all, have monsters who have scared us. And we, in our fears, in our suffering, treat, recreate these monsters as sacred relics, as idols that we worship in both fear and love.

We epithumia – over love – over fear – by our natures. https://www.blogos.org/exploringtheword/GG-epithumia-desire.php

I have ‘over loved’ the concept, the desire, of being seen, loved, heard and touched.

Job hears of all his monster’s limbs. This Leviathan is now his. His worst imaginings have shape and form. It is his and he also belongs to this Leviathan.

I belong to my desire. And it couldn’t be stated better for me than in Proverbs 19: 22,

“What a person desires is unfailing love”

Betrayed by parents, wife, church, friends, my own body, I so desire love, an unfailing love. My desire is epithumia; a desire that could my a wonder, but also can – and has been – a white whale, a Moby Dick.

How can Job, and I, deal with Leviathans? Verse 8 tells us to reach our hand out, to touch him. By doing so I identify my fear, know it, face it. Then, I must remember my past battles with my monster.

I don’t have to live in the past; but I must be able to remember how they felt. How they still, at times, feel. But I ‘do no more.’

They are there, a memory, but no longer an essential part of me, an all controlling desire. An epithumia. It is …

There, there, but not my heart, my mind, my life.

Job was becoming his suffering. But the Lord God speaks to him about the Leviathan last of all creation. He speaks so Job can heal. In Job’s last and only words to the Lord, he heals by saying,

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’

    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,

    things too wonderful for me to know.

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job has seen and heard beyond his desire: he sees God, not the Leviathan. Not himself.

The blind, see; the deaf, hear.

And I have to do no more than see Jesus.

questioning job, answered, reborn -part 2 of 2

10 Feb
Job sees

the Lord God’s response to the question on, of suffering


After much waiting, and even more advise, counsel, from friends, Job hears from the Lord God. Job does not see God, but he hears from the storm, from the whirlwind,
‘Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?” Job 38: 1-3

God asks ‘who is this’? Not because he has forgotten Job or He does not know who has been speaking, questioning, praying to Him. God is asking ‘who’ because he desires Job to pause and consider and perhaps, if needed to, pause again and ask himself: who am I ? who is this?

And the Lord God answers this ‘who’ question within the frame of the whole  inquiry: Job obscures the Lord’s plans with words; with questions and complaints; with cries and silent groans; with grief over a wives, and children’s passings. 

Where, what were these plans? This is the first incident of Job’s actual interaction with the Lord. There had been no dreams or signs, messengers or prophecies.

God’s plans and words are, have always been, in the events touching Job: his seven unnamed sons’ deaths; his unnamed three daughters’ deaths; his ashes and sores; his household destroyed and in rubble. His friends’ questioning Job’s walk. He is alone with suffering.

Suffering is the Lord and he walks with Job. This is the plan. Hearing the Lord’s voice Job understands and speaks,

Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job now sees the Lord God in his suffering.

His post traumatic stress has become and is now becoming his post traumatic growth. Job grows; he sees.

He grows, he sees, he trusts. Job faith comes by seeing suffering, his suffering as God’s plan for him.

Job suffers and sees.

questioning job, answered, reborn -part 1 of 2

6 Feb
Job’s eyes, wide, shut

The Book of Job begins with angels and Satan before God in the heavens. A question comes, ‘Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Our Lord asks, asks a question of which he surely knows the answer. Satan has been probing, roaming, the earth. And he has been watching Job. And then, then, Lord asks Satan another question,
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

What is God saying?
He is saying – Adam fell; Eve fell with him; Cain was overcome, mastered by sin; Abel fell, murder in his innocence; sin roams the earth. Noah’s earth needs a washing, a cleansing. Why?

Sin was in “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time”. ( Genesis 6:5 )

Satan is covering all the earth with evil. His evil. All is touched, all, except for Job.
Job fears the Lord, lovingly. Job shuns, shakes off evil, he belongs to God, wholly, and without a question.
But the Evil One believes that evil begets more, even greater evils. He believes that he can plant questions in ‘the thoughts of the human ( Job’s ) heart.’ And these questions will beget more questions:

  •  does the Lord God truly love me?
  •  why are all these horrible things  happening to me?
  •  why is there suffering, death? here?        why? 
  •  why?

and so, God gives Job over to Satan’s heart, to the Evil One’s thoughts, devices, imaginings. Only for a time and Job’s life is be safe. But his life becomes now one of questions, questions without answers.
Job will need, require an answer.

Tomorrow in part 2 of ‘questioning job,’ we will feel the answer. Feel it with Job.

We will be with Job.

with job.

abram, abraham, our first steward

2 Feb
Abraham’s camels

the first steward


The first steward wasn’t Adam.


Adam was created by Elohim and was assigned by him to be God’s Steward over Eden, over creation.
Adam had no choice. Not in his creation ; not in his assignment.


Abraham was, is, God’s first steward. He and Yahweh had a walkthrough broken sacrifices; they had a walk outside the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah. The spoke together; bargained together; Abraham was to be a steward, God’s first steward,
And what was Abraham to manage, oversee? He was to hold and develop the first blessing: a fatherhood, a parenting, me.
Let’s look at the first utterance, the origin of fathers and mothers,
God’s blessing to Abraham is recorded in Genesis 12:1–3:

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.’”

Abram agrees. He accepts to be the Lord’s steward over this blessing, to ‘be a blessing’, when he hears, when he listens to Yahweh. So, he leaves Harran, the place of household idols ( Joshua 24 ) and goes…


‘By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.’
Hebrews 11: 8

So,

Abram ‘obeyed.’


He obeyed by leaving Harran.
He agreed by walking through broken sacrifices. ( Genesis 15: 1 – 21 )
He listened – while in great distress – to Sara and banished Ishmael and Hagar, ( Genesis 21: 14 )
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son of the blessing promise, Issac. ( Genesis 22 )
And he trusted his unnamed steward to find a wife for his son Issac. ( Genesis 24 )

Abraham is the first steward because he grows; he is in process and accepts his path, though he knows not where it leads.

And where does Abraham’s journey end? It ends with, in, Jesus .
In Galatians 3 Paul speaks of faith’s journey, Abraham’s walk, his trust, our blessing,


He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.’ ( 14 )

As Abraham, we are all God’s, Elohim’s stewards. We steward his blessing, by faith, by being a Jesus’ blessing to others, to all.

Abraham is the first; the father of many nations; as vast as sand, as real as night stars. Blessing is stewardship.

And it comes through Abraham and Issac; through Jacob; and by Joseph. And , finally, through Jesus. And now, through us, by sharing spirit filled faith to another, to others.

We, as Jesus’ stewards, are to receive, hold and share the blessing. As Abraham and Issac held it for a time, so are we to. We do not own it. No one does. Why?

For the blessing, for Jesus, is love. One can own love, this blessing. One can only share it; steward love; give it to others.

One, by faith, can only be it: can only be love.

Be love’s blessing. Be his blessing.

sara, sarah’s cave

29 Jan

sarah’s cave, Genesis 23

her cave, my tent

And Abraham rose up from before his dead …

He holds her, his Sarah, once, just once. Old, ancient in his hands and knees, Abraham holds his heart, his Sara, Sarah, with hands, fingers that ache, pain filled memories come as he holds her. The times he failed her, betrayed her to others. No other man’s hands live for her now, …

And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites, “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” ‘

….that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” ‘

Abraham has moved from holding, seeing, remembering his beloved to , now, after his floods of memory, to not wanting to see her again. Ever.

Trees surround Sarah’s cave. No longer to be seen….

‘So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites.’

Yet.., his memories can’t, won’t be buried. Yet, perhaps he, Abraham would speak, pray,

so sorry I fail you so; from silences; to letting, to thinking deceptions; from my love without limits to my limited feelings

our tent, our cave, our live

sarah’s tent

29 Jan

sarah’s tent

from Genesis 24, “Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

in sarah’s home, a palace of

rich fabrics, soft fabrics, generous

loving and painful moments, where

her child, her one & only child – Issac, was

conceived in faith, within

her old age, & with,

with Abraham’s broken,

ruined

body,

it is her tent, within

after hearing of the coming promise

she laughs inwardly at the Lord God’s promise, yet, after

hearing,

she invites

her husband to leave his tent once more, once again, to

enter hers,

sarah’s tent is all she has to

give

a son, her laugh, her poem, sarah loves Issac; her tent, home

she leaves him this, her

tent, her beauty, her life

when Issac 40 weds Rebekah, it is here & sarah, though

passed,

blesses him, her, them with

faith, a covering, a

tent

her tent

Soul

20 Jan

a new year’s thought

so, the creator of ‘Soul’ spoke on how he formed, framed, birth it from a story by Herbie Hancock hitting a ‘wrong’ note playing with Jazz master Miles Davis,
here’s part of the quote:

“Miles took a breath and he played some notes and it made my chord right,” said Hancock. “It sounded like magic to me. It took me years to figure out what actually happened. Here is what happened: Miles just accepted it as new and he did what any jazz musician should always try to do – to make anything that happens into something of value.”

‘breathless,’ acts 9

9 Jan
breathless


And Saul, yet breathing of threatening and slaughter to the disciples of the Lord, having gone to the chief priest,
2 did ask from him letters to Damascus, unto the synagogues, that if he may find any being of the way, both men and women, he may bring them bound to Jerusalem.‘ YLT


I love watching movies, TV, with my Priscilla. She concentrates so, she squinches her face up in a lovely architectural frame. And then I begin:

first, an obvious question followed by another and another. Presently, I have to raise my hand quietly, wait patiently for Priscilla to call on me with my one question for the evening.

Yes, today, now I only get one question an evening. A breathe.

Saul had no such limits. His life, his breathe, was words, murderous ones, flowing swiftly, constantly from Jerusalem to Damascus. He, as me on my worst days, could not stop talking.We live in times of copious, various and plentiful words, of numerous breathes. People speak and speak; they blog and tweet; we FaceTime and FaceBook. Our society through Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok breathes each and every moment and thought as they rise.

Some of us have become so enslaved, so addicted to our phones/I pads that it would take a miracle for me, for us, to pause and rest; to slow breathes and reflect.


And we can not listen as we are always in dialogue: either internally speaking or externally, our words are constantly ‘steaming,’ breathing.

Saul had the same breathes. His purpose was to threaten and murder. He could not be quiet. I picture him ‘tweeting’ each step to Damascus. Till Jesus stops him.

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything’
Acts 9: 3 – 9

Saul says no words, sees nothing, for 3 days, except this one question: “Who are you, Lord?“

Sitting in absolute darkness and quiet, Saul listens and hears. He is no longer a murderer, but a rescuer; no longer a danger but safety; no longer a Saul but Paul.

For our country, the United States of America, to be changed, transformed, redeemed, we must pray that the Sauls in our midst, those who can’t stop speaking murder, be transformed by Jesus, not us, but Jesus, to Pauls.

Prayer, deep, deep prayer, transforms people and things; institutions and individuals.


Jesus, on his cross, prayed for Sauls. He used his last breathe, he became breathless so we could breathe. So, I pray, ‘Jesus, save, have mercy on me, on my Sauls. My country.”

“Breathe new life into my country. Into me.”

Breathe.