Tag Archives: love

Advent 3, his coming — ‘Jesus wept.‘ John 11: 35

10 Dec

Advent is a time for the church and its people to prepare. As John the Baptists, we sit in the dark winters of life, meditating and reflecting; praying and preparing. We try to prepare a way to Jesus incarnate, so we can see and hear Him as he comes. As He came.
He, our Messiah, came as a baby. As a child he started life as all children begin: to receive life and love. Yes, babies give joys but in truth, as their lives begin, they really can only receive.
How, what do they receive?
They receive food and milk; love and endearing human touches; they are carried and gently rocked to sleep. They receive and if they need a nappy change, food, or a touch they cry.
The baby Jesus must have cried. Though we see the adult Jesus cry deeply only once. He cries at his friend’s Lazarus’ death. Here is John’s narrative of that moment,

John 11: 32 – 35
“ When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

John just writes, ‘Jesus wept.’ Simple and specific. An action left open to our imaginings, what type of tears? Did our Lord groan, cry out? Or did close His eyes and weep in darkness?

For me it is enough to know that Jesus cried, that He wept.

Though he knows he will raise Lazarus, Jesus still cries because he feels. He feels the brokenness and sorrows death brings; He cries for the loss of fellowship; He weeps gently and angrily, and he cries also for me. His tears are for my hurts and rejections; for my failures and mis steps.

I can love because He first loved me. 1 John 4: 19

I can weep for He first wept over me.

Jesus came to teach us to weep as children cry when they see injustice and evil ; sorrows and lost; the broken and the hurting.

He loves us so, He weeps

My prayer: help me to cry as you cry My Lord…help me to love as you loved

Everlasting arms

3 Mar

Book of Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”.

Open hands …. Genesis 32; 33. Esau, Jacob’s open arms

33: 4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.

Jesus arms are open. Open on the cross open to displease and children; open to sinners and tax collectors; open to broken families and siblings. And open to you and me.

Why? Why does the God of the universe become vulnerable, so very vulnerable to all?

He does so to model to us how we can daily defeat, overcome, sins, besetting sins in our lives.

Jacob had cheated his twin Esau out of both Esau’s birthright and blessing. His actions led to breakage: cracks are in formed in his family and his heart. For twenty years he works in and for another man ( Laban ) household and wealth. He is cheated out of life and love. He responds by deceiving and manipulating others. Till he goes to meet his twin Esau, the brother who desires to murder him.

Facing this reunion moment, this, his greatest fear, Jacob moves,

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”So he named that place Mahanaim.

Angels met Jacob. They open their appearance to him. He sees them. He sends his family and possessions ahead and alone, he prays.

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

Jacob sees in his prayer not just angels, but himself. He sees his sin; his lack of worth, his fear. Yet he also sees and hears and remembers the promise of his God: his descendants will be vast. He will live.

His arms open to wrestle an angel that same night. He does not let go even thought his hip is wrenched so badly that he will limp the rest of his life. And now he will meet his elemental fear, Esau.

Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2 He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.

4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.

Esau runs to love his brother, to embrace his Jacob with open arms. And Jacob is ‘running’ too. Each painful step is his embrace of the pain he created; each step is a reminder of the blessing of love: his brother’s and his family; of his wives and his angel. Of his Lord; of everlasting open arms.

Jesus’ arms is open to heal, to embrace, to love. Within the arms of Jesus, Jacob can run.

a wedding, jeff&ellice

18 Feb

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.

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


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.

I walk

31 Dec


5 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love,

my, lord, walk , walk in love

we can, I can …

2 Aug

I can love, because He first loved us, me… 1 John 4:19

I can sing because he first sang over me, Zephaniah 3: 17

I walk because he walks with me, Enoch 5: 21 -24 & Ephesians 5: 1 – 2, Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us

I cry, because He cries over me, over all, John 11:35 & Hosea 11: How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.

I will be resurrected, rise again, because he rose on a third day, Romans 6:5
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Resurrection,-Of-Believers

I can love because he walks and sings; because he cries and loves. And I can because he first, first, loved, and still loves me.

Philemon; the first of 3 studies

2 Oct

Design for relationship, a study with Philemon’

Purpose: the purpose of this relationship study is to deepen the understanding and character of each participant by providing an enriching experience with a biblical perspective.

Overview of study:

·         This study is in 3 sessions. The first session is composed of reading the Letter of Paul to Philemon and the church that meets in Philemon’s house. There are three versions of this Letter: NIV; The Message; Yong’s Literal Translation. Ideally, all three translations of this letter are read in the first session. In short, the NIV is a standard accessible translation; The Message gives a ‘looser, big picture’ view of the Letter to Philemon. Young’s Literal is very word specific. These translations give a range of readings of this one complete-though short- (25 verses) of a book in the Bible.

·         The principle under-gridding this study is reading the word, washing one self and others, in His word. This is for the purpose of building a deeper relationship with the word and character/heart of God. Reading (and rereading) of this short Letter should take place at the beginning of each session. All three should be read out loud in a shared reading by all participants inly in the first session.

The study has 6 component parts:

a.      Bible passage-

b.      introduction/ background

c.       essential questions

d.      unpacking the Bible passage

e.      closing connection

Outline for the first session:

– Bible passage

Chorally read the three translations out loud. Divide the readings equally among all participants. (If you are doing this study as an individual, still read all translations out loud. Why? The principle is to wash oneself and others in the word. Reading out loud somewhat stops your heart or mind wandering.)

-introduction/ background

background –

Paul is writing from a Roman prison. During his time in chains he has shared the Gospel of Jesus with a runaway slave whom he probably had some knowledge of from Colossi, Onesimus. Philemon was the owner of this household slave and had a church meeting in his house. Undoubtedly, Onesimus took something from the house and travelled a great distance to escape being a slave. Paul has convinced him to go back and be received as a Christian brother in Philemon’s household.

Addition background here, http://www.christianinconnect.com/philemon.htm

-essential question

Listen for what stands out, similarities or differences in the translations.

Essential question: What is the one thing, one image, one thought, one word that stands out to you? Write it down here:

-unpacking the Bible passage

Answer the ‘why’ question: Why does this one thing, image, word stand out to you? Write down your response here:

Now in your group, share your ‘why’ responses in turn

closing connection

Pray for His Spirit to give you time to read this passage in all three translations at least twice more this week. Something like, Lord, wash me and I will be cleansed. Wash me in your word; your time; your thoughts; your Spirit.

Bible passage-