Tag Archives: faith

Lent 8

Can stones be Bread?

In this wilderness,
can stones be bread
to meet the needs of self;
make sure my flesh is fed?
I take my own steps
to ensure my wealth

After a long time of deprivation,
am I my weakest, or strongest?
Loss and disappointment
will not beat me, nor wear me down,
but ensure that I will not bow
or submit my heart’s passion
to anything short of
my own highest call.

Spiritual ministry arrives.
The battle was almost
more than I could bear.
But I did not bow the knee.

March 5th, 2012.

Matthew 4:5-12 (NIV)
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:  “‘He will command his angels concerning you,  and they will lift you up in their hands,  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Lent 7

Worthily lamenting our sins

Do I indeed lament my sins?
Do I return again and again
to the things that brought
pain, sadness and shame?

“Create in me a pure heart,
oh God and renew
a steadfast spirit
within me.”

“Against you,
you only have I sinned
and done what is evil
in your sight.”

When I can begin to pray like that,
it shows that I am not satisfied
to remain sitting in my sin.

“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.”

I am beginning to think differently about this all.  When I ask God to blot out my sin, it is not only a request that he remove the stain of sin from my account – to pardon me from past sins.  I am also asking him to wash away my sinfulness; to soak up the sin in my life. Lord forgive the sin that I have done and remove the sin from my heart. Remove the sin that I would do.  I am saddened for the sins I have committed and for the sins that I am committed to doing.
Clean it all away.

The cross is a killing place, not just a coat rack where I hang comfortable sins until the next time I need them.  I need to die to self — to self-interest, and begin, step by step, to agree with God; that He is good; that he can be trusted; that he has provided all that I need.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (Psalm 23:1)

When I choose selfishness and sin, I am disobeying Him. When I obey God, I Love him. Lord have mercy on us.  Strengthen us. We struggle to live in joy in your provision.


Lent 6

Subject: Fw: Angels

A friend sent me an email that contained the following:
“God is going to fix two things BIG tonight in your favor. DROP Everything and pass it on.  Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don’t break this chain. Send to 14 friends in 10 minutes. It’s not that hard. Whoever sent this to you must care about you.”

My response:

God sees us struggling with things, and God cares about our struggles.  He is not just sitting idly by. Many blessings are coming our way every day.

We all have ongoing things with which we struggle. God can turn things around instantly, if he chooses, but he knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I find rich blessings in having his presence with me as the struggles gradually get solved.  And in the few that seem never to get solved, God’s grace is enough to get me through those, too.

So, If tomorrow is the best day of your life, it won’t be because you didn’t break the chain. We cannot earn God’s favour. There is nothing we can do that will put him in a position of owing us anything. All the rich blessings we have are not because we deserve them.

If you have two BIG things that you want God to fix, DROP Everything and pray.  God knows what we need, and we partner with him when we pray.

I could go on about this, but not right now.

God bless you.

Lent 5

Malosa Secondary School Chapel, Malawi

Lent 4

God can choose to be “melodramatic” he can also work patiently with those who will not accept him readily.  God does judge sin, but face it – If God wiped out all those who sin, this would be an empty planet.

God judges sin, he changes hearts, and in the biggest surprise of all, He took the punishment for sin.

In this season of lengthening days, that we call Lent, let us search our hearts.

I especially like psalm 139:19 to the end: verse 19 starts with us saying: God get those bad guys.  Then we get to verse 23 – “Oh my God, search MY heart” and we finish up asking God to lead us in the everlasting way.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:19 – 24. NIV)

May God bless you this Lenten season.

Lent 3

A man I know is offended
at the term
‘miserable offenders’;
hates the references to sin
in the liturgy.

Yet how does he plan
to move through
God’s bright, searing purity
and touch his love?

Sin of omission
and sins of commission –
not that any one of us
is any more or any less
despicable than any other.

– just that God is pure,
and we are not –
this is universal.
God is good.
We sin.

We need to examine this,
putting our sin before him,
and be healed.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we
have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  (1 John 2:1 NIV)

Lent 2

Against You

Not in self-flagellation, but
Why return, time and again
To paths that lead to pain?
Why persist in not even
Aiming at the mark?
The desires of the heart
Are divided, at best,
Only in part seeking good;
At worst ignoring,
Not even caring to ignore
What is right
In your sight.
I examine myself.
In my inmost being,
I claim to cherish truth,
But hope not to have to act on it.

JM February 23, 2012

Lent 1

Lent 1
Brilliant sunshine
Black clouds
torrential rain

The covenant rainbow

Advent isn’t the only season
of light and dark
Of falling down and

getting up.

A mother’s tears
for the lost years
without her child.
Shame and self-blame;
What-ifs that she will wear

For a lifetime.

Why is there this darkness in my heart?
Why do I judge so harshly
the Nabals driving city streets,

and do just as they do?

Why has this pilgrim
Made so little progress?
If my youthful self
Could see my mature soul
He would recoil in despair,
Shocked at the sin,

Yet be amazed at the abundant grace.

JM Feb 2012

I love the Lent Prose (above) that the choir sang this evening at our Ash Wednesday service.