Beware! Steep Descent

Remember the signs

When a pathway you choose

Remember the signs

Or in the poppies you’ll snooze

Remember the signs

When your way is not clear

Remember the signs

By their light, you can steer

 

But when there’s a day

That you look to the ground

Trudging on in your vision

With its limits and bounds

The fall may be great

But you’ll find from above

Grace and mercy were planted

A sweet cushion of love

5/7/202

1 John 2:1-2

NKJV

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And he himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

NIV

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.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

Rich Mullins

So if I stand let me stand on the promise

That you will pull me through

And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace

That first brought me to you

 

CS Lewis – Remember the signs        ‘The Silver Chair’ – Aslan

“…remember, remember, remember the signs.

Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs…I have spoken to you clearly…the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look…That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs.”

Deuteronomy             6:4-8                11:18-21         17:14-20

6:6-7

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the ways, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

 

Father’s Day 2017

A father gives life…

perhaps biologically, through forgiveness, by welcome acceptance, with love beyond reason

A father tunes in to a person…

similar, different, unique, valuable

A father recognises…

passions, fears, dreams, realities, potential, capacity

A father teaches…

The 3 R’s, repentance, responsibility, shoe laces, no training wheels, boundaries, honesty

A father models…

excellence, reliability, growth, consistency, faithfulness, sacrifice, generosity, trust, respect, integrity

A father needs…

his children, his grandchildren – those from himself, and those who came (or were brought) to himself

A father loves…

 


 

My father has been all of these things. Some done well; others falteringly; still others because of the nature of his relationship with my mother; there were those that stemmed from his design or own experience; and some of the most precious were those he learned, both deliberately and incidentally.

One of the greatest gifts in my life has been my father. But I’m luckier than most as my dad was also father and grandfather to others beside myself, and those I call mine.

Dad taught me to install a new gearbox and mix concrete by hand (though these were so long ago, I’m up for re-learning). I know how to use a shovel, spade and crow bar (including standing it in the ground so it doesn’t get too hot to hold in the Australian sun). With my dad, I have raised sheds (many a family bonding/dividing occurred during shed-raising), erected swimming pools and dug sewer trenches.

Dad taught me to fill in forms correctly, complete my own tax return, save money, and give it generously. I learned to drive with my dad beside me (and not to wreck his tires on rough edges!). I learned how to check my oil and water (even though I blew up an engine twice), and change a tyre – on EVERY car. I built airplanes, and drank beer from shot glasses in my dad’s shed.

I learned to search out information, truth and lies for myself – and what to do if I needed to find outside assistance. I learned I can surrender to and challenge authority when necessary, and that I will be recognised (and even heeded) when I do so.

I learned that even the unhealthiest of my choices will be respected, and I will always be welcome – even when I have rejected, betrayed and taken my dad’s love for granted. I learned that love has boundaries to protect it, and those that love has brought together.

I’ve watched my dad father those who were not of his own, but were his own just the same.

He has held their children, showed them how to grow to be men, walked them to their waiting life partner, comforted them while they waited for hospital care, helped them uncover some value in life when they could see none, showed them what a loving family looks like, given them a home, presented their funeral farewell, challenged their darkness, led them to light.

I don’t know who will read this, but for many of you he shared his food, gave up his sleep, shared his food, gave his time, shared his food, laughed with you, shared his food, provided his home, shared his food. Did I mention that he shared his food?

My father’s not perfect, but he has been perfectly wonderful for me. And I am exceptionally grateful.

 

I love you Dad!

Shepherding

Crisp and clear, morning begins.

As light becomes all encompassing, the fiery glow on increasing cloud…recedes.

The morning will be fresh, if not a little heavy, foretelling of an over-shadow later in the day.

The sheep must be moved on; this temporary shelter – house of sticks – will not suffice as the sun moves across the sky, the cloud and all its company rolling in.

A rousing call, tap a few tails with a crooks end, perhaps a flap of the arms now and then…they’re up and on the move.

They’ll need nourishment early; storms may rumble in sooner rather than later. Well-fed sheep will be better able to ride out storms later on.

A graze in this fresh green gully; water the flock down below; shelter from inclement weather amongst established trees, enclosed within the secure boundary of a holding yard.

Yet holding yards, shelter and nourishment alone are not enough. Keep watch! Alert to risk and danger; ready and willing to act, to rescue, to protect.

Gates and fences blow over, are damaged by falling limbs, rushing waters…the onslaught of varied weather – predictable and temperamental; and the passing of time – worn and weathered, weary of bearing weight and strain.

Wild animals will seek prey; there are those who would take the flock for their own.

The Chief Shepherd, possessor and nurturer of this flock watches and enables the under-shepherds to fulfill the call to care, attend, cultivate, keep and cherish.

These ones know the voice, direction and undertaking of their Shepherd. They respond well when they perceive his influence in and amongst us.

So, a crook to keep within safe boundaries.

An eye out for fields of nourishment.

Safe spaces for rest and refreshment.

Wisdom, strength, compassion and the will to fight off those who would steal and destroy.

And when some are lost, taken, devoured, appeal to and rest in the Great Shepherd…who saw their wanderings, observed our distraction, allowed and curtailed the thief and false shepherd, and will pursue them and us in justice, mercy and all that is good, pure, right and lovely.

Gina Marie 21/7/2015

I Can Change My Mind

There was a girl who grew up in a family with two sisters and 4 brothers. At first they lived on a farm with sheep, who had black faces. Then the dad died, so the family moved to live amongst the trees at the bottom of a small mountain.

 

As the family grew, the eldest girl was often told that she didn’t belong. Sometimes a brother would tell her that the mum and dad were not really her mum and dad. This girl became a woman, but still she didn’t know for certain if this truly was her family.

 

Other people who knew them, could see that all the sisters looked alike, they often spoke alike and though there was no proof, it seemed to them that she was indeed from this family’s mum and dad.

 

One day when this eldest girl of the family was quite an old lady, her son found a birth certificate in another town. The certificate said that she was from this family and the mum and dad of the other children were definitely her own mum and dad. Her son had been looking for a long time.

 

It was very nice to know for sure that this was her family. But you could tell before they knew for sure, especially because she looked so much like her sisters.

 


 

When Jesus was a man, before He died, his brothers didn’t believe that He was God’s Son as well as Mary’s son. Even though He said things like God and acted like God, which made Him look like God.

 

But after Jesus had died, so that we don’t have to; and after God had made Him alive again, so we can live with Him forever, some people who didn’t believe He was God’s Son, changed their minds.

 

James, a book in the Bible we believe was written by Jesus’ brother who perhaps changed his mind. So, like James and Paul in the Bible, if we find out that we’re wrong we can change our minds. And that means we’re being honest, we’re telling the truth.

 

We can say to God and to people, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Please forgive me. Now I know the truth, the truth is what I will say.”

 

10/10/2014

James, John 7, Acts

Grace

I see the struggle in your face, it shows

You’re mad and cross at grace, I know

To calm your fear, you try control

But fear’s driven out by love, that’s all

 

When other’s fail, you have no time

Acceptance comes when they toe, your line

But as God measures you by what Christ has done

So your measure of others will to Christ succumb

 

When the pride of your praise and abstinence fails

And you see your weakness is akin to ours

May the grace God bestows on you because He chooses

Flow to those you have judged and heal all bruises

 

22/11/2009  Gina Marie

Perfect Love, Casting Fear

Perfect love, casts out fear.

All your plans for me are good.

You will all my boundaries keep.

I will step where you have stood.

 

Help my unbelief, while trusting.

Even others, in your will decide.

You will still meet my provision.

See you working from the other side.

 

It’s hard! It’s hard! You know I want to.

You know I know you’re making sweet.

Everything works accordingly to,

Your purpose, pleasure; all complete.

 

I’ll never understand how coming

To your perfect good must be

So painful, cloudy, all-confusing.

Exhausted, lonely, messy me.

 

I know that faith is like a muscle;

Work it, stretch it, push, increase.

But adding onto faith and virtue’s

Not all that it’s cracked up to be.

 

And even Christ in humanness

Requested, if there ever be

A way to vict’ry over darkness

Other than what he could see.

 

But in his asking, full submission.

Never did he seek escape.

From end and goal, stayed fully focused,

On my release from my death state.

 

You’ve never said you like to punish!

Or see us with pain, inflicted on.

But when there is no other passage,

To life and light, then struggle comes.

 

I want to have an end-goal focus.

I cannot see those in between.

Lead me to the painful, joyful.

As all is goodness, unforeseen.

 

Gina Marie 17/7/2014