The Book of Ruth

Naomi

Confused amid the scarcity
Our wandering feet would roam
Until they planted steadfast
In that soil so far from home
In death’s great, dark abandonment
And bitterness of heart
I turned my face t’ward the One
I’d left, at sojourn’s start

My new loves would not leave me
My provision all but spent
I could not bear their suff’ring
One remained, one with me went
Lament and sorrow mine
Strange new life for she
A commotion in the city
As I returned, and she with me

The Overseer

I wondered at the woman
Who from a strange land came
How she worked! She toiled! She laboured!
Such little rest within the shade
We all had heard the stories
How she joined with one, our own
To provide for another’s mother
And in our ways she’d grown

Now the master, he had noticed
And charged us with her care
To show kindness and protection
When we’d see her working there
And then, he’d drawn her close
One who’d usually be scorned
Kindness, one unto another
In God’s image, is he formed?

Ruth

Death ripped from me my comfort
I would’ve walked alone
So, I clung to she who loved me
Followed to her long-lost home
In following direction
Of a people not yet mine
I entered empty-handed
To behold of gifts divine

In the God of one I cherished
I found refuge, work and help
Saw unfolding of provision
Through his servant’s gifted wealth
God’s store of greatest riches
Was to overflow my need
Immediate and eternal
For myself and all my seed

Boaz

With the blessing of provision
I sought to imitate my Lord
Look into the lives around me
His presence my reward
When she showed the fruit of turning
I beheld a heart restored
And the beauty of the faithful
A daughter’s mother so adored

With allegiance to the Master
I could risk to see a loss
Which he returned to me, a gifting
As he would gift us through his Christ
As a people far away
We can return to open arms
Of the one who will redeem
And restore through mercy’s charms

30/7, 1/8, 9/8/2020
Gina Marie

Grateful Chorus

What a wonder!
The gracious Saviour!

In love he formed me
By grace restored me

His endless mercies
Shower down, concert me

Oh, great rejoicing!
My soul is voicing

I ne’er could fathom
Love’s endless cavern

With gifts abounding
T’ward me, astounding

In grateful chorus
I rise, victorious

The valley of trouble
By hope, smoothed of rubble

So I walk on in peace
Toward the bridegroom’s feast

I sing, in grateful chorus

22/1/2020

Life

My beginning was first breath from You

Existence, ne’er before been hewn

But love and grace and choice make new

A life that You have given

 

Rebellion was of all my choosing

But choice from You was all redemption

Beaten, lonely, scorned and bleeding

Your life that you have given

 

Accepted, chosen loved and wanted

Washed by blood, my purchase granted

Belonging, living, free, untainted

New life that You have given

 

Free to live in joy unending

Peace and purpose all Your sending

Sing Your praise, all are bending

This life, we have been given

14/5/2015

Building: Walls, Boundaries

So, I’ve already said that I believe when Building: Foundations First  is important (or restoring). Walls and boundaries for protection are also very important, and perhaps necessary before the building is complete.

There is always a need for a relatively safe place, especially if rebuilding after a trauma (earthquake, emotional upheaval) or battle (war, personal attack). A rebuilder needs clearly defined boundaries to keep threats at bay or from which to see a potential threat coming and prepare to defend. Clear boundaries also give direction as to where one’s responsibility for building lies and , consequently, what it might be that one will be responsible for.

We each are responsible for building and rebuilding what is our own, but it’s healthy, resourceful, and community-minded to seek out those who can be trusted to assist with establishment and ‘border protection.’ If we are starting from scratch, we’re possibly in unfamiliar territory; there may be others who have built with similar intentions as ours in the past. Making use of successful methods and standards is better than ‘reinventing the wheel.’ If, on the other hand, we are rebuilding after battle or trauma we may be in need of a ‘kindred spirit’ to help define where the boundaries need to be and of the stuff they could/should be made of.

It’d be nice to think that everyone was supportive of our building efforts and goals, and that everyone understood or had the same goals and commitment that we do. But that is rarely, if ever, the case. This is fine, because the world is a much more colourful and beautiful place for its diversity. When looking for someone to help stand guard or instruct us as we build, we want to look for someone who can see into what we’re about or is at least desirous of supporting us in our building goals even if their’s differ. As we begin to build we must also be on guard ourselves, so that when our enlisted scouts give the call we battle/defend together.

Sadly, some will actually attempt to compromise our building, or even prevent its ever beginning, or destroy what has begun. Sometimes this occurs with open defiance, other times with deceit and false offers of assistance. The fruit usually tells what sort of tree you are dealing with. Look for the fruit, it’s not usually difficult to spot and recognise true support amidst covert opposition. ‘Kindred spirits’ are good at helping to recognise the kind of fruit you’re dealing with as well.

A friend recently informed a group of us that ancient Roman shields could be ‘locked’ together during attack so that the group could be better protected beneath the rows of shields. Gather a group of kindred spirits, supporters and experienced builders to ‘lock shields’ with you as you build, especially if you’re re-building! Set your boundaries, understand you goals and values, and start to build.

One day soon you can sit back and look at the beautiful fruit of all your imaginings, creativity, effort, and community – in fact, take moments along the way to recognise the early fruit as you build…rewarding.

Thanks again to Ezra and Nehemiah for re-building guidelines.