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The Smile

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For many years my dad worked as a boot & shoe repairer in a South Yorkshire village. He had his own shop on the High Street, only yards away from my first school – it was where I headed at the end of each school day – loving to keep company with him, sometimes to just watch him at work, on other occasions exploring the many exciting rooms in his work place, & finding lots to keep a young boy’s curiosity satisfied. BUT perhaps the most impressive moment was arriving through the door just after 3.30pm and finding that whatever he was doing he was ready with a warm, welcoming smile, which said to me – “YOU belong right here”

This is a ‘parable’ of how God sees & welcomes me, which I’ve attempted to capture in this simple poem:-

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The smile says it all
“YOU are welcome here
He’s genuinely pleased to see ME
Not my achievements or performances
Not even my attentiveness

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His smile says it all
“I’m so glad you’ve come”
My very presence brings Him joy
Not the gifts I carry
Nor the thoughts or words
formulated creatively
into prayer or praise
Just ME – as I am

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Oh yes, that smile says it all
“I’ve been eagerly awaiting YOU,
make yourself at home”
No ceremony to stand on
No protocol to observe
Save respect and love
FREE to be my true self
Unhidden and unafraid

~~~~

For in my Father’s Presence
the smile says it all
“I love YOU, dear child”

Winning Combination

article-2577234-1C2C7EB100000578-223_634x400(VISUALLY-IMPAIRED skier, Kelly Gallagher, with guide Charlotte Evans, made history for Great Britain with a first ever gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi)

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The Hebrew names & titles translated as ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ in our English Bible are fascinating, and deeply instructive – those following occur most frequently:

ELOHIM – One with great power – often abbreviated to EL
ELYON – the Most High
SHADDAI – Almighty
ADONAI – Master/Owner/Sovereign
YHWH – Yahweh or Jehovah – the sacred ‘Covenant’ Name

These names/titles are often seen together, for example:

EL-ELYON = The Most High God – Genesis 14:18
EL-SHADDAI = Almighty God – Genesis 17:1
JEHOVAH ELOHIM – LORD God – Genesis 2:4
ADONAI JEHOVAH – Lord GOD – Genesis 15:2

A fascinating series of ‘combinations’ are known as JEHOVAH TITLES:

JEHOVAH-JIREH – Genesis 22:14 – The Lord provides
JEHOVAH-ROPHEKA – Exodus 15:26 – The Lord heals
JEHOVAH-NISSI – Exodus 17:15 – The Lord protects
JEHOVAH-SHALOM – Judges 6:24 – The Lord sends peace
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU – Jeremiah 23:6 – The Lord gives righteousness
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH – Ezekiel 48:35 – The Lord is here
JEHOVAH-ROI – Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is shepherd

Psalm 23 actually brings together the previous 6 combination titles including them in one magnificent anthem. Watch how:

v.1  – I shall not want = Jehovah-Jireh
v.2 – guiding to still/quiet waters = Jehovah-Shalom
v.3 – restoring the soul = Jehovah-Ropheka
v.3 – leading in righteousness = Jehovah-Tsidkenu
v.4 – with me, even in Death Valley = Jehovah-Shammah
v.5 – protecting from enemies = Jehovah-Nissi

Little wonder that when the Lord Jesus Christ appropriated to Himself the title of GOOD SHEPHERD that His listeners were scandalised, and attempted to stone him for the crime of blasphemy – (John 10)

The amazing truth is that the NAME YHWH is given to us in JESUS (Jehovah Saviour) eternally linking His Name with ours in a winning combination, as expressed so vividly in Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome – (The Message Bible: Roman 8:35-39)

” Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins in Scripture…none of these fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

In this New Year may we know the reality of being in a Winning Combination

Drawn

Magnetic allure

Golgotha’s cords

prevenient grace

transcendent emissions

drawing

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“Come away”

inner sanctum

supernal delights

hungry heart

satiating

~~~

Proud reason

kneeling – discalceate

ineffable majesty

impenetrable mystery

enthralling

~~~

Naked splendour

captivated soul

falling – surrendering

Everlasting Arms

engulfing

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A Fitting Response

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all ‘Ready Writer’ readers/followers

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A FRANCISCAN BLESSING

I came across this powerful benediction the other day – crying out to be shared !

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May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

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