BE STRONG

Ephesians 6:10-18 — The Message

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Being Strong

Being Strong

© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Needing more strength
than I have
and wondering
where to turn
where to look
what to do…
It isn’t only God
who wants me strong,
but my friends,
my family.
What will they do
if I cave in?
How will they carry on
if they see the weakness
I feel in myself?
And I am tired
of the weight
of strength.
I am fatigued
by the pressure on
my shoulders,
my back,
from how strong I must be…
I turn to the God who offers me
strength
beyond my capability,
who tells me
that it is not my strength
but God’s
that is sufficient unto the end.
There is a strength
that comes from righteousness
that is not to be confused
with the weakness
that oozes out
from the silliness of piety,
that feeble and futile exercise
in the pretend,
in acting as if we are
what we are not.
For it seems to me
that truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation
are more than abstractions applied to a life,
they are the power of the universe
residing within one living prayer—me—
I am that prayer.

 

JOY: OUR HEART’S DESIRE

Psalm 84
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Joy/Sun/Desire

Joy/Sun/Desire

What is it,
where is it,
how is it
that we receive our heart’s desire
and experience true joy?
I just got back from spending
five days on small trout streams,
and I experienced much joy
as I spent day after day in the
beauty of creation and
breathed rarified, sage-scented air.
But the joy of my heart’s desire?
Not hardly…
I have come to realize about myself
that my true joy comes when
people respond to me,
are changed by my ministry,
find hope from my speaking,
and that my life becomes
somehow
more complete,
more essential,
as my words,
and thoughts,
a gesture
offer someone a way to respond
to their own humanity,
their own heart’s desire
and grow into the joy
waiting for them to claim.
What is the desire of your heart?
What brings you the deepest joy?
Are you surprised by it?
Is it something only for you,
or is it something shared by others?
If the time has come for love,
how does your joy,
your heart’s desire bring it to be?

THE BREAD OF ANGELS

© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Psalm 78:23-29 — New Revised Standard Version (redacted)

Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained down on them manna to eat,
and gave them the grain of heaven.
Mortals ate of the bread of angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
he rained flesh upon them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall within their camp,
all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.

Reality in Perspective #17

Reality in Perspective #17

The writer of the Psalm
remembering the hunger,
isolation, fear,
and desperation
of a people lost and
depressed and
hopeless.
Most of us have been to this place.
Most of us have hit the proverbial wall
with our lives in disarray and defeated,
and feeling just a little unconsolable.
And let me say it to those of us
who have been there,
we are the lucky ones.
We are the ones
who stretched the rubber-band too far.
We are the ones
who tested the far lines of our abilities.
We are the ones
who pushed the envelope so far it tore.
We are the ones
who discovered what lay
beyond the safety zone where our lives,
as we knew them,
ceased to be and eating
the bread of angels
we became a whole new creation.
Thinking for a moment.
Pondering the past.
Considering consequences.
Remembering rescue.
What form
did your deep need take?
In what configuration
did your manna come?
How sweet
did this bread of angels taste?
I am assuming that your help has come,
and you have been delivered.
I am also assuming that
if not,
it is either on the way,
or it has already come
and you didn’t recognize it,
and you won’t for years to come.
Deliverance
is always a breath away.
The breath
needs not actually carry a prayer,
it only asks to be breathed.
The time has come for love,
and with the love
that falls from the doors of heaven
comes an offering
of the life-giving bread of angels.
Let us eat together…