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DEVOTIONALS - from the heart

 

Sometimes you feel something welling up from the inmost parts. The mind may not fully understand, but the spirit comprehends. Listed below are inspirational thoughts and a few of our poems. We hope that you are blessed in reading them.

Reflections

Bridge to Nowhere

Why Jesus Came
There is a Way
Fathers House
Reach out to Him Again
A Special Sign
Never Give Up
North to East

 
Poetry

Restless City
Lord I'm Coming Home
You - my Friend
Hold Me
Neither Riches
Marriage
Not a Mistake
Unused Vessel
Stand on Your Feet

"Deep calleth unto deep."

(Psalm 42:7 KJV)

Lake Okataina.
(Rotorua district - New Zealand)

Deep in the heart of the North Island, in dense native bush, lays a forgotten valley. Old fence lines on a fading road, a few stands of exotic trees, and the occasional brick chimney protruding through tangled undergrowth are all that remains of what once was the hope of the settlers of Mangapurua - returned soldiers from the Great War. But standing like an old concrete epitaph is a strangely beautiful structure draped with ponga’s and green ferns. Locals call it the 'Bridge to Nowhere.'

 

By the bridge is a sign detailing when it was built and how it got to be there but, for those who care to make their way through bush tracks to look and wonder, the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ serves as a silent reminder: Life is like a road which, without God, does not know where it is going. That is why Jesus said,

 

"I am the way and the truth and the life." "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."

"BRIDGE TO NOWHERE"

Christian Gedge

"I am the way and the truth and the life."

(John 14:6)

Bridge to Nowhere.
(Inland Wanganui - New Zealand)

 
 

We are spiritual beings. We are not animals whose existence is fulfilled simply by satisfying physical instincts. There is a desire embedded deep within to find meaning to life beyond just eating and drinking and working and dying.

Only a friendship with God can satisfy this basic need. Our problem is that we are separated from him so the relationship is broken before it even begins.

Consequently, in our life a gap appears. Then we try to replace God with other things:- ambition, money, drugs, alcohol, education, career, sex, music, sport.

Some of these things are good. Some are not. But whether good or evil, we cannot find what we’re searching for because what’s missing is spiritual - not physical - not intellectual either. Finally, our present separation from God becomes a permanent separation forever. This is worse than death, and nothing can reverse it.

That is why Jesus came.

"WHY JESUS CAME"

Christian Gedge

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?"

(Matthew 16:26)

 

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

There is a way of escape - a way through to peace and victory, a way that was purchased by Christ's precious blood.

 

Come through the 'way' into the peace and joy that has been purchased for you. And as you enter in, use the ability that has been given to you to ask on behalf of those who do not have the strength to ask for themselves.

 

There is a job to do that will be accomplished through prayer. Continue in prayer at all times, not doubting God's love and concern. We must trust and obey for there really is no other way. And when we do trust him in our trials we shall not fall. This is our confidence, because 'he will provide a way out so that we can stand.'

 

Prayer: Dear Lord, as we face the difficulties in our lives we thank you that you have not left us alone. Please remind us daily of this, even as your mercy is new every day, so that the strength we need can be ours in every situation.

"THERE IS A WAY"

 

Maureen Gedge

"God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear."

(1Corinthians 10:13)

 

"In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."
(John 14:2)

 

The comfort contained in these words is inexhaustible as we begin to think seriously about how that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a dwelling place for us to live in for all eternity.

 

Perhaps one of the most basic fears we have as people is the fear of not having a home. Being without a safe dwelling is a vulnerable feeling. We spend much of our time making sure that our earthly dwelling is safe and secure and rightly so, but how important it is to know that an eternal dwelling is being prepared for us too.

 

It is interesting to note that Jesus is preparing our place in his father's house. We are to be a part of his father's household, living and being where he is. The reality of this takes away some of the mystery surrounding where we go when we die. We go to be with Jesus in the father's house where we are told there are many rooms. There is a lot of room for us; we do not need to be worried about overcrowding.

 

Also each room will be prepared with us in mind. A dwelling carefully prepared especially for you and I, a place where we can rest, a place where the cares and distresses of life will have ended, a place where we know that Jesus will actually be abiding with us. Of this we are to be assured.

"FATHERS HOUSE"
 

Maureen Gedge

"In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you."
(John 14:2)

 

So many times, it would seem we reach out to grasp a hand and find that there is none to hold. Finally we stop reaching out. We hold tightly to the reins of our lives, struggling through each day and pay lip service to a God we hope is listening.

 

He is listening!

 

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry."  (Psalm 34:15)

 

Reach out to Him again. If we could only stretch out our hand and know the comfort that He alone can give. But how do we do that? How do we let down the barrier that separates and binds us back from relating to the Lord when our heart is needing Him most? Perhaps today we should just do it! Let Him know exactly where we are at, expressing honestly how we feel in the language that we find most comfortable.

 

Lets take some time even now to articulate the cry of our souls, shutting ourselves in with the 'one who waits,' receiving again the touch of His hand upon our lives. Memories of former days are no more enough to satisfy what only a renewed relationship can bring. Reach out to Him again.

 

"Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water,
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea.
Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee."

"REACH OUT TO HIM AGAIN"

 

Maureen Gedge

 

"A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
(Psalm 51:17)

 

Often when a covenant or pledge is made between two parties a token is given. A case in point is marriage where the ring is the visible symbol.

 

Thus the glory that God displays in his rainbow, is his tangible token to us that he remembers that we are flesh - merely human - and that he has pledged to care for us. Not only is the sight of a rainbow an object of beauty but, if we will allow him, God will use it to reassure us of his abiding faithfulness. Glimpsing a rainbow is like glimpsing the faithfulness of God. Reflecting upon his covenant will re-create in us a sense of security that is often depleted in the day to day stresses of life.

 

But God, knowing our humanity took his rainbow and placed it in the clouds so that we could see and understand in part, not only his creative greatness, but also his concern and compassion for us and for all living creatures.

 

Rainbows, reflectors of light and colour, shades of love, prisms of concern, canopies of care - all the thoughts that go through our minds as we feast our eyes on the heavenly splendour can only serve to reinforce our confidence, strengthening and equipping us for life's journey.

 

Thank you Lord, for your message in the rainbow. Let the smile that plays on our lips at the sight of your sign in the clouds, spread across our face and let the delight that tugs at our heart defuse into laughter, enabling us to enjoy the gifts of God.

"A SPECIAL SIGN"

 

Maureen Gedge

 

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."
(Genesis 9:13 NIV)

 

Keep trying! It's not a reflection on you personally if you get knocked back with things. It's simply the law of averages that everyone faces nine 'noes' before they get one 'yes'. The ratio may change but essentially it's true of everything from looking for a job to finding a friend.

 

I learned this lesson by being a salesman. It's a dog of a job if you have a tendency to depression, but one learns to be philosophical. Just pick yourself up, reject the 'rejection' and have another go.

 

We must fight depression like the plague, affirming on the one hand that we're as good as anyone else, but knowing also the reality that life is hard - especially these days. The ratio of no's to yes's are higher than before; but it's not anyone's fault. Just brush yourself down, ask God to recharge your enthusiasm, and keep trying until you get a 'yes.'

 

Most importantly, the element, which turns life from anxiety and fear, is faith. Otherwise the things above-mentioned become nothing more than 'positive thinking.'

 

People get through life at various levels. Some people opt out with drugs or suicide. Others crawl through life too afraid to lift their blinds or talk to people. Most cope more or less but occasionally fall under the shadow. Still others are aggressive and 'go-getting' and seem to have it all together. But you can be sure of this: all people get afraid and discouraged sometimes, even those who hide behind a big success driven front.

 

Others live by faith. If we can learn to live by faith nothing will crush us. You might be concerned, but not afraid. You may be perplexed but not overwhelmed. You may be disappointed from time to time, but not depressed. "The Lord goes before you." That's the rock we can stand on. So never give up!

"NEVER GIVE UP"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

 

Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. (Amos 8:12)

 

Perhaps I've got too vivid an imagination; but when I read this verse I see a man lurching – not exactly forwards and not exactly sideways either. He is sort of staggering along the highway half forward and half into the side of the road.

 

Maybe he is drunk? Serves him right! But he's not drunk; he's battered – like the man that the priest and the Levite passed on the way to Jericho.

When someone has a sense of purpose, they go from north to south don't they?

 

Alternatively they go from east to west, but wandering from north to east ...? What an unusual saying. Does he not know where he is going? No, he doesn't actually. He's walked this road a hundred times searching and never finding. What does it matter now if he stumbles from north to east? Perhaps he will find it there.

 

So where are those who stand at the crossroads saying quietly, "this is the way, walk ye in it?" Maybe they are there. I hope so. Maybe the prophet was speaking of a different place and a different time. Maybe, but I don't think so.

"NORTH to EAST"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"This is the way, walk ye in it."
(Isaiah 30:21)

 

Restless City,
Is your heart beneath your streets,
Trapped in concrete ribs,
Where flowers once stood, and reeds in wind,
On yesterday's gentle meadows?
Are glass facades your face,
And painted walls your cheeks,
And brazen billboards your lashes?

Your ambition hums like relentless wheels,
Your goals impatient idling at the lights,
To rush forward at the turn of green,
Ever moving, ever been.
Is it really so important to get there?

Restless City,
Your towers are your pride,
Reaching the sky, touching heaven,
Pillars by day, lights by night,
Burning till the morrow that never comes,
Churning out the fancies of your insatiable appetite.

I have searched your crowded loneliness,
Through milling malls,
To see if I could find the real you,
The one I knew many years ago.
I have walked your manicured parks,
Dedicated to the memory of former days.
I have tapped the marble statues of your glory,
Just to feel if you were real,
And looked in eyes that never looked me back.

Restless City,
Take time to stop, and follow me,
Past the sea of your sprawling emptiness.
Let us take the ancient paths and country lanes,
To the place that you were born,
And listen to the silence once again.

Then I'll take you back and we will drive,
A highway carved through all the sham.
No jostling pride, no fume, no toll.
Returning by the highway to your soul.

"RESTLESS CITY"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left?"

(Jonah 4:11)

 

verse 1

Like a sheep, I've wandered from the fold,
For greener pasture I did go,
But nowhere did satisfy,
No matter where I roamed.
Lord, Oh Lord I'm coming home.

I'll say to him, "I've greatly sinned.
Forgive my sins I pray."
I'll get on my knees, sayin' "Jesus please,
Let me follow you always."

verse 2

Like a leaf, I've fallen to the ground.
The wind, it's blowin' me around.
Oh come you gentle breeze,
Blow me right back to him.
Lord, Oh Lord I'm coming home.

He'll say to me, "my grace is free.
All your burden I'll take away.
Just come to me, and you will see,
Your night turn into day."

verse 3

Like a stone, my heart has grown cold.
I turned my back upon my God.
Oh make this stony heart,
As soft as potters clay.
Lord, Oh Lord I'm coming home.

"LORD, I'M COMING HOME"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."

(Luke 15:22-24)

 

When the loud voice of condemnation
Roared through my head,
And the still whisper of God
Could not be heard,
He sent You with a word.

When stillness eluded me,
And no hand could touch me,
Coldness inside of me,
With no arms to hold me,
He sent You to enfold me.

When darkness surrounded me,
No light these eyes could see,
When in pain and confusion,
I called out to be free,
He sent You to comfort me.

So now we walk arm in arm,
Speaking heart to heart - my friend and I,
Always knowing deep inside,
That he designed,
He assigned,
You - my friend indeed.

"YOU - MY FRIEND"

 

Maureen Gedge

 

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

(Proverbs 17:17)

 

If you hold my hand tightly
Really, really tightly,
We can make it.
Into the weather, standing together,
Hell and high water ne'er can shake it.

I' got you. That makes two.
We will do it: we'll face it.
We' got God. You got me.
That makes three.
Who can break it?

If you hold my hand tightly
Really, really tightly,
We can make it.
If you hold my face softly,
Really, really softly,
We won't have to fake it,


Sweetheart.
We'll see it through, me and you,
If you hold me.

"HOLD ME"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"Two are better than one
... and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
(Ecclesiastes 4:9,12)

 

chorus

Give me neither riches, nor poverty
Lest I being full, deny thee:
Lest I be poor, and steal.
Set my roof above my head, Lord,
Place my feet on the ground.
Satisfy my soul with bread Lord.
Let your grace abound.

verse 1

Two things have I required thee
Deny them not before I die
Remove from me, vanity,
And the speaking of a lie.

verse 2

The horse leach has two daughters
They cry give and give again.
They've never tried to be satisfied
Though they're causing others pain.

verse 3

I have learned in whatsoever
State I am to be content
Sufficiency, with a heart set free
I know, is Heaven-sent.

"NEITHER RICHES"

 

Christian Gedge

 

(Proverbs 30:7,8,15
and Philippians 4:11)

 

M    is for moments of love shared each day

A    is for always together we'll stay

R    is for rings a token to see

R    remembering the promise between you and me

 I    is ideals we believe to be true

A    is agreement in the things that we do

G    is for God the one who entwines

E    is for eternity

"MARRIAGE"

 

Maureen Gedge

 

"Jacob served 7 years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her." (Gen. 29:20)

 

It was never a mistake to trust him.
To help me never fussed him - never bust him.
It was never a mistake to follow.
He ain't hollow.

I made my mistakes; it's true,
But even then he knew. He bought me through.
It was never a mistake to love him.

Do this. Do that, and you will please him!
You will appease him - grease him.
This is the formula to go by!
No boy!

I tried to do the things they told me,
The things they sold me, that he might hold me.
But that's not the point.

It was never a problem for him to reach me - teach me
He never beached me.
Choices made and life's decisions
Took me down mistaken path.
He didn't laugh.

Take his hand and he will show you.
He won't go you - blow you - throw you.
And if one is broken on this road of gravel,
That we travel:
He can fix him. Nothing licks Him.
It was never a mistake to trust the Lord.

"NOT A MISTAKE"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"I lay ... a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."
(Isaiah 28:16)

 

It's just an unused vessel Lord,
Empty, broken - none too clean.
Why tarry over this one Lord,
When there are other souls to glean?

 

I see around me shining stars,
So bright and precious,
Gleaming, glistening for you:
Onwards, upwards to heights anew.

 

Why tarry here so long I pray?
We must work while it's still day.
The harvest vast - the fields white.
Many lives to put aright.

 

I turned and saw His tender eye.
It stopped my feet from flying by.
Why wait here Lord? What do you see?
Aghast, ashamed, that vessel's me!

 

His Love enveloped me, His power to change.
How I need Him now to rearrange.
But to serve the one I love the best?
Help me Lord to pass this test.

 

He made me over again His way,
Gently molding this piece of clay,
Never again in haste to say:
It's just an unused vessel.

 

Lord, make me how you see me fit.
Fashion every little bit.
Tarry now - complete your task.
To have your way is what I ask.

"UNUSED VESSEL"

 

Maureen Gedge

 

"I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make."
(Jeremiah 18:3,4)

 

He said, "Stand on your feet and as you do
you will find you're walking on them too.
Take up your bed and walk away.
You are healed from this very day!"

 

Can I lift this bed on which I lie?
Need I not stay here until I die?

He said, "Stand on your feet and as you do
you will find you're walking on them too."

He said, "Open your eyes and you will see
everything that's made by me.
I touch your eyes with muddy clay.
Go wash your blindness all away."

 

Have you seen that I have got no sight?
Will you flood my darkness with your light?
He said, "Open your eyes and you will see
everything that's made by me."

He said, "Stretch forth your arm and take from me.
All I have is yours, and it is free!
Grow withered arm. Be whole I say.
Reach twisted fingers, for you may."

 

Can I touch your hand amidst my strife?
May I take from you eternal life?
He said, "Stretch forth your arm and take from me.
All I have is yours, and it is free,
All I have is yours, and it is free!"

"ALL I HAVE IS YOURS"

 

Christian Gedge

 

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
(John 10:10
)