Sunday, 15 December 2013

Help me to See


Help me to see.
See what you have given me.
Help me to cherish the days as they are.
Grey or blue, or inbetween.
As they come, to cherish them.

Help me to receive.
Receive what you've given me.
To accept all from your hand,
as it arrives with open palm.
Pleasure, or pain, my wishes tamed.

Help me to believe.
Believe you have my good at heart.
Trust you to never give
what will hurt irreparably, and only
to give what will serve to further me.

Help me to love.
Help me to love with true agape.
Not for gain, or even certainty;
but only to love for the good of the beloved,
because for me your love is enough.

Help me to rest.
Rest through fear and doubt, and frustration.
Rest through struggle, despair, temptation.
Rest my emotions and my will,
in the one who carries me still.

Help me to hear.
Hear above the din of others.
What you long for me to discover;
that you are speaking to me nigh incessently,
and your words are love unquestionably.

Help me to submit.
There is peace that flows like a river,
for the one who has given up.
Given up stubborn independence,
to depend on the one who delivers.

Delivers the day,
the minute, the hour
as a blessing, or a spring-time shower.
Not to harm or hinder or hurt,
but only to nourish the soul's parched earth.

Yet our souls,
they take umbrage.
With the hand that gives.
To ready to distrust the gift,
for its packaged as we cannot envisage.

We would return it,
or shape it as we expect it.
We would weigh it, and continually assess it.
Instead of going with the flow of his providence,
trusting that he knows what is best for us.

So help me to trust you Lord Jesus.
To see, to hear, believe.
To rest in you and receive what you've prepared.
To welcome all that's held in your hand today,
knowing that in true love its made.

Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013





Goat Island, New Zealand




Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Morning



God came to us.
His journey begun as a seed
the smallest treasure, placed by the mightiest hand;
into the secret place of a daughter of Adam,
that we in good time may receive.

God came to us.
The longest journey
thousands of years, universes spanned;

waiting for a time ordained, from the time of Eve,
to then patiently grow from the smallest seed.

God came to us.
On a donkey’s back, in a warm dark womb enveloped;
He came in humility, in vulnerability,
and borne by love enacted in obedience,
He was carried to His destiny, to outwork his mighty plan.


God came to us.
And like a giant apple tree,
hewn from the smallest pip, He grew,
as a babe in need, in total dependence, in Mary’s womb.
Until it was our time, our turn, to make Him room.


God came to us.
But there was no room.
The inn was full and no one would let Him in.
As though there were  a flaw in His mighty plan,
which may be, if not for the rightness of His humble origins.

For God came to us.
Not only as a King, but as a servant.
And only a stable, which opened wide its doors,
could serve as the birthplace of a babe,
who was both King and ransom to us all.


God comes to us still.
In the form of gracious, humble, sacrificial love.
In the form of His precious one and only Son.
The gift of Christmas, that has never stopped giving
since that first wondrous Christmas morn.


Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013


    Matthew 1:18-25This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


    Painting by Joseph Brickey 'The Road to Bethlehem'

      Monday, 2 December 2013

      I Look for You


      I look for you. 
      I look for you without realising it.
      It is always you that I seek.
      As I look for you in all whom I love, all whom I meet.

      And as another day draws to an end,
      where I have gone misunderstood, where I have felt neglect;
      I become aware that it is only you,
      no-one else, in whose love I can be truly complete.
      That without you, like half a heart,
      or an empty vessel; I only know a lonely ache.
      For there’s only one, only one that exists
      whose love I can rest in – replete.

      So I look for you.
      And never find you, or at least only in part.
      Each person I meet, imperfect yet
      reflecting a portion of your perfect heart.

      But they can’t fulfil.
      They never will – they were never made to.
      All I can do is try and grasp
      in others, what he means for me – for us…

      ‘Relationship’ - with the only one
      who knows each ebb and flow of our heart.
      Who will ever perceive our deepest self;
      what brings us together, what keeps us apart.



      So I look for you.
      And I finally find you, but only when I have given up.
      When I am ready to lay myself down, appreciate others as they are;
      quietened by your love.
      This side of heaven, between the trees
      there will only ever be discontent, and unfulfilled dreams.
      If we try to do it all alone,
      without His love to fulfil our deepest needs.
      His Love that makes up for a multitude;
      that mends what is broken, fills the gaps.
      That transforms our half hearts into whole;
      completes us, and provides all that we lack.

      I look for you.
      And I find you, when I am willing to see.
      That everyone is a part of the whole, including me.
      That I need everyone, but no ‘one’ too -
      for in the end – its only You.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      December 2013
      Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Australia
       
      "The Lord your God is in your midst...he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love..."
      Zep 3:17

      Friday, 22 November 2013

      I Turn to You


      You make all things new.
      You, of no shadow or turning.
      From me I turn to you.

      And you take my wayward, shifting heart
      as though it were a precious vessel
      as though it were your most valuable treasure.

      And you draw me, reel me in
      you, oh great fisherman of men,
      while I fight the line, and toss and turn.

      But you keep reeling.
      Not giving up, never retreating
      you keep beckoning

       until there is nothing in-between.


      And under the weight of your love
      my submission is invoked
      until this world I am able to revoke, once again.

      So take my heart, and make it your own
      with no shadow or turning,
      retreating or dis-owning.

      As your own precious vessel
      Your valuable treasure
      Entirely, utterly yours alone.

      You, who makes all things new
      You, of no shadow or turning
      Help me turn to you.


      Ana Lisa de Jong
      November 2013

      Gold Coast, Australia
       
       
       

      Monday, 11 November 2013

      How He Loves Us


      He loves us in the rose’s generous bloom,
      Her petals laid full open to our view;
      He loves us in the wind’s silent caress,
      gentle breeze soft upon our cheek.

      He loves us in the sky’s brilliant blue,
      The promise of a new sunlit day;
      He loves us in the sunsets gilt-edged hue,
      as a tender token at end of play.

      He loves us in the night-time sky,
      each star signalling to us in silent entreat;
      Of a love, which burns in His heart-sick heart, and
      with each turn of the earth, never ceases to beat.

      Passion restrained with a gentlemen’s honour,
      He loves us far more than we can perceive:
      His jealous attentions showered upon us,
      and yet the fullness of his love we could never receive.

      He loves you each day that you open your eyes,
      His gift of life another chance for Him;
      To woo you in a thousand ways,
      until all you can do in response is come.

      Come, to know your needs satisfied, and
      on His altar have all your yearnings laid.
      Come, to know your dreams fulfilled,
      to walk with Him for the length of your days.

      So come to Him as to the marriage bed.
      He wants you heart, body and soul – nothing spared.
      We are his Bride, and at his side he would have us stand,
      so come to Him – he has ‘your’ place prepared.

      He loves you in the rose’s generous bloom,
      Her petals laid full open to your view;
      He loves you in the wind’s silent caress,
      gentle breeze soft upon your cheek.

      He loves you in the sky’s brilliant blue,
      the promise of a new sunlit day;
      He loves you in the sunsets gilt-edged hue,
      as a tender token at end of play.

      He loves you in the night-time sky,
      each star signalling to you in silent entreat;
      of a love which burns in his heart-sick heart, and
      with each turn of the earth, never ceases to beat.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      November 2013

       

      Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, Australia
       

      Friday, 1 November 2013

      Grace



      If grace is indeed a river,
      then it has no end;
      except where it flows to the ocean,
      where still more of it abounds.
       
      Yet, why do I think of it as
      something that can run out,
      that can be exhausted
      at the first real need?

      That there is a limit
      to its consumption?
      That God is not as generous,
      as His Holy Word decrees?

      While to others,
      He is rich in mercy.
      His love and compassion
      never-ending.

      Like the distant horizon, extending…

      into forever.

       

      But for me.

      For me, there is a limit
      to his favour, to his love.
      For if He truly understands,
      then He can clearly see my heart.

      And that is what I am afraid of.
      For the love that he has given me,
      has made me afraid of disappointing Him
      because how can I ever achieve…

      The holiness he requires of me
      The righteousness to even come near.
      The ability to lift my face,
      hold his gaze, and be worthy.

      Be worthy, of his kindness.
      Be worthy of his love.
      Be worthy of a river of reprieve,
      let alone an ocean.

      An ocean..

      of never-ending GRACE.

       
      Whoever has been forgiven little
      loves little, his Holy word says.
      I cannot fail you, or be forsaken by you.
      Help me to understand.

      It's in our need you meet us.
      In our inadequacy, that you are enough.
      Our faithlessness that you are true.
      Our humanity that you came, our sin that you perished.

      And the holiness He requires of me
      was long ago achieved,
      by the one whose heart of love for me
      once hung upon a tree.

      If grace is indeed a river,
      then it has no end;
      except where it flows to the ocean,
      where still more of it abounds.

       

      And your love and compassion never-ending
      has never ended for me.
      I can never be separated from you,
      despite my unbelief.

      For your favour and your love
      does not depend on what I’ve done,
      or the state of my heart.
      But on what you’ve given.

      What you have sacrificed
      in tears of blood,
      blood that has made it possible
      for me to be good enough.

      Lord, I stumble and I fall.
      Your way is narrow, but it is life.
      Help me to remember when I fall,
      it’s into the river, the river of grace.

      Whose streams
      ‘make glad the city of God,
      in that holy place
      where the most high dwells'.


      And the river.
      The ‘river of the water of life,
      that flows from the throne of God’,
      Which without …

      Without, we’d be lost.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      October 2013

      Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast, Australia

      Monday, 30 September 2013

      Love Knocks


      Love knocks on my door.
      He stands near on soundless feet,
      although I hardly know he is there.
      Yet it’s in my solitude that he accompanies me;
      In my loneliness he keeps vigil;

      Of all my doubts, and fears and struggles, he is aware.

      Love knocks so quietly,
      waits so patiently,
      I almost miss the insistent tone.
      Until the echoes reverberate around my empty heart;
      My ears prick to an unworldly sound;
      And I am drawn to him as to a siren’s song.

      Love stands waiting.
      While I look for Him in other places,
      looking for a love that cannot satisfy.

      Not knowing joy was mine for the taking.
      Not knowing it was His love I was lacking;
      Not knowing, until the door I finally open.

      Love stands smiling.
      No sin too large to dissuade him,
      No temptation too great to supersede him.
      My love simply stands for me;
      blessings at his feet won for me.
      Joy and peace; contentment, freedom.


      How can I refuse him?

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      'And having chosen us, he called us to come to Him; and when we came he declared us "not guilty", filled us with Christ's goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory.' Romans 8:30

      "Love means setting aside walls, fences, and unlocking doors, and saying yes..."
      Emmanuel

      "Where is the dwelling of God?"  This was the question which the Rabbi of Kotak surprised a number of learned men who happened to be visiting him.  They laughed at him; "what a thing to ask! Is not the whole world full of his glory?!  Then he answered his own question, "God dwells whereever man lets him in."
      From Tales of Hasidim
       
      Stony Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand
       

      Wednesday, 18 September 2013

      Sanctification


      Break me down
      Break me down
      with my tears anoint me.
      My pain, let it be the breaking of my will
      that leads to the restoration

      of my soul.


      Your righteousness

      Let it be as a robe.
      For my tarnished soul, and
      faithless heart
      cannot face the world,
      until I’m clothed in you

      and know my true worth.

      Lay me down
      Lay me down
      low enough to unburden
      and lose the weight of my sin.
      And lay upon your altar my confession, my repentance

      as a holy offering.

      Every day every day
      I’m aware of how I fail you.
      Every day every day
      I’m aware of how you love me.
      Every day I must lay, lay it all down

      and you sift through it all, and you shake off the dust

      and you replace my crown.

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      Mangawhai Heads, New Zealand

      Thursday, 12 September 2013

      Brother, Sister


      If you could hear my prayers.
      If you could know my heart.
      If I could hear your prayers
      and know your heart.

      Would we meet somewhere,
      and build a bridge to span the gulf that separates?

       
      If words were found
      to clothe our naked pain;
      and if our tears could speak
      of internal battles, lost and won.

      Would we appreciate?
      Would we finally understand—to our shame.


       
      If our future hopes
      were painted as a picture,
      through which God’s will
      were evidently seen.


      Would we see our similarities were greater than our differences?
      Would we see that together we share a common dream?

       
      Look into the mirror of each other’s hearts.
      What you see there simply an image of your own.
      Do not look for fault,
      or be too quick to condemn.

      It’s in a glass house that you throw these stones.

       
      A house of glass can’t stand
      too many hits.
      We forget whose house we claim to be.
      Peacemakers, promised to the precious cornerstone...

      but who would blindly bring the building to its knees.



      Trust Him with your grievances,
      and your broken hopes.
      He is strong enough to weather any storm.
      But your brother and sister is your keeper.

      We turn on one another at our peril.
      We turn on ourselves when we condemn.
       

      We will always find what we look for.
      So look for what is good, and true and right;
      and the light that shines in the darkness,
      will not by this present darkness be put out.


      Brother, Sister.

      Will you hear my earnest prayer?
      And come to know how tender is my heart.
      I will hear your prayer,
      and seek to know you also…

      and together we may turn the page
      to a whole start.

       
      Ana Lisa de Jong




      Tutukaka, Northland, New Zealand

      Friday, 6 September 2013

      Your Table


      You invite me to your table every day.

      I, drawn by the world, would rather gather crumbs
      from the floor;
      than come and sit
      and know your gaze,
      and the blessings you have stored.


      Drawn for me from your storehouse
      in heaven.
      And laid with love on my plate
      at the place
      prepared for me since time began
      and which, for me, you will sit, and wait.


      And the invitation doesn't lapse.
      The meal, it doesn't grow cold.
      Though I, drawn by the world,
      and my hearts vagaries, and focus on life's ills,
      hardly know, what is good.


      Yet today I see you waiting,
      and today I feel your smile -
      and I fall in love a little more
      as you draw me, and restore me;
      until I can climb up from the floor.


      Insistently you draw me,
      until boldly I  can come.
      Face raised towards you,
      tears of gratitude falling,
      as an anointing on your skin.


      Lovingly you call me,
      until its you I can't ignore.
      And as I fall into your arms,
      from this vantage I can see
      what has been laid before me all along.


      You invite me to your table
      every day.
      Whether I come is up to me.
      Whether I do, or whether I don't
      you simply wait.

      And you call....


      Ana Lisa de Jong  

      Going in she knelt before him at his feet, weeping, with her tears falling down upon his feet; and she wiped them off with her hair and kissed them and poured the perfume on them”.
      Luke 7:38



      Postscript:  Not long after writing this poem I opened an email from 'Streams in the Dessert' which follows below:


      In The Heavenly Places

      "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6).

      This is our rightful place, to be "seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and to "sit still" there. But how few there are who make it their actual experience! How few, indeed think even that it is possible for them to "sit still" in these "heavenly places" in the everyday life of a world so full of turmoil as this. We may believe perhaps that to pay a little visit to these heavenly places on Sundays, or now and then in times of spiritual exaltation, may be within the range of possibility; but to be actually "seated" there every day and all day long is altogether another matter; and yet it is very plain that it is for Sundays and week-days as well.
      By L.B. Cowman

       

      Tuesday, 20 August 2013

      Learning of Love


      If life is not to learn 'of' love,
      then what is it for?
      If life is not for love to be born in us;
      then what then is our purpose?

      Yet, in life, we grow, believing we must learn ‘how’ to love.
      That love were a skill to gain,
      to better and perfect,
      until we have finally obtained…

      righteousness and worthiness to bear His name.


      Yet what if love were in a name?
      His holy name. 
      And this love, that is being made perfect in us,
      were His love: rather than our own.
      What if His love were for us ‘first’?
      And what if the key
      to learn to love
      was to, in His love – immerse?


      rather than to attain...
       
      What if life were to learn to believe?
      To take Him at his word.
      That God is love, that we are loved
      and as His children - cherished, adored.
      That to lift our heads in the face of such love,
      is to be encouraged, renewed, restored…
      To our place in Christ,
      that our Father would have us fill,

      and that Jesus calls us to.



      No need for works to reach this place.
      Faith makes a way.
      Jesus said "it is finished";
      and love fulfilled the law.

       
      Love becomes the consequence of our faith,
      A gift from God to an open heart.
      Love becomes a way of living,
      as its the language of His grace...

      and reveals in us, His light.
       
      And it is our certainty of His love
      That teaches us courage, hope and trust.
      It is the deepening knowledge of His love
      that draws us to love him, and others.

      It is the glory of the risen Christ
      reflected in our life:
      whose face we gaze upon,
      and thereby grow in likeness, to love…

      with the love,


      in which we first were loved.

      Ana Lisa de Jong

       
      Kaipara Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand
       

      Thursday, 8 August 2013

      I See You


      I see
      your signature written in a sunset sky
      In soft shades of pink and gold.

      I see

      your reflection cast in the still river
      Among the sunlit leaves, and green trees of old.

      And its your smile..

      I feel when I close my eyes
      The grass under my hands; above me endless sky.

      Your smile

      I know when I stand high
      on a hill, with the whole of forever in my view.

       
      Your voice

      I hear when the Tui sings
      Praising creation, among the blossoms of spring.

      Your voice

      which soothes me in the song
      of the sea, as the ocean meets the lonely shore.

      And its your touch…

      that stirs my soul, warms my heart
      and woos me to the core.

      Your touch

      which I feel through every sense,
      as I perceive the gift of this earth.

      Take in the wonder of it all.

      Ana Lisa de Jong


      "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."  Psalm 19 1-4

       

       
      Stony Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand

      Sunday, 4 August 2013

      To Know You


      We are made of you.
      Each cell infused with mighty life
      from an almighty God.

       
      From a seed within,
      a plan laid before the dawn of time unfurled.
      And we became…

      Became a living, breathing
      part of you.
      Parted from you, on this earth.

      And as our body grew
      Our hearts knew, that
      they did not quite belong…

      And yearned for home.
      Longing to ‘know’,
      the One for whom we were made.


       

      We are made for you.
      Each cell holding a promise
      of a life lived in your name.

      Of knowing our Creator.
      As Abba Father, the one
      in whom we find our place…

      A place that you
      Ordained for us
      When you laid the earth.


      From the moment of
      our being, you drew near
      and spoke our name.

      Speaking words of love,
      and whispers of assurance,
      to draw us home.


       
      We were made to be loved.
      Willed into being,
      destined and claimed.


      Nothing random about us.
      No mistake, or accidental
      chance – but planned.

      Our life, no matter
      how small or insignificant to us,
      of great meaning to Him.


      We - called into being,
      By God the Father,
      who longed for still another…
      Child to love.
      To image him with
      the unique beauty that could only belong

      to a creation of God.


      Ana Lisa de Jong

       


      Friday, 19 July 2013

      There is an Ocean


      We, so small and plain
      and self-contained,
      we live lives full of
      petty concerns, and selfish gain.

      We, all wound up and tight
      and self-absorbed,
      we draw up the drawbridge,
      and pull shut the door.

      With our concern for self
      we become confined,
      we narrow our world,
      until there's only room for one.

      With our focus drawn in
      we are cut off from Him,
      the source of our joy, our power,
      our love, our very fulfillment.

      Open wide, open up.
      There is an ocean at your door.
      There is a river that through you would flow.
      Behind you is the author of it all.


      His is the strength that propels,
      His the love that heals,
      His the song that delights our heart,
      His the touch that soothes.

      His the deep contentment,
      His the answer to our questions,
      His the almighty provision,
      His the balm to our wounds.

      As heaven is high, and the earth is wide
      so we can uncoil;
      grow up like a seedling to the sun,
      and in his warmth feel our hearts thaw.

      We, so small and plain,
      and self-contained.
      We, who live lives of fruitless striving,
      and senseless pain.

      We, all wound up and tight
      and self-absorbed;
      we can open to his touch,
      Fling wide the door.


      And as we do so we can breathe.
      Now what others think no longer matters.
      Our fears haven't power to haunt,
      our illusions shatter.

      Sons and daughters of a higher power,
      adopted in his Kingdom;
      we finally sense from whom we've come,
      whose love is entwined through every living thing.

      We can reach out and connect,
      without plans or agendas.
      We can in freedom relate and trust,
      and to his will we surrender.

      We can love and be loved,
      and as bearers of his light;
      we can know the beauty of giving and receiving,
      for naught but His delight.

      Open wide, open up.
      There is an ocean at your door.
      There is a river that through you would flow.
      Behind you is the author of it all.

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      "Oh Lord, Our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills the earth, and overflows the heavens."
      Psalm 8:1


      He is as faultless as heaven is high - but who are you?  His mind is fathomless - what can you know in comparison.  His spirit is broader than the earth, and wider than the sea."
      Job 11:7-9

      "It is God's privilege to conceal things...  you cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth."
      Prov 25:2-3


      "Like a giant oak covered in apple blossoms is the vast man in you.  His might binds you to the earth, his fragrance lifts you into space, and in his durability you are deathless."
      Kahil Gilbran


      "When we finally give up the struggle to find fulfillment outside of ourselves, we have no-where to go but within.  At this moment of surrender, light dawns.  We expect to hit rock bottom, but instead we fall through a trapdoor to a bright new world."
      Shakti Gawain

      Waikawau Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand



      Sunday, 7 July 2013

      Alida


      Alida, lovely Alida

      I wanted to name my daughter after you;
      But when my daughter graced this earth
      it was you who named her.
      Dancing Natasha
      You called her, and she danced;
      and laughed for you.


      We all responded to you,
      like moths drawn to the light;
      like sunshine after rain.

      You - so generous of spirit.


      Alida, lovely Alida

      I’ve known you since I was young.
      You welcomed me, never judged me,
      only loved me because I loved your son.
      Joy and happiness was all you ever gave.
      Even your cancer you didn’t tell us of;
      to protect our wedding day.


      So many memories.
      But your smile is what will remain.
      In my mind’s eye, and heart;
      You will live and stay on.


      Alida, lovely Alida

      We will look for you -
      in the rising of the sun,
      and the new buds
      opening in spring.

      We will look for you -
      in the butterfly,
      in the peace of a starlit night,
      in birds on the wing.

      You are now free, and at peace.
      And although we
      lose you, we don’t lose
      what you gave.

      And we know where you are ;
      And we trust who you’re with;
      And we will follow you one day.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
       
      To my Mother-in-Law Alida Cornelia Geetuida de Jong (nee Tetteroo)

       


      Tuesday, 2 July 2013

      My Lord


      I am not fit for you, my Lord
      My robes are tattered and torn.
      My soul is tarnished with the grime of the world.
      My eyes are drawn away from you.
      My priorities are wrong.

      I am not prepared for you, my Lord.
      My heart fails to stay true.
      My commitment, it burns and wanes.
      And if my love were measured
      it would come up short - against you.

      But My Love - My Love is calling to me.
      Rejoicing over me with song.
      He knows my heart, and all about me.
      He sees the glory in the dust.
      He has loved me all along.

      My Love, My Love is calling to me.
      Who would we be without your love?
      With your touch we learn who we already are.
      For you transform clay pots into alabaster jars,
      and water into wine.

      I am beautiful to you Lord.
      My raiment reflecting your light.
      My soul is restored to honour you.
      And in response to your love,
      you become my delight.

      I respond to you, my Lord.
      As did Mary of Bethany, purfume poured;
      Sister of Lazarus, and friend.
      As Mary, the Mother in whom you were formed;
      Mary Magdalene, for whom life was restored.

      I am ready for you, my Lord,
      to stand with your Church, as your Bride.
      Yet even now I can be loved by you;
      as daughter, sister, disciple,
      friend of Christ.

      I need not wait until you come in glory.
      Your glory came to me.
      In the form of a little babe,
      who showed us the Father's heart;
      and for whom I was made.

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      "We love because He first loved us."
      1 John 4:19


      "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
      He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love,
      He will rejoice over you with singing."
      Zephaniah 3:17

      Mahurangi Regional Park, New Zealand

      Sunday, 23 June 2013

      In Clay Jars (Journal Entry)

      From my Journal

      "If man is not thinking about himself, he is himself" (William Morris).  Insecurity puts up a wall, it covers us with a blanket, so that the light can't shine through.  When we recognise that what is inside of us is beautiful, that we hold it in perishable containers, our clay jars; we can't help but realise that if we let our walls of insecurity down, then that light can do more than just shine through the cracks of our broken pots, it can beam radiantly through our lives, to love and to bless those around us.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      Sept 2010


      "Those who are wise - the people of God shall shine as brightly as the suns brilliance"
      Daniel 12:3


      "Do what you can. Be what you are.  Shine like a glow worm if you can't be a star"
      Anon


      "And we are put on earth a little space.  That we may learn to bear the beams of love."
      William Blake


      "People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering."
      St Augustine




      God's Three Faces (Journal Entry)


      From My Journal

      Jesus is the face of God whom we can touch.  God is the one to whom we fall down and worship.  The Holy Spirit is the one whom we internalise; who dwells within and we take with us wherever we go.

      After writing the thought above I opened my bible and read the following verses:

      God:

      "You have made ready this body of mine to lay down as a sacrifice upon your altar."
      Hebrews 10:5

      This should be our response to God, as it was for Jesus (who gave his very life).

      Jesus:

      "Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our friend."
      Hebrews 9:24

      Jesus is our friend - the human and relational face of God.

      The Holy Spirit:

      "The Holy Spirit testifies that this is so for He has said... I will write my laws into their minds so that they will always know my will, and I will put my laws into their hearts so that they will want to obey them."
      Hebrews 10:15

      The Holy Spirit who dwells within and leads us into all truth.


      Ana Lisa de Jong
      April 2010


      Saturday, 22 June 2013

      Something for You


      'I've got something to show you.
      Turn your eye inward,
      for its not found without;
      Magnify me, shine a light within,
      for my Word is written on your heart.'

      'I've got something to share with you.
      Take time for me.
      Others will come and they will go,
      tenuous connections made at best;
      But my presence is eternal.'

      'I've got something to teach you.
      Life's lessons lead to me.
      My revelations are found in communion.
      Come withdraw;
      And resist your own way.'

      'I've got something to give you.
      Something the world can't provide.
      Why do you seek what will leave you empty?
      My desire is to love you.
      Fulfil what can't be satisfied.'

      I've got something for you.
      Something to tame your restless will.
      A thirst for me; a bond with me.
      A relationship,
      no other can come near to.

      'I've got something promised for you.
      Which no moth or thief can destroy.
      Life enriched by the knowledge of my eternal love;
      As my heart beats,
      my breath breathes, with you forevermore.'

      Ana Lisa de Jong
       
       
      Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand
      "Content me with an humble shade, my passions tam'ed, my wishes laid; for while our wishes wildly roll we banish quiet from the soul."

      Nathaniel Cotton 1707-1788

      "By all means use sometimes to be alone.
      Salute thyself: see what thy soul doth wear.
      Dare to look in thy chest, for 'tis thine own,
      And tumble up and down what thou find'st there.
      Who cannot rest till he good fellows find,
      He breaks up house, turns out of doors his mind."

      From 'The Church Porch': Conduct

      George Herbert 1593 - 1633
       

      

      Monday, 10 June 2013

      What We Believe


      With heaven as his throne
      and the earth his footstool;
      How do we reach, to touch,
      the hem of his robe?
      If we are but dust
      and he the Creator;
      How do we look at him?
      How low must we bow?

      With heaven so far, and
      our own life and death
      unconceivable;
      How do we know…

      what we believe.



      But he, the very one
      who planted the stars

      says,
      I did it all for you
      so that you would come…

      Come and believe
      that I’m not only real
      but I am so near
      you could reach out and feel…

      Not just the hem
      of my robe but
      the scars on my palm.
      The very palm


      that planted the stars”.

      With heaven as his throne
      and the earth his footstool;
      He reigns on high
      with both might and victory.

      Yet with our heart his home
      And our home in his heart;
      We reign with him
      and shall for eternity.

       
      As dust we are born,
      and as the earth wears down,
      we too, are worn down,
      by time.
      But his signature
      is on each and every cell;
      and life and death’s mystery
      is that we are eternal.

      Reborn to know in our heart
      what was once unconceivable;
      And to grasp the truth
      of what was once unbelievable.
      Ana Lisa de Jong


      “I planted the stars in place and moulded all the earth.  I am the one who says… ‘you are mine’.”
      Isaiah 51:16

      “…the skies shall disappear like smoke, the earth shall wear out like a garment, and the people of the earth shall die like flies.  But my salvation lasts forever; my righteous rule shall never end.”
      Isaiah 51:6
      Omapere, Hokianga Harbour, New Zealand
       

      Sunday, 9 June 2013

      My Sister


      My sister

      Is a song

      A song of grace.
      With stature and virtue
      that reaches heaven’s heights,
      and wisdom that plumbs God’s depths.


      My Sister

      is a song

      A song of celebration.

      Embracing the here and now.
      God’s blessings strewn on the path,
      she wraps and joyfully bestows.


      My sister

      Is a song

      A song of hope and life.
      She speaks with warmth and gentleness.
      Encouraging faith; as the sun
      would restore a frozen earth.


      My Sister

      Is a song

      A song of beauty.
      A voice the angels have touched.
      She gives because it’s what she was born
      to do, and it is more than enough.

       
      My sister

      Is a song

      A song of Aroha – Love.
      A love that surrounds.
      A heart that encompasses friends
      and family; reaches out to the lost,
      that knows no bounds.


       
      My Sister

      Is a song

      A song that God has given us

      To cherish as his heart
      of love for us.


      To experience as his smile
      upon us.

      To know in our bond of friendship

      a little part
      of the unity
      of the body of Christ.


      Ana Lisa de Jong


      (For a dear friend on her 40th Birthday)

       

      Ointment and perfumes rejoice the heart: and the good counsels of a friend are sweet to the soul.

      Proverbs 27:9