Entrustment

I do not see myself.
Though I long for holiness of heart,
Of this world I am apart.

I do not know myself.
Though I keep Your Image before my eyes,
The world appears in angelic disguise.

I do not trust myself.
Though I choose Your way,
I fear to be led astray.

I do not save myself,
Though I’m broken and and far from Heaven,
You live in me as heavenly leaven.

You, I see and know,
And You, I trust.
To You, my soul, I, mightily, entrust.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Entrustment

I do not see myself.
Though I long for holiness of heart,
Of this world I am a part.

I do not know myself.
Though I keep Your Image before my eyes,
The world appears in angelic disguise.

I do not trust myself.
Though I choose Your way,
I fear to be led astray.

I do not save myself,
Though I’m broken and and far from Heaven,
You live in me as heavenly leaven.

You, I see and know,
And You, I trust.
To You, my soul, I, mightily, entrust.

 

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Enemy, Mine

Oh, dear enemy,
How you bless me with opportunity,
For prayer,
For patience,
For trust in God,
And to implore His counsel.

You and I are called
To know and love
The Lord Jesus.
Without Him,
There is only Darkness,
And descent
Into greater and greater sin.

Abraham believed,
And it was credited to him,
As justice.
Moses promised the Prophet’s Day.
John the Baptist
Prepared His Way,
And recognized the Lamb
Who would be slain.

Oh, enemy mine,
As we engage in battle
For men’s’s souls,
Let us take care
Not to lose our own.

Abraham was the Father
Of a race,
Who would love
And serve the True God.
Moses was a trusted servant,
John was the best man,
Greater than all born of woman.

To these God revealed Himself.
Each had his day,
Then departed,
And made way,
That the Name of God
Revealed to Joseph
And the humble Virgin,
Might capture the hearts
Of the enemies of God,
Living in Sin.

Loving us,
While we were yet sinners,
He won the battle,
We now fight.
He is and will be the only victor,
With those who fear not recognize Him,
Rush to His Side,
And bow under his Banner
Of Love and Mercy.

O, enemy mine,
We were partners in Sin,
Let us become partners in Love,
Beneath the Cross of One,
Who reconciled the world
To "Abba" God

©2012 Joann Nelander

Life Like That of the Angels

From a book on Christian formation by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop

Fight the good fight of faith

Whoever is in Christ is a new creation; the old has passed away. Now by the “new creation” Paul means the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a heart that is pure and blameless, free of all malice, wickedness or shamefulness. For when a soul has come to hate sin and had delivered itself as far as it can to the power of virtue, it undergoes a transformation by receiving the grace of the Spirit. Then is it healed, restored and made wholly new. Indeed the two texts: Purge out the old leaven that you may be a new one, and: Let us celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, support those passages which speak about the new creation.

Yet the tempter spreads many a snare to trap the soul, and of itself human nature is too weak to defeat him. This is why the Apostle bids us to arm ourselves with heavenly weapons, when he says: Put on the breastplate of righteousness and have your feet shod with the gospel of peace and have the truth around your waist as a belt. Can you not see how many forms of salvation the Apostle indicates, all leading to the same path and the same goal? Following them to the heights of God’s commandments, we easily complete the race of life. For elsewhere the Apostle says: Let us run with fidelity the race that has been set before us, with our eyes on Jesus, the origin and the goal of our faith.

So a man who openly despises the accolades of this world and rejects all earthly glory must also practice self-denial. Such self-denial means that you never seek your own will but God’s, using God’s will as a sure guide; it also means possessing nothing apart from what is held in common. In this way it will be easier for you to carry out your superior’s commands promptly, in joy and in hope; this is required of Christ’s servants who are redeemed for service to the brethren. For this is what the Lord wants when he says: Whoever wishes to be first and great among you must be the last of all and a servant to all.

Our service of mankind must be given freely. One who is in such a position must be subject to everyone and serve his brothers as if he were paying off a debt. Moreover, those who are in charge should work harder than the others and conduct themselves with greater submission that their own subjects. Their lives should serve as a visible example of what service means, and they should remember that those who are committed to their trust are held in trust from God.

Those, then, who are in a position of authority must look after their brothers as conscientious teachers look after the young children who have been handed over to them by their parents. If both disciples and masters have this loving relationship, then subjects will be happy to obey whatever is commanded, while superiors will be delighted to lead their brothers to perfection. If you try to outdo one another in showing respect, your life on earth will be like that of the angels.

Enemy, Mine

 

Oh, dear enemy,
How you bless me with opportunity,
For prayer,
For patience,
For trust in God,
And to implore His counsel.

You and I are called
To know and love
The Lord Jesus.
Without Him,
There is only Darkness,
And descent
Into greater and greater sin.

Abraham believed,
And it was credited to him,
As justice.
Moses promised the Prophet’s Day.
John the Baptist
Prepared His Way,
And recognized the Lamb
Who would be slain.

Oh, enemy mine,
As we engage in battle
For men’s’s souls,
Let us take care
Not to lose our own.

Abraham was the Father
Of a race,
Who would love
And serve the True God.
Moses was a trusted servant,
John was the best man,
Greater than all born of woman.

To these God revealed Himself.
Each had his day,
Then departed,
And made way,
That the Name of God
Revealed to Joseph
And the humble Virgin,
Might capture the hearts
Of the enemies of God,
Living in Sin.

Loving us,
While we were yet sinners,
He won the battle,
We now fight.
He is and will be the only victor,
With those who fear not recognize Him,
Rush to His Side,
And bow under his Banner
Of Love and Mercy.

O, enemy mine,
We were partners in Sin,
Let us become partners in Love,
Beneath the Cross of One,
Who in dying bore the Curse
And reconciled the world
To “Abba” God.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

Move the Hands of God by Prayer

In the silence God invites without words.
My prayers are often noisy affairs
Filled with faces, memories, love
And feelings of sorrow.
I am often overwhelmed
And moved to tears by the poignancy
Of a fleeting thought.

My heart tells me
That what seems insignificant
Holds a treasure.
God’s gifts often come in disguise
Like the beggar at the door
Who is Christ.
The Spirit says minister
Here in this place at this time;
Reach back through the years
To move the hand of God by prayer.

In prayer, I am with God,
The Lord of All, including Time.
I may have missed
Or misused moments to do good,
But God reigns in Eternity,
As present in the Past
As He is in my heartbeat.
God’s hands are not tied
By the flow of Time.
He is there and here
And Eternal Now.

My lowly prayer clothed in The Name,
Breaks down the wall that stands
Between my need or regret, and blessing.
Like the little donkey that carried the King of Kings,
My humble prayer sets in motion
The flow of grace to love, to heal, to mend,
To restore and bless anew.

By Joann Nelander

Hallowed Steps

Letting go, and letting God, still holds challenge.
A lifetime of learning hasn’t made it easier,
Just more imperative,
As my way just gets in my way.

Like a little lamb, I follow,
Though the way be set by trial ,
My shepherd walks before.

In hallowed steps
I plant my feet.
Surety and Covenant abiding
Your Way, my way, forevermore.