Time out 

I didn’t sleep well last night and have not gone into work as I feel unwell.  This is my second day off in 2 years. I don’t like to be away from work but I have a sense of sadness and heaviness but also a need for quietness and solitude I decide to use Simon’s S’S to capture what is on my mind. I also leave a prayer at the end for Thy Kingdom come and one of the stations.

Solitude

To think, to pray and to reflect . To seek God, to hush the noises the cacophony ,the chitter chatter and clatter of this world. We say in Jamaican culture ‘to let my ears eat grass’ and I sit in my prayer garden which the Lord has blessed me with to write and to share with you . A soft wind is blowing….

Scripture

The first scripture of the day which I found in one of my journals and which was the catalyst to me writing this morning is this:

“Even before I called you , I new you and made you a prophet to the nations”

Jeremiah 1:5

This is my signature scripture . Today the ‘even before …’ Resonates on me as reminds me of the everlasting, eternal God head, his eternal presence directing and orchestrating events (some good , some bad) but to bring us closer to himself. Yes, even the awful events of Monday evening Manchester where many lost their lives to another’s ‘truth’.

Support

The old childhood hymnal comes to mind  ‘leaning on the everlasting arms’ when I think of support.

I also think and reflect of the Church which should be the arm of God in the community. It is where our support should come from but I am acutely aware we are not where we should be. I ask myself how we are looking after each other. How do we fill the gaps in the week to reach out and do community.

How do we really support or validate each other? Or do we just “support’ when there is an event or an occasion happening – are we becoming religious in our outward show of works?

Significant Events

So many, too many to note here, but again the events of a Monday (was it a Monday? – the days fly by ) tells us loudly ( I think) of the hour we are in. I imagine the loudness of the alarm bells from the emergency services which was heard by many on the physical realm. I ask myself how many are hearing the alarm bells in the spiritual realm? Where will those snatched so cruelly spend eternity.

Our current prime minister as labelled the level of threat as ‘critical’ and reminds us also , that this is the first critical demarcation of its kind in a decade – in this hour.

I know time is short.

Service

I think about this today – it takes many forms – using our gifts to the full – mine is writing and encouraging and waking up those who are asleep – mine is to stand in the gap, loudly, quietly, prominently, in secret, but most importantly from the heart.

Mine is to mourn with those who mourn in Zion and prepare the way of the Lord and to cry Maranatha – Come quickly Lord Jesus.

The Lord reminded me 2 nights ago of needing to know our right from our left. Keeping our eyes open; Knowing what is significant and knowing how to stand and to serve. This leads me into a prayer an aspect of the ministry he has given me

A prayer for our time – for thy kingdom come and for this hour

By Linda Clifford-Hayes

24th May 2017
Holy eternal Father and our GOD

As we draw together in our hearts and mind to pray in your kingdom in this season, this hour , through the the country and across the nations.

May ours not be just lip service , but a real heart felt desire to see change in ourselves, in our homes, our churches and communities.
Lord as we create ‘stations’ for prayer.

May you remind us of the foundations on which we are building.

May we not erect strange fires but emit a holy incense of prayer up to you.

Lord , May you be ever stationed in our hearts, hearts that have been pricked, that have a conscience

and so that real life, real blood flows to through to the lives of others.

As you did, precious Father may we continue to do , in this world.

As you so are we , in this world.
Speak to us Lord, the through the events , through the circumstances of our lives and our times.

Our times are in your hand.

Even the times of the pretty little girl who lost her life in the attack and the others

Your everlasting eyes are even on the sparrow

Not one hair falls from our head without you knowing and in this we are comforted
Move us from a position of fear , rubber necking and gawping to a position of rising up as one and doing good.

Like the homeless man who pulled nails out of the injured who fell at his feet

may we as Christians also do ie pull the nails, the pricks, from the hearts of the people.

May we soothe the wounds, may we fall at your feet
Lord, challenge our ideologies, our denominationalism, our writs, rites and religion

Dismantle our man made structures and build a heart , a frame and a fire for you
Open our dark understanding to see

The widow

The halt

The lame

The blind
Those left to die on our streets
Open our eyes to see the needs of our brothers and sisters

The women and children and the men of our community

From alpha and omega , beginning to end

the 1,2,3,4,5, spaces and places you have given us

Help us as to be restorers of all that is broken down

Take away , malice, pride ,prejudice, favouritism and nationalisms

Help us to execute Truth and Justice wherever we stand

Wherever we are called to serve

Help us to see, hear and to listen

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Can Kingdom come?
By Evangelist Linda J
May 2017

Lord, what can we tell you that you don’t already know
About our years and days
Our sweat, our fears , the tears ?

You gave us skin and bone as a covering
A multicoloured , merciful robe of flesh- covered grace.

Grace to shield us from the elements
To give us time and space to hear. To see, to feel, to repent
But we don’t.

Concocting of pretty prayers on feast and high days
Long winded ditties
But no real love
Can Kingdom come?

We hear, we see, but look away
Not him, not her,
Just me, me, me

We push, we shove
set our brother at nought
Can Kingdom come ?

No word, no hug, no care
a dead pan empty stare

Deadweight, deadlock, padlocked heart
nothing moves , grows gets in or out, alive …..
Can your Kingdom come?

‘Gospel’ you say , but we can’t
We are stuck, staying stuck
Running on empty
wrapped up in self , self self
Broken, brittle, cold, not healing
Stubborn, brittle, cold, dying
Three times dead plucked up

Our own worst enemy
Hiding behind the doing
The doing,
Hiding behind the face, the page , the book …
Ever learning but not coming to Truth
Programs, projects, platform , planning
Bend it This way , that way
Cake, coffee, chair
Cake, coffee, chair
Holding nothing, changing nothing
Joy crushed
souls sent away, empty
Can Kingdom come?

Lord You see,
your heart burns , it aches for the neglect of your house,
The neglect of your sons, your daughters
you sent and are sending

Only you know our true heart’s intent
Only you know the shifting sands
That unsettle us
The ‘why is he or she here?’
The ‘did God say?’ which penetrate
our ears and our minds
The ‘I’ll have this ‘ but not that of the Word
The blank unholy stares
Can kingdom come?

Pentecostal, Catholic , Anglican or Mystic
We seek to label, to justify difference and ourselves and to fit

We jostle for ‘our way’ not Your way Yahweh
Building on rubble and sand
Make it fit , Make it work , make it grow
this way, that way
round pegs in square holes

Kingdom can’t come …!