Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reality check

I hope I don't sound like someone who has got it all together.
I don't.
There are many days when I am wrestling with my depression and sometimes it feels like the depression is winning.
However, I try to remind myself of reality even though at times it's almost too dark to see.
It's my way of coping and keeping my thoughts off myself.
My thought for the week is:
Sometimes we need our questions answered,
more times we need our answers questioned.
Just a little reality check.

The Power of Your Love

In late August 1991 I sat down at a friends piano to "play and pray". The first words that came out of my lips were "Lord I come to you". By the end of the night my "playing and praying" had led me to write a song that has forever changed my life: "The Power of Your love".
However, a number of years ago, I realised that the song need a gentle but significant rewrite.
Why? Why tamper with a song that has so much history?
The simple answer was that I could no longer sing the song as a clear confession of my faith. I had changed and therefore the song had to change.
When I wrote this song I was being driven by a desperate need to proove myself. My life was weighed down by constant and unreasonable guilt, and my guilt was a captive to a shattered self esteem, and that self esteem was at the mercy of my obsessive striving and perfectionism. I had to "come to God" continually as I was stricken with a fear that he would pass me by. I was aware the "weaknesses that I saw in me" demanded continual penance, and no mattter how I cried "hold me close" I always felt as if I had jumped out of the arms of "Grace and mercy".
I did not understand grace. Whilst I had started my journey of faith by grace I was now seeking to perfect it in my own strength and my own works. I had misunderstood Jesus' dying prayers: "Father forgiven them for they don't understand what they are doing.... it is finished".
It wasn't until late 1996, when my life face tremendous challenges that I could find the time to realise that I could never "come to God". The Christmas story was surely God's "coming to us", and, in that coming, he had made the choice to "hold us close".
It was with this revelation that grace suddenly started to make sense, and the song needed a rewrite.
The miracle is not "our love for God", it is "His love for us". Our "worship" is not a celebration of "us coming to God", it is our overwhelming awestruck thankfullness of "His coming to us". These grace filled arms that hold a rebellious mankind safe and secure will never let us go. His hands, scarred with religious nailprints, hold us with a love that burns brighter than the universe of suns, a love that refuses to respond according to our deeds, a love that answers our darkness with overwhleming light filled love and life.
My faith has changed.
I no longer base my spirituality on "what I do for God". I am now intoxicated by the all that "God has done for me".

The Power of Your Love
Geoff Bullock

Lord I come to you,

Let my heart be changed, renewed,

Flowing from the grace that I’ve found in you

And Lord I’ve come to know,

The weaknesses I see in me,

Will be stripped away

By the power of your love.

You hold me close

You let your love surround me,

You bring me near

And draw me to your side.

And as I wait

I’m rising like the eagle

And I will soar with you

Your spirit leads me on

In the power of your love

You unveil my eyes,

You let me see you face to face

In the knowledge of your love

As you live, in me.

You renew my mind

as your will unfolds in my life

In living every day

In the power of your love

You hold me close

You let your love surround me,

You bring me near

And draw me to your side.

And as I wait

I’m rising like the eagle

And I will soar with you

Your spirit leads me on

In the power of your love

Lord you’ve come to all

With hope that shines to light the way

As mercy soothes our souls

Peace that flows so free

Love that sees the tears

Overcomes our darkest fears

Grace that lifts us up

In the power of your love

You hold me close,

You let your love surround me,

You bring me near

And draw me to your side.

And as I wait

I’m rising like the eagle

And I will soar with you

Your spirit leads me on

In the power of your love

Friday, October 29, 2010


Our hearts will always judge and condemn. Religion joins this tragedy prescribing and demanding actions that promise atonement and redemption. No matter how hard we apply these religious disciplines we find ourselves constantly flawed and failed. Instead of "overcoming" we find ourselves continually trapped by our inadequacies and inconsistencies ... we are without hope.. we are anchored to our fallen humanity.

Grace however simply says: "It is finished, you are in a state of forgiveness. Love has overcome your humanity, hope is constantly dawning over the darkness of human frailty"

The love of God appears to our shame declaring that the cross, with it's agony and death, is a declaration of grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. God, in Jesus, chose death over judgment and love over vengeance. The cross shows us that our actions do not condemn us, if they did Jesus' mission of grace would have failed.

We are free to be accountable to the consequences of our actions. We are free to live a life of new beginnings. We are free to love God and not be trapped in unresolved guilt and fear. We are free to celebrate the miracle of God's unmerited and unconditional love for us, just as we are and without reservation.

Grace has overcome. This is far too wonderful for words, far too amazing for our hearts to comprehend and accept, however, even in spite of our guilt and our need to redeem ourselves, Grace is God's eternal gift to all mankind for all time. He has stretched out his hand from beyond creation and now offers it to you and me. It's there to be received.

This is beyond my ability to describe. My words finally fail me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It's written deep within mankind's psyche, we can't help ourselves, no matter how hard we try we find it virtually impossible to receive without any effort of our own. Working for reward makes sense. We can measure ourselves by our exploits and victories, we can raise ourselves above our fellow strugglers bestowing the blessings of the bright and beautiful upon our admirable heads.
However, there is no safety net for the flawed. There is nowhere to go when our strength has failed us. There is no reward for our frailties.
Grace is not a reward. It is given freely, it is unmerited and unconditional. Grace does not have favourites. Grace is not a garland around the victors head. Grace must be received and not achieved.
Why is this grace so liberating? For me it is because it gives me, first and foremost, an insight into the heart of God. In Jesus, God's living autobiography, His living self portrait, I see a heavenly mission that finds it's birth beyond the heavens, the farthest stars and even the universe itself. I see a mission of such love that it humbles the greatest powers of all creation in all eternity. This love propels God onto our little world's stage where grace meets the broken and the hopeless. This grace promises:"The poor in spirit the kingdom of heaven", words forever fail the extravagance of this gift. I see myself, my flawed and failed life, and I see this grace that, whether I can understand it or not, refuses to deviate from it's goal; my struggling soul, my heavy heart.
It is free... even more outrageous, this grace is without obligation. Outrageous, too glorious for words.
I now have the wondrous challenge of thankfulness as I seek forgiveness from those whom I have wounded or hurt, as I speak up for those whose voices are silenced, whose lives have been cast down and cast aside, as I seek to bring hope to fellow outcasts, as I journey to reply to his grace with my own commitment of becoming gracious.
I am free. I am free to receive and I am challenged to freely give. Never again am I to be measured by my own actions, I am forever graced by the actions of a dying man pleading forgiveness over a unrepentant and horrendously guilty humanity. This cry of forgiveness reaches into the farthest corner of creation beyond all eternity. This forgiveness from the lips of God himself forever challenges our concept of deity, it forever challenges our response, it forever challenges our existence with each other as the unconditionality of the gift inspires our frail graced steps toward becoming unconditionally giving.
I can never be the same again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Wilderness

The wilderness is a desert,
it is a forest.
It is a storm tossed sea,
it is a shipwreck on a rocky coast.
I am tangled by it's tendrils,
I am buffeted by it's waves,
I am chilled to the bone
I am parched by it's sun.
In the silence,
the cacophony,
jostled in the crowd.
He stretches out his hands,
he offers me his life,
Can I be still,
to receive without earning,
to live without struggling.
as hope,
blessed hope,
rises within me
like a millions suns
and a multitude of moons,
stars flung into space
that speak of this gift,
this love,
this life,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Loss..... an ode to depression

Sadness, loss, mourning, regret.
Oh my heart, my heavy soul,
Where have you gone,
Who has hidden my light?
Where there were songs and dancing
There is now a grey and barren place.
My life aches for these stolen things.
Oh Lord, my God, my restorer, my peace
I lift my confusion, my deep and dark thoughts,
In these silent moments I will seek the truth,
I will stay my emotions, I will sit and not flee
These days have passed before
And they will soon pass again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I am loved

I am loved,

I am graced,

I am forgiven,

I am free.

For there is life

And there is light

There is hope

And there is peace.

Beyond the heavens

Beneath the seas

Between each heartbeat

And every dream.

Before creation,

Beyond all time

In every moment

This grace is mine.

When I’m cast down

My feet still stand

When all around

Is shifting sand.

In darkest night

In every fear

Your hope shall rise

For every tear.

What can I do, what can I say?

Such endless love takes my breath away.

I lift my heart

I lift my head

I find such hope

These words you’ve said.

In all I am

And hope to be

The chains are gone

And I am free.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Cross

My head spins,
my mind is racing,
my limbs tremble
my hands they shake.

my guilt overwhelms me
in sorry and shame,
my lips plead remorse,
my mouth cries
"have mercy"

and then I lift my head.
my eyes fill with tears,
my thoughts reel at the sight.

his eyes, his eyes.
no anger,
or judgment,
no accusation,
or regret.
his eyes,
they pierce my soul,
far deeper than the place
where my guilt resides.
his eyes pierce me.
this is raw love
stronger and deeper,
than the eternity of all creation.
his eyes,
I am caught in this embrace
of death and life.
I am loved.

My head spins,
my mind is racing,
my limbs tremble,
my hands they shake.

my guilt is overwhelmed
and my sorry, and my shame,
my lips shout "forgiven"
my mouth cries

My heart sings "loved".

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Not the noble kind
that lays down will
and ambition.
Not the act
of a spiritual man
determined to climb heaven's ladders
as a solitary statement
of piety, purpose
and discipline.

my surrender
is the broken kind
where my weak and failed attempts
find me falling,
cast down
no manner of piety, purpose
or discipline
can heal this soul
for I am past the point
of no return.

where Grace and Love
lay down their crown,
where Life Itself
comes to carry
my exhausted soul
beyond the ladders of man,
beyond the strong,
a triumph for the weak
where death meets my dying
with a transformation
to Light
and Life.

I surrender
to Surrender.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I think one of the greatest Christian "fibs" is that we should be able to "feel" God. This is wonderful when it appears to be true, which I really do have an argument with, but it is totally condemning when we don't.

To "know" God is a mystery. How can we really know God? This is why we call our spiritual journey “faith”. If we really “knew” like we strive to it wouldn’t be “faith” any more. It would be called “fact”.

If we base our spirituality of feelings we are at the mercy of them. We use our feelings and emotions like little gauges that approve or disapprove us. What a hopeless state.

If we base our spirituality on what we do, what we know and what we feel then God is defined by us... we find ourselves waiting for him, measuring his distance from us by our emotions, by our human existence.... this is a recipe for complete failure. Our spirituality implodes as it is totally at the mercy of ourselves.

I can only offer you one comfort.

God "knows" you. Think about that. It is an extraordinary truth. It is outrageous.

I spend most of my life not knowing, not feeling, incapable of doing, feeling alone and isolated, however one thing changes everything... I am known by God.

Look at the Jesus stories in the Gospels. Jesus did not come for those who thought they could "know God", or "feel God"... he came to the lost and lonely, he gave hope to the lost and lonely, he refused to judge even though it was so clear that he knew all that there was to know about them..see Jn 4. This is the Jesus who knows me. He does not judge me, he offers me hope, even when I have no hope of my own, he offers me faithfulness even when I have none of my own, Jesus, by becoming a man, offers me an identification of my flesh even when I am caught in the consequences of my humanity.

God in Jesus "knows" me, he "knows" you.

He is the healer not the hurter, the acceptor not the rejecter, the lover not the excluder.. the forgiver and never the judge. Jesus takes our fallen humanity, in all it's flaws and failures and

"knows" and "accepts" us, unconditionally, a grace that is unmerited and free. Whether we feel it or not, whether we know it or not there is no power in all eternity that will change the reality that God, in Christ, not only knows you, he loves you, he accepts you for you are forgiven and accepted and free.

This is the beginning of great meditation.

Too wonderful for words.

Grace and peace

Monday, October 11, 2010

Night and Day

Oh soul,
Oh soul of mine
why do you fight,
twisting and turning,
struggling and wrestling
why do you flirt with the night?

oh soul,
oh soul of mine
what do you see...
searching and seeking
restlessly, carelessly.....
what can you see in the night?

Oh God,
Oh God of my life....
what do you do?
revealing, renewing,
affirming and healing
you meet me in the night
to carry me into the light.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I am caught in grace.

I have fallen into it’s arms.

Love has shone into the darkness and I see hope advancing.

Where there was death and darkness there is now life and light.

I am overwhelmed for I am a fallen man.

This gift is simply too much for my soul.

So unexpected, so undeserved,

my fears struggle to reject this promise

yet even my fears are overcome and my soul ceases to wrestle with this truth,

this glorious truth, eternal truth, living truth.

I am woven into His story,

as His life is woven into mine.


Grace raises me above our fears and failures.
Grace ends every sentence and every thought with hope.
Grace cries light to our darkness and love to our abandonment

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Let all be still,
Let all be silent.
May my sighing be soothed
My heart be held
Till life is enfolded in peace and hope.
The promises that live and love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Sometimes it's easier to "fix" problems.

Fixing a problem is simply a commitment to problem solving.

When a problem is solved we can walk away with an assurance

That we have helped.

However, when we make a commitment to care

we can never walk away for, by caring, we have made a commitment

to a life for life.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Glorious and complete

Heaven opens her doorways

Swinging open wide

Calling out to her children

Come and taste of her wine.

Love descending to heal us,

Light in darkness shines,

Lost creation now restored;

Love has overcome.

Heaven sings out her love songs

Join the dance of life.

Childlike, innocence and laughter,

Joy to fill our hearts.

Mercy breaks every burden,

Grace destroys the chains,

For our hope has been renewed;

Love has overcome.

Peace is flowing like a river

Strong the waters run

Over the rocks and the rapids

Gleaming in the sun.

All our tears have been counted

Written in love’s heart

And all around the light burns bright;

Love has overcome.