Do you know God? Do you realise how much He loves you? Don’t you remember the price He paid in order that you and He could be reconciled? Jesus became the atoning sacrifice for all those who will turn to him in repentance. Are you one who is still unsure that God even exists? I myself understand that completely for I too could not and would not believe and for many years rejected the whole idea. One day around thirty years ago I picked up the family Bible (many had one but never read it!) and began reading it through. By the time I had reached the last page of Revelations I realised I needed to discover more and wanted eagerly to do so. I had begun my journey by reaching out to God. In February 1989 I became a Christian at the age of 43. My Bible has since been read many times and each time God reveals something new to me. Do I regret becoming a Christian? Absolutely not! It was the best thing I ever did or will ever do for I know that God loves me and that Jesus paid the price for my sins, the price I should be paying and would be paying for them had he not saved me. Yes, God loves me and He loves you, whoever you are, just as much.
I AM THE Lord (Exodus 6:1–8)
The patriarchs had known God Almighty, but they had never heard the unique name of God. God revealed himself to Moses with intimate clarity, connecting his personal name with the wonders that he had done for the people up to this point in their story. He is the one who called Abraham, initiated a covenant with him and inaugurated a great nation through a child promised to him and his then-barren wife (Ge 12; 15). He is the God who used what man intended for evil to promote Joseph to second-in-command in Egypt (Ge 50:20). He is the one who led his people to seek refuge in the land of Egypt to escape a dire famine. And he is the one who promised to deliver the people from slavery through Moses’ leadership. The people were urged to avoid worry—the God who promised to act on their behalf is the God who had always come through on the behalf of his people.
This personal revelation is distinct to Christians. The God of the Bible is not some disengaged deity, unconcerned with the plight of his people. Rather, he is the God who is both omnipotent and sovereign in charge of all things and the God who is intimately concerned and engaged with the affairs of his children.
This personal care is best demonstrated in the way Jesus humbled himself, leaving the right hand of the Father and taking the place of a servant on the cross (Php 2:5–11). Paul wrote that God was intent on redeeming his people, so Jesus laid aside equality with God and humbled himself to take on human flesh. While, in the age to come, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, the early ministry of Jesus demonstrated how far God would stoop to show his personal love for his children. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, yet one who loved his enemies and called them his friends (Ro 5:10). He is the radiance of the glory of God, yet willing to love those who show even a childlike faith (Lk 18:16). God is the King of the universe, yet one who allows frail humans to approach him as their father (Ro 8:15). He is Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for tearing down the curtain that separated me from my Father. Thank you for making it possible for me to have a personal, intimate relationship with the almighty God of the universe. Amen.
What feelings do you have for me
When I am with you and can feel
The closeness of your body next to mine?
Your breath as sweet as honey dew
When I am in your arms it’s true
Has broken down resistance in my heart.
Your kisses soft upon my lips
And all your loving tenderness
Makes me reveal my eargerness for you.
So your love I reciprocate
For turning back is now too late
I want you more and more each passing day.
If I could have you for my own
I’d tell the world and make it known
How very much in love with you I am.
So if your love is really true
There’s nothing else that you can do
But stay with me and never let me go.
My love for you is very strong
And I know that it can’t be wrong
To love you as I do, you must agree.
But it would really break my heart
If ever we were pulled apart
And never more to share the love we have.
O lover, how I love you so
My love grows stronger and I know
That you’re forever now a part of me.
Copyright Shirley Anne 10 July 03
I remember it very well, the excitement, the passion and the love. It was a time for letting go and submitting to my inmost feelings and allowing myself to be immersed in the intimacy that lovers enjoy together. Sadly those days have long since gone. All that remains are memories of better times. My heart was broken, my feelings were hurt and the love didn’t last, well the physical side of it didn’t last. In my youth I was never interested in love or sex in the slightest and relationships were furthest from my mind. Then love took me by surprise and lasted a while but it didn’t stay the course. Now I have come full circle and that lack of interest returned a few years ago. I was dwelling on my lost love when I wrote the poem above.
On Monday evening I got called out to a little emergency job in town, an elderly (90) woman had lost electrical supply to a few circuits in her apartment and was desperate to have it fixed. I knew before I went what the problem was and was proved right when I got there. A table lamp bulb had blown which caused one of the two RCD units to trip, switching off power to half of the apartment. The distribution board would have been out of her reach even if she knew how to reset it. I ran this by her before deciding I had to go and do it myself. I got back home and just wanted to relax. I had eaten my evening meal prior to that call and just wanted a quiet evening. I have been suffering with pains in my back (feels like lumbago) for a couple of days so I was not in the mood for much activity, although I have been doing some electrical work. The house phone rang and then stopped. I checked 1471 to see who it was but they’d concealed their number. It rang again after a few minutes and someone asked for me by name. Thinking it was a request to do some work I answered that it was me they were asking for. My name is listed on my advertisement and cards so people often ask to speak with Shirley Anne and it is nothing unusual. It was a mans voice and he gave his name. It didn’t ring any bells so he asked if I remembered him. Then it dawned on me that this guy was somebody I had met some ten years ago and at that time he took a great interest in me, I think you know what I mean. However I rejected his advances but accepted him as a friend. He reluctantly accepted that I wasn’t interested in anything more than friendship. We met occasionally in the clubs in Manchester and once or twice he came to visit me. I must point out here that there is a 32 year gap between us and I felt a little uncomfortable with that at the time we were together. When he began to shower me with gifts I knew he couldn’t be satisfied with just friendship and I felt he wanted to go further. I broke off the relationship and he was hurt by that but I figured all would be ok and he would get over me. Well he had to. Now another thing I ought to mention (up till now I didn’t want to say) is that when we met this guy was in the early stages of FtM transition. This had no bearing on our friendship or my decision to break it off, it was simply that I didn’t want a sexual relationship with anyone at that time. So here he is calling me ten years down the line and making tentative steps in rekindling our friendship. I was a bit taken aback but I still do not wish to meet up again even though it could be harmless. He was keen to tell me about his operations and how much he had changed but it was all falling on deaf ears. I am simply not interested. I told him this several times but I am wondering if he will get the message. Why would anyone keep my telephone number for ten years knowing that I had broken off our friendship if he didn’t still have an interest? I feel that if I allow him back into my life I shall never be able to get rid of him. Hopefully he will respect my wishes and accept the fact that he is barking up the wrong tree.