Friday, January 27, 2012

You Saved Me

 You Saved Me  1/27/12

(Inspired by Ezekiel 16:4-9)

Born into the world,
Left dieing in my blood.
Despised,
Unworthy,
Broken;
That was me.
Then You passed by,
And saw me crying there.
I didn't know that I needed help.
You said, “Live!”

You took me as I was,
Unlovely,
Bound inside my sins,
Full of guilt,
And said,
“You are Mine.”

You spilled Your blood
As the price to redeem me.
And after You washed me
You promised to never
Leave me alone.

You taught me
How to walk.
I fell, stumbling,
But You caught me
In loving arms
And helped me
Try again.

You taught me
How to dream.
I build lofty fantasies that left You,
At the edge of the picture.
But You took them away,
And guided me where You
Meant for me to go.
Many days I fought You,
Forgetting what I was
Before You saved me.
In love
You reminded me what
I used to be.
In tears
I returned again
Only to stubbornly forget,
And try to walk where I thought was best.

You taught me
How to surrender.
When my world seemed to
Crash around me
There You were,
Patiently waiting.
My fears,
Aches,
And questions
Drove me closer to You.

Here I am now
Remembering what I was.
I'm still seeking You,
Praying that You will make Yourself
Real in me.
I'm only a broken vessel,
Lopsided clay,
A wide eyed child entranced by whatever catches my fancy.
That's what I am.
Yet Your grace saved me
When I was nothing,
And any good thing that is seen in me,
Is a refection of You living inside of me.

I know I'll stumble again
Forgetting Your promises and
Then asking why my world is falling.
I know You'll test me,
By turning me upside down
So I'll lean on You more.
I know I'll never stop growing
Or learning in this life.
Anywhere You take me
Will be ultimately
For Your glory.
By Your
Grace and
Mercy
I'll follow.

So please,
Let's go walking,
Or running,
Or flying,
Or dancing,
Or maybe
We'll just stay
Still. . .
Whatever Your plans are,
I'm as ready
As I'll ever be.

~ZA



Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

*I own none of the pictures.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Releasing The Treasure


Releasing The Treasure 10/18/11

Jeremiah 29:11


I hold my treasure clasped in my hands. Oh, how beautiful it is in my eyes.
I carry it close, so as not to lose it. Sometimes I wonder how it would be if it was not there, but that is a silly fear. This is my treasure.
I will never let it go.

Child?”
A voice. It is The Voice; the One who loves me. The giver of my treasure!
Yes Lord?” I hold up my clasped hands with childish delight. “Look! See? I have what You have given me! I-”


Child, I have something else to give you.”
The Voice speaks to me with kindness.


Another gift? Is it like the last one You gave me?”
Delight fills me. His gifts are good.
My hand reaches out for what He offers, but my treasure gets in the way.
Lord, I can not take what You offer. My hands are too full.”


Let it go.”
The Voice commands.

My delight fades. Surely, surely He could not mean that! How can I let go of my treasure?
He gave it to me a while ago, and I have loved it. Surely, He will not take it from me.
Lord. . . I'm not sure I understand.”


You have used what I gave you to its fullest. You have done what I asked, but look, your treasure is no longer full. See,
here I have a new gift for you to use; only surrender the first gift.” 
The Voice answers.


My hands tighten. Empty? My treasure is not empty! True, it does not fill me as it once did, but
I am content to stay where I am.
Have I not moved far in His Kingdom?
What could be better than the safe place I am?
No. No, but thank You for the offer. I shall stay here.”


It was not an offer.”
The Voice is firm.


Rebellion flares. My hands tighten to a fist. Anger and fear fill me.
I will not let You take it! You gave it to me! It is mine!”


No. I shall not take it from you, but it will not bring you the joy it once did.”
The Voice is sad.


My treasure begins to fade. I try to wield it as I once did, to bring joy to others around me.
It still works!
But not like it once did.
I don't feel the wonder I use to.
Lord, why are You doing this to me? Why do I help, but feel no joy?”


Because you are not in My Will.”
The Voice is gentle.


I stop. Not in His Will? No! I always follow! I care for others! I share His love!
How am I not in His Will?
Lord, isn't Your Will to make me happy?”


My Will is to bring Myself the most glory. Sometimes you are happy on the way. Sometimes you are not.”
The Voice is powerful.


Still I look at my treasure. It is worn at the edges. Truly, it isn't as full as it once was.
But why must I give it up?
Lord, why can't I bring You glory where I am now?”


You do bring me glory, but you can bring Me more.”
The Voice is calling.


My hands are so tight. My gift is even now losing its power. I feel out of control and strangely alone.
I start to sob.
Why Lord? Why?”


Because I love you. Give it back to me, my child. I only want to give you the best.”
The Voice is filled with pain.


I can not hold it any longer. Everything is falling apart around me. I want things to go back to the way they were.
But that doesn't seem to be an option.
I let my treasure go.


Well done my child. You did better than last time.”
The Voice is proud.


I look at this new gift. I laugh at my stubbornness as I see what I use to hold.
Yes, this is much better!
It calls me to go forward, but peace fills me to follow.
I have one more question.
Lord, what do You mean by 'last time'?”


Child, last time I gave you a gift, you did the same thing. You were certain that you knew best, and for a time you would not take what I wanted to give. ”
The Voice is flowing with patience.


I turn to go again, but The Voice has something more to say.
To fully receive My best, you must surrender everything.”
The Voice is filled with love.


~ZA

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Words Of My World

The Words Of My World 1/17/12

My world speaks a confused craze,
Contradictory in its ways.
Saying one thing must be true,
But still blundering on through.

“You are special and unique,
And your future isn't bleak.
But you're completely made by chance,
All your life is circumstance.”

“Work hard and do your best.
You are important to the rest.
But when you die, that's it for you.
Who will remember what you do?”

“There are morals as a guide;
The nagging feelings deep inside.
But majority shall rule the day.
If there's a God, He has no say.”

“We are tolerant of all belief,
Not all backward; a relief.
But keep what you trust within.
The line you tread is very thin.”

“It is a crime to kill,
A horrible thing to do, but still,
Of course, you have free choice.
It's not a child without a voice.”

These are the things they teach,
Their blindness I cannot breach.
I know You ever call,
Someday You'll bring the predestined all.

~ZA


Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers


Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Honor You

Westminster Shorter Catechism http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC.html

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.[2]


To Honor You 1/17/12

My life is here today,
Tomorrow I could fly away,
To stand before Your presence,
My holy God.

On that day I hope to hear,
In spite of my aching fears,
That You used me,
Somehow to honor You.

In spite of my childish pride,
And all of the tears I've cried,
That You used me,
Somehow to bring You praise.

For the treasures that I store,
Will waste away and be no more.
That's how it's going to be,
All things shall die.

I'm not a wandering soul,
I have an everlasting goal,
That glory is,
Always my path each day.

May all of the things I say,
Bring glory in some small way,
For honoring You,
Is what I'm made to do.



~ZA

video

(Note: This isn't meant to be a song, since I wrote it without a chorus. However, the way I wrote it was by singing it.)
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Different

    How different are we compared to the world around us?

Romans 12:2

2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


Matthew 5:13-16


    13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.    14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 2:12-14

12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Different

Different.
We're called to be different
From the world around us.
To show,
That we are willing to stand out
For the honor and glory of our Lord.

Different.
We'd usually rather be the same
And hide within our clique.
No one,
Likes to appear odd,
So acting the same seems the easy way.

Different.
Do we still contrast
As we follow close to our culture?
We won't,
Show them by imitating their examples,
Or flirting along the boundaries of their world.

Different.
How different will you be
To show the world you care?
Live life,
Striving to be a witness to all,
In both the big and little things you do.



Different.
I want to be different
From the world around me.
To stand,
And let my standard be God's word,
Not what the culture screams is true.

Different.
Being different isn't easy
Not in the least bit.
It's hard,
To hear their well meaning questions,
About the path I'm following.

Different.
I'll keep being different,
And trust God will use me for His glory.
He's more,
Interested in His glory,
Then my childish quest for comfort.

Different.
I pray my actions are different,
And that yours are too.
We must,
Stop looking to the world for guidance.
Instead, may we look to Christ and take up our cross.

~ZA

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Day

       This is a song I wrote one day when I was tired and obviously frustrated.  It turned out nicely, and helped me think in perspective.


 In My Day 5/20/11

Another day walking, it through,
Another day; the things that I do,
I'm wishing to get away,
Looking for a different way-
I've waited and now I say,

“Take me away from here!
I'm tired of the chaos and tears!”
I say, “Take me away,
 I'm tired of this endless pace-
Oh God, please take me away from here."

But You say, “Look at the people around you-
This is a way for you to reach out. look at your heart,
The way I made you, this to help you grow, this is to help you grow."

~
And so I try, to give and reach too,
And so I try, even when the day's blue,
 I'm wishing to give it all,
Part of me is afraid to fall,
I'm trusting and now I say,

“Help me to live in here!
Squash my little doubts and fears!”
I say, “Help me to pray, I'm ready to go Your way-
Oh God, please help me to drop my fears."

And You say, “Child I always hear you,
This is a way for you to trust more-,
Look at your life, the things I gave you,
In love I help you grow, In love I help you grow."

~

And so I look, at my life now,
And every day, I'm learning how,
And God will hold me here, it doesn't matter 'bout my fears-
He'll get me through the day,

“Jesus, I know You're here!
Grab my heart and hold me near!”
I say, “I need you now, please teach and show me how.
Oh God, please help me to know You're near.
Please help me to know, You're near."


~ZA

(Song are poetry with music.)

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

To Praise

 This is a song I wrote, and I'm going to sing it tomorrow in church.

 To Praise 12/12/11
This is how I long to cry,
A simple voice, that wants to fly,
For You.
And this is how I long to hear,
Outside of all my human fears,

Chorus:
And I stand- I stand amazed,
You're great and You don't change.
And I'm singing-
Ah lay lu ya, Ah lay lu u ya,
Singing, Ah lay lu hu yaha.



This is how I long to sing,
A simple song, a symphony
For You.
And this is where I want to be,
Right where You have what's planned for me,

Chorus:
And I stand- I stand amazed,
You're great and You don't change.
And I'm singing-
Ah lay lu ya, Ah lay lu u ya,
Singing, Ah lay lu hu yaha.

(Ending:)
'Cause this is all I long to be,
Standing here before my King,
Here I am.
Here I am.
All of me.
All of me.
All of me.
video


~ZA

(Songs are poetry with words.)

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Worth, My Purpose, Myself



I wrote this specificly for two people, but like many of my poems that start out that way, it is about me too. I struggle with these questions, like so many people. I know I'm not alone. . . There just aren't as many people who admit to having questions like this. Somewhere along the way, the fear of letting others know what I am, faded a bit. It makes sharing things like this so much easier.

To God be the glory, completely and always.

My Worth, My Purpose, Myself

I've stood,
Questioning God
With the things that
Seem to be a continuing battle.
I've learned,
Some of what
The answers are
But I keep struggling with them.

God,
What am I worth?
Am I
Anything worth knowing?
Am I
Anything worth hearing?
Am I,
Anything worth loving?
Do I have worth?

God,
What is my purpose?
Do I
Have a calling?
Do I
Have a gift?
Do I
Have a reason to live?
Do I have purpose?
God,
Why am I different?
How come,
I don't think the same?
How come,
I don't act like that?
How come,
I don't follow them?
Do I have problems?


I know the answers
to these questions
But He patiently
Answers them again
Because I forget.

Dear child,
Your worth
is in Me.
Your purpose
Is to bring Me glory.
You are
Exactly as I planned.
And You may not see it,
But I'm
Watching each step you take.
So stop
Being hard on yourself
And start
Seeing yourself as
MINE.
Called,
Made,
Guided,
Purposed,
Loved,
Just the way you are.



~ZA



“The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes. That must also be true of us as individuals. It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ; the more like Him the better. And the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not a Christian.”


~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Monday, January 9, 2012

Questioning Clay

Questioning Clay
 Isaiah 45:9

Deep inside, even the strongest of us have asked,
“Why God?
Why did you choose me for this painful path?
And why
do I suffer if I am Yours?”

Deep inside, even the strongest of us have asked,
“Why God?
Why would you make me go through this?
And why
do You let my cries echo back from darkened skies?”

Deep inside, even the strongest of us have asked,
“Why God?
Why haven't you swooped down to rescue?
And why
do my prayers seem to go unanswered?”

But deep inside, though we sometimes forget, there is a still Voice.
“You ask why?
Is it not My choice to shape you through this?
And now
I am making you more in My image.”

Deep inside, the Voice reminds our stubborn hearts,
“Am I not the Potter?
Are you not unformed clay?
Even now,
I am making you into something worthy of Me.”

~ZA




Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Thoughts

This is something I randomly wrote up one day. :) All of the points could be expounded on, but for now, this is what I have for each of them.


Every Day Has A Purpose.

Whether or not we choose to realize it, life has meaning. Though we each struggle with different crosses, for the Christian, there is a purpose to it. We can fight it. We can deny it. We can cry to the Heaven's the age old question, “WHY?!” but none of those change the fact that there is a purpose.

We don't always see, like or understand the purpose, but that isn't our job. We simply must accept the path the LORD gives, and trust that He will do what He wants.

The Christian life is not blindly making it through another day. The Christian life is saying, “God, I don't get this. I don't like this. I am afraid. But in spite of all that, I'll trust You have it under control, and will in some way use it for Your glory.”


Every Moment Is A Gift.

There are so many good things we can do with our time, that it is a shame when we don't use it wisely. How many minutes have you wasted today? I don't know how many I have, but I know that they are too many. God has given us the blessed gift of time, and too often we forget what a beautiful thing it is.

If we spent more time thanking God for all He has given, instead of thinking of what we want, wouldn't that be a better use of time? If we spent the time we use to lament on being stuck in the story, on actually plowing through anyway, wouldn't that be a better use of the time? If we spent more time expressing our gratitude to others, instead of dwelling on what they can do for us, wouldn't that be a better use of our time? I think it would.

We need to learn to stop in the middle of our busy days and be thankful for the time we do have, instead of wishing for more.


Every Word Is Important.

When you use your words you can bless or you can harm. We all know the words, 'Think before you speak.' How many of us remember them when we are angry, or afraid, or excited? Many times we don't weigh what we say, and cause things we didn't mean to.

Worrying about what to say, isn't the same as weighing our words. I've spent too much time worrying about what I should say, when I should be trusting that God will remind me of what I know when I need it. When I start trying to cheer someone up, half the time I don't know what I'm doing. The funny thing is, most of the time I don't remember a thing I said, yet I get thanked for it. All to God's glory.


Every Prayer Is Heard.

Have you ever prayed so hard for something, and it didn't happen? Recently I've been doing a lot of praying, and I'm not really sure what God is answering, but I keep asking. I know that it is hard to trust that God will heal, help, show, teach, and bless in His timing, but where will it get me to question?

There have been times in my life where God has answered prayers in ways that were surprising. Some of the prayers I completely forgot about until He chose to answer them. I am very grateful for the fact that He isn't as forgetful and impatient as I am.

There is a prayer that I've heard prayed before, that it is one of the most frightening things to pray. Last time I said it God shook my world around. “God, I want you to do whatever You want in my life. I want the chance to grow closer You, and to trust better, and to be a blessing.”

Do you know why that is scary? Because when you pray it from your heart, God may take you out of your comfort zone. Yes, He can do whatever He wants, but it seems when we sincerely pray this, He drops a twist in the path, as if to say, “Ok. I heard your prayer. Will you trust Me even through this?”


Our Actions Speak Louder Than Our Words.

I don't know how many times I have seen the surprise on people's faces when I tell them my age. They say I don't act like a normal teen. This use to confuse me until I started to compare myself to other teens.

They are right, I am different. The chances are, you are different too. You have the light of Christ in you, and compared to many teens who are disrespectful, unreliable, lazy, unkind, and goof offs, you seem strange.

About a year ago we went to the little pizza place in our town and ate in. A few other people stopped in, but the were taking their pizza to go, so we had the place to ourselves. As we left, the lady at the counter remarked to my dad how well behaved we were, and mentioned that most kids who came in were loud and rude. We kids were surprised and later asked my dad why she would mention that to us. After all, we were just sitting there like at home. He said, “When the standard is so low, it doesn't take much for normal kids to stand out.”

You are the light of the world. Just by being different you are shining brightly. People really are watching what you do. That's an almost scary thought, isn't it?


I Can Make A Difference In This World.

I really struggle with this one. Sure, you can make a difference! You aren't. . .me.

The thing is, what I do is important in some small way. The things I believe in, the moments I have, the words I use, the prayers I pray, the choices I make, the relationships I build with others, are going to make a difference. I may not see them yet, or ever, but I know that it is true. No matter how small and insignificant I may feel, God can use me.

~ZA

Life Is Much More

 Life Is Much More

Life is much more than the hurt that I bring,
Life is the laughter, the tears that we sing.
And then,
I praise.

Life is much more than the blackened dark skies,
Life is the lightening that reveals those lies.
I 'll ever face,
The day.

Life is much more than 'I don't know yet why,
How I am questioning all of the time',
Yet I know,
Your Name.

The healer of nations, and blessed God King,
Came to be killed and to surrendering bring,
A blessed
New way.

I don't know the reason I'm writing this down,
The cries I am bringing I usually drown,
In the quiet,
Facade.

Oh blessed Redeemer and holy God man,
Hold me still fast, 'cause I know that I can't,
Stand on
My way.

I may never know why You are doing these things,
Please take my life, bless me with wings,
To fly in,
Your grace.

Here it feels different to talk to You now,
And yet at home I yet can still bow,
Believing what,
You say.

Help me to reach, and not be afraid,
You've heard all my pleadings I've tried to pray,
Don't let me walk,
Away.

I want to be holy and never let go,
Yet I'm afraid of the pain as I grow,
But You hold my life,
Today.

So I am trusting, help me give it all,
You are trustworthy and won't let me fall,
Farther than,
Your hands.

I asked you to shake my whole world upside down,
Last time I was here, and I cried till I found,
The peace in
This place.

But this small world isn't meant to be mine,
Not for forever, nor all of the time,
I need to face,
My world.

'Cause I hold the big dreams so tight in my fist,
But You can turn me around in a twist,
I give life back,
To You.


It's like I can't stop writing what I can say,
It's like a prayer; a cry I will pray,
Lord hold me near,
To You.

I don't want to forget all the things I learn here,
Yet they get lost when I'm trapped in my fears,
So I'll stop and pray,
To You.

I'll never learn what it's like to be free,
Until I surrender my everything,
I give my heart,
To You.

~ZA

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sixteen, So In Love With You

I've self published my first book! It's called, Sixteen, So In Love With You and it is available on Amazon for $6.12.
Summery:
        Sixteen, So In Love With You, is a collection of simple heartfelt words to bring glory to God's name. In everything they are meant to reflect what it is to be in love with God.
        These poems show His power, patience, kindness, and love, through the eyes of a sixteen year old. They also portray the struggles and questions of growing up and trusting in God's perfect plan.


The title for the book was inspired by this poem I wrote:



Sixteen, So In Love With You
Psalm 42:8 & 11

Still a child, yet grown up now.
Too young for this, but old somehow.
Looking, feeling, calling true.
I'm sixteen so in love with You.

Wandering in this world today.
Reaching hopes, they fall away.
Aching, crying, what to do?
I'm sixteen so in love with You.

Watching as the days on on.
Wondering when it will be gone.
Living, missing, calling too.
I'm sixteen so in love with You.

Knowing that You're holding me.
Trusting someday I'll be made free.
Giving, loving, holding through.
Lord, I'm sixteen so in love with You.





Thanks for reading!

~ZA