Awakened       
by melissa stageman  
( january97flame@juno.com)

To receive Your kiss,
heart peeled back,
layer by layer,
naked and bare before You, 
deserving of death
yet receiving, instead,
  Love.....
so pure,
so unselfish,
so passionate,
so fervent in Its desire......
Love that bears all,
Love that calls from the Depths,
stirring shallow pools
in yet unbroken hearts,
jealously guarding reservoirs
from which flow still selfish tears,
allowing not the gently moving waters,
from which come Awakened hearts' cries,
to become stagnant,
while we're entreated to endure
the breaking of the dam of the flesh,
yielding the ultimate in sweet release,
torrential rivers of holy passion,
through which we are carried
into You,
rivers that exist,
though often untapped,
within every Bridal soul...

To receive revelation,
a glimpse into Your heart,
beating with desire,
communion as in the garden,
souls uncovered before You,
clothed only in Your presence,
understanding Your longing
that the beauty of the unseen realm
would be our reality,
the sweet fruit of purity and holiness
eaten with sheer delight,
a response borne out of love
for the One Who feeds us,
while hearts ever make melodies
that paint pictures
seen only with spiritual eyes....
of divine love.

Beloved Bridegroom, only by Your grace are we even able to love You, for
it is You who draws us into divine romance, into revelation of Your kiss
upon our hearts, not through any works of our own, lest we should boast.
Teach us how to fully abide in You, that we might dance in rythm with
Your heartbeat, move with the rythm of Your grace.....engaging You, only
You, Jesus.

Consuming Fire
by melissa stageman

In Your secret place I stand,
behold the beauty of the Lamb,
I look into Your eyes and see
a fire, a fire, consuming me.

How can I gaze upon Your face,
I tremble so in Your embrace,
as Your holiness floods over me,
a fire, a fire, consuming me.

I feel You whisper in my ear,
yes, My love, you may come near,
for it is I who called you here.
Pure, white robes adorn you now,
garments fitting for My Bride.

Take this sacrifice I bring,
may it be a fragrant offering,
my song of love for You, My King,
Your fire, Your fire, consuming me.

   Engaged     
by melissa stageman

O, Fairest One,
O, Love Divine,
engage with Yours
faint heart of mine;
insatiable passion,
consumed within,
O, draw me away,
O, take me in.

Compelling eyes,
they urge me on,
to heights unknown,
I soar beyond;
lost in Love,
O, sweet abyss,
engaging You,
I was made for this.

       Bondservant         
by melissa stageman

Make of me a servant, Lord,
whose life is lost in You;
loose me from the chains of self,
that Your bidding I may do.
May I be Your eyes, oh, Lord,
seeing into hearts in need;
may I be Your hands, oh, Lord,
that the hungry I may feed;
may I be Your ears, oh, Lord,
that silent heart cries may be heard,
may I be Your voice, oh, Lord,
speaking forth Your healing Word.
As, beholding You, I'm changed within,
may my soul embrace defeat;
in the light of You, may I humbly bow,
and with my life now wash Your feet.
In our secret place where the world can't come,
I'll no longer seek to hide,
as You make of me Your servant, Lord,
as in Your grace my soul abides

    THE CLIMB
        by melissa stageman

The vanities of life appear so meaningless, so small,
    compared to what I've found in You, my Everything, my All.
Man labors in a vain pursuit of how to get ahead,
    as if the wealth his flesh accrues will matter when he's dead.
He learns to wear a mask of pride, constructed by mere "things;"
    he tries in vain to fill the void the self-life always brings.
He cares about the image shown, ignoring what's inside;
    behind his smile, a poor facade, his loneliness he hides.
He tries to buy his way upward on the ladder of his life;
    the climb consumes him, pushing back the emptiness, the strife.
Along the way he calculates what merits he's attained;
    he strives to know that others see the accolades he's gained.
Beneath his mantle of  "success," he bears a fractured heart;
    his climb's led him far from the One from Whom he got his start.
It's only when the ladder falls, the weight too much to bear,
     he sees his wealth has made him poor, and he cries a desperate
prayer.
Before he calls, You're standing there, just waiting for his plea;
     "Grant me freedom from this kingdom, just a prison without Thee."
Sweet mercy flows straight from Your throne, his heart You cleanse anew;
     You love him, so You let him fall, so he'd see his need of You.
As he prepares to climb again, he searches for Your hand;
     he's learned unless he's holding Yours, his ladder will not stand.

Winds of Change
by melissa stageman

Breath of Heaven,
   Winds of Love,
dancing flight of
   Holy Dove;

hear Him whisper?
   feel Him moving?
in hidden places,
   gently wooing;

Holy breeze blowing
  Winds of change,
paradigms shifting,
   hour of sifting;

Winds of Love
  sent by Mighty Hand,
destroying kingdoms
   built on sand;

Sword of Truth,
   hearts revealing,
Bride He's calling,
   remnant following;

though Spirit beckons,
   many stalling,
as tares exposed,
    Judgment's falling.

Breath of Heaven,
   Winds of Grace,
will carry bride
    who will embrace.....

THE CROSS.

Lord, in Your mercy, you continually call us to embrace the cross, and
how much more so in this hour of changing winds and paradigm shifts.  Lord,
we know that because You alone know all things, You alone know what is ahead
for us, and though we have just the glimpse that You allow us, by Your
grace, to see, by revelation of Your Truth, at best we only see through a
glass darkly.  Give us the grace to believe You when You say that now is
a time when we must yield to Your loving direction and correction as You
search and reveal the very depths of our hearts, and for the joy set
before us, help us to quickly place upon the altar those things that You
reveal to be displeasing to You.  May Your Truth guide us, Your grace
enable us, and Your love sustain us, and may we cling to You as we each
continue to travel our own personal road to Golgotha.  Perfect Your
bride, oh, beloved Bridegroom Lord, for Your hour is nigh upon us.  We
love You, Lord.

Warrior Bride
       by melissa stageman
 
Mighty soldier, standing tall,
dressed for battle, hear Me call
my warrior bride, sword in hand,
battle raging in the land;
retreating not, My end in view,
holy passion urging you;
with wielded sword, taking ground,
ears inclined to trumpet's sound;
you sound alarm from lonely wall,
in search of lost, through trenches crawl,
My cross before you, hear My cry,
not willing even one to die;
your life you lose, but count it gain,
to see Love's off'ring not in vain;
surrendered soul, all Heaven weeps,
as burdens of My heart you keep;
though cost be great, you humbly pay,
to see Bride dressed for Wedding Day;
weary soldier, standing tall,
wounded warrior, hear Me call,
come lay your head upon My chest,
enter in My Sabbath rest......
as you worship Me.
Hebrews 4:9   "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God."
Lord, I pray that as the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the
Kingdom of  Light intensifies, as we near the end of this age when all
of Your enemies will be made Your footstool (Ps 110:1), may each of us
be granted an ever-increasing revelation of what it means to enter into
and remain in Your Sabbath rest, even in the midst of the battle.  May
we learn to drink daily of the rivers of Your pleasure as we worship and
adore our Beloved Bridegroom, our Warrior King.  Nourish the hearts of
those on the front lines, who stand in the gap between what is and what is to
be, birthing forth Your purpose in the earth.  Minister Your love to the
watchmen on the wall, who strike the enemy deadly blows as they sound
Your alarm and speak Your words of life into destinies ordained by You.
Prepare Your bride, oh, Lord.  Teach us to enter into Your rest as we
fix our gaze upon You in worship, recognizing that You fight all of our batttles
for us when our eyes are upon You.  In Your most precious name, Jesus

    YOU COVER ME      
by melissa stageman

Like a blanket You cover me,
how I long to hide
'neath the warmth of Your Presence,
through barren winters abide.
Here Your mercy floods over me,
endless grace doth abound,
though once-shackled, a prisoner,
precious freedom I've found.
Broken wings being mended,
in Your Presence, made whole;
wheel that turns ever-purging
what's not counted as gold.
Untamed love now burns in me,
melting cold heart of stone;
Your heart flaming with passion
now consuming my own.
As peace flows in like rivers,
soul surrendered anew,
I find even in winters,
I am covered by You.....
my Beloved.

Exodus 33:22..."I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover
     you with My hand..."
Psalms 17:8....."Hide me under the shadow of Your wings...."
Psalms 91:4....."He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His
    wings you shall take refuge..."
Isaiah 49:2........"In the shadow of His hand He has hidden me...."


          "You Hold Me"
When the darkness tries to steal me away
  and the shadows hide Your face,
When the black of night consumes the day,
  still You hold me.

You who pulled me from deep waters
  and set my feet upon a high place,
You watch as Your little one struggles to stand there,
  while still You hold me.
 
      You hold me close, close to Your heart,
      safe from the eye of the storm,
       then You gently lay me down
       to rest, to rest in You.

You stand back while my heart searches all the old places,
  seeking for calm in the midst of my storm,
You watch as my own wanderings keep me from You,
  but still You hold me.

         You hold me close, close to Your heart,
          safe from the eye of the storm;
          then you gently lay me down
          to rest, to rest in You.

The desperate cries of my clamouring soul
  grow silent as I journey deep within,
to the place where Your eyes speak, Peace, be still,
  and there You hold me.

As I lift my nourished heart to You,
  I see that the darkness has become my friend,
for in its wake, I see more clearly
  the One Who holds me.

            You hold me close, close to Your heart,
            safe from the eye of the storm,
             then You gently lay me down
             to rest, to rest in You......
                                             
My Beloved

Ah, how true the words of the psalmist who wrote that He is always
closest to the broken-hearted.  The breaking is not ever easy or
pleasant, but isn't it so true that when one comes to know Him as the
Lord of the Valleys, one comes to know His FAITHFULNESS.  I wouldn't
trade the valleys for anything, such as the one out of which this song of
my heart was birthed, for it was through times such as these that He
truly became my Husband.  And so it is with every soul who follows hard
after Him.

  "Works"
Fulfillment can't be found
in anything but You;
oh, that we could find that Truth,
truly know it,
then show it
to the desperate dying man,
and thus wash our unclean hands,
kept idle for so long.

We undertake to do our "works,"
in Your honor, going forth,
convinced that You have set our feet
where they tread,
when, instead,
we step out, oft-times, on our own,
so we walk there alone,
and in circles we go.

Our carnal minds, desperately wicked,
always vying for control,
whisper ideas just loudly enough
to all but drown
away to sound
of the Spirit's cry within,
the only part of us wholly given
to obeying Your voice.

We gratify the outward man,
presuming You won't mind
the lengths we'll go to please ourselves,
yet, it's the deceptions
of misplaced affections
that keep our minds confused,
always enmity with You,
while Your purpose remains unseen.

Even that which comes from Your hand
can cause us to stumble and fall
if we let ourselves be captivated
by our course,
rather than our Source,
looking at what we've done and how far we've come
rather than at the only One
for Whose glory we have given ourselves to be used.

1 Cor 3:10-14
"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master
builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let
each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid , which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver,  precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test
each one's work, of what sort it is."

In Your name, Jesus, I ask for a fresh release of Your baptism of fire;
that in this strategic hour Your bride would be drawn by the fire of Your
love to recognize in herself  impure motives that still exist that
produce works built on the foundation of self rather than on You; that
she would be wooed by the fire of Your love into repentance and change,
so that what springs forth from the ashes might be counted as gold,
silver and precious stones before You.  We thank You for Your fire,
Beloved Bridegroom.  We embrace Your fire, for it is in the fire of Your
love that we truly find You.
In Him,   Melissa

Captive
by Melissa Stageman
january97flame@juno.com
2 May 2001

What is this burning in me, Lord, this cry within my soul,
this yearning for Your fire of love, as I've never known before.
A prisoner not in chains am I, held captive by Your love,
though free to go, I freely stay, to embrace fire from Above.

Consuming fire, Holy fire,  come with burning zeal,
all motives borne of my desires in fire of love reveal.
With righteousness the soul You fill who hungers after You,
hear this cry death's pangs can't still release Your fire anew.

More than silver, more than gold, more than praises sung by kings,
my soul cries out for Your fire of love, much more than anything.....
yes, anything.

As You hold us captive in Your burning love, release a fresh fire into
our hearts, burning away all that opposes You. Send forth the fire of
Your Word, the hammer that breaks the rock in pieces, into every high and
lofty place in our hearts, that we might bow to only You, our Bridegroom
King and the Ruler of our hearts, rather than the idols we so foolishly
cling to. Send the fire, Lord. Cause us to embrace the fire. May all
that is us be lost in Your fire, so that all that remains to be seen is You.
Prepare Your bride, O, Beloved Bridegroom, in the fire of Your love.