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Monday, February 19, 2018

Patience: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:25

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Too often I cannot wait with patience. Too often I have not grown past the demands of a toddler when I wait with an attitude of fretfulness, or an insistence of now.

To hope is to trust completely.

The Lord has promised us that we will be made in His image. Often we have a long way to go. Sometimes it is good that we don’t see the road ahead, especially if we have a tendency to turn our version of disappointments into complaint. Or an attempt to manipulate our perceived outcome.

To hope is to trust that the Lord’s dreams and imagination He begins in us will become a reality—in His time and not ours. Will be authentic by the Spirit’s counsel and not a cardboard copy of our false imitations.

Thank you, Lord, for the seeds You sow in us to prepare us for the journey. Show us how to wait in Your peace with trusting patience.

To still hope regardless.


Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:24

“When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.”



Friday, February 16, 2018

Illumine: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                       
                       Illumine


                        Light and darkness

                        illumine our days

                        yet we cannot touch them,

                        no hands can grasp

                        a rainbow

                        perhaps a star if

                        it fell at our feet.


                        Northern lights dance

                        waves billow

                        none can be held

                        like hope tangible and

                        illusive—yet

                        very present


                        though unseen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Reflection: Hope: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1.     Make a list of all the things you hope for in your life.

2.     Where do you ‘see’ God’s hope in each of them?

3.     How easily do you think we replace God’s hope for our man-made version?

4.     What makes a sense of proof so important to us in today’s culture?


Share: When has the Lord revealed a hope to you that you had not seen?


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Lenten Retreat Preview "Book of Lamentations"

A Lenten Journal Excerpt Day One


Day One


Scripture Reading: Lamentations 1:1-2


Personal Reflection


                                        Desolate


Darkened night
desolate streets
not the rest of dreams
nor of peace.

Rather despair spreading
rustling through
bondage packaged
built in reckless.

Abandon over years
a self-designed
city once puffed with pride
crumbles under foundation.

Weeps bitter tears
without hope.
Onlookers scoff
or mourn
lost heritage
lost legacy.
                                                                       

Writing Prompt

       1. In what ways do you identify with this city’s lament? Do you have areas in your life that have changed or been lost?
       2. Have you experienced an enormous loss or a betrayal of a friend?
       3. How are you expressing your disappointment to God? To others?
4     4.  How else has your relationship with the Lord been affected?

Psalm of Worship
“Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,” Psalm 37:1

Today’s Thought

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hope: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:24

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?”

How often do we get that mixed up? We dream big, we set up goals, we work hard, we measure and reset, we reach concrete markers, and we cross the finish line. All good.

Except when we fail. Then dreams are crushed and disappointment grips our hearts. We quit. Because we have put all our hope in our human efforts and when we can’t produce we give up. We get caught up in tangible measure only and forget the unseen promises.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Towards the unexpected—in trust—with courage—towards the hope that never quits holding on to each of us. His creation in His time by His hand and for His purpose.

Lord, thank you for Your ever present reminders of hope in love and prayers and rainbows. Please give us sight to see You and keep living towards Your grace.


Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:23

“Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.”

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Lenten Retreat Preview “Book of Lamentations”

Introduction Excerpt

The season of Lent has often been seen as a spiritual preparation for Christians to prepare our hearts for Easter’s sacrificial gift of grace. Sometimes we may choose a daily reminder, such as giving up a favorite treat or activity, to help acknowledge our commitment to focus on this spiritual journey. Or we might choose to set aside a special reflection time to go deeper into relationship through prayer and Scripture.

The forty days of Lent are considered a time of sorrow and grief that remembers Jesus was crucified to give us God’s gift of grace. Through Lent’s loss we begin to recognize the shadows and barriers we have set around God’s promises and reopen His call to pursue life under His influence.

Lament goes beyond our very heartsick trials to consider our even deepest sorrows, including those we may have hidden from ourselves.  A lament is considered a passionate expression of grief that we often instinctively neutralize because the pain is too hard to bear.

The “Book of Lamentations” expresses one of Israel’s worst seasons of history where death, decay, disease, and disillusion completely separated them from God’s presence individually and as a chosen nation. It is a brutal and unrelenting scripture. Yet before healing could be accepted, or God’s grace understood, the darkness needed to be brought into God’s piercing light. Like a surgeon’s skillful knife removing an unseen cancer before the spreading poison completely corrupts.

This reflective devotional journal is a mini-retreat to help become restored. By taking a few moments a day to pause as listeners we are invited to connect our spiritual hunger with the loving call God has given. We can recalibrate why Lent can bring a new beginnings into our lives even in the midst of extreme brokenness.

                                                     Blessings, Marcy



Friday, February 9, 2018

Fruit: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                       Fruit


                        A glimpse here and there

                        of Spirit’s fruit shining

                        light sprinkles into our

                        darkened hearts showing a

                        new way of life.

                       
                        A purity both strong and fragile

                        hunger for fulfillment

                        groan at long road ahead

                        seeming so distant yet


                        must not let go.
 
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