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Monday, December 31, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:10, “For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”


A fresh calendar, a new slate is often how we anticipate a new year or month, week or sometimes even a free day, and yet there also lingers the undone from yesterday and conflicting emotions.

Are we running ahead with anticipation or running away?  Standing on tiptoe to seek God’s vision, or burying our heads under staggering concerns.

Abraham dwelt in a tent and dreamed of God’s city. Some might think it only as a myth, a fairy tale, or an exaggerated sense of imagination, yet he knew the architect personally and already had been the recipient of God’s grace. So the disconnect between daily life on desert plains, sandstorms, and unfamiliar routes and his long-term destination were not incompatible, not an emotional escape.

Every day he stood on that farseeing hope for guidance, choices and purpose. Was it easier then to see his horizon without the time clock frenzy that interrupts our ability to pause and dream and wonder with awe?

Lord, please set each of us firmly on the path You choose for us to journey and give us hearts to live into Your vision. No matter how difficult a day may become, keep our faith fixed on Your foundations as we build our lives with Your words.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 9:9-10

“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble,
And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee;
For Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, not depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



“…What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.” John 1:4

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



“Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.” Psalm 126: 6

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5

Monday, December 24, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1: 5

Friday, December 21, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Nomad

Was it hard to awake
every morning to an
unfamiliar atmosphere
whether wind or bird or scent?

Groggily leave life-long
territory, childhood memories,
well-worn paths walked
even in sleep.

Focus now on present terrain
geographic manual
newly minted.
Wonder at nomad lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     We all need some degree of structure in our lives in order to accomplish anything but we each have a comfort zone on that scale. Where is yours?

2.     How do you cope when pushed out of it? Do you see it as a word from the Lord or as an intrusion? Or both?

3.     Do you see all of your life as under God’s authority to command or only certain parts?

4.     Read John 12: 49-50.


Share: Which is harder for you to experience each morning, a day of routine or a day of interruptions? Literally or spiritually?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:9, “By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.”

Nomads who didn’t follow mercantile routes or grazing lands, weather patterns or time-set agendas, but waited for a word—the word—from God alone when to stay and when to go.

Were they anxious for the signal to move when as outsiders they were regarded with such distrust they would post a sentry each night? Or so settled in comfort and plenty they dreaded the call to go. Perhaps even pleaded a little—we still have some tent repairs, a child is teething, the lambs and calves are too wobbly to travel a distance.

Or, a house divided. Some up early to eagerly explore the new geography and meet the neighbors. Others huddled near familiar daily routines grasping at permanence in fluctuating days.

All waiting—all trusting in a word spoken—looking to be shaped by kairos time instead of daily uncertainty. Learning to live by spiritual roots instead of geographic. Knowing that the when and the where and the why and for how long belonged to the Lord.

Lord, please guide us into a new way of living each day. Ground us into Your word and Your Spirit so that our foundation is Your will, Your Purpose, and in Your timing. Help us to be willing to change our agendas at the sound of Your voice.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 16: 5-6

“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; Thou dost support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed my heritage is beautiful to me.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Leave


Leave behind all that

is familiar. Go to a new

land. Brings both sorrow

and anticipation. Grief

and adventure. Most difficult

letting go well-worn habits,

comfort routines. Taking one

last look before new inheritance.

Now go.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Regardless of whether you love to move from place to place or resist ever leaving, what does your heart ache for the most when a change is required? What does it anticipate the most?

2.     What ‘move’ do you sense God is nudging you to consider in your life right now: emotionally or physically or spiritually?

3.     Is it drawing you closer to the Lord in trust or putting up a wedge in your relationship? Why?



Share: How has God blessed a step of faith for you this week?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.”

I live in a city where the statistics say that 50% of the population leaves after two years. Daily driving around parked moving vans is a given. If a person stays four, then he is considered a real resident. I came for a year and am now into my seventh, but feel like a visitor. There are many days that I still don’t have a clue where I’m going—literally. I have become somewhat of an expert on wrong turns though and what streets to avoid.

New journeys often start with excitement and anticipation, just like beginning faith steps. But then the map is backwards, a road doesn’t exist, the cart’s wheels fall off and suddenly it’s all overwhelming. That faith walk is as uncertain as the changing weather patterns. Instead of answering a nudge to become kinder, we find ourselves crabbier than ever. We start looking back to what was instead of ahead to new possibilities.

Spiritually and emotionally some days are a challenge to face, either because we have no idea what to expect, or we know exactly what the day will bring and do not want to participate at all. Like a stubborn toddler the word ‘no’ rushes up within, even if we keep silent.

At least that’s what I often contemplate when I forget whose hand is holding onto me and who knows every step on the route He has prepared, no matter how many hours, months or years the process will take. The final destination is His chosen place. What I do need to do is walk a little closer.

Lord, I pray to obey with faith and go forward as you lead that today I may live in Your inheritance, in accord with Your purposes, and trust whatever steps You choose for me to take.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 131:2

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like a weaned child that is with me.”


Friday, December 7, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Begin

According to given blueprint
Noah built the ark. An
unimaginable feat requiring
sacrifice, ridicule, perseverance.

After forty days of rain that
no one had ever seen or spoken of;
a catastrophe requiring endurance
yet resting on fellowship
with God.

Again a call. Blasting away
previous steps of obedience
into minor decisions. Requiring now
a faith never tested, a
walk without specific details.

Leave safety of known work
familiar surroundings. Begin!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1.     When you take on a project or responsibility, do you work better within a prescribed outline, or a creative freefall, or somewhere in between?

2.     What happens when you are required work outside your style?

3.     How do you cope emotionally and spiritually?

4.     To whom do you feel you are accountable for the end result? Does that ever determine your courage? Why or why not?


Share: What is the riskiest step of faith you have taken? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Genesis 8:15-15, “Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark…so that they may abound on the earth and be fruitful and multiply.’ So Noah went out with….”


As we read and share the story of Noah, we often stop there in complete amazement. And yet there is more. We often stop short of Your purposes, Lord. Or I do. I sometimes reach a point, an experience that is so amazing that I stop and stay.

Yet, You do not always call us to one plan, or one purpose only. Sometimes there is another stepping-stone to take. Perhaps not for ourselves, but maybe for another, that together we might be fruitful and multiply. Despite the long years of building the ark, Noah’s work did not end there; perhaps it only began there.

And if our destination is eternity, then we really do not have an end, a stopping point. We are to be ready to follow, to take new adventures, to accept new responsibilities each day.

Please help us to recognize and complete the task You assign, and then be willing and prepared to be moved onward to the next. May it be more important to stay the course with You than to linger with satisfaction short of Your intent.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 111:7-8

“The work of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever; they are performed in truth and uprightness.”
 
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