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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Do you awake most mornings with a sense of delight or a sense of gloom? Why?

2.     If a sense of gloom or boredom, what promises of the Lord would help you create a new way to greet each day?

3.     How much of our attitude towards others and circumstances do you think is a reflection of the way we see ourselves?

4.     In what area of your life do you need God’s sustaining strength now?


Share: What specific joy have you received from the Lord this week?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Genesis 21:5-7, “Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”


For many years I lived where each morning I awoke to squirrels playing chase on the roof and birds singing their morning hymns. It always made me smile. Now in a city setting it’s more liable to be buses huffing and puffing or an irate driver honking his horn before the sun even rises. Too often I sigh and squirm deeper under the blankets.

Some days it’s all too easy to let the grumblings of my own, or others, take over the beginning of the day and focus on what didn’t get done yesterday, that is now a chore, or worry for the schedule ahead before I even get up.

Yet creation sings each day anew, reminding us that life is fresh and everyday, every moment, a clean slate. God’s word brings life out of death. That is a message of good news—anticipation. Regardless of the personal weather. Not the past or separation or failures are able to limit the Lord’s breath.

He stands ready to help us step into His joy—His hope—His way of living. With peals of laughter, alongside birdsong, to greet opportunities with pleasure and gratitude.

Lord, please help us to begin each morning with hearts of praise.



Psalm of Worship: Psalm 51:12

“Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation,
And sustain me with a willing spirit.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Eavesdropping


Eavesdropping carries

potent power. When

shocking news is overheard

how to absorb what cannot

be spoken out loud.


Long ago promise restored,

a baby now! Well beyond

physical possibilities.

Laughter erupts from

secret hiding place.


Sheer gibberish? Real dream come true?

Awe and fear struggle toward joy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1.     Where would you register your faith meter if putting it on a scale?

2.     Is your head faith, heart faith, and action faith all in sync?

3.     Which one do you struggle with? Do you know why?

4.     What wonderful step is God placing before you right now?


Share: What is the first step you will take towards accepting it?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Genesis 18:9-15, “The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?’….”.


Like Sarah, I too deny I said or thought or felt a reaction because in the face of God’s presence, His words, I cannot with a clear conscious deny Him. So instead I try to hide my doubts and my fears behind mediocre remarks and attitudes. Dismissive asides.

And each time He already knows.

Thank you Lord for not allowing us to live under the false lies we tell ourselves. But rather bring our lack of faith up into your light to see it clearly. To recognize we are attempting to rely on our weaknesses instead of Your power.

There is absolutely nothing too wonderful for the Lord.

Please open our eyes to see.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 26:7

“That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And declare all Thy wonders.”

Friday, January 18, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Beyond Measure

Grains of sand
filter through our
days, each speck
marking time dissolving

Glorious star panorama
boldly displays
spoken words nightly
marking time’s passage.

Good as dead
like Abraham—still
open opportunity of
infinitesimal seed
saying yes.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1.     What area of your life do you need to become more willing to be obedient in faith, despite outward appearances?


2.     What is a word of hope you have experienced that you can share with another who is struggling?


3.     What does a faithful heart look like to you?



Share: Have you experienced new life out of a ‘dead’ situation? How did it change your faith perspective?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:12, “Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’”


Have you ever arrived early to a concert and heard the odd screeching and twanging sounds of instruments warming up? Especially if the concert is given by beginning musicians and you wonder why you accepted the invitation.

Yet suddenly under the conductor’s hand all becomes still and then individual notes rise and blend into shape and sound and a melody flows into the audience.  Art shaped by long hours obedient to repeating scales, to practiced pieces, to the music’s heart and to the conductor’s authority harmonize into a whole.

Each note played by each instrument as a necessary voice. Each often prepared in solitude over many hours of wondering if it would ever come out right. Yet for the hope and desire within they stayed the course towards creating music. As Abraham trusted in Your creative power in and through him beyond his own capabilities.

The power of one heart in obedience to the Lord has consequences far beyond our imagination and far beyond our single notes.

Help us each one, Lord, to become instruments of faith in Your concert.



Psalm of Worship: Psalm 89:4

“I will establish your seed forever,
And build up your throne to all generations.”

Friday, January 11, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



A Trust

A promise so long
delayed reached
physical impossibility.

And yet made by
one whose word could
always be trusted.

Without whom life
would shatter into
broken scars,
open wounds.

A flicker of faith
continued to linger
hoping in new beginnings.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     How hard is it for you to wait for answers of any kind?

2.     Do you struggle to find a ‘long wait’ faith in our instant culture? What helps you take a distant approach when necessary?

3.     Or recognize a short-term answer as coming from the Lord and not a man-made solution?

4.     Many year ago I met a woman who was instrumental in helping others grow in faith, yet she herself waited forty years for her husband to realize how much Jesus loved him. What is the longest you have had to wait for an answered promise from God. Does it help now with the one before you?



Share: Ask a friend to pray with you this week over a long awaited promise.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:11, “By faith he received a power of procreation even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.”

How often have we automatically dismissed ourselves, or others, due to age or physical limitations? We surely do have common sense reasons and need to seriously take in these factors. And yet, don’t we sometimes use those limitations as a reason to refuse, just to refuse?

When we look only at the surface, we deny the Spirit’s power.

We are all too frail for ministry—in our own strength.

When we give our weaknesses as an offering, our hearts are open to receive God’s purposes—His way—in His time—and as His servant.

Whose boundaries do we keep—our own—the world’s—or the Lord’s?

Faith grasps stories: Caleb as strong at eighty five as at forty, Samuel just past toddler, Jeremiah and John appointed while in the womb, Tamar and Rahab and Bathsheba in Jesus’ genealogy, Simeon and Anna waiting to see salvation; all not often as well known, but day by day faithful in the field the Father gave them.

Only You, Lord, can produce new life in us. Only accomplishments that come from Your life are of lasting value. Only by abiding in You can keep us faithful to Your promises.

Keep us looking Lord, to what You can accomplish instead of what we cannot. Help us stay committed to the task You choose with a trusting heart.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.”



Friday, January 4, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



The City

Fairy tales contain
castles in the sky
beauty so magnificent
hearts become seized
with longing and quest
to belong.  A dream
that continues when
pages are closed. Yet
reality builds today a
city beyond comprehension,
kingdom of forgiveness.
Begin journey.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What questions do we need to ask ourselves to determine what we are building towards?

2.     What wrong materials or cracks in the foundation need to be replaced/restored/repaired?

3.     Do we look to the work with eagerness or resignation? Why?


Share: What do you look forward towards this next year?

 
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