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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions

1.     In what areas of your life is your heart restless right now?

2.     In what areas are you at perfect peace?

3.     What is the difference between the two reactions?


Share: What word from the Lord calms your anxieties?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:14, “for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.”


Prophets and Pastors have often spoken of a deep hole within us that will remain ever empty until we recognize God’s love and presence.  And then sometimes when that chasm is filled the hunger to go deeper and deeper in relationship lingers.

We have a newborn in our family this week and besides the pure delight and awe, it has been amazing to see how he snuggles into his family with his own version of recognition. He has a unique cuddling position he chooses each for dad and for grandma and if shifted when with that person into a possible different angle he immediately reacts with a tiny squawk. With mom any position is fine as long as he’s held by her.

This fragile child instinctively knows to whom he belongs and wholly trusts.

I wonder why we so often seek You but don’t find You. Is it because You are infinite and since we don’t really comprehend, or can grasp infinity, we settle for substitutes? And don’t hear our internal squawk of dismay warning us that we are moving away from Your safe arms?

Lord, please create in each of us a heart hunger that knows and recognizes You so instinctively that we will turn away from emptiness and false imitations. Keep us in Your peace.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 139: 23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”





Friday, February 22, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Strangers

To travel to a foreign land
is not always easy when
lack of adventure or
fear of change creates
tremors through our
clattering bones,
internal winds blowing
storm scent into veins.

Look up to catch a
glimpse—sheer beauty
above the broiling clouds;
a sigh, a longing
stretch out towards
promises,
take first step.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Do you desire roots or mobility in your living circumstances? Why?

2.     What do you consider to be the advantages/disadvantages of each?

3.     How does your choice influence your personal relationships?

4.     What promise from the Lord do you cling to at all times?
           

Share: In what circumstance have you most felt to be a stranger? How did you handle the situation?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:13, “All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth."


To be a stranger for a brief day’s excursion, or a short trip, can be exciting and intriguing. It’s fun to be introduced to new tastes and smells and locale. It’s a short step out of familiar that offers a new perspective. We get to be a little anonymous. And if anything happens that jars us, we know we will be home in a few hours or a few days and it’s not a critical matter.

But to be a stranger in a long term everyday setting requires a whole different outlook. For some it is still an adventure to be embraced, and yet for others it has the potential to weary heart and soul into survival mode in order to simply endure.

Always risking miscommunication, or worse insult. Surface relationships because no one really trusts each other. The wearisome continually packing and unpacking goods and feelings, getting lost, feeling alone and isolated.  And sometimes all within your own family who holds a different viewpoint.

Yet when we cling only to stability of location or mind or heart we risk stagnation. Our comfort criterion turns into a cage. We protect ourselves from the unknown wilderness and miss out on the beauty in the distance.

When we hold onto Jesus’ hand we have both: the security of being completely known and the promises of the unknown before us. We travel lighter.

Lord, thank you for Your blessing of keeping us as strangers, so that we are always prepared to travel as You call. Even if it’s just across the street.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 136:16

“To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;”

Friday, February 15, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Sustained

Dependant completely
on your mercy Lord
thousands of Israelites
fed at the same
day, evening and
morning again and
again.

Daily nourishment
to sustain all needs
until they entered
human endeavors of
ploughed fields, grown crops,
orchards ready. Then to each their own.
And thousands continue to
starve today apart from
your hand of grace.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Are you at peace in God’s provision sustaining morning and night or are you anxiously watching?

2.     What would make the difference within you, even if the outer circumstances don’t appear to change?

3.     Have you asked friends to support you in prayer?

4.     How can we tell the difference between being passive and waiting?


Share: What provision has the Lord supplied for you today?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Genesis 16:13, “In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.”


Provision from Your hand in Your time under circumstances not even anticipated. Evening and morning—the day surrounded—wholly surrounded—no one exempt. From the newborn to the eldest, healthy to infirm, strongest to weakest, all under Your care and concern.

Lord, please enable each of us to recognize your ongoing, daily provision and walk in it. You have surrounded us with loving, caring, praying friends whatever our present need. Please show us the path, advice we need to follow at the right time. The world tells us we all have ‘rights’ Lord, but it is more important that we become obedient to your plans and your ways. Please show us the difference between being passive and waiting until the time comes for us to act upon your counsel.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 55:22

“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”


Friday, February 8, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Seen

To run away
in grief and fear
prepared to die
instead of endure.

Then face to face
an angel appears
with command
return. Which shock
the greater

to see or hear? Then
realization she is
recognized, visible
in God’s eye.

Almighty Lord
answering her tears.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions

1.     What are some circumstances you have experienced when you wanted to run away?

2.     How did you cope emotionally?

3.     Did you believe you were there alone, or did you trust that God was with you? What made the difference?


Share: What changed for you when you realized that God ‘saw’ you in that situation?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Genesis 16:9, “The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit to her.’”

There are seasons of life when circumstances may cause us to face each day with dread, and yet we attempt to persevere. At least we may seem to as we continue to commit to regular daily obligations. We may not run away as Hagar did literally, so it seems we are managing.

Yet, often we run away emotionally and mentally, burying our feelings and creating even more stress within ourselves. We protect our personal discomfort or internal pain with a hard shell. Until it cracks under the stress and strain. Then we run in the wrong direction.

And God still goes with us ready to listen, to comfort, and to show us a new perspective, when we are willing to see our situations from His view instead of our own.

Showering us with His presence and promises no matter how dry and arid the landscape. Setting before us a new future that brings hope. Strengthening us daily by His words of truth—even the difficult ones.

He sees each of us as beloved children.

Lord, please help us to remember to hold your hand each day with the trust of a small child, knowing that You will see us through all the turmoil and dangers.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 50:14

“Offer to God a sacrifice of Thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High;
And call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Friday, February 1, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Laughter


Gathered among other women

sharing stories, watching

with joyful adoration

tumbling children, laughing,

growing in desert terrain.


Giggle  in her throat

twinkle in her eye

Sarai waits for questions,

“Your grandson?” “No, my own born son.”


Lets her laughter wave

over their shock

trying to absorb her words.


“God has brought me laughter.”
 
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