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Friday, May 31, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry

   
           Birth


Born under an edict of death

helpless to effect decision

carried by arms of love

protected for life

based on faith beyond

human plots or power

consecrated with trust to

promises foretold. Fulfilled



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions

1.     What dangers frighten you? For yourself? For loved ones?

2.     How do they affect your spiritual trust in the Lord?

3.     Both Abraham and Moses’s parents were willing obey God’s words regardless of the consequences?  What do you think brought them to that moment of commitment?

4.     Write out a prayer for each of the children in your life this week. Look for ways to pray it over them.


Share: What step of faith encouraged you this week? Either your own or by someone else for you.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

All newborn babies are completely helpless. Just holding a newborn for the first time can be a daunting experience. We have experienced stories of people who have overcome terrible circumstances to survive those early months. And we have heard the heartbreaking stories of babies who had every medical assistance possible and could not survive.

Moses’ parents also faced a hostile edict set on murder. Yet they managed to hide him for three months. I can’t imagine how. My newest grandson just turned that age and he is on the quiet side, at least quieter than my children were. Yet there is no mistaking or ignoring his cry when he so chooses.

These parents chose the danger of crocodiles over the danger of the edict.

Their actions could mean death.  By their own decisions—what if they were wrong? We struggle day by day with our own faith steps, but usually for ourselves only, not life and death situations for our loved ones. Or do we?

Acts 7:20, says the parents saw that he was lovely in the sight of God. Not just a beautiful baby boy, but lovely in God’s sight.  And so they had the courage to trust. As a parent I can’t help but wonder how often I trusted wholly in the Lord for my children or tried to fix things in my own strength out of fear for the ‘king’s edict.’

Moses’ parents chose faith in God’s provision. Love and trust over malice and fear.

Only when we as parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and teachers, recognize and lift our children up into God’s promises can we give them a life that is eternal. Then they grow up in His provision and protection. And we can marvel at their beauty too.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 67:1-2

“God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us—
That Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee.”



Friday, May 24, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Instructions


            No wonder children become confused

            when encouraged to be amused by

            comics and cartoons and yet

            admonished to remember

            it’s only pretend.

           
            Stories, movies, theater all

            make believe.

           
            Next we wonder why as they grow

            scoff at faith stories, analyze each

             by cynicism. Can maybe see only

            momentary fragments, glimpses

            of gift, question eternity.

           
            Resurrection life beyond comprehension,

            promises blemished by facts.


            Need to capture creation’s beauty,           

            with fresh imagination.  Life anew

            fresh from decay, seasons change,

            discover  soul heritage  in

            breathless histories.

           
            Imagination and reality build bridges,
           
            connect the impossible.

           

           
           

            

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     How has faith been passed down through generations in your family? Or perhaps how has it not?

2.     Have you considered writing down your own story of faith? What kind of movie genre would fit your experience?

3.     There is a time in every child’s life when they need to understand the difference between lies and truth. Do you think we so overemphasis reality though that we can also remove wonder, imagination, and belief in an impossible faith?


4.     Share: What legacy of faith do you most want to be remembered for? Why?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:22, “By faith, Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.”

Were some listeners tempted to scoff at an old man’s imagination? Think of it as pure fantasy. Or did some remember the stories of Jacob’s dreams when young, or his prophecies when in jail, and wonder. What parts of those old stories were totally real and what parts were around the campfire embellishment to entertain children?

Joseph’s actions at his death re-emphasized the truths he sustained throughout his life. He held onto his youth-filled visions God had given him. He endured betrayal, slavery and jail and saw it as God turning to good what men had intended for evil.

Then, despite experiencing the opposite in success and power, Joseph never forgot where his true inheritance lay. He saw himself as God’s servant and as one of His children.

Yesterday I heard a sermon by Rev. Efrem Smith who suggested that today the Christian community should consider being an honest and vibrant movie trailer for God’s story. Joy for what has been given, and anticipation for what is yet to come.

Joseph left his people an Old Testament version of an upcoming attraction—not to be missed. Joseph recognized and witnessed that his death was not an end, but only a piece in progress, and he pointed to God’s story as the lifeline. In God’s story absolute impossibles are real.

Lord, please do not let despair or acclaim pull us from Your purposes in our heart motives or our action directions. Help us to “keep our eyes fixed on you” and remain as firmly grounded in faith as Joseph, regardless of circumstances.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 145: 13, 15

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.”

“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.”


Friday, May 17, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reverence


From a heart of reverence

bowed in worship

Jacob spoke inheritance

words of promise.


Censure and comfort,

challenge and call.

Blessings unheard of.


Required new commitment

by each to follow in

pattern of relationships.

Family formed for God.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Have your family’s expectations for you ever been changed by the Lord’s plans?

2.     Or your expectations for another family member or close friend?

3.     Which took priority in that instance: faith or anxiety? Why?

4.     Looking back can you identify the spiritual inheritance you received?


Share: How does it affect your perspective on new possibilities now?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11: 21, “By faith, Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, ‘bowing in worship over the top of his staff.’”

As Jacob blessed from a heart of worship, he also brought about the unexpected. He gave a blessing to two grandsons claiming them as his own from Joseph. Whatever plans Joseph had intended for these sons, Jacob changed.

He reversed the blessings of the birth order and when Joseph tried to correct him, Jacob made it clear that he was not an old man mistaking identity, but giving the Lord’s prophecy on them.  And his actions guaranteed that future generations could never reject Ephraim and Manasseh from Israel because of their Egyptian birth and family connections. They belonged to his family and were given the same privileges of all his people under God’s authority.

He built a bridge of kinship effectively erasing all barriers of country, language, status, education and wealth. He faithfully communicated God’s truth to his descendants in the one way they could not counteract or deny—blessings of inheritance.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Gal 3: 28-29

Unexpected inheritance. Undeniable future. Unshakeable faith.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 29:11

“The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.”


Friday, May 3, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Redemption

Isaac watched,
listened, held
the words as a deep
well’s sounding echo
resonates into silence.

Memory of cold rock
glistened knife, rough cords,
emblazoned on soul—
God’s redemption.

Cupped with trust
precious seed
invoked blessings
upon future generations.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions

1.     What words has God given you that sound deep in your heart?

2.     Do they enable your faith now or only as a future hope? Why?

3.     What blessing from God would enable you, or does enable you, to tie present and future together as a conscious faith reality?


Share: What prayer blessing do you invoke for your family?



 
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