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Friday, February 21, 2014

Recant: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Recant


A prison cell,

bread and butter,

conditions intended

to break prophet down

recant his words

speed false peace.


Did not waver.


Knew to utter false hope

a greater dungeon

forging spiritual

captivity.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Reflection Recant: Faith Seeds and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1.     Whether telling some white lies or not continues to be a ongoing debate, how do you think a consistent pattern of telling white lies can weaken a person’s capacity to tell the truth in a costly confrontation?

2.     What is your internal conversation when a friend or mentor gives you negative feedback? What makes you accept it if you do?

3.     How willing are you to give honest feedback? Is your style confrontational or compassionate?


Share: Have you spoken truth in a public setting knowing there could be severe consequences? Why? What was the result?


Monday, February 17, 2014

Persecution: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:37, “…persecuted, tormented—”.

When asked to bring forth a prophet to confirm the word of the Lord, King Ahab of Israel reluctantly acknowledged Micaiah. Then added, “but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.”2 Chronicles 18:26

The prophet once again spoke the words the Lord gave and Ahab angrily ordered Micaiah to prison, to be fed sparingly until his safe return. To which the prophet added, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” I can’t help but consider the prophet’s answer had a touch of dry irony to it, yet regardless of tone he continued to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. He fully acknowledged his own capacity for error while affirming the undeniable truth of God’s words. And he stood firm on God’s words—willing to accept dire outrage.

What a contrast to the king who kept insisting Micaiah change his words to please him and refusing to listen to truth. So set on his own desires that he willfully chose to react with persecution over honest petition for direction.

Persecution seems a little beyond our own reactions to negative feedback, but is it? How often do we accuse others of malice or envy or misunderstanding or self-serving intent when we receive negative replies? Especially when we have sought out counsel. We may not actually say the words out loud; yet internally argue to mask our refusal to accept truth.

Lord, please give us integrity of heart to choose to listen and speak Your words, instead of refusing them for self-interest.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 111:10

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wilderness: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


     Wilderness



     Without hesitation

     they fled

     to hills, to deserts,

     leaving behind possessions

     choosing destitution

     not running away from

     but toward desire,

     longing to live

     in righteousness

     and justice.

     Wilderness a haven.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reflection Destitute: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     How willing would you be to become completely destitute by choice?

2.     Do you think the Lord might ask a partial form of ‘destitution’ in some areas of our lives? Why?

3.     Often during Lent we willingly give up something to remind us of sacrifice? When do you think our offering should instead become a permanent choice?


Share: How has God blessed you in a season of destitution?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Destitute: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:37, “; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute….”

Destitute is not a choice we tend to make willingly. There is a badge of shame attached, even if we become victims of fraud or scams or embezzlements due to organizations and policies far beyond our control, or sometimes even knowledge.

The attitude towards the homeless in our midst ranges from sorrow to derision, and our actions from compassion to rejection. We cringe when our financial circumstances shrinks drawing us closer to their circumstances.

Complete destitution goes beyond financial security though to encompass emotional, spiritual, and relational connections as well. So we naturally resist.

In Jewish history there are stories of a national group who rose up against Antiochus Epiphanes, a king, who came to power in a time between the prophets, and sought to abolish all Jewish worship. When Mattathias, an aged priest residing in Modein, saw the blasphemies being committed, he first mourned in sackcloth.  When the kind’s officers began to enforce the apostasy, he outright refused to bow to the king’s commandments and abandon the covenant of their ancestors.

“Then he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the town. At that time many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to live there.”

In order to remain completely faithful to God, they were willing to give up everything immediately. A desire for righteousness superseded all other concerns.
If asked to willingly become destitute, I think there is a part of me that would be asking, “Can I still keep this?”

Lord, please clean our hearts to desire Your words, Your ways above all else—even if that requires a wilderness lifestyle dependant solely on You.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 86:1-3

“Incline Thy ear, O Lord, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.
Do preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O Thou my God, save Thy servant who trusts in Thee.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, For to Thee I cry all day long.”


 
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