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Friday, August 29, 2014

Passion: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Passion


Pure love alone

breathes mercy

gift of reconciliation

perfect love

beyond comprehension

crumples our hearts

passion alone

brings power to

change lives.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reflection Sacrifice: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Do you find it emotionally too painful to consider Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for you alone?

2.     Do you believe that He would have gone to the cross for you alone? Why or why not?

3.     What keeps you hesitant to seek His forgiveness day to day? Or what keeps you anxious to seek His forgiveness day to day?


Share: What sacrificial gift of love have you received that changed your life?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sacrifice: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 12:2, “endured the cross,”

When we see sacrificial acts given among us we are often humbled at the capacity of love shown. Especially when between strangers. And sometimes the question lingers how?

We get a glimpse of potential human compassion, of grace and mercy, and perhaps hope that when called upon we too can give beyond our measure.

Then we turn to Jesus’ sacrifice and that can become too painful to face. Because He endured His sacrifice for everyone. For all our sins. For my sins—the sin still alive and active in my everyday. So instead of gratitude I often turn away in shame and embarrassment that I have accepted His gift so carelessly. And miss His ongoing grace that restores—every time I ask.

Lord, please forgive us our part in Your suffering. Forgive our ongoing disobedience to Your healing grace. Instead of emotionally tuning out when we come to a time of sacrifice help us to care with Your heart and see through Your eyes of love.

Only in Your name can true love be given. Only in Your name can we become truly compassionate towards others. And recognize the truth behind the wonder.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 72:17-19

“May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines;
And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.”

Friday, August 22, 2014

Closure: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Closure


Joy of expectancy.


A return home,

carried Him beyond

the suffering

anticipation toward

curtain’s closure

the end reconciliation.


Joy of expectancy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reflection Expectant Joy: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Make a list of the most challenging experiences of your life: physically, relationally, and spiritually.

2.     Next to each category write the characteristics that got you through. For example: determination, commitment etc.

3.     In each trial how much did your spiritual faith take a role either positively or negatively?

4.     When you look back at each in what ways has your perspective changed from then to now? Why?



Share: Have you experienced a sense of joy through a difficult season? How did it change the circumstances?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Expectant Joy: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 12:2, “who for the sake of the joy that was set before him,”

Athletes, musicians, and dancers are known, along with several other professions, for facing grueling schedules, as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual tension. The pressure has been known to make or break a career despite talent.

Yet for each one the initial choice is made to endure hardship for the hope of the prize or success. A choice to commit—yes—but how often with a sense of joy in the process?

Then there are so many who face daily struggles just to face the physically, mental and emotional needs of themselves or a loved one. Not a choice—but still a commitment. How often with joy when fatigue saps strength moment by moment?

Yet none of us come close to the cross—to the plan Jesus chose to endure—for each of us.

His faith vision looked beyond the immediate pain, beyond the devastation of sin’s legacy, beyond the present futility, towards goals that encompassed the imperishable. His ability to choose a higher value than immediate needs leaves us an example to follow when crisis of any kind debilitates our lives.

He continues to go before us and prepare our paths. He continues to stretch our thinking beyond survival, or hope in the end, to the experience of His joyful Presence now.

Yet how often do we truly look for His joy?

Lord, please enable us to mirror Your values in all circumstances, so that we can focus on the imperishable regardless of how difficult a season we are in.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 126:5-6

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Possibilities: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Possibilities


Questions lure the

reader into unfamiliar

territory:  will she succeed,

where did he go;

whether down to earth

reality or mind stretching

mystery we follow,

heartbeating romance

fantastic worlds

all pulse with

anticipation while

we forget we live

the most astonishing

story ever told

as daily faith.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reflection Author: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     How do you feel about the idea of Jesus as your author in your life? Is that a comfort, a challenge, or a concern?

2.     What possibilities would you be looking for eagerly if you knew Jesus wrote words just for you?

3.     Is it a relief to think that you can give over your weak areas of faith and ask Him for a revision?


Share: What do you consider to be your best faith story ever so far?


Monday, August 4, 2014

Author: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 12: 2, “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,”

Another translation says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He writes His words for us to follow. He writes them to shape us individually. He has a completed ending in mind.

If we keep reading. If we keep looking for those story nuggets and not become overwhelmed by the obstacles. How amazing that we each have a unique role to play in our own stories and also the privilege of interacting with others as they read their plot lines, and dialogue, and themes.

More often we are disappointed by how many times we miss faith opportunities. Perhaps we didn’t understand the directions, or were too busy looking at someone else’s pages, or completely turned around.

Like characters in a novel we hit barrier after barrier. Yet the author writes us each a new chapter. Despite defeat another possibility arises, and, bit-by-bit, we begin to collect the words that strengthen our journey, our quest, and resist the stumbling stones that break off pieces of trust. Our faith deepens with each step.

And now we can become fully engaged, fully alert, running with anticipation at what the next scene will unfold. Trusting in the end. Knowing that He has written an ending with His love and His victory. A perfect ending. His way.



Psalm of Worship: Psalm 119:105

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet,
And a light to my path”

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pace: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


                       Pace


Pace is necessary

to reach long distance

stretch—roads wind,

curve, buckle

throughout the route.

Breathe with rhythm

Spirit strength

infusing fresh energy

inhale—exhale beat.

Match soft shoe

choreography

practice until a reflex

                        dancing towards destination.
 
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