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Friday, November 28, 2014

Shout: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Shout


Did they wonder at their

covenant just confirmed

as all ages marched in silence

around thick resistant

Jericho walls?


Not the battle plan

expected

yet trusted.


Chose to remember Jordan’s crossing

to acknowledge sovereign words

and to listen

with open hearts,

unlike their ancestors.


Received God’s sworn reward

city fell at a shout!

Astonishment.

                  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reflection Walls: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Are you facing an impenetrable wall right now? What kind?

2.     If the Lord gives you an incomprehensible plan, how likely are you to trust it?

3.     Or do you think that all solutions from God need to appear confusing because that will confirm His Presence?


Share: How are you praying for clarity?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Walls: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


 Reading: Joshua 6

“You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!” Joshua 6:10

Israel trusted God and they crossed the Jordan safely. But now they had to face the formidable Jericho city and its valiant warriors. Perhaps their own warriors were ready at adrenalin high confidence and anxious to prove themselves in battle—show they would be loyal to whatever task God set before them.

Walk around Jericho for six days. Blow the trumpets. Be silent. When told to shout on the 7th day—shout. Even the smallest children would not recognize these instructions as a military maneuver.

“For My thought are not your thoughts and my ways, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

The Lord placed before then a seemingly impossible assignment with no recognizable weapons or tactics to work with. A plan of attack with no precedent and later no replicated version.  Something like Jesus’ healings and teachings. As well as the Biblically recorded miracles of the Holy Spirit.  Unique—unexpected—deliberate—victorious whether the battle be spiritually unseen or physically tangible.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit’, says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

Concrete proof of God’s ongoing provision. His way. His power. His promises.

Lord, by Your word, in Your time, by Your plans, comes salvation to Your people. Help us to accept and follow Your methods regardless of our confusion. Everyplace is always Your land, Your hope, and Your Presence as the way.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 126: 5-6

“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.”



Friday, November 21, 2014

Trust: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Trust


Descendants by heritage

physical line from exodus

forty years of waiting

promise of new beginnings

withheld by ancestor’s sin.

Now stood to receive

prepared themselves under

knife of circumcision

mark of obedience

accepted God’s new provision

as manna ceased

ate fresh crops

renewed trust.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reflection Commit: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Have you ever had to wait a very long time for a fulfilled promise because another person stood in the way?

2.     How did you continue to stay committed?

3.     Did you come closer to the Lord, or further away, or a mix of both? What caused each reaction?

4.     What advice would you give to someone today in those circumstances?


Share: What unexpected form of provision has the Lord given you recently?



Monday, November 17, 2014

Commit: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 5

“On the day after the Passover… The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.” Joshua 5: 11-12

The generation before them had enough faith to leave slavery behind and follow the Lord’s promise. Then in the wilderness their trust faltered and prevented them from reaching their new land. Yet, God did not forsake them, or leave them to perish, but continued to provide for them every day until they reached a natural life span, except for Caleb and Joshua who had stood in faith all along, now as then ready to obey whatever God said.

This next generation had to make their own decision based on their own experiences. Whatever they chose would be their new path: to remain bound in limitation as did the generation before them, or to trust the Lord’s Promised Land and step into a completely new experience.

First they too had to let go the past and step out in trust. They needed to choose to grow in their faith and act upon it, not even fully understanding what that would look like. All they had known was daily manna.  Would God continue to sustain them spiritually and physically?

And the choice required a cost: circumcision. A permanent act of obedience and commitment. For each man a personal decision. An act of trust to pass on to the generation to follow them.

Lord, please keep us from fears that reduce our days to mere existence and instead keep our hearts grounded in a living faith that sees each day as a new opportunity to walk in trust and fellowship with You.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 125:2

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time on, and forevermore,”

Friday, November 7, 2014

Safe: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Safe


Stood firm in the middle

until all completed.

Stacked the stones

as a memorial.

Still present

witness to faithfulness.

So all earth may know

God’s hand of grace and mercy.

Suffering that all

may cross from darkness to light.

                        Safe

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reflection Memorial: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1.     What spiritual or cultural heritage have you received from your family?

2.     Do you see it as a blessing or a burden? Why?

3.     What faith inheritance do you most want your children to remember?


Share: What faith stone stands firmly in your life as a present memorial?


Monday, November 3, 2014

Memorial: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 4

“When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’”
Joshua 4:6

Memorials commemorate lives and events. Personally within families, and publicly within the histories of communities and nations. Although often given at death, they in fact honor life, by acknowledging their gift of being to those who knew them.

Some are given to perfect strangers due to acts of bravery, of courage, and of honor.

Names are often identified in Bible stories to acknowledge a particular action, both as a positive example or a negative one. After the twelve priests faithfully stood firm holding the ark until all the people passed it might be expected that their names be part of the story as a memorial and perhaps within their own generation they were.

But Israel knew that God alone had saved them and so this memorial was not only to answer the questions of their children but also, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” The memorial was even prepared ahead of time as each of the twelve tribes had a representative carry a stone with them from one side unto the other.

From a land of slavery into a land of promise. “So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” Both a spiritual and an historical critical event to be passed along from generation to generation.

As a witness forever. Both the stones and the words of the story behind them.

Lord, you have also cut us off from the power of darkness and crossed us over to Your light. Lord, please help us to be as faithful and readily stand where You place us until all that You command is completed.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 124:6-8

“Blessed be the Lord who has not given us as prey…
… We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.”


 
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