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Friday, July 24, 2015

Common: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Common


            Languages completely

diverse in syntax,

style. Educated and common.

Countries near and far

united to worship

share the Passover.

Opposite of Babel’s

arrogant pride.

Now spoken

one to one invitation.

Of His Grace.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Reflection: Diverse: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Do you think that in our churches we still put up boundaries to others?

2.     Why? What criteria do you think we use consciously or unconsciously?

3.     How does the common speech of mankind at Babel (Gen 11:1-10) differ from the universal gift to all mankind at the Cross?


Share: Have you been able to experience a worship setting of diversity? How did you sense the Lord’s presence?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Diverse: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Acts 2:9

“Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia.”

Countries near and far.

Languages completely diverse.

Not likely to know one another apart from their own travel companions.

Yet all gathered together seeking the Lord God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Not taking Him for granted. Not to build man-made towers like Babel but to kneel.

All gathering in worship to celebrate the Passover. All devout.

Despite borders and cultures and cuisine and status they made the long journey to the one place they trusted to find hope—to honor God—to perhaps hear His voice or experience His Presence.

We no longer need to travel long distances to be with God in one particular place. That Passover opened for us a new freedom of relationship, a continual space to worship, a daily conversation.

Yet, do we take our relationship for granted? What new barriers do we put up against others whose language and culture and style of worship differs from ours?

His words bless everyone from near and far with His Grace.

Lord, help us to listen and to walk in conversation with You and with each other. Thank you that Your invitation to worship includes all of us and at the same time You give to each heart a one-to one love. In His communion.


Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:9

“And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.”

Friday, July 17, 2015

Possible: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



                        Possible
                       

                        How did you do that

                        Show me the trick

                        Must be a scam

                        Completely impossible

                        Absolutely astonishing

                        Confusion

                        Arguments

                        Moans of fear

                        How is that possible!

                        Silent wonder.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reflection: Impossible: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1.     How do you first respond to a possible word from the Lord?

2.     Why is it important to be ready to hear and still be responsible to confirm?

3.     What are some excuses you hold to as being an unreliable word?

4.     What are some ways you react faithfully?



Share: How have you experienced God’s “impossible” this week?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Impossible: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Acts 2:8

“And how is it that we hear in our own native language?”

How many kinds of emotions rang behind those words? Wonder, hope, a desire for confirmation. Or suspicious and fearful?

When Paul first brought God’s words to the Bereans they were referred to as more noble-minded, “for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scripture daily, to see whether these things were.” Acts 17: 11

Today in our highly technical environment we are well aware of potential scams and hoaxes and falsified presentations. But even in our sophisticated wariness lies still invade our relationships, our churches, our families, and our own hearts.

So often we doubt we are hearing what we think we are hearing.  In our faith too.

How often do we realize that the Lord has spoken into our hearts with the language we most need to hear and then still set up barriers of rejection? We must have been mistaken. We were caught up in a moment. We begin to question, why would He speak to me directly, am I imagining this, is it really possible?

Lord, teach us to remove our fears and anxieties so that we hear Your words of guidance and trust in Your personal language. Help us to confirm by Your scriptures and by Your Spirit’s counsel and take daily steps with great eagerness to listen and to walk.


Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:8

“God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”



Friday, July 10, 2015

Ordinary: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


           
           Ordinary


            Not scholars or statesmen

            merchants or interpreters

            instead working class Galileans

            speaking complex languages

            fluently with purpose

            message in the miracle

            delivered by ordinary

            ambassadors chosen

            for that day—that place—that time

            crying out good news

            mysteries.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Reflection: Astonished: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What expectations or assumptions do you expect from a speaker?

2.     What expectations or assumptions do you expect of yourself if giving a talk?

3.     Does your attitude or approach differ between professional or personal? Why and how?

4.     Have you received or given a message unexpectedly by the Holy Spirit’s prompting?


Share: Who first told you about Jesus in a way that you understood?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Astonished: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Acts 2:7

“Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?’”

How many times do we tend to put up boundaries against God’s spoken word whether knowingly or not?

Can only hear it spoken here.

Only by this or that person with these credentials.

Cannot at this time—maybe later.

How often do we lock others out, or keep ourselves from giving the unexpected words of hope, because of busyness, or hardness of heart, or fear of ridicule?

Yet God speaks anytime and anywhere through any persons. Through joy and sadness, birth and death, riches and poverty, ready hearts and stone hearts, through creation, and at least once through a donkey. No limits on His words going out or coming in, except from our very ordinary selves.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4: 12

Lord, please give us hearts and souls ready and willing to listen—to notice—to receive—to obey—to share as You direct. And when we are astonished, may we remember to give thanks to You alone.


Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:7

“So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so.”


Friday, July 3, 2015

Invitation: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


           Invitation


            A crowded marketplace

            a cacophony of voices,

            bewildered hearing native language

            bewildered so turn and see

            who speaks so personally

            who addresses heart’s hunger

            to everyone words of hope

            to everyone an offer of grace

            on a busy day

            on a crowded street

            each language

            each person

            still spoken to with love

            still receives invitation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reflection: Language: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     How do you hear and recognize the Lord’s voice in the cacophony of voices that mark our busy marketplace days?

2.     John chapter 10 describes the relationship of a Shepherd to his sheep. What parts of Jesus’ words speak to you today?

3.     What words are you hungry to hear from the Lord?


Share: When has a familiar voice called out to you in an unexpected place and given you relief?

 
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