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Friday, April 28, 2017

Arrows: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


           Arrows


            Special shield

            beyond surface

            protection deflecting

            poison arrows

            but instead

            completely dissolves

            so they cannot

            be used again

            quenched by authority

            when we accept


by faith.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reflection Shield: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1.     What flaming arrows most weaken you?

2.     Are you surprised when they suddenly dissolve?

3.     How does that strengthen your faith to prepare for the next attach?

4.     Do you think we can help quench the arrows too? How?


Share: What poison arrow have you seen dissolved this week?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Shield: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Ephesians 6:16

“With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Have you ever been surprised that your faith held strong through a difficult situation, yet faltered into complaint and worry over comparatively minor upsets?

Poison words, poison motives, poison attacks can weaken us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

And, as in many murder mysteries, the poison often comes by ordinary sources and is not recognized. So can flaming arrows of evil pierce silently through our relationships and commitments. Breaking down our defenses because we cannot see the danger.

Arrows that diminish us from within and without, even when we do not doubt God.

Yet fear and worry, fatigue and complacency, insert their poison into our heads and hearts to weary our hope and trust.

“Be on the alert,” Peter tells us in his letters. “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Jesus reminds us.

The threats are real. The battle is real. The poison is real.

But so is God’s shield of faith. So is Jesus’ victory. So is the Holy Spirit’s guidance to withstand.

Thank you, Lord for dissolving the flaming arrows that attempt to separate us from Your protection and presence.


Psalm of Worship: Isaiah 55:10

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it spring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”


Friday, April 21, 2017

Shoes: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


            Shoes


            Different shoes for

            different days

            each has a purpose

            each to keep walking

            for whatever is necessary

            for destination

            multiple ways

            multiple preparation

            proclaim gospel of peace

            proclaim hope

            just choose whatever works


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            just choose to wear them.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reflection Proclaim: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What defines “peace” to you? External or internal or both? What does it look like?

2.     What person in your life do you consider a peacemaker? In what ways do their actions or attitudes confirm that quality?

3.     Where are you struggling to live in gospel peace right now?


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Share: What possible “shoes” could help you share gospel peace this week?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Proclaim: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Ephesians 6:15

“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”


“Whatever” in today’s slang tends to mean “who cares” as in a true disinterest for a topic, or to hide a curiosity behind a personae of indifference.

Yet “whatever” in scripture builds from a foundation of commitment, opportunity, and promises.

“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who bring good news,” says the prophet Isaiah (52:7), “who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, And says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

We love good news. We cherish those who bring it to us and we hurry to pass it along to others we care about. What about those God cares about? How do we share His peace that is beyond our own understanding? Real peace. Not an external standoff but an internal reality that can holds on.

Soft slippers, spiked heels, metal boots, strong hiking shoes, playful sneakers, or vulnerable bare feet to walk and run alongside with words of hope and peace and restoration. By whatever means of communication: silent or verbal.

Music, scripture, prayers, art, dance, sports. Whatever means of  sharing God’s presence here and now and forever.

Lord, help us to proclaim Your gospel of peace Your way.


Psalm of Worship: Isaiah 55:9


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“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

Held: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



           Held


            Belt attaches us

            to truth

            holding us firm

            from falling away

            trusting His thoughts

            breastplate our covering

            soaked in grace

            wrapped in protection

            from lies


            trusting His path.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reflection Fasten: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     In what situations have you ever had difficulty standing for truth? Why?

2.     In what situations have you ever had to keep the truth hidden? Why?

3.     Why do you think righteousness does provide a covering for us, especially when we have seen its misuse?

4.      Have you seen God’s truth twisted into lies? How and why?


Share: What has given you strength to stand for truth in your life?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Fasten: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Ephesians 6:14

“Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.”

Have you ever had difficult discerning what is truth? Or how to process it?

When the Israelites faced Goliath they saw the truth of his power—his size, his strength, his victories, and knew without a doubt that he could not be defeated. And they were right.

David too acknowledged the ineffectiveness of human armor to battle Goliath, and removed the protection that Saul had given him. But David’s truth went beyond human capability and instead he looked solely to the Lord’s power and truth. And used the wisdom God gave him to be victorious.

The apostle Paul counsels Timothy to warn his listeners not to “wrangle about words, which is useless.” He advised that wordly and empty chatter would spread and lead to ungodliness. Instead, Paul says, be diligent, …. “handling accurately  the word of truth.”

God’s truth which goes far deeper and powerful.  Unshakeable. Unbreakable.

Honest. Sincere. Whole. Timeless.

That is the truth we can fasten to and know is trustworthy.

Lord, please give us Your truth as our breath, and Your righteousness as our covering.


Psalm of Worship: Isaiah 55:8

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”


Friday, April 7, 2017

Take: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


           Take


            Take up the armor

            gift of ability

            to withstand by

            grace’s protective one

            trusted and proven

            given as a choice

            to each individual

            God’s abundant pardon


            timeless invitation.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Reflection: Withstand: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     The Lord says to take the whole, but we often only take a portion. Why?

2.     In what areas are you most vulnerable? How do you lean on the Lord for His protection?

3.     In what areas are you most strong? Do you still lean on His strength? Why or why not?


       Share: Where do you need help to stand firm today?


Monday, April 3, 2017

Withstand: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Ephesians 6:13

“Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

No sugarcoating. No deceit. No pretense.

“On that evil day” that will happen. The definition of the evil day may change. And sometimes we cannot always identify what or why another considers a day evil or cruel or desperate.

But the Lord does. He knows what is a breaking point for each of us. He knows what turns our heart into fear or ice. He knows the battles within and without.

“Take.” He cares. He protects. He gives the warning.

He allows us to choose whether or not to accept His armor.

And yet we still resist, or pick and choose when, or if, we will take a portion. Maybe denial of the battle we face. Maybe we don’t want to admit our weakness. Maybe we don’t want to ‘owe’ Him, or think we have to.

“So that you may be able to withstand.”

Only His armor can give us full protection. Only in His graceful love can we stand.

Lord, please give us the humility to accept Your pardon and protection.


Psalm of Worship: Isaiah 55:7

“Let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”


 
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