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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reflection: Image: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What feelings does the word predestined create in you?

2.     Do you see it as God’s choice or man’s choice to accept His call of redemption?

3.     In this passage family is the center point. Not relatives. What is the difference?

Share: How can conformation to His image become a part of daily living?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Image: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:29

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.”

In the beginning. Creation. Life—light—legacy.

Seeded—shaped—shared for eternity. Ongoing growth. Conformed to the foundation laid for it. A unique world—still a mystery.

Broken by sabotage—lies—sin. Decay—disease—despair took root. Still nature remains true to its order, again and again renewing its life. Season by season. Prepared. Waiting for full recovery. Trusting its Creator.

“This is the one who came by water and by blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is there who testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.” 1 John 5:6

Jesus stepped into human darkness—soul despair—hopelessness. Of His own accord. Predestined—prepared to battle for each life from the very beginning. Offers His personal light, conformed to truth. For us to be made new in His image. Not just a surface bath removing the mud stains of our lives but His life’s blood poured out into our new birth.

Invitation to live in His family—His inheritance—His eternal creation.

Lord, please keep us following the light of Your image that in You we may become whole.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:28

“When he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,”

Friday, March 16, 2018

Transform: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Even before pen to paper

                        can you see the sketch

                        take shape before your eyes

                        broken bottles, rusted car parts

                        cement, debris, weeds

                        transform into fresh

                        tilled ground—green grass.

                        Fledgling trees like puppet sticks

                        flower beds a rainbow

                        color splashing across despair

                        another season of creation

                        breathes into a void.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reflection: Purpose: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What is the difference between “knowing” with our minds and knowing with our lives?

2.     Is it ever possible to manufacture belief on our own? Why or why not?

3.     What do you know God is asking of you right now to trust Him with? Are you really engaged in the vision of a good result?

Share: How can self-method interfere with God’s purposes?


Monday, March 12, 2018

Purpose: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8: 28

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

ALL THINGS? Even those that tear our lives to pieces?

Yes. And we know that truth from all the many times He has brought healing and renewal through our struggles and trials.

Yet.  Even though we do know, how many ongoing times do we continue to not act and live into that truth? Surprise, fear, anxiety, catches us off guard and invades our faith. Instead of instinctively reacting in trust we hesitate. We linger in the transition towards purpose with doubts swirling like whirlpools ready to drown us.

Yet. Time and again we have been redeemed from sorrow into joy, despair into hope, and death into life. Always by His grace and mercy. New beginnings.

ALL THINGS! In His purpose and in His power.

Lord, please keep our hearts set on You.

Please keep our vision set on You.

Please keep our footsteps following only where You lead us.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:27

“When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,”

Friday, March 9, 2018

Winnows: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        As a searchlight

                        pierces the dark


                        making clear debris

                        and danger until the

                        lost is found,

                        so Spirit winnows

                        truth from false

                        grasps hope seeds

                        lifts them to Son’s

                        saving grace until

                        lost is found.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Reflection: Searches: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     How much do you depend on the Holy Spirit to pray for you?

2.     Does knowing that He prays God’s will bring relief? How?

3.     In what ways might that change your prayers?

Share: How might that change your actions after your prayers?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Searches: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8: 27

“And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

According to the will of God. What a relief!

When we don’t really know if we are praying with understanding, the Spirit does.

When our prayers are misguided, or misinformed, and can create conflict, the Spirit intercedes. 

When we are discouraged, confused, fearful, and anxious in our prayers, the Spirit comforts and restores.

According to the will of God.

When all we can offer are watered down requests, or mumbled rote words, the Spirit digs deeper to the true heart cries buried under exhaustion and pain. He lifts the real words—real needs up from our murkiness.

When we are lost, the Spirit leads us to hope.

When we are ashamed, the Spirit leads us to forgiveness.

When we are broken, the Spirit leads us to wholeness.

According to the will of God. And His everlasting saving grace.

Lord, please help us to keep praying in trust and remember that Your will is what we truly seek.  Help us to listen to Your Spirit with obedient discernment.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:26

“When he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.”

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sighs: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Into an empty void

                        longings descend

                        unable to speak

                        yet Spirit hears

                        rearranges into sighs

                        wordless and compassionate


                        covers weakness with love.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reflection: Intercedes: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     How deep do your prayers go?

2.     Have you sought the Spirit’s help recently? Why? Why not?

3.     Does knowing the Spirit covers us bring a sense of assurance or a sense of discomfort?

Share: Where do you need prayer today?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Intercedes: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

Do you ever feel stuck when praying? Rote prayers or help! prayers or vague prayers sometimes become our lifeline when we find ourselves praying from places of emptiness instead of fullness.

God already knows what’s in our hearts. Even when we don’t. Instead of trying to push through the confusion and fog on our own we are offered the Spirit’s insight and clarity.

Harry Emerson Fosdick says that when we habitually put ourselves in an attitude of willingness to do whatever God wills and to work His will in and through us we are in true prayer.

Even in our weakness.

“It was while waiting in prayer that He received the gift of the Holy Spirit, He dared not begin His public mission without that anointing.” S. D. Gordon

When we begin as Jesus did, with a clear sense of His promises as guided by the Spirit, our prayers can take on clearer, deeper depths. In His strength and wisdom.

Thank you, Lord, for Your Spirit to take us deeper. Guide us to align our prayers with Your purpose and Your heart of reconciliation.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:25

“Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth—“

Friday, February 23, 2018

Waiting: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Does waiting come

                        with tap dancing


                        caught up in rhythm

                        attuned to

                        musical beats

                        expectant pleasure.

                        Or a foot stomping

                        tantrum kicking


                        swirling doubts

                        scratching the word’s

                        raspy notes

                        creating static.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Reflection: Patience: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Even when you are sure of an outcome how do you wait? Anxious? Patient or impatient? In trust?

2.     We tend to think in concrete, tangible terms. What kind of intangible hope do you think God has waiting for us besides eternity?

3.     Where might the fruits of the Spirit apply? Galatians 5:22-23

Share: Which one do you most hope for in the near future? For which are you prepared to wait a long time if necessary?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Patience: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:25

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Too often I cannot wait with patience. Too often I have not grown past the demands of a toddler when I wait with an attitude of fretfulness, or an insistence of now.

To hope is to trust completely.

The Lord has promised us that we will be made in His image. Often we have a long way to go. Sometimes it is good that we don’t see the road ahead, especially if we have a tendency to turn our version of disappointments into complaint. Or an attempt to manipulate our perceived outcome.

To hope is to trust that the Lord’s dreams and imagination He begins in us will become a reality—in His time and not ours. Will be authentic by the Spirit’s counsel and not a cardboard copy of our false imitations.

Thank you, Lord, for the seeds You sow in us to prepare us for the journey. Show us how to wait in Your peace with trusting patience.

To still hope regardless.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:24

“When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Illumine: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Light and darkness

                        illumine our days

                        yet we cannot touch them,

                        no hands can grasp

                        a rainbow

                        perhaps a star if

                        it fell at our feet.

                        Northern lights dance

                        waves billow

                        none can be held

                        like hope tangible and


                        very present

                        though unseen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Reflection: Hope: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Make a list of all the things you hope for in your life.

2.     Where do you ‘see’ God’s hope in each of them?

3.     How easily do you think we replace God’s hope for our man-made version?

4.     What makes a sense of proof so important to us in today’s culture?

Share: When has the Lord revealed a hope to you that you had not seen?


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