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Friday, July 20, 2018

Sing: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Sing


                        Sing aloud

                        with gladness

                        raise shouts

                        proclaim, give praise,

                        not an easy request

                        when a remnant

                        huddles in exhaustion

                        weakened by loss

                        rescue surrounds unseen

                        protected by grace

                        never leaves, continues to

                        save His people

                        with gladness.

                       
Romans 8:7 “For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Reflection: Claim: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection

1.     In what ways has the Lord’s song, cut into your despair or depression?

2.     How did the hope give you courage to keep going when it seemed nothing would change?

3.     Will this prepare you for another season of battle? How?

4.     What word of hope do you now give to another who is struggling?



Monday, July 16, 2018

Claim: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 7 “For thus says the Lord; Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.’”

Sing aloud with gladness.

Have you found that some days are just too difficult to sing God’s grace despite the fact that you have no doubts of faith? Your trust in His Presence is solid. Your belief in His word is unshakeable.

And yet still a tiredness beyond fatigue can suddenly wrap us in a grip that pulls deeper and deeper into a sense of separation and loss.

A sense of helplessness to own what we believe. Instead of song—silence.

However even if our voice is muted we can still praise. When we turn to unfailing truths—unchangeable promises—unfathomable mercy, we choose to sing. Even when no one else hears us.

And that will sustain us through any lingering defeat until we can lift our voices once more in gladness and witness out loud. The praise and the song continue to be our foundation—our choice in all situations.

Lord, please keep our hearts and our souls singing Your word with gladness and claim Your song.

Your Thoughts,

Friday, July 13, 2018

Watch: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Watch

Shall be a day

Watching, listening, waiting

in hope, in trust, in faith

for the promise long ago given

in grace, in mercy, in love.


Will we be as committed

to each day’s possibilities

for words that change lives

to listen in obedience.


With our vision steadfast

in anticipation

for guidance, clarity, support

in expectancy.


Will we go

when the Spirits calls

whispers or shouts

walk now.



Romans 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Reflection: Day: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection

1.     Are we ready to listen for the call daily or has weariness silenced us?

2.     Are we ready to follow together or has fragmentation divided us?

3.     Where do our hesitations lie?

4.     What will engage our hearts to commit wholly?


Monday, July 9, 2018

Day: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


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Jeremiah 31:6, “For there shall be a day when watchmen On the hills of Ephraim shall call out, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, To the Lord our God.’”

Shall be a day.

Will there come a day Lord when we look to Your word first before wallowing in our own needs and struggles. When we will look up first in hope before down at the chains we are entangled in—both of our own failures and of life trials.


We pray to come to You first in all situations and possibilities and for a heart ready to obey in love and gratitude. For hearts set on You.

Set on trust.

Your Thoughts,


Friday, July 6, 2018

Plant: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Plant


Again will come

a time to plant

a time to seed

again to cultivate.


Put behind the loss

plant with expectation

plant with courage

put  away the fear.


Expect a harvest

enjoy the labor

enjoy the growth

expect to nurture.


Again in trust

a deliberate choice

a step of faith

again by grace.


Romans 8: 5, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Reflection: Shall Plant: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection

1.     Have you experienced or seen the devastation left from nature’s dark side: fire, tornado, hurricanes, earthquake, tsunami? What was your first thought?

2.     How did you, or would you, face the task of rebuilding?

3.     What loss might keep you from giving up completely at any restoration?

4.     What hope would give you the courage to begin again?

Monday, July 2, 2018

Shall Plant: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 5, “Again you shall plant vineyards On the hills of Samaria; The planters shall plant and shall enjoy them.”

Again you shall plant.

The promise is for a plentiful harvest spreading over the hills.

And it requires a vision. Vineyards don’t grow in a few weeks but take years of labor. A new commitment. A willingness to trust.  Whatever we are being asked to reseed. Restore.

How do we grasp on to that measure of hope from a place of devastation and despair? Especially when in reality we may never see a whole recovery in our lifetime.

A daily heart decision. “Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness;” Hosea 10:12 We are each given seeds to sow for the work the Lord calls us to—even when we cannot recognize or imagine the outcome.

To remember that the Spirit is present now, and the one guiding us into the future. His vision in His time. “The sower sows the word.” Mark 14:20

An ongoing promise.

Hallowed purpose that we are invited to participate in every day. Included in all the stages of growth. Given a glimpse of the final celebration when everyone has been invited to the banquet.

Again and again.

Your Thoughts,


Friday, June 29, 2018

Build: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Build


Again I will build you,

be rebuilt, restored.


Can the broken

soul take up

music of praise

sing with hope

leave dirge

stretch towards grace

restoring emptiness

soothing heartbreak

crumbling failure into

Spirit’s flowing life.


Again.


Romans 8:4, “in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Reflection: Again: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection:

1.     In what ways do we allow our failures to direct our days?

2.     Why do we hold them so tightly?

3.     Do we really believe that the Lord will restore us wholly to sing and dance again? Why or why not?

4.     How has He already brought hope into your heart—into your circumstances?

5.     What step of faith do you need to choose next?



Monday, June 25, 2018

Again: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Reading Jeremiah 31: 4

“Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you shall take up your tambourines, and go forth to the dancers of the merrymakers.”

Again I will build you.

Seasons change. Brokenness, disease, failures will be renewed, rebuilt, restored. From the charred earth of raging forest fires grows a new meadow flowing with color and life and freshness. Seedling trees reach upward next to giants with charred scars. Cycle spins towards life.

Do we believe? Can we hang on in hope waiting for new seeds in ourselves when all we see within and without is devastation? And Your words of hope—Your presence of Spirit still whispering care. But to sing and dance? Somehow that still seems uncaring. Can mourning and dancing truly abide side by side?

Only in the Spirit’s power. Only when we can recognize it is not our doing but God’s grace pouring new life into us.

Lord, help us to wait upon Your timing—Your new season—trusting in Your Presence in all the seasons of heart and soul and mind and strength.


Your Thoughts,



Friday, June 22, 2018

Everlasting: Grace in the Wilderness:Prayers and Poetry



Everlasting


            An everlasting love

            Beyond any measure

            Despite flaws

            Diligent in distress

            Patient in confusion

            Perseveres through confrontation

            Joys in opportunities

            Joins in labor

            Gently carries in weakness

            Gladly shares

            Bears all burdens

            An eternal love.
           

Romans 8:3, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.”


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reflection: Drawn: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection

1.     What does everlasting love look like to you?

2.     Have you ever experienced a taste of it? What surprised you?

3.     In what ways have you been able to give it to another? Or struggled to give?

4.     What are some reasons why we resist costly love?



Monday, June 18, 2018

Drawn: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Reading Jeremiah 31:3

“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.’”

An everlasting love. Something we can rarely experience or only partially understand. Sometimes parents can stay the course with their children but even they can have moments of withdrawal or worry.

Drawn. By an artist’s hand of creation. Not just line-by-line on paper with multiple shades of light and dark, but also an internally knitted design. Strengths and gifts ready for possibilities. With free will to accept or reject.

Only You, Lord, fully know who we each are in Your creation. Please give us a deeper vision to follow the lines You have formed within. Enable us to live in lovingkindness instead of power, competition, and greed.

Love that endures in Your grace. As a new creation.


Your Thoughts,




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Friday, June 15, 2018

Sword: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Sword


                        Survived the sword

                        of death and despair

                        surrendered to living word

                        two-edged sword piercing

                        soul from spirit

                        judging heart

                        shaped now by grace

                        freed from sin’s decay

                        sanctified by promise

                        hope replaces wilderness

                        Spirit of Life restores.


Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reflection: Survived: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection


1.     What swords have you faced recently?

2.     What was your instinctive response?

3.     Are you expecting grace in the aftermath? Why or why not?

4.     What would you recognize as rest? Or being freed?


 
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