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Monday, December 31, 2018

New Covenant: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 31, “‘Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.’”

New covenant,

New days—new beginnings—new changes—new decisions.

Sometimes we are filled with worry and sometimes with great relief to know we can start again. To let the past go by jettisoning all the weight and starting fresh.

And yet the feelings that toss and turn us when we face planned or unplanned changes are unsettling. It’s so very hard to grasp the new and fully release any sorrow or grief or old ways.

Here—now—today—the Lord promises a new covenant personally with Him. One-to-one regardless of our background or false perspective.

He will give us His words and new beginnings in His purpose. If we listen. If we keep our eyes and ears and hearts willing to live into His promises and relationship.

With Him.

Lord, please forgive us for letting doubts and fears overwhelm us and to stay faithful to Your love and grace which is always present. Unlike us, You never leave or forsake us. Help us to stand in trust today no matter what comes and give You the glory for any good.

Your thoughts,

Friday, December 28, 2018

Everyone: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



                                               Everyone


                                                No escape

                                                from the sins

                                                we each bury

                                                deep within

                                                allowing lies to

                                                expand, engulf

                                                our lives

                                                with excuses

                                                accusations towards

                                                everyone else

                                                until death’s core

                                                exacts penalty

                                                and we are each

                                                exposed.


Romans 8:30, “And whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these he also glorified.”






Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Reflection: Set On Edge: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions

1. In what ways have you ever used a false excuse to avoid a painful confrontation?

2. How has false reasoning caused a minor difference of opinion to create a broken relationship?

3. What are the protective barriers you instinctively raise when someone verbally attacks you with accusations?

4. How do you seek the Lord’s guidance when truth needs to be acknowledged—even when painful?





Monday, December 24, 2018

Set On Edge: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31:30, “But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge.”

Set on edge,

There are so many ways that we manage to place blame on others, or on circumstances, or false reasoning, in our attempts to not admit our own fears and failures.

We bury our sins and lies and it only makes each situation worse. Especially in ongoing relationships. Especially when we begin to believe our own manufactured reasoning.

Without clarity to recognize and identify our personal sour perceptions, our teeth will also be always set on edge as we deny our sins. Or refuse to own them. Unless we are willing to see through the Lord’s insight and His cleansing grace.

Forgive us, Lord, of our false pretenses. Please give us Your strength and insight to recognize our lies and turn to You for Your truth and Your forgiveness to make amends. With You. With ourselves. With others.

Your thoughts,


Sunday, December 23, 2018

An Advent Retreat Excerpt Day Twenty-Two

Day Twenty-Two

“And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47

Personal Reflection

Reality

Rejoice always
Scripture says
even in despair,
sorrow, pain
recognizes God
stays by our side
every moment
strengthening within
realizes we are weak
substance dust
earth weighted unless
substitutes His power
Reality becomes grace.

Writing Prompt
1.     Mary believed in the Messiah with hope unseen. We believe from hope seen. Why then are we not a people who rejoice?
2.     What clouds rejoice from your heart?
3.     Is it possible to rejoice in pain and sorrow? How?

Psalm of Worship
            When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. Psalm 104:22

Today's Thought

Friday, December 21, 2018

No Longer: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



                                                No Longer


                                                No longer can blame

                                                family traits, examples of

                                                notoriety

                                                good or bad

                                                now need to accept

                                                full responsibility

                                                not odd excuses to

                                                generate our own sins as

                                                natural habits

                                                finally acknowledge actions

                                                now accountable one by one

                                                grace accepts real truth.

Romans 8:29, “For whom he foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Reflection: Not Say Again: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What is the most positive family trait that has been passed down through the generations?

2.     What has been the most deadly or embarrassing?

3.     How much of either type have you experienced for yourself? Or ignored?

4.     How have you used any of these traits as an excuse to yourself for failures or sins?

5.     Or to condemn others around you?



Monday, December 17, 2018

Not Say Again: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 29, “In those days they will not say again, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on age.’”

Not say again,

Some commentaries say that this phrase is a proverb from Ezekiel used as an excuse for the sins of the fathers becoming the child’s burden or consequence.

Perhaps our modern version might also be the embarrassing relative no one wants to include in public events for fear of what they will reveal, or how they will act, or remind family of fearful characteristics.

Or perhaps we are the ones to inherit the “black sheep” struggles and are the rejected ones.

But the Lord says, “They will not say again.” He calls each person to be accountable now and no longer blame any of our actions, or reactions, on heritage or family traits or any other excuse we can attempt to manipulate.

From the Lord’s perspective we are each responsible for ourselves—attitudes and actions.

To Him. For Him. Under Him.

He who loved us so much that He went to the cross to remove the presence and power of sin’s grip on our lives. A new inheritance to remember and accept.  One to one. He has absorbed the cost of our sins for each of us.

Lord, please conform us to Your image and Your heart and Your purpose. Thank you for Your grace.

Your thoughts,



Sunday, December 16, 2018

An Advent Retreat Excerpt Day Fifteen


Day Fifteen

Where she entered the house of Zecariah and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:40

Personal Reflection

                                    Kinship

                    Greetings to ones who know
                        have been touched by grace.

                        Relief in their presence
                        honesty without apology.

                        Guidance by sharing
                        praying together.

                        Rest apart from prying
                        tongues anxious for gossip.

                        Grateful for kinship
                        molded by prophecy.

                        Reconciliation ahead
                        prepare the way.

                        Glory announced

Writing Prompt
1.     Through unexpected joys or sorrows, have you ever become isolated from friends and family, unable to share or communicate your experience?
2.     How did that separateness add stress?
3.     Like Mary, did you find a soul kinship to walk with you? In what ways did you help each other?
4.     Do you think that sometimes we are called into isolation to be only with the Lord? Why or why not?

Psalm of Worship
            And wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. Psalm 104:15

Today’s Thought


Friday, December 14, 2018

Each One: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



                                               Each One


                                                Each day each season

                                                fills with distress

                                                swallowing up hope

                                                disaster—destruction

                                                fuels separation

                                                purpose to destroy.


                                                Each moment each day

                                                faith embraces

                                                stands in battle

                                                dedicated watch

                                                fear dissolves

                                                purpose to plant.


                                                Each heart each moment

                                                fellowship of love

                                                strengthening soul

                                                designs restoration

                                                fulfills provision

                                                promises His presence.


                                  Each day, each moment, each heart, each one.

Romans 8: 28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Reflection: Watch Over: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Where do you personally need hope right now?

2. What word or promise will help you to trust?

3. In what ways can you protect the seed you chose to grow last week?

4. How can it tie into your choice of word towards hope?

5. What is the next step towards His purpose?


Monday, December 10, 2018

Watch Over: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 28, “And it will come about that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to over throw, to destroy, and to bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord.

Watch over,

Each day can sometimes seem too hard to face the battleground we see. Even with the knowledge that the Lord has invited us to be fellow workers with Him.

Decisions—strength—desires all collapse into sorrow and weakness.

Yet despite the destruction we contribute to ourselves, and others, the Lord stays. He watches over each of us ever ready to guide us to plant—to sow—to restore. He will show us how to plant in weariness.

When we keep our eyes on Him, our hearts in commitment, and our hope in trust.

Lord, we ask to follow in Your purpose with, or without, the ability to understand. Keep us faithful in times of deep loss and in times of restoration. Please keep us living in Your light and enable us share it with others even when we cannot see or recognize it.  Enable us to truly know, Lord, in our minds—and please may our hearts trust as well.

Your thoughts,



Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Advent Retreat Excerpt Day Eight


Day Eight

“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  Luke 1:33

Personal Reflection

Glimpse

Recognition glimmers
with names,
Ruler of kingdom
the promised one who
reigns forever
glimpse into eternity.

Ready now, here
this moment to
redeem creation
meet each person
rescue one to one
angel messenger
radiant with message.

Writing Prompt
1.     How often do you think you truly acknowledge the power of the Messiah?
2.     Why does our perspective tend to focus on our difficulties and not on His complete Majesty?
3.     How do you lift up your eyes to His eternal promises?

Psalm of Worship
            They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them. Psalm 104:8

Today’s Thought



 
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