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Friday, March 30, 2018

Gift: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                       Gift


                        Costly gift

                        given freely

                        a life redeemed

                        every step

                        called—justified—glorified

                        all beyond comprehension

                        each unique a personal

                        generous gift

                        to accept or decline


                        to live or to hide.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Reflection: Grace: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1.     Predestined—called—justified—glorified are all works the Lord does for us and in us. Which parts do you think we hold responsibility for as well?

2.     God has given us freewill. How does this verse confirm our spiritual journey?

3.     How would you describe/explain God’s call upon your life to a non-believer or to a fledgling Christian?


Share: Do you think we are only glorified upon death or is it possible to experience it in the present?



Monday, March 26, 2018

Grace: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:30

“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

Have you ever had a situation in your life where you have so consistently failed that you’ve given up? Heartbroken.

God never gives up on us.

Whether we are listening, or not. Failing, or not. Moving forward, or not.

He stays the course with us and for us at every turn, every stage.

How often do we hinder or frustrate His redeeming journey for us because of our hesitancy to step out in faith and walk into the unknown in trust. In obedience to His plans and His timing?

Gift of His grace ready to sustain us in all circumstances, in all situations, in sickness and in health; His pledge that does not end at death but instead opens to a new beginning. Literally. Daily, now, and into eternity, forever.

With mercy and compassion He protects. He saves.

Lord, please continue to guide us, carry us, in Your Spirit’s power and enable us to take whatever next steps lie ahead.


Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:29


“When he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth.”

Friday, March 23, 2018

Conform: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                       Conform


                        Conform not a thought

we often choose to follow

requires a loss of individual

choice—we think.


Jesus invites us to

a life of grace and

forgiveness—eternal family

beyond measure.


He conformed to God’s

plan. At deathly cost

to share His relationship

with each of us

a one to one offering.


Choice ours to whom

we conform or not.

whose light to follow

whose image to desire.


Comply with a crowd

set on pursuits that

acquiesce to darkness

still in a prison even

when we seem in control.


Or conform to redemption’s

predestined gift

ongoing


image of mercy.

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


                       Transform


                        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


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                        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?




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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


                       Winnows


                        As a searchlight

                        pierces the dark

                        surroundings

                        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


                       Sighs


                        Into an empty void

                        longings descend

                        unable to speak

                        yet Spirit hears

                        rearranges into sighs

                        wordless and compassionate

                        intercedes


                        covers weakness with love.
 
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