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Friday, May 31, 2019

Beyond Measure: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Beyond Measure

Grains of sand
filter through our
days, each speck
marking time dissolving

Glorious star panorama
boldly displays
spoken words nightly
marking time’s passage.

Good as dead
like Abraham—still
open opportunity of
infinitesimal seed
saying yes.

Psalm 104:13, “He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Reflection Questions: Grains: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. What area of your life do you need to become more willing to be obedient in faith, despite outward appearances?


2. What is a word of hope you have experienced that you can share with another who is struggling?


3. What does a faithful heart look like to you?

Share: Have you experienced new life out of a ‘dead’ situation? How did it change your faith perspective?




Monday, May 27, 2019

Grains: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:12, “Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’”

Grains

Have you ever arrived early to a concert and heard the odd screeching and twanging sounds of instruments warming up? Especially if the concert is given by beginning musicians and you wonder why you accepted the invitation.

Yet suddenly under the conductor’s hand all becomes still and then individual notes rise and blend into shape and sound and a melody flows into the audience. Art shaped by long hours obedient to repeating scales, to practiced pieces, to the music’s heart, and to the conductor’s authority, harmonize into a whole.

Each note played by each instrument as a necessary voice. Each often prepared in solitude over many hours of wondering if it would ever come out right. Yet for the hope and desire within they stayed the course towards creating music. As Abraham trusted in God’s creative power in and through him beyond his own capabilities.

The power of one heart in obedience to the Lord has consequences far beyond our imagination and far beyond our single notes.

Help us each one, Lord, to become instruments of faith in Your concert.

Your thoughts,


Friday, May 24, 2019

A Trust: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



A Trust

A promise so long
delayed reached
physical impossibility.

And yet made by
one whose word could
always be trusted.

Without whom life
would shatter into
broken scars,
open wounds.

A flicker of faith
continued to linger
hoping in new beginnings.

Psalm 104:12, Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Reflection Questions: A Promise: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. How hard is it for you to wait for answers of any kind?

2. Do you struggle to find a ‘long wait’ faith in our instant culture? What helps you take a distant approach when necessary?

3. Or recognize a short-term answer as coming from the Lord and not a man-made solution?

4. Many year ago I met a woman who was instrumental in helping others grow in faith, yet she herself waited forty years for her husband to realize how much Jesus loved him. What is the longest you have had to wait for an answered promise from God. Does it help now with the one before you?

Share: Ask a friend to pray with you this week over a long awaited promise.



Monday, May 20, 2019

A Promise: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:11, “By faith he received a power of procreation even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.”

A promise

How often have we automatically dismissed ourselves, or others, due to age or physical limitations? We surely do have common sense reasons and need to seriously take in these factors. And yet, don’t we sometimes use those limitations as a reason to refuse, just to refuse?

When we look only at the surface, we deny the Spirit’s power.

We are all too frail for ministry—in our own strength.

When we give our weaknesses as an offering, our hearts are open to receive God’s purposes—His way—in His time—and as His servant.

Whose boundaries do we keep—our own—the world’s—or the Lord’s?

Faith grasps stories: Caleb as strong at eighty five as at forty, Samuel just past toddler, Jeremiah and John appointed while in the womb, Tamar and Rahab and Bathsheba in Jesus’ genealogy, Simeon and Anna waiting to see salvation; all not often as well known, but day by day faithful in the field the Father gave them.

Only You, Lord, can produce new life in us. Only accomplishments that come from Your life are of lasting value. Only by abiding in You can keep us faithful to Your promises.

Keep us looking Lord, to what You can accomplish instead of what we cannot. Help us stay committed to the task You choose with a trusting heart.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 17, 2019

The City: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



The City

Fairy tales contain
castles in the sky
beauty so magnificent
hearts become seized
with longing and quest
to belong.  A dream
that continues when
pages are closed. Yet
reality builds today a
city beyond comprehension,
kingdom of forgiveness.
Begin journey.

Psalm 104:11, ““They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst.”



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Reflection Questions: Foundation: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions

1. What questions do we need to ask ourselves to determine what we are building towards?

2. What wrong materials or cracks in the foundation need to be replaced/restored/repaired?

3. Do we look to the work with eagerness or resignation? Why?

Share: What do you look forward towards this next year?



Monday, May 13, 2019

Foundation: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:10, “For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

Foundation

A fresh calendar, a new slate is often how we anticipate a new year or month, week or sometimes even a free day, and yet there also lingers the undone from yesterday and conflicting emotions.

Are we running ahead with anticipation or running away?  Standing on tiptoe to seek God’s vision, or burying our heads under staggering concerns.

Abraham dwelt in a tent and dreamed of God’s city. Some might think it only as a myth, a fairy tale, or an exaggerated sense of imagination, yet he knew the architect personally and already had been the recipient of God’s grace. So the disconnect between daily life on desert plains, sandstorms, and unfamiliar routes, and his long-term destination were not incompatible, not an emotional escape.

Every day he stood on that farseeing hope for guidance, choices and purpose. Was it easier then to see his horizon without the time clock frenzy that interrupts our ability to pause and dream and wonder with awe?

Lord, please set each of us firmly on the path You choose for us to journey and give us hearts to live into Your vision. No matter how difficult a day may become, keep our faith fixed on Your foundations as we build our lives with Your words.

Your thoughts,



Friday, May 10, 2019

Nomad: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Nomad

Was it hard to awake
every morning to an
unfamiliar atmosphere
whether wind or bird or scent?

Groggily leave life-long
territory, childhood memories,
well-worn paths walked
even in sleep.

Focus now on present terrain
geographic manual
newly minted.
Wonder at nomad lifestyle.

Psalm 104:10, “He sends for the springs in the valleys; They flow between the mountains;”



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Reflection Questions: Daily: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. We all need some degree of structure in our lives in order to accomplish anything but we also each have a comfort zone on that scale. Where is yours?

2. How do you cope when pushed out of it? Do you see it as a word from the Lord or as an intrusion? Or both?

3. Do you see all of your life as under God’s authority to command or only certain parts?

4. Read John 12: 49-50.


Share: Which is harder for you to experience each morning, a day of routine or a day of interruptions? Literally or spiritually?


Monday, May 6, 2019

Daily: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


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Hebrews 11:9, “By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.”

Daily

Nomads who didn’t follow mercantile routes or grazing lands, weather patterns or time-set agendas, but waited for a word—the word—from God alone when to stay and when to go.

Were they anxious for the signal to move when as outsiders they were regarded with such distrust they would post a sentry each night? Or so settled in comfort and plenty they dreaded the call to go. Perhaps even pleaded a little—we still have some tent repairs, a child is teething, the lambs and calves are too wobbly to travel a distance.

Or, a house divided. Some up early to eagerly explore the new geography and meet the neighbors. Others huddled near familiar daily routines grasping at permanence in fluctuating days.

All waiting—all trusting in a word spoken—looking to be shaped by kairos time instead of daily uncertainty. Learning to live by spiritual roots instead of geographic. Knowing that the when and the where and the why and for how long belonged to the Lord.

Lord, please guide us into a new way of living each day. Ground us into Your word and Your Spirit so that our foundation is Your will, Your Purpose, and in Your timing. Help us to be willing to change our agendas at the sound of Your voice.


Your thoughts,



Friday, May 3, 2019

Leave: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Leave


Leave behind all that

is familiar. Go to a new

land. Brings both sorrow

and anticipation. Grief

and adventure. Most difficult

letting go well-worn habits,

comfort routines. Taking one

last look before new inheritance.

Now go.

Psalm 104: 9, “Thou didst set a boundary that they may not pass over; That they may not return to cover the earth.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Reflection Questions: Obey: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. Regardless of whether you love to move from place to place or resist ever leaving, what does your heart ache for the most when a change is required? What does it anticipate the most?

2. What ‘move’ do you sense God is nudging you to consider in your life right now: emotionally or physically or spiritually?

3. Is it drawing you closer to the Lord in trust or putting up a wedge in your relationship? Why?


Share: How has God blessed a step of faith for you this week?




 
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