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Friday, August 30, 2019

Sand: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Sand

Allure of wealth
wakens discontent
simmers underneath
blessings, joins
desire for power
envies glitter.

Allowed heart
access then
works distortion
speeds accumulation
jettisons fragile gifts
for empty fa├žade.

Wreck upon sandbar
as grains stream through
fingers remembering
previous course
before fleeting pleasure
ensnared.

With longing
home-sick eyes
watch horizon
catch glimpse
of  hope that endures
begin again.

Psalm 104:26, “There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which Thou hast formed to sport in it.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Reflection: Inheritance: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. What have you inherited that has become a strong foundation for you?

2. Have you inherited anything that qualifies as a fleeting pleasure?

3. How has either affected your spiritual inheritance with God?

4. Had you been in Moses’ place of decision, which aspect of Pharaoh’s inheritance would have been the most difficult for you to walk away from?


Share: What part of God’s inheritance as His child do you cherish the most?



Monday, August 26, 2019

Inheritance: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:25, “Choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”

Inheritance

In John 17, Jesus prays for His followers not to be taken out of the world, but to be kept from the evil one—to be sanctified in truth as a witness to the world. Moses’ advanced education and opportunities given by his upbringing gave him the gifts and qualities he needed to lead a nation, to write the Torah, to lead his people in worship of a personal God. Was there even a possibility he could have been the next Pharaoh?

Two inheritances with possibilities ahead of which he knew neither. Yet, he knew enough to know that earthy power comes and goes. A once mighty ruler could quickly become buried under sands of time. And he chose the story of his people over the temporary. Trusting that following God’s promises would be far better than playing by the world’s rules. And have lasting eternal value.

Perhaps to stay in Pharaoh’s household meant a participation with sin even if not committing it. Can silence or compromise become acquiescence? How can we know when to stay in a situation or when to break all ties?

Lord, we need Your wisdom to not become blinded by wrong opportunities to do right things. Help us to stand in the heritage of Your word, Your will, and Your ways.

Your thoughts,





Friday, August 23, 2019

Decision: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Decision


A time comes for each of us

to measure paths,

evaluate possibilities

not only for direction

but attitude and purpose,

‘when he was fully grown.’


Time varies. For each the

crossroad differs. Choice same.

narrow—wide

truth—deceit

faith stands as marker to

invisible signpost.

Psalm 104:25, “There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Reflection: Choices: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. What situations have resulted in a painful choice for you?

2. On what criteria did you make that decision?

3. Compare the ones where God was not part of the mix and the ones where He was. What were the differences for you personally?

4. Do you think we need to make these choices every day?  Why? Why not?

Share: What word of faith in your life helps you at these crossroad times?




Monday, August 19, 2019

Choices: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


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Hebrews 11:24, “By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter,”

Choices

Pharaoh’s daughter rescued Moses from the Nile. She knew he was a Hebrew baby and yet made her choice to save him. Her heart opened in pity. She named him, gave him life, education, wealth, and influence. She was a key part of his upbringing. How painful for her experience the rejection. How difficult it must have been to reject the good she had given.

Yet, to choose to stay and accept her inheritance and all the worldly power that it encompassed would pull Moses away from God’s call on his heart.  Away from his compassion for his still enslaved people. Did he wrestle with whether he could work from within the power system to bring about change?

So often our choices are not as clear as good versus bad, but a mixture of both. And to step out in faith costs. It’s so hard to let go of relationships or place or opportunity—even in our high tech communication world.

When he was grown” then Moses’ time for a decision of faith came. Henry T. Blackaby in his book Experiencing God refers to this as a time to adjust our lives to God.

Although he might not have recognized it, Moses did not come unprepared to this crossroad. He had the example of both his own family, whose faith placed him in the river, and the courage of his adopted mother to deny the Pharoah’s edict. Both choosing life—a gift of physical life. Now Moses came to the point of choosing soul life—a faith walk life.

Lord, we each need Your guidance and clarity to discern when Your truth asks us to change our heart into a new step of faith. Even when it means stepping away from blessings.

Your thoughts,



Friday, August 16, 2019

Birth: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Birth


Born under an edict of death

helpless to effect decision

carried by arms of love

protected for life

based on faith beyond

human plots or power

consecrated with trust to

promises foretold. Fulfilled.

Psalm 104:24, “O Lord, how many are Thy works! In wisdom Thou hast made them all; The earth is full of Thy possesions.”




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Reflection: Belief: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. What dangers frighten you? For yourself? For loved ones?

2. How do they affect your spiritual trust in the Lord?

3. Both Abraham and Moses’s parents were willing obey God’s words regardless of the consequences? What do you think brought them to that moment of commitment?

4. Write out a prayer for each of the children in your life this week. Look for ways to pray it over them.

Share: What step of faith encouraged you this week? Either your own, or by someone else for you.



Monday, August 12, 2019

Belief: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


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Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

Belief

All newborn babies are completely helpless. Just holding a newborn for the first time can be a daunting experience. We have experienced stories of people who have overcome terrible circumstances to survive those early months. And we have heard the heartbreaking stories of babies who had every medical assistance possible and could not survive.

Moses’ parents also faced a hostile edict set on murder. Yet they managed to hide him for three months. It’s difficult to imagine how. Even when a newborn has a quiet personality there is no mistaking or ignoring his cry when he so chooses.

These parents chose the danger of crocodiles over the danger of the edict.

Their actions could mean death.  By their own decisions—what if they were wrong? We struggle day by day with our own faith steps, but usually for ourselves only, not life and death situations for our loved ones. Or do we?

Acts 7:20, says the parents saw that he was lovely in the sight of God. Not just a beautiful baby boy, but lovely in God’s sight.  And so they had the courage to trust. Any parent can’t help but wonder how often they trusted wholly in the Lord for their children, or tried to fix things in their own strength out of fear for the ‘king’s edict.’

Moses’ parents chose faith in God’s provision. Love and trust over malice and fear.

Only when we as parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and teachers, recognize and lift our children up into God’s promises can we give them a life that is eternal. Then they grow up in His provision and protection. And we can marvel at their beauty too.

Your thoughts,


Friday, August 9, 2019

Instructions: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Instructions


            No wonder children become confused

            when encouraged to be amused by

            comics and cartoons and yet

            admonished to remember

            it’s only pretend.

           
            Stories, movies, theater all

            make believe.

           
            Next we wonder why as they grow

            scoff at faith stories, analyze each

             by cynicism. Can maybe see only

            momentary fragments, glimpses

            of gift, question eternity.


           
            Resurrection life beyond comprehension,

            promises blemished by facts.


            Need to capture creation’s beauty,           

            with fresh imagination.  Life anew

            fresh from decay, seasons change,

            discover  soul heritage  in

            breathless histories.

           
            Imagination and reality build bridges,
           
            connect the impossible.

Psalm 104:23, “Man goes forth to his work, And to his labor until evening.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Reflection: Legacy: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. How has faith been passed down through generations in your family? Or perhaps how has it not?

2. Have you considered writing down your own story of faith? What kind of movie genre would fit your experience?

3. There is a time in every child’s life when they need to understand the difference between lies and truth. Do you think we so overemphasis reality though that we can also remove wonder, imagination, and belief in an impossible faith?

Share: What legacy of faith do you most want to be remembered for? Why?


Monday, August 5, 2019

Legacy: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


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Hebrews 11:22, “By faith, Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.”

Legacy

Were some listeners tempted to scoff at an old man’s imagination? Think of it as pure fantasy. Or did some remember the stories of Joseph’s dreams when young, or his prophecies when in jail, and wonder. What parts of those old stories were totally real and what parts were around the campfire embellishment to entertain children?

Joseph’s actions at his death re-emphasized the truths he sustained throughout his life. He held onto his youth-filled visions God had given him. He endured betrayal, slavery, and jail and saw it as God turning to good what men had intended for evil.

Then, despite experiencing the opposite in success and power, Joseph never forgot where his true inheritance lay. He saw himself as God’s servant and as one of His children.

Joy for what has been given, and anticipation for what is yet to come.

Joseph left his people an Old Testament version of an upcoming attraction—not to be missed. Joseph recognized and witnessed that his death was not an end, but only a piece in progress, and he pointed to God’s story as the lifeline. In God’s story absolute impossibles are real.

Lord, please do not let despair or acclaim pull us from Your purposes in our heart motives, or our action directions. Help us to “keep our eyes fixed on you” and remain as firmly grounded in faith as Joseph, regardless of circumstances.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 2, 2019

Reverence:



Reverence


From a heart of reverence

bowed in worship

Jacob spoke inheritance

words of promise.


Censure and comfort,

challenge and call.

Blessings unheard of.


Required new commitment

by each to follow in

pattern of relationships.

Family formed for God.

Psalm 104: 22, “When the sun rises they withdraw, And lie down in their dens.”


 
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