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Friday, November 15, 2019

Guilt: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Guilt


Failure to rely on God

burrows into soul

regrets fester,

rise to volcanic surge

with public knowledge.


Unleash blame outward

angry whippings

innocent suffer

their visible scars a

continued witness to guilt,

shame-dug grooves.

Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Reflection: Accusation: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. What is your immediate reaction to accusation?

2. If there is truth to it do you immediately go to God in prayer, or try to explain it away to yourself?

3. How do you speak truth in love within your family, or workplace, to keep relationships open and honest?

Share: Have you had to take a public stand to expose a lie? What was the result?




Monday, November 11, 2019

Accusation: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11: 36, “Others suffered mocking and flogging and even chains and imprisonment.”

Accusation

Often in the Old Testament when prophets and seers spoke God’s truth, they received anger, retaliation, and punishment as a response. Ahab threw Micaiah into prison because of his prophecy. King Asa threw Hanani into prison “for delivering an unfavorable word from the Lord.” Jeremiah was placed in prison and into a miry pit for speaking God’s truth. King Herod into the New Testament had John beheaded, and Peter arrested with the intent of a death sentence.

Even today when truth is spoken in public in opposition to leaders in any forum, the retaliation often comes as legal defamation of character or accusations of slander. Real facts get buried under mud-slinging and false witness.

And personally when a truth is spoken personally that we don’t want to hear we almost immediately come up with excuses, blame others, blame circumstances—anything so as not to take responsibility.

Yet God continues to speak truth into our world and into our lives to bring us light, and hope, and restoration. His love confronts the lies we sometimes don’t even recognize we have absorbed, and removes the poison before it takes hold—if we are willing to listen.

Your thoughts,

Friday, November 8, 2019

Refuse: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Refuse


Despite continued failure

to hide deeds in darkness,

ignorance, to contain perhaps

a season under lies, only

to explore in light of day

exposed motive, deceit,

distorted vision; attempt

continues—fractured by

uncooperative victims

demanding a public witness.

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Reflection: Endurance:By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Jesus Himself chose silence a few times when faced with bullying. How can we know when it is right to be still or necessary to speak out?

2. What criteria should be used in either private or public occurrences? Or is there a difference?

3. Which is most difficult for you to deal with personally—veiled threats or outright confrontation? Why?

4. Are you willing to defend others but not yourself if necessary?

Share: Under what circumstances have you overcome your own fears or anxiety to make sure others heard words of truth?


Monday, November 4, 2019

Endurance:By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:35, “….refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.”

Endurance

Many churchgoers have heard the story of Paul and Silas, arrested—beaten—chained—saved the jailor from suicide. Their faith and witness brought resurrection truth to his whole household. But there is even more to the story.

After the jailor cleaned their wounds and received baptism, Paul and Silas returned to their cells. When the word came down to release them the jailor rushed to give them the good news. Imagine his astonishment when Paul refused.

“..Paul replied, ‘They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.’” 

Paul and Silas knew full well that even greater penalties could be ahead of them, but they would not accept back alley bullying to go unnoticed, or hide in the dark. Paul put aside personal fear and pain to make clear his belief and trust in Messiah. He demanded to be heard so that the truth be spoken out loud. Shown visibly in action.

So many years have past but world history continues the use of fear, anxiety, meritocracy, and intimidation to rule and silence honest conviction whenever possible.

Lord, give us courage to be silent when we need to be, and to be publically vocal when You so direct. Help us to be faithful witnesses of Your truth—Your words in all circumstances.

Your Thoughts,

Friday, November 1, 2019

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego


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Three men whose

names are often set to song.

Their stories told from

early years.

Wide-eyed listeners breathless

with anticipation.

Feel the flames’

heat in rising cliffhanger.

They started with courage,

conviction to stand true

no matter the consequences.

Their beginning often blurred

behind victory.

Psalm 104:35, “Let sinners be consumed from the earth, And let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!”



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