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Monday, July 6, 2020

Believe: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:24-25, “and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need.

Believe

How often do we put our trust and belief in the Lord first? Especially when we don’t have any immediate questions, or concerns, and our to-do-list looks very solid?

Then later, when everything seems to unravel, we then turn to seek His help and the Spirit’s insight.

But here Paul is first trusting with no agenda at all. No plans. No timeline. No list.

He trusts with hope and waits in expectancy.

But is still not sure what or if his hope will be answered.

He believes in faith that whatever the choice will be the plan.

Lord, in our multiple busyness it seems impossible to not have schedules and plans and timelines. At the very least to keep us focused. Yet, too often our purpose gets buried under our structure instead of being the center of Your choice. Please show us how to believe from our hearts first and be ready to trust each day under Your time.

Your thoughts,

Friday, July 3, 2020

Mends:Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                Mends


                                                To serve where

                                                the Lord leads
                                               
                                                brings unknown

                                                blessings often unseen

                                                a service of hope

                                                a life of growth

                                                starts with a willing heart

                                                seeking truth

                                                grows into compassion

                                                grows in relationships

                                                mends brokenness

                                                mirrors the Lord’s love

                                                seen or unseen His

                                                Spirit is present.

Psalm 18:26, “With the pure Thou dost show Thyself pure; And with the crooked Thou dost show Thyself astute.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reflection: Serve: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. Who has been a faith “parent” to you in your life? What do you consider to be the most grateful insight you received from them?

2. How have you been able to serve others because of the teaching they gave you?

3. Where and how do you desire to serve at this particular point in you r life now?


Share: What is one of your gifts they helped you to discover or grow?



Monday, June 29, 2020

Serve: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:22-23, “But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me,”

Serve

When we accept the Lord’s invitation to know Him personally, He also includes us into His family. No matter how alone we are in our own lives now we discover mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins and aunts, uncles, grandparents to comfort us, teach us His word, pray for us, and help us grow.

Through them He often guides our sense of direction to give us clarity and understanding. Because they share where they have walked in distress and struggle and hope and they pass it on.

Yet too often we miss the opportunities to listen or to pass on our own support to them—to strangers—to share His grace.

Lord, as Your servants please may Your Holy Spirit lead us even when , or perhaps especially, when we are not aware. Show us how to serve—when to serve—where to serve.  Daily.

Your thoughts,


Friday, June 26, 2020

Care: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Care


                                                Climbing the ladder

                                                so ingrained from

                                                childhood to succeed

                                                seek our own interests a

                                                core response even when

                                                self-less deeds

                                                call us to action.


                                                Step out in faith

                                                commitment but often

                                                still forget interests are

                                                called by the Holy Spirit

                                                stretching us to become

                                                concerned for Christ’s

                                                suffering to

                                                carry each of us

                                                so we too

                                                Can bend and

                                                serve other in His genuine love.


Psalm 18:25, “With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind; With the blameless Thou dost Thyself blameless; “

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Reflection: Bend: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What does being selfless look like to you? 

2. To whom do you find it easy to be and towards whom do you struggle?

3. What barriers keep us from becoming like Timothy and seeking Jesus’ interests first?

4. How do we define genuine concern and genuine action according to Jesus’ leading?

Share: What act of selflessness has someone done for you that changed your heart and your situation?




Monday, June 22, 2020

Bend: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:20-21, “For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not that of Jesus Christ.”

Bend

How often do we automatically put our own interests first—even when we recognize a nudge from our soul to help someone. We get so caught up in our immediate needs and fears and confusion that, even when we are being kind to others, our own agenda is still our first priority.

Often our busyness and focus prevents us from recognizing or responding to His purpose. Yet if we are willing He will give guidance to us for His purpose, even when unspoken or unseen. Each day into all our conversations and relationships.

Lord, may Your will be done in and through each of us by Your Holy Spirit, regardless of our self-centeredness. But also please show us how to recognize and participate in Your interests without sabotaging them.

Your thoughts,

Friday, June 19, 2020

Encourage: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Encourage


                                                Sharing becomes courage

                                                when we embrace

                                                each other’s grief,

                                                joy, questions,

                                                opportunities.


                                                Sharing deepens truth

                                                when we recognize

                                                failures, worries,

                                                barriers, draining

                                                each of us.


                                                Sharing deepens faith

                                                when together we

                                                gather in prayer,

                                                encouragement, honesty,

                                                worship.

Psalm 18:24, “Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Reflection: Support: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What barriers keep us from sharing our needs and worries? Or our joys?

2. What circumstances cause us to become isolated instead of seeking a friend’s support?

3. In what ways does sharing openly and honestly in all situations strengthen courage?

4. How can we listen better to each others unspoken needs?

Share: What barrier have you most recently dissolved to share your heart with someone you trust?



Monday, June 15, 2020

Support: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:18-19, “Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.”

Support

Sometimes, maybe too often, we find ourselves so caught up in our own needs and worries and agendas that we forget to take the time for those around us—whether those we love and or those with whom we barely know.

Scripture reminds us we are to love one another. Grieve with one another. Joy with one another.

And together go deeper with trust and step out in faith. When we share we are able to give each other courage for whatever next step is ahead.

Lord, we pray to hear You and to be open to each person You send to us whether for a brief moment or committed time. Let us not dismiss each other’s messages but together bring them before You in prayer for clarification as to how to listen.

Your thoughts,

Friday, June 12, 2020

Hope: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                Hope


                                                Hold fast

                                                regardless of circumstance

                                                hope always

                                                both in grief and joy.

                                               
                                                Hold fast

                                                remember words of life

                                                hope always

                                                breathe each new day.


                                                Hold fast

                                                run remaining days

                                                hope always

                                                bold in faith.


                                                Hold fast

                                                rest in His redemption

                                                hope always

                                                blameless in His cross.

Psalm 18:23, “I was also blameless with Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Reflection: Believe: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What does trusting in the Lord look like in practical applications to you?

2. What response do you have in heart and mind when time goes far past our expected answers and directions?

3. In what ways does stepping into each day in trust without an agenda counter our schedules and plans?

Share: How have you handled a long wait without understanding?



Reflection: Bold: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What is the first hope you hold fast to when in distress?

2. Which words remind you of His presence?

3. What word do you first extend to others in their struggles?

4. How do you define “poured out” personally?

Share: When and why has someone shone as a light for you when in difficulty?





Monday, June 8, 2020

Bold: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:16-17, “holding fast to the word of life, so that in the days of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”

Bold

The Lord continues always to hold fast to each of us, especially when we are unable to hold fast to Him. His ongoing grace helps us to remember that each day is a new gift and that we can live into it with gratitude and hope—regardless of the circumstances.

In all situations.

He will guide us how to run even when our remaining days are few. Even in limited circumstances we can continue to share His word—His truth—His love.

Lord, help each of us to focus on the life You have gifted us moment by moment in trust. Show us how to focus on Your grace and not our iniquities. Keep us bold in faith.

Your thoughts,


Friday, June 5, 2020

Battle: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Battle


                                                Dispute sends nerves on alert

                                                whether personal or not

                                                Desire to engage in battleground

                                                wakens our ammunition

                                                Digs up reasons, examples, excuses for

                                                warrior mode or negotiator

                                                Deep within our own fears rise

                                                worry over outcome—consequences.

                                                Darkness threatens hearts

                                                whispers self preservation yet to

                                                Distance enough to pray

                                                wait for Spirit’s guidance to

                                                Draw truth light into conflict

                                                words of reconciliation

                                                words of honesty

                                                Delivered by truth.

Psalm 18:22, “For all His ordinances were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Reflection: Shine: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What situations do you instinctively jump into, or resist immediately?

2. How can we know when to be silent in the Lord’s leading and when to speak up?

3. When has praying quietly instead of engaging in a dispute brought about a caring closure?

4. Which is harder—to engage with words or pray in silence? Why?

Share: When have you had to battle your grumbling at the Lord’s leading? How did you release it?

Monday, June 1, 2020

Shine: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without grumbling, that you might be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

Shine

Sometime we may not grumble and dispute a situation outwardly but continue to do so inwardly, as if we can prove to ourselves that we are right and the other is wrong—in order to justify ourselves.

Yet the Lord asks us to go even deeper. Instead of fussing at others, within or without, we are to turn to an inward quiet and listen. Is this something from the Lord where He wants us to engage in attitude or action as His servant? To be His child responding in obedience and not tantrum?

Even on the days when we are too self-absorbed and blind to others needs and situations His light and truth will still reach out to shine through us.

Lord, we pray to be a light to Your truth, even if only a tiny spark. May our hearts focus on Your will and stand firm against the desire to engage in corruption on others terms.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 29, 2020

Works: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                                               
                                               Works


                                                To will

                                                to work

                                                for His good pleasure

                                                not often recognized.


                                                Too often

                                                too much

                                                we choose the opposite

                                                follow man’s advice.


                                                To succeed

                                                to accomplish

                                                forget His way is opposite

                                                heart to heart instead.


Psalm 18:21, “ For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Reflection: Build: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Do you acknowledge that God works in each of us—even when we are blind and deaf to His Spirit? What makes it real to you?

2. How do we discern our separate will and work? What does either look like separately?

3. How do we acknowledge or experience His good pleasure?

Share: Under what circumstances have you worked out either will or work by His leading?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Build: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2: 12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Build

How often can we not claim obedience even in the face of truth? How often do we resist doing what is being asked—even when our own hearts agree—because we do not want to take the effort, or the possible failure, or ridicule, or… .

And yet hope continues knowing that despite our failures and self-absorption the Lord can continue to work in and through each of us with or with our understanding or knowledge of the outcome.

We can give thanks for the many times that others have carried each of us through the Spirit’s power. And trust that He can use us as well even through our weaknesses.

Thank you, Lord, for the many times You have carried us and showered us with blessings upon blessings and healings in our lives. There is no struggle beyond Your hand. May we remember to work for Your good pleasure in complete trust.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 22, 2020

Bow: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Bow


                                                To bow

                                                is to show

                                                honor.


                                                To one

                                                whom bestows

                                                hope.


                                                To give

                                                each person

                                                healing.


                                                To restore

                                                life by His

                                                hand.


                                                Reaching out in love.


Psalm 18:20,“The Lord has rewarded me according to His righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.”
 
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