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Friday, March 27, 2020

Faith: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Faith


                                                We look often to the light

                                                the joy of relationship

                                                in faith.

                                               
                                                Walk with hope and eagerness.


                                                Yet many find themselves

                                                locked in dungeons and still

                                                in faith.


                                                Yield to truth and conviction.


Psalm 18:12: “From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Reflection: Conviction: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.In what ways have you found hope from the Lord in difficult situations?

2.How do you find the strength and courage to stay when flight is possible?

3.What word did the Lord give you to sustain you moment by moment?

Share: Are you facing a dungeon now? What is different in your faith?


Monday, March 23, 2020

Conviction: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Philippians 1:25-26, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”

Conviction

It can be really hard to continue in a place that we don’t want to be, or be sent to, without understanding the reason or purpose.

Yet, Paul makes the point that it is not relevant.  As long as we are with the Lord, anywhere can bring progress and joy in our faith. Because of His ongoing committed presence. Not only day-by-day but also moment-by-moment.

Lord, please help us to live into each day in gratitude to be able to be with You, and to trust Your Spirit to guide us both within and without.

Your thoughts,


Friday, March 20, 2020

Focus: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Focus


                                                The day’s schedule

                                                ahead heavy with

                                                commitment may not

                                                be the one chosen

                                                by the Lord.


                                                The Spirit waits

                                                always ready to give guidance

                                                carrying the weight with

                                                blessings seen and unseen

                                                by the Lord’s grace.

Psalm 18:11: “He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him; Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Reflection: Plan: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Our human view of death is very different from Paul’s. How much are we affected by either focus?

2. What for you is most necessary in your life? Why?

3. In what ways can your purpose lean more into the Lord’s priority?

4. Ask the Holy Spirit for insight today to change or confirm your primary choices.

Share: Does the choice relieve tension for you or add new concerns? Why?



Monday, March 16, 2020

Plan: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Philippians 1:23-24, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Plan

It is difficult to even think of the pull that exists between departing to Christ and leaving behind beloved family and friends. And Paul is struggling to leave complete strangers in case they do not hear of the Lord’s gift of grace.

Too often our daily goals are captured by our lives—our desires—our plans and we become frustrated or resentful when others intrude.

Yet that interruption may be important in a way we cannot see or interpret. We often judge by time and completed lists. The Lord goes into our souls.

Lord, please give us each a heart that loves as You do and a vision to see where You want us to go—to do—to be. Keep us under Your Spirit’s agenda.

Your thoughts,


Friday, March 13, 2020

Labor: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry





                                               Labor



                                                Purposeful labor is

                                                not always recognized

                                                between our agenda

                                                and the Lord’s plan.


                                                All we see are

                                                obstacles and barriers

                                                our own weakness

                                                a hindrance.


                                                He sees life
                                   
                                                becoming renewed in a

new perspective

a choice to

trust and follow

often without a

plan.


Psalm 18:10: “And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Reflection: Change: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. What does fruitful labor look like to you?

2. What barriers continue to erode your trust in daily actions and choices?

3. What do you need to change to become available to the Lord’s plans?

Share: What kind of barrier have you faced recently?





Monday, March 9, 2020

Change: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Philippians 1:21-22, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.

Change

To live is Christ, and yet we still do not often know what that means in day-by-day labor. Especially when, too often, we can barely recognize the next step ahead of us. Needs, demands, and opportunities can change as quickly as the weather.

Our daily demands can have us so self-absorbed that the concept of fruitful labor, or to ask whether we are on the right path, is buried in busyness.

Yet we do know that the Lord is present and we can choose to trust that He can and will use us for any purpose. Especially if we open ourselves to His will in His time. His work through us will happen. Even in the busy days.

Lord, please help us to co-operate. Please keep our whole selves available to Your plans, so that we may not waste our days.

Your thoughts,

Friday, March 6, 2020

Courage: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry




                                                Courage


                                                Chains of fear

                                                crush our ability to

                                                choose hope

                                                chaos drowns us.


                                                Courage enables us when we
                                               
                                                choose His grace, not our own efforts.


                                                Chains dissolve

                                                comfort envelopes as

                                                cries heard as He

                                                carries each of us.


Psalm 18:9: “He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Reflection: Power: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.When have you faltered because the situation you were in strangled you?

2.When have you faltered but, in spite of fear, found courage in the Lord?

3. How will these experiences impact your response to future needs of deliverance?

Share: Is there a Scripture verse you hold onto for this struggle?




                       

Monday, March 2, 2020

Power: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Philippians 1:19-20, “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn our for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

Power

Too often we come ashamed before the Lord because we have given up hope, or focus only on what is difficult ahead, and failed, instead of coming first to Him for guidance and strength.

Yet He will break all of the chains and fears that still hide within us waiting to bind us again. Sometimes even with a tiny trigger the attack shatters.

He is always ready to free us from the chains that distort our perception. He gives us His sight and strength in our blindness.

Thank you, Lord, for Your prayers and Your Spirit that uphold us. Please open our hearts and vision; step-by-step so we can stay in Your protection.

Your thoughts,

Friday, February 28, 2020

Motives: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Motives


                                                Let go

                                                And know

                                                That I am God”

                                                scripture reminds us.


                                                Yet still we

                                                hesitate at words

                                                that sting

                                                reminding us our

                                                motives may not be His.


                                                Let go

                                                And listen

                                                To His truth,

                                                spread words of hope

                                                healing

                                                that mends brokenness.


Psalm 18:8, “Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Reflection: Carry: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. What word has the Lord given you recently that changed your whole perspective?

2. When can our motives get twisted without our recognition?

3. How can we navigate between obligation and relationship?

Share: When have you experienced the Lord’s truth being spoken in the midst of lies?




Monday, February 24, 2020

Carry: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Philippians1: 17-18, “The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”

Carry

Have you noticed how easily we sometimes go into a remote mode, an automatic pilot, in mind and soul? An automatic repeat of words or thoughts that make us feel empty, so that even in our prayers we feel neutral and again act by rote?

What a blessing to be reminded that lifting up the words and thoughts and truth have power at all times—regardless of our weaknesses.

Whatever emotions or fears or circumstances have silenced us into pretense, His truth overrides. And He will continue to carry us through our own barriers.

Lord, we ask for Your forgiveness for too often bringing prayers as obligation only, without our hearts. Thank you that even then You continue to speak Your truth into us and through us.

Your thoughts,


Friday, February 21, 2020

Course: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                               Course


                                                Knowing what we are put

                                                here for some things--sometimes

                                                eludes us when

                                                struggles overwhelm or

                                                disguise any insight.


                                                Paul knew his course—

                                                defend the gospel.

                                                Confidence came from

                                                the Holy Spirit.


                                                Kneeling within our soul,

                                                heart, thoughts,

                                                opens our lives to a hope

                                                that never lets go

                                                whether we know or not.


                                                Perhaps enough to

belong.


Psalm 18:7: “Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling. And were shaken because He was angry.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Reflection: Path: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. How often do we wonder why we are doing what we do, or what is the purpose?

2. What can help us overcome a dry heart, or find courage to see it through?

3. What warnings can we watch for to see if we are drifting from goodwill?

4. What word from Scripture, or the Spirit, enables us to continue when we stagger?


Share: What most recent thought or word has given you courage?




Monday, February 17, 2020

Path: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Philippians 1:15-16, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.”

Path

Too often we need forgiveness for the many times we share Scripture words for our own purpose or status or by rote. Or remain silent. Especially as He have given us His truth, His words, to share from His message of life.

He gifts us each through abilities of prayer, or speech, writing, teaching, sharing, art, music, and so many other ways to communicate His love in action.

Still we often struggle to know what exactly we are here to do—this place—this day—with this person. And ignore. And feel we are wasting the precious life we have been given each new day.

Lord, please remind us, and show us, how to seek purpose from within our hearts to go outward—led by Your Spirit. With humility, good will, love, and courage.

Your thoughts,



 
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