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Monday, December 21, 2020

Invitation: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians Closing

 Acts 26:16, "But get up and stand on your feet: for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you as a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I appear to you;" (NASB)

We began our study this past year based on this scripture's theme. To explore the journey of scripture seeds defining purpose as shared from Paul and Timothy. We had no idea how upside-down our months would come. And how purpose could take on many paths.

However we paused to hear the Spirit's powerful words that too often get buried under daily stress. And considered seeing through a new perspective through the challenges and gifts from Him that have entered our lives.

And trusting in His foundation. His ongoing word. His on going invitation to walk moment by moment in faith. He is present.

        Thank you for participating in our journey. New Year Blessings!

                                   INVITATION            (John 1:29-51)

                                   Drawn by heart hunger
                                   one by one came to see
                                   respond to invitation.

                                   Struck by recognition
                                   certainty within
                                   reached to kindred souls.

                                   Listened. Hoped
                                   for promises. Answered
                                   call. 'Follow Me'.

"And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we  may know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

                                   "Unless the Lord builds the house,
                                    They labor in vain who built it;
                                    Unless the Lord guards the city,
                                    The watchman stays awake in vain.
                                    It is vain for you to rise early,
                                    To retire late,
                                    To eat the bread of painful labors;
                                    For He gives to His beloved even in his 
                                    sleep."
                                    Psalm 127:1

                                

Friday, December 18, 2020

Deliverance: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

            Deliverance

            How often do we measure
            from the outside inwards
            struggling to achieve or at
            least survive in a 
            world conforming to
            present day Caesars'
            often in disguise.

            Holy Spirit guides
            from within our hearts
            showing mercy and grace
            bearing our burdens
            with counsel and strength
            patience and mercy
            offered every moment.

Psalm 18:50, "He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows kindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever."
         

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Reflection: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. Is God's grace filling your spirit today? Why or why not?

        2. This passage does not specifically promise an external relief or time frame. How might that compare to a situation you face?

        3. What could be the consequence as a child of God in Caesar's household?

Share: What kind of internal grace have you been given even when the external has brought destruction?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Therefore: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:21-23, "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit."

Therefore

"With your spirit." From the inside out. 

How often do we gauge our actions and attitudes from the outside circumstances and turn towards inner spirit only when we realize we cannot handle it on our own strength?

Those in Caesar's household welcomed with an open heart in all situations--and were not in a safe environment. We too actually live in Caesar's household in our world too. And here also we can stay in the light and truth and live into our faith. But that does not mean life will be easy.

However the promise is that the Lord will give us His strength and His guidance in  ALL circumstances. From the inside-out--even when the outcome involves a death: of dreams or freedom or relationships or life.

His grace is timeless. His mercy everlasting.

Your thoughts, 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Glory: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

       Glory

        In the world

        we measure riches as

        abundance expressing

        extreme success

        so different from

        forever supplied needs

        never taken away

        always wrapped in His glory

        gifts of life regardless of

        our circumstance as His hand

        holds us in His glory.


         Grace given love.

Psalm18:49, "Therefore i will give thanks to Thee among the nations, O Lord, And I will sing praises to Thy name."









Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Reflection: Forever: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

     1. What need has overwhelmed you--that turned your life upside-down?

     2. How did you find the Lord's strength through the turmoil?

     3. In what ways did everything change within you while still in the storm?

     4.How has that experience affected new struggles that come--both small and large?

Share: What is your counsel to someone in distress that can remind them of the Lord's supply?

Monday, December 7, 2020

Forever: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:19-20, "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Forever

How often--or maybe too often--do we fret and worry before we pray?

Then become anxious as to whether we have chosen the right actions and our worries increase.

Yet, if we would stop and trust, His supply of grace is gifted to each of us. Ready and available to sustain each step-by-step alongside our quivering faith. He doesn't fault us for our anxiety. But He does wait for us to ask. Even while protecting us from ourselves and misunderstandings. 

Lord, may You alone receive the glory for every provision You give.

Your thoughts,

Friday, December 4, 2020

Focus: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                Focus

                Too often

                turn away

                from an obvious need

                friend shares.


                Look too often at

                limited resources

                feel guilt and sorrow

                forget to ask in prayer.


                To find a way

                to support

                from trust and love

                focused on His direction.

Psalm 18:48, "He delivers me from my enemies; Surely Thou dost lift me above those who rise up against me; Thou dost rescue me from the violent man."



              

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Reflection: Testify: Purpose" Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

     1. How much time each day do we find ourselves worrying instead of praying?

     2. Not worrying does not mean not doing anything either, so how do we prepare in trust?

     3. Who do you know right now that needs support whether financially or emotionally?                 What kind of 'increase' can you give no matter how small in words or labor?

Share: What has someone most recently done for you to encourage you when in a struggle?

Monday, November 30, 2020

Testify: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:17-18, "Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Testify

Forgive us Lord, for the many times we still fret over our needs. Especially when we have experienced Your giving grace to always cover us in so many ways. And we are grateful.

Please show us how to learn to trust before the need because we now know and have experienced Your on going protection.

And remind us to pray for all who have held us up in our times of need with their time and money and care and understanding. To lovingly testify Your grace to them also in action.

May their needs also be met without worry when their own difficulties come. And whether we  have little or much to offer, we ask to never forget to have a sharing heart and selfless attitude as You have given to each of us.

Your thoughts, 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Solace: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                     Solace

                    Support from others

                    in times of need a solace

                       regardless of circumstances.


                    Strengthens weary souls

                    increase trust

                    revives hope.


                Spirit will direct

                    in each situation to give

                    reason to act.


                    Soul to soul

                    impacts time of despair

                    restores mercy.

Psalm 18:47, "The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me."



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Reflection: Faith: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions


     1. How do you determine when to assist and when to not--whether time or money or emotions?

     2. In what ways has the Lord directed you to either a yes or a no response?

     3. What has been the oddest request you stepped out in faith to walk alongside? How did the outcome strengthen or weaken your faith walk?

Share: What scripture do you think can help us to know when it is the Holy Spirit directing the situation?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Faith: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:15-16, "And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macadonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again."

Faith

Sometimes we find ourselves seeking forgiveness because we feel we have not listened or obeyed the Spirit's nudges to assist another. We may want to but due to our own emptiness financially, or emotionally, or physically, we remain quiet.

And sometimes we are the ones on the receiving end and know we will never be able to return the gift to help to all those who have carried us, and we feel helpless.

Yet the Lord knows each of our needs and stages and though we may not be able to return now there will be opportunities in other circumstances when we can. Maybe to pass the kindness on to another, maybe days or weeks, or years ahead.

He enables us to give and to receive. He will direct us when and how. He will guide us heart to heart with gratitude and willingness.

Lord, thank-you that You provide rescue into each of us and through each of us in Your time. Please keep us listening to Your nudges for when and how, and trust in Your provisions.

Your thoughts,

Friday, November 20, 2020

Strength: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

             Strength

            Can not do anything

            although we think

            all is possible if we

            commit diligently.


            And sometime we

            can due to gifts

            created within our beings

            as part of our soul genes.


            Concentrate with repeated

            attempts alone or with

            able support we

            consider our success.


            Applaud perseverance

            concentration not seeing

            completion's silent strength

            all through His mercy.


            And creation

            always holding onto us

            always protecting

            all through His love.

Psalm 18:46, "The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the Lord of my salvation."




            




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Reflection: All Things: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. On a difficult day have you ever had a perfect stranger help you? How did you react? How did it change your day?

        2. What words, or acts of comfort, have you shared with someone in need recently? What prompted you to comment?

        3. Think back this week or month and remember situations that seemed overwhelming, and yet you found the courage, or support, to move forward. Did you see the Lord's  guidance in the strengthening?

Share: How might you bring this recognition to support another? In words, or in actions, or prayers, or all?

Monday, November 16, 2020

All Things: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:13-14, "I can do all things through Him that strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble."

All Things

Jesus gifts us with ongoing protection from without and within. His peace is present in our turmoil. And often works through the supportive care of family and friends and sometimes perfect strangers.

Too often, though, we can get so caught up in our troubles that we not only not recognize His care, but are blind to those around us who need support as well.

When we accept this reminder that we cannot do anything apart from Him, then we can let go of the struggles whether big or small. He offers His power and His strength in all things--always.

Thank you, Lord that You will always guide. Please help us to remember that first before despair and fear take root. And choose kindness within and without daily.

Your thoughts,

Friday, November 13, 2020

Lean: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

         Lean


        To be content

        in any situation

        requires letting

        go of ourselves

        relinquishing control

        instead lean on Spirit

        trust invisible solid ground.

Psalm 18:45, "Foreigners fade away, and come trembling out of their fortresses."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Reflection: Friction: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. How do  you define content?

        2. How important is it in your daily life and how do you react when it is not possible?

        3. In what ways can our definition of content clash with the Lord's relationship with each of us?

Share: What had been the most recent low experience you have dealt with? How did it turn to hope?

Monday, November 9, 2020

Friction: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 4:11-12, "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance,  I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need."

Friction

Why is that, despite all the many rescues and blessings we have been given from the Lord in so many situations, we still have not fully learned, or accepted, to be content in all?

In our minds we do know; and in our hearts we believe; but somehow cannot get our emotions and actions to agree.

Or sometimes we do recognize, and yet do not submit to trust and faith to act upon what we know is true. That the Lord is present in all situations.

Lord, as we move forward into more obstacles and uncertainties, please show us how to keep our eyes and hearts and feelings clinging to You and trusting all will work out in Your time.

Please show us how to face each day in faith and hope and love. To ourselves--to our loved ones--to our friends--and to strangers.

Your thoughts,

Friday, November 6, 2020

Compassion: Purpose:Prayers and Poetry

     Compassion

     Practice what is seen

     and heard from the Spirit

     teaching us to repeat

     again and again

     a new language or

     new understanding

     able to look

     beyond surface chaos

     and walk in His

     Presence

Psalm 18:44, "As soon as they hear, they obey me; Foreigners submit to me."

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Reflection: Thoughtful: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions 


                1. In what ways can our concern for others become buried in our own busyness?

                2. How can we balance compassion with correction?

                3. What concern is most relevant to you today?

                4. How might you approach it from the Lord's alphabet?

Share: What is the most recent gift of compassion you have received unexpectedly?

Monday, November 2, 2020

Thoughtful: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:9-10, "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity."

Thoughtful

Sometimes our busyness overpowers our basics.

We forget to act, or live, or think, from our heart's truth and Scripture words as we get caught up in the immediate concerns whether of our own or others.

Drama or not.

Yet the Lord's words are not a timed exam to pass like learning the alphabet. Instead it's being willing to listen every moment for the relevant letter to apply as He nudges.

Ongoing. Ever present. Ongoing. Practice.

Thank you, Lord, that there will never be any blank word or letter or note from You in any circumstance.

Your thoughts,

Friday, October 30, 2020

Peace: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

         Peace


        To think on

        these things that

        the Lord provides.


        Hopefulness

        Honest choices

        Heart centered on love


        Guard our daily stress

        gives us clear direction

        grants us peace in conflict.


        To stand on solid ground

        these promises stand firm

        His word lives.

Psalm 18:43: "Thou hast delivered me from the contentions of the people; Thou hast placed me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me."



Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Reflection: Finally: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions 


     1. What contentious situation are you facing right now?

     2. In what way do these promises change and give strength in this brokenness?

     3. How can each "whatever" change the way we can face misunderstanding?

Share: Which whatever on Paul's list touches you the most today? Why?

Monday, October 26, 2020

Finally: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 4:7-8, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true,whatever is honorable, whatever  is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on theses things."

Finally

The Lord offers each of us His peace that can oversee and overcome our fears and confusion.

We forget too often, and we especially need the reminder on those days when we face strenuous thinking over decisions and situations that bewilder us.

In Him we will have the strength to not give up. His Holy Spirit will guide our words with honesty and accuracy.

When we finally embrace this peace we can walk daily in praise and thankfulness in His presence and extend consideration to anyone we interact with.

Thank you Lord for this gift of peace. Please grpund our hearts in You and keep praise in our thoughts.

Your thoughts,

Friday, October 23, 2020

Thankful: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                     Word


                    Do not be anxious 

                    becomes a battleground

                    when we tremble

                    with fears, memories,

                    what if it is a maze

                    blasting weakness

                    describing only failure.


                    By prayer

                    brings unseen support

                    with new attack

                    when we trust His

                     word has power

                    beyond our frailty

                    determines loving strength.

Psalm 18:42, "Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind; I empty them out as

the mire on the streets 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Reflection: Thankful: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


1. How does the anxiety scale affect you daily?

2. What are the main triggers for you?

3. How difficult is it for you to approach difficulty with a prayer of thanksgiving, whether big or small?

4. What is the concern that makes you hesitate?

Share: In Everything--what is the first situation you think of and wonder why?



Friday, October 16, 2020

Dispute: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                   

                    Dispute

                    It is bewildering 

                    when loving

                    believers who

                    work together

                    bound in focus

                    wanting only to 

                    be committed to the Lord's

                    work and yet although each

                    beloved we

                    wonder why our

                    behavior becomes a

                    wrecking ball and we

                    build defining

                    worth now seen as a

                    battleground.

Psalm 18:41, "They cried for help, but there was none to save, Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them."
                    





                            

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Reflection: Forgive: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 


Reflection Questions


     1. What was the most difficult conflict you experienced in a ministry conflict with others?
 
     2. How did you and the others resolve the dispute?

     3. In what ways did the conflict impact the purpose of the work?

     4. What changed in your relationship with the Lord because of it?

Share: How did the experience change your relationship with the Lord when conflict came again? In what way?










Monday, October 12, 2020

Forgive: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 4: 3-4, “Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.”

 

Forgive

 

Forgive us, Lord, when we let our emotions and limited understanding become a battleground on which we stand defiant—even with those we cherish and respect.

 

Help each of us to fix our hearts and purpose on You and that which You intend for each of us. Whether on our own specific call, or within a ministry together.

 

Show us how to stay focused on Your words and Your plans.

 

Your thoughts,

Friday, October 9, 2020

Firm: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                                                  Firm

 

                                                Stand firm

 

                                                agree in the Lord

 

                                                too often mean

 

                                                different things

 

                                                to different listeners.

 

 

                                                One means

 

                                                be harsh

 

                                                another be merciful

     

                                                as we judge through

 

                                                our own opinions.

 

 

                                                Instead we all

 

                                                are shrouded with

 

                                                darkness, lies,

 

                                                misinformation.

 

 

                                                Instead seek only

 

                                                the Lord’s words.

 

 

                                                In His presence.

 

 

                                                Stand firm.

                                               

Psalm 18:40, “Thou hast also made my enemies turn their backs to me, And I destroyed those who hated me.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Reflection: Turn: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

 

1. How do you turn to His strength to carry you through when weariness absorbs you?

 

2. How would you describe standing firm to yourself, or to explain it to another?

 

3. If you are in an ongoing friction what scripture words can you use as prayer to keep a calm in the storm—whether within yourself alone or with the others in the stress?

 

Share: When have you experienced working through a conflict with a friend or colleague that turned into a much stronger bond between you? Why?

Monday, October 5, 2020

Turn: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

 Philippians 4:1-2, “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.”

 

Turn

 

So many things happen daily that weaken us physically, mentally and emotionally—especially when we are in conflict or disagreements. Whether only within ourselves or with others, whether minor or major.

 

And too often that weariness impacts our soul as well.

 

We begin to expand the stress to other areas that aren’t weak and we forget to lean into truth’s strengths. “We are weak, but He is strong.”

 

Sometimes we just need to take a solitude break with the Lord and rest in His presence in order to see a situation clearly.

 

Thank you Lord, that You are always present to guide us when we turn to You.

 

Your thoughts,

Friday, October 2, 2020

Nudges: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Nudges


                                                Stepping into

new day

schedule overflowing

release a sigh

Spirit nudges

whispers

seek My purpose

quiet priorities

search heart

whispers—listen to

silent agenda

powered by grace

strength prepared.
                                                                                               
Psalm 18:39, “For Thou hast girded me with strength for battle; Thou hast subdued under me those who rose up against me.”
 
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