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Friday, July 31, 2020

See: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                See


                                                To look only through

                                                our eyes can overwhelm

                                                at the day ahead

                                                feel burdened or tired

                                                before it begins

                                                gathers frustration

                                                as more is added.


                                                To look through Spirit’s view

                                                our hearts see

                                                a different perspective

                                                from calm and hope

                                                become strong in challenge

                                                grace carries us

                                                as His words take root.

Psalm 18:30, “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Reflection: Recognize: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What view gives you sight to rejoice in the Lord on the most difficult days?

2. How do you recognize when the darkness is seeping into your heart, pushing out trust?

3. How can we build words of foundation to repell the worry and weight of lies?

4. What focus helps you see with clarity?

Share: What word or hymn gave you trust most recently?




Monday, July 27, 2020

Recognize: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3:1-2, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evil doers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.”

Recognize

How often do we not look out for, or recognize, the subtle evils—the ones that appear harmless yet can eat into our soul?

Then they whittle away at our gift to rejoice in the Lord, without our even realizing it until the darkness begins to take over.

Yet if we remember to look out through the Lord, He will enable us to step out into each day, each new possibility, with thanksgiving and hope and courage; instead of focusing on the weight ahead of us.

Lord, please strenthen us to keep our eyes, our hearts, and our words, centered on You.

Your thoughts,


Friday, July 24, 2020

Anxious: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                Anxious


                                                Anxiety a reality

                                                not to be accepted

                                                or ignored

                                                but recognize

                                                in order to break

                                                its hold.


                                                And step out in

trust knowing the

Lord will give us

direction.


Action opens

insight to next

steps one by one

to leap over walls

by His power.

Psalm 18: 29, “For by Thee I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reflection: Burden: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. How much does anxiety influence your life? Why?

2. In what way does Paul’s confession of anxiety give you hope but also challenge you?

3. In what ways are we willing—or not willing—to risk our lives if God calls?

4. How can either reply affect our faith?

Share: Have you ever had to risk a relationship to answer God’s call? What was the outcome?




Monday, July 20, 2020

Burden: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2: 28-30, “I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.”

Burden

There are two surprises in this passage. One, that Paul admits to being anxious, and then second, that he seems to imply that Epaphroditus almost died because of the lack of other believers? There is definitely more behind his words than we have access to.

Paul seems to share that anxiety may not dissolve at all, but it still needs to be given to the Lord and trust Him. That whenever possible, and under even extreme circumstances, we are to carry out our commitments. And not weigh them down on others who are already carrying their own concerns.

Perhaps it is like the up and down of a roller-coaster. We have no real control over the twist and turns. We may be capable one day and then the next be unable to function for various reasons whether health or heart or hurdles. We might gravitate between being calm or cranky.

Lord, please help us to really see what You are calling each of us to be and to do each day; and to be committed to the tasks You chose for us—regardless of the cost.

Your thoughts,

Friday, July 17, 2020

Time: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Time


                                                To stay or go

                                                a decision

                                                too hard to make

                                                must be from

                                                the Lord’s perspective

                                                only He can gauge

                                                time from earth

                                                to heaven.

Psalm 18:28, “For Thou dost light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Reflection: Sorrow: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. In what ways does our grief for loved ones in their death keep us from the peace that they are now whole again?

2. How can we measure each day as a gift for ourselves and for those around us?

3. What hope and truth can carry us through the grief and sorrow?

Share: What word, or verse, or memory, gave you courage to ease the pain?



Monday, July 13, 2020

Sorrow: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2: 26-27, “for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

Sorrow

We are reminded that the Lord’s mercy extends not only to each of us personally, but also to those near us. In this circumstance it seems that Epaphroditus’ healing was for those around him—because if he had died he would have been in heaven and whole.

Could that also mean that when we are given extra life—extra time—that there is a purpose or a work we are still included to do. Even if our limitations have become restrictive?

Whether in health or not, we still need the Lord’s guidance into understanding His call and to follow with confidence.

Lord, only You know our need for clarity. It is so difficult to focus on anything when each day shifts physically and emotionally, and spiritually. Especially in times of worry and despair. Please guide our steps.

Your thoughts,

Friday, July 10, 2020

Waiting: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Waiting


                                                To trust

                                                may mean no agenda

                                                no course of action

                                                no direct plan

                                                or maybe all

                                                without any sense

                                                of accomplishment

                                                direction

                                                uncertainty each step

                                                into a void

                                                yet keep going

                                                in trust.

Psalm 18:27, “For Thou dost save an afflicted people; But haughty eyes Thou dost abase.”

Wednesday, July 8, 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?



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?



 
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