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Monday, August 31, 2020

Accept: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3: 11-12, “that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

Accept,

Thank you Lord, for Your never ending gentleness to each of us. And Your upholding presence. Even the most beloved friends and family may drift apart for many reasons, but You do not drift away from us—ever.

Even when we stop listening for Your voice, or think You have left because of  the silence.

Lord, please enable each of us to hold onto You in response to You holding onto us. So that whether our time is in difficulty or smooth we will live into a heart filled with trust and joy in Your presence.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 28, 2020

Law: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                Law


                                                When we do not recognize

                                                the law we cling to

                                                in our hearts

                                                we still become adamant

                                                when it is threatened

                                                resist its removal.


                                                Do not realize that

                                                righteousness only

                                                possible from the Lord

                                                deepens faith,

                                                hope, truth

                                                defeats despair.


                                                When we accept

                                                His righteousness

                                                on eternal terms

                                                suffering turns into

                                                a power beyond

                                                comprehension.


                                                Life replaces law.
                                               
Psalm 18:34, “He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Reflection: Righteousness: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. How do we define, or see, righteousness?

2. What example of righteousness would you be able to share with someone who asks?

3. What law will be the easiest to let go of?

4. Which will be the most difficult? Why?

Share: How do you measure when righteousness is from the heart or an act of legalism?

Monday, August 24, 2020

Righteousness: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3: 9-10, “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”

Righteousness

Even when in the midst of a busy family, or with friends, or work team, we still always have a sense of being, our own person. From that perspective we choose how we live by laws, by goals, and by beliefs.

All of these are hopefully honest and truth-filled and compassionate, but usually we are still setting for ourselves our own definitions of righteousness—even when we build from Bible verses.

So what changes do we need to make to be sure our righteousness is coming from God and His definition? For our days to walk in faith? To be willing to know Him and all the power of His resurrection seems a lot more complex than to simply be a good person.

Yet, that seems to be what the Lord offers each if us—a life of faith—not knowing what may happen next, but with a inner peace that cannot be shaken by comments, or circumstances, and worry.

Difficult—probably—but not fearful. Confused—often—but not worried (hopefully).

Lord, please teach each of us how to live into Your righteousness.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 21, 2020

Loss: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                                Loss


                                                Seasons of loss

                                                batter and howl

                                                like an angry storm

                                                smashing against waves.


                                                Darkness hides

                                                rays of light

                                                ready to rescue

                                                cutting through the grief.


                                                Memories of grace

                                                remind us to hold

                                                firm to lifeboat

                                                His ongoing presence

                                                never lets go.
                                   
Psalm 18:33, “He makes my feet like hind’s feet, And sets me upon my high places.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Reflection: Abyss: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. What circumstance has caused you great loss that overwhelmed you?

2. What insight from the Lord enabled you to transition from grief, or loss, to hope?

3. In what ways has your overall perspective of daily life changed? Or not?

4. In what way do pause breaks throughout your day enable you to stay in a peaceful heart regardless of chaos?

Share: Did the Lord use someone you trusted as His voice to reach you, or did He speak directly into your heart?


Monday, August 17, 2020

Abyss: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3:7-8, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

 

Abyss

 

In our most difficult times when all around us is lost whether by health, or nature’s destruction, or the death of a loved one—everything takes on a new meaning.

 

Time stops.

 

We are forced to reassess.

 

Often we are surprised that many things we thought were so important no longer have any life value to us.

 

We cherish our loved ones more.

 

We begin to pause and to inhale the beauty within each day.

 

And then throughout all this is when we recognize that the Lord is holding onto each of us. Sometimes carrying us. He is keeping our hearts and our souls safe in His protection and truth.

 

We can see real love through His eyes.

 

And begin to walk step by step again.

 

Your thoughts,

 

 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Plant: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Plant


                                                Heart seeds

                                                sprinkled by Spirit

                                                prepare special

                                                ground to grow.


If we follow

listen to soul’s

whisper to

go deeper.


His wisdom

a gift

a harvest

blessings overflow.
                       
Psalm 18:32, “The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Reflection: Resume: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. How do you separate, or define, worldly accomplishments and Spirit driven purpose?

2. Do you think they can be mingled? How?

3. How do you define self-confidence and Spirit confidence? How can they also become blended and not opposite?

4. What tools has the Spirit given you? Are you using them to full capacity?

Share: How has the Spirit’s confidence enabled you most recently, to your surprise?


Monday, August 10, 2020

Resume: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3: 5-6, “circumcision on the eight day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.”

Resume

Outward appearance and actions can become so deceiving when we translate them into thinking we have it all together. Like the accomplishment of crossing out our to-do lists. We must have done it right.

But if our heart and soul and obedience does not first belong to the Lord, it is all in vain. Self-conceit can bury the truth of our perspective. And we become attached to our resume as value.

Our world measures from our skills and accomplishments. And dismisses soul.

Jesus begins within our hearts and then brings to us the tools and gifts we need to develop His plans and His wisdom into all daily commitments.

Lord, please show us Your truth and Your measure so that our accomplishments, whether miniscule or large, are all grounded in Your purpose and Your will.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 7, 2020

Gift: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Gift



                                                Ability a blessing

                                                opportunity to learn

                                                to grow to share

                                                gifted by the Spirit.


                                                Until it becomes

                                                our comfort our purpose

                                                our safety net.


                                                Ability a gift

                                                meant to be given

                                                under the Lord’s power

                                                His call for each to serve.

Psalm 18:31, “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?”

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Reflection: Ability: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. How would you define human confidence versus Spirit led confidence?

2. What part of your confidence, in success or ability, do you have the most difficulty letting go of as a possession? Why?

3. What relief do we gain when we surrender all our confidence to the Holy Spirit?

Share: What word or memory do you keep as a reminder?



Monday, August 3, 2020

Ability: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 3: 3-4, “For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:”

Ability

Have you experienced, even in times of the least possible confidence in ourselves, that there are one or two places where we might boast if we had the courage? Especially if there are only one or two to boast about.

We will cling to them for self-affirmation. And in some ways that is okay, especially when others bully, or we need a safe hope in a frightening relationship.

But not when we then begin to refuse to let it go completely and instead put all our faith in the Lord. To let go and trust only in His Spirit to guide through His confidence

Lord, please continue to show us how to keep moving forward—to hold onto faith in You—and to worship with a whole heart.

Your thoughts,


 
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