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Friday, February 20, 2015

Captive: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


                                    clung to their land
                                    could not be removed
                                    captured for Lord labor
                                    captors themselves coerced
                                    co-exist as reminder or
                                    choices everyday which

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reflection Command: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Have you ever wanted a position or an assignment so badly that you were willing to work in adverse circumstances for the opportunity? Or were forced to?

2.     What gave you the strength or courage to stay the course?

3.     How did the cost affect you personally, spiritually, relationally, or financially?

4.     Did you choose this by prayer or by your own desires? How did that make a difference?

Share: In what ongoing “low estate” has God continued to bring you strength?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Command: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 16

“They did not, however, drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer; so the Canaanites have lived within Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.” Joshua 16: 10

The Canaanites clung to their land and refused to be evicted regardless of the consequences. They stood firm. Maybe in the hopes that Israel would fail, or that their opportunity would open to revolt at a later time. Or because to them this was the land they worked and were bonded to stay. They had history here.

The sons of Ephraim were granted an inheritance within the lots of their brother tribe Manasseh. Not singled out alongside Manasseh—but within. Generations earlier Jacob, as patriarch, had given the younger son Ephraim the blessing normally for the older. But here in this era Manasseh as a tribe had a far greater portion.

And it was the tribe of Ephraim that had to co-exist with the Canaanites.

Within another’s inheritance—with an enemy—without recourse—yet.

Same situation for both tribes, even though one considered the victor.

What circumstances have we found ourselves in that are a culmination of hard work, desire, and outreach, only to find: barriers within, critical or even hostile coworkers, and indifference? And there is no transfer out in sight.

Both tribes faced a daily decision as to how they would co-exist in a long-term relationship that in some ways neither had expected nor chosen. But each individual did have a heart choice to allow bitterness or relationship grow.

Lord, please give us wisdom and courage to live wholly for You in all areas of our life regardless of unexpected consequences of our own actions or those of others. Our inheritance rests in You and that cannot be taken away regardless of where we live or, where we work, or the people that come into our lives. May You remain at the center and may we be willing to follow Your will.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 136:23-24

“It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

Surrounded: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Boundaries marked

cities, villages

rivers to seas

springs of water

hill country, lowlands

dry deserts, pasture

numbered and named

God’s provision


But still within

center remain

inhabitants with

deep roots

refuse to leave

dwell side by side

wheat and weeds

living together

until final battle.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reflection Boundaries: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Do you find boundaries difficult to accept or as a comfort? Why

2.     Choose a specific area in your life now—either spiritually or relationally or vocationally. Make a list of all the pros and con’s of boundaries there.

3.     How would a negative boundary cause change your heart if you knew that God had set that boundary?

Share: What boundary in your life has been a blessing you did not expect?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Boundaries: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 15

“But the people of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so the Jebusites live with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.”  Joshua 15: 63

Every detail of this land is marked out by boundaries surrounding the people of Judah according to their families. They numbered their cities and the villages attached to them. They supplied springs where needed. Their borders were clearly marked out north—south—east—west, by rivers and hills and wadis.

And yet still in the very center remained a tribe of Jerusalem that they could not expel and so they stayed. As a reminder of their limitations? Like Paul, was this to be a thorn in their side? Or because God had His own plans of redemption for that tribe and only by living alongside the people of Judah would they ever hear His truth?

Do these landmarks listed in such detail apply to us spiritually as well? What boundaries surround us physically, spiritually or vocationally? Perhaps we do not have literal landmark markings but we have a concrete territory we abide in. Who or what is at the center? Which springs of water are we drinking from?

Caleb’s daughter trusted him to provide for her and her family, just as God had provided their homes and lands and rivers and pastures.  Do we trust or do we question?

Lord, the questions explode almost to the point of collapse. Please keep us in Your peace in the midst of friend and foe knowing that You set our boundaries and are present in the midst of us. Give us Your wisdom that we might live in the heritage You give us daily with confidence and compassion.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 135: 12 & 14

“And gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.”
“For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.”

Friday, February 6, 2015

Caleb: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Forty plus years

did Caleb stay

strong in faith

waiting upon

the Lord’s word

still trusting

as from the beginning

when he wholeheartedly

committed to God’s plan

knowing promise

would not fail

so he too did not falter

always ready to serve


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Reflection: Strength: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What is the longest you have had to wait to see a personal promise fulfilled?

2.     What circumstances trigger a stumble in faith for you?

3.     How do you restore yourself in God’s words?

4.     In what ways does trust determine your reactions and actions to new opportunities or in continuing towards a goal you cannot yet see?

Share: When has the Lord given you strength beyond your physical or emotional ability?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Strength: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 14

“I am still as strong today as I was on the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.” Joshua 14:11

Although Joshua was old and advanced in years the Lord still gave him the directions for the land that had yet to be taken. Though Caleb was now eighty-five years old he remained as strong in body and spirit, as at age forty when he and Joshua stood firm on God’s promises and were the only two to trust God to enter Canaan then. And now they are the only two surviving leaders of the exodus from Egypt to enter the new land.

Still ready to obey whatever God intended. Ready to participate in God’s purpose.

Fatigue of body and spirit often influence us to let go of dreams, or ministries, or hope, thinking we are now too old, or unproductive, or too dry. Yet those aren’t the criteria for relinquishing a promise or a commitment. Sometimes we base our decisions on human strength alone.

“If God is for us, then who is against us?” Romans 8:31

The NAS version highlights the ‘is’ in the question. I can’t help noticing it is an active and present confirmation.  Too often I measure whether I should move forward or not based on past failures as the standard for my decisions. But a confirmation to move ahead, or to wait even longer, is not based on our steam power but on the Lord’s.

Now—each day. Whether a time of rest or a time of action, a season of desert solitude or a season of war. Whether prior gifts and talents are to be revived or completely new ones given.

His plans—His purposes—His promises.  Ours to trust—to follow—to believe.

In His strength and power. For going and for coming whatever each day brings—to  serve.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 134: 1

“Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord;
who stand by night in the house of  the Lord!”
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