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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reflection: Pursuit: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What is the difference between wasted time and solitary time?

2.     How easy is it for you to recognize?

3.     What activity drains your heart and leaves you empty afterwards?

4.     What is a specific soul-filling time for you?

Share: How do you apply that peace practically?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pursuit: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8: 13

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

How often have we pursued a goal to its end with the realization that if we could only have seen ahead where it would end up we would never have become involved?

From trying out a seemingly simple recipe to a multi-layered project we may only recognize the wasted time in hindsight. A few hours we can shrug off with laughter or a sigh, but a long pursuit that encompassed all our time and energy that ends in emptiness lingers. It can create despair or emptiness or sorrow or a hardened heart. We close ourselves off and choose not to risk any more.

Even the ones that are considered a success to others. A good effort—a good outreach—a good investment. And yet personally, a misuse of ourselves. Maybe because we followed someone else’s vision without clarification. We sometimes don’t discern a call between encouragement and involvement.

Following good pursuits without discretion can create as much barrenness as following wrong activities. And we can become resistant or reluctant to respond when the Spirit nudges us to a new challenge or opportunity.

Then our human failures can barricade us from living in the Spirit’s promises and opportunities.  So we need to ask ourselves—whose voice have we become attuned to?

Lord, please guide all our steps with the discernment to recognize waste and embrace Your foresight in all our pursuits. Daily and long-term.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:12

“I, wisdom, live with prudence, and I attain knowledge and discretion.”


Friday, November 24, 2017

Paid: Listen: Prayers and Poetry



                        but no longer tied to

                        basic hungers

                        false pursuits

                        furtive longings.

                        Debt fully paid.

                        Now a longing to prove

                        new beginnings

                        compassion and mercy now

                        clear water flowing

                        into all desires

                        imprint of holy

                        gift unequaled

                        given by grace.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Reflection: Debtors: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     To whom or what do you feel is an on going debt?

2.     Do you carry it lightly or with a heavy heart?

3.     Have you sought the Lord’s counsel on how to carry it?

4.     What would or could make it a debt of joy?

Share: Do you have a new word of hope?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Debtors: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:12

“So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—.”

Debt is a heavy burden to carry whether financial or emotional or as mandated service. No matter whether the payment is to be immediate or long term its weight hovers like a shroud ready to envelope our lives.

So we automatically cringe at the thought of becoming debtors. Failure—obligation—loss.

Then we are called to become debtors to the Spirit—to Jesus—to God’s word, and the concept is a struggle to align with our mortal fears.

But the Lord’s language goes far beyond the confines of our understanding. His debt to us is of love. A love also beyond our comprehension, and a debt we can never pay back.  A lifted up love that invites a debt that shares in everything. He invites us to become debtors so that we can live deeply in a relationship of forgiveness and hope.

A debt that is chosen. One that He chose to pay for our lives. A debt that costs everything and lasts forever. A debt of grace shared beyond any walls or boundaries or limitations that we can imagine.

Thank you, Lord, for providing us with a debt that brings hope and mercy and forgiveness. May we also become such debtors and offer the same to others.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:11

“For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

Breath: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Bombarded by cardboard


                        world promised

                        health and wealth

                        life worth living

                        except all dissolves,

                        decays after warranty

                        sometimes before.

                        Breath of life comes through


                        word promised

                        hope and wonder

                        life worthy of living

                        everlasting relationships

                        devoted fellowship

                        steadfast always.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reflection: Dissolves: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What is your definition of a life worth living?

2.     How connected is your external life to your heart?

3.     What would cause you to wake with joy every morning?

4.     Each morning, this week, make one positive step towards that in prayer.

Share: One aspect of joy you appreciate.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dissolves: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:11

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.”


How to respond— to react to a person or situation before us.

How to decide what is of true value and what is polished debris ready to dissolve.

How to live each day fully instead of as captive drudgery or contempt.


By God’s grace we are given the freedom to choose how to reply to our lives. Even in chains of struggle in relationships, career, health, finances, and forced responsibilities.

We can follow the world’s ways that most often dissolve and decay. Or.

We can accept the Spirit’s offer to guide us into life sowing seeds of hope. Words that breath growth. Words that release us from paralysis into action. Decay into freshness. Weakness into strength.

Lord, please pour Your truth into us and enable us to hear Your Spirit’s ongoing counsel.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:10

“Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

Righteousness: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Full life

                        fresh mornings

                        creative thoughts

                        comforted heart



                        calm in storm

                        competent in trials

                        real relationships

                        righteousness provided

                        all by Spirit’s power

                        always a gift of love.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reflection: Life: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     How much life in the Spirit do you experience each day?

2.     In what ways does the body of sin imprison us from living our days?

3.     In what area of your life do you most desire a fresh beginning this week?

4.     Pray through this week: “The Spirit is life because of righteousness with us.”

Share: How has someone shared the Lord’s righteousness with you recently?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Life: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:10

“But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

Lord, please keep us true to Your words of life.

We are so stuck in our sinfulness that we let circumstances guide our reactions instead of remembering the forgiven life You have bought for us.

Forgive us for continuing to focus on failure and exhaustion and resentment.

Thank you for new life. For new hope. For new beginnings.

Please keep us hungry to seek Your heart’s path.

Keep us abiding in You and sharing the life You give us with others.

Teach us what righteousness really is by Your grace and enable us to walk its path every day with faith and gratitude.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8: 9

“They are all straight to one who understands and right to those who find knowledge.”


Friday, November 3, 2017

Astonished: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Plucked from mud pit

                        tattered clothes burned

                        body scrubbed clean

                        heart astonished.

                        Covered in new oil

                        draped in royal robes

                        brought into ballroom.

                        All within everyday normal

                        few notice new glow

                        hidden in ordinary routine.

                        Until joy seeps through

                        Sharing light.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Reflection: Belong: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Do we really understand that we live in the Spirit?

2.     How can that make a difference in our daily routines? Choices? Relationships?

3.     Do you sometimes feel like an imposter at the ball—not really deserving the invitation?

4.     Or are you in astonishment at the new life bringing hope and grace?

Share: What word helps you to hold onto this promise?

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