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Friday, August 31, 2018

Shall Rejoice: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Shall Rejoice

                                    Shall rejoice

                                    even when tears

                                    overflow as past

                                    and present


                                    choosing to let go

                                    false plans

                                    deadly roads

                                    grateful for rescue

                                    a true perspective

                                    opening dance of life

                                    again a gift

                                    even when tears flow we

                                    shall rejoice.

Romans 8:13, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Reflection: Dance: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


1.     In what ways have you experienced a loss that turned out to be a blessing?

2.     What enabled you to get through the storm if you were blinded by it?

3.     How did you recognize God’s grace?

4.     Too often well meaning words can create more separation. What do you now avoid saying to others in a season of mourning.

5.     How can you share with others to give them courage in loss with compassion and understanding?

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dance: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Jeremiah 31:13, “Then the virgin shall rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together, For I will turn their mourning into joy, And will comfort them, and give them joy for their sorrow.”

Shall rejoice.

There are so many seasons when we wonder if the pain, the loss, and the tears will ever end. Sometimes the grief and loss wrap us up in its shroud so tightly that even when new seeds of hope begin to sprout we are unable step forward. Or recognize a new path.

Shall dance?

Not even on our radar. Our perspective has become so darkened that all our strength is sapped and there is no energy left to perceive the comfort that will renew our steps.

Mourning into joy.

In His strength and perspective the Lord will gently guide us through all the sorrow to a place of joy and expectancy once again. Not in our ability to move forward but in His. Only He can enable us to discern where we have substituted false purposes in order to survive loss instead of leaning into His redemptive healing and love.

Will comfort them.

Lord, please help us to recognize, accept, let go of sorrow, and agree to die to all that has ended when it is time for new beginnings. And then step forward in faith and dance, when it is time to leave the mourning season behind.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 24, 2018

Shout Joy: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

                                   Shout Joy

                                    Shall come

                                    shall shout

                                    shall be radiant

                                    bounty of life

                                    begins new every morning

                                    will we accept gift

                                    with humility and thanksgiving

                                    or allow fears and loss to

                                    overtake hope

                                    discouragement erodes

                                    daily encouragement

                                    new life breathes

                                    nurtured by being


                                    again every morning.

Romans 8:12, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Reflection: Shall Come: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


1.     In what ways do we sometimes take our provisions for granted?

2.     How do we tend to react when they are reduced or lost completely?

3.     In what ways does diminishment of any kind also affect our trust in God’s provision?

4.     How have you experienced peace and joy after a season of trial?

Monday, August 20, 2018

Shall Come: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Jeremiah 31: 12, “And they shall come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, And they shall be radiant over the bounty of the Lord—Over the grain, and the new wine, and the oil, And over the young of the flock and the herd; And their life shall be like a watered garden, And they shall never languish again.”

Shall come. With joy.

Too often we immediately focus only on losses with a sense of defeat and complaint, and forget to recognize that the Lord never abandons.

He gives ongoing provision in all circumstances and offers us each hope to hold on in trust in times of emptiness. His bounty of presence will carry us through both the drought and the abundance.

May we each hunger for spiritual fellowship and overflowing bounty and realize that in Your Spirit our hearts will never languish again.

Shall we come into each day with gratitude?

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 17, 2018

Ransomed: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


                                    Has ransomed

                                    paid a price

                                    purchase nonrefundable

                                    released from

                                    captivity’s prison

                                    cut away from all bondage.

                                    Hope restored

                                    new beginnings

                                    nature sings

                                    restoration begins

                                    surrounded by grace

                                    sustained daily.

Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Reflection: Paid: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


1.     What is the most costly gift you have given or been given? Whether financial or not.

2.     Did it come with any implications of payback or bribery? Or did you feel like you were obligated in someway?

3.     Or, if not, how did the surprise and joy affect you as either the recipient or the giver?

4.     How did it change you?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Paid: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Jeremiah 31:11, “For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, And redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.”

Has ransomed. He has paid the ransom for each of us and it cannot be taken back. Even when we falter again and again, we belong to Him and He will find us.

Not as property or prisoners but as beloved family. Tied by mercy and forgiveness. Not obligation except as an offering to choose whether to accept His gift or not.

The new beginnings enable us to see our lives through the eyes of hope and purpose instead of loss and defeat.

He surrounds us with support and gives us the insight to help each other. Often anonymously and we wonder again how the weight we carried has been lifted.

Lord, please show us how to be Your servants in all circumstances and live into the redemption You have rescued for each of us.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 10, 2018

Windblown: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Word is to be heard

scattered like seeds


searching out the lost

worn and weary.

Sustained by truth

winnowed from lies

Spirit held

watched over by

Shepherd’s diligent


Romans 8:10, “And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Reflection: Hear: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


1.     In what ways do we hesitate to believe that God’s promises apply to us?

2.     What kind of barriers do we instinctively, or unknowingly, raise against hearing His words?

3.     What barriers do we raise deliberately? Why?

4.     How far have you ever been scattered from the Lord?

5.     How did He gather you back?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hear: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry

Jeremiah 31: 10, “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare in the coastlands afar off, And say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’”

Hear the word. Are we listening? Do we recognize when we drift away and have become scattered in our hearts and beliefs?

The word is not silent or hidden but ready and open to all who will hear. And yet barriers can keep us from hearing or accepting when we are struggling in isolation. Or allow a spirit of boredom and complacency to sabotage our relationship instead of entering into a difficult conversation.

He already knows where we are in heart, soul, and thoughts. He waits. He calls. He gathers. He speaks to us voice to voice. He speaks to us through others. He speaks to us through creation, and art, and music, and labor. He will use any form of communication to enable us to hear His words.

The word is spoken everywhere and in every moment. Will we choose to listen?

Lord, please keep us faithful to Your words whether spoken, written, or in silent prayers, that Your Spirit will seed our lives and those who hear them with Your hope.

Your thoughts,

Friday, August 3, 2018

Come: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


                        With weeping

                        they shall come

                        whether in grief or


                        walking by streams

                        threading towards life

                        waters guided by prayers


                        without stumbling

                        towards an inheritance

                        wrapped in wonder.

If accept the gift.

If accept His forgiveness.

If walk in trust.

Romans 8:9, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Reflection: Weeping: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


1. Do you have a heritage you feel entitled to receive? How has it affected your personal relationships?

2. In what ways have you hesitated to acknowledge or accept the inheritance God offers every person? For yourself or for others?

3. What assurance of grace has the Lord given you?

4. How does that affect your understanding of His entitlement?

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