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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Reflection: Weeping: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

                1. In what ways do you identify with this city's lament? Do you have areas in your life that have changed or been lost?

               2. Have you experienced an enormous loss or a betrayal of a friend?

               3. How are you expressing your disappointment to God? To others?

Share: How else has your relationship with the Lord been affected?

Monday, March 29, 2021

Introduction: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 "Truly, Truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world  will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy." John 16:20 NAS

                                Introduction

The season of Lent, we now complete this week, has often been seen as a spiritual preparation for Christians to prepare our hearts for Jesus' sacrificial gift of grace.

The forty days are often considered a time of sorrow and grief that remembers His crucifixion to give us God's gift of grace. Through our loss we too can begin to recognize the shadows and barriers we have set around God's promises and reopen His call to pursue life under His influence.

Lament goes beyond our very heartsick trials to consider even our deepest sorrows, including those we may have hidden from ourselves. A lament is considered a passionate expression of grief that we often instinctively neutralize because the pain is too hard to bear.

The "Book of Lamentations" expresses one of Israel's worst seasons of history where death, decay, disease, and disillusion completely separated them from God's presence individually and as a chosen nation. It is a brutal  and unrelenting scripture.

Yet before healing could be accepted the darkness needed to be brought into God's piercing light. Like a surgeon's skillful knife removing an unseen cancer before the spreading poison completely corrupts.

As we pause we are invited to connect our spiritual hunger with the loving call from God. We can recalibrate and embrace a new beginning, even in the midst of extreme brokenness that our world is facing.

In the next forty weeks may the following passages, poems, and writing prompts refresh and restore our hearts in the Lord's everlasting grace. And form a foundation of hope for present or future sorrow knowing that His love is eternal.


Weeping: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 1:1-2, "How lonely sits the city....All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies."

Weeping 

How true this grief feels throughout every community as the pandemic has brought so much loss and suffering. But it also goes deeper into each persons loss and tears in isolation. Even with some things that had no real value.

When we are emptied for any reason, we see what "dissolves" and what truly matters. especially when separated from loved ones.

And yet within the desolation and destruction we can search for the Lord as we remember He is present. And He has not turned away from us even when we have drifted from Him.

Show us, we pray, how to walk with You again, Lord, every moment in simple obedience to Your will. To be able to let go of anything that is false or not on Your path. To bring our brokenness into Your light. To live in Your resurrection power step by step.

Your thoughts,




































Friday, March 26, 2021

Your Father: Prayers and Poetry

                 Your Father

                In heaven

                hallowed is

                His kingdom.


                In His will

                heavenly wonder

                healing mercy.


                In His forgiveness

                hear understanding
           
                hope returns.


                In glory

                Holy Spirit power

                Holy eternity. Amen

Matthew 5:16: "Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Reflection: Ever and Ever: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. In what ways might choosing His will daily change your perspective and choices; knowing that you will never be abandoned by the Lord?

        2. How might for "ever and ever" change your relationship with our Holy Spirit each day? Today? In awe?

        3. How might this gift of forever affect your relationships with family and friends and strangers? Why?

Share: What is the first step you choose towards forever?


       

Monday, March 22, 2021

Ever and Ever: Prayers and Poetry

 Ever and Ever

Matthew 6:13: "for ever and ever. Amen."

For Ever

From the beginning of creation.

To the vast un-imaginable future.

We live in God's creation. Gifted with the invitation to be in an everlasting relationship with Him. Way beyond our understanding or ability to process.

Yet we are given free choice to choose within the world we now live. Who we follow--who we embrace--what decisions and choices we make--what matters.

Now

Today

With confidence even in dangerous and crushing situations. With joy in mountain top seasons. With a firm foundation given by our God, by our Jesus, by our Holy Spirit every moment of every day.

Yes to His gift. His reminder that He is our Father.

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God and acceptable service with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28

Your thoughts,

Friday, March 19, 2021

Psalm 86 (Excerpt): Prayers and Poetry

                 Psalm 86 (Excerpt)

                "In the day of my trouble
                I shall call upon Thee,
                For Thou wilt answer me.

                There is no one like Thee
                among the gods, O Lord;
                Nor are there any works like Thine.

                All nations whom Thou hast made
                Shall come and worship
                before Thee, O Lord;

                And they shall glorify Thy name.

                For Thou art great and doest
                wondrous deeds;
                Thou alone art God.

                Teach me Thy way, O Lord;
                I will walk in Thy truth;
                Unite my heart to fear Thy name.

                I will give thanks to Thee,
                O Lord my God
                with all my heart.

                And will glorify Thy name for ever."

Matthew 5:12: "Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Reflection: And The Glory: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

Ponder on these verses this week.

        1. "Let the Lord be glorified that we might see your joy." Isaiah 66:5

        2. "Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples." 
1 Chronicles 16:24

        3. "Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle." Psalm 24:8

        4. "...As the Lord lives, In truth, in justice, and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will glory." Jeremiah 4:2

        5. "...because they were all glorifying God for what had happened." Acts 4:21

        6. "For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."                1 Corinthians 6:20

        7. "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,".. 2 Corinthians 4:17

Share: How might you identify, or already do, with these examples in His presence now in our daily lives?"

Monday, March 15, 2021

And The Glory: Prayers and Poetry

And The Glory

Matthew 6:13: "and the power and the glory,"

Glory

One Biblical concordance defines some glory phrases as "honor, worship, exalted, great, splendor, and exalt."

Except whenever we are referring to nature it feels like the Bible's insight into the concept of glory is much deeper and powerful than our current use or understanding.

We tend to tune in to understanding basic power because whenever it is used humanly, honestly or not, we acknowledge the wide range of man-made interpretations. We recognize how different and higher the quality of use is according to who is wielding it.

And we also know that no one can reach the Lord's realm of power. Thankfully!

But true glory--Biblical definition glory--seems far away from our comprehension. As magnificent glory that we do not recognize when experienced it seems so much less in comparison to a tiny drop of God's glory.

Yet in this prayer Jesus includes us as recipients of earthly and heavenly glory.

What might that look like?

Your thoughts,

Friday, March 12, 2021

Moving: For Thine Is: Prayers and Poetry

                 Moving

                Often mixed with
                hope and dread
                not sure of our choice
                whether made or forced.

                Open door to His
                heavenly realm
                not described
                wonder beyond us.

                Only He has a place, a
                haven He created
                new life, new soul,
                woven by His love.

Matthew 5:12: "Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Reflection: For Thine Is: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

         1. What brought you ongoing joy in the most favorite place you have lived?

         2. How did that special factor help when in difficult situations?

         3. What parts of our earthly kingdom make you think and wonder about eternity? Why?

Share: What part of nature do you hope we will still see in heaven? Why?

Monday, March 8, 2021

For Thine Is: Prayers and Poetry

 For Thine Is

Matthew 6:13: "For Thine is the Kingdom...".

Thine=Yours=HIS 

His heavenly kingdom. Of which we have no understanding or specific details.

We have been given the overall sketches of how our earthly kingdom began, and yet, after all these centuries, new discoveries are still being found. Or new connections made between past and present.

And too often we have misused the gifts from the original Garden and onward, here on earth.

Yet our Father still prepares a place for us--with Him--with our families--with His grace. He invites us into His kingdom--His domain--His home. And we cannot imagine. A kingdom where there is wholeness and life and His presence always.

Death of any kind is heartbreaking and shattering when we say goodbye.

And sometimes we forget that in His kingdom is complete restoration on every level possible. He will welcome us into a new life when we move to heaven. A place we cannot imagine. No understandable details or descriptions.

Except His presence.

And a new beginning in His home.

Your thoughts,

Friday, March 5, 2021

Safety: Prayers and Poetry

             Safety

            Within and without
            can only be seen
            from clear knowledge.

            Experience both a
            sorrow and a search
            to walk the road chosen.

            In faith in trust
            regardless of persecution
            when our heart is firm.

            Within and without
            wrapped in His grace
            we can live in soul safety.

Matthew 5:11: "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Reflection: But Deliver Us: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. How often do we forget to ask for guidance and protection before a danger whispers to us?

        2. When you recognize that slight nudge of warning what do you use to get a deeper sense of truth?

        3. How can we extend that to personal prayers and protection prayers for others as the Lord leads?

Share: What prayer request have you found most helpful to stay focused on the Lord's presence in all circumstances?

Monday, March 1, 2021

But Deliver Us: Prayers and Poetry

But Deliver Us 

Matthew 6:13: "But deliver us from evil."

Save

Evil comes in many forms. Sometimes clear and fearful. Sometimes hidden and dangerous. Sometimes ready to battle and sometimes not. Sometimes false.

How to know when to walk away? Or how to identify?

Ask in prayer. Always.

From the tiniest nudge that something is not quite right to a clear confrontation demanding a fight.

Some things may look okay on the outside--a new opportunity--a new friendship--a new adventure. Like Satan's offers to Jesus in the wilderness. Looks great on the outside. Maybe even a position to do much needed good. But there are hidden chains that will weave through our lives and hearts like vines crawling up tighter and tighter until we are bound.

Prayer. Always.

Only the Lord knows our very being. What may be a wonderful opportunity for growth and ministry to one person may be a terrible collapse for another. Each of us have specific boundaries--each of us are fragile to lures. Unless we accept His deliverance we will and do falter. repeatedly.

Prayer. Always.

Your thoughts,

 
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