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Friday, July 1, 2022

Dissolves: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Dissolves

                Childrens' rhymes of
                sticks and stones 
                attacking with hurt
                continues through all our lives
                sometimes subtle
                and brutal to obtain power.

                So often forget
                as His child
                courage is a reality
                spirit leads us into
                a privilege in insults to
                carry His truth.

                An ongoing relationship
                cannot be broken
                suffering not failure
                always being protected by
                care and love
                stones dissolve.

Psalm 89:26: "He will cry to me, 'Thou art my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation."

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Reflection: Privilege: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

 Reading Questions

        1. What has been your harshest attack for following Jesus?

        2. Has it ever weakened or strengthened your relationship and commitment to His love? How?

        3. When have you seen suffering as a privilege? Why?

Share: What prayer words became your foundation when insulted for faith?

Monday, June 27, 2022

Privilege: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter: 4:14-16: "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you. Let none of you merit suffering as a murderer, or thief, or criminal, or as one who meddles in the affairs of others. If you suffer for being a Christian, don't consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One's name.  

Privilege

We need to keep our heart and soul and actions guided by His Spirit only--both within and without on all our activities.

We need to recognize the barriers and confusions that lead us to fear and self-absorption before they weaken our trust.

We need to recognize the freedom of His ability to turn us away from being sidetracked and allowing fear to break us.

We need to choose to live into His ongoing loving grace and presence.

Lord, whatever road we are walking please give us Your strength to keep to Your directions. Keep our words only on Your truth. Keep our thoughts and calmness only from You.

Your thoughts,


Friday, June 24, 2022

Share: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Share 

                How can it be that

                He trusts each one

                to bear gifts

                to reach out to others

                often beginning in struggle

                often ending in salvation

                He calls us to share

                His grace through mercy.

Psalm 89: 25: "I shall set his hand on the sea, And his right hand on the rivers."

                

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Reflection: Serving: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

        1. What are some difficulties you have experienced in serving that have overwhelmed you with despair? 

        2. When or how do you bring your bewilderness to the Lord for guidance? Or give up?

        3. What gift are you most grateful to have been given regardless of times of struggle to stay on course?

Share: What is one suffering that the Lord turned into rejoicing for you?

Monday, June 20, 2022

Serving: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 4:11-13: "For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking His words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to Him belong the power and the glory forever through all the ages! Amen.
    Beloved friends, if life gets extremely difficult, with many tests, don't be bewildered as though something strong were overwhelming you. Instead, continue to rejoice, for you, in a measure, have shared in the sufferings of the Anointed One so that you can share in the revelation of His glory and celebrate with even greater gladness!

Serving

How often do we resist sharing the gifts He has given us with others: whether by ignorance or resistance?

Do we worry that we might try too harshly, or are not sure of the words, or feel inadequate to be a messenger?

Too often we see only barriers and difficulties and our weaknesses. Or we forget to ask Him first to cover our helplessness. And then trust our strength from the gifts given to offer as others did for us.

Lord, please keep our hearts and minds and words centered on Your guidance to speak through us as You call. To know when to act in faith. And to share our gifts of Your grace.

Your thoughts,





Friday, June 17, 2022

Tapestries: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Tapestries

                Grace poured out

                through beautiful

                tapestries

                multi-colored

                blended through

                colors and heart

                of each person

                born in His love.

                
                Redemption rainbow.

Psalm 89:24: "And My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted.

                

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Reflection: Echo: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Question

        1. In what ways have you, or family members, been reviled because of heritage or color or speech.

        2. What gifts open up the beauty of ministry and compassion to any one?

        3. How does sharing our experiences give us new hope and strength to reach out to others?

Share: What do you consider to be the Lord's basic gift for you to share? Why?

Monday, June 13, 2022

Echo: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-10: "Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer. Above all constantly echo God's intense love for one another, for love will be a canopy over a multitude of sins. Be compassionate to foreigners without complaining. Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many colored tapestry of God's grace.

Echo

How often do we muddle the gifts, or the intended use of them, to our means instead of God's purpose? Or need to be reminded to step into a call that is confirmed and not to be set aside until we have time away from our own plans?

Prayer--we are reminded. To be His stewards in His time and to His assignments.

How often do we stumble too far out of our comfort zone to open hearts and time to situations and strangers beyond our agendas or purpose or willingness to be stretched?

Prayer--we are led by the Spirit. To define and teach us through our stumbling and enter into multi-colored words and gifts and friendship and tapestries of grace filled love.

Holy Spirit, please forgive us when we muddle Your gifts and continue to confirm for us when and how to be faithful to Your call. To remember to pray for Your focus so we do not delay or resist Your beautiful diversity of heritage.

Your thoughts,

Friday, June 10, 2022

Choose: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Choose

                Choices to make
                each day sometimes
                each moment to
                cast away deceit and lies.

                Instead listen
                for truth's guidance
                for gift of faith
                inner heart life.

                Every day present
                choose to follow
                choose to be ready to
                every word given to share.

Psalm 89:23: "But I shall crush his adversaries before him; And strike those who hate him."
                

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Reflection: Attack: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. What has been your worst experience of attack either physically or verbally?

        2. What consequences did it cause damage in your life: within or without?

        3.  How did the Lord's presence enable you to stay strong throughout?

Share: What word would you now give to someone you see being attacked by worldly corruption or hatred?

Monday, June 6, 2022

Attack: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 4:4-6: "They marvel that you no longer rush to join them in the excesses of their corrupt lifestyles, and so they vilify you. But one day they will have to give an account to the one who is destined to judge the living and the dead. This is the reason the gospel was preached to the martyrs before they gave their lives. Even though they were judged by human standards, now they live in spirit by God's standards.

Attack

How often do we find ourselves following human standards without seeking the Lord's perspective?

If we calm for a moment, and seek His guidance, He will pull us away from false and empty pursuits.He will counsel us to recognize corrupt choices, and show us clarity to overcome our struggles.

He will keep us on the path He has invited us to follow and enable us to persevere into the plans He chooses. And give His words for us to absorb and heal.

Please keep us listening to Your nudges, Lord, whether they are difficult or not. Keep us doing Your work as You guide. Even if we only have the ability to do one thing each day--but it may be for You.

Your thoughts,




Friday, June 3, 2022

Lures: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Lures

                So easy to be 
                welcomed into
                an invitation
                at first just
                a curiosity then
                later wraps
                around our thoughts
                or desires
                pulling away from
                heart truths
                into flesh demands.

                Turn back to
                His grace
                waiting to heal
                begin a restored life.

Psalm 89:22: " 'The enemy will not deceive him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.' "

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Reflection: Desires: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. What earthly lures first caught your attention? Did you follow?

        2. What enabled you to see with clarity the lies behind the desires?

        3. What armor did you receive from the Lord to resist or to turn away?

Share: How do you know when to put up a new barrier when needed?

Monday, May 30, 2022

Desires: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-3: "Since Christ, though innocent, suffered in His flesh for you, now you must also be a prepared soldier, having the same mind-set, for whoever has died in his body is done with sin. So live the rest of your earthly life no longer concerned with human desires but consumed with what brings pleasure to God. For you have already spent enough time doing what unbelievers love to do--living in debauchery, sensuality, partying, drunkenness, wild drinking parties, and the worship of demons."

Desires

Too often we are caught into worldly desires that seem to be interesting or exciting, but not recognizing the danger that "lies" in wait.

Often simple suggestions, or curiosity, or seemingly a kind offer that we feel would be rude to reject. Enticement hiding the truth.

Not only the earthly pleasures we do recognize and resist but also the subtle whispers to try something new. Suddenly we are caught into a spider's web--heart and soul and actions tangled into knots. Ashamed. Embarrassed.

Unless we first seek His words for clear direction.

Thank-you, Lord, for removing the lures from within us and forgiving us when we falter. Please keep removing the hidden pieces we still don't recognize. May Your truth as You lead be our guidance always.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 27, 2022

Submit: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Submit 

                To yield
                to His grace
                Love over flowing
                leading into a fresh
                beginning moment
                by moment
                Spirit present
                submit brings healing
                truth by His words.

                To yield.

Psalm 89:21: "With whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him."

                

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Reflection: Yield: 1 Peter: prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. Is it difficult to yield to the Lord's words sometimes? Why?

        2. What "flood waters" has He rescued you from?

        3. How did that change your perspective daily?

Share: How do you recognize a good conscience when before Him?

Monday, May 23, 2022

Yield: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3: 20-22: "For during the time of Noah God patiently waited while the ark was being prepared but only a few were brought safely through the flood waters: a total of eight souls. This was a prophetic picture of the immersion that now saves you--not a bathing of the physical body but rather the response of a good conscience before God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is now in heaven at the place of supreme authority next to God. The very powers of heaven, including every angel and authority, now yield in submission to Him?

Yield

Choices--From the inside out.

Not from or for our worldly focus of outward achievements and actions and power.

Instead to seek first from our hearts and to keep going no matter how long it takes. Especially since we know that His resurrection is ahead--His saving grace in all things. With our conscience bound to His promises. To act daily in His purpose.

In His timeline. Especially when we don't understand.

Lord, please keep guiding us to listen for Your words and submit with gratitude and trust. In full submission.

Your thoughts, 





Friday, May 20, 2022

Cleansed: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Cleansed 

                Disobedience--lies

                Slander--accusations

                One a reality
                within ourselves
                and attacks to others.

                Dissolved--now by

                Spirit's--forgiveness

                On going healing
                washing us clean
                a new soul given.

                Deceit--removed

                Souls--renewed.

Psalm 89:20: "I have found David My servant; With My holy oil I have anointed him,"

                

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Reflection: Slander: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions:

        1. In what ways has slander if any kind affected your thoughts?

        2. How has it affected your heart?

        3. Especially when not true yet you have felt guilty because of other past actions of slander of your own towards others?

Share: How do you seek the Lord's guidance when lies try to attack you: personally or publicly?

Monday, May 16, 2022

Slander: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3: 16-19: "Maintain a clean conscience, so that those who slander you for living a pure life in Christ will have to lie about you and be ashamed of their slander. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is in God's plan, than for doing evil. Christ suffered and died for sin once and for all--the innocent for the guilty--to bring you near to God by His body being put to death and by being raised by the Spirit. He went into the spirited realm and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison because of their disobedience of long ago." 

Slander

How easily do our fears and lies cause us to blame or attack others or ourselves? We almost instinctively use slander to hide our actions--even when we did not mean to bring harm.

How often do we retaliate? Yet He will show us how to recognize His truth and His purpose no matter what the circumstances or the cost that will follow.

Only He can see and know the depth of darkness and lies that we each have, and only He can restore us under His care.

Only He can bring the healing and tenderness--His gift of life and mercy.

Please keep us on Your road, Lord, moment by moment. May we hear and follow with trust by Your Spirit's words.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 13, 2022

Hope: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Hope

                Hope given
                ongoing grace 
                living within
                ongoing gentleness.

                His grace
                sharing as a gift
                living outward
                sharing gently.

                Holy

Psalm 89:19: "Once Thou didst speak in vision to Thy godly ones, And didst say, 'I have given help to one who is might; I have exalted one chosen from the people.'"

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Reflection: Commitment: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

        1. When have you experienced verbal or physical condemnation for your faith? 

        2. Did it weaken or strengthen your commitment to Jesus? How?

        3. What has given you courage to trust His guidance?

Share: How has your daily commitment blessed you? Can you pass that on?

Monday, May 9, 2022

Commitment: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3: 13-15: "Why would anyone harm you if you're passionate and devoted to pleasing God? But even if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you will have the joyful experience of the blessing of God. And Don't be intimidated or terrified by those who would terrify you. But give reverent honor in your hearts to the Anointed One and treat Him as the holy Master of your lives. And if anyone asks about the hope living within you, always be ready to explain your faith with gentleness and respect."

Commitment

He will give us His hope daily.

He will keep our hearts and thoughts in His words and purpose when we listen.

He will bring mercy and forgiveness and cleansing when we become terrified and intimidated. Whether from others, or too often still from within ourselves.

We do not doubt His grace and protection and yet too often we forget to live into His healing truth.

Please keep us focused on Your presence in our hearts, and guidance in our thoughts and actions in all circumstances daily. That we will stay committed to listening to Your words and live into them no matter what is happening.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 6, 2022

Eagerly: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Eagerly 

                To receive prayers' grace
                need to remember compassion.

                To not come in anger
                need to pause.

                To pursue ongoing beauty
                never ending by His hand.

                To pursue truth
                no matter the cost.

                To follow His path
                nourish every moment of life.

Psalm 89:18: "For our shield belongs to the Lord, And our king to the Holy One of Israel."

                

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Reflection: Pursue: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

        1. When do you recognize the triggers that draw you to hurtful thoughts and words? 

        2. What is your first reaction?

        3. How do you change it into the Lord's light?

        4. What would "eagerly pursue peace in relationships look like for you?

Share: What beauty did you discover from Him recently?

Monday, May 2, 2022

Pursue: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3:10-12: "For the Scriptures tell us: Whoever wants to embrace true life and find beauty in each day must stop speaking evil, hurtful words and never deceive in what they say. Always turn from what is wrong and cultivate what is good; eagerly pursue peace in every relationship, making it your prize. For the eyes of the Lord Yahweh rest upon the godly, and His heart responds to their prayers. But He turns His back on those who practice evil." 

Pursue

His heart responds to our prayers as soon as we seek His guidance, but too often the words that are shot against us from ourselves, or others, cause us to accept failure first.

Vulnerable--fearful--doubt--embarassment--worry.

We immediately become self-centered and accept the harsh words. Unless.

Pause--listen--seek--truth--pray--pursue peace first.

To recognize each other from heart to heart and take the time to become neutral when needed. To seek His light first. To understand we can choose His beauty through His presence.

Lord, please keep our eyes and thoughts and actions set in Your words and Your voice. To become better listeners. And trust wherever You lead us.

Your thoughts, 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Choice: 1 Peter : Prayers and Poetry

                Choice

                Humility often a
                difficult choice
                especially when
                confronted publicly
                with lies and 
                Disdain.

                Yet

                Blessings restore
                dissolve ongoing 
                anger to wash away
                within and without
                now able to resist the
                Deceit.

                Yield.

Psalm 89:17: "For Thou art the glory of their strength, And by Thy favor our horn is exalted."
                 
                

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Reflection: Humility: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. How often do we consider humility as weakness in our lives and work?

        2. How often do we instinctively retaliate at insults and especially lies?

        3.  Even when we walk away how does the anger take over our thoughts and attitude to ourselves and to others?

Share: Have you retaliated with a blessing or have someone respond to you with one? How did that experience change your heart?
            
           Or have you experienced a time when the blessing response came in silent prayer as well?


Monday, April 25, 2022

Humility: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3:8-9: "Now this is the goal: to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affective love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly love one another. Never retaliate when someone treats you wrongly, nor insult those who insult you, but instead, respond by speaking a blessing over them--because a blessing is what God promised to give you."

Humility

Insults come as reactions almost immediately whether we speak them or think them.

Instead of reaching out for harmony we resist and resent. And maybe consider how to retaliate.

Internally we may carry the anger for hours or days whether in silence or rudeness as return--and hurting only ourselves as it lingers. Not willing to talk it through whatever the source and find a way to navigate why the conflict.

Instead Lord, please guide us into seeing and hearing each person through Your eyes, and remember that each of us is loved by You. And that You see each of us both within and without. And bring forgiveness to us when we are the ones who insult silently or verbally too.

Your thoughts,

Friday, April 22, 2022

Revere: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Revere

                Each person a gift
                of life created and
                gifted from the Lord.

                Each person a gift
                to be cherished and
                guided by truth.

                Each person a gift
                of ongoing love and
                grace in God's hands.

Psalm 89:16: "In Thy name they rejoice all the day, And by Thy righteousness they are exalted."


                

        

                

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Reflection: Honor: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

        1.In what ways have you, or others you know, been mistreated by family members whether verbally or physically?

        2. How have you dealt outwardly when fear and intimidation attack your family? 

        3. How have you managed to keep your heart focused on truth in the Lord?

Share: How has the Lord guided you to pray with compassion--even in your anger?

Monday, April 18, 2022

Honor: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: 1 Peter 3:5-7: "Holy woman of long ago who had set their hopes in God beautified themselves with lives lived in deference to their own husband's authority. For example, our "mother", Sarah devoted herself to her husband, Abraham, and even called him 'master'. And you have become their daughters when you do what is right without fear or intimidation. Husbands, you in turn must treat your wives with tenderness, viewing them as feminine partners who deserve to be honored, for they are co-heirs with you of the "divine grace of life", so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Honor

With family, with friends, with workers, with strangers, each one is of value in the Lord's sight.

When we become "married" into His grace and relationship we also become co-heirs with His family--those we know deeply personally and those we have never met.

We are called to respect others. Not only outwardly but within our hearts. To replace negative anger with compassionate hearts--no matter the sorrow.

We need His protection and guidance when facing physical or verbal danger.

His honor will show us how to see each one as created into the Lord's mercy.

He will guide us through to reach His definition of honor that heals.

Your thoughts,


Friday, April 15, 2022

Blessings: 1 Peter: Prayers and Poetry

                Blessings 

                Beauty from the heart
                brings forth blessings
                bound in His love
                blesses all situations
                battlegrounds and healing.

                Beauty from His grace
                bears daily witness
                barriers removed
                bondage dissolved
                beginning fresh hope.

Psalm 89:15: "How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Thy countenance."
 
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