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Suffering Simplifies Life

<Reflection-Prayer>

Trials put our faith to the test.
No matter what its source or intensity, there’s something about suffering that simplifies life and draw us back to the basics. Invariably, especially during a time of intense trial,…. I go back to what I really believe. I return to the elementals such as prayer and dependence, like getting quiet and waiting on God. I remind myself, God is sovereign… this is no accident. He has plan and a purpose. Those thoughts give us hope beyond our trials.

Trials put pur faith to the tests as well as stretch our confidence in Him. They force us back to the bedrock of faith upon which our foundation rests, and this becomes a refining and necessary process.

<Hope again>
~Charles Swindoll

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Dear God
When it feels as if everything falls apart,
I will cling to the fact that you keep your word.
One thing you have promised is, in Heaven,
suffering will cease, never again will we grieve.
Help me to trust that you will deliver me from,
these tough times, see me through for your glory.
Amen.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope
we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

*HEBREWS 10:23

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OUR WILL or GOD’S WILL?

<Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Following the will of God requires faith and action, which in turn call for risk and release. This is where things get very personal; this is where we persevere and flesh out the will of God.

I have come to this conclusion: Doing the will of God is rarely easy and uncomplicated. Instead, it is often difficult and convulated. Or…mystrerious. Because we don’t know where He is taking us, we must bend our wills to His-and most of us are not all that excited about bending, We’d much prefer resisting. That’s why Christian life is often such a struggle. I don’t mean that it’s a constant marathon of misery. It’s just a struggle  between our will and His will. Someday, when we are caught up with the Lord in glory, we will be finally all the things we have longed to be. Until then, we live in this never ending tension of give and take, push and pull

~Charles Swindoll

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Dear Lord,

Sometimes your will for us seems so hard to know,
too often, we’re  expecting you to reveal something special,
ignore the revelation you’ve already given in your word.
We believe you created us for  a specific purpose,
until that becomes clear, may we follow the areas you’ve already laid out,
as we wait for you to reveal what you want us specifically to do.
Strengthen us to be obedient to the things you call every person to do.
Then, if we happen to miss your direction for a specific task,
we won’t have missed your direction for everyday life.
May we never forget that obedience to your Word is your will for us.

Amen

~Nodz

 

 

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THE SHELTERING TREE OF FRIENDSHIP

<Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

The poet Samuel Coleridge once described friendship as “a sheltering tree.” When you have this quality, the branches of your friendship reach out over the lives of others, giving them shelter, shade, rest, relief, and encouragement…

Friends give comfort. We find strength near them. They bear fruit that provides nourishment and encouragement. When something trouble-some occurs n life, we picked up the phone and call a friend, needing the comfort he or she provides. I think there are few things more lonely than having no friend to call. Friends also care enough about us to hold us accountable…but we never doubt their love and respect.

 

~Charles Swindoll

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Dear Jesus,

You love us so much that you had given us friends,
You gifted us with their presence and their true friendship.
We understand your love by the sincerity of their love,
We experience your forgiveness as they understand our mistakes.
We know your compassion as they readily accepts our failures.
We realize your saving will as they want only the best for us.

Amen

 

~Nodz

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The Fairest Flower

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Genuine humility isn’t something we can announce  very easily. To claim this virtue is, as a rule , to forfeit it. Humility is the fairest and rarest  flower that blooms. Put it on display and instantly it wilts and loses its fragrance!…No, humility is not something to be announced. It simply belongs in one’s life, in the private journal of one’s walk with God.

There are two simple and quick ways God says the true condition of the heart is revealed. The first is through eyes and the second is through the mouth ( Luke 6:45)…keen counselors and wise people are careful to listen words ( what is said as well as what isn’t said) and watch the eyes of others. You soon discover that the heart is like a well and the eyes and tongue are like buckets that draw water from the same well. If true humility is not in the heart, the eyes will show it.

~Charles Swindoll

humility

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Dear God,

Please show us what it means to be humble.
Then, we’ll be able to find the delicate balance
between recognizing our sinful flaws,
and knowing how much you value us.
True humility involves seeing ourselves,
as you see us, no better or worse in your sight
than anyone else but one who’s worth dying for.
No wonder true humility is the pathway
to discover how to serve you and other people.

Amen

 

~Nodz

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CONSIDERING QUITTING?

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Every achievement worth remembering is stained with the blood of diligence and scarred by the wounds of disappointment. To quit, to run, to escape, to hide-none of these options solve anything. They only postpone the acceptance of, and recknoning with, reality.
Churchill put it well: ” Wars are not won by evacuations.”…

Giving thought to giving up?
Considering the possibility of quitting?…
Don’t!…The only time the Lord ever used the word “easy” was when He referred to a yoke.

~Charles Swindoll

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Dear God,
I think of quitting as a bad word,
I know there are times when I should quit.
Such as when I’m doing something wrong.
If I’m hurting someone else.
May I never quit a task that you have called me to do.
No matter how hard it seems.
Give me strength to persevere,
when the going gets tough.
To keep my eyes fixed on you,
as I move forward boldly in faith.
Amen

~Nodz

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SPIRITUAL FUEL

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

What is to a car, the Holy Spirit is to the believer. He energizes us to stay the course. He motivates us in spite of the obstacles. He keeps us going when the road gets rough. It is the spirit who comforts us in our distress, who calms us in times of calamity, who becomes our companion in loneliness and grief, who spurs our “intuition” into action, who fills our minds with discernment when we are uneasy about a certain decision. In short, He is our spiritual fuel. When we attempt to operate without Him or to use some substitute fuel, all systems grind to halt.

~Charles Swindoll

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O Holy Spirit, You are God,
living in the perfect union
with the Father and Son,
our mentor and guide.
Into wisdom and understanding,
what a glorious mystery this is,
living in hearts of everyone.
Thank you, for caring enough
about us on how to live a life
that pleases you…  Amen

~Nodz

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A PRESENT HELP

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

We deny it. We fake it. We mask it.  We try to ignore it. But the truth, stubbornly persist-we are weak creatures! Being sinful, we fail. Being prone to sickness, we hurt. Being mortal , we ultimately die. Pressure wear on us. Anxiety gives us ulcers. People intimidate us. Criticism offends us. Disease scares us. Death haunt us.

How can we continue  to grow in this bag of bone, covered with weaknesses too numerous too mention? We need a big dose of Psalm 46; ” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” What hope for those struggling through the grind of personal weaknesses!

~Charles Swindoll

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Dear Jesus,
We know we have so much limitations,
Struggle with individual weaknesses,
experience feelings of inadequacy,
lack skills, abilities wish we always have,
consistently brave, strong and tough.
But in some difficult circumstance,
Let us know, you’re the “greatest” helper,
wiser and stronger, loving than anyone.
Show us how to cultivate habit of seeking
help from you, to always experience
moments when you come to our rescue.

Amen.

~Nodz

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GOD KNOWS OUR LIMITS

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Our Lord understands our limits. He realizes our struggles. He knows how much pressure we can take. He knows what measures of grace and mercy and strength we’ll require. He knows how we’re put together.
Frankly, His expectations are not nearly as unrealistic as ours. When we don’t live up to the agenda we have set, we feel like He is going to dump our truckload of judgement on us. But that will not happen. So why do we fear it could?

~Charles Swindoll

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God Almighty,
In each passing year with our limitations,
we now more aware,
not just physical but emotional.
that leave us feeling drained and empty.
In your great wisdom you allow each one
to have weaknesses, not to discourage
but to help realize the utter need that last.
For it is in weakness, your strength shines
in our every rough times.

Amen.

~Nodz

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FREE OF STRESS

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

You and I could name things, specific things that we’ve gone through in the last several years that make no logical sense whatsoever…But let me assure you, God is at work doing His mysterious plan (mysterious to us), which defies human logic. So quit trying to make it humanly logical. Trust Him….
Do you realize what a peaceful life you can live if you decide to live like this? Do you realized how relaxed you can be, how free of stress? Honestly. It’s so helpful for me to remind myself: He is the One who is unfathomable. He is unsearchable. I’m neither.

~Charles Swindoll

stress

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Lord God,

We ask the gift
of eternal perspective.
We allowed the cares
of this world
to cloud our minds
Steal the joy,
from our hearts
With your guiding help
we can rise above
Give us peace,
free from stress
that only you can give..

Amen

~Nodz

4

SIMPLY AND SILENTLY

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Spend a full day in quietness. Sundays are great days to do that. Set aside at least part of the afternoon to be completely quiet. Meditation is a lost art  in this modern , hurry-up world. I suggest you revive it. Not by endlessly repeating  some mantra  to get into some other frame of mind. Not that. Simply  and silently wait  before your faithful God. Read a passage of Scripture, perhaps psalm and let it speak. Say nothing, Just sit silently. Let Him talk. Let Him reassure you that you are fully  and completely forgiven and that your shame is gone. Feel His arms reach around you…Feel again the freshness and relief of His presence.

~Charles Swindoll

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Lord,

We admit  that we struggle to be  still and quiet.
We throw out  complaints, rush on with our day.
Help us to prepare ourselves to hear you  speak.
Teach us to silently meditate,  listen as we seek.
Help us to believe that we  will  now hear you-
and ready our hearts to hear you speak to us too.
Amen.

 

5

The ABCs of Love

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

“I accept you as you are”

“I believe you are valuable”

“I care when you hurt”

“I desire only what is best for you”

“I erase all offenses.”

We could call that the ABCs of love. And I don’t know of anybody who would turn his back on such magnetic, encouraging statements.

There is nothing shallow about authentic love. Nor is it a magic wand we whip out and wave over a problem with whoosh, hoping all the pain will go away. Real love has staying power. Authentic love is tough love. It refuses to look for ways to run away. It always opts for working through. It doesn’t cop out because the sea gets stormy and rough. It’s fibrous and resilient…While the world around us gives the opposite counsel, love stands firm.

~Charles Swindoll

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O Lord Jesus,

How freeing to know that your love
is never something we can earn, it’s a gift
If we get anything right in this life,
help us to get love right.
Too often we think of love as just a feeling.
We know that’s part of it,
but it’s so much more than that
You show us that it is a commitment.
Help us to remember,
that love is not dependent
on warm feelings alone
but on a consistent and courageous
decision to extend ourselves
for the well being of someone else.
Amen

~Nodz

5

ALL WALLS FINALLY FALL

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

All walls fall…eventually. No matter how well-constructed or long standing it is, the wall will fall. It may be as intimidating as an angry giant or as silent as thin air and just as invisible, like the stubborn will of a person or the bitter spirit of an individual. But all walls finally fall.

Anyone who knows even a little history knows how true that is. To this day, archeologists’ spades continues to unearth the fallen walls of the world’s great empire, Egyptian walls, Grecian walls, Roman wall, French walls, German walls, Russian walls..

All walls finally fall. Even our own. Even those built up against us. In the final analysis, Christ conquers!..There is no wall so great but that He is not greater still.

~Charles Swindoll

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Almighty God

I ‘ve learned that our abilities do not always make us strong

The demands of life often reveal  that we certainly fall

We desire faith to move mountains, to have power to lift burdens,

A foundation deep enough to hold up against the forces of temptation.

Help us to realize that your wall always  promise to give  inner strength

when we depend entirely on you and fully trust you. Amen

~Nodz

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We Weep and Pray, Grow and Learn

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Tests are never wasted. God never says, “Oops made a mistake on that one. I shouldn’t have given you that. I meant that for Frank. “Sorry, Bob.” It’s as if the Lord has our name on specific trials. They are specifically  designed for us, arranged with our weaknesses and our immaturity in mind. He bears down and doesn’t let up. And we groan and we hurt and we weep and we pray and we grow and we learn. Through it all we learn. Through it all we learn to depend upon His Word…

The common response to trials is resistance, if not outright resentment. How much better that we open the doors of our hearts and welcome the God-ordained trials s honored guests for the good  they do in our lives.

~ Charles R. Swindoll

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God help us to remember the spiritual growth,

is like a physical growth.

We must start small, take one day at a time,

with an open heart and to never stop climb.

I know I can do this by depending on  You,

Seeking answers  through prayers , things I must do.

Help me to see each day as a building block

To learn and  grow, to let this frozen heart unlock.

Amen.

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Hearts to Trust, Mind to Rest

<Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

God  has entrusted to us a great deal. He knows that we can do all things by His grace, so He’s trusting in us to trust in Him. Yet He knows our fears as well, otherwise  He wouldn’t assure us so often of His purposes and His presence.

We feel hurt and alone-God assures us He cares
We feel angry and resentful-God provides wisdom an strength.
We feel ashamed-God grants forgiveness and comforts
We feel anxious-God promises to supply all our needs.
May He give us ears to hear, hearts to trust, and mind to rest in Him. Our God is uniquely and ultimately trustworthy.

~ Charles R. Swindoll

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God help us to trust you.

When  we learn to trust,

we’ll never have to question,

your motives for us.

May we be,

absolutely confident,

that you always have,

our best interest in mind.

Your love for us,

unchanging and permanent

truly  magnificent.

Amen

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PAINTED BY GOD’S FINGERS

 <Weekly Reflection-Prayer Poetry>

Somewhere, miles away, crops push their way toward harvest and waves roar and tumble onto the shore. Windswept forest sing their timeless songs,  and desert animals scurry in the shadows of cactus and rock.  Within a matter of hours night will fall, the dark sky will glitter with moon and stars and sleep will force itself upon us. Life will continue on uninterrupted. Appreciated or not, the canvas of nature will go on being painted by the fingers of God.  In the midst of the offensive noise of our modern world-the people, the cars, the sounds, the smog, the heat, the pressures-there stand those reminders  of His deep peace.

~ Charles R. Swindoll

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Oh Lord God, one of the best ways
to prepare our hearts and minds, 
for moments with you,
is simply to seek you in the beauty of your creation.

The majesty of the mountains,
the sound of falling rain,
the smell of burning leaves on a beautiful day,
the touch of a loved one,
the taste of our favorite meal-
your beauty is all around us,
bombarding our senses.

Help us not to become so busy or distracted,
that we miss those times,
when your beauty invades our lives. Amen

~Nodz