Armor of God: Gearing Up for Team Jesus

Source: Armor of God: Gearing Up for Team Jesus

Gear up! Dress out! Put on the armor of God, and get in uniform for Team Jesus  (as prayer-a-phrased from Ephesians 6.)

 

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10 tips for sermons that keep everyone awake

Source: 10 tips for sermons that keep everyone awake

Sermons aren’t meant to be lullabies or long songs that drone on and on, lulling people to sleep! The idea of a weekly message is not to offer advice or tell people what to do but to show the relevance of God’s Word as you work and pray for a Christian faith community of Christ-like love.

These tips will help you get to the point, be concise, and, most important, encourage Christlike lives and actions.

poem for Holy Week

Impassioned by Christ

Gethsemane –
and i am a pebble
pressing against His knee
as He kneels in the garden.

i am a stripe on His back
when He’s beaten
thirty-nine times.
Yes, count them –

thirty-nine times.

i am a thorn
in His crown,
a nail
in His palm,
a cave
where, lifeless,
He’s lain.

i am a hollow
space, an empty
shelf, an unoccupied
self
absent at His revival –
but filled
with passion
at His arrival.

i am forgiven.

I Am Risen.

by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book Lost in Faith

Getting real with God

Lent brings a 40-day reminder to get real with God – a practice among Christians that encourages us to give serious thought to our words and actions, which better prepares us to receive the joy and power of Easter.

Instead of glossing over flaws, failures, or areas of unforgiveness, we can face our realistic struggles with doubt, fear, or worry and arrive at a new understanding of how powerful faith is — even when it’s no bigger than a mustard seed.

Jesus’ apostle Thomas understood this. Although he’d been willing to die for Christ, he didn’t want to take the word of other followers when Jesus returned from death. He needed to see for himself.

Thomas

Why did you doubt
the real live blood that sprouted
from Christ’s side and bloomed
in the room where you gathered –

   a bouquet of wine
   poured behind
   closed doors?

Could you not see the pores
opened, aching for you, always
to be, not beside yourself,
but Him?

His side lay bare to let you in,
so enter now. Come round His side
and worship Him again.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, (c) 2014, from poetry book Outside Eden

 

Thomas did “come round,” immediately declaring “My Lord and My God!” and that declaration carries even more impact because the Bible did not previously cover up his doubt.

The Bible does not pretend we’ll have a perfectly lived life. Expecting that can become a hindrance to our relationship with God, especially if we think we’ll have nothing but prosperous, carefree days. If, however, we expect no special exemptions from trouble — and if we believe our Perfect Father God never, ever leaves us — we’re poised to relax and take an Olympic-sized leap of faith.

Lost in Faith

Abandoned
by You, Lord?
Never!

Abandonment
by me….
Yes!

I throw myself
on Your mercy.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, (c) 2017, from poetry book Lost in Faith

First Christmas

When God Gave Us Jesus
—the One Who would save us—
Heaven could not contain itself.

Light spilled from a star,
heralding His arrival.

The earth burst into life.
Birds called for revival.

And frightened shepherds
trembled like sheep
when angels awakened
their sleep with song
as light as snowflakes,
as powerful as
a tsunami of harmony
pouring onto earth
at Jesus’ birth.

Oh, praise Him!

By Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017 from poetry book PRAISE!

National Day of Poetry

Poets, today is #NationalPoetryDay. If you use that hashtag to post a short poem using a Public setting, it will appear on a Facebook page, and you can also post on Twitter, where your poems will be grouped with others using that hashtag or #NationalPoetryDay2017.

This seems to me to be an opportunity for promoting poetry in general and our own books of poems in particular, so I’ve been gathering haiku and minipoems from my poetry books and including hotlinks to the appropriate title.

In these examples of my posts on Twitter, notice the use of caps for the poetry titles. This helps to separate the titles from the poems:

#National PoetryDay
VISION
In the early morning light,
everything looks black and white.
Time draws forth true colors.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from my new poetry book Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
MOVING ON
My faith
God’s power
No more mountain
by Mary Harwell Sayler from new book Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN LIKES LEAVEN
Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20
One package of yeast
to three handfuls flour – Wait!
Water – Watch it – Rise.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book Outside Eden
https://www.amazon.com/Outside-Eden-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/0615994865/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE WIND SNAPS ITS FINGERS.
Our oak tree drops on command.
Palm fronds lay prostrate. Rain
washes – band after band
of purifying power
from the Lord’s cleansing hand.
Faith and spider webs still stand.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book PRAISE!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1945099038/

#NationalPoetryDay
REHEARSALS
We practice aging – the bruise
that takes too long to heal,
the once-cracked ankle radiating
pain to indicate rain coming,
a memory lost among many,
many.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from Faces in a Crowd
https://www.amazon.com/Faces-Crowd-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1539952878/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE PARABLE of ME
Jesus knows
I don’t swim well,
so He held my hand,
and we walked
across the water.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
PRAISE CHRIST OUR LOVER
Who woos us with lilies,
serenades us with sparrows,
feeds us good grain
and fine wine,
poured
from His own
Vintage collection –
our very selves blended –
made One by His love.
by Mary Sayler from poetry book PRAISE!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1945099038/

#NationalPoetryDay2017
WEATHERING SANDBURG
The fog comes in cat
fur: pale gray Persian
with traffic sounds
rolled into the round
core of a purring rug,
each end opening to
skies of Siamese blue.
by Mary Sayler from Living in the Nature Poem
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Nature-Poem-Harwell-Sayler/dp/098358527X/

#NationalPoetryDay
CASE STUDY
Low lid clouds open
their sky blue iris, watching
me – small dot, pupil.
by Mary Sayler from Living in the Nature Poem
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Nature-Poem-Harwell-Sayler/dp/098358527X/

~~~

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