67 – He knows me

The Bible teaches us that God knew us before we were ever born. It is difficult to comprehend that because it sounds impossible, but the Living God of us all created us out of love. He knew my name and made me a girl. He formed my brain and my personality. He knew I would be short and hearing impaired. He gave me the desire to challenge my disability for all of my days. He instilled in me a testimony to share with people. He made me laugh like my mother and learn gentleness from my father. He gave me free will to choose my path and make my own decisions. He knows my every thought and word before they are formed in my mind, and I speak them. He forgives me when I am repentant and seek His favor. He is the only one who truly knows me.

Scripture: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 ESV

Prayer: Father God, you alone are omnipotent, and I am amazed that you made me. How did you do it, Lord? Every hair on my head, fingers, toes, eyes and ears were molded by your hand. Help me to remember that you know everything about me as I journey through my earthly life. I know you want me to choose my thoughts and actions to honor you. May I be all you want me to be. Amen.

66 – Three kind words

“Michelle I appreciate you,” I spoke softly to my chiropractor. It was the first time she had given me an adjustment. I normally saw her husband. She asked me to repeat what I said, so I raised my quivering voice a little. She immediately bent her head and covered her face with both hands for a moment. She looked up with tears in her eyes and said, “Can I hug you?” I nodded yes. She opened the office door, arms outstretched towards me, in the waiting room for the sweetest hug.

After seeing her for my appointments another month, I asked about her husband. Was he in training or sick? She explained that he had crushed his hand in a freak accident and was unable to work until healed. As I drove home from my appointment, I thought back to the emotion of that day when we hugged. I wasn’t aware there was anything unusual going on in her life, but God knew and told me to speak kindness to her.

God knows what we need even when we don’t. Even when we have no words or can make sense of our situation. Let’s keep our hearts and minds open to hear the Spirit of God. He will let us know when to speak kindness and give us the words. We simply have to show up, be available, and He will make it happen.

Scripture: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit who comforts us and touches others through us. We often hesitate to reach out to people. Sometimes we are not aware they are hurting because they don’t tell us, but You know and send us into their path for your namesake. Help us to trust that you will lead us to comfort others and give us the right words to say. Use us to speak kindness. You, and You alone, are God Almighty. Amen.

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65 – Starve the monster

Starve the monster of hate. Put your mind on a regular, healthy diet of love. Store the love in your heart, and it will overflow to those you meet, those you already know, and even your enemies. Be consistent day by day and lose the fat of anger, guilt and shame.

Imagine the plaque breaking away from the walls of your arteries where your blood flows. Think of your mental and physical health as the amazing gift of life God gave you. He didn’t create you to hate or injure yourself and others.

Don’t let those negative feelings cancer into a monster. They don’t come from God. God is good, God is love. Live in peace!

Scripture: Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24 ESV

Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving us a conscience to know right from wrong. We know that anger and hate can become a monster if we continue to feed those feelings. Help us to calm down and be aware that these thoughts lead us into a dark place where love and peace can’t cohabitate. Help us to remove ourselves from the danger diet and live in harmony to be healthy mentally and physically. We pray and believe in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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64 – Love without end

Love doesn’t come easy to some people, and I confess I am one of them. I thought that saying and showing my love to others would make them reciprocate. Then, I would be happy, content with my life. Love is often complicated by outside influences and circumstances. It takes a strong, devoted, sacrificing soul to stay in a relationship. Maybe it’s with a partner, spouse, child, or a friend that you have pulled and tugged emotionally. Years have gone by without improvement.

Pray without ceasing and thank God for being with you through it all. He is growing your faith through hard times. If it is his will for your life, he will help you find a way to resolve the problem or remove you from the situation. Ask him every day to give you joy and peace. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected. God loved you before you were ever born. He won’t stop loving you.

Scripture: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. Lamentations 3:22-23 MSG (Message Bible)

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving us the capacity to love you and one another. You made us for love. We hunger for it in our lives. To give and receive love feeds our hearts. It shapes our thoughts and actions. We pray today that you will guide us in finding the love you want us to have. Help us to be forgiving and willing to love others and not give up. Open our hearts so that you may live there all of our days on earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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63 – I’m not the potter

When I was an assistant teacher with hearing impaired students in public school, I interpreted for them when mainstreamed into art class. We fell in love with pottery as soon as our wet hands started molding the clay. I recommended to the head teacher of our self-contained classes (most subjects were taught with voice and sign language) that we get a small potter’s wheel and clay for special reward play in our classroom. A lot of these students with various disabilities released their frustrations into the clay. Sometimes their pots and bowls made them happy. Other times the clay was just an ugly lump.

We try to mold and shape ourselves and others, but we can’t do it without God’s help. He is the Potter, we are the clay. Let him have his way with you. He alone can change you to be more like his son Jesus Christ. Pray for those you care about and stop trying to mold them into what you want them to be. God is working in your life and those you love. You may feel like a lump of ugly clay, but you are the Potter’s one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Scripture: But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 ESV

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for never giving up on us. We praise your ability to mold and shape us into Godly people. You alone make life a miracle. Forgive us for trying to be the potter in other people’s lives and ours. Teach us how to release our fears and trust you to form us so that we sincerely walk and talk the faith. Let others see you in our daily lives. Amen.

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62 – Knock, Knock! Who’s there?

JESUS: It is I. Jesus. The one you’re looking for. You are a restless soul, and I have been trying for a long time to reach you with my love. I’ve been knocking on the door to your heart.

YOU: I didn’t want to open the door. I thought I didn’t need you, but my thoughts disturb me. I have no peace. I have achieved business success and wealth. I can buy gourmet food and top-shelf liquor. I have drugs available for recreation as well as pain. But my relationships never last long. I keep searching for satisfaction in my life. I don’t know what else to do.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Remove the wealth and someone of undetermined means might also be struggling the same way. There is a vacuum in a soul, body, spirit or whatever you want to call it. We try to fill it up with money, food, alcohol, drugs, relationships and staying busy. If you are a restless soul, pray more, read the Bible, talk to a Christian friend or a minister. Learn more about faith in God. He is the only one who can fill the void in your life. From my personal experience, I have to say there is no satisfaction without Jesus by your side. Sending you a hug today!

Scripture: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20 ESV

Prayer: Father God, you are the Father of all mankind. We praise you and thank you for tugging at our heartstrings and knocking on our doors. You never quit knocking. Help us to open the door to our hearts believing your grace is sufficient to change us. We want to trust you in everything we do. Amen.

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61 – Spotted

A little spotted fish sitting at the bottom of the tank was bought by a man. He took it home and nurtured it back to health. Within a couple of weeks, the spots were gone. The fish was swimming more and was bright orange again. He was socialized with other fish in an environment where he could thrive.

We sink to the bottom of the tank of life sometimes. We can’t remove our sinful spots. A new environment is needed. Clean, Living Water that nourishes our souls will heal our spots. God, the compassionate healer wants to give you and me a new home. We can thrive in His care.

Scripture: While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” Luke 5:12 ESV

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14 ESV

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for giving us a Savior. We often sink from our burdens and sins. We need to be cleansed daily. Let us be changed and renewed by our faith in Jesus. A life closer to You is what we truly need. In Jesus’ Name, we believe and pray, Amen.

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60 – Train your brain

I have always admired people who seem to have it all together. You have probably met them, too. I am drawn to someone who has a positive outlook on life regardless of their circumstances. I visited a dear friend on her death bed, and I asked if she was afraid. Her face lit up as she softly smiled, “No, I am not afraid.” Those were the last words she spoke to me, and I want to think and speak fearless, positive words to others, too.

Talking with positive people, reading encouraging stories and watching movies that inspire me have trained my brain to think more positively. A Bible verse or a prayer to recite when a negative, worrisome thought arises also helps. You and I can change our thoughts. Fill your brain with good thoughts leaving no room for clutter.

Scripture: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 ESV

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for loving us with all our faults and negativity. You alone are worthy to be praised. Cleanse our minds of worry and criticism today. Show us the path to a pure heart and positive mind. We want to speak words of affirmation about our lives and comfort others in their time of need. May we always have a smile and kind word for everyone we meet. Amen.

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59 – Who is leading who?

Am I following Jesus or walking in front of him? I want to be his faithful follower in my daily life. I imagine him walking ahead to guide my path and choices. Sometimes I imagine us walking side by side as friends do who have heart to heart talks. Many times through my life I have walked ahead of him thinking only of myself and what I need. Where was he then? He was walking behind me ready to catch my fall. I would rather walk with Jesus and feel his presence in my heart and mind. He lifts me up and keeps me going. He is all I need. Christ is all I need.

Scripture: Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. Colossians 2:6 ESV

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for walking day by day with me in everything I do. I am encouraged by your presence that calms my spirit when I listen to you. Forgive me for being impatient and frustrated which causes me to walk ahead of you. I truly want to be a follower of Christ all of my life. You strengthen my steps. Amen.

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58 – What are you wearing today?

As I dress after breakfast, I tell myself that I belong to God. I am loved and know He watches over my coming and going everyday. I put on my shirt and ask for a compassionate heart. I pull on my blue jeans and ask for help being kind to others. I pull up my socks with a desire to be humble and meek as those blessed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-11). As I tie my walking shoes, I pray for patience which is not one of my virtues.

I know in praying for this positive attitude that God hears and honors my sincere requests. There may be lessons to get me to each point, but it will come. He wants me to learn His ways to show love and mirror His son’s ministry on earth. Now it’s time to go for that walk and smile and wave and pray for each person I see.

Scripture: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the trials and temptations that come my way. I know I have many lessons yet to learn in my lifetime. I truly want to have compassion, be kind and humble and meek. Help me to pray for guidance and patience first and not react or get anxious in anticipation of a situation I dread. Help me to wear these virtues everyday with a smile and a heart full of gratitude. Amen.

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