73rd – Friendship

The Lord gave me more than my fair share of loving friends. A smorgasbord of short, tall, young, old, friendly, shy, playful, and serious friends. Friends from other states and countries. Friends for all occasions. The common thread is encouragement, emotional support, laughter, tears and lots of prayers. We are woven together heart-to-heart as God decided long ago we would be friends. Be a friend today. Someone is looking for a friend just like you.

Scripture: Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 ESV

Prayer: Father God, I am grateful for the friends you gave me. I am eager to meet others when the time is right for our paths to cross. We have much to share and learn from each other. Bless the friendly men and women scattered around this world. Send us out to share your love and kindness. We desire to be witnesses for you in all we say and do. Amen.

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72nd – The Sweeper

At the grocery store, the sweeper passed me three times. It is one of the newer superstores with a lot of floor to clean. The first time I passed him was in the produce section, and I smiled and said, “You can do that sweeping at my house.” I didn’t understand what he replied. Then I passed him a second time down one of the aisles, and we just nodded a greeting.

Toward the end of my shopping trip, I was at the far end of the store in the pharmacy area. I told him he ought to wear a Fitbit because he was really getting a lot of walking on his job, and it’s good for us to walk. He said something about you can walk too much. Or maybe commented you can’t walk too much. His accent and my hearing impairment had a little difficulty. We chatted a moment, and I said that I don’t realize I’ve walked too much until I sit down for a few minutes and then try to stand back up. That’s when he said in his broken English, “I pray for you before you go.” He stopped sweeping and closed his eyes to pray silently for me and then said amen. We fist bumped, and I thanked the humble man who prayed for me in the grocery store that day.

Scripture: The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. 1 Timothy 2:1 (MSG, The Message Bible)

Prayer: Loving Father, Bless the sweepers of this world who listen to you with their hearts and take advantage of every opportunity you send their way. Opportunities to speak of your mercy and grace. Opportunities to pray intercessory prayers guided by your Holy Spirit for others in need. I want to be a sweeper in this life, an humble, praying sweeper. Let others see Jesus in me. Serving you gives my earthly existence more meaning than fortune or fame could ever do. Amen.

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71st – Picking the scab

As a typical kid, I screamed and cried at the sight of blood coming from my finger, toe, elbow, knee … you remember, too, right? I would watch it as the days went by and healing started. Healing was delayed by my thumb and index finger squeezing the wound to see more blood. Gradually the blood clotted causing the sore spot to close and grow a scab. It itched, and I tried to pick the scab off. Raise your hand if you’ve never done this. I thought so.

When we have a painful memory from being emotionally or physically wounded, our human nature reacts the same as when we were children. We dwell on our hurt and not the healing. Pray for calm to get past the crying and pulling the scab off over and over again. Give your wounds, bloody scabs and all that hurts you to your Heavenly Father, the Great Physician and healer of us all. It’s not easy to let go, but trusting the Lord to heal your wounds and comfort you will make you stronger. Then you can testify about where your strength came from in your time of need.

Scripture: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father and healer of my wounds, I pray for healing. My emotional and physical ones, I give them to you today. You alone have the power to remove them from my thoughts. I desire the strength to quit picking off the scabs. I am ready to be healed in your way, whatever that may be. My hope, my trust is in you because my life is in your mighty hands, and I know you care for me. Amen and praise be to God.

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70th – Eyes closed

There’s something different about praying with eyes closed and knees bent.

Instead of eating off a TV tray in the living room, I started eating every meal at the dining room table. Although I’m sitting at the table eating alone, memories of blessing the food with family and friends come out of my memory to remind me. Then I close my eyes, hands in lap (no fork and knife ready to eat), and I thank God for my blessings.

In the churches I’ve attended, the congregation never prays on their knees. So it is not a natural thought for me to do so. Yet, when I get down on my knees beside my bed, my prayers are so different than other times. It humbles my spirit and deepens my thoughts. My penitent heart fills my soul with gratitude, forgiveness, and most of all love for the One above who cares for me.

Scripture: Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Matthew 14:19 (ESV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:6 (ESV)

Prayer: Gracious heavenly father, we praise you and thank you for humbling our souls. Help us to remember to pray with our eyes closed and down on our knees because it draws us closer to you. Living daily closer to you is our heart’s desire. We pray earnestly in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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69th – Worth more than money ~ Worth more than money

I love my children so much and have prayed for them daily since birth. As adults, I am still their mother and offer guidance whenever the opportunity arises for discussion. God chose me to be their mom, but they are only on loan to me in this life. They belong to our Heavenly Father. How much more he cares for us than earthly mothers and fathers care for their children. He loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins with his blood. I can’t put a price tag on the forgiveness and eternal life offered to my children and me. God’s love was nailed to a cross and forgiveness flowed from his blood shed for us. Priceless, immeasurable love. He truly cares for you!

Scripture: For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV

Prayer: Lord, I thank you today for sending your son Jesus Christ to be my Savior. I would rather have your love and guidance in this life than money and worldly goods. Help me to love my children as you love me. Be my guide as I am continually learning your ways. Let a wealth of your love be shared through me. Every day, Lord. Every day. Amen.

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68 – It’s only words

My third grade teacher called me Miss Spic and Span after the 1950’s household cleaner. It made me want to take a bath every night and wear clean, ironed dresses to school. My eighth grade gym teacher scolded me in front of my classmates calling me Miss Sheila I Can’t. That embarrassed me and made me doubt myself.

We hold on to verbal memories which can hurt or encourage us through life. Don’t get stuck in your memories. Speak a word of kindness to yourself and everyone you meet. Replace the negative words with positive ones. Grow a new attitude and remember God really loves you!

Scripture: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 ESV

Prayer: Father, I’m so thankful for a lifetime of attitude adjustments. Thank you for showing me how to overcome negative comments. Help me to speak kindly to everyone because years from now they might recall the memory. Amen

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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.

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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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