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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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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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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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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55 – Find joy in your story

Instead of dwelling on my struggles and disappointments, I choose to have selective memory. I think back to a moment in time when someone spoke kindly to me, or I truly connected with a stranger who became my friend. Maybe the feel-good memory was being licked by a dog or holding a baby. It could have been an ice cream cone in my favorite flavor. Perhaps it was learning to braid my hair into pigtails. God wants us to be thankful in all things. You and I have experienced so much in life, and we are still here. We survived things we thought would break us. Look at your life and find something that makes you smile, makes you thank God.

Scripture: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

Prayer: Father, thank you for bringing us through the tough years in our lives. Help us to remember the small moments that were good and forget the bad memories. We learn by living and desire a positive attitude for whatever happens. Trusting you and knowing you have a plan comforts us. Amen.

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54 – A song for love and comfort

My elderly friend asked me to take her to the hospital one morning. She had diminished eyesight and left her car there the night before. She stayed too long visiting her husband and someone had to drive her home because it was dark.

I plugged in my iPod and turned up the volume since both of us have hearing impairments. I played a few songs from the 1940s, and I loved hearing her raspy voice singing the lyrics perfectly. We laughed and hugged as she exited my car to visit the love of her life who was sick.

The next day she told me that he was gravely ill, and she decided to sing ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’ to him as he slept. But she giggled into the phone and said, “he started singing it with me.”

In sickness and in health, music warms our hearts. Share a song about Jesus with someone today. Sing it together aloud. Make a joyful noise with someone you love.

Scripture: Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Ephesians 5:19 ESV

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for giving us the ability to love one another. Thank you for the spiritual songs that have been written for us to sing. Our hearts love being filled with your Spirit as we sing praise and glorify you. We seek ways to comfort our loved ones when they are sick. Softly singing about Jesus tells them, “Jesus loves you and so do I.” Amen.

53 – Sunflowers

We were riding in my friend’s Mini Cooper through a rural area of winding roads. My arm extended through the open window with my hand surfing the air waves of summer. He was playing oldies loud on the radio, and we were singing and laughing.

Suddenly I squealed, “There’s a field of sunflowers!” He turned the little sports car around and drove down a dirt road. I walked, barely visible, row by row between the yellow giants. We found a farmer’s shed with buckets of cut sunflowers. A sign on the front read ‘Honor System’ so he dropped a few dollars in the cigar box, and I took home three flowers to enjoy. He explained to me how sunflowers face the sun all day and bow their heads at night.

I want to live my life facing the Son, feeling his light on my face and in my heart all of my days. Bowing my head like a sunflower at night to pray and thanking him for guiding my day.

Scripture: Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Luke 12:27 ESV

Prayer: Loving Father, we thank you for the beauty of the earth. Thank you for all the flowers that you designed knowing we would love them. Help us to be good stewards of the soil, air, and water for nature to thrive. Remind us of the sunflower if we forget to seek your face daily and walk with you in all we do. We humble ourselves by bowing our heads to pray with gratitude for each day. Amen.