The Time We Had Unexpected Visitor

Gratitude Day 493

Wed., July 29, 2020

Matthew 9:10-11 – While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Yesterday, we had an unexpected visitor at our house.

Not a two-legged version. No, a four-legged version.

Rick called it a ground squirrel. Our neighbor lady called it a mole. I call it a rodent that needed to return outside.

Bigger than a chipmunk, he wasn’t terribly big and had a tail. Quite honestly, when I saw him move, he zipped rather fast, which was just fine with me.

Hubby Rick is back to work, which means he gets home around sun-up and goes to bed. Late morning when he awoke, he asked me where the mouse traps are. Not sure we have any, I asked why he wanted one. “Something’s been chewing on the manual for the dehumidifier in the basement,” was his reply.

Within the next hour, he announced that our new resident was NOT a mouse but something bigger. With the basement door open to our first floor, our little buddy became brave enough that he’d found his way onto the main floor of the house. Rick saw him scoot by.

So now, what are we going to do?

Rick wasn’t sure exactly where he went. Behind the fridge? The stove? Under the door and into the downstairs bedroom? We wasn’t sure.

We have an exceptionally large two-piece buffet that is original too the house. Both our visitor and I were surprised when I quickly saw him as I peaked behind the buffet. There is a hot water radiator used to heat the house also behind the buffet. He quickly hid behind the radiator, not sure what to do next.

Fortunately, the buffet is in a little room just beyond the rear entrance of our house. It would be a quick and easy exit for him … if he headed the right direction. Not wanting him to escape back into the main area of the house, Rick blocked the possible alternative routes while I made sure he stayed behind the buffet. Soon, he was squeaking at us. I’m not sure if he was hungry, scared or simply wanting attention. At least we knew he was still behind the buffet. Using a broom, Rick kicked him out from behind the water radiator. He came around the door and fortunately, headed towards the light and out the back door.

Whew! Disaster averted. We plan on being gone the rest of the week and certainly DID NOT want him hanging out inside the house while we were gone. We could imagine the damage that he could do.

Of course, all the while we were trying to coax him back outside, Rick and I were discussing HOW he got into the house. We think he came in through a basement window that has had outside access. Clearly, the window must be closed while we are gone.

More than once, Jesus ended up at a house during his public ministry and not everyone was so sure he should have been at the house where he was. He had just called Matthew, a tax collector, to join his inner circle of friends who were also identified as his disciples. Now, a tax collector was not always the most honest of people in first century Jewish culture. Basically, a tax collector would charge whatever he thought he could get out of a family for taxes. A portion went to the Roman government and the rest? Well, the tax collector pocketed for himself as his income. The more pressure a tax collector could enforce upon people while paying their taxes, the more lucrative the position would be.

This made tax collectors less than model citizens and certainly not the most admired of folks by the local church leaders. The church leaders are appalled that Jesus not only asked Matthew, a known swindler of a taxpayer, to join his inner group. Jesus also accepted an invitation to his house for dinner. A double whammy.

None of this bothered Jesus. He went ahead with his plan to call Matthew and demonstrate for everyone that sinners were acceptable and expected within God’s kingdom.

He was a lot more forgiving of who was in the same house as him than I was with our little rodent friend. I felt quite like a Pharisee wanting to chase the little guy out of Dodge and make sure he wasn’t getting into my things.

Yes, I know the situations are different. I am fully aware that this little guy isn’t the Son of God and really needs to return to his natural habitat.

Yet, I know that regularly, it’s SO. EASY. for me to judge others, just like the Pharisees. I question whether or not someone deserves the unlimited amount of grace that God extends each one of us or wonder if God should grant me an extra dose of grace, whether I deserve it or not. I look at what things how I want them and assume I know best. Whereas Jesus saw things I could see and was aware of more going on in a situation than I ever will be.

I pray that we can be more accepting of others, much like Jesus. Be open to see and hear and observe how someone with a significantly different background is loved just like we are.

I pray we see ourselves more as agents of grace than enforcers of the law.

Grace wins over law every time. Let’s remember this the next time we have an uninvited visitor into our lives.

For lessons that can teach us well today, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – may You open my fear to be comforted by You. Help me accept that Your kingdom is much richer than I can ever imagine. Amen.  

It’s Wednesday which means it’s Devos with Dianne tonight at 8 PM CT o Facebook live. See you then!  

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Lessons from COVID-19: I Wish …

Gratitude Day 492

Tues., July 28, 2020

Psalm 86:2 – Guard my life, for I’m your faithful friend, your loyal servant for life. I turn to you in faith, my God, my hero; come and rescue me!

Mid-March seems like such a long time ago.

A time when we ate inside restaurants, attended basketball games, watched movies on a big screen and hugged one another.

While so much seems different today than 4.5 months ago, there are also things I wish we would embrace and celebrate for years to come.  

I wish we would celebrate that COVID-19 ramped up just as spring began. I hope you have enjoyed hours and hours outside this spring and summer. I can’t imagine how much more virus fatigue we would have now IF the first U.S. cases happened in November … right before the holidays and as winter began. Hibernation would have taken on a whole new meaning!

I wish we truly appreciate the little things to the depths of our hearts and bellies: hugging an unseen grandchild or grandparent; an unexpected phone call or card in the mail; time to sit and be; the beautiful flowers and garden produce we’re raising this year. I pray we see these as the very most important things in life and not whether we have the latest material item or the largest bank account.

I pray we remember to purchase things locally and appreciate those who keep our communities running. May we all be more appreciative of our local teachers and school administrators, essential personal and those who’ve kept working for the benefit of others within our community.

I wish we are more filled with grace: slower to judge, faster to assist a person in need and more committed to seeing things from God’s view and not just our own. May we listen carefully when someone has a different position than we do about something and be patient until it hurts. I pray we accept that we’re not the only ones with the best and right ideas.

I wish that we make ourselves more of the solution than the problem. May we bring forth an attitude of easing the challenges rather than adding to them.

I wish and pray we make sound choices these days. For ourselves. For others. For the benefit of loved ones.  

I pray that we depend upon God and not ourselves as these days of COVID-19 drag on. May we turn to the One who desperately wants to support and uphold us … whether we want to be held or not.

For long-term lessons that we can discover and embrace from COVID-19, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – So often, we focus on the short-term when there is so much we can discover when we keep a long-term view as well. Certainly, You are committed to the long-term design. May we embrace and come to You to help us discover this right now. Amen.  

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Wednesday Prayer Day – Where It Begins

Gratitude Day 491

Wed., July 22, 2020

Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

This. This is where I prefer to begin my mornings.

It doesn’t happen every day. Sometimes, two days may go by in a row where I do not prioritize spending time on the front porch. In this chair. Getting my heart right before the day gets going.

But this is where I would like to spend every morning.

On the front porch. Taking care of business with God before I take care of any other business.

Truth? I spend more time reading and journaling than I do praying. Sometimes, well, most every day, I get distracted and spend time scrolling and scrolling rather than focusing and focusing.

It’s just something that I do. For my heart. My soul. My life.

Does it change a lot the rest of the day? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Those minutes on the porch in that chair speak to me. Remind me. Challenge me to not loose focus. Make everything about myself. Remember Whose I am. Recall what a great life I have.

The rest of the day maybe filled with distractions. Too often, I lose focus. Yet, I still believe the time spent here, even if for only a few minutes, is important. Helpful. Defining. Significant.

Where’s the place you go to find the One who created you and offers you unending grace? Send me a photo. I would love to see your place.

For a special place to spend time with God each morning, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Hello God – Thank you for always being with me; whether I purposefully stop and spend time with You. Inspire me to find a little place where You and I can spend time together. Today. Tomorrow. Most days. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Lessons from COVID-19: Virus Fatigue

Gratitude Day 490

Mon., July 20, 2020

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It seems that everyone has an opinion these days.

Should we wear a mask or not?

Would it be best for school this fall to be in person, virtual or a combination?

Is there enough testing or too much testing?

If you don’t have an opinion about one of these or a million other topics related to COVID-19, be careful. You might not want to tell anyone because, well, then everyone will try and convince you that their opinion is right. Heaven forbid that someone has an opinion different from yours. Can you still be friends with someone who has a different opinion.

Maybe. Possibly. Sometimes not.

I’m calling it virus fatigue. We’re four months into this pandemic and quite honestly, we’re all more than a little over it.

And yet, we’re not. Numbers continue to be reported daily. Hot spots are reeling back in their decisions. We live day-by-day, week-by-week wondering whether or not it’s safe for kids, staff, and bus drivers to resume some form of in-school education. Will there be fall sports? While some churches have reopened, some have closed back up their in-person worship and are back online. Other churches are wondering if and when they should begin gathering again. The list goes on and on and on.

Virus fatigue is real and we’re all more than a little over it.

Some people continue to see their workloads at record levels while others are wondering what will happen when the additional unemployment benefits run out the end of the month … and they still don’t know when they will return to work. Will there be another package to help businesses and families and state and local communities that are overwhelmed with additional costs because of a pesky little virus?

Anyone else feeling like this virus has commanded too much of their lives right now?

Campers and kayaks and boats are high demand items right now. As well as trampolines, bikes, and swimming pools. If you want a stand-up freezer, put in your order now for possible Christmas delivery. Sunday, Hubby Rick and I drove to an extremely popular state park about 30 minutes from our house. We planned to wade in the water, go for a hike, take a nap in the shade. After driving past miles of cars parked along the shoulder, we realized that everyone within a hundred miles must have had the same idea. We quickly adverted our plans and headed to a quiet village park along a river where only a couple other families were enjoying their Sunday afternoon.

We’re all ready to do something pre-virus “normal” because virus fatigue is real … and it’s more than set-in.

I think back to earlier generations that endured world wars for years. Accepted restrictions on sugar, tires, and coffee for months and months. Just a few months into our generation’s most devastating situation and we’re quick to blow our trumpet for what we believe in, how we’re being deeply affected, and what everyone else is doing wrong.

I’m tired of virus fatigue because it’s giving us permission to treat each other poorly. To focus only on what we want or what we think is best. We’ve become expert scientists, doctors, economists, educators, infectious disease professionals, predictors, and politicians overnight … all simultaneously. All in the name of virus fatigue.

So, what’s the alternative? How might we discover a less destructive and more helpful way to plod through this pandemic that we’re not sure how long will last?

Let me offer just a few suggestions.

  1. Remember to love God. No matter how difficult this situation is and how you are being affected personally, please, please, please keep the One who loves you and knows what’s best for you in your hind pocket. Please don’t try and do this on your own. Virus fatigue will only continue to overwhelm you and upset you and distress you. When you turn to the One who has enough grace for you, your family, all of your friends as well as your enemies, then, you will discover how deep, wide and big God’s grace is for you as well.
  2. Remember to love your neighbor. All of them. Even the ones you’re not that crazy about loving. Especially the ones that have a vastly different opinion about the status of our current situation than you do. Love them so much it hurts because the truth is, God loves you even more than this. If you deserve this much love, then certainly everyone else does as well. Period. While we often would like to think we should get an extra pass of grace, thank goodness God is a lot less judgmental than the rest of us are.
  3. Follow these two suggestions … and everything else will eventually work itself out. Not on our timetable or maybe exactly how we would prefer. When we keep the most important things as the most important, it’s AMAZING how so much else simply fades away.

Certainly, I don’t have all the answers for virus fatigue. I only have three suggestions. I’m going to try and focus on these things and see how my energy, attention, and love for God changes. Want to join me? I hope you do.

If you need just a few minutes of reprieve from virus fatigue, click on this link. Then, sit back and simply listen.

For God’s grace that has no end or beginning, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Lord God – how fickle we are when we must endure a challenging situation. How often we focus on where it personally hurts the most rather than empathizing with someone else’s situation. How easy it is to assume we have the best ideas and ideas. Bath us in Your grace today. Place I upon your hearts the immediate need to simply love You and our neighbors today. Tomorrow. The next day. Even when we don’t want to. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

As Wheat Harvest Draws Near …

Gratitude Day 489

Mon., July 20, 2020

John 12:24 – Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.

Recently, Hubby Rick and I were driving through the countryside. As normal, Rick is scouting the crops. Is corn tasseling? Are there water puddles in the fields? How close is the wheat to harvesting?

It’s the last one – wheat harvesting – that brings back a variety of memories in this last half of July. Rick’s Dad, Tony, loved to grow winter wheat. In the years that I knew Tony, getting the wheat harvested was always a busy and slightly stressful wheat for the Vielhubers.

Truth? It was more than just one week that occupied lots of chatter about wheat harvest. It began in the fall when the wheat was planted. In the spring, maybe the wheat would need spraying or fertilizer. As the heads began to turn golden, Tony began calling the local co-op, daily, inquiring what the local price was for a bushel of wheat. I’m sure the folks at the co-op would look at their caller id and know exactly why Tony was calling.

The decision about when to harvest includes more than just the price. Another important factor is the test weight of the wheat. This is influenced by how much water the wheat plant is retaining. There’s a magic test weight window, in which the wheat isn’t too weight or too dry. This often becomes the deciding factor of just when wheat is harvested.

The last number of years, Tony’s grandson, Andy combined the wheat. Rick would get the wagons lined up to offload the wheat from the combine. Rick and Tony drove the wagons down to the co-op where it would be determined how many bushels of wheat there were as well as the test weight. After the wheat grains were harvest, the combine left the shafts or steams of the wheat in the field. These would be baled into straw, which was sold and used for bedding for animals.

The last number of years Tony grew wheat, Rick found himself handling more of the responsibilities involved in harvesting; all in between his work shifts. He would work all night, get a couple of hours of sleep in the early morning, only to be awoken by Tony because the combine was hitting the field and someone would need to drive the wagons the couple miles to town to the co-op. Tony would drive some of the wagons. But as he neared 90-years-old, how often he drove the wagons behind his little John Deere tractor became a concern.

Then, there was getting the neighbor to bale the straw into large round bales and get the bales delivered to whomever purchased them. If Tony’s decades old truck wasn’t working quite right, Rick would line-up someone else to haul the straw and that it would be safely delivered. Every year, it seemed there would be a few hick-ups along the way, as is often the situation with field work. Every year, Rick would confide and say, “This is the last year Dad is going to raise wheat,” knowing that when fall came, it would be so very difficult for Rick to not fill the drill with wheat seed and make sure it got planted. Come fall, the wheat that Tony held back for next year’s seed would find its way into the ground so it would grow into next year’s wheat crop.

One grain of wheat in a bag in the shed really isn’t extremely helpful. Basically, the seed dies when it is harvested, and it stops growing. But when the seed is put back into the ground and is watered, it begins to grow once again. The seed sprouts little leaves when creep out of the ground and the whole process of growing new plants repeats once again.

Our faith, Jesus says, is a lot like this wheat seed. Faith can become stale. Nonresponsive. Dead. Just like the wheat seed, it needs some water, encouragement, heat, and light for little leaves to sprout back to life. Sometimes the dead seed stays like this for a while; just like seed stuck in the shed. Until WE decide to take some steps to bring it back to life, it can and will remain dormant.

When our seed of faith goes dormant, we often blame God. “Where are You?” we plead with God. “You didn’t answer my prayer the way I wanted … so I’m going to pout.” Or “Why do I have to do all the work or wait for You? Can’t you see I’m on a timetable?” we plead.

But then again, God’s timetable is not our timetable. Maybe our prayer was answered … and we didn’t like the answer. So instead of acknowledging it, we simply ignore it. Quite honestly, when we don’t feel close to God, it’s not God that did the moving. We did.

If you feel your faith is parched, dry and on the verge of dying, check yourself. Have you been watering your spiritual soul with regular doses of prayer? Are you finding opportunities to worship God in some small way every day? Are you looking for God in consistent scripture reading?

Are you depending only upon your own ideas and wisdom, assuming you know better than God?

Honestly, it’s really OK when our seed souls feel far from God. I find that often, best growth happens when I haven’t felt awfully close to God. Even in the near-death times of our seeds of faith, I pray we don’t give up on God. Be disappointed. Be hurt. Be angry. But please, don’t turn completely way. Instead, find a new or consistent way to keep even a little bit of nourishment going towards your seed of faith. And as you journey through this time of disappointment, keep looking for God. You might be amazed at what happens.

For the lesson from wheat near harvest, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – as we see so many wheat fields a beautiful golden brown, may we recall Jesus’ words about keeping ourselves close to God. Even if our faith is feeling a little tired and distracted, may we keep searching for You. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

The Time the Microwave Needed Fixing

Gratitude Day 488

Fri., July 17, 2020

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The glass jar stood perched on the counter right inside the main entry door into the house. It was summer. Days were filled with baling hay, picking peas and beans from the garden, and training sheep and calves for the county fair. The jar was a constant reminder that the microwave in the kitchen was no longer in working order.

It was the summer after I graduated from high school. I had picked up a mid-day waitressing job, which allowed me to help with chores in the morning, work my shift and then be back home for afternoon milking. As I entered the house with an pocketed black apron still tied around my waist, I dropped the coins acquired from tips in the jar. Bills were saved for college.

This same summer, my younger sister picked strawberries. She added money from her earnings into the jar as well. Other coins and a few bills slowly began to cushion the bottom of the jar. Mom added a few coins. Dad dropped in the change found in his pocket. Every once in a while, someone would count the money just to see how close we were to acquiring enough money to fix the broken microwave.

It was awfully slow going. Would we ever get enough money to fix the microwave?

Years earlier, Mom received the microwave as a Christmas gift when microwaves were relatively new. On the farm, her the family felt the microwave would speed up meal prep for Mom. Mom was less than impressed with the purchase, which felt like a huge luxury at the time. Maybe she thought her cooking skills would be dumbed down by a machine that could melt butter in 90 seconds.

When our local high school offered microwave cooking classes, Mom signed up. Food actually could be prepared in the microwave. She embraced ways to cook favorites in considerably less time.

Yes, some foods were best not prepared in the microwave. Dad didn’t like crunchy vegetables which never got soft in the microwave. Baking was tricky. By the time dough was cooked in the center, the outsides were beyond crispy.

When the microwave stopped working that summer, everyone was dependent upon it. We made popcorn on Saturday evenings and used it to thaw meat. My dad’s culinary skills extended only to making toast. But he could heat up water for instant coffee.

As much as we wanted the microwave fixed, we were keenly aware funds were not available. I’m not sure how much money we needed. It might as well have been $10,000.

That’s when the glass jar became stationed right inside the door. Optimistic we could quickly collect the needed money, days turned into weeks, which turned into months. In the kitchen, the microwave collected dust.

My paternal grandparents always spent the week of our county fair in Wisconsin. While my sister and I put the finishing touches on our fair projects, Grandma Deaton inquired about the jar on the counter. Someone filled her in about the broken microwave. A check was added to the jar. Our grandparents anted up the funds to get the microwave fixed.

You would have thought we had just won the lottery.

Today, when something breaks at our house, if it is something we depend upon or needs replacing, Hubby Rick or I go and buy it. Yes, we discuss whether or not it needs replacing. I may look online for costs. But if we think we need it, we get it. We don’t put a jar on the counter and deposit coins or bills as we enter the house.

At the time, the microwave broke, my parents were experiencing significant financial burdens. Our entire family knew it. We had each taken on a way to bring in additional income. Mom worked off the farm. The kids had summer jobs. An occasional trip to the root beer stand for a float after chores was a huge splurge. We ordered the kiddie or momma sizes because the daddy size was way too expensive.

After four months of a pandemic that has financially hit some families significantly, there are families who look at their monthly bills and the coins left in their checking account and wonder how rent or mortgage will be paid next month. They wonder if they should pay their cell phone bill or go to the grocery store. These are real discussions.

If you are one of those families whose coins have been emptied out and you are not sure what to do next, here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit your local food pantry. This is why we have them. Use them. DO. NOT. BE. ASHAMED.
  • Call the businesses you cannot fulfill your financial obligation and talk with them. Don’t ignore the bills. Be proactive.
  • Prioritize your expenses. Wait on anything that is not absolutely necessary, i.e. – microwave.
  • Be creative. Think outside the box. Are there things you can liquidate? Opportunities to bring in even a small amount of income?

If you are doing OK and maybe even have a little extra, what can you do?

  • Think through your family and friends. Is someone struggling and too proud to ask for help? There are ways you can help. Send gift cards, have groceries show up at their house, etc.
  • Aid in a non-financial way. Watch children, drive somewhere, take over extra food from your house.
  • If you aren’t sure who to help, inquire through a non-profit, church, or other organization. Leadership are often aware of folks who need assistance. You will probably not know who receives the assistance. Be OK with this.
  • Whether you are a person feeling anxious about your current financial situation OR wondering how you to share blessings, begin by turning to God. No one at our house expected our grandparents to provide the resources to get the microwave across the finish line. They saw a need … and helped out. They were inspired to do so.

Look for inspiration to do the same. Share your heart with God. Let God carry your burden with you. Together, you and God will figure this out.

For God’s desire to carry our burdens with us, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – be with those who are struggling financially right now. Open their hearts for help. Bring someone into their lives who can share the burden. May we always turn to You first for inspiration and guidance. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Wednesday Prayer Day: Only Promise to Pray IF you Really Will Pray

Gratitude Day 487

Wed., July 15, 2020

Acts 20:36 – After he said these things, he knelt down with all of them to pray.

“Can I pray for you?”

The words may roll off of our tongues without even thinking about it. Or we respond to a social media post, “Praying” followed by praying hands memes. We send someone a sympathy card and assure the receiver that we will be praying for them.

Here’s the REAL question. After your promise someone to pray for them or type it in a comment or write it on a card, do you ACTUALLY do it?


Do you stop the scrolling, pause from writing, or go ahead and pray for the person while still on the call?

With limited community worship gathering happening these days, the sense of whether someone is actually praying for a situation is not as clearly defined. While we SAY we are, can we honestly say that we have prayed for every situation which we promised to do so?

When I became a pastor, my praying skills were, well, about a -10. Yes, I had prayed before meals, the Lord’s Prayer, and occasionally led a group of people in prayer. But I didn’t have the “perfect” phrases or style that would leave people weeping. I hadn’t read a book about prayer until after I became a pastor. And certainly, I would not be labeled as one of those prayer warriors that folks turn to because they seem to have a more direct telephone line to God.

Nope, I was none of those. Not in a long shot.

Yet, I believed in prayer. I knew it could bring comfort and peace into our lives. At least I wanted to believe it could. I wanted to assure people that God heard their prayers and might even answer some of them. I wanted folks to think God was A-MA-ZING and would know they were sincere and earnest in their prayer requests.

And then, real life ministry happened. People I barely knew assured me that prayer was a waste of time. They believed God had let them down way too many times. When I asked someone to lead prayer at a meeting, often folks realized their shoe needed typing or there was some speck of dirt on the floor that desperately needed attention.

To this day, I would classify my prayer life as moderate at best. I find myself praying short little prayers though out the day and am ashamed when I spend more time scrolling on my phone than seriously engaging God in a heart-to-heart discussion.

But this is real life.

Eventually, I became more comfortable with praying in worship or together with a group of folks. Why? Because I just did it. No special training. No life-changing experience when I suddenly “knew” how to pray. Nope, just speaking from my heart. Saying what’s on my mind. Trying not to get too fancy with catch phrases and simply let my heart speak more so than my mind.

Along the way, I discovered praying over the phone. In my early pastoring years, I also attended school several days a week. I tried to make the hospital visits and take communion to those unable to attend worship on a regular basis. I know I missed lots of those opportunities.

Sometimes, all I could do between reading multiple books a week and writing a paper on Luther’s position on justification was to pick up the phone and call. Before the end of the conversation, I would simply ask, “Can I pray for you?” Or sometimes, “May we pray together?”

The first time I prayed over the phone, internally, I wondered if this is how ministry is supposed to look. I was making up stuff as I went along and decided that asking for forgiveness sometimes seemed more appropriate than asking for permission. After those phone prayers, there would often be a pause. Maybe a sniffle or two. Then, the recognition that no one had ever prayed with them over the phone before.

We couldn’t see each other faces and see what response the other person was experiencing. Yet sometimes emotion does come through a phone line. In a text message. Or an e-mail.

With continued limited interactions, let’s embrace the power of praying for someone. We can do it during our quiet time or when we think of someone. We can even type a text prayer or send an e-mail. But I also pray we pick up the dang phone, call the person who we have been thinking about, chat with them … and then pray aloud with them on the phone before we end the conversion.

Seriously. It doesn’t have to take more than 30 seconds to pray. If we just make it a priority.

Saying we are going to pray for someone … and actually praying WITH someone are two different animals. One is passive and nice. The other? Potentially personal and something that can reach down into your heart and cause your throat to close up and your nose to get just a bit sniffly. Sometimes, the risk is worth it.

For finding prayer’s power, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Almighty God – may we see prayer as a great opportunity to engage your power and might. I pray we will make time to contact someone when we think of them and pray with them today. Amen.

It’s Wednesday night! Join me for Devos with Dianne at 8 PM CST on Facebook Live. Have a piece of bread with you!

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.