We Need the Church. NOW.

Gratitude Day 428

Wed., Mar. 25, 2020

Acts 16:5: The churches became stronger in their faith, and each day more people put their faith in the Lord.

We are in a time called Lent – the 40 days before Easter when we are called to draw closer to God. It’s the time of year when people are encouraged to set aside time and intentionally explore ways that they can journey closer with God.

It is not lost on me … and many others … that during one of the most important times of the church year, churches are shuttered and closed right now. Pastors are trying to figure out how to host online worship and connect with people through different and sometimes unfamiliar platforms. Churches contemplate having enough funds to cover expenses while offering plates remain safely sheltered on pulpit shelves; completely abiding by the now common “stay in place” orders that have been issued.

For decades, many churches have remained much the same with Sunday morning worship as their main event of the week. Yes, churches have experimented with alternative worship times and styles. Many churches have additional offerings like Wednesday night programming and small group ministry. Visitation teams strive to keep those unable to worship regularly connected to the church. The list goes on and on about various ways churches encourage people to find ways to deepen their faith and develop a personal relationship with God.

While not always, most ministries happen within a brick and mortar church building. Yes, there are exceptions. But by and large, most ministry events supported by local churches happen at their main facility.

Until now.

It’s a common struggle right now: how does the church continue to operate when business as usual has been completely disrupted?

For years, we, meaning “church” people, have said the church isn’t a building. It’s a people. The folks who walk in and out of the building are far more important than the physical building. While we have said this, it’s hard not to underestimate the importance of a central location.

Until now.

In times of challenge and even chaos, maybe, it’s an opportunity for us to rethink many things. Including church.

I’m not ready to throw the church building out with the bath water. But, if ever there was an opportunity for us to reflect, ponder and rethink about what church means, now IS that time.

What is church? It’s hearts and souls who long to find meaning in their lives by drawing upon strength from Someone – God – who is bigger than us all. It’s living two simple commandments as given to us by the incarnate version of God, known as Jesus, to love God and neighbor. It’s falling in love with knowing there is something beyond this earth that awaits us. It’s having hope that we don’t have to know it all, be it all and live it all because God has it all together; especially when we don’t.

Like right now.

And when life feels ridiculously out of control and filled with chaos, it’s a place for us to turn and find peace. Quiet. Hope. Love.

For the last two years, my role as a “pastor” has not included leading weekly worship. My “church” has included multiple sites and worship styles. Hubby Rick and I have struggled in knowing exactly what church building we call “home.”

We have also discovered that church isn’t really about a physical building. It’s about being with other folks who yearn to make sense of their everyday lives on a deeper spiritual level. Even while we may not be in the same physical building each week, we still see ourselves as part of God’s church.

People also turn to the church to give them hope and encouragement when their lives feel turned upside down. Recently, someone suggested that I should consider hosting an online devotion for folks who are looking for this. I took a couple of days to think about this and decided to offer a weekly online short devotional time. I hope people worship with an actual faith community on the weekends and so offer this devotional time as an alternative to regular worship.

Tonight, at 8 PM central, will be my initial Wednesday Night Devo with Dianne on Facebook Live. I would love for you and a friend to join me. I anticipate it to be 15 minutes long or so. I would love for you to share a prayer request that you have. I don’t expect this to be ridiculously profound or professional. This will be the first Facebook Live I have ever done.

What it will be is an opportunity for us to be church together: to come before God and find guidance and inspiration from the One who is greater and bigger than all of us. To know that God is still speaking, even if God feels rather quiet right now. To gather as folks who love God and yearn to know God more.

That’s all.

Please join me tonight. I’ll see you there.

For new ways to experience church, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Lord God – what an amazing time to explore new and creative things in our lives, including what church means to us. I pray we find wonderful ways to connect with You and each other in these days often cloaked with stay in place encouragements. Amen.

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

When Spring Arrives

Gratitude Day 424

Thurs., Mar. 19, 2020

Song of Songs 2:12: Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

Soon it will officially be spring.

Time for warm rain and mud puddles.

Time for trees budding and shoots sprouting out of the ground.

Time for warm breezes and longer days of sunlight.

Time for coats and flip-flops.

Spring gives us hope.

Hope for new birth, new chances, new babies.

Opportunities for refreshing and cleaning and eliminating.

Anticipation of leaving the dark and dreary behind and focusing on what is yet to come.

Spring seems a little more difficult these days.

But it is oh, so needed.

No matter what is going on right now in your life, your country, your world, keep hope. Anticipate a bright day. Smile to everyone. Be the one who everyone wants to see and chat with.

Spring into spring with anticipation. Hope. Promise.

For the gift of a new season, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – Thank You for the gift of hope in spring. Teach us to value and appreciation the changing of the seasons and the anticipation of new things. Be with those struggling today. May they find hope in the promise of something new. Amen.

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

Stocking Up on the Right Things

Gratitude Day 423

Wed., Mar. 18, 2020

2 Corinthians 4:14: We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.

Good Morning Friends –

Is anyone else in a little shock over how much our world has changed in the last few days?

If anyone else is finding it hard to have words to describe their feelings, it’s OK. I’m struggling as well. Most of us are challenged in trying to make sense of how a little, well, obviously NOT a little, virus has changed EVERY. SINGLE.THING. about our lives and world.

Seemingly, overnight.

What was unimaginable just a few days ago is happening. Quickly. Rapidly. Beyond belief.

I begin with just a few thoughts. Some may see overly obvious to you … but please hang on with me for just a bit.

COVID-19 is real. If it hasn’t happened already, there will be a day when someone you know tests positive. It happened for me yesterday. The person I know is in the hospital and has been for several days. This person’s immediate family, with whom he/she had contact with, are being quarantined. This person is doing OK and family expects the person to get better.

Here’s my point. COVID-19 is real. It’s happening. I know it is very difficult and hard to discern what information is accurate and what is fake. The folks who are trying to figure out how seriously to take COVID-19 are constructing a model and rule book as they go along because there is so much uncertainty. Is there uniform understanding and agreement amongst scientists? No. Should we be vigilant and heed their warnings? Absolutely. It is time for folks to stop thinking of this as a conspiracy or some crisis dreamed up for wrong reasons. It’s real. And some day soon, if not already, you will become aware of someone who tests positive.

Life as we know it has changed. When all sporting, entertainment and “normal” activities like school and eating out are canceled, it’s a big deal. A huge deal. Something that I, nor most everyone else, could not have imagined 10 days ago.

The pleas are real and serious: please stop going into public places unless necessary. When people say this, I pray we listen. It’s not just about whether or not we might get the virus. It’s about all the people we might come into contact with that might be compromised because we were with a carrier. Or are a carrier ourselves.

Have I been in public? Honestly, yes. Trying to make sure the kids in our community who struggle with food security, yes, I went food shopping this week so we could pack triple our normal number of Blessings in a Backpack bags.

Normally, we shop locally at our local grocery story. Needing food quickly, I found myself at big-box stores. One store was very organized and had things readily available. Yes, there were limits on certain products. The larger grocery store seemed overwhelmed with all of the shoppers. A guy who normally works in the tire department was unpacking food. Bless his heart, he tried to help this non-regular shopper at this store find what she was looking for.

I was at these stores when things might have been less chaotic. I witnessed people who were patient. Calm. Going about their business. It was just another shopping day.

Did people stare at my carts that were overflowing with large quantities of pre-packed food? You bet. More than once, I heard others comment about how much chocolate milk I was buying. When I saw the same woman at more than one store, she wanted to know how many kids I was feeding. When I explained why I was shopping, she offered to help. Right there in a large grocery store.

How we go about “normal” life must change. More than one person has commented to me that maybe this will be an opportunity for people to realign how we look at life. What is most important? Where are we committed to spending our resources of time, finances and other things? Will this finally be the kick in the pants that will help us see how short our earthly lives truly are?

None of us should be immune to these changes. We ALL must look at how we conduct regular, normal things a bit differently. When weddings and funerals are delayed and changed, it’s real stuff, folks. When school is being conducted at some level by parents who never had any intention of home schooling, the rubber has hit the road. As our local Blessings program and food pantry leaders sat down yesterday and tried to make plans to make sure the most vulnerable in our community still have resources, it’s no joke.

Let’s be very careful about predictions and how we use scripture. Yes, our normal must change. But I pray we remember WHO is in control and we do not speak for that Who.

This is a time for us to be CREATIVE. Step outside of our self-imposed comfort zones and move beyond what is most comfortable to make sure we are affecting change that will keep people safe, healthy and connected with each other. There is a whole slice of society that is and will feel very cut off these days because they can’t engage with others because they are at risk.

The picture a guy calling his dad while sitting outside of his window is precious. My sister, Debbie, reminded me of a time many years ago when the nursing home where my grandmother lived was on lockdown. My grandmother became very depressed. Debbie stood outside Grandma’s window and called her. She brought in their baby lambs and let Grandma see them through the window. “Visits” changed and were adapted. Likewise, we all can be a bit more creative in how we reach out to people. Encourage each other. Support those who literally feel cut-off.

We have the advantage of technology today. We have lots of tools that can help us be creative in how we connect with each other. I pray we embrace them and discover how to use these tools in a healthy and helpful way.

Let’s stock up on what is most important. I do not believe the popular saying that says “everything happens for a reason.” I do believe that out of challenging times, we have immense opportunity to grow, learn and be drawn closer to God.  

Rather than stocking up on disinfectant and toilet paper and wipes, let’s stock up on what is far more important: Kindness. Patience. Love. Compassion. There are a ton of people who are experiencing real affects of this. In the not too distant future, we WILL hear trained professionals address how some people will exhibit longer term impacts of what is going on right now. Rather than judging if these situations are real, let’s be folks who choose to blanket others with the attributes Christians are CALLED to display every day. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Goodness. Self-control.

What would be helpful for you to stock up in this season spiritually? The past few days, I have been contemplating what I can do through this platform to support and encourage others. The reason I write these blogs and share resources is so that I can help bring joy, peace and contentment into other people’s lives. My question to you is this: how can I help do this for you?

What means would be most helpful for you today? This week? Would daily uplifting blogs be helpful? Would a daily study guide based on scripture that you could download and do daily help you find focus? Would a weekly on-line prayer group that meets via Zoom or Facebook bring you peace? Would an on-line book study bring joy into your life? Would a 15- or 30-minute Sunday worship time be something that you would participate in?

How might we connect and encourage and support each other these days?

I want to hear from you. How might we use this platform to discover and explore faith in a whole new way? Please comment to this blog. Send me a PM. Text or e-mail or call me. Seriously.

It doesn’t matter where you are located. This is the great thing about technology! We can create opportunities for everyone, anywhere. I pray that together, we come up with a way to encourage each other through this strange time in our lives.

If you haven’t signed up for the free daily prayer text message that I send out daily, please do so now. Simply text simplewordsoffaith to 33222.

As we are reminded in the opening scripture, God is TOGETHER WITH US.

For God’s presence with us today, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – thanks for being together with us during these times which feel so different. If we are unsettled, I pray we find peace in You. If we are challenged, I urge You to bring peace into our lives. I pray that together, we can embrace ways to remain connected to You and each other. Amen.

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

Checking Off the Things You CAN Do Today …

Gratitude Day 423

Sat., Mar. 14, 2020

Galatians 6:2: Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

TRUTH: I don’t watch the news daily. In fact, I kind of avoid it.

But last night, I watched the news. The national news and the local news.

TRUTH: Watching the news, especially the national news, was a bit unsettling. The entire broadcast was about the coronavirus. There’s a lot to take in and evaluate. In my state of Wisconsin, the Governor has said ALL schools will be closed Mar. 19-Apr. 5.

While many of us are focusing on what feels unsettling, maybe even a bit scary right now, I encourage us to focus on how we can share each other’s burdens. As followers of Christ, what CAN we do when things feel so off-kilter? I’ve put together a little checklist for us to use:

_____   Offer to help those who might be a bit more compromised around you. Get their groceries, pick up a prescription or run an errand for someone who might not feel comfortable going out into public right now. Whether this is an elderly neighbor, a friend who has anxiety or the mom who doesn’t want to take their child into a public setting, reach out to them and see how you can fill the gap.

_____   Contact a local service organization and see where they need help. Deliver meals on wheels. Help at the food pantry. Serve food at a homeless shelter. These folks still need services. Let’s make sure there isn’t a gap.

_____   Pick up some gas or grocery gift cards and give them to those people whose jobs maybe compromised right now. You know – those people who work at places that have closed right now. Waiters and waitresses at restaurants that will not have as many customers. Janitors who don’t have buildings to clean. They still have needs. You can fill a small gap.

_____   Drop off a treat at the local clinic or hospital. These folks are working overtime right now trying to keep the rest of us healthy and safe. Call in advance to find out what kinds of treats they will accept before you make your famous chocolate chip cookies, only to find out the workers won’t be able to eat them.

_____   Say thank you to public officials (EMT’s, fire, police officers) when you see them. Or go out of your way to extend your appreciation for taking extra precautions at this time.

_____   Drop off a bag of groceries to a family whose children are home for the next few weeks unexpectedly. Extend a hand to those who struggle with food insecurity. Or offer to babysit young children so parents can go to work.

_____   Find ways to manage your feelings and anxiety. Be careful not to add additional fear in how you conduct yourself right now. Spend extra time meditating and praying. Go to YouTube and listen to uplifting and inspirational music.

_____   Maintain community with those who may feel isolated and alone right now. As we spend more time at home and have less opportunities to be with groups of people, we can easily feel disconnected from others. Contact those who are alone and may not have as much opportunity to be with others. Even if you physically cannot be with a person, you can still be in touch.  

_____   Continue to support the economy. As we hunker down more in this next period of time, businesses will feel the affect. Try to support them as you can. If you order online, leave treat as the door for delivery people.

_____   Pray and pray and pray. We are not in this alone. God is definitely with us. Pray that those influential in making decisions that affect millions will be guided by God. Pray for those who have been and maybe affected by the virus. Pray that a vaccine will be forthcoming. Pray that people react appropriately. Every time you wash your hands, PRAY.

For many people, this is truly the first time we have experienced something of this magnitude affecting so many people in so many different ways. No, it’s not the first time a pandemic has happened. But there are generations of people living today who have not lived through a situation quite like this.

What can we take away from this all? GOD. IS. WITH. US. TODAY. TOMORROW. ALWAYS. Amen.

For knowing that God is always with us, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Almighty God – remind us again and again and again that YOU. ARE. WITH. US. As we struggle to make sense of the world health situation right now, may we clearly see engage with you, each other and create a sense of community that we desperately need. Amen.

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

Wednesday is Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 420

Wed., Mar. 11, 2020

1 Peter 4:1: Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. 

The Lord never ceases to amaze me.

Seriously. When I stay with God and keep myself with God, it is amazing how God comes to me.

But first … I must slow down long enough to see it. Realize it’s God. Stop and listen. Know God is with me.

This year, I decided to use The Message for reading daily scripture. This change has been A-MAZE-ING! I’m embarrassed to say that my version of The Message had collected dust while sitting on the bookshelf. This year, it’s getting a good workout and hopefully feeling a lot of love.

I’m reading 1 Peter right now. (You can be as well if you are following along in the read the New Testament in a year.) Yesterday I read the 4th chapter which began this way:

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him.

Stop. Just stop. Jesus. Went through. Everything. You’re going through. AND MORE?

That’s what it says. Just when we think there is no one who could have experienced this stuff you have done through, this shows up. There is someone who knows what you’re experienced. Who has experienced MORE than you have. Who knows your every emotion, feeling, worry and thought. Right there, just waiting to go through this valley with you.

Sometimes we say to each other, “I know what you’re going through.” When I hear this, I think to myself, “Do you REALLY know what it’s like to be in this person’s shoes?” Or are you just saying what sounds good? Right? Expected?

Here’s the deal. Even if someone has had a somewhat similar situation, they don’t know how you feel. Your reaction. Your disappointment. Your mixed-bag of emotions. Your heartache.

But Jesus, well, he does.

Today, slow down and share with Jesus whatever is heave on your heart. Whatever is weighting you down. Whatever is distracting you.

It’s really quite easy. Begin this way:

Jesus, here’s what is going on. I could use a little help. Help me think like you in this situation. Help me know that I’m not alone. That’s all. Thanks.

How do we deal with those parts of our lives that are difficult? Challenging? Distracting?

Learn to think like Jesus.

That’s all. Amen.

For words that comfort me when I’m distracted, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – Even when you know everything that is going on in our lives, You still love to hear how we feel about what is going on in our lives. Thank you for being a safe place for us to go. Thanks for knowing how we feel. Teach us to think like You. Amen.

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

Wednesday Prayer Day

Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 416

Wed., Mar. 4, 2020

Psalm 55:1: Listen to my prayer, O God; don’t hide yourself when I cry to you.

It’s Wednesday which means that it’s prayer day!!

Too often, I think we never fully consider how powerful God really is. I lump myself into this category as well. When I pray, I am not bold. I limit the scope of my prayers, hoping this will entice God to act. Unconsciously, we set in our minds a limit of how much God can give us or help us.

We are stingy with God. We’re stingy with ourselves. And when we receive a gift beyond our imagining, too often, we want to send it back.

Let me be clear. God doesn’t have this magic wand that God chooses to use at times. But sometimes, don’t we wish this is the way God worked?

Since we know God doesn’t have a magic wand, it becomes easy for us to limit what we request of God.

In reality, I wish we would rather see how God is unlimited in supply. Likewise, ALL have equal access to God. If we choose.

God truly has no limit of abundance. God’s ability is far beyond our comprehension. So, if this is true, why do we often pray as if there is a limit to what God can do in any given situation?

When we move beyond a scarcity mentality when it comes to God’s ability to answer prayer, then we receive God’s goodness as an act of worship. When we see prayer as something we cooperate with God, we move beyond limiting prayer into neat, nice, little boxes.

For today, be BOLD in your prayer requests. Be audacious. Be crazy. Be unfiltered. Ask for all those things you really do wish would happen. I’m not saying these things will happen. I just pray that we see that prayer is a wonderful opportunity to move beyond our comfortable spaces and come to God with no limitations. No boundaries. No limits.

FYI – I’m also attaching the Lenten prayer guide here again; just in case you missed it. This is an easy way to build regular prayer into your Lenten journey this year. And please … be bold as you make these prayer requests.

For rediscovering that God is way bigger than we can imagine, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – why do we often approach you with an air of scarcity when it comes to prayer rather than being bold in our requests? Instill in us a desire to be bold and not afraid to ask in our prayer times. Amen.

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

Lenten Prayer Guide

Gratitude Day 412

Tues., Feb. 25, 2020

Romans 8:26: And in the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.

Tomorrow – Wed., Feb. 26 – is a special day.

Special maybe not in the normal sense of the word. But special to me because it is the first day of Lent 2020.

Lent is a part of the Christian calendar. A setting apart of the 40 days before Easter as a time to look inside of ourselves. See what we like. What we don’t like. How we can walk closer with God. Challenge ourselves to make tweaks towards becoming the best version of who God created us to be.

Each Lent, I challenge myself to practice my faith in a deeper and personally more meaningful way. For 40 days, I commission myself to be more intentional. Thoughtful. Purposeful. These Lenten practices have focused on a variety of things. Sometimes, I fast from things and try to remove them from my life. Other times, I add in something, a practice that is designed to draw me closer to God.

For Lent 2020, I’m adding in intentional prayer. Yes, I pray every day. It’s a part of who I am. I try to make prayer the first thing I do in the morning before my feet hit the group. I close the day reciting the Lord’s Prayer after I have climbed back into bed. And yes, there are other prayers throughout the day.

As part of this 40 Days of Praying for Lent 2020, I’ve put together a little chart to help me focus daily prayer. Each day (minus the Sabbath), there’s a specific topic of sorts that to use in prayer. Sometimes, the daily prayer affirmation encourages you to pray for yourself. Some days, it’s looking at people or the world around you. It’s a little way to help you be intentional and focused on prayer throughout the 40 days of Lent.

On page two, there is a chart where you can write down ideas related to the specific prayer affirmation for the day. This is a way for you to record what you’ve prayed for on a specific day. I encourage you to use this chart as a way to continue praying for each of these daily prayer affirmations throughout Lent.

Sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly what to pray for. People have shared this with me consistently over the years. My prayer is that this chart will provide you specific ways to focus your prayer during Lent 2020.

To print off a copy of the 40 Days of Prayer for Lent 2020 guide, either click on the photos above or download this PDF:

Will you join me in this special 40 Days of Prayer for Lent 2020?

For the desire and encouragement to focus prayer during Lent this year, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – As Lent begins this year, place it upon my heart ways that I can look inside of myself and grow spiritually. Together, may we discover ways for You to speak more clearly to me throughout these next 40 days of Lent. Encourage me to be more specific about prayer during this time. May I find a time of focused prayer personally enriching this Lent. Amen.

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

Quiet in a Noisy World

Gratitude Day 405

Tues., Feb. 11, 2020

Job 33:31: (God said,) “Job, pay attention and listen to me; be quiet, and I will speak.”

Sometimes, the world is so noisy.

There are days when I relish getting into the car, all by myself, with no one to talk to. No one to listen to. Just me.

Oh, how selfish this sounds!

But, honestly, it’s real.

I know there is less noise in my life than many others encounter. For this, I am grateful. Yet, there are days …

Noise is more than the spoken word, music, TV, or the garbage truck driving by. Noise is truly anything that distracts us. Keeps us from hearing ourselves. Keeps us, more importantly, from hearing God.

Many times, people have said, “God has never come to me. God has never spoken to me.” While this may be true, I often wonder, “Do you ever put yourself into a position where you are quiet/slow/not distracted enough so you CAN hear God? Or would God need a bull horn as big as Texas to get your attention?”

Believe me. I’m guilty as well. I find a hundred reasons why not to be quiet so I can hear God.

Recently, a person asked me, “How do you know when God is speaking to you?” It’s a great question. While there are many possible answers, I think making sure you are ready to hear from God must be near the top of the list. If we aren’t listening for God, God may have spoken to you and you missed it. If there is too much “noise” in our lives, God’s voice or desire to speak to us gets mixed in with all the other “noise” in our lives.

Honestly, God may not speak to you on your timeframe. When this happens, we get all hoity-toity and just assume God has no time for us. Maybe, just maybe God did speak … and we were not able to hear. Or we weren’t in a position where we were ready to hear what God had to say.

Sometimes, it’s selective hearing.

I pray that you find moments in your days and weeks where God would have a sliver of an opportunity to speak to you. I pray God uses you as God’s megaphone (or small microphone) to someone else. I pray that you yearn for God to speak to you … and believe it will happen.

Sometimes, we need a little quiet. Time in the car just with us and God. No radio, no cell phone, no distractions. We turn off what needs to be done and simple be with God. No agenda. No expectation. No disappointment if nothing really happens.

Slow down. Sit. Listen. Anticipate God speaking to you. It will be a good day.

If you have a prayer request today, drop it in the comments. I would love to pray for it.

For the reminder to simple by so we can listen, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Thank you for giving us a wonderful example of community even within the Trinity. Thank you for teaching us how important it is to have friends who love you and care deeply for you. I pray we encourage and support those people who are special brothers and sisters in our lives. Amen.

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

Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 399

Wed., Feb. 5, 2020

Ephesians 6:18: Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.

I’ve ran into this scenario too many times: a person says to me, “I don’t know what to do anymore.”

TRUTH: Yep, there have even been times when I’ve felt this way. It feels like there is NOTHING else to do.

TRUTH: There is always ONE MORE THING to do; there’s always prayer.

Why do we wait until the last minute to turn to prayer?

When it’s to the point that it feels like everything else has been exhausted? And THEN, we turn to prayer.

Why not embody prayer sooner? Quicker? Before it’s a last-ditch effort?

Yep, I’ve done it as well. I keep forgetting these wonderful words from Ephesians that encourage us to NEVER STOP PRAYING.

Especially for others.

Even when they don’t deserve it.

Even when they are slightly unlovable.

Even when it would be so much easier to simply not like them.

Then, it’s time to pray. For them. For you.

TRUTH: We pray for others, thinking God will change them. When, in reality, maybe it’s US that needs to be changed.

Not the other person. But WE need a change in our attitude. Our approach.

We deny forgiveness and it only hurts ourselves.

We focus on how we have been wronged rather than how we have wronged someone else.

I know. It’s so much easier to be the victim.

But sometimes being the victim is SO EXHAUSTING.

When nothing else makes sense, pray. For others.

But most importantly, pray for yourself. Pray for you mind, body, soul and eyes.

Maybe, just maybe, YOU will be amazed at what can happen to YOU.

For the ability to always turn to prayer; for myself as well as others, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Almighty God – Forgive us for the thousands of times we’ve turned to prayer as a last resort rather than a first option. Forgive us when we thought someone else needed a lot more prayer than we need ourselves. Open our eyes, hearts, minds and souls to the amazing power of prayer. Amen.

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