Wednesday Prayer Day – Be Still

Gratitude Day 497

Wed., Aug. 12, 2020

Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

Be still.

And know that I am God.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Yet, being still really isn’t that easy.

Especially during a pandemic.

Should kids go to school or not?

Should there be sports this fall?

Whan an effective vaccine be found?

Be still?

Right.

Rather than honoring God as God, we sit perched on our executive chairs of control. We are SO. SURE. We know what is best for ourselves and everyone around us. And we go out of our way to make sure everyone knows who is in charge.

Listen again.

Be still.

Listen. Hear. Know.

Stop trying to be God. Take over. Be in control.

Instead, let God do God. Take a break. Turn your faces upward and towards God rather than burying them in your cell phones. Whatever it is that is demanding too much, just stop. Organize a stay-cation with the One who is God. Spend  time every day just simply being with God. Reconnect with God’s constant place in your life.

Be still.

Know God.

That’s all.

Amen.

For the reminder to be with You, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Be still. Know that God is God. The end. Amen.  

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Tonight is Devo’s with Dianne – 8 PM on Facebook Live. See you then!

Lessons from the Dentist: Out with the Old & In with the New

Gratitude Day 495

Wed., Aug. 5, 2020

2 Corinthians 5:17 – So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!

Twice in the last month, I’ve been to the dentist.

This has not happened in YEARS.

When I went in for a semi-annual cleaning, a few weeks ago, I saw a new dentist. Dr. Dani is new to the clinic where I go. I think this is the fourth or fifth new dentist that I have had at this clinic. Quite honestly, it’s not the dentist that is important to me. It’s the hygienist that I stay with.

Sara has been my hygienist for, well, let’s just say a REALLY long time. It seems that when a new doc joins the clinic, she becomes one of their hygienists. And so, I get a new dentist.

My visits to the dentist are very, very mundane when it comes to dental work. Twice a year, I show up for a cleaning. Twice a year, Sara and I chat non-stop as we catch up on our lives. The dentist pops in for about three minutes, does a quick once-over at my teeth and waltzes back out the door, telling me they will see me again in six months. Sara and I pick up our conversation right where we left off once this little formality is over.  

It’s been this way for decades. Literally. The last time I had a cavity filled was when I was in the single digits.

Until now. Enter Dr. Dani. The few fillings that I have are old and not from the same type of material that is used in fillings these days. Dr. Dani felt it was time to remove these fillings that are old enough to vote a couple of times over and replace them with something new. Little cracks are forming in the teeth with the old fillings. New fillings would prevent further damage.

Out with the old and in with the new.

A new dentist = a new person looking at my teeth. A new dentist = new fillings.

I’m not sure what the average lifespan of a tooth filling is. I’m guessing that I probably got my parent’s money worth on those two fillings. And so, it’s time for a new set of fillings.

Today, I went into a different room with a different person assisting Dr. Dani. Everything went fine and about an hour later, I had two new fillings. For the next few hours, talking was weird and swallowing a liquid felt awkward because my entire mouth was numb. It’s a short-lived price to pay for two new fillings.

Out with the old. In with the new.

As difficult as change is sometimes, new can be good. Helpful. Important. Jesus said that we don’t pour old wine into new wineskins. Only new wine goes into new containers. Likewise, people don’t sew patches from new clothing into old clothing. Why ruin a perfectly new article of clothing?

Paul takes the analogy further. With the arrival of Christ on earth, EVRYTHING changed. He’s the new creation, the fulfillment of God on earth. Before Christ, it was about obeying hundreds of rules. Christ changed this. God and Christ become accessible to all. Jesus pools all the rules into two seemingly simple ones: love God and love your neighbor. That’s all.

While I see the new making more sense than the old, we often get hung-up in wanting the old rather than the new. We’re trying to patch a new and enhanced understanding of God into old garments. And almost ruining the new article of clothing.

I’m not suggesting that we overlook the Old Testament. The pre-Christ on earth stuff in the Bible is so helpful in understanding Christ. Holding the two in tandem IS important. Focusing only on one leads to cracks in our understanding of God. Seeing faith with a new set of eyes allows us to discover new things about God and ourselves. It enhances our faith … not limits our faith.

What’s most important about change and faith? Keeping our eyes focused on the One who is the basis of our faith to begin with. Falling back on the source of faith and making sure this remains the basis of all good things of our faith. When God is a part of change, we are assured that we’re never alone, even when change leaves us feeling numb.

We’re in a time when how we experience faith is changing. We’re being forced to re-examine what church is and what it means for us today. Rather than running away from these changes, let’s sit in the chair with God and allow God to speak to us. Daily. Regularly. Often. Even when words maybe hard to say and navigating these changes feels awkward, let’s keep ourselves grounded in the very One who gives us life. New creation. New possibilities.

For lessons about change while sitting in the dentist’s chair, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – we find ourselves exploring what church means for us today. We are challenged to re-examine our old ways of thinking about faith and community and explore new wineskins of faith. New garments that connect with people. Encourage us to stay close to You as we navigate these changing times. Amen.  

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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 –

Dianne

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!  

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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 –

Dianne

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.

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Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 479

Wed., June 24, 2020

2 Timothy 1:3 – I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night.

We’ve prayed for a couple extremely specific things for YEARS.

Literally, YEARS.

It’s personal. It’s important. It’s at the top of our prayer list.

Hubby Rick and I feel so committed to these situations that they have been at the top of our prayer list for YEARS.

Every once in a while, we see a glimmer of hope. We’re cautiously optimistic. We wonder if this is the time our prayers will be answered.

Before long, we feel like we’re back where we started. Once again, praying fervently for the situations to change.

And there continues to be long-term, impactful change.

Do we give up?

Nope.

Do we wonder if our prayers are being answered?

We are completely confident they ARE being heard.

Do we start looking for an alternative to prayer and question if another route would be more productive?

Absolutely not.

Prayer is not a spring. It’s a marathon. Prayer isn’t the quick fix. It’s happens at a turtle’s pace with lots of pauses, breaks and backsliding along the way.

Do we question if God has given up on the situation?

Not on our radar screen.

Do we voice if God has stopped listening to us because we’ve prayed this SO MUCH?

No way.

Our only job is to continue to pray and pray. And pray some more.

Prayer is kind of like this. Last evening, I went for a run. It had rained a little earlier. While the temperature had cooled it, there was a heaviness to the air. Part way through the run, my glasses were steamed up. I know the route every well. It’s one I’ve ran hundreds of times. But seeing the actual road was hazy at best.

So, I took off my glasses. While the hazy was gone, everything remained blurry. It was easy to see the road but difficult to decipher any details.

Unanswered prayer is similar. In the middle of continuous prayer, the situation feels hazy. Blurry. Impossible to see what is on the road ahead. Yet a path remains before us. Maybe just how the situation will be resolved is hazy. Whether our preferred outcome will happen is blurry. But we still keep plugging along, committed to lifting the situations up over and over and over.

There’s a story about a woman who developed a relationship with God as an adult. Growing up, she wasn’t exposed to church or God. She went with her friends once in a while. But understanding prayer happened later in this woman’s life. When she discovered prayer’s power, she began to pray for her Mom. She just wanted to Mom to discover a peace in her life that she lacked for years.

The daughter prayed for her Mother for 40 years. Every day. Over and over. Towards the end of the Mother’s life, the daughter pleaded with her Mom to allow her heart to be softened by God. The day came when the Mom realized that she genuinely wanted the peace of passes all understanding.

What would have happened if the daughter quit praying after 39 years? 25 years? 10 years? I’m not sure. What I do know is that I admire this daughter for praying constantly. Every day. Over and Over.

I’m guessing she had more than a few days when everything looked blurry. Hazy. Fogged over. Yet, this woman remained committed to praying for her Mom.

I pray that Hubby Rick and I will remain half as committed to our prayer situations as this woman did to hers.

What is something that you’ve been praying for what seems like a long time? An awfully long time? I’d love to hear so I can make your request part of my prayer time.

For prayer warriors who ever seem to give up, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Often, we question the speed by which you answer prayer. Or whether you are connected to our situation. Assure us that you hear our prayers, even if the answer is quite different from what we would like. Encourage us to keep our prayer lives committed to You. Amen.

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Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 474

Wed., June 10, 2020

Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Will you pray with me?

Help me to hear.

Help me to listen.

Help me to stand still.

Help me to extend a hand.

Help me to avoid hurtful words.

Help me be patient.

Help me be kind.

Help me. Today. Tomorrow. Every day.

For the opportunity for an attitude of prayer, I am grateful.

P.S. – It’s Wednesday which means it is also Devos with Dianne night! Please join me at 8 PM on Facebook Live. Yes, I had some technical difficulties last week. Actually, it became a teachable moment for ME! I’ll share it all tonight on Devos with Dianne. Please join in!

P.S.S – Would you like to pray together every day? You can! I send out a free text message prayer every morning. To receive this FREE daily prayer message, text simplewordsoffaith to 33222 and you’ll be signed up!

Blessings –

Dianne

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Lessons from COVID-19: In the Words of a Survivor

Gratitude Day 468

Wed., June 3, 2020

3 John 1:3 – Some of the brothers traveling by have made me very happy by telling me that your life stays clean and true and that you are living by the standards of the Gospel.

I love to tell stories. I cherish capturing a sliver from a person’s life and exploring how this snapshot speaks of something that can be inspirational and encouraging for others.

Today’s story, I pray, is such a chronicle. One that will speak to you, as well as be a storyline that maybe, just maybe, you will share with someone else.

This is Linda Johnson. She is a COVID-19 survivor.

And she is ready to share her story.

This 70-something-year-old woman lives in Fond du Lac, WI with her husband, Jerry, who is currently doubling as her nurse. Historically, Linda has been a healthy and highly active woman. She exercised regularly, had a calendar full of activities that included groups and causes she enjoyed, as well as warmed lots of bleachers while attending her grandchildren’s events.

Mid-March, all of this came to a screeching halt before much of the country went into stay-in-place mode. By then, Linda was in a hospital and just trying to breathe. Literally.

In early March, Jerry provided transportation for family members who had just returned from a cruise. Jerry and Linda spent a couple hours with these folks. They shared hugs and handshakes. Unbeknownst to them, these loved ones had come in contact with passengers from another cruise ship that had people who tested positive for COVD-19 onboard.

Following the visit, Linda developed every symptom of the coronavirus, except a sore throat. On March 13th, a long swab tested her for the virus. Before the results were officially confirmed, she was admitted to a hospital because of escalating symptoms. This hospital would be Linda’s home for the next 19 days; nine of which were spent on a ventilator.

Never able to physically enter the hospital throughout Linda’s hospital stay, Jerry also tested positive for the virus. He cared for himself while under quarantine in their home.  Other family members had symptoms and tested positive for the virus. In other like situations, family would gather together to encourage and support each other. With COVID-19, everyone remained quarantined in their own home.

“The most challenging aspect of this entire experience was looking at my husband’s face when he had to go home from the parking lot and leave me at the hospital,” Linda says. “I realized that I was going to have to do this without an advocate, which challenged me to never give up hope.”

Amazingly, the hospital staff provided not only physical care for Linda; they also cared for Linda’s and Jerry’s emotional needs as well. Hospital staff never complained about having to change personal protective equipment (PPE) each time they left her room, even if their only purpose for entering the room was to give Linda a glass of water. Staff sat with her, held her hand, read her cards and provided regular updates to Jerry and the rest of their family.

“They (health care providers) performed such courageous acts, in caring for me as well as the other COVID-19 patients,” Linda says. Hospital staff were learning about the virus on the fly because the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was also gathering information from early cases. With no established guidelines to follow, the staff constantly explored different regimes to bring comfort to Linda and other COVID-19 patients.

Going on the ventilator was a huge decision that the Johnson’s and their three adult daughters did not take lightly. Linda spoke with her entire immediate family before going on the vent. Just in case.

“Throughout my hospital stay, the only time I specifically asked God for something for me is when I went on the vent,” Linda explains. “I didn’t want to remember the days I was on the vent … and I don’t.”

Unlike many patients, Linda never felt anxious while on the vent. People often experience hallucinations from the sedation medication. Linda did experience hallucinations. Yet, her memory of these hallucinations is very relaxing. Calm. They were filled with music, vivid colors, stars, and swirls in the sky, which helped her remain calm while on the vent.

In fact, Linda says throughout her entire hospital stay, she remained uncharacteristically calm and non-anxious. She attributes this to the army of prayer warriors around the globe who were committed to lifting her up in prayer. Familiar with the “Footprints in the Sand” writing before her coronavirus journey, the words from this saying take on enhanced meaning these days. “I have discovered that during troubled times, Jesus literally carries us,” Linda shared.

Completely helpless in fixing her own situation, Linda placed her heart and soul in God’s hands, willing to accept whatever the result. Since the “bus didn’t come and pick me up, I’m confident that God has a plan for me,” Linda says. “Now at home, I’m doing a lot more listening these days. I’m paying more attention. We can’t just expect God to listen to us. We need to put ourselves in a place where our hearts and souls can listen to God.”

While on the vent, Jerry and Linda were not able to communicate. Throughout Linda’s hospital stint, Jerry kept a detailed log at home of her medical situation based on his many conversations with medical staff. “She never felt far away,” Jerry says, “as she was always in my heart.” Hospital staff kept Jerry and his daughters informed and spent extra time to help them fully understand the challenges of treating an unknown disease.

Linda clearly remembers the first time she spoke with Jerry after getting off the vent. While she couldn’t really “talk,” these high school sweethearts feel this whole experience has drawn them closer together.

They know this journey has changed them … for the good. “During the months of the safer at home order in a normal year, I would be doing spring cleaning,” says Linda. “This year, a physical spring cleaning didn’t happen. Instead, I had a spring cleaning of my life; one that cleaned my heart, my mind and my life in general.”  

Linda challenges herself to maintain the peace and calmness she experienced while in the hospital in her current daily life. As she feels better and becomes more able to do things, distractions creep in. Early on, she struggled with survivor’s guilt. While hospitalized, Linda didn’t watch the news. Once home, she became aware of COVID-19 patients who didn’t make it, including people with young children. Linda questioned why she was spared … and these people were not. Her purpose now is to wait for God to reveal what God has in mind for her life as a coronavirus survivor. “I need to be gracious and accept the grace that I survived this pandemic. Now, I wait and see what is in store for my future,” Linda says.

These days, the Johnson’s appreciate their marriage, family, and neighborhood a lot more. For weeks, their friends and neighbors provided meals for Jerry and eventually for both of them. A natural hugger, Linda wanted to assure her grandchildren that she was okay. Once home, she drew herself on butcher block paper and mailed a copy to each of her grandchildren to symbolically hug them. Unsure when she will be able to physically hug loved ones, these days, she uses the COVID kiss; bumping elbows.

Aware that some people downplay the severity of COVID-19, Linda hopes that sharing her story changes this. “First, I needed to let my body physically heal. As my body gets stronger, I know that it is now time for me to deal with the emotional side of being a coronavirus survivor. This includes sharing my story,” says Linda.

In 2019, her spring calendar was packed full of sporting events, concerts, exercise class and volunteering. May 2020 only included two priorities: visits to the COVID clinic and donating plasma. Jerry has donated plasma four times. Just last week, Linda cleared the many necessary tests which allowed her to donate. They are optimistic that their plasma will help other COVID-19 patients.

Committed to making sure this “spring cleaning” is purposeful and significant, Linda relies on God to help her achieve the right teeter-totter balance point between listening and serving God versus the world’s distractions. She yearns for a clean heart that seeks the Lord in all that she says, does and lives. “My work is not done,” Linda concludes. “I pray that I will be enlightened with how I can do God’s work after coronavirus.”

For Linda’s lessons from COVID-19, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Healing God – thank you for the physical healing that Linda and so many other COVID-19 patients have experienced. Hold those families who have lost loved ones tightly in your palm. May they know Your healing presence in a different way.  Bath us with emotional healing as well, drawing us closer to You so we can have a spring cleaning of our hearts and souls. Amen.

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

J.S.T.

Gratitude Day 464

Wed., May 27, 2020

Mark 1:35 – Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer.

It began with a glass of my favorite iced tea. On our gorgeous porch.

Just me and some iced tea. Add in an optional notebook and a writing utensil.

Oh, and one more thing: the letters: J.S.T.

Hmm … what is J.S.T.

My new slogan: Just Sit There.

Truth? The last number of days have been, well, interesting. A variety of things, good and challenging, that have taken up rent in my brain. Some of it is good. And could be exceptionally good.

Other rental space? Not so much.

And so, I sat. No agenda. No computer. I did set the alarm on my phone for 30 minutes. I had promised myself to only include the phone for the timer. No other reason.

It was amazing how much life I observed while simply sitting. A whole bunch of different birds, out chirping and singing away. It had rained earlier in the afternoon. Now, the birds were out getting dinner and sending little love notes to each other.

Clouds rolled by and new formations were formed. The wind picked up and slowed down again.

All while I simply sat. Watched. Listened. Observed.

Most days, I begin the day with a time of reading and prayer. But honestly, most often, I’m trying to get through this so I can cross it off of my to-do list. Yes, there is contemplation. But it’s not the same. It’s planned. Expected.

The J.S.T time? No schedule. No agenda. Nothing. Just me and my thoughts when they come about.

I never get tired of reading how Jesus often went away by himself. To pray. To listen. To J.S.T. Did he always receive a profound, life-changing thought or inspiration in these moments? I don’t know. What I do know is that he could just be and that was enough.

Maybe there is something going on in your or a loved one(s) life that is distracting you. Or maybe you’re trying to juggle working from home with homeschooling and other things. I think we’re all getting a little stir-crazy from being cooped up for weeks on end. It’s easy for our thoughts to venture in an unhealthy place.

Sometimes, we just need space to sit. Be still. Be. And listen. If you want to write a thought down, do so in your notebook. If not, just be. Listen to your soul. Know that this might be the most valuable 30 minutes of your day.

If you feel like you are struggling right now, hop on over to a podcast that I recently recorded about mental health. You can find it here:

And pour yourself a glass of your favorite summertime drink and join me on the porch for Devos with Dianne at 8 PM central time on Facebook Live. I’ll have my peach iced tea. And we’ll think about how J.S.T. can make a difference in our lives.

I wish you could join my on my porch. Have included just a few photos so you feel like you have.

For moments of just sitting still with God, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Why do we make things so complicated, God, when maybe all we really need to do is sit with You? Encourage me to find J.S.T. time for just You and me. Amen.

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It’s Wednesday Prayer Day!

Gratitude Day 460

Wed., May 20, 2020

Numbers 6:23-26 –Now the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons that they are to give this special blessing to the people of Israel: ‘May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.’”

On Wednesdays, I love to focus on prayer and share some of the insights I try to embrace in my personal prayer life.

Recently, I ran across a musical video that takes a blessing and turns it into a totally beautiful musical setting.

Here’s the setting for the scripture the song is based on: Moses has led the Israelites out of Egypt. It took ten plagues for Pharaoh to release his main work force and it only happened after the plague in which the eldest son was killed. Moses and the Israelites left hastily. After the were gone, Pharaoh had releaser-remorse and wanted his skilled workers back. He sends his army after the Israelites and they are swallowed up in the Red Sea.

Now Moses and the Israelites are wandering through the dessert. The early chapters of Numbers give instructions for taking a census, how to set-up their camp and variety of other things. But right in the middle of these instructions, God comes to Moses and tells him to have his relative Aaron and Aaron’s sons shower the people with an incredibly special blessing. It’s a blessing that might have been used in worship. It’s a prayer that pours out God’s special blessing upon God’s people.

I encourage you to relax for a few minutes. Listen to this music video. Pray the same words that Moses prayed over the Israelites. May this prayer richly bless you today.

For God’s blessing upon us today, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – thank you for these special words: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon and give you peace. Amen.

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