365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

Beware the Pit of Nothingness


I need a keeper. I need someone to watch out for me and over me. Why? Because it is easy to fall into a pit of nothingness.  The good news is, as believers, we do have a Keeper. Psalm 121:5-7 assures us,

The Lord is your keeper… The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul

Isn’t it nice, no…more like wonderful, to think about our Heavenly Father being our Keeper? In other words, He isn’t snoozing on the clouds. Psalm 121:3-4 tells us,

He who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.

Our Soul Keeper is alert and watching out for us. There is no one better than our Heavenly Father to whom we can entrust our soul. Here is something else that is wonderful to think about. Isaiah 38:17 tells us,

It is You who have kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

Isn’t that a marvelous visual? God casts all our sins behind Him and keeps our souls from the pit of nothingness.  I’m jumping up and down in my spirit over the gloriousness of this. Are you?  The more time we spend with Christ and learning His ways, the more filled we are with Him. The more we experience the opposite of the pit of nothingness.  We experience heavenly joy and fulfillment that comes from intimacy with Christ.  Will bad things ever happen? Yes because we live in a sinful world. But we aren’t destined for a pit of nothingness.  We’re destined for God’s presence.

Heavenly Father, Soul Keeper, we praise You for keeping us from evil and keeping us from the pit of nothingness. We love You!


A Spiritual Happy Dance


“What’s a spiritual happy dance?” someone asked me after I mentioned in an email to my prayer team that I was doing one. I couldn’t help but smile. Then I realized no one except my husband had probably seen me do a spiritual happy dance. Why? Because it’s before God and it comes from a heart flowing with joy. Does our Heavenly Father care if we are joyful? Yes. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” This doesn’t mean giving Jesus our worldly wish list. Rather, it means aligning ourselves to our Lord’s will. Verses like John 15:11 where Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” refer to Jesus as having joy and being the giver of joy.  These verses may be a clue as to why believers sometimes don’t have joy. We may be able to quote Jesus, but are we living Him? In other words, if Jesus was on earth, would His emotions be tied to the things to which our emotions are sometimes tied; such as how people treat us, how successful we are, our standard of living? You see, Jesus held loosely to our world.  His joy wasn’t tied to things of this earth because He lived in God’s kingdom and knew this earth’s best and finest would pass away. Our eternal inheritance is more than we can imagine.  Joy comes when our head, heart, and motivation are Spirit-driven. When was the last time you did a spiritual happy dance? “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.Psalm 16:11

Lord, we praise You, in whose presence there is fullness of  JOY!


A Verse that Wows Me


Do you ever read a verse and something about it “wows” you? That’s how I feel about Jeremiah 23:6. “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’” Why am I wowed by this verse? It’s not only that Judah will be saved and the Israelites will one day live in peace. Although thinking about Israel living in peace is definitely a “wow.” It’s not just that the Lord is righteous. What wows me is the word “our.” It sends me to my knees – literally. It’s the reason I’m on my knees every morning, bowing before the Lord. I’m “wowed” because I’m included in the “our.” I’m not on the outside looking in, longing to be in right standing before God. I’m on the inside looking at His face…praising Him. I’m on my knees because I know I’m a sinner. But that no longer defines my relationship with my Creator. Christ Jesus defines my relationship with the Heavenly Father. Because I am in Christ and Jehovah-Tsidkenu is in me, I am saved. Christ is in us…in all who call on Jesus for salvation. The LORD is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS – JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU.

Lord Jesus Christ, our Righteousness, all honor and praise and glory belong to You! Thank You for imparting Your righteousness to us when we repent and call on You for salvation!  

Today we remember with deep gratitude those who gave their lives in service to our country as we also remember their families.


What We Learn from a Wheat Beater


Peace. Everyone’s looking for it. Where? Drugs. Vacation. Pills.  A hookup. Success. In the meantime and while seeking peace, life goes on. Worriers worry. Whiners whine. Complainers complain. Wheat beaters beat wheat.  And, that’s where we find Gideon. Beating wheat in a winepress…to hide it, to save the wheat from enemy terrorists. It is here that Judges 6:24 records that Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of Peace, brings peace. “Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The LORD is Peace.”  Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of Peace, came to a nation threatened by enemies and people who worshipped Baal. Jehovah-Shalom not only came to Gideon, but His Spirit of peace and power came upon Gideon. Isn’t that what we need?  What can we learn from Jehovah-Shalom and Gideon about personal and national peace?  1. Worship the Lord of Peace, Jehovah-Shalom.  2.  Be filled with the Lord’s Spirit of peace and power.  3. Fight valiantly for righteousness.

Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of PEACE, when we look and listen to You, we experience Your peace. By Your Spirit, we can overcome evil. Fill us, as You did Gideon, with Your peace and empowerment. 


Are You a Tommy or David?

Standing in the checkout line, I noticed the child from the corner of my eye. You couldn’t help but notice. He was throwing a temper tantrum. “I want it!” he wailed at the top of his lungs.  The bedraggled mother tried her best to wrestle the package of M & Ms from his hands while apologizing to the cashier. She didn’t dare look at the customers in line behind her. Tommy “wanted” the M & M’s. That was clear. But his mother knew full well that her child wasn’t “lacking” for food. His temper tantrum wasn’t unfamiliar to me. Although I don’t like to admit it, sometimes I can be like Tommy. When I get my mind around what I think I want and I don’t get it, I may complain. I may whine in my spirit.  What makes me different from Tommy? Height and weight. There’s something else, though, that can and should make believers different from Tommy.  The renowned shepherd, David, points us to the key to being calm and trusting God rather than demanding and complaining.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  Psalm 23:1 David grasped something I sometimes forget. There’s a difference between what I “want” and what I “lack.” Psalm 23:1 is best interpreted,
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack for nothing.
In other words, David was aware that the Lord was watching over him, leading him, and protecting him. He was mindful of his Shepherd’s provision.  If there are times you focus more on what you want rather than on God’s provision and you want to develop a more grateful attitude, consider journaling what you are grateful for every day in  Prayers of My Heart prayer journal.  Why? It will help you.  7 Benefits of Journaling.  Begin today looking more like Christ and less like Tommy.

Jehovah-Ra-ah, thank You for being our Shepherd. In You, we lack for nothing.

Prayers of My Heart HERE.






Show and Do


Are you in a desperate spot? Sick of spirit, soul, or body? Are you frustrated because you’re not caring for yourself in the way you should? If so, I can relate. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are wonderfully made. But if we don’t take care of them, and even when we do, they can break or get sick. Disease can strike…physically, spiritually, and emotionally. But let’s zoom in on a way our Heavenly Father chose to reveal Himself. Israel had just celebrated their crossing of the Red Sea and escape from the Egyptians. After three days in the wilderness and no water, they arrive at the waters of Marah, but the water was bitter. They couldn’t drink it. Picture the scene. You’re dying of thirst looking at water you can’t drink. And you can’t do a thing about it. You can’t fix it. Are you there now in your life? Do you have a problem you can’t fix?

Moses is desperate. He “cried out” to the Lord. As a result, Jehovah-Rapha showed him what to do. Rapha means healer; to mend, cure, make whole. Jehovah-Rapha told Moses to throw a certain tree into the bitter water. Moses obeyed and the most miraculous thing occurred. The water became sweet. Exodus 15:25b-26 says,

There He made a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.’

This brings us to a question. What have we cried out to Jehovah-Rapha about? What has He shown us to do? Are we doing it?  Jehovah-Rapha’s message is clear.

  • “If”… that means there’s a choice we make with a correlating consequence.
  • “we give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord our God” …. that means we pay attention when He shows us what to do.
  • “and do what is right”…Moses had to do the work of cutting down the tree and throwing it in the water. In other words, we have to do the work Jehovah-Rapha shows us to do.
  • “in His sight”…God watches to see if we’re doing what He shows us.
  • “and give ear to His commandments”… God knows what works. Are we paying attention to how He tells us to live?

God is our spiritual, emotional, relational, mental, and physical healer. Have we cried out to Him? Are we doing what He shows us?

Jehovah-Rapha, Lord our Healer, we praise You for the complete healing we’ll experience in heaven. In the meantime, may we look to You for direction and then do what You show us.


The Only One


Have you ever felt desperate and cried out to God for help to fulfill what He’s asked of you? Such was the case for Abraham. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It seems crazy and incomprehensible to us, but God never intended for Abraham to kill his son. Abraham knew that. He told his servants, “We will return,” not “I will return.”  But Abraham also knew that God told him to sacrifice Isaac, so he took the steps not knowing what would happen. One step of faith at a time. In the final moment, as he raised the killing knife, God stopped him. He then provided a ram for Abraham to substitute in the place of his son. Genesis 22:14 records, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” This dramatic moment was a foreshadow, a “seeing” of the day God would provide Jesus as our sacrifice. He would be laid on the wood, stretched out, and killed. In the demand of a human father being asked to sacrifice his son, we glimpse the pain and incomprehensible suffering of God sacrificing Jesus for us. God provided for Abraham and God provided for us. How are we living in response to the great sacrifice our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus made? Who might we share His love with who is killing themselves on the altar of self goodness all to no avail because Jesus is the only perfect and acceptable One?

JEHOVAH-JIREH, You saw our need and provided Yourself as the fulfillment for it. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude. Point us to someone with whom we can share the good news of salvation through Christ. 


Getting Away with Sin


Do you ever feel like things in life aren’t fair? Have you wondered why some people get away with things with no apparent consequences? Often, those questions are warranted. As thinking people, we can’t help but wonder about the justice system. But then we must quickly remember that in the end, no one gets away with anything before God. He sees sin and knows people’s thoughts. Most importantly, God is JUST. As Psalm 89:14 states,

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne… 

God weighs hearts and motives. He forgives repentant sinners. He deals with unrepentant ones. Lay any vengeance you have toward another person at God’s feet. He will rule justly because that is His nature – JUST.

Lord, we praise you. You are JUST!

TIP:  Write God’s attribute that I highlight in every 365 Days of Praise devotional in Prayers of My Heart. Writing it on paper writes it on your brain. When you’re troubled, flip through the pages of your journal and thank God for who He is as you reflect on His nature. It will build your confidence, decrease your stress, and help you live a more joy-filled life. Click HERE  to order.


Who Created God


Where did God come from? Who created Him?  What’s His origin? Who is the mastermind behind Him? It’s a question most people ask at one time or another. Here’s the answer. In  Exodus 6:3,  God said to Moses, “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name, LORD, (JEHOVAH) I did not make Myself known to them.” JEHOVAH means self-existent One or “the existing One.” God explained to Moses that He is “I AM WHO I AM.” What does that mean? Scholar Charles Ryrie explains. “It is a name of the relationship between the true God and His people and when used, emphasizes God’s holiness, hatred of sin, and love of sinners.”* God didn’t “come from.” He IS.  As amazing as it is, God is a self-existing LORD who is holy, hates sin, and loves us. We can’t fully comprehend until we get to heaven. Until then, lift your hands and praise Him!

Lord God, JEHOVAH, we praise You and thank You that You love us and have provided salvation for us! 


*Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Bible 1995 Update, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Moody Press, Chicago, pg 2057.


Hellooooooo! Are We Listening

When Moses first asked God what His name was, He replied, “I AM.” Then, after the golden calf episode, “I AM” makes it clear in Exodus 34:11-12, 14,  that we are to live for Him alone.
Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day…
Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. v 14—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—”  
It’s as if God is saying, “Hellooooo! Are you listening? I’m jealous when you put things and people before Me.” Ouch! That hits close to home. How do we know if we’re worshipping things and people above God? We look at where we spend our time. We consider what’s most on our minds. We look at our bank account to see where we spend our money. Our thoughts, time, and money tell God and us our priorities and our object of worship. Has something or someone slipped into our life as god other than the  Jealous I AM ? If so, we must correct it, not ignore it.

Heavenly Father, You are a JEALOUS God. May we not ignore Your grave and serious warning.