365 Days of Praise

Important Upside Down Thinking

08/20/2019

Are you a unique upside down thinker or a common thinker? I ask, because Christians are called to some pretty upside down thinking. For instance, Isaiah prophesied what seems an upside down thought; that God the Father would allow His Son to become a servant. Yet, it’s right here in Isaiah 53:11, “MY SERVANT, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.” What an upside down thought – that the Son would be a SERVANT who would take the punishment for our sins. We don’t think that way. We more commonly think that more success, more wealth, more prestige are indicators of God’s favor and will.  But that’s not what Jesus modeled or said. Jesus became God’s SERVANT and died on the cross for our sins. What should be our response? What IS our response? Do we take our Heavenly Father and Jesus for granted? Or, do we daily purpose to SERVE them…wherever, however they call us? It’s some pretty upside thinking to get our minds around.

Lord Jesus Christ, faithful SERVANT, we bow in humble reverence and worship YOU! Thank You! Praise You! May we never forget how You gave Your life to redeem us. May we show our gratitude by serving You in whatever way You call us. 

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When You Face Something Beyond DIFFICULT

08/19/2019

Do you ever find something to be beyond difficult? If so, I can relate. I’ve often found myself in “over my head.” I wanted to quit. Many of the things we find difficult are not those we can or should give up on. Our marriage, parenting, families, job, health, church, and friendships all require commitment. When we find them to be difficult, we can remember what Jeremiah 32:17 says, that with God NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT. “Ah LORD GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU.” This is an incredible reminder. Rather than crater under pressure, we can call on God who “made the heavens and earth by His great power and outstretched arm.” He can help us with whatever we’re facing. We can be assured that with God, NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT. Call on Him. Prayerfully record in Prayers of My Heart the things weighing you down that you feel you can’t do. Ask God how to handle them, then record how He guides you in the “Meditations, Notes, and Prayer” section. Date and record your thanks to Him as He walks you through each day.

LORD, NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU! Thank You for Your presence and Your power. 

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Do You Need a Miracle

08/18/2019

Do you need a miracle? Something extraordinary in your life? What do we mean when we use the word miracle? Webster’s defines miracle first and foremost as “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency; just as rising from the grave.” Another definition is “a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences;” such as “it was a miracle that more people hadn’t been killed or injured.” Perhaps it’s that last definition we use most often. “It’ll be a miracle if I can manage everything going on in my life.” Or, “It’ll be a miracle if my child can get off drugs.” Or, “It’ll be a miracle if our marriage makes it.” Let me ask again, “Are you in need of a miracle?” If so, our best bet for experiencing one is to bring Jesus into the equation. Galatians 3:5 describes Him as the MIRACLE WORKER. “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and WORKS MIRACLES among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” As we consider Jesus, the Miracle Worker, it’s important to consider the combination of the two words: miracle and work; along with the word “faith.”  Our miracle isn’t going to happen with the twitch of our nose as the 1970’s show “I Dream of Jeannie” depicted. If we study Jesus’s miracles, we see they involved energy and power (Luke 8:46), most often required a person taking part in faith (John 5:8-9), and often took place as the person acted in obedience (John 9:6-7). Maybe Jesus is showing us that rather than demanding, “God, do it now,” we should thank Him for how He has already worked in our lives and faithfully take the steps He shows us.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being involved in our lives. You are the only One, the MIRACLE WORKER, who can help us. Open our ears to Your instructions and our hearts to faithfully follow Your promptings. 

COMING SOON:  PRAYER WALL

We’re committed to walking side by side with you and interceding for you. In addition to Prayers of My Heart JOURNAL being a place for you to record your prayers and how God is answering them, you’ll soon have a place on our website to let us know your prayer needs. You can post your prayer request anonymously or give a first or last name. Regardless, you’ll know a member of our Prayer Team is joining you in taking your prayer request to our Heavenly Father.

Call on Him

08/17/2019
Friends, I’ve missed you!  I was in an area with no cell service last week. Glad to be back. 
  
When you were a child, did you watch the cartoon, “Mighty Mouse”?  Do you remember the chorus,  “Here I come to save the day! That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!”

When I was young and watched “Mighty Mouse,” I believed he would “save the day.” Growing older doesn’t mean we no longer need someone to “save the day.” We do. We need someone to save us from our sins. We need someone to call on when we’re fearful.  We need someone to call on when life overwhelms us. We need someone to call on when physical, financial, or spiritual darkness consumes us. But unlike an imaginary cartoon character, the One on whom we call is real. Joshua 22:22 states, “The MIGHTY ONE, God, the Lord, the MIGHTY ONE, God, the Lord!” In other words, our God has, can, and will save our today, our tomorrow, and our eternity. He is thee MIGHTY ONE! Call on Him. Commit Psalm 119:147 to heart. Find comfort in it. “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.”

Heavenly Father, help us be ever mindful that YOU ARE THE MIGHTY ONE WHO saves our day. May we confidently say, “We’re not worrying at all; we’re just listening for Your call.”

From the Cave to Light

08/07/2019

Have you ever explored a black cave with only a dim flashlight? Some time ago, I had the opportunity to walk 2 miles in a black cave. Did I say “opportunity?” It was only because I knew my time in the cave was temporary. Had I thought I couldn’t get out, I would have gone mad. Is that what hell is? Trapped in what Colossians 1:13 describes as a “domain of darkness?” Jesus Christ is light. The beauty of the heavens reflect His nature. Close your eyes and picture an eternity of despairing people screaming for release from Satan’s dark domain. Now open them and praise Jesus, whom Malachi refers to as “the MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT,” Malachi 4:1. “’And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  Having been in the cave makes me mindful of how important it is to live a celebratory life. Why? There are people who don’t know Jesus, the Messenger of the Covenant, and that He can save them from the black torment of eternal damnation. We have the opportunity to be Christ’s Light in our world. Are we a bright or weak flashlight pointing others to Him?

Lord Jesus Christ, MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT, thank You for releasing us from the domaine of darkness! Help us be mindfully joyful over our freedom and how we can shine Your light, pointing others to You.

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Quick Question

08/06/2019
Quick question: Have you ever been ungrateful? Have you ever needed a loan? Have you ever been wrongly judged? Have you ever crossed the line or done something really bad? That was more than one question, wasn’t it? But they all point to topics Jesus addressed prior to His statement in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” That’s something to think about, isn’t it? Our Heavenly Father is merciful to us. Now He says that we’re to show mercy to others. That’s a good reminder to me. Is it to you?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the MERCY You show us every day. Fill us with Your Spirit of mercy toward others.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is MERCIFUL,”  Luke 6:36.

Not a Zapper

08/05/2019

Are you struggling? Are you always worried that Christ is looking from heaven waiting to catch you mess up so He can zap you for something you do wrong? If so, today is a good day to rethink your view of Jesus.  That’s not who He is. Paul, a candidate for being “zapped” for screw ups fills us in on what Jesus is like.  “I, Paul, myself urge you by the MEEKNESS and gentleness of Christ—” 2 Corinthians 10:1. When Paul refers to Christ as meek, he uses a word that means “mildness of disposition and gentleness of spirit.” In other words, He isn’t a cloud sitting Savior watching for someone He can zap if they take a wrong turn in life. Does Paul realize that the Savior who appeared to him on the Damascus Road when he was persecuting believers could have zapped him dead rather than commissioned him to a new purposeful life? Yes. Does Paul realize that Christ not only didn’t zap him, but loved and forgave him?  Yes. True, Christ is all powerful. But He has a mild disposition toward us; not a “zap you if you mess us” disposition. He gets what it’s like to be human and struggle, to deal with daily life, problems, and stress. Relish your Savior’s meekness. Talk to Him. Read His wisdom truths in the Sermon on the Mount and keep reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Meditate on the precious few recorded words He brought us from heaven. They’re food for a sound mind and a steady course forward til you reach the ultimate joy of heaven.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being on our side. Thank You for looking from heaven on us with eyes of gentle meekness. We love You and are grateful for You. XO 

Choose Well

08/04/2019

In 1953 Baskin Robbins wowed ice cream lovers by offering customers a choice of 31 flavors.  That’s a great offer for ice cream, but unfortunately, our world has adopted a “31” viewpoint concerning salvation. In other words, we’ve decided we can be reconciled to God through the plan of our choice, be it self-improvement, doing good things, or a world religion of our choosing. But not so warns God throughout Scripture; such as stated in 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” If we think we can make a Baskin Robbin choice of how we’re reconciled to God, we’re wrong. God has chosen how we can be reconciled to Him, and it is through His Son.  Christ Jesus is the ONE MEDIATOR who can reconcile us to God for eternity. 

Christ Jesus, We praise You, our MEDIATOR, for making peace between Your Father and our Father.

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Who Are You Waving Your Hand For?

08/03/2019

We like our freedom, right? We often hear someone say, “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do!” Maybe we’ve said those exact words. But, here’s some news that may shock you. God owns us, and He is our MASTER. Why would I say that? Because it’s true if we’re a believer. Paul explains: “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a MASTER in heaven,” Colossians 4:1. Yes! We have a MASTER in Heaven!  Whoo Hoo! Does that make you happy or cause you to bristle?  What does it mean that we have a “master”? The word, “master” in Colossians 4:1 means “the owner; one who has control of the person.” Maybe we’ve never thought about God “owning” us, but, it isn’t a one time teaching in the Bible. First Corinthians 6:10 explains we’ve been “bought with a price.” Romans 6:16 addresses how we are slaves to the one to whom we present ourselves – sin or righteousness. Who would we prefer for our master? Satan or our Heavenly Father?  I bet you’re waving your hand for God.

Let’s think further. If God is our Master, then what should be our posture before Him? I wonder if sometimes we’re too flippant? I wonder if we’ll “about die” (if it were possible) when we’re in heaven and see His glory? I wonder if we’ll wish we had bowed before Him every morning and asked how we might serve Him. We have a MASTER in heaven. He’s a glorious, giving, gracious Master. Let’s serve Him well; with a smile on our face.

Heavenly Master, we worship and adore You and cannot wait to worship You in heaven. Let us serve You well on earth while we await our service to You in heaven.

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4 Marvelous’s to Know About

08/02/2019
FYI:  For the next week, “365 Days of Praise/Beyond Ourselves” will be sporadic.  
Thanks for your patience!  
I want to pause today. We’re more than half way through our 365 days of praising God. Thank you for joining me on this pilgrimage to better know our Heavenly Father and Jesus. The reason it thrills me to admire a different facet of God each day is because He wants us to know Him. The Bible is God’s love letter in which He reveals Himself. Think of it this way. Online dating has become quite popular. People share online about themselves, their favorite books, sports, music, movies, places to visit, and restaurants. They share their religious and political views. In the Bible, God puts Himself out there and says, “I want you to know Me;” then provides a progressive revelation of Himself. Today, we add another adjective to the One we will soon meet. MARVELOUS. What’s marvelous about our Lord?
  • His MARVELOUS WORKS. In Revelation 15:3 Moses celebrates the works God has done. “’Great and MARVELOUS are Your WORKS, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!’”  In what way do you see God working in your life or in the life of someone close to you? Wouldn’t you agree God is marvelous?
  • His MARVELOUS LOVINGKINDNESS.  The psalmist writes, “Blessed be the LORD, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.” Psalm 31:21.  In these verses, marvelous means “wonderful, surpassing, extraordinary, separate by distinguishing action. Doesn’t that fit our Lord’s lovingkindness? It’s surpassing, extraordinary, and His death for our sins is distinguishable.
  • His MARVELOUS SALVATION.  In Matthew 21:42, Jesus asks, “‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES‘?”  Jesus used the word “marvelous” in relation to God’s plan for saving mankind. It means “worthy of pious admiration, admirable, excellent, passing human comprehension, causing amazement joined with terror, extraordinary, striking, surprising.” Each of those words define how marvelous God’s plan of salvation is.
  • His MARVELOUS LIGHT.  First Peter 2:9 is one of my favorite Scriptures because it defines who we are and our purpose. “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His MARVELOUS LIGHT.”  We have a message to tell of the excellencies of Christ. We are not in darkness, but rather in marvelous light; meaning “excellent, extraordinary, striking, surprising light.”

Yes, today we’re again amazed at our Marvelous Lord and bow in reverence and praise. Add “MARVELOUS” in Prayers of My Heart in whichever place you’ve chosen to record His attributes and names. I use the first column of Week At A Glance. But you can also use the Month at a Glance section if you’re not recording your 3 daily gratitudes there.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are marvelous in Your work, love, kindness, salvation, and light. We celebrate and worship You!

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