Prayers of My Heart

I So Happy

02/10/2021

Years ago our grandson asked if I’d take him on a ride on our Polaris. Soon he was seated beside me and we headed to the pond. After throwing food to the fish, he looked up at me and said three words that grabbed my heart. “I so happy.”  Looking at that sweet boy’s face, I realized how it must please our Heavenly Father when we’re happy. Understandably we aren’t happy when faced with problems. However, are there factors that affect our happiness? Does God care if we’re happy? Yes. In John 16:24 Jesus said we can ask in His name so our joy is full. If you’re struggling with your emotions, start writing your prayers and recording God’s answers in the journal, Prayers of My Heart. You’ll discover prayers are being answered and there are things for which you can be so happy.

Game Changer

02/03/2021

If there was something you could do to have a better attitude and increase your happiness would you do it? I imagine you are thinking, “Bring it on, baby!” Okay. Here it is. Write down what you’re thankful for every day. Bam! That simple. But will you do it? It literally won’t take you more than five minutes…if that much time. Research proves it’s a game-changer in our attitude. A simple click on my journal, Prayers of My Heart  and you’ll have a journal with three sections from which you can choose as a landing place for you to write, “Thank you, Lord, for…..” Will you do it? How important is your innermost heart? How about your mindset? What about your attitude and how it affects others? Take the step with this game-changer today.

This Time Last Year…

02/01/2021

January 2021 is past. We had looked forward to a new year, to 2020 ending. In 2020 we set our eyes on 2021 and the promise of a vaccine to end the spread of Covid.  “2021. We can’t wait,” we said. Surely, a new year would usher in new, good things. Certainly, with 2020 behind us we could move forward and get things back to “normal.” Now that we are one month into 2021, however, we realize that we can’t hitch our hope or our joy to a new year or a new administration or a new vaccine. As I write to you, fellow believer, I know that you know that the only One to whom we can hitch our wagon, to whom we can hitch our hope and joy is to the Lord. That’s why it is more important than ever that we dig deeper into the Word, that we maintain our quiet time with the Lord to pray and intercede for others. If you ever wake up and don’t “feel” like opening your Bible and reading it, that’s when to be more resolved than ever to read it. If you started the year journaling your prayers and praises but now would rather pour another cup of coffee and turn on the TV or check your email, stand firm. Only the devil or the lazy part of our nature would pull us away from the most important spiritual disciplines. Stand firm. Be mindful of your choices. These days are important and it is important that you be Christ’s light in your home, community, and with everyone whose life you touch. Last year and last month are gone. Today is the day God has given us to live our best life for Christ!

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,” Psalm 33:18.

Prayers of My Heart gratitude journal will help you focus on the positive ways God is working in your life and in the lives of others. It’s where you can record Scriptures to help you live joyfully.  Tips on how to use it can be found here.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for keeping Your eye on us, for being the One to whom we look and cling and find hope. We love you.

Finger Pointing, Rock Slinging Reversal

01/14/2021

Peace between people. Is it a dream? Is it a far fetched wish? Is it an impossibility? It seems to be.  Why? Because although we aren’t perfect, we expect – and in some cases – demand that others be perfect. Cross the line of what I expect of you or you expect of me and we’re a lost cause. Now, think about something with me. What if…that’s how Jesus treated us? What if the Father, Son, and Spirit demanded our perfection 24/7? What if…when we didn’t live up to their expectations, we were out the door, banned forever, with no path for reconciliation? I hope and pray that each of us can in at the least the tiniest of ways have an appreciation that God treats us differently than many of us treat one another. In fact, not only does our Lord not hold our sins over our head, it’s important to Him that we live free of condemnation. Remember when the Jews were itching to stone a woman caught in adultery? They had the rocks in their hands. They had their self-righteous arms ready to throw. But when Jesus confronted them, when He invited the one who was sin free to pellet her, the self-righteous slunk away. What did the Lord of Lords then do? If you said, pellet her with rocks because she was guilty and deserving of punishment, you’re right and you’re wrong. You’re correct in saying she was deserving of death according to the Law. You are incorrect, however about Jesus’s response. He told her He didn’t condemn her and for her to go and sin no more. Jesus wants the same for us. He is our Advocate, as 1 John 2:1 explains, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” There it is.  The Bible is our guide on how not to sin and hopefully, we’re reading it and praying for God’s help to walk according to it. But if and when we do sin, we have the full assurance that Jesus is our Advocate just as He was for the adulterous woman. Only when we arrive in heaven will we fully appreciate the magnitude of Jesus winning our court case by taking our guilt on Himself.  

Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Advocate. Help us be mindful of Your Word and walk according to it so we “may not sin.” 

What’s In Your Mouth

12/30/2020

Do you know what often rises to the top of people’s New Year resolutions? You may have guessed it: eating healthier. Why is it such a challenge for us to put healthy food instead of unhealthy food in our mouths? How do people successfully make the switch to good habits? They have a plan along with their resolution. What other resolutions do we often make? To read the Bible every day. To pray more. Why are these good resolutions? Because as food is healthy for our bodies, reading the Bible and praying is healthy for our souls. Psalm 34:1 says, ”I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” If you get stuck on what to praise God for, check out Beyond Ourselves, a free devotional you can receive every day that features a different trait of God for which you can praise Him. Resolve to not only put healthy food in your mouth but to also put healthy praise in your mouth…a resolution with a plan.

Record your daily praise in Prayers of My Heart. On sale now!

How to Ditch the Maddening Negative Thoughts

11/28/2020

They pop up. Into our mind. We don’t sit around and try to drum them up. What? Negative thoughts. They sprout like the uninvited weeds in my garden. Among all the beautiful lettuce, spinach, and kale, those pesky weeds poke through the rich soil. I can ignore them, which I’m prone to do. But the fact is, they don’t belong in my garden. I didn’t plant them. I don’t want them. And if I want them out, I’m going to have do something to remove them. It requires time, focus, and energy. The same is true with the negative thoughts that sprout in our minds. We can be going our merry way, rejoicing in the day God has given us, and then up sprouts a negative thought. It doesn’t matter where it came from…the devil, another person, or the deep recesses of our mind.  The fact is, the negative thought is there. Whose responsibility is it to tend to the garden of our mind? Ours. God charged Adam and Eve with the instruction to “Keep the garden” He had given them. He instructs us to set our mind on the things above (Colossians 3:2) and to keep our minds on Him. (Isaiah 26:3) “Keep” means to guard and watch over. So, tip one for ditching negative thoughts is to pay attention to our thoughts. Examine them as I examine my garden. Second, when we have a negative thought, uproot it. Take it to God. Is it true? Is it an honorable thought? Is it even right or have we embellished or imagined it? Is it a pure thought? Is it a lovely thought? Is it a thought of good repute? If not, ditch it. Till thoughts that are excellent. Cultivate thoughts that are worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) So, after examining our thoughts, ditch or dwell. Ditch the negative. They make us ugly. (“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7) Dwell on the lovely. They make us reflective of Christ.

Lord Jesus, You are beautiful and we want to reflect Your beauty. Help us examine our thoughts and ditch the negative and dwell on the lovely.  

Thanksgiving Blessing 2020

11/26/2020

WATCH Thanksgiving Blessing 2020 Video from Debbie

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

This has been a hard year, hasn’t it?  2020 is a year many of us will not be sorry to see go.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I’m mindful that there are some of you who are celebrating it in a very different way this year. Perhaps you are alone this Thanksgiving and you’re unhappy about it. I am so very sorry. 

We think of these different celebrations and times of year as being times when we’re with family and friends. When we come together.  But as we think about this Thanksgiving, there is a hope that we have and an encouragement to be found that goes beyond where we’re able to physically be or who we’re physically able to be with, or even if it’s the best of times or worst of times in our lives.

I want you to know that our Heavenly Father cares and He sees you wherever you are. Our Heavenly Father loves you. 

One of the things I love about the change in seasons is it’s such a reminder that whatever we’re experiencing or whatever we’re going through, it is just that – a season. It doesn’t mean that things are always going to stay that way. We must never feel stuck. 

I’d like to invite you to join me in a Thanksgiving blessing. Regardless of where we are – alone or with family and friends, whatever our circumstance, Psalm 136:1-9 points to us the things for which we can be thankful. 

In this Psalm, after each statement of thanksgiving, we’re invited to join in a chorus and say, “For His lovingkindness is ever lasting.” After each statement, voice and mindfully join me in saying, “For His lovingkindness is ever lasting.”

Nobody else’s lovingkindness may be good for you right now. The circumstances may not be good for you right now, but we can in all truth say, “for His, our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, His loving kindness is everlasting.” Will you join me? 

Psalm 136:1-9

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

To Him who alone does great wonders,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who made the heavens with skill,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who made the great lights,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting:

The sun to rule by day,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

The moon and stars to rule by night,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

What a great truth from the Lord for us to remember during this Thanksgiving season when we may not have much else for which we can say, “I’m so thankful for this.” There are many things for which we may not be thankful. But for the things we just read as well as many other things, we can say, “Give thanks to the Lord for….”

During this Thanksgiving season, I invite you to join me in focusing our minds, hearts, spirits, and souls on that for which we can be thankful. 

We have a wonderful God who made the heavens and earth, who brings us the seasons that are reminder that just as the seasons change, things in our life change. We can always know that God is constant, and He is faithful, and He is above all rulers and all authorities, and we will one day see Him. And it will make this time on earth a blink in light of eternity. 

So, sweet friends, give yourself a hug from me and tell your Heavenly Father thank you for His loving kindness that is everlasting. 

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving. 

We Are At a Crossroad

10/04/2020

Have you ever been traveling, reached an intersection, and not know which way to go? An intersection, or crossroad, can mean more than the intersection of two roads. A crossroad can mean a critical juncture and that is where our nation is. I’m not writing in the context of politics but rather in the context of prayer. We people, “one nation under God,” need to communicate with our Heavenly Father more than ever. We need to follow Biblical principles I have shared with you from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion. We need to praise God for who He is recognizing that there is none other who can help us out of the mess we’re in and who can bring healing to our nation. We need to repent of our personal and national sins, ask, and yield. Daniel 9:1-19 is a powerful example of prayer, repentance, and supplication followed by God response in Daniel 9:20-23,  “Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel….came to me… He gave me instruction and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplication the command was issued, and I have come to tell you….'”  This passage is one of many that point to the importance of us praising, repenting, asking, and yielding. (P.R.A.Y.)  It is while we are praying God hears and acts on our behalf and those for whom we’re interceding. It is time not to talk about praying, but to pray.  Will we?

Lord God, Heavenly, Father, we repent of our prayerlessness, of spending more time talking about the need to pray than actually spending time in prayer. Forgive us. Rouse in us Your Praying Holy Spirit and use us as powerful intercessors on behalf of our nation. 

Prayer of My Heart – where I record my prayers and my Heavenly Father’s responses. Available on Amazon.   Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.

How Long Does It Take for My Fleshly Passions to Die

09/27/2020

I’m often asked, “If I’m a Christian, why do I keep sinning?” If you’ve asked similar questions, I understand. We want to be holy. We want our lives to count for Christ and be vessels through whom His Spirit flows. Galatians 5:24 is a “go to” verse in regard to our flesh. “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” If you’re scratching your head and silently objecting that the very problem is that your flesh isn’t dead, consider the following. 1. We can’t crucify our flesh. Our flesh would never climb on a cross and nail itself to the wood. Our spirit might be willing, but our sin nature wouldn’t. Our flesh being crucified must be understood in the context of Paul’s words, “those who belong to Christ.” Our fleshly crucifixion took place on Christ’s crucifixion. It is what is called the doctrine of identification. When we place our faith in Christ, we are identified with Him in His death. But what about our daily lives, our daily walk? What about our “passions and desires” being crucified to which Galatians 5:24 refer? If we were to stand at the foot of a cross where someone has been crucified, we would note the following. First, the past tense. The person was crucified. The nails in the person holding the person to the cross – done. They have been crucified. Second, the present tense. They are crucified but still breathing – struggling more at times, but still alive. Third. They are crucified and no longer alive. We follow suit in the analogy of Galatians 5:24. We have the past tense experience of being crucified with Christ in that we identify with Him in His substitutionary crucifixion for our sins. We have the present tense experience. We have been crucified with Christ but are still breathing, alive. Third, we will one day no longer be breathing on earth and will be resurrected to new life with Christ. We struggle with our flesh because although we have been crucified with Christ (past tense), our fleshly passions and desires take a long time to die. A person dying on a cross could use the foot brace to lift themselves up to take a breath and extend their life a few more minutes or hours. Are we lifting our fleshly nature up to give it air?  Or, are we refusing to accommodate our flesh when it wants to be lifted and given oxygen? The body takes time to die on a cross. The fleshly nature takes time to die. How much are we helping it live and in what ways? Figure that out and we can accelerate the death of our fleshly passions and desires. Will we?

Heavenly Father, Jesus was the first of the three to die on the cross. Show us how we can accommodate Your will and Spirit rather than give life to our fleshly nature.  

Prayer of My Heart – where I record my prayers and my Heavenly Father’s responses. Available on Amazon. 

Yes or No? When God Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers the Way We Want

09/26/2020

I have a question for you. Is it true that whatever we ask in prayer, believing, we will receive? Yes or no? _____ What is your Scripture reference? If you said yes and provided Matthew 21:22 as your source, then why didn’t God answer Jesus’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane? Certainly, Jesus asked in prayer, believing. On a more personal level, why doesn’t God answer the prayers of the faithful to heal their dying loved one? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do know that it is important for us to take the whole counsel of God rather than “cherry pick” verses. In the context of prayer, Jesus has already taught His disciples important, foundational principles of prayer in “The Lord’s Prayer.” We have a Father in heaven who alone is holy. He has a kingdom and will. Twice in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus referenced God’s kingdom – at the beginning and end of the prayer. It was clearly on His mind and a central part of His teaching on prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus echoed Matthew 6:10, “Your will be done,” even while He allowed us to hear His “Son of Man” desire to avoid suffering, shame, and separation. As disciples of Christ it is critical for us to study and know the whole counsel of God. In the context of today’s question, we must remember Christ’s foundational teaching on prayer – praying God’s will. First John 5:14-15 is helpful. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” Can you trust your life and loved ones to God’s will?

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for not only teaching us how to pray but for also modeling it. We love and adore You. Help us be wise stewards of Your word by our words and life. 

Prayer of My Heart – where I record my prayers and my Heavenly Father’s responses. Available on Amazon.