Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sweeter Than Chocolate

I just love God’s Word! It’s sweeter than chocolate! One evening I was deeply immersed in the Word of God. He wrapped me in Psalm 16:7, assuring me of His wise counsel. The next morning, when I reached my destination, anxious and uncertain, I picked up a finely wrapped piece of chocolate to comfort my unraveled nerves. Believe it or not, attached to the chocolate was verse 8! Truly, God speaks even through chocolate! He will go to any length to prove that He is always there, trustworthy and dependable.

Psalm 16:7-8
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Secure and Steadfast God,

Your Word is sweeter than chocolate! I crave You with all of my heart!

Thank You for graciously counseling me. Your timeless Words are very wise. Your timely advice is always right. Teach me to make good decisions that will please You. Tune my ears to recognize Your Voice, my mind to understand Your Words, and my heart to obey Your Ways. When I’m too exhausted to think clearly, in the silence of my soul, speak to me. Tomorrow is sure to be another exhilarating day with more unexpected twists and turns.

Please go ahead of me. I’m utterly dependent on Your wise guidance to lead me through uncertain situations. It is vital that I remain in constant communication with You by reading my Bible and praying. You know the way that will lead me to all the jewels of Jesus. Willingly, I’ll take Your strong right hand, walking through briars, thorns, and thickets. I won’t try to avoid pain, trouble and failure. Connected to You, they won’t hurt me.

Dear Lord, please give me the courage to hold on tightly, trusting that You know exactly where You’re taking me. Following Your reliable instructions, I’ll be secure and steadfast. Looking forward to the riches of heaven, eternity with You and everlasting happiness, my heart and lips will cheerfully sing a sweet song to the glory of Your dependable name. Amen.

I need God’s counsel for __________________________________________. Pray, asking Him for wisdom. Open Your Bible and listen to His Voice. Obey His instruction and He will reward You with chocolate from heaven – the Truth! Then, you, too, will know that He is trustworthy and dependable. Praise Him!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Extreme Challenge

On the first day of the Christian Writer’s Conference, I woke up anxious and nervous. I felt like I was at an amusement park, about to get on the scariest ride. Years ago I wouldn’t have ridden on thrill rides, but some where along the way I learned that in order to conquer my fears I needed to face them, and I began riding. Terrified, I’d close my eyes, grip the safety bar, and scream at the top of my lungs! From the experience, I learned that it only lasts a short time, I can trust the safety mechanisms, and there is joy in the power to overcome scary situations.

My hands were shaking and there was a bundle of knots in my stomach. I was about to embark on an extreme challenge. Feeling nauseated, I got up and went outside in the cool mountain air, sat by the rushing river and wrote to God based on the following Scriptures that He gave me.

Philippians 4: 6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me O God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

O Great God of Peace~
Humbly I come to You admitting my anxiety and fear. Finally, it’s my turn to face the extreme challenge! My stomach is bound by a bundle of knots! By faith, I’ll step out, buckle up to You, and grasp Your Word with all my might. With my adrenalin pumping, I’ll deeply inhale Your sensational power in preparation for the dreadful drop of uncertainty ahead.

Together, we’ll wind through the nauseating twists and turns of trials and tribulations. In the dark tunnel of distress, I’ll scream out, tantalized by terror! You’ll hear the cry of my heart and bring me into the radiant light of Your presence. Suddenly, I’ll see and know that You were always right there beside me; holding me. The safety mechanisms of faith guarded me from danger.

Although I was scared to death, I’ll gladly go again for the sheer thrill of experiencing the joy of Your unexplainable power and peace. Confident of Your almighty protection, I’ll turn my problems to praise, my agony to adoration, and my worry to worship. You didn’t bring me this far to let me fall. I believe that You have a plan bigger than I can imagine around the next sharp bend. Please dear Lord, give me courage to face scary situations fearlessly trusting in the power of Your Almighty name. Amen.

What extreme challenge is God asking you to take? Don’t be afraid to step out, buckle up to Him and grasp His Word with all your might. Under His protection, you will experience the sensation of His peace and He will bless you with sheer joy as you experience His power!

Friday, May 19, 2006

God's Faithfulness

10:15 p.m. RMT - May 18, 2006

Faithful Father,
Humbly, I come to the cross offering You a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving! My head is dizzy from today's ride. It was fun! It was thrilling! It was beyond expectations! I'm so glad I got on board and didn't turn back.

Thank You for guiding me to the right location at the Y. Registration was smooth. A friendly lady named Charlotte from TX was the woman You sent to comfort me. I quickly connected with another woman named Jennifer whom I sat with in the first general session. Bless her heart, she went to Starbucks and brought me back a latte!

A chaplain spoke. He was at Columbine ministering to the distressed. He was in NYC ministering to rescue workers after 9-1-1. I was compelled to ask for an appointment with him. Perhaps he can expand the PP to the sick and imprisoned ... maybe guide me to funding. God granted my request, I will meet with him on Friday at 2:00 p.m. RMT (4:00 EST).

Then, Bo Cassell spoke. He's a youth minister. His message was Proclaiming the Way, the Truth and the Life to the Next Generation. Can you believe - he used the amusement park analogy! Many people avoid the scary rides and opt for the snack bar. The thrill of the adventure is in the scary ride! Okay, God, I think that was a direct word from You to me!

At lunch I sat with a dear woman from CO. Her name is Linda Heil. Please bless her! She had an appointment with Bethany House. I wasn't given an appointment with them. I shared with her my Prayer Pal ministry. She was so touched and inspired that she gave me her appointment with Bethany House! This is huge! Any author seeking to be published would want to speak to Bethany House. However, she didn't have anything specific to talk to them about, and insisted that I take her meeting! I exalt You, O God for Your provision!

The meeting with Bethany House went ok. Jeanne Hedrick took my book proposal. She'll get back to me in 4 -6 weeks. No promises. Little hope. They receive hundreds of manuscripts. Editors gather in a room, and select the few their interested in publishing. But, I know You are in control God. You scheduled the appointment! So I will wait ... and if the answer is "no" that's ok!

I also had a 15 minute meeting with Joyce Hart, a literary agent. She agreed that I'm a very good writer and have an amazing minister. However, she has never been successful in selling a devotional to a publisher and hesitates to represent me. Before I was done speaking to her, she requested my book proposal, greeting card and brochure sample. Who knows, God? Only You.

Finally, I had a 30 minute critique with Linda Evans Shepherd, a published author and national speaker. She too was complimentary of my work ... so I'm naked before my readers. She wished she knew more about me as she read them ... wonder what I was experiencing and encouraged me to share what's going on in my life. She was impressed with my book proposal and suggested a few editoral changes, offering to endorse the PP. I appreciate her constructive criticism. She is a tremendous woman of faith!

Many people here, make my faith look so small ... please dear Lord, just give me the faith I need to believe you! This is Your story and all glory is Yours! Now, I better get to bed ... tomorrow's another long day!

When I got back to my cabin this evening, Donna told me that she just found out late this afternoon that she has breast cancer! Please dear Lord, touch her with Your healing grace and fill her heart and mind with Your peace.

I love You Lord, and thank You for all that You did for me today. Your loving daughter.

Boarding the Ride

May 18, 2006 – 6:30 a.m.
Today would have been my dad’s 70th birthday! For those of you who don’t know, I lost my beloved dad on June 25, 2005 after a five year battle with cancer. O how I miss him!

Today is the first day of the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. I got up early this morning and went outside in the cool mountain air, sat by the rushing river and poured my heart out to God on paper.

O Great God of Peace~
Humbly I come to You this morning admitting my weakness and worry. I’m so nervous! Finally, it’s my turn to get on the exhilarating, exciting ride! My stomach is in knots! Many would turn back at this point. Not me! I’m Your risk taker. I understand that I need to go out of my comfort zone to conquer my fears. How long can it last? A couple of minutes or hours? No big deal in the scheme of life. Soon it will be over. What’s the worst that can happen to me? It’s unlikely I’ll die or be injured. You’ve built in safety mechanisms to protect Your riders. So, by faith, I’m stepping in the car, buckling up, and ready to go! My adrenaline is pumping! Let’s just get it over with!! I admit that I’m a coward, so I’m just closing my eyes and hanging on tight. Oops! I better keep my eyes open or I might miss something!!

Please dear God, who knows my heart and mind, fill me with Your perfect peace and lead me in the way everlasting. I’ll overcome my anxious thoughts by remembering how far You’ve brought me, safely and prosperously. You didn’t bring me this far to let me fall and fail.

So, from the thrilling amusement park ride to the surprise birthday party … O God, You know I don’t like surprises. Just tell me who’s coming to the party and what’s inside the presents. I hate not knowing. That too, makes me want to throw up! Just as I did with my bridal shower, 21 years ago, and my baby shower, 16 years ago, I’ll go with a smile on my face. I know the fellowship will be fantastic and the gifts great.

I don’t know a soul at this conference. I have no idea where I’m going. Will You please show me the way and send me new friends to bless my heart? I’m trusting in Your most faithful name, going in Your power, and Your glory. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Philippians 4: 6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me O God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Revelation 4: 11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory, and honor, and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

You are worthy O Lord
to receive glory and honor and power
for you have created all things –
this beautiful rushing river in front of me
these majestic mountains surrounding me
every wonderful creature that lives in the woods and water ….
And by your will they were created and have their being. I praise You God from whom all blessings flow!
I join the angels, who are interceding for me, in praising You, Holy God to whom all praise is do! I stand in awe of You! Hallelujah, Amen.

God's Provision

I arrived safely and on time on Wednesday, May 17. The weather is beautiful. The clouds seem to touch the mountains. I can't distinguish where one begins and the other ends. I marvel at God's majesty!

The meeting with my client went well. Two of the women are daily PP readers. Funny, they know me because I share my heart with them daily. However, I don't know them! It's an amazing thing how God uses my words to connect with believers everywhere!

Praise God for Michele and her two precious daughters who took their time to drive me to Estes Park, show me the way to the meeting, took me to dinner ... And then to the cozy cabin where I'd stay for the duration of my visit. This dear little cabin reminds me of the ones I built with Lincoln Logs with my boys. It's the tiniest little thing that sits right on the very edge of the Big Thompson River. Snow is rapidly melting off the mountains, gushing down the river, and splashing on my deck. Ahh ... thank You God for Your provision!

Michele's mom and dad, Donna and Lloyd are my hosts. Because my cabin is isolated and there are no other guests at this time, they've given me a walkie talkie to communicate with them in the manager's cabin. I won't need it ... but again, God's provided me with a safety mechanism. Donna is a beautiful Christian woman who is compelled to pray for me ... another Godly provision.

Thank you for your faithful prayers!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Consecrating Myself - Preparing for the Impossible Mission

May 16, 2006 11:00 p.m. from my hotel room at BWI

Since I began sharing the prayers from my heart with you electronically about 18 months, I rarely write in a paper journal. Therefore, I didn’t bring one with me. As I sat here in my room all alone, praying, I decided to type my prayer to God and post it on my blog, as a journal and testimony to this adventure I’m on. This is not a Prayer Pal. Don’t feel compelled to read my ramblings … if you do, feel free to leave your encouraging comments, I will give them back to God as a beautiful bouquet of praise posies!

Faithful Father,
I come before you with praise and adoration. You are the One and Only, Almighty, Living God. I bow down and worship You in the beauty of holiness.

Thank You for opening the door for me to go to this writer’s conference in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. You are incredible! Thank You for my job that is flying me there. Thank you for my customer. I knew from the beginning that they were a blessing from you … from the day my heart connected with Susan’s I knew Your hand was on that account. Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for arranging my relationship with Michele who is providing my lodging. Thank You for providing the finances so that I can attend. Thank You for all the affirmation ….
  • My husband’s support, even though he’s nervous about me traveling alone. Before leaving tonight he lugged my big suitcase to the car, loaded it in, gave me a great big juicy kiss and told me how much he loved me! Thank You for providing a husband who loves and adores me! It’s not easy to love a crazy woman like me who loves and pursues You so passionately!
  • The love offering from the widow who only occasionally receives the PP, when I take the time to print hard copy for her! God, we need a printer to help me take care of her!
  • The dear, sweet, kind lady who is so excited about what You have planned for me that she’s wants to take care of my family while I’m away by bringing them homemade chicken pot pie!
  • The beautiful blessings you sent me all the way from Australia!
  • Melissa, my dearly beloved sister whom I’ve never met, yet is compelled to pray for me! She even has her praise team and pastors praying! And, can You believe she sacrificed her lunch hour to pray for me today? That blows me away! I just stand in awe of You!

With my mouth hanging open, jaw dropped, I’m speechless, mesmerized by what You’re doing. In awe of You, I consecrate myself completely to Your service. Lord, I’m devoted to You with all my heart!

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne,
It shall be thy royal throne.

Lord, I lay myself on the altar, offering all that is within me to all of You. I have no idea where You’re taking me, except to the beautiful Rocky Mountains and into Your presence. Beyond that, I have no idea what to expect! I’m excitedly, anticipating a few surprises to thrill my already overflowing heart! My heart and mind are open to You. And, if PP is nothing more than it is today that’s okay. It’s already fulfilling the great commission to take the gospel into all the world. Daily it’s read in Australia, Africa and Russia! I praise You, Father in Heaven, for using an ordinary girl like me to deliver the Good News from the King into the world. I praise You for the countless other countries who stumble onto my blog. May those viewers be compelled to stop, read, believe and receive You. Use me O God to take the gospel wherever in the world You want it to go. And, thank You for allowing me to be a witness to what a relationship with You can and do in the life a believer, while teaching others to obey You. You’re simply amazing! No wonder I’m in awe of You!

God, I also know that in part the PP is fulfilling Matthew 25. I praise You that it is read in the prison. I desperately want to minister in hospitals and homeless shelters too. I want it to be available to the dear widow who doesn’t have access to the internet, and to orphans. Lord, if it pleases You, will You please grant my request for a publisher/producer?

God, all glory I is Yours. This is not my story, but Your story. I’m just entering into what you’re doing through me – pursuing You. I’m trusting You to send me down the right path. I can’t go it alone. I need You to lead and guide me. This is something only You can do. No matter how hard I try, my best effort is futile. I have no idea what I’m doing! Please put together the plan, and by faith, I’ll follow You. Thank You for opening the door. Graciously, confidently, I’ll walk through and stand in the wide open space of Your glory and grace, praising Your holy name. To You be the glory!

I love You Lord, and am thrilled to be on this marvelous mission with You!! Please bless and protect me as I go in Your Most High and Holy Name. Amen.

Believing God

Hebrews 11: 1, 6
1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Great God in Heaven~
You are the One and Only True and Living God~
You are King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods~
There is none like You. Ruler of heaven and earth, all authority submits to You. You’re the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Just as You empowered, prospered, and protected Noah, Abraham, and Moses, You will empower, prosper, and protect me. Just as You directed and led Joshua, Gideon and David, You will direct and lead me. By studying Your Ancient Words, and paying attention in the classroom of my heart, I’ve learned that You’re always trustworthy and faithful. Though I haven’t seen You with my physical eyes, I’ve seen You with the eyes of my heart. I’m absolutely sure You are who You say You are, and will do what You say You will do. I’m certain You have a special plan for my life that involves something bigger than I can imagine; something only You can do.

Please dear Lord, give me faith to trust You to lead and guide me through tough times and rough terrain to the promised land of prosperity. Based on history, I’ll confidently expect a breathtaking surprise around frightening bends and unfamiliar borders. Earnestly, I’ll follow You up the steep peaks of pressure and down the slippery slopes of uncertainty. Please take away my anxiety and fear so that I can enjoy the exhilarating, exciting escapade that leads to rich rewards. With all my heart I want to please You by passionately pursuing You wherever You go. Please bless me today because I believe in the power of Your name. Amen.

How do you know that God exists? What one adjustment will you make in your life to pursue Him today? He promises to reward those who earnestly seek Him.

There will be no more Prayer Pals until later this month, but I encourage You to seek God with all your heart and try your own hand at writing Him a love letter. You can always read from the Prayer Pal archives at Please pray for me this week as I attend a writer's conference proposing the Prayer Pal be published as devotional gift books, greeting cards, gift sets, and brochures for hospitals, homeless shelters, and prisons.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Distinguishing God's People

Matthew 25:31-40
Jesus told this story about the kingdom of heaven:
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Jesus, Ruler of all nations,
I eagerly anticipate the day when You come in splendor and majesty. Seated on the magnificent heavenly throne glowing with glory, people from every nation, tribe and tongue will gather in awe of You. The rich will stand with the poor, the strong with the weak, and the godly with the ungodly. Quickly, You’ll distinguish those who belong to Your royal family from those who don’t. At that moment, all other distinctions will disintegrate and we’ll be eternally divided.

I excitedly look forward to the great blessing that awaits me when You call me to come forward. Happily, I’ll receive my long awaited rich inheritance, the Kingdom of Heaven, provided by You, my loving Father. Purchased with Your priceless blood, this precious place has been prepared for me years ago by Your Spirit. It’s an incredible gift, You’ll present to those You recognize as Your children.

Please dear Lord, show me someone who is famished today, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. In Your name, I’ll feed their body, mind and soul. Lead me to someone wandering in the desert, withered, weary, and weak. I’ll lead them to Your fresh spring of Living Water where they can wash and drink until they’re satisfied. Open my eyes to see a stranger and I’ll reach out in friendship inviting them into the center of my activities. If I see someone in my circle of influence who needs clothed today, physically or spiritually, mercifully, I’ll give them the shirt off my back, and offer them Your rich robe of righteousness. All around me people are sick and suffering. Lovingly, I’ll stop to soothe their sore souls. Many are imprisoned because of their addictions and transgressions, forgotten and failed by a society who finds them demented, destructive and deceitful.

Admittedly, I find these people unattractive, unappealing, and unapproachable. Please dear Lord, fill me with more of Your amazing love. Humbly, I’ll lay aside my intolerance, indifference and insecurities to fulfill Your mission of mercy. Willingly, I’ll comfort the faint, raise the fallen, and point the forgotten to You, the One and Only Way to eternal life and everlasting happiness. I hope and pray that You’ll recognize me on judgment day by the way I treat the least, the last and the lost in Your name. Amen.

Are your eyes open to faint, fallen, and forgotten people? They are everywhere. Jesus clearly calls us to be missionaries of mercy. Who will you serve today in His name?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Angels Watching Over Me

Psalm 91:9-16
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Lord, Most High,
El Elyon,
Almighty God, You are my Savior, King of my heart and Lord of my life! Thank You for making my heart Your home. You’re my safe haven. I come in, shut the door, and rest in Your peaceful presence. From heaven on high, You order a battalion of angels to watch over me wherever I go. If I climb the highest, most majestic mountain, You are there. If I sink deep within the sea of sadness, You are there. In the darkness of distress and discouragement, You are there. In the light of love and laughter, even then, You are there. Thank You for the angels that surround the shelter of my heart, Your home.

Because I believe You love me and live in me, I’m claiming Your precious promises. I trust You to:

  • Rescue me from sin and suffering
  • Make me strong and mighty
  • Answer me when I call You
  • Be with me in times of trouble
  • Deliver me from temptation
  • Honor me with the prosperity of Your presence
  • Satisfy me with a full life
  • Give me everlasting life and happiness
I know that problems will pursue me and danger will distract me, but with You living in my heart, I’ll survive. Together, with the angels watching over me, we’ll trample the trouble and proclaim, "Our God reigns!" Please dear Lord, make my heart Your home today and send those beautiful, powerful angels to protect me as I come and go in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Imagine! If you are a child of God and have invited Him to live in your heart, He has sent His beautiful, powerful angels to protect you! Claim and believe His precious promises. Live in the fullness of His blessing. No matter your circumstances, He’s there, watching over You. Praise Him!

I’m reminded of the childhood lullaby, Angels Watching Over Me:

All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.
Sun is a-setting in the West; angels watching over me, my Lord.
Sleep my child, take your rest; angels watching over me.
All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.

Copyright and Author unknown

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Experiencing Exuberant Power

Matthew 14:22-33
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."

Truly You are the Son of God. I bow down and worship You in the beauty of holiness because You have revealed Your glory to me during the storms of my soul. Gigantic waves of sin and suffering buffet me. Howling gusts of doubt and distress threaten to disturb my peace. My distorted night vision is terrifying. Fear of the unknown and unseen cripples me.

Through the dismal darkness of a restless night, I long to hear Your voice calling me to "Come." I want boldness and courage to be like Peter. While the other eleven sat in the boat paralyzed by panic, Peter recognized Your voice and took a giant leap forward. With my eyes fixed on You, I too will step out of my comfort zone to accomplish the impossible. Please give me faith to focus on You, forgetting the fierce waves and ferocious wind. Forgive me for all the times I’ve fearfully stayed in the boat and missed divine endeavors. I’m sorry for the times I was skeptical of Your power, presence and provision. Even in my faithlessness, please graciously reach out and save me!

Lord, I just want to know Your voice, and obey Your call. In difficult situations and challenging circumstances, please keep Your mighty hand on me. Gazing on the glow of Your face, I’ll confidently walk by faith and experience the exuberance of Your power. Those who sit worried and watching will wonder at what they’ve witnessed. Mesmerized by the miracle, they, too, will believe that You truly are the Son of God. Together, we’ll bow down and worship You for the great things You have done in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you hear the Voice in the night calling you to "Come?" Will you risk stepping out of the boat or remain in the boat gripped with fear? I encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus and step out in faith. With your eyes fixed on him, he will give you the power to walk on water too.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Peace Beneath the Surface

Matthew 8:23-27
23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

Thank You for opening my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. By them You preserve my life. In them I find confidence, comfort and courage.

Often I find myself in the same boat as the disciples – caught without warning in a dangerous situation. In the ferocious storms of the soul, I lose power and am in the dark. Colossal waves of worry crash over me. Mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently toss me about threatening to throw me into the wicked sea of unrighteousness. Hopeless, helpless and paralyzed, I cry out to You, "Lord, help me! I’m drowning!"

When the raging storms of life overtake me, often I respond as though You’re asleep and unaware of the terror in the night. Forgive me for failing to recognize Your presence, protection and power. I’m nothing but a coward with a faint heart and crippled faith. How many blessings do I miss because of my fear in the storm?

Beneath the raging tempest of even the perfect storm are still waters deep within the sea. When gale winds scream like demons in the dark, please give me faith to stop what I’m doing, let go of the troubling thoughts, and plunge into Your Word. Then, the rampant storm will subside and there will be peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of my heart. Deep within the sea of my soul, I’ll find confidence, comfort and courage to wait through the fearsome fury and dreaded darkness. With One voice You’ll preserve my life, irrevocably changing me because of my extreme encounter with the One who calms the seas and quiets hearts in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Is a storm surrounding you? Are the mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently tossing you about threatening to throw you into the sea of unrighteousness? Ask Him for faith to believe in His presence, protection and power. Then plunge into His Word, and discover the peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of Your heart.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Separating Fact From Fiction

Romans 16:17-20
17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
20The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

O Wise and Knowledgeable God,
You are exalted in power and perfect in knowledge. There is no teacher like You. At the Living Word Academy held in the classroom of my heart, I begin to understand the mysteries of Your Will. I learn to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, fact and fiction. With the Holy Spirit as my teacher, and the Holy Bible as my textbook, I learn that You are altogether authentic, totally truthful, and really reliable.

Lord, I just need more knowledge of Your Holy Bible so that I can apply the Truth to all situations and circumstances in the laboratory of life. Proud people will try to disturb my peace by planting poisonous seeds in the soil of my soul. Subtly, they’ll distort the facts by telling cleverly invented stories. Cunningly, they’ll deflate one point while inflating another. Devious professionals will convincingly entrance me with demonic illusions. They’ll deceptively water down Your Word with smooth talk and flattery. If I feed the seeds they plant, division and dissension will sprout.

Your Word clearly and concisely counsels me to avoid them! By Your grace I will joyfully obey. If I pay attention in class and diligently study Your Word, it will leap to life preventing the seeds of deceit from sprouting in my soul. Please dear Lord, be gracious to me. Teach me good judgment to distinguish between truth and lies. With my heart set on You, the problems and pressures that are pounding me will soon be replaced with perfect peace. God of grace be with me today, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you know God’s Word well enough to separate fact from fiction? I encourage you to spend time in the classroom of your heart, learning all you can about the Truth, so that no one will disturb your peace of heart and mind.

This concludes my Romans Ramblings. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Make a Friend, Be a Friend

Romans 16:1-23 Paul’s Personal Greetings.
I’m not going to print the list of Paul’s family, friends and co-workers. I encourage you to look at it. You may have overlooked it as a long list of unfamiliar, unimportant names. Upon close examination, I realized that Paul was summing up the legacies of his friends, one sentence at a time. God revealed to me through Paul’s list of family, friends, and co-workers the qualities I should look for in a friend, as well as, the kind of friend I should be.

Rabboni! My Great Teacher! You are incomparably wise. To my surprise, even in Paul’s warm personal greetings there’s an incredible unexpected lesson. From the commendations to his family, friends, and co-workers, I learn the quality and deeds I should look for in my own friendships.
  • Those who wholeheartedly serve the sick, poor, and lonely
  • Those who are willing to risk their lives for others
  • Those who open their homes to Christian fellowship and service
  • New believers and attendees at my church
  • Inexhaustible hard workers
  • Outstanding leaders, willing to go to jail for spreading the Gospel
  • Those who serve along side of me in ministry
  • Those who have suffered and past the test of faith
  • Those who nurture like a mother
  • Those who are obedient to You
  • Those whose homes radiate friendship, fellowship and love, welcoming strangers
  • Humble helpers who can keep me organized
  • Public officials
Please dear Lord, help me to make godly friends who will encourage me to grow stronger in faith. Help me to be a godly friend whose legacy of love and dedication will be long remembered. May I be known as someone with an open heart, open door, and open hand, commended for the praise of Your glory. Amen.

Someday people will sum you up in one sentence. What will that sentence be?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blanket of Peace

Romans 15:33
The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

God of Peace~
I’m in awe of Your power packed letter to the Romans. Even in these eight little words there are two important instructions. First, when I have nothing left to say, I can carry my friends and family to You in prayer, covering them with the warm comfort of peace. Please dear Lord, fill my family and friends with Your precious peace today.

Second, You are the God of Peace who will be with me on life’s complicated journey. Trusting You, I won’t have to worry about the threats and terror that lie ahead in unknown territory. Believing You’re in control of all things, I’ll confidently and courageously tell You my concerns and qualms. Then, Your peace, which is beyond my wildest imagination, will be present to protect my heart and mind along the way. Putting into practice all the lessons I’ve learned in the classroom of my heart, will give me power to persist through peril until I reach the Promised Land. Please dear Lord, fill me with Your priceless peace today, always and forever. Amen.

Who do you need to pray a comfort of peace over? Carry your friends and loved ones to the God of peace right now.

Trust the God of peace to be with you always!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Disruptions, Delays and Detours

Romans 15: 25, 30
25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. 30I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Just as You knew what was waiting for You in Jerusalem: betrayal, rejection, suffering and ultimately death yet set Your face resolutely on the challenge and conquered it, so did Paul. Despite the possibility of peril, he persisted. Setting aside his ambitious dream of taking the Good News to Spain, he opted for the potentially difficult and dangerous detour to Jerusalem. Courageously, he accepted the unsafe assignment, urging his friends and family to pray for him. Covered in prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, he conquered his fear of the hateful, hostile Sadducees. Humbly, he went anticipating antagonism. Serving His Master was more important than his personal safety and comfort. Willingly, he risked his life to fulfill Your mission in Jerusalem.

Likewise, there are times that You ask me to lay aside my hopes and plans to follow You. Forgive me for grumbling and complaining about disruptions, delays and detours. I’m sorry for all the excuses I make to avoid difficulty, distress and even death to self. Give me courage to gratefully say, "Yes, Lord" to every challenging task I’m assigned. Give me humility to ask for prayer. Covered in the warm prayers of others, I’ll be able to endure rejection, humiliation and execution to self. Fulfilling the mandatory mission for my Master will be more important to me than my personal comfort and protection. Willingly, I’ll risk my life to serve You.

O Lord, please fill me with more Holy Spirit power to be selfless and courageous like Paul. As I trust You, please keep Your mighty hand on me. Strengthen and empower me. Deliver me from evil and temptation along the way. I long to live in the fullness of Your blessing and will go where You send me in the name of Jesus. Amen.

What difficult assignment has the Master asked you to do? Are you making excuses to avoid it? If so, ask God to fill you with Holy Spirit power to be selfless and courageous like Paul.

God has given me a big assignment – to write the Prayer Pal daily as my witness to the world of what a relationship with Him can be and do in the life of a believer. He’s sending me on a mission to a Christian Writer’s Conference from May 18 – 20. Major publishers like Focus on the Family, Bethany House, and Harvest House will have representatives there, along with several literary agents.

While I don’t think this is a dangerous mission, it is way beyond my comfort zone. I humbly request your prayers as I prepare for this potentially huge leap forward for the Prayer Pal ministry. I will be proposing that they print the PP as devotional gift books, greeting cards, and brochures for prisons and hospitals. Pray that I will BELIEVE God has a plan bigger than I can imagine, that I will trust Him to set up the appropriate appointments, and that I will go with confidence that He will fulfill His great commission through me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Love Generously

Romans 15: 26-27a
26For you see, the believers in Greece have eagerly taken up an offering for the Christians in Jerusalem, who are going through such hard times. 27They were very glad to do this. NLT

Generous God,
The Blessed and Only Ruler.
O how I love and adore You because of Your incredible provision. Freely, You’ve given me much more than I need. I yearn to be happy with what I have. I need to escape from the advertising induced need for every gizmo and gadget. To survive in a materialistic culture, please teach me the difference between wants and needs. I long to be satisfied living a simple life with less stuff. Make me rich in faith, hope and love.

Filled with a spirit of contentment, I won’t arrogantly chase after meaningless trinkets and trophies. I won’t depend on a fortune for fulfillment. Rather, I’ll put my hope in You. Focused on my incredible heavenly inheritance, willingly I’ll deprive myself of worldly pleasures and treasures to be wealthy in good deeds. Like the Greeks, I’ll eagerly share my blessings with others. I’ll freely and cheerfully, share my time with sick, sad strangers. It will be a pleasure to serve weak, weary, worn out people going through hard times. Gladly, I’ll donate dollars to feed and dress the destitute.

Please fill my heart with more of Your generous love today. Let me overflow with generosity to needy Christians in my neighborhood, nation and world. Then, I’ll be abundantly blessed and eternally satisfied. All that I have and all that I am belong to You, my King who lavishes me with everlasting love forever, and ever. Amen.

Ask God to give you a spirit of contentment and the desire to contribute to needy Christians in your neighborhood, nation and world.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Invitation for a Miracle Makeover

Romans 15: 15b-18
15For I am, by God's grace, 16a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News and offer you up as a fragrant sacrifice to God so that you might be pure and pleasing to him by the Holy Spirit. 17So it is right for me to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. 18I dare not boast of anything else. I have brought the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I lived before them. NLT

Gracious God-
I still rejoice and marvel at the fact that You love, chose, and adopted me despite my indecent life, impure motives, and improper attitudes. You accepted me as Your beloved child just as I was broken and useless. After adopting me, You turned me into a beautiful masterpiece in Your heavenly workshop. Now I’m fixed and useful to do good things for You.

By Your grace, use me as a special messenger to reach out to unhealthy, unnoticed, unbelievers. The new eyes You’ve given me will look past their sin and see the person You created them to be. The new ears You’ve given me will hear their cry for relief from the painful problems that plague them. With my strong new voice I’ll boldly and enthusiastically invite them to join in my activities. Full of Your love and compassion, I won’t worry about my reputation when I touch them with Your sweet, fragrant healing balm. My beautiful new feet will lead them to Your wonderful workshop where You’ll transform them into a unique work of art too.

Father, forgive me for making this life a popularity contest. It is not about ME. It’s all about YOU. Please dear Lord, show me who needs a miracle makeover today and I’ll obediently reach out to them in the spirit of friendship because of Jesus. Not to me O Lord, not to me, but to Your Name be the glory because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Amen.

Invite an unhealthy, unnoticed, unbeliever into the core of your life today. Be courteous and kind to them. Commit to spend frequent time with them. Allow the Master to touch them through you.

By God’s grace, I’ll make myself a fragrant sacrifice to __________________________ (name of person you’ll reach out to) so that I might be pure and pleasing to my Gracious God and King.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Romans Reminders to Remember

Romans 15:15
15I have been bold enough to emphasize some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder from me.

Divine Teacher,
Thank You for preserving Paul’s bold reminders to the Romans for me. Please write them on my heart so that I’ll remember:

  • I’m called to be a witness for You (1:5)
  • Godless living deserves the penalty of death (1:32)
  • Godless judging isn’t tolerated (2:3)
  • Godless religion is hypocritical (2:28-29)
  • There is not a single good person in the world – including me! (3:9-18, 23)
  • Because of You, I’m made righteous, just as though I’ve never sinned (3:22-23)
  • I need unwavering faith to believe that You’ll do what You say You’ll do (4:20-22)
  • You died for me while I was Your hateful, hostile enemy (5:6, 8, 10)
  • Forgiveness is a gracious gift from You(5:15)
  • I’m alive and free from sin, but will always struggle with it (6:7-8; 7:15, 18, 21)
  • I’m Your precious child, required to share in your suffering (8:16, 17)
  • Your Spirit prays for me when I can’t find the words (8:26)
  • In ALL things You work for the good of those who love You (8:28)
  • Because of Your power in me, I can triumph over tragedy (8:37)
  • Nothing can separate me from Your love (8:39)
  • You are sovereign (9:15)
  • Everyone who calls on Your name will be saved (10:13)
  • Apart from You I'm dead, lifeless and useless (11:15-16)
  • To give myself completely to You as an act of worship (12:1)
  • To nourish my mind with the sweetness of Your Word (12:2)
  • To love my brothers and sisters in Your family despite our differences (12:9)
  • To respect the authority of the world because You established it (13:1)
  • To stop passing judgment! You and You alone are the only fair Judge (14:10-13)
  • To speak words that build up rather than tear down (14:19)
  • To be tolerant people who have an opinion different from mine (15:1)
Practicing these principles daily, I’ll retain them and live a holy lifestyle worthy of Your child. My attitudes and actions will lead others to Your kingdom of joy, peace and righteousness where they too, can live forever and worship Your holy name! In my life Lord be glorified! To You, the only wise God be the glory forever and ever through Jesus Christ, my Lord! Amen.

Thank you for walking through Romans with me. I hope the prayers of my heart will help you remember who you are and how to behave in the family of God. What one lesson will you remember?