A Mustard Seed

Do not repay evil with evil 
or insult with insult. On the 
contrary, repay evil with blessing, 
because to this you were called 
so that you may inherit a 
blessing. 
1 Peter 3:9 

A prayer to be a blessing to those around me and my community

Holy Spirit I get so wrapped up in my everyday problems and to-do lists I forget to pause and look at the world around me.  I rush out in my car and don’t stop to say “hi” to my elderly neighbor.  I see the trash someone has left behind at the nearby lunch table and I assume someone else will pick it up.  I watch the mother with two kids struggling to get her groceries in the car and I think, “thank goodness that isn’t me.”  Oh, how I know you keep whispering to me to stop and do your work.  But I prioritize my list and sometimes you aren’t on it.  LORD, I say I want to be a blessing to others and yet I let so many opportunities pass me by.  Today, I will be that blessing.  Today I will recognize the need to slow down, reach out, and do your work.  I will be your mustard seed and help build your Kingdom into all it’s glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


One of my neighbors is a quiet, older gentlemen.  He lives by himself in the largest house in our development.  He and his old dog, Scooter, are fixtures in our community.  And yet, most people probably don’t know that he supplies all the doggie poop bags for a dispenser in our neighborhood.  For Christmas, he always gives me and my dog, Tucker, a box of our own doggie bags.  You could say he’s in the dog poop ministry!  An unlikely blessing to so many of us.

In the same way, let your 
light shine before others, 
that they may see your good 
deeds and glorify your Father 
in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

No matter how many Bible study groups I’ve been a part of or how many churches I have attended, the one thing about “ministry” people seem to fear is being called to give up all their possessions and move to the outback of Africa.  And yet, Christ calls us to be a blessing starting in our own homes and neighborhoods.  If all of us would just start there, imagine the transformation that would take place!

If you really keep the royal 
law found in Scripture, 
“Love your neighbor as yourself,”
you are doing right.
James 2:8

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic I was called to start what became The Joy Challenge.  I invited my friends, family, Bible study groups, and neighbors to take part in a variation of Max Lucado’s effort to raise the joy level of 100 people over 40 days.  About 20 people said, “yes!”  It was fascinating to hear people struggle with the idea of being that tiny mustard seed who could affect others.  Some said, “How can I do anything if I’m locked away in my house?”   Others said, “But I don’t really know anyone.”  While even others said, “I can’t afford to buy things.”  

But the ideas began rolling in.  Some started writing little notes to friends and neighbors.  One lady painted smiley faces of all sorts on rocks and placed them in her yard.  My walking buddy just started waving and yelling “hello” and “have a great day” to an endless supply of UPS, FedEx and Amazon drivers.  Some had their kids write chalk notes out in front of people’s houses.

And me? I thought I had a great “in” on some toilet paper from China.  When it arrived, the rolls were tiny travel rolls about 3” in diameter.  After a good laugh I decided God wanted me to give these little rolls way so, I tied a note to all of them with a funny quote and randomly dropped them off at people’s doors along my walking route.

Months later one of those neighbors stopped me and said, “Aren’t you the lady that gave us that toilet paper roll?  We saw you on our security camera!  Thank you so much – we thought it was hilarious!”

It shouldn’t take a world-wide pandemic for us Christians to seek out ways to spread joy and be a blessing to our neighbors and our community.  I’m re-committing myself, no matter the busyness of the day, to be on the lookout for ways to be someone’s blessing.  It might mean I take an extra minute to roll my neighbor’s trash can in or I stop and pick up that plastic bag that’s rolling down the sidewalk.  It’s a mustard seed.  And I know each one I plant will help build His Kingdom.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Kindness Matters

“May I continue to find favor 
in your eyes, my lord,” she said. 
“You have put me at ease by 
speaking kindly to your servant—
though I do not have the standing 
of one of your servants.” 
Ruth 2:13

A prayer to always speak kindly of others

Merciful God, so often when I think of sinful behavior, I rarely attribute my own tendency to gossip and tear down others.  And yet throughout Jesus’ time here on earth he reminds us to love one another.  Help me to remember to love not just with deeds but with my words.  You speak so kindly of me, LORD, and I have many, many flaws.  Not only do I need your help in not speaking unkindly, but also in being your servant to exalt your people.  I know that a kind word is all that is needed to cure so many of our world’s ills.  Guide me in controlling my lips so that they drip with kindness rather than bitterness.  In Jesus’ name I lift this up to you.  Amen


“The problem with youth sports is the parents,” my husband loves to say.  And he’s not wrong.  If you’ve never stood on the sidelines of a soccer, softball, baseball, football or any youth sport let me paint a picture.  There’s the pacer – that parent that has so much anger or anxiety they can’t sit still.  There’s the cheerleader parent and the coaching parent – yelling out to their kids instructions of how to play better.  There’s the sideline referee – yelling at the refs for every call.  The peek-a-boo parent stands off to the side trying to shield themselves from their anxiety, only peeking to check out the score or why everyone just cheered so loudly.   And then you have little groups of parents huddled together gossiping.  

I have been every single one of those at some point.  And guess what, so has my husband.  He may be hesitant to admit it but I have seen him be the actor in each of those roles.

During my youngest daughter’s last season of high school field hockey, I decided to take a different tack.  I knew my mouth wanted to speak so I figured, why fight it.  But instead of anything negative I would cheer positively for every girl at one point or another.  Afterwards, I would seek out parents and pay their daughters’ compliments for a job well done.  It’s amazing how much better I felt after games. 

My command is this: 
Love each other as I 
have loved you.
John 15:12

I know for some, speaking kindly comes naturally (looking at you Betsy!).  But I have found that not to be the norm in society.  We seem to feel the need to seek out the flaw, the screw up, the mistake.  “The movie was good, but I’m not too sure about that choice of an actor.”  “She’s lost a lot of weight, but she really needed it didn’t she?”  “He’s a good leader but I don’t like his hair.”  “She always looks so nice, but of course she likes to impress people.”  And on and on.  The “buts” in our sentences erase any good we intended.  We just need to get that extra little dig in.

“‘Do not go about spreading 
slander among your people. 
“‘Do not do anything that endangers 
your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:16

I was listening to a podcast by a well know Christian speaker.  She told a story of how she would listen to other talented speakers and upon leaving start dissecting all they had done wrong.  And yet, she hoped people wouldn’t do the same to her.

Speaking unkindly, gossiping, or even slandering others is sinful behavior.  It is like an amoeba that slowly eats our heart and mind.  And the cure is to offer the kind word.  It’s not enough to remove something from our behavior, that’s only half the work.  God wants us to actively love our friends, family, neighbors and strangers with kindness. 

I realized that not only was I having problems speaking about others unkindly but also about myself.  I discovered this while at the gym.  When I would get tired and worried I wouldn’t perform well I found my inner “but” speaking – “Come on you lazy so and so, you showed up today but now get it in gear!”  How many of us really need one more person saying something negative to us?  And yet, how many of us are that one more person?  I decided to flip the script and start saying, “Come on!  I know you can do this!  You are stronger than yesterday!”   I’m thankful for a few less bruises on my soul. 

Just one more! You can do it!

When I head out on my errands now, I say a little prayer asking God to help me say something that brightens someone’s day.  I put a sign up in my prayer room that says, “Kindness and Grace Matter.”  With His help I will remove the “buts” out of my vocabulary and rest in the compliment.  I’m doing that not only for others but also for myself.  I will speak kindness into my own heart so that it is full.  And with fullness of heart, I will spread His fruit of love and kindness.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Send Me!

Now if you obey me fully 
and keep my covenant, then 
out of all nations you will 
be my treasured possession. 
Exodus 19:5

A prayer to act when directed by God

Dear God, I used to think that my faith was solely a personal, spiritual pursuit.  But I keep hearing the word “obey.”  I admit that obeying isn’t a comfortable word for me.  It implies me giving up something for someone else.  In your covenant world however, “obey” just means holding up my end of the bargain.  You are always faithful, LORD, and I need to be faithful as well.  James said it best when he admonished us to be “doers of the Word, not just hearers.”  Sometimes I allow the world to drown out your Holy Spirit who speaks your will to me.  Or I worry that I’m not worthy or ready to do your work. But I’m tuning in to you and listening, watching, and anticipating for your direction.  Give me opportunities to be your hands, your feet and your heart.  I will obey.  In your Son’s name I pray this.  Amen


One of my BSGs shared with us the other day how she was one of those Christians who claimed to never hear God direct her.  That isn’t the case any longer.  He’s been nudging her so hard she may almost have a bruise on her back!  She shared how she bought 10- $5 coffee gift cards from a locally owned coffee shop.  At random she is handing them out telling people, “God has blessed me so much this year and I want to share in the blessing.”  She told us of approaching a policeman and giving him a card.  He looked surprised.  When she walked away, she heard him on his radio exclaiming, “You won’t believe what just happened.”

Isn’t that awesome!  I want some of that God-goodness!  He speaks to us through His Word, Jesus’ teachings, and the Holy Spirit.  He tells us how to treat the poor, the downtrodden, the sick, our neighbor, our loved ones, and the stranger.  When we feel that nudge and the nudge feels like God, it can never be wrong.

I love the story of Isaiah and his vision amongst the angels.  He first sees himself unworthy of being in the presence of heavenly beings.  So, what does he do?  He cries out, “For I am a man of unclean lips.”  In other words, he prays for help with his unworthiness.  And an angel touches his lips with burning coal (ouch) to take away his guilt and sin.  And then the real action takes place.

Then I heard the voice of 
the Lord saying, “Whom shall 
I send? And who will go for us?” 
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:8

He “hears to voice of the Lord” make an urgent request.  God needs volunteers to spread His message of love and hope.  And when we Christians accepted the covenant promise of Jesus, that left us a spot to sign on the dotted line to volunteer for that service.  

When others step to the back of the line we need to learn to step forward.  Not hang out waiting for thunder and lightning to give us a loud message.  We need to be ready to jump at a moment’s notice – not only that, but be so excited to say, “Here am I.  Send me!”

I want to wake up every day in anticipation of the work He wants done through me.  And I want to go to bed looking forward to another chance tomorrow.  I’m listening LORD.  Send me.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Free To Be

But one thing I do: Forgetting 
what is behind and straining 
toward what is ahead, I press 
on toward the goal to win the 
prize for which God has called 
me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 3:13-14 

A prayer to live without regret

Holy God, it’s been many years since I accepted your gift of salvation, which along with that gift came forgiveness.  And yet, so often I am unable to forgive myself.  My heart still twinges when I think of the times I lived in sin.  And once saved, I look back at the years I realize I wasn’t fully committed to obeying your Word.  I’ve wasted enough time, however, not accepting your grace.  I am learning how much you love me, LORD.  And with that, I’m working to accept that I am a new person because of your son Jesus.  The old me can’t take up any more precious time when you are filling up my heart with overwhelming love.  I admit I sometimes need stern admonishment from you to keep me on track.  But at other times please send me a gentle kiss or unexpected hug to remind to live in today, not the regrets of the past.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.


I don’t know about you but I’ve done some very non-Christian things in my life.  I spent about five years of my younger life seeking inappropriate relationships with men.   I thought that if I turned over my precious gift of intimacy that I would find love.   We can watch endless movies, read countless novels, and dispense wisdom about how fruitless this path is and yet never seem to apply it to our own lives.

The first time I said a desperate prayer was when, at 19, I thought I was pregnant.  I begged God to save me from myself.  And He did.  I don’t really know why since I know others were not.  I bargained with God to do His part and I would stop such reckless behavior.  And I did not.  I wasn’t a Christian at the time – although I believed in God.  So maybe He was giving me a few allowances.  I won’t know until the day of my eternity when I can ask Him.

Fast forward a few years and I was a young mother with two kids.  I was a Christian by then.  And yet I continued, time after time, to disobey God.  Boy did that lead to a lot of unnecessary hardship.  Of these two situations it’s actually this second that I tend to regret the most.  Because I truly knew better.  I think of all the wasted hours of tears and painful relationships I could have avoided.  I think of the times I could’ve been a better mother and wife and friend had I just surrendered myself completely to God.

If we confess our sins, he 
is faithful and just and will 
forgive us our sins and purify 
us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

I realize that by holding on to my forgiven past it’s like a log tied around one ankle.  It hinders me to fully grab onto the joy of today and promises of God.  It’s not that we need to forget our past.  We can learn a lot from our choices and their consequences.  But when we accept Jesus as our savior we must accept that we are now changed in our spirit.  Sometimes we just need to remind our heart and mind of that change.

Friend, I don’t know what sinful choices you may have made in your past, but Jesus came so we don’t need to live an entire life of repentance for our past regretful choices.  We need to turn those sins over to God only once.  And turn our faces toward today.  

There’s a lot from my past that I’m still working on fully releasing to God.  He has already forgiven me for them.  I just need to let go of the string and allow them to float into the heavens.  With His gentle reminders of His love for us we can be free.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Work It for God

Therefore, I urge you, brothers 
and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, 
to offer your bodies as a living 
sacrifice, holy and pleasing to 
God—this is your true and 
proper worship.
Romans 12:1

A prayer to keep my body strong and dedicate it to serve God

Heavenly Father, I regularly make the commitment to keep my spiritual life active and strong.  However, when I make choices about exercise or my diet, I rarely see that as part of my devotional life.  My spirit, my soul and my body all belong to you.   You ask us to be your warriors in the name of Christ.  And warriors are strong spiritually, mentally and physically.  Starting today, LORD, I recommit my entire body to you.  When I am weak and want to forgo exercise or eat food I know just isn’t good for me I ask that your Holy Spirit remind me that I need to be strong to accomplish all that you have planned for me.  I lift this up in your Son’s Holy Name, Amen.


I heard a pastor speaking the other day about our bodies being a “living sacrifice” and how so many of us Christians focus solely on the spirit part of our being.  But there are three key parts that make us, well us.  Our spirit, our soul (emotions and mind), and our physical body.  And when one is out of balance then we haven’t fully committed ourselves as a living sacrifice.  We may be saved but some of us are downright miserable either because of what goes on in our heart and head or because we just don’t feel good about our bodies.

We make that New Year’s resolution to lose that famous 10 pounds.  Which in reality is probably more like 15 or 20.  But resolutions are only so good as our own personal commitment to ourselves. Recognizing that our bodies belong to God and He has a divine purpose for them is key to taking control over our physical health.

There’s a funny movie featuring Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep called, “Death Becomes Her.”  In it the two women take an immortality potion.  The two women have despised each other their entire lives and spend much of the movie trying to outdo each other.  But prior to taking the potion they are warned to take care of their bodies.  Once broken, their body remains damaged – but they continue to live forever.  The famous scene in the movie is called the “shovel scene.”  The two women get into a fight and begin bashing each other with all manner of devices including shovels.  The destruction they cause to their bodies is hilarious.  And they will be stuck that way for all eternity.

Oops, you gotta little hole right there…

When we look into our mirrors, we should heed the same warning.  This is the only body we have and we should take good care of it, not just for ourselves, but in God’s name and purpose.  If we are not in our best fighting shape (no matter our God-given physical situation) then how can we expect God to give us every opportunity possible to serve Him?

My current Bible study group (My BSGs – Bible Study Girls) is made up of two women I met at the gym and another with whom I walk regularly.   Now, lest you think the two from the gym were longtime friends I want to clarify.  I started working out at this particular gym because my daughter was a physical therapist there.  It was a different type of workout than I’d ever done.  Their small classes are crossfit style, in addition to weight training.  There’s not a lot of time to sit around and chit chat.

She sets about her work vigorously; 
her arms are strong for her tasks.
Proverbs 31:17

I found that some people have the unique ability to actually talk to others while dying, I mean working out, on the rowing machine.  It was during these times I discovered some of the Christians in the group.  They were open with their faith journeys.  So, when my walking buddy urged me to start a new Bible study, I prayed about who to invite.  God urged me to ask some of the ladies I sort of knew from the gym.  Two of them immediately said, “yes.”

Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone and joined the crossfit craze, had I not made a commitment to working out every weekday at 6:30a.m., I wouldn’t have met these amazing women.  God used me and my body to serve His kingdom.

I’m currently working on losing a few pounds I gained during the lockdowns.  But I have a renewed commitment, not to me, but to God.  I want to be in the best physical shape I can be so that He opens more doors and places me where I can do His work.  I know with this new understanding of my body being a living sacrifice and the help of His Holy Spirit I will be in fighting shape soon.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

The Quiet Captain

My dear brothers and sisters, 
take note of this: Everyone 
should be quick to listen, 
slow to speak and slow to 
become angry. 
James 1:19 

A prayer to speak only when needed

LORD, I would like to make this brief but I seem to have an issue with words.  They flow freely from my mouth without filters.  At times I gasp at myself for the words that exit me.  James is so right when he shows me that my mouth is like the rudder for my ship.  And I want to be on the right course with you, God.  Sometimes I need the entire trinity to help me grab hold of my rudder.  But I know with practice, your grace and the urging of the Holy Spirit I can and will be the quiet captain of my ship.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


At my first professional job after graduating from college, I found myself in a new position in which the company heads wanted me to help get the entire company on a new course.  I was only 23 years old and immature in many ways.  The job entailed me meeting with the directors of each division of the company and educating them and guiding them through this new direction.  One particular gentleman was one of those types that doesn’t say much in meetings.  He needed to ruminate a while – go take a walk and a “secret” smoke – and then give his input.  He made me very uncomfortable.

After I would bring up a topic and give my input we would sit in silence.  That is, until I couldn’t bear it anymore and then I would start babbling.  And the more I babbled the deeper, as they say, into the weeds I would get.

Avoid godless chatter, because 
those who indulge in it will 
become more and more ungodly.
2 Timothy 2:16

When we feel the need to fill empty spaces with words we can find ourselves making promises we can’t meet, contradicting ourselves, confusing the issue, giving bad advice, or revealing more than we should.  I found myself doing all of these things in those meetings until one day a friend gave me the good advice to stop talking and let the man catch up.

You would think that lesson alone would’ve trained me in the art of being ok with silence but it hasn’t.  Just the other day I had to apologize to someone for interrupting her while she was sharing a difficult issue.  One of my walking buddies, with whom I have a very trusting relationship, has taken to saying, “That isn’t helpful for me right now,” when I am talking at her too much.

The root of this babbling seems to stem from a need to make sure people know my opinion.  So many of us want to make sure we are “heard.”  When in actuality God places more importance on the kindness of listening. 

I am getting better at this thing called silence.  My prayer life now includes the request of God to help me keep my mouth shut when I need to and speak only when I need to.  I have a feeling I’ll have that as part of my prayers for a long time.  Until I get it right, my ship will tack back and forth a bit until I can get it to smooth sailing.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Life-Giving Peace

Do not be anxious about 
anything, but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your 
requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

I rest my worries in constant prayer

LORD, I confess that I can cite Philippians 4:6 quite easily but it is the actual doing that I struggle with.  In fact, when I get very distressed, I forget about you and turn inward to try and solve my problems.  Or I call friends and family to lay all my worries upon.  Too often it seems you are my last gasp when all else fails.  Thank you for giving us your Son to remind us that you are the only source we need to turn to in times of trouble.  With His guiding words I will place you front and center of my difficult situations.  Through constant prayer and communion with You I will find everlasting peace.  I lift this up in Jesus’ name.  Amen


My ever-positive husband used to call me his “woulda, coulda, shoulda” wife.  It confounded him how often I could worry about something I just did or said, something I was about to do, or something I needed to say or do.  Peace can be as elusive to me as the Loch Ness monster is to photographers.  

I can even carry over all this worry to purchases I made or need to make.  My kids know quite well the meaning of “buyer’s remorse” because I would buy a blouse, bring it home, and then fret over whether or not I should’ve bought it.  At times, I’d have buyer’s remorse before I even left the store.

Nowadays my frets and anxieties rest in bigger issues such as the state of our country or my children’s future.  And yet, there’s little to nothing I can do about any of it.

Can any one of you by worrying 
add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:27

This verse hits home for me.  I’ve spent a lot of precious God-given hours worrying – about things I did and didn’t have control over.  On the outside, I appear to be a decisive person.  But on the inside I worry about hurting people’s feelings, whether or not I “did the right thing,” am I being a good enough friend/wife/mother.  And on and on.  

But I’m done.  In human years I’d say on average I have about 148,920 days left in my life, if all goes well.  Of course, I could be called to God tomorrow.  And worrying won’t add any more time.  In fact, worrying will take away some of that time.  I’ve got a lot left to do here on this planet – weddings, births, travel, great meals to eat, and kisses I still want from my husband.  I don’t want to waste another day keeping my worries from God’s capable hands.  

I tried this plan out the other day.  I said a small conversational prayer to God: “God, I don’t want to think about this for one more minute!  Please take it off my mind and off my desire to even want to think about it.”  About an hour later I suddenly realized I had forgotten all about that particular concern.  I didn’t feel that familiar lurch of my emotion to grab it back.

Friend, the gift of peace is right up at the top of precious God gifts.  I want more of it and less heart wrenching, mind scrambling worry.  With putting God front and center of each and every situation I know the scales will be tipped toward peace.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Imma Soul Saver

To the weak I became weak, 
to win the weak. I have become 
all things to all people so that 
by all possible means I might 
save some. I do all this for the 
sake of the gospel, that I may 
share in its blessings. 
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 

A prayer that I would share the Gospel with others

Merciful God, your Word has healing power for the sick and your Word gives hope to the downtrodden.  Your promise of eternity is a promise for all who believe.  But I allow my worries and my fears about worldly judgement guide my discipleship.  I keep your holy and powerful gifts to myself, not sharing them with those who need them.  LORD, our one true purpose here on earth is to serve you and by doing so we are asked, even required, to speak of you to all who will hear.  Help me to succumb to your strength and guidance rather than that of the world.  I know you will put the right words in my mouth at the right time.  I just need to be willing to speak them.  Each day place someone who needs to hear from you in front of me.  With the strength of the Holy Spirit urging me on I will be faithful in spreading your gospel of Good News.  In Jesus name, Amen


A few years ago, my husband and I led a Bible study of about ten Christians.  Inevitably the topic of sharing the gospel arose.  All but two people felt uncomfortable with this subject.  Those two people had their own techniques or gifts when discussing their faith with others.  One was able to employ a lot of clean humor while the other was comforting and sincere.  The other members of the group, just like other Christians I’ve encountered, didn’t see sharing the gospel as a requirement of being a Jesus follower.  And yet, isn’t that what the entirety of the New Testament is really about?

Then the disciples went out and 
preached everywhere, and the Lord 
worked with them and confirmed his 
word by the signs that accompanied it.
Mark 16:20 

One of the group, whose husband loved sharing the gospel, went so far as saying that sharing the gospel was too pushy.  Like being a used car salesman.  It wasn’t her “right” or “place” to share the message of God’s love and salvation.  And while you may scoff at her, she’s not alone.  

I had us do an unusual activity that night to try and get people more comfortable about what sharing the gospel really looks like.  Hint: it’s not standing on a street corner screaming “the end is near!”  I paired everyone up and gave them a scenario to act out with each other – a role play.  For example, one pair were to be a couple of longtime friends.  Friend A, the non-Christian, was to share a problem that she kept having over and over and over.  Nothing she did seemed to work to fix it.  And the other, Christian friend B was to share the way her faith had helped in a similar situation.   Sounds simple enough.  But boy did that make people uncomfortable.

If we cannot figure out how to infuse our everyday conversations with our faith, why do you think God will give us the responsibility of helping Him save a soul?   

As we found out in 2020 being a Christian cannot be limited to a Sunday church service.  Because that church might be taken away from you at any time.  Our friends need to know we turn to prayer when we are in distress.  They need to hear us talk about God’s promises.  They should see us acting in Christ-like ways.  And when we fail to obey God, they must hear us ask for forgiveness.  That, my friends, is sharing the gospel.  At home, with our neighbors, at work, while we volunteer, at school and wherever we live our lives. 

Our personal testimony of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness of sins is the gospel.  It’s not a bunch of fancy words.  And if the fear of being asked a tough question about God holds you back, just remember we can say the magic words: “I don’t know.  I just have faith.”

I for one, am asking God to place people in my life that He can trust that I will speak the words He wants me to speak.  We should wake up every day asking Him to give us the opportunity to speak in His name.  

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Our Inner Wizard Of Oz

Be completely humble and gentle; 
be patient, bearing with one 
another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

A prayer to be a patient person

Faithful Father, I get so caught up in the busyness of life that I forget that my needs and desires are not the same as everyone else’s. When I’m running late, I want to yell at the drivers in front of me for not moving quickly enough.  The slow grocery store bagger receives my glare when she doesn’t work at the same speed which I expect.  Or when a friend doesn’t respond to my text as prompt as I need, I get frustrated.  I’ve come to realize, LORD, through your holy Word that my impatience is an outgrowth of my lack of humility.  Your admonishment to love one another needs to be on my lips when I feel that frustration and anger well up inside me.  LORD, I know there is nothing more important to you than having your children express compassion and love for each other.  Rest your loving hand on my shoulder as a reminder for when I forget this.  Quell my impatient heart and mind and replace it with grace.  In your Son’s name I pray, Amen.


When my children were younger, I found myself praying daily for patience.  My youngest had the unique ability to press all my “hot buttons” at one time.  But patience seemed to allude me.  I heard a pastor during this time give the advice to stop beating our heads against the wall if something we prayed for wasn’t manifesting and to pray for something else.  It made me realize that maybe God wasn’t answering my prayers because He had other work still to do in me.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve finally come to realize, through God’s nudging and conviction, that I first needed to figure out why I was always so impatient.  And as the verse in Ephesians today tells us we need to be “completely humble and gentle.”  It was a hard pill to swallow when I pulled back the curtain to see my inner Wizard of Oz working away trying to control everything.  And when people aren’t acting as I want them to, I become angry and impatient.

Whoever is patient has great 
understanding, but one who is 
quick-tempered displays folly.
Proverbs 14:29

Great understanding.  Understanding of our why’s – not just because we obviously have somewhere much more important to be than everyone else – but our “why” of why we think that.  Why do we think our time and our talent or even treasure is so much higher on the scale of importance that we need to tap our feet in obvious disgust?  Or we need to blare our horns and use our fingers in un-godly ways.  If we are late, who’s fault really is it?  If we are up against a deadline, who needs to truly take responsibility for that situation?

God’s Word is great at convicting, correcting and revealing our “why’s.”  The next time you find that old foe called “impatience” welling up inside you stop and dig deeper.  Pull back the curtain on your wizard and ask God to show you what’s causing so much distress.  He will show you.  And then He will test you, over and over.  

We see you Mr. Wizard!

If we all can learn, through a renewed humbleness, to be patient and bearing with one another in love just think how much kinder this world will feel.  I’m asking God to start with me.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!

Pessimist or Pollyanna?

I have told you this so that 
my joy may be in you and that 
your joy may be complete.
John 15:11

A prayer to live a joy-filled life.

Gracious God your gifts and blessing to me cannot be counted.  And yet so often I turn to the negative parts in my life and place my constant thoughts in them.  When I rise I forget to be thankful that I have yet another day in which to serve you and be blessed by you.  And as I go about my day when you place joyful moments at my fingertips I take them for granted.   When I lay my head down to sleep I can easily recall all that went wrong in the day rather than what went right.  But your joy is there for the taking.  I want to live basked in your greatness, your beauty and your joy.  I can and will, with your help, find joy in every circumstance.  You are working for my good at all times and I just need to remember that promise.  Thank you for giving us your Son who implanted the Holy Spirit in us – a spirit of joy and of goodness.  I pray this in your Son’s Holy name, Jesus.  Amen


I always called her a Pollyanna.  The term comes from the movie of the same name in which a young girl arrives at a small town filled with bitter people.  But her neverending, cheerful spirit wins them over.  Nowadays, a “Pollyanna” seems to be said as a negative.  That, along with wearing “rose-colored glasses” are attributed to people who just want to see the positives in everything.  I know, makes you sick, doesn’t it?

But my mother-in-law truly is such a person.  And this last year that cheerful, joy-filled spirit was truly tested, not only with all the lockdowns but with a diagnosis of cancer.  On her worst days she was a bit dispirited.  Yes, worst days.  I mean the woman seemed to look forward to her cancer treatments because she would probably run into a friend and chat for hours while the poison did its deadly work. 

A cheerful heart is good medicine, 
but a crushed spirit dries up 
the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 

At times being a “bit dispirited” can seem like my best day.  I’ve been a well-trained, tried and true pessimist for so long that the concept of daily joy is a lot of work for me to achieve.  It’s easy to sit back and marinate in the mess of life.  It takes work to get up, dust ourselves off and say “oh well let’s make the best of this.”  

Thank goodness our strength comes from the LORD.  I’m committing myself to stopping negative thinking and instead, like playing a game of “Where’s Waldo,” searching for the joy in the moments of my life.  I know they are there because joy is one of the promised fruits of His spirit.  

He’s there somewhere! Just keep searching!

I stood in Walmart the other day waiting in a long line to check out.  Normally, I’d be mentally lopping off all the heads of the cashiers for taking so long and planning my complaint letter to management for not opening more registers.  Instead, I settled in to God’s joy.  I was happy to have found all the items on my long list and the people watching at Walmart is topnotch!  I was so bathed in God’s joy that I even let someone with only two items go in front of me.

I could have turned a simple shopping trip into a miserable experience very easily.  I’m counting on God to keep giving me opportunities to flip the script from pessimist to Pollyanna.  Because when the day comes when I need it most, I want to be well-trained and tested in living a joy-filled life.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!