Heavenly Father,

My grandkids love to dig for treasure. Many times they have dug a hole large enough to sit in—in my landscaped back yard. I finally got smart enough to make a digging area. They can only dig in that area with boundaries created from big logs. I remember the time one creative grandson snuck in the house and found a few fake gems to inconspicuously drop into the hole they were digging. He thoroughly enjoyed the delightful squeals of discovery from his cousins and siblings. They still do not know how that treasure got there!

Ever so often I watch a show where people have dedicated their lives to digging for treasure. Supposedly, someone hid this fortune so well that people have been searching for it and even dying in the effort to find it for years. These treasure hunters have spent millions of dollars and hours looking for a treasure that they will not be able to take with them upon their death—just like those who hid it could not.

I love to search for treasure, too. It’s just that my idea of riches might be just a little different than other treasure-hunters. There’s a song that has been going through my mind lately (thanks to my husband’s singing!) It’s got a line that goes, “I wanna dig a little deeper in His word…” Lord, Your word is so full of treasures that I am constantly finding more every time I look in the Bible. There are new treasures even in the places I already thought I had discovered all the riches.

Not only in Your word, but each time I spend quietly in Your presence, I find new spiritual wealth. I walk outside and I am blessed with beautiful gems of flowers, breath of gentle winds on my face, peaceful skies that can also transform into raging power…I am surrounded by people who are each a treasure to discover. Every single person may take a little digging but each is a rich gift from You.

Father, You just keep on blessing and blessing me with new discoveries of riches every single day. Sometimes You just drop them in front of me and delight in me finding them; other times You know I will appreciate it more if I have to dig for what You are wanting to bless me with. I am incredibly rich thanks to You. The best treasure of all is Jesus. He is with me always, showing me more of the true treasures of life—the riches I can enjoy now and the ones I will be treasuring and sharing for all eternity!

 

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-21)

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Jesus’ words again in Matthew 13:44

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, show me where I am digging for treasure…

Heavenly Father,
Today at my sweet granddaughter’s PreK graduation program, each child took a turn at the microphone and told what they want to be when they grow up. There were some great answers such as: a nurse, doctor, teacher, Captain America, a mom, rock star… I couldn’t wait to hear what my just-turned-five-year-old girl would say. On her turn, she shyly said she when she grew up, she wanted to be a princess. (Of course, that’s what she would say. She is obsessed with them and her daddy treats her like one!)

During the cookie and lemonade time after, I asked her what a princess does. She said, they wear their tiara and sit on a pretty chair. Her daddy reminded her that he was the king. It got me thinking…I’ve never in my life thought of myself as a princess, but it took me being a grandma to realize that I absolutely am. Just before I left for her graduation program this morning, I happened to read something about the rights and responsibilities of the members of a royal family. Then when I got home, I was reading my daily devotion, which “just happened” to be concerning our rights to use our position as Your child to ask for things for Your kingdom and trust that You will supply the best for Your children and Your kingdom. Many times, I have watched You answer my requests.

Yet being a princess is not all about simply sitting around looking pretty. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with it. It means enjoying life with my Daddy King. It also means living for Your Kingdom, Lord. It means loving goodness, righteousness and truth like You do, Lord. It means loving Your people—encouraging, praying for, sharing with, and blessing Your people with Your treasures. That doesn’t always mean worldly riches—but Your treasures of peace, hope, faith and love…and the most precious treasure of all—Jesus!
Father, I am so glad our little girl already knows she is a princess. I pray that she grows to fully realize she is a princess because she is Your child. I pray that You help us both use our rights and responsibilities as Your princesses to bless You and Your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

 

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“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba,’ Father. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” Romans 8:15-17

“He (Jesus) called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18:2-4

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, do I fully realize my place as Your dependent child…with all the rights and responsibilities that go with that?

Heavenly Father,
Yesterday was another one of those days every Oklahoman experienced an advanced crash course in meteorology with a week’s worth of warning that everything was lining up to the highest risk of violent tornado possibilities. It was only three years ago on this same date that disaster struck a local school killing students and teachers. Most schools were closed. Businesses closed early. Everyone was glued to a day of watching the storms develop. Yesterday morning, I was getting my work done early before the time everything was predicted to fire up. Ironically, my job entailed writing about tornados and storm shelters. What an eerie mixture of feelings.

Lord, I just want to thank You for calming the storms along the dangerous line where super cells were predicted to spawn huge killer tornados. The storms were indeed spectacular with multiple wall clouds and tornados…but the dangerous vortexes all stayed small and didn’t stay on the ground long—though the entire state was covered with spinning powerful super cells. Now we are dealing with the record flooding which was predicted. Our drought-prone state is not used to dealing with flooding rescues but they are happening all over. One girl was found safe and is now at home after being caught in raging flood waters for nine hours over night!

Father, what a mighty display of Your power held back. Sometimes we need a reminder of who You are…and our dependence upon You. We get so occupied with our earthly lives that we forget, this is not our real life. We were created to live forever with You. This life and all the material things we hold so tightly to can be gone in an instant. Cars are a loss. Homes are flooded or destroyed. Livestock, crops and barns stand underwater. Roads are washed out.

Father, sometimes it takes a brush with danger or even death before we fully realize You are the giver of life—that this life could end in the blink of an eye—that our real lives are hidden with You—that we depend on You alone… Thank You that a set of my precious little grandkids, who without prompting yesterday, woke up singing “My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do!” They repeated it over and over and brought a miraculous calm to their mom who has always been terrified of storms.
Father, thank You for Your peace that goes before and after the storm but even carries us through the storm.

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“Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said, ‘Who is this who darkens My counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell Me if you understand…What is the way to the place where the lightening is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a dessert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?…Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightening bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?” Job 38:1-4,24-27, 33-36 (Read all of chapters 38-41 for God’s longest recorded statement which will blow you away!)

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Prayer Prompt-
Lord, let me meditate on Your power and dominion and realize my great need for You…

Heavenly Father,
As I sit during my quiet time with You, we are getting more rain this morning. Yesterday, I tried to hurry up and plant a few more plants in between rains. As I look out the window at my extra lush green lawn and thriving flowers and landscape, I see once again how everything depends upon You and Your life-giving Spirit.
I could plant things all I want, but if there was no rain and sunlight from You, they would shrivel up and eventually die—even with my meager attempts to water. (Besides that, where would the plants and water and sunshine come from in the first place. Even more, there would be no me without You!)
You, in all Your life-giving glory, pour out Your love to create me and everyone else. You place us in this spectacular garden called earth and pour down all we need to flourish. The hard seasons simply cause new life to develop and grow. We could not live without Your rain pouring down on us. Bringing us back to life. Restore and refresh us.
That’s why I love to be still in Your presence. I love to let Your Spirit rain down and renew me. I love to know it is Your life that I soak up and causes my roots to grow deep in You. I know that my feeble and insane attempts to produce new growth will not last. They are like cut flowers that might look good for a bit, but will not grow and produce everlasting fruit.
Father, rain down in me in my quiet times with You. Forgive me when I try to tell You what my flowers and fruit should look like. Let me just look to You and soak You up so Your life will flow through me and I will produce what You create in me. Let me sing to You in the rain because You reign!

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“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me,’ It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.’” Revelation 21:5-6

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty. Let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’” John 7:37-38

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord, let me be still and soak up Your presence…

Heavenly Father,
Just like that, my son-in-law fell through a roof! Life can change just like that- in a split second! Eight days ago at work, a faded and aged skylight which was flush with a metal roof was hidden from view as he simply crashed through and fell 20 feet, landing on some barrels below. The fall didn’t kill him, leave him paralyzed or with brain injuries but his body is broken in so many places, it is now held together with all types of metal, plates, pins and screws—oh… and stitches, tape and bandages. Every time I look at him, I see a miracle! A bionic miracle but a miracle just the same!
Lord, I know You take what is broken and make it new. I am witnessing Your supernatural power at work again in this situation. Here are just a few signs of Your new work coming out of a broken situation:
• A supernatural healing that is surpassing and surprising even the trauma doctors!
• A supernatural determination to push hard to get through this by a very active man!
• A supernatural attitude which I have not heard complain but have certainly heard many of his famous one-liners delivered with that little smile.
• A supernatural team of newly wed husband and wife growing stronger in their marriage
• A supernatural gathering/bonding of family and friends praying in unity
• A supernatural perspective of how frail and fragile our earthly lives are and how powerful and victorious our spirits are as we trust You.
• A supernatural outpouring of selflessness all over the place
• A supernatural selflessness flowing from this broken man who has a supernatural love for every single person who comes to comfort him. He ends up comforting us!
• A supernatural perseverance to push his limits to get better—for his wife, family, friends, medical team and all of us.

Lord, we pray that You keep on taking this broken man and making him new in more and more ways! In fact, make us all new! Give us eyes to see and spirits that can’t help but give You the honor and glory!

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“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:5

“But He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know…Nevertheless, I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Jeremiah 33:3,6b

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord, I surrender my life to You. Make it new!

Heavenly Father, Stories are everywhere! I have to laugh thinking back to when I first began writing to be published. I was a little afraid to write my stories because once I wrote them, I thought I would run out of things to write about! That was probably about 25 years ago. I have discovered there are more stories than I can possibly write! And they are all Your stories, Lord! I love to see Your stories unfold. I am amazed at every turn of the page! Sure, there is conflict in life…but what kind of story would it be without something to overcome?!

My sweet daughter just sent me a whole group of old photos. Each and every on is filled with incredible stories written in the lives of every face I dearly love. Several friends of mine are grieving the loss of a loved one…but oh! What stories of their lives together- even if they seem to have been cut short. This is Black History month and I am inspired by all the stories of unknown heroes who impacted so many people with true stories of bravery, hardship and overcoming. I love the true adventures of everyday lives I read about in the Bible- the greatest collection of stories throughout history. I just got to hear the story of my dear friends who went to Costa Rica to serve Your people there.

My son’s former Highschool coach contacted me out of the blue to check on my son after 10 years. Something he read reminded him of his former football player. He wanted to see how he was doing. He was interested to see how his story was turning out. One of my younger Christian sisters is giving her testimony tonight. As we talked, we agreed there are so many testimonies of how personally involved You are in our lives. We each have an entire novel of short stories which testify of Your loving involvement in our lives.

The greatest story of all is the way You sent Your own Son Jesus to save us and give us the amazing gift of eternal life with You though we have sinned against You. It is the same incredible story yet it is written in each of our lives in such different ways. You are the Author of our story. You often have to wait until we relinquish the pen and quit trying to write our own story. Yours is so much better. Father, edit my life. Delete what needs to be cut out. Write Your story the way You want with Your pen dipped in the precious blood of Jesus. I can’t wait to see what’s next- in my story, in my children and grandchildren’s stories and in everyone around me.  It’s is truly Your Story. That’s why they call it HIS-story. It is the story that never ends!

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“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endure such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, write Your story in my life…

Gracious Heavenly Father,

I often think of Ola when I start to feel sorry for myself. She taught us how to truly count our blessings. She was a very frail little old lady, confined to a wheelchair and oxygen. That didn’t keep her from coming to the grief support group I attended after my first husband died twenty-five years ago. It wasn’t necessarily a Christian grief group so the mood could often be bitter and depressing. Then Ms. Ola was wheeled into light up the room. She had so many tragedies in her life- her husband was alcoholic most of his life, then was severely injured in an explosion, then died years later. She had a little daughter die at an early age. Two of her sons had recently died. She also had terminal cancer and heart problems. As we all were feeling sorry for ourselves, Ola would say, “There’s always something to be thankful for. Just count your blessings and name them. It completely changes how you see life!” I took her advice when it seemed I had lost so much—I was amazed to discover how blessed I began to feel as I listed what I was thankful for.

So here is my very tiny short list of just a few things I am incredibly grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day: Father, first of all, I can never thank You enough for creating me, giving me life, loving me when I did not deserve it, for forgiving me, for sending Jesus to take the death penalty for my sins so I can live with You for all eternity, for never ever leaving me alone, for sending the Holy Spirit to live with me and in me, for Your guidance, protection, wisdom and all the delightful ways You give me abundant life when I stop and count my blessings. There are so many that the more I list them, the more I feel I might burst from gratitude. I am fully aware that every single blessing in my life flows from You to me. I need to stop and say thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

So here are a few more: Relationships have to be at the top of the list. You have surrounded me with the most incredible people to love. It seems the more I think about how thankful for them I am, the more I love them—my husband (my best friend), each of my precious grown children (by birth and otherwise) and their dear spouses, my grandchildren (each with their unique personality and gifts that are so fun to watch unfold), my cherished brothers and sisters-in-Christ around the world (how I love seeing Jesus in them!),  our parents who mean so much to us, our neighbors and friends, my leaders (at work, in government, and in the church who You have placed for such a time as this for Your good purposes), for the precious children and families I work with…even for those who might hurt me or persecute me (it gives me a chance to love like You!)

Lord, there is so much more to be thankful for! I have just begun to list my blessings. Ola was so right. When we thank You for our blessings, we discover we have so many more than we could ever dream of. I will be thanking You for all eternity and it still will not be enough time!

 

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”   Psalm 107:1

 

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”   Colossians 2:6-7

 

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever, to Him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.”        Psalm 136:3-4

 

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Heavenly Father,

As I sit with You this morning, I realize how very full my life is…not because of what I have…not because of what I have accomplished…not even because of where I am in my life. It is overflowing because I have You—and You have me.

You have always been with me—through every season and storm in my life. You have never ever left me. You have been right here- encouraging me, pushing me, comforting me, leading me, protecting me (mostly from myself), providing for me (in big ways and small delightful ways). At different times in my life, I have been more aware of Your presence than at others. Too many times, I have veered off my own way trying to make things happen the way I think they should, trying to prove how capable I am, falling into the trap of fear and worry, wishing I had what someone else has… Yet because I accepted the sacrifice of Your own Son Jesus for my life, You never let me wander too much. You call me back to You. I find much more than I need in You!

I purposely come to You before I get too far in my day because I have discovered my life is full and has meaning only when I stay with You. I was made for You. My soul is not complete without You. I am so weak without You. Yet I am full and strong when I am with You. Anything I might try to do without You is short-lived and meaningless. It can even be damaging. But when I am with You—when I surrender myself and whatever situation I might be facing to You—it becomes kingdom worthy. Only when I bring things to You can You truly work in and through me. That’s so fulfilling.

You, Lord, are what fulfills me. And when I am fulfilled, I can love others better. I see more and more blessing all around. It just keeps getting better and better. And I still have all eternity to know and love You more! Maybe that’s why I will someday have to have a new body—this one just can’t handle Your filling me up too much more!

 

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“And God placed everything under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him, who fills everything in every way.”  Ephesians 1:22-23

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

 

“Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen.” Psalm 72:19

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Prayer Prompt-

Fill me up, Lord…

Heavenly Father,

Lately I feel more and more like a mist! I remember one cold morning when we were camping in a tent and woke up to a glorious view of a mountain on the other side of the lake. The mountain was blurred by a thick cover of mist dancing across the top of the lake. It almost looked like people rising up out of the water and reaching up towards the sky. We sat watching the mist for over an hour until the sun burned off all traces of the fleeting dance. My life seems like a mist—short and insignificant in light of who You are, Almighty God.

I was just giving birth to my babies and now they are parents. I once asked my 90 year old grandmother if she felt old; she said she often felt like she was still 16 years old. No matter how old we live to be here on this earth, our lives are here one moment and gone the next. The day will come when my great grandchildren may vaguely remember me when they hear someone randomly say my name ever so often. Then their children won’t know anything about me. My life is a mist in the overall scheme of things.

Yet, though I may feel like such a miniscule particle of mist among the billions of people in the world, or nothing at all when I look at Your glorious power and eternal glory—I am blown away to realize that You knew me before I was born. You know everything about me from the hairs on my head to my unexpressed thoughts. You know how I have rebelled against You and ignored You when You are the very One who created me. You loved me so much that You sent Your own Son Jesus to take my sins upon Himself and die and rise again so I could live with You for all eternity.

I may feel like a mist, but to You—I am precious enough to die for, to save me so I can be with You forever. Father, let my mist of this earthly life rise up to dance to You—for You are mine and I am Yours. You reign forever through all generations. May my dance join in the dance of all those who have gone before me, those who live on earth now and those who are yet-to-be, as we worship You forever and ever.

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“Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, who am I before You…to You?

 

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

How sweet it is to sit in the shade of Your presence. It can be sweltering heat, beating down on me—wearing me out. In fact, the other day, the heat index was so high I had a mild case of heatstroke from working out in the heat and humidity. I had to immediately seek shade so I could sit down and cool off.  No matter how hot life gets—no matter what is going on to zap my strength—no matter how unbearable the conditions get…I can find sweet relief simply by sitting in the shade of Your Holy presence.

I don’t even have to say anything. I can just sit and be still and know who You are—the Lord God of all, the highest Authority over heaven and earth, the One who rules forever and ever—the One who created me and knows all my needs, weaknesses and fears. There is the sweetest shelter from the heat of this life before me at all times. All I have to do is sit with You. You bring relief, cool gentle breezes to restore my peace. I know I am not the only one who experiences Your tender nearness. I cannot comprehend how You can sit with me like I am the only person in the world. You know me. You understand me. You restore me. Yet You are doing that all over the world with whoever chooses to sit in Your shade. There is a young mom in Russia, a teenager in Cameroon, a grandfather in Canada, a girl in Ireland…many times over. You are sitting personally with each of us in the shade of Your presence.

It’s all because of Jesus. Because of our sinfulness, we cannot sit in Your Holy presence. You sent Jesus to wash away our sins, to make us holy forever. You sent Jesus so we can be with You always. You sent Jesus to live in us through Your Holy Spirit so we can sit with You in Your presence any time. Lord, help me not to wander too far from the shade of Your presence.

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“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”   Psalm 121:5-8

 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  Psalm 91:1

 

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, let me rest in Your shade through my faith in Jesus Christ…