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Heavenly Father,

Lots of photos are taken in the summer- at the pool, on vacation, at camp, during family get-togethers. These snap-shots may seem simple yet they are forever stored in our souls with eternal ramifications… little spontaneous moments where heaven and earth merge- when love reigns.  This past week, my house and my heart has been extra full (and my body and mind extra exhausted!). We’ve had lots of time with grandkids of all ages. I am reminded that these precious snippets of time can’t happen if we don’t take time to be around people we love. Not every second will seem eternal, but the ordinary moments that we sometimes least expect turn into forever memories that help shape our lives.

 

When You are involved, Lord, little moments become magnificent! Moments like: driving a van load of grandkids home after Vacation Bible School, the kids initiate and delve into a deep discussion on Jesus, heaven, angels and demons while I quietly drive and listen… a team of cousins dig a deep hole in our backyard trying to reach a beach or lava or China (whichever they hit first!)…with the most natural touch, an aunt who can swim way better than I can teaches her niece and nephew how to love the water…my granddaughter finally makes it to 6th grade at Vacation Bible School where I am her teacher,  and she gets to hear many testimonies of how You have worked in our family’s life…four grandchildren who have all gone through that 6th grade class and now help lead it plan the annual scavenger hunt without my help…everyone shares memories of the most important men in their lives…hands are held around the table while we all pray together…kids catching fireflies, roly-polies, and worms…sidewalk chalk art covering our front sidewalk welcoming  other cousins…sharing popcorn,  popsicles and ice cream…braiding each other’s hair and sleeping all over the living room…

In the midst of all those summer moments, forever memories are made, character is developed, family bonds are formed, and we all grow exhausted! Summer is not so structured and there are more chances for spontaneous moments together that deepen relationships. It may get messy, loud, tiring…but these moments are cherished. Things that seem so simple become the stories shared at many family get-togethers for years to come. Father, help me slow down and enjoy these special moments which will never happen again! Thank You for all eternity filled with priceless moments of love- no matter what the season!

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“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”     Deuteronomy 4:9

 

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”  Proverbs 17:6

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”   1 Corinthians 13:13

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me find love in every moment by….

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Heavenly Father,

When I first held my babies, I didn’t think it was possible to love anyone any more than on that first day. On my wedding day, I couldn’t imagine loving my husband more than I did as we exchanged vows. I recall meeting one of my best friends the first time. Little did I know, she would become such a huge part of my life. No matter what relationship I look at, it can always grow deeper. It takes time, sharing life together, going through joys and trials together, being committed to one another…laughing, crying, praying, forgiving, working, playing and just being together. All of these help our relationships grow deeper. Yet the most vital part of deepening any relationship starts with our relationship to You, Lord!

I don’t just want to know You by name. I want more than an occasional conversation or visit at Your house. I want more of You! I want my relationship with You to be the most treasured, the most high, top of my list of relationships. You’re the One I wish to share my innermost thoughts, dreams, fears, joys, days, moments and forever with. I want to trust You more, enjoy You more, grow in You more, and walk with You more. Though I hunger and thirst for more of You, I am also completely satisfied and at peace when I am with You. For You are all I need. There is no doubt that You will never ever leave me. We have all eternity ahead of us. I will never stop growing more in love with You for there is always more to love!

However, You have always loved me with Your full measure.  Even when I ignored You and tried to live without You, You loved me the same. You were patient in Your pursuit of me. You loved me so much that You sacrificed Your very own Son Jesus when I was a sinner so I could live with You forever. There is no greater love! No matter how much deeper I long to grow with You, You are deeper still. The strange thing is the more in love I grow with You, the more love I have for everyone else. There’s no end to Your love. The deeper I grow in my relationship with You, the deeper all my other relationships grow.

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“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:16b-19

“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

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, I want more of You…

 

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Heavenly Father,

Recently, I had my last meeting with a young woman I’ve had the honor of ministering for over a year. A crazy but beautiful friendship has developed during our regularly scheduled times.  I have to admit, I steered clear of her for a while. I was a little guarded around her. I recall telling You she was too much for me. She was not living in reality and had some of the strangest ideas about spirituality. I believe I even told You that she was not near ready to change her life. Did You just smile, Lord? Anyway, I was kind to her and prayed for her- yet kept a wall up for a while.  She had a way of trying to shock me with her ideas and history. Nothing took away my resolve to keep bringing her to You. A lot has happened in the past fourteen months.

There was never a sudden dramatic change but a steady slow metamorphosis which has taken place right before my eyes. It was nothing that I could do or the program she was in could accomplish… although I know the prayers we all prayed for her made a difference. As I met with her for the last time, this tough young woman tried to act like she was not afraid, but I believe she was worried about leaving the safe cocoon she’s been in. As we visited, hope for the future came alive as we discussed her next step. We both came into the meeting with a little trepidation about her going out into the world. But as always, when You are at work, things turn out completely different than what we can imagine or plan.

By the time we both left, we were a little sad to think of no more regular times together…but we were both filled with hope for her future. We were both sure it was time to move forward. We hugged and prayed a precious goodbye. Afterward, my husband drove me to the lake just in time to catch the most glorious sunset. It was like Your way of saying it was the end of a beautiful chapter. Lord! Yet sunsets are always followed by sunrises- a new beginning. Father, may she shine out with Your glory as she steps into her new beginning. In fact, I have a new beginning, as well. We all do!

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“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”     John 10:10

“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 Omega, the Beginning and the End.’”   Revelation 21:5-6

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”  Mark 10:27

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, what do I need to say goodbye to so I can have even more life with You?…