Glorious Heavenly Father,
We can never get to the bottom of Your love! Your love and power go far beyond what we could ever get away from. Your everlasting love fills every bit of heaven and earth and space itself. Your love created all that there is and ever will be. Your love knew us and thought of us long before we were even conceived. You have loved us for generations and will keep loving us for all eternity. You loved us before we ever took our first breath and will still be loving us when we take our last. You will love us when we no longer need breath—but will live on Your love alone. There is never a time You don’t love us even when we have not loved You…even when we have sinned against You. Your love is all-encompassing and bigger and mightier than we can ever comprehend.

You love us when we disappoint You, when we rebel against You, when we complain, when we hurt others whom You love…You love us when we neglect You, when we try to live our lives without You, when we think we know better than You, when we hear Your calling and turn our backs, when we think we have You all figured out, when we put our faith in other short-lived things besides You, when we love this world and all its temptations more than You, when we choose hate and judgement instead of love and grace, when we doubt our worth when You love us so much, when we believe in ourselves instead of Your eternal power and glory.

The only thing that blocks our receiving Your eternal love is our own selfish will which refuses to accept the eternal love You sent us through Jesus Christ. When we finally surrender our own selfish will and accept the greatest gift of love You’ve ever given in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, our eyes are opened. We begin to see and believe in Your love. We can count on You, trust You, hold fast to You, Lord. Your love forgives us, renews us, restores us, teaches us, molds us, prunes us, holds us, guides us, corrects us, encourages us, emboldens us, empowers us, humbles us, works through us…

I will never ever stop discovering more of Your love. For all eternity, I will be falling more deeply in love with You, Lord. I can see Your Love because Christ lives in me and even loves through me. I can only love You because You loved me first. I can only love others because Your love lives and grows in me. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) All love flows from You, Lord…and there is no end to who You are! How rich it is to live in Your eternal love. and to love You back with my feeble yet ever-growing love!

 

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“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

 

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” Psalm 36:7-8

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I accept the love You gave me through Jesus Christ…Help me grow in Your love…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
How I love watching for You! Just in the last few days I’ve seen You in a tiny clump of yellow crocus in an expansive lawn of still-dormant grass…in the opening up of a traumatized friend…in families gathering together in love at the passing of family members…in friends gathering to help a widow…in a dove peering out of a bush right outside my window…in a granddaughter running up and practically jumping in my arms…in light whisp of clouds that I saw when I looked up- just like the ones in a very poignant 27-year old memory I had just written about…

Just in the last few days, though I have not seen Your face, I have seen You in the praise of one who has endured much…in laughter shared with a long-time friend…in contentment and rest in the soul of a mother who has worked extremely hard all her life…in the gratitude of someone You asked me to help…in the hope of spring coming again…in the cheerful morning praises sung by the birds…in the connection felt with a simple smile and greeting between strangers…in the healing of one who has been quietly grieving his wife for five long years…in the hope of a new marriage of two dear friends…in the waiting for a new baby soon to be born…

In just the last few days, I have seen You bring faithful believers to a state-wide gathering to pray for our state… in the fervent prayers of those praying daily on the sidewalk for the unborn and their parents…in the celebration of a dear friend from India who has faithfully poured out his life to thousands in his country and around the world…in his daughter who is willing to take up the vision and carry it on…in the sacrifice and love of young parents on behalf of their children…in the dedication of teachers in caring for their little ones…in my husband massaging my aching feet…

Just in the last few days, I’ve seen You in a couple who have run their family’s 102 year old business with Christ-like integrity and love as they handed it over to a new owner…in the life of two pastors’ wives who are recently widowed, still shining out with the same quiet faith and love for You which has been their life testimony…in the commitment of one friend caring for their aging friend…in a young sister-in-Christ quietly waiting and praying for guidance from You…

Father, I love to watch for You and there are so many more ways I have seen You in just the last few days…I can’t begin to imagine all You have done in my lifetime that I didn’t stop to notice. I will be watching and praising You for all eternity!

 

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“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

 

“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:3

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, open my eyes as I seek You….

photo by my brother Rodd Moesel

Dear friends,
It was the first time I was able to go to my husband’s grave without the kids. Each time before, my heart had been divided by my own grief and concern for my children. This time I was free to grieve for my own loss. The ground was still freshly dug with no signs of grass. There were still dried flowers upon this horrible ground which my beloved husband’s body laid under. The cold wintery day caused me to worry about his poor body freezing- the same body I had loved, kept warm and cared for. It was more than I could take. Great sobs and wailing burst forth from depths I never knew existed. All was dark and dreary; and I was alone in the world. That’s when I felt a tender hand lift my chin to look up…

As my face was lifted to gaze upwards, everything changed! The sky was the most peaceful blue with bright white airy clouds floating with hope. Instead of focusing on the dark hopelessness of the grave, I was seeing the promise of heaven—where my love was now. A quiet joy bubbled up to drown out the life-threatening waves of wailing. All I could think of was the overflowing abundant eternal life my husband now dwelt in. Not even grief can take away the hope we have of a life lived with our Lord—a place where there is no death, pain, suffering, violence, evil, illness or grief. My intense grief was changed simply by looking up!

Oh! my dear friends, many of you are feeling overcome by intense grief. I urge you to look up! Look up at the One who gave you such a precious gift in your loved one—however short the time. Look up for the hope of heaven and the hope of joy in life once more. Look up at the One who understands your grief better than you do and who offers you something to overcome it with-eternal life through Jesus Christ. Look up at the One who will never ever leave you! Look up at the One who holds you as you muddle through separation from one you love so much. Look up to the real Home our Lord is making for you. Look up for the strength you need to go on.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, look up from this harsh lonely life from the foot of the cross—the cross He was willing to die on for your sins, so you could live with him forever. Look up to be made new! Look up to be forgiven. Look up to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Look up! Your life depends on it! You may still grieve, but look up at our eternal hope!

Love and Prayers,
Eva

 

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” Acts 7:55-56

Heavenly Father,
Oh! How my soul longs to be listened to! Just listened to. Without interruption. Without advice. Without correction. Without argument. Without analysis. Without someone else’s story or experience or thoughts being interjected before I am able to voice what is in my mind and heart. It seems like there are so few “listeners” in the world. Yet it is one of the greatest gifts of love we can give someone. Listening is one of the greatest attributes of love. But there is so much noise and not enough listening…

There is a world of people who long to be heard. Everyone is talking and no one is listening. I know I fall short of true listening even though I know that is one of my gifts (perhaps it is a gift available to all of us). Who wants a doctor to decide how to treat before hearing what is really going on? What child will listen to a parent who never takes time to listen to their heart? Who wants to marry someone who is always correcting them when they don’t even listen to all they are saying? How can our country ever be united until all sides take turn listening? It seems everyone is yelling and no one is truly listening. Oh! How we need more listeners!

Father, You are the greatest listener! Though You have all authority and rule over all that there is, You are ready to listen to us at any time. You listen to our complaints, our desperate pleas, our angry tirades, our rambling thoughts that seem to have no point. You listen much deeper than our words. You see our heart and soul. You listen all the way to the end and to what is really being said. You are the only One who can truly understand us better than we understand ourselves. You are always ready and willing to listen. Though You know what we are going to say and what we really mean—You listen because You know we desire to be heard. You listen out of love. Thank You for always listening—even when words won’t come!

Lord, how often do I stop and listen to You? How often am I simply still and quiet enough to place all my attention on what You are saying to me? You do not force us to listen. But You must desire to be heard by each of us as much or more than we desire to be heard. Father, let me “listen” to You as I read Your word, as I hear the wind, as I listen to a song, as a fellow believer shares a truth, through the perfect timing of your ordained situations and encounters, through Your still small voice—Your voice that we will all recognize as we get better at listening. Let me show You my love through listening and then obeying Your voice.

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“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9

 

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord said, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:39-42

 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I am listening…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
Your love is outlandish! How incredible that the Lord God, Maker of all the earth and everything in it and all the galaxies should love me so tenderly?! You are always with me, meeting my every need, satisfying my desires, singing over me, protecting me, guiding me, watching me when I am asleep and when I am awake! I try to love You back in a way that honors a love that was willing to send Your own Son Jesus to be born as one of us, to live and die for the penalty I deserved for my sin- so I could be with you for all eternity. I try to set aside time just to be with You alone and enjoy Your presence…and yet I am so easily distracted by the most ridiculous things. I have this chance, this opportunity, this honor to come to You at any time. It was paid for at the highest price ever paid. And yet I neglect or take this gift for granted. You, Lord, loved me first. I can never out-love You. I would have no comprehension of what love really is- if not for You loving me first. But I truly want to make You my first love…

Not the amazing kind of first love I encountered with my parents loving me as a tiny baby…not the first love of that little boy (forgot his name!) in kindergarten who professed his love for me and mine for him…not the unconditional love from or for my brothers…not the true love from my high school sweetheart Steve, who I went on to marry(I didn’t forget his name!)… not the even the breath-taking love I’ve known holding each one of my newly born children or grandchildren or the love that continues to grow…not the surprising love I thought was not possible—to love another husband after the death of my first (his name is Tex, I mean Dwight!)…not the love for so many friends and even strangers. There are so many experiences of love both received and given that I am eternally grateful for, Lord. And they all flow from You! Yet I want You to be my first love..

Lord, it seems the only way we can know true love is to first experience it and receive it from You through Your eternal gift of Jesus Christ. I’m glad to know that You realize how frail our love is compared to Yours, yet You give us the capacity to give and receive it like You do. I long to love You more, Lord. I desire to keep You as my first love; for when I do, I am capable of loving others so much more. I love because You love me first!

 

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“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

 

“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 22:37-38

 

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, am I loving You as You deserve?…

Dear Friend,
I am so sorry for your pain. You probably just lost a loved one to death. Whether it was your child, your husband or wife, a parent, a brother or sister, or a dear friend; you probably feel as though your whole world has collapsed. You fear that you will never be the same. You’re right. You won’t. As you work through the most difficult challenge you may ever face, may you grow in peace and hope, as you recover from your heartache. It can be very difficult and lonely as you climb up out of the deep abyss of grief. You may wonder if you can ever survive the pain. The death of a loved one cuts deep into your very soul. I know. My husband died at the age of 37, leaving me behind with four children to raise by myself.

Around the time of Steve’s death, there was a story on national television which I identified with. There were Siamese twin baby girls whose bodies were joined together at the chest. When one turned to reach for a toy, the other followed in perfect synchronization. They were separate individuals, yet they were one. Watching the videos of their first two years of childhood, I noticed the love in their eyes as they glanced at one another, sharing a language and bond no one else could understand. They never argued over which way to go or what to play. They enjoyed each other so much, their parents couldn’t imagine them apart.

When they were two years old, their doctors decided they were ready to be surgically separated. The operation saved one twin’s life, but the other sister died. The reporter interviewed the parents, who told how worried they were for the surviving twin. The once-lively little girl moped around looking for her other half, not knowing how to live without her. Her parents and doctors were very concerned, because the little girl wouldn’t eat or talk. No one knew how her grief would affect her recovery from such an intensive surgery.

I felt her pain. It was my own. Steve and I had spent 23 years of life together. We started dating at 15 years old and never had any other serious boyfriend or girlfriend. After high school, we couldn’t wait to get married and start our life together. That life included four children and working side-by-side in a business. We enjoyed being a team. We could read each other’s thoughts and met every trial and joy together. When Steve became increasingly ill, we faced insurmountable physical, emotional and financial challenges. We faced them as a team, truly connected in our very souls.

When he died, it seemed as though we had been cut apart with no anesthesia for the pain. I was left with a huge bleeding wound where my husband once stood by my side. I looked for him, grieving his absence, not knowing how I could ever go on in this life without him. I knew I would never be the same. I’m not.

It’s been a long healing process, but there has been tremendous growth as I have recovered from my grief. The Lord has healed those deep wounds that I thought would never quit breaking open. Your wounds will also heal-in time and with work. There will always be a deep scar, though. It will remind us of the eternal love we share with our loved one. We will also be able to comfort others with a depth of compassion the unscarred cannot offer. The scar also serves as a permanent reminder that we need to cherish each moment and every person in our life.

My Forever Memories of You is lovingly written just for you, so you may know that you WILL survive your grief. Not only that, but you will grow from it. You will live again. There will even come a time when you will be happy again. The joy will be even greater, because of the sorrow you are experiencing now.

It’s true that your life will never be the same, but there’s no need to fear. You are being led into new territories of your life by the One who knows the way. If you already have a relationship with the Lord, hold on to Him tightly through this rough time ahead. He will guide you through your pain. If you don’t know where you stand with the Lord, this is the very best time to reach out to Him and let Him know you need Him, because you do. Grief will destroy a person without the hope of the eternal life promised by Jesus Christ. You may have lost the person that you depended on the most in life; now is the time to depend on God! He knows we are torn apart by death; but He views death as the sweet homecoming of one of His precious children to an eternal life that we can’t even imagine. There is a huge difference between grieving without hope and grieving with the hope of seeing our loved one again in a place that is far better than this earth.

There is no way to get away from the pain; but grieving with hope means knowing that you have not been left alone in your pain and sorrow. It means knowing you can trust the Lord to get you through the gut-wrenching trauma of being torn apart from the one you love.

Even if you already know the hope of eternal life with our Lord and your loved one, you will still experience many emotions more deeply than at any other time in your life. Don’t be afraid. Work through all your overwhelming emotions with God’s help. Soon you will be surprised to find that you are not alone. May you discover an ever-deepening relationship with God that will more than fill the huge vacuum left in your heart (as time goes on).

During my own grief, I had two dear friends help me through- My Lord God Almighty and Steve’s dear mom, my mother-in-law, Barbara. They gave me hope and encouragement when I thought all hope was gone. Now I long to pass that same hope along to you. I cannot take away your pain, but I promise that you WILL make it through this. If I was with you now, I would give you a big hug, for sometimes hugs are more comforting than words. Since I can’t be there, please accept these words of hope and encouragement as my hug. I can also point you to the only One who will never leave you. He will be there for you, just as He has been for me. May you experience Jesus’ loving arms around you, comforting you and holding you up when you feel you can’t go on.

Whatever happened to the little surviving Siamese twin? It was kind of strange. When I finally got to the point in my life when I was healing from my grief, I saw a follow-up report on her. I was sitting on the sofa in front of the TV next to a wonderful man I was falling in love with. It was a total shock to me, to discover I could love again. That’s a whole different story, though. We were watching TV when this story came on. The little girl had undergone more surgeries, extensive treatments and therapy to reconstruct her body. She had been fitted with a fake leg so she could walk (they had shared legs). She was giddily sprinting around looking for adventure. Her face glowed with excitement. She had undergone some healing of her own! I’m sure she will always think of her twin as she goes on with her life. The scars will always be there to prove they were once joined together. They will be forever joined in spirit.
Someday there will be a tremendous reunion when those twins embrace once again in Heaven. Someday, we will all be reunited the Lord and with our loved ones who have been separated from us. It will be GLORIOUS! In the meantime, we still have more life to live here until it is our time to go.

If God can heal that little girl (and me) from our grief, He will surely be there to help you recover, also. Go ahead and grieve- but grieve with hope.

Love and prayers,
Eva

 

“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the Father who gives comfort. He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Heavenly Father,
What a treasure we have been given in the ability to come to You at any time with anything through prayer and yet we often neglect this highest honor and responsibility. Many prayers are shot up to You in desperate need- even by those who supposedly don’t believe. There is a difference between a one-time prayer and a life lived in prayer. There is a difference between a prayer from our flesh and prayer in the Spirit…but it has to start somewhere! So when does a prayer from our own selfish will change to a prayer in the Spirit?

I know it’s probably different for everyone because we are all such unique people -designed and loved by You. Yet praying in the Spirit involves living with Your Holy Spirit in us. It begins with believing that Jesus died for us on the cross. It is believing that our old life/ nature/ selfish will has been crucified with Jesus. Jesus sends the Spirit to live in us in a resurrected life that is much more real than this earthly life. It is knowing that He really lives in us and through us. I know it’s crazy, but to pray in the Spirit is not just asking You to make my wish come true. It is being still in Your presence. It is praying for the richer things of the Spirit that might come even from very challenging situations. It is trusting that You are at work in me, and in others, bringing about Your Kingdom that is high above this earthly life.

Praying in the Spirit is knowing it is no longer my blood that runs through my veins, my goals to obtain, my answers to problems, my demands…it is Your Spirit running through my surrendered heart and soul. You said that the prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much…but I realize that there is nothing righteous about me. The only righteousness in me was given to me by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. I am a new creation in Him. Your Spirit truly lives in and through me. I find myself praying in whole new ways and trusting You in all situations. Praying in the Spirit is yielding to Your will/ Your intercession/ Your answers/ Your amazing work. There are times, I am tempted to slip back into my powerless prayer life so I have to re-surrender to Your unseen powerful Spirit. What a crazy mysterious plan You have- to work in and through our prayers in the Spirit. Thank You for this amazing gift, Lord! Let me get myself out of the way so Your Spirit can flow through me.

 

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“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

 

“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for He lives in with you and will be in you.” Jesus’ promise in John 14:15-17

 

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I accept Your sacrifice on my behalf for my sin of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let me die to my old life and let Your Spirit live in me…