Most Holy Lord God,

How I praise You for being the highest authority there is! There are three different situations in front of me today where “officials” have been called in to determine outcomes. On the outside, it can be very scary to have someone else make such critical decisions over people I care so deeply about. One concerns a great grandson who could be forced by the court to be in an unsafe setting. Another of those situations is about a young neighbor I used to care for as a child who just became a ward of the state due to mental illness. The third situation is about a little boy whose care is being investigated when I have seen a whole team of people go far above and beyond to help him. It is impossible to trust earthly authorities make the right decisions concerning these young people I love so much.

However, when I recall that You reign above all courts, governments, agencies, and nations, I can rest in my trust in who You are. As I remember that my love for these three is simply a poor reflection of Your unending, staggering, lavish love for them, I can truly put their care in Your hands. You never make a mistake. You can help them in far better ways than I or anyone else can. In fact, even though earthly authorities sometimes mess up and make a wrong decision, You can take that mistake and turn it into something glorious. I look forward to seeing how You will work through this. I can trust You, Lord.

Lord, today I place all three of these loved ones in Your care. I trust that You will make far greater things happen than I could ever dream of or imagine. No matter what things look like right now, I trust the outcome to You. I trust the ones I love to the One who loves them more. I absolutely know You are at work on their behalf and even in the lives of all those involved- including any earthly authorities. Thank You, Lord.

*******

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.’” Matthew 28:18

“”For by Him (Jesus) all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:16-17

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.’As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”  Isaiah 55:8-9

******

Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me what I need to trust to Your authority…

Wonderful Lord,

I am so sad. I know I let someone down (again). I forgot something that was important to a dear friend. I realize it rocked our friendship a bit…but my forgetfulness can never unglue the eternal bond we have in Jesus Christ. She and I both know that! I may let her down. Others may disappoint me. It is all a reminder that You are the only perfect Lord God Almighty. You alone are worthy to be praised and trusted. Even when we think You’ve let us down or forgotten about us, there will come a time when we realize that You knew exactly what You were doing and it was all out of Your pure and holy love for us. You, alone, know the perfect plans for each of us. You, alone can take our mistakes, poor choices and trials—and turn them into something glorious when we love and trust You.

I pray that this sweet friend, who I disappointed, discovered (again) that she can count on You when others fail her. I cannot give her what You can. I could never advise her like You are able to. You see so much more in her life than I ever could. I am just a simple little voice calling others to turn to eternal life with You through Your Son Jesus. I do not see the eternal picture of all that is needed in another’s life—but You do, Lord. I can offer counseling, advice, love, friendship and compassion… but I can never be a Savior, King, Lord and God. You, alone, love perfectly at all times. You never let us down though we often let You down.

So as sad as I am that I disappointed my beloved friend, or as sad as I am when others disappoint me—I am not! I can truly say that I am thankful for those times. It’s a reminder that You are God and we are not. Even those people here on earth that I love and respect are not. When I look to You as my only Savior, Lord and God, I discover in a new way who You are. I also realize who I am not. It also helps me love others, even when they let me down. All is well because You are the Great I AM! You never ever let us down. We can count on that—no matter what things look like!

******

 “O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.”  Psalm 84:12

“Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils, of what account is he?”  Isaiah 2:22

Jesus said in John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”

*******

Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, who am I trusting?

Heavenly Father,
Two new books I wrote are now released. It is my deepest desire to kick them off with prayer—both mine and hopefully others. My Forever Memories of You has been in the making for twenty years…ever since my first husband died at the age of thirty-seven, leaving me with our four children to raise. Perhaps, these books were actually in the making longer than that—for You, Lord Almighty, knew me, my husband and my children each before we were born. You already knew the wondrous plans You had for us. Your story is written in our lives and not just on paper.
The story of the adult version intertwines three remarkable relationships. One is the amazing story of my relationship with Steve, as I review our lives together after his passing. It is told mostly through excerpts from my personal prayer journal as I worked through my grief. Another story is the one the reader tells as they write their story of their unique relationship with the loved one they are grieving. They tell their story in journal pages and prompts in between mine. It helps them review, come to peace with, and realize how grateful they are for their amazing relationship no matter how long or short it might have been. The third relationship grows in depth and love as we both discover how You never ever leave us; that You walk with us through pain and joy; that You desire an eternal love relationship with us through Jesus Christ. It is Your everlasting love story for us that ties everything together.
Father, I lift both the adult and children’s version before You- asking that You use them in more miraculous ways than I even know to ask. May You use them to bring the deep comfort and peace to those who are brokenhearted. May You use them to draw the hopeless to You at such a critical crossroad in their life. May You use them to fill the deep void in broken lives with the overflowing fullness of Jesus Christ. May You use them to show Your love to adults and children who are grieving the loss of someone so very precious to them. May You even use them to bless those who read it out of curiosity just because they know me and want to hear our story, or want to support the ministry to the grieving. May these books be more than pages of words—but be about loving relationship. May whoever reads them, writes in them or gives them to someone who is grieving be blessed by a deeper relationship with You. How I praise You that You are still writing stories in each of our lives with the blood of Jesus and they are all gathered up in the Book of Life!
******
“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
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of the God gives it light, and the Lamb its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:22-27
****
Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I pray for these books to…

Heavenly Father,
A couple of people in totally unrelated situations have come to me lately to talk because they are at the end of their rope. They have exhausted everything they can think of to do. They see no possible way out of their situation. They have tried and tried to no avail. Nothing has worked and there is nothing else they can do. After they poured out their broken, weary hearts, I wanted to say with excitement, “That’s such a good place to be!” Yet I have to do it kindly—because I’ve been where they are. I know how painfully hopeless it can seem. I know how it feels to give it everything you can possibly give—and for it not to be enough. But, it is actually one of the best places to be.
Father, it is when we have come to the end of ourselves and our own ideas—that we realize we can do nothing. That is a ripe time for people to simply surrender their will to You. What they see as a hopeless situation, You see as the possibility for a new beginning with You. When there is nowhere else to turn, it is an opportunity for them to turn to You. It has to be our choice to turn to You—not to tell You how we want You to work things out, but to admit that we can do nothing through our own strength, wisdom, plans, and will. It is obvious that our own plans have failed. Now, we can ask You to accomplish Your will in our lives with no thoughts or ideas of our own. We can truly ask You to take over. We can finally surrender our own ways and be open to Yours.
Lord, I know You see deep into our hearts. You know what a painful place it can be to surrender our own will. Your Son Jesus had to struggle through that same place in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He willingly headed to the cross. It is when we give up and let You know there is nothing we can do…when You say, be still and watch what I can do through a surrendered will. Lord, help me become better at surrendering before I’ve tried absolutely everything else. Help me learn that I can do something—I can surrender my will daily and pray for Your will to be done. Then let me watch what You do in and through me. I pray the same for these two people I love who are at this place right now.
********
Jesus prayed…”My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
“Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for ME will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from ME you can do nothing.” John 15:5
*****
Prayer Prompt-
Father, I admit I can do nothing apart from You. I surrender…


Heavenly Father,
There is one thing I can absolutely count on—that You are with me, Lord.
You have been with me always—even before I was conceived You knew me and the plans You had for me. You have been with me when I felt all alone. You have been with me when it seemed the whole world was against me. You have been with me when I was so wrong and undeserving. You have been with me when I demanded my own way. You have been with me when I thought I knew it all and when I found out how little I knew. You have been with me through gut-wrenching cries and gushing tears of joy. You have been with me through painful heartbreak and happy reconciliation. You have been with me when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from as well as times I thought I would burst if You added more blessings.
You have been with me through the births and deaths of those I love. You have been with me through both epic failures and celebrations of success. You have been with me through fearful situations where there was no apparent way out—where You opened up an unseen door to miraculous outcomes. You have been with me in dark evil places and brought me into glorious light. You have been with me when the enemy tries to destroy me, and have protected me more than I will ever know. You have been with me when I have complained, whined, balked, rebelled and sinned against You. You have been with me when I have been humbled by Your truth and have gladly surrendered to Your will.
Lord, You have never left me and I know You never will. You are always calling me forward to new places with You. When I am slow or reluctant to follow, You wait for me or urge me on. You have a final destination to take me, but You are with me on this journey right now. There is no where I can go where You are not with me. There is nothing I will face without You. What a beautiful assurance of Your love. You are with me always to the end of this age and beyond. I love You.
********
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
*********
Prayer Prompt-
Father, thank You for being with me when…


Heavenly Father,
There is so much evil, tragedy and darkness that calls us to despair today. We hear of mass murder where many unarmed people are gunned down while enjoying music, of throngs of people walking unarmed to ask for their independence killed by machine guns, of terrorist attacks in neighborhoods and shopping areas, bombings and slavery just to name a few. It’s easy to give in to feeling hopeless about this world. But, Lord, since we belong to Your kingdom, our true citizenship is not of this world. We belong to You and we long for our true home where there is no more death, evil, hate, abuse, violence and disaster. Your kingdom is full of light, hope, love and peace. You have an eternal home waiting for us that is more than we could ever hope for.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with the US Embassy in Cameroon, as I was trying to help my missionary friends when killing and violence broke out all around them. I had a rough awakening as I found that just because someone is a US citizen in a foreign country, that does not protect them from evil in this world. My friends were called by You to go to this country in Africa to shine out for You and spread the true hope found in Jesus Christ. They were called to be ambassadors for Your Kingdom which is not limited like earthly governments. They were called to go into a country which they knew could be unstable to bring the hope of eternity with You. They willingly went and they stayed in the midst of horror and chaos to hold out true hope.
That’s what You did for us in Jesus. You sent Him from heaven to be born as one of us, yet completely innocent. You sent Him to die for our sin, so we could receive eternal life with You. Because of Jesus, we have so much now (even in this crazy world) and so much more to look forward to. Yet there are so many who do not have that hope of a home with You. That’s why once we belong to Your kingdom, You send us as ambassadors into a dark chaotic world to share the hope of Jesus Christ. Will we give in to the hopelessness we see around us—or do we keep our eyes on You so we can continue help more people caught in the hopelessness find eternal life through Jesus Christ? Help us stand strong, remain calm in You, trust in Your plan, and tell the good news. Let us be ambassadors for Your eternal kingdom, Lord, wherever we happen to be in this harsh world.

*****
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18
******
Prayer Prompt-
Father, let me keep my eyes on You so I can…

Heavenly Father,
I am going to truly savor this moment because I will never have it again. Each moment is beautiful and unique in its own way. Most of all, it becomes priceless when I share it with You. It will only last a second but it becomes eternal when I live it with You. My awareness of Your very presence changes everything. I’ve been told that You, Lord God Almighty, created me and have been with me since the beginning; yet when I draw close to You in the present moment, my moments become eternal filled with purpose, joy and completeness. The only way I can draw close to You without sin is through Jesus Christ.
Any moment can become holy when I live it with You: when I look at an angry fit-throwing toddler and see through Your eyes the need for love and guidance; when I stand at the washer sorting through another mountain of dirty socks and underwear, I am humbled by the tender ways You continually care for us; when a dear family I love is spending what seems to be the last days of a loved one’s life, I know each moment is precious, short and eternal all at the same time; when I sit on the patio with a cup of coffee and am quiet in Your presence, You fill me, refresh and restore me; when I am stuck in traffic and I’m late to get to my destination, I am grateful for Your reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment; when someone is rude, You give me insight they need extra prayer; when I hear bad news, I stop and turn to You and recall that You are in control and will work all things together for good for those who love You; when I start to worry about one of my children or grandchildren, You remind me of how You helped me through all my trials and drew me closer to You—I can trust You to do that with them, as well; when I hear of riots, earthquakes, and hurricanes, I know there will be many turning to You in the midst of those painful disasters; when I see a single flower bloom, or trees swaying in the breeze, I revel in Your glory that surrounds us with such beauty.
Any moment becomes holy and eternal with You, Lord. All I have to do is stop and turn to You. It can be a dull boring moment, a scary moment, a painful moment, a tearful moment, a peaceful moment, a confusing moment, a weary moment… all moments are given by You and can become holy just by turning to You. Most of all, I thank You for that eternal moment when You sent Jesus to die for my sins and be raised again so I could choose to live forever with You. That moment changed everything! May all my moments be lived with You—forever!
*******
“But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:8b—10
“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands…” Psalm 31:14—15a
“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.” John 3:16
********
Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, help me share this moment with You…

Heavenly Father,

As we get reports on different stories coming out of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey dumping torrential rains and causing widespread flooding, I am once again reminded of Your eternal presence no matter what we have to go through. So far, I have heard of 15 deaths and over 500 deep water rescues. Countless homes, schools, churches and communities are under water right now. Businesses, earthly investments, and worldly dreams may have been blown apart or drowned in the powerful winds and deep waters…but even more valuable eternal riches are being discovered in a new way.

When our earthly security is shaken, we often turn more fully to You, Lord, for our eternal security. We may lose everything including our home, only to find that You are our everlasting shelter. We could lose a loved one, and find that You never ever leave us. Our dream of a business might be washed away, but hopefully we find Your kingdom which stands forever. We, or someone we know, may have come eerily close to death, only to find eternal life through Jesus Christ.

We will continue to see and hear more reports of devastation and rescues from this tropical storm. As we watch and pray, may we be reminded that what looks like the end is often the beginning. As we pray for those in the midst of pain and suffering, may we pray with confidence that You are right there with them- each in a very personal way, coaching them on, opening their eyes to the eternal new life before them found in Jesus Christ. Some hurricanes come in the form of water, others come in the form of cancer, chronic or terminal illness, death of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, a lost job, a legal mess, a broken relationship…It may truly appear as the end for those going through it; but I pray it is just the beginning of an ever deepening relationship with You. That’s what true life is. I love You, Lord.

*********

“You will hear of wars and rumors of war, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pangs.”  Matthew 24:6-8

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.”   Isaiah 43:1-2

“A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith? He asked the disciples.”  Luke 8:23-25

********

Prayer Prompt-

Father, I pray for those going through the flooding from the hurricane…and for me to see You in my own hurricane…

Most Holy Father,

There is only one time in my life I can recall feeling like I had lost all hope. What a horrible experience to be without hope. No one should be without it. It didn’t last long for me…maybe just long enough to get a taste of it so I could recognize it and have compassion for those without it. My most hopeless time came when my first husband Steve “died in my arms” after a long battle with a terminal illness. He was brought back, but the hopelessness came from knowing there was no way he was getting through the sickness without dying. We both already knew in our minds he would eventually succumb to death, but that practice run made it all too real.

The strange thing was that at our lowest point of hopelessness, we found a hope that could never be taken away. That trial run at death also gave him a practice run to heaven. There is no greater hope to help us through this life than to trust in Jesus whom You sent to save us from our hopeless situation. Only He was worthy to pay the price for our sins through giving His own pure life as a sacrifice. No matter what goes on in this world; no matter what anyone can do to us; no matter how hopeless the world or our personal situation can appear…our hope is in Jesus Christ. When we have that hope, we can hold on to You, Lord, knowing that any kind of suffering we must endure here will all fade away in Your glorious presence. Our hope is in You and Your Son and Your Holy Spirit, even though we cannot see You with our earthly eyes.

About a year after that trial run, Steve took his last breath and graduated from this life. He no longer needs hope. It is reality. He is living a life that is more than he could ever hope for or imagine. Over 24 years ago, right after Steve’s death, I began going to a group at a hospital designed to help those who were grieving. Yet the emphasis on eternal life was missing. It was heartbreaking to hear the hopelessness in most of the people. If death is the end, and there is no hope of eternal life with You, what hope is there? Ever since, I know I need to always hold on to my hope in You so I can share that eternal invincible hope with others. There is no hope without Him.  Jesus Christ is our hope. There is nothing more real!

PS. Happy birthday in heaven, Steve!

********

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 62:5-6

“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.”  Romans15:13

********

Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, my hope is in…