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Heavenly Father,

I’m still enjoying sharing all the lovely photos of the most amazing landscapes from our recent vacation. You don’t just paint still life; Lord…You paint with life itself. The leaves on the trees are ever-changing; the rivers, streams and ocean are made up of trillions upon trillions of water droplets that are ever-moving; the skies are never the same with clouds and colors always arrayed in a different pattern. We even saw animals which were amazing- does, bucks, turkeys, birds and a bear! Your beauty is seen wherever we go! On this trip as in vacations before, we were overcome with Your beautiful creation! It was much more than we could absorb. I will never forget a trip a couple of years ago, when I was so overcome with the magnificence of Your creations that I was praising You. You accepted my praise and then informed me that Your greatest creation was people!

You threw me completely off guard with that comment. We are always surrounded by so many people that we enjoy getting away from humans out into the quiet peaceful settings of nature. Ever since then, I try to remember what You told me and see people as Your greatest creation. People are, in fact, always changing as well. You create them out of nothing and knit them together in their mother’s womb. They start out tiny and helpless, waiting to be held and cared for…and keep on changing throughout their life time into magnificent one-of-a-kind, never before people who are made up of nerves, muscles, brains, personality, dreams, character and abilities. Each and every single person is one of the greatest works of art. They are not still life either, but are created to transform and grow in beauty throughout the trials, joys and challenges they each face in this journey of life.

Lord, we had a chance to not only experience the beauty of nature on this trip but were able to spend some time with some of the most amazing people. Some were young; others I have known all their lives and watched them transform from glory to glory. As much as I love experiencing Your awesome creations in this world, I love people the most. Thank You for giving me more love for people! They are amazing!

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“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”  Genesis 1:26

“God saw all that He had made. And it was very good.”   Genesis 1:31a

“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? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and beasts of the field, and birds of the air, and fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, give me eyes to see and love to appreciate…

sunglasses

Heavenly Father,

There are some moments that are without a doubt orchestrated by You. In truth, there are probably many more such encounters than we can count or imagine. But there have been many highly noticeable such meetings in a row the last couple of days. One of the first came when both of us ended up at Walmart, of all places. My husband never shops at Walmart, but he wanted to get something. They didn’t have it, so we started to leave. On the spur of the moment, I asked him if he wanted to get a pair of sunglasses. We headed to the twirling rack to pick out a pair. As the display turned, a familiar face jumped out at me on the other side of the rack! I hadn’t seen her at church lately. She was just as surprised to see me. She also was heading for the cashier but at the last minute stopped in the same area at the perfect time. She had quit coming to church over some hurt feelings. We had a wonderful conversation. Just as I was about to hug her and say goodbye, she spoke out loud, “OK!!! I got the message! I will be there Sunday!” I think she was talking to You, Lord, and not to me for I hadn’t coerced her at all. However, she was in church today and was happier than ever!

Then as I turned to say hi to people during the Meet & Greet segment of worship, someone grabbed my hand and asked me to come talk. It turns out, this friend was facing a monumental task that You were obviously calling her to. She knew she would obey, but needed prayer to remind her where she gets her strength when she feels weak. I had just read a short scripture before church that reminded us of Your power and authority. It was what we both needed. I know You will work through her weakness (and mine) to show Your strength! …Then a friend shared a moving song with me after a baby shower today that ministered to me and in return, I will use it to help others…As I was leaving the baby shower,  I just happened to run into another friend that was waiting on her husband who was in a meeting. We hadn’t had time to talk in a while. She shared what You are doing in their lives and the big step of faith they have taken. Not only was it a joy to hear her testimony, it again ministered to me as I take my own big step of faith.

Father, I love to see You move in people and situations to bring about eternal results. You are so much more involved in our lives than we can comprehend. Your timing is perfect. There is nothing that can happen that You cannot turn into good. The more I live with You, the more I see these divine moments. The more I see You work, the more I trust You. The more I am willing to die to my old self, the more I know You are with me.  I love encountering You everywhere I go! I love You every moment!

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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

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me live with You every moment and begin sharing eternal moments with You even now. These are some ways I’ve seen You work lately…

14-Lavish-Love

Heavenly Father,

This past weekend, everyone celebrated a major birthday with me; the start of another decade. I kind of wanted it to go by unnoticed. I truly enjoy making others feel special but when the spotlight is on me, I have to push past my own awkwardness to simply enjoy what is being lavished upon me. My husband wanted to make it a memorable weekend so he planned it big! (And You, Lord, planned it even bigger!) If it had just been what my husband did, I would have been more blessed than I could ever imagine…but it seemed like love was lavished on me by almost every person who has ever known me- from my children and family members, Bible study, co-workers, neighbor, to old high school friends who I haven’t seen in ages. At my family birthday party, we played a 20 question game to see how much they knew about me. It caused me to take a look back over my ever-lengthening life and realize how You have lavished love upon me all along!

Lord, I’m always thinking of ways I can tell You or show You how much I love You…but You always out do me!! When I see a sunset, I want my thanks to be straight from my heart for what You share with me…but the glory of that sunset is far more glorious than any painting I could ever make for You! When I worship You with praise songs, I want to sing to You with all my heart…but then I read in the Bible that You sing songs over me! When I try to write of my love for You…every syllable seems so inadequate…and then I read Your word which is alive and speaks to my very soul in ways I can barely describe. You said if we love You, we should feed Your sheep, so I purposely share Your word in a way that will nourish others…but I get fed far more in the process! When I try to share a drink with someone who is thirsty, or clothe someone who needs it like I am doing it for Jesus…You end up blessing me far beyond those tiny actions. When I try to give myself sacrificially to show You my love…I am given newness of life overflowing to the point I can barely stand it!

No matter how much I love You or in what way I try to demonstrate my love for You…You always love me more! Thanks for all the ways You lavish love upon me, Father, through my husband, family, friends, strangers, nature, Your word…and the ultimate crazy lavishness of Jesus’ life laid down for me when I was a sinner. I am so loved, I don’t think I can stand it…and then You love me more! It’s a good thing I don’t have that many decades left. I don’t think I can hold any more love from You than right now! Oh, yeah! But then there’s eternity!!!! Good thing I will have a new body that can hold even more lavish love!

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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!”     1John 3:1

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9

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

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, thank You for Your lavish love! Help me love You by…