Midweek Morsel: A Prayer for Couples You Know

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One of the greatest gifts we can give the couples we know and love is the gift of prayer. Our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), and if he can destroy our marriages, he gets to devour two for the price of one. Prayer is a great offensive tool against his schemes and attacks.

Here is a short but powerful prayer we can pray for the special couples in our lives. And we can pray it for our own marriages as well.

Father, I lift before you this dear couple who mean so much to me. I pray that you would protect them from the evil one and all of his schemes. Please help them, O Lord, to love you above all and to love each other the way you intend. Help them to keep their eyes on you and their arms around one another. Be their strong support through each day and every stage of their lives. Help them, O Lord, to shine for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’” Ephesians 5:31

Flickr photo by jordandouglas, Creative Commons License

*Who has been faithful to pray for you and/or your marriage?

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 16 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 12. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

God’s Calling Card

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God’s Calling Card

In the midst of a yard
littered with leaves,
leaves dying and drying
becoming brown crackles,
God leaves his calling card
in a splash of color
a red reminder that says
“I am here, I am still with you,
I am not finished.”
For the winter to come
holds beauty and blessings
purpose and plans
always shining a beacon of hope
for the coming new life of spring.

And in the midst of a life
overrun with cares,
drowning in heartache and stress
struggling to stay afloat,
God leaves his calling card
in a blessing unexpected
a radiant reminder that says
“I am here, I am still with you,
I am not finished.”
For the crucible of pain
holds comfort and lessons
purpose and plans
glimmering with undying hope
for the blessing that’s on the way.

God is faithful
God can be trusted.
So in the meantime
let’s watch for his calling card,
his precious reminder
of love and hope.

“‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.’” John 14:18 KJV

*When has God left you a calling card?

*My photo from last year. The leaves have just started to change in our area this season. Here’s hoping for gorgeous trees soon!

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 16 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 12. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Annual Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway!

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Have you subscribed to Life Notes, my free quarterly inspirational newsletter, yet? If so, you’re in luck. Why? Because it’s time for my annual Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway! If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can join the lucky bunch right now. Just sign up for Life Notes on the right sidebar of my site under “Free For You.”

One lucky subscriber will be awarded a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble in mid-November—the perfect time to give a gift of thanks. And, of course, I’ve got to admit I’m hoping the giveaway will be a good way to grow my subscriber list, too!

Here’s how the giveaway will work. All those who are currently subscribed to Life Notes will automatically be entered in the giveaway, and any new subscriber who signs up by 6 p.m. (CST) Nov. 12 will be entered as well. Sign up is to the right on the blog sidebar—and yes, it’s free! You don’t even have to leave a comment on this post. Just make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter. I will announce the winner in my November 13 Midweek Morsel post.

So have you all joined the lucky bunch of Life Notes subscribers now? My heart’s desire is that it will be a blessing to each one who reads it—and I hope that includes you!

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh praise the greatness of our God!” Deuteronomy 32:2-3

*I’m thankful for each and every Life Notes subscriber. Who are you thankful for today?

*Flickr photo by Lucas (Back to the Roots), Creative Commons License

Instant Vacation

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Sometimes we need a vacation long before our vacation days arrive, don’t we? Responsibilities pile up, monkey wrenches get thrown into our plans, and stress mounts. We’d like nothing better than to walk away from the pressures and problems pressing in on us.

So what can we do when we need an instant vacation, a ready retreat that will refresh our spirits, souls, and bodies? How can we find the fresh perspective that will calm us as well as the recharged batteries that will reenergize us for the situations at hand?

One thing we can do is simply go outside. We may not be able to walk away from our stresses permanently, but we can take a desperately needed breather from them by spending a few minutes soaking up the beauty and wonder of the world around us. Just call it nature’s own tonic and remedy for those in need of refreshment.

Here are a few simple ideas for an instant vacation:

1. Go for a walk in your neighborhood. Take your camera along and watch for wonder, be alert to beauty. Snap a few vacation photos.

2. Spend some time relaxing in your yard. Plan ahead and have a personal sanctuary of sorts at your disposal—a porch swing, a chair on your patio, a bird bath and feeder in place, flowers planted, a fountain set up, etc.

3. Take a bike ride to a nearby park or another refreshing spot. Enjoy the breeze on your face as you ride and revel in the beauty around you.

4. Throw a blanket on the grass, lie down, and enjoy the sky. Marvel at how birds wing their way from place to place and look for fun shapes in the clouds.

5. Sit on your doorstep, close your eyes, and tune your ears to hear each and every sound. Enjoy them as if it’s the first time you’ve heard them. Also take special note of what you’re feeling physically—a light breeze, a strong wind, the warmth of morning sunshine, the heaviness of clinging humidity, the brisk bite of cooler temps, etc. Before you forget all you heard and felt, jot down your impressions in a notebook, a journal, or the notes feature on your phone.

If you weren’t already longing for an instant vacation, I’d be willing to be that now you’re suddenly thirsty for one, huh? With ideas like these on our minds, it’s no wonder we all want to head out the door!

Let’s do it—let’s gift ourselves with instant vacations on a regular basis. Let’s take advantage of nature’s tonic and ready retreat. Maybe we can head some of the stress off at the pass. Maybe our real vacation days won’t seem so far away.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3a

*What’s your favorite way to enjoy an instant vacation?

*Flickr photo by shoothead, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: “Guard” Theme Word Applied Again

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“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

Now that we’re into October—the last quarter of 2014 (yikes!)—what better time to consider our theme words one last time. As with New Year’s resolutions, it can be easy to choose a theme word for the year, and then let it slip into oblivion as the year rolls by. Let’s not do that this year. Let’s keep applying our theme words.

Guard has been my theme word for 2014. When I chose it, I knew one of its applications could relate to my tongue—to guarding the words that come out of my mouth. The verse above is the perfect exhortation from scripture to reinforce the need to actively guard the words that we say.

Other important applications of guard have taken center stage for me so far this year, but I don’t want to neglect applying guard to my mouth as well. To be honest, guarding my tongue has been important to me for years, but I’m oh-so-far from mastering that small part of my body that James called “a fire” and “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:6,8) In fact, I’ve probably blown it as many times as I’ve controlled it.

Would you want to join me in asking God to help us by setting that guard over our mouths? We need the Holy Spirit keeping watch over our lips, don’t we? Let’s do our best to heed his warnings.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

*Did you choose a theme word for 2014? Are you still trying to apply it?

*Flickr photo by demandaj, Creative Commons License