So many people I know could use a prayer today. For anyone who needs it, I offer this:

I pray you are confident.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

Feel certain that you are important to God and he has you in his care.

I pray you are trusting.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Know that God has a plan for you and you can believe in him to complete it.

I pray you feel peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:7).

May God give you quietness and rest on your anxious and busy days.

I pray you find strength.

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).

May you feel him give you power to persevere and succeed.

I pray you experience joy.

“Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

May you be blessed with great happiness, today and always.

Please share a prayer with someone you know. I pray you are richly blessed each day.

What is your prayer this morning? What are you asking from God today?

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Last Saturday my daughter and I headed to the mall for a day of snacks and shopping. We dodged roaming packs of teenagers and moms pushing strollers. We browsed through racks of clothes, cards, and candles, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. Somewhere between the shrieking crowd of kids climbing around the plastic play area and the shifting mass of humanity outside the Apple store, I considered that the noise and chaos of the mall has something to teach me about slowing down and enjoying life.

Move slowly and carefully, but always keep moving. In the mall, if we move too fast we collide with obstacles, too slow and we disrupt traffic. In life, if we travel cautiously and stay constantly in motion, eventually we will reach our destination.

Temptations are not always opportunities. In the mall, bold SALE signs called from every display window declaring bargains too good to resist; but when we looked at tags on individual items, the prices were not always the great deals we had hoped. In life, it is important to watch for signs showing us our options, but investigate each choice closely before deciding what to take home.

What we want most cannot be bought from a store. The message of the mall is that all we desire can be plucked from a rack and purchased at a cash register. On Saturday, I enjoyed spending time with my daughter, talking about her job, her hopes for a home, and her plans for the coming week. What I value in life is engaging conversation, some company on a busy weekend, and a caring connection with family and friends. We can experience much of life by visiting the mall, but the most valuable gifts are available to everyone for no cost at all.

What have you discovered in the crowded areas of your life? What are you shopping for today?

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While I'm enjoying a particularly busy week, please enjoy one of  my favorite posts from the archives! 

I spotted this little leftover snowman after last season's Christmas shopping frenzy. When I showed my daughter the picture, she said, "Notice he's still smiling!"

If a dented clearance-sale snowman can keep his smile, we all have many reasons to put on a happy face.

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Smile when you are bent, bruised and damaged; because you know you are still valuable to God.

Smile when you feel alone, abandoned and rejected; because you know you still have God's company.

Smile when you are unsure, afraid and uncertain; because you know God still has a plan for you.

Keep your smile because you are keeping your faith, and know God smiles on you!

Be happily blessed today!

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The cold and snow have turned my musings to wintry thoughts this week. I’m considering that the snowman the neighbor kids built might have something to say about surviving winter’s dark and cold.

Stand through the storm. Snowmen patiently endure the battering winds and biting cold because they know they are built on a sturdy foundation. We can stand strong while tempests rage when we stand on the solid ground of faith.

Keep smiling. Snowmen keep their friendly grins because they know that winter cannot last forever. We can stay positive through trying times when we remember that the dark and sleepy months will soon turn into bright and hopeful spring.

Have a warm heart. Despite surrounding frigid temps and icy frozen days, snowmen know a ray of sunshine will always make them melt. We can be strong in the face of adversity while allowing our hearts to soften in response to a tender moment.

I hope you stay strong through the cold nights ahead. Know that bright and sunny days will soon return.

 

How do you endure when cold winds blow? What have you learned about standing through the storms?

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As I greet 2018, I’m looking forward to a prosperous year ahead. I know this will be a year of action and change, and I’m ready for all God has planned.

I pray 2018 will be a promising year for all my coworkers, family, and friends. I hope that we feel the presence of God and see the evidence of his power at work in our lives. I ask that the new year brings many blessings, much joy, and abundant peace to all who share our world.

I pray we trust in God’s timing for all the good that lies ahead, we rely on his power to give us courage, and we remember his strength is made perfect in our weakness.

I pray we grow in faith, in hope for the future, and in confidence as we take the next steps on the path ahead.

May you be generously blessed in 2018. Know God is with you every day of the year.

What is your prayer as you begin the new year? How will you know God is directing your steps throughout the days ahead?

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