A Prayer for Blessed New Beginnings

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"The old has gone, the new is here!"    2 Corinthians 5:17

“The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

As the Labor Day weekend so joyfully greets us all, I pray that everyone will have a safe and blessed three day weekend. As we all know, just behind this three day weekend many children and teachers are going to be heading back to school for a new school year. As I recently former preschool teacher I know the hustle and bustle it takes to get all of your student rosters in order, to decorate the classroom to make it as warm and inviting as possible while still providing a fun and educational environment, and I know the nerves that come with meeting all of your new students and their families and getting to know how each child is going to behave, act, and learn. As a mom who early on sent her own children to school I can also remember the rush to get any last minute school supplies you may have forgotten while making sure that your children’s wardrobe is prepared and ready to begin their first week back all while trying to soak up and enjoy the last free summer weekend together.
Today I pray for the teachers who work hours far beyond what we even know about preparing fun and inspiring lessons for their students, grading papers into the wee hours of the night, and most importantly being their to guide and support and teach their students. I pray that God will bless each and everyone of you. May He make your hands strong to support your students and also gentle to wrap the hurting ones in a much needed hug when they need it. May He provide you wisdom and grace to get you through all of your days. And may He grant you with a fun and wonderful school year.
I pray for the students as you head back to school, May God bless you with a safe, exciting, and fun-filled school year. May you learn many new and exciting things that you never knew before and may you form many supportive and lasting friendships. May your teachers be warm, welcoming and inviting, and may you be a blessing to fellow classmates each and every chance that you get.
I pray for the parents, both those who are doing the happy dance that school is back in session thanking God for the little bit of free time and for the ones who nervously await the first day not sure of how they are going to be able to watch their child grow up so quickly. May God bless each and everyone of you with peace, happiness, and strength. May He guide you in being wonderful parents to your children, may He grant you the wisdom not just to help your children with their homework, but to lead them in the way to follow God’s calling for them. May He provide you the strength and energy to endure car pools to and from school, after school extra-curricular activities, all while still making dinner and ensuring that baths are taken, teeth get brushed, and homework is done. May God bless you all with peace and renewal each and everyday.
Finally I throw in a special prayer for a young lady at my new job who recently learned that she was going to be going to a new office to work. The travel to the new office is much farther than her current one and I can tell that she is going to miss being around her co-workers and friends. I pray that God will be with her always. That He may bless her with many wonderful new friends to work with and that He will help her to find a way to enjoy her longer commute. I pray that He will help her to find peace in her transition and that she will see how God is fully at work in her life putting her in just the right place at just the right time in her life. May God’s presence and blessings follow you wherever life may take you.
Happy Labor Day weekend everyone and God Bless :)

A prayer for my newest friends

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"In all things give thanks;..." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In all things give thanks;…”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Yesterday I began my new job working for a physicians group which staffs medical front office staff, nurses, doctors, and billing and collections specialists in offices in our area. I went into the main office for orientation not knowing what to expect, but immediately feeling very peaceful and at ease in the setting. As three other women came into the office with me I wasted little time making conversation with them so that we would not be simply four strangers training side by side over the coming days. As we went through our day training we began to talk more and more learning a bit more about each other’s families and their husbands, their previous work experience and what they hoped that their new jobs would be like, and by the time we sat down with a few of the wonderful ladies who had been training us we all enjoyed ourselves laughing and talking like seven friends who had known each other for years. Today when we came one of us had already moved on to begin working in her new office, leaving three of us to continue our training. Again today we three of us sat and laughed and talked with one of the ladies who was training us, who just so happened to be an old friend of mine who I had taken an EMT Basic class with more than 14 years ago. Today by the end of the day we found out the only two of us would come back to train tomorrow and that made me sad yet happy for our third friend who would be beginning to work her new position tomorrow. Tomorrow will be our last day at the main training office before the two of us will go to our own assigned offices to begin learning and working in our positions which we were hired for. Today I offer up a special prayer for all of the ladies who I so enjoyed meeting and getting to know over these past few days as well as for my friend who I so enjoyed catching up with and for the lady who hired us all who will be getting married in just a few short weeks. “May God be with you all as you venture into your new offices and into your new positions. May you be blessed with wonderful co-workers and a joyful and happy atmosphere to work in. May God bless you and your families with His loving presence and with His amazing love wherever this life may take you. May God be with you wonderful and amazing ladies who trained us, may He bring happiness and prosperity into your lives and may He bless you always with His loving presence. May God help you, Karen, to one day be able to open up your own bakery so that you can continue to create those amazing cakes like the ones you showed us today. May God be with and bless you Ashley as you get ready to take the plunge with your fiancĂ© into becoming newlyweds. May God bless you and your husband-to-be with much happiness and joy and peace and with years and years of love, respect, and caring. With each new day as you wake to go to your jobs may God’s presence fill you all with peace and joyfulness even after you have been working that job for years, and may you always feel Jesus at your side guiding you through each and everyday and bringing you home safe and healthy to your family and friends. Amen!”
It was so very nice getting to know each and every one of you and it was so nice catching up with my old friend after all of these years. I wish you all the very, very best:)

Dallas’ Prayer

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In loving memory of Dallas Newbill  Nov. 1994- August 13, 2011

In loving memory of Dallas Newbill
Nov. 1994- August 13, 2011

Today marks the third year since this world lost a very beautiful, very bright, and very wonderful young lady. She was only a baby when I first met her, just a few months older than my own son, Bubba, and even then you could tell that she was this great big bright personality even in her little body. I can remember one night in particular when Dallas’ parents along with my younger sister and I were sitting in the courtyard of the apartment complex that we lived in just talking and laughing with Bubba and Dallas both in their walkers on the grass. For some reason, just out of the blue Dallas suddenly stopped what she was doing, turned to Bubba and let out this loud and happy scream. Bubba, being the laid back and easy going baby that he was simply froze at Dallas’ sudden outburst and his eyes grew wide as he just stared at his little friend. We all just laughed at the two of them. These are the memories which we all hold close to our hearts especially today when we are reminded that Dallas is no longer here with us to come up and just catch Bubba off guard like that. Today I send up a special prayer for Dallas as well as for her beautiful, strong, and amazing mother who I have the wonderful privilege of calling my friend.
“Dallas, may you know not just today but everyday just how many people’s lives and hearts you touched in your sixteen years with us. May you know that we think of you often and we smile when we picture your beautiful smile and when we can share the memories like the one I shared today. I know that your amazing and fun-loving spirit fills Heaven with such delight and with such joy so much so that we can still feel it even as we are here on earth. May you know that we all love and miss you so very much. May God be with your beautiful and amazing mom as she continues to raise your brothers and may He be with your family, friends, and loved ones providing them with peace and healing and giving them the gift of the memories that you left them with. Dallas, words can never fully express how much this world misses you, but please know that who you were, and the love and the warmth that you shared lives on in the hearts of so many of us who love you. We love you Dallas. Amen!”

A prayer for the Stranded

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"And do not forget to do good and to share with others."  Hebrews 13:16

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others.” Hebrews 13:16

This morning I took the time to watch the news. If you know me you know that I had recently taken a hiatus from watching any news coverage because too often it can become too much to bear and suddenly the world seems like nothing but a sad and doomed place to be. Ugh! Who wants to feel that way? No one, but recently I heard God speak to me and say, “Child, you can not shut out the world as if no one out there is suffering. So many are and you need to know this once more not because I mean for you to feel depressed and helpless and doomed, but so you can join so many others to help if by no other way, then by the use of prayer.” I listened and suddenly I had this desire to switch on talk radio and listen. I learned a lot in the course of just a few short days. One of the most disturbing news reports I have heard about over the past weeks have been about the Christians in Iraq who are being killed because they won’t convert to Islamic religion. It hits close to home because it sends me wondering how strong would we be if we were faced with the very real fact that we would die if we did not convert our religion and deny Christ and our faith. I can only pray that I would be bold enough in the real face of death to say, “I love Jesus. I love God, and yes, I will die for that love.” So many out there confidently shake their heads and say, “Oh, without a doubt, I could do that, but truly, could you? No one can confidently say, “Yes” to that answer until you have been faced with that.
Today, I lift up a prayer for those men, women, and children who have had to flee their homes and face the very real threat of death simply because they hold tight to their faith.
“Father, may you protect them, may you keep them safe. May every Christian who loves you and who loves Jesus be strong enough to stand in the presence of evil even as so many have already fallen. Father may you bring them peace and lead them to safe places and safe homes where they can rest their heads and practice their faith without fear of death. Father may we, who read this and who follow you and who long to do your good work, be faithful prayers for the weak and for the stranded and trapped, may our hands find ways to do your calling in our lives so that we may bless others, and may your loving presence overcome the evil that is in this broken world. Amen!”

A prayer for the celebrities

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"Dear Children, let us not love  with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18

“Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Today as the world mourns the loss of the very talented and funny actor Robin Williams, I count myself among the many who can say that I remember Robin from way back in his “Mork and Mindy” days. He was truly a very talented and creative individual and I myself can remember laughing at several of his movies, one of my favorites being “Good Morning Vietnam”. Robin Williams you will be missed by so many and it’s a shame that only now can you hear and know just how many people loved you and adored your talent and your comedy. Today I send up two prayers the first being for your close friends, your family, and your loved ones, for they knew you better than anyone and they knew the illness you were fighting.
“May God bless, comfort, and be with you all. May you find healing in the outpouring of love and support from the millions around the world who have been touched by your loved ones talent, may you each gather around and support each other and be a source of strength and healing for one another, may the many memories and the years of shared talent which will be seen for generations to come courtesy of Robin Williams bring you a reason to smile through your tears each and every time you watch one of his movies, interviews, and stand-up routines, or just from your own personal stash of photographs and videos. May God’s loving arms wrap you tightly in His safe and warm embrace assuring you that He is with you through all of this and He will bring you healing and restoration in your life. May the thousands upon thousands of prayers from all over the world help to bring you comfort and strength as you mourn the loss of your loved one all too soon gone, and may Jesus Christ bring you peace to know that your loved one is spending time in His presence now and forevermore, no doubt, making Jesus himself laugh. Amen!”
My second prayer is for all those who are considered a “celebrity”. Whether you are a newbie in the industry or whether you are a veteran talent, this prayer is for you. So many people are so easily star-struck by people who may be considered “celebrities”, me, no so much. I think this is in part because number one, I can be one of the most oblivious individuals around often times. For instance, you could sit me down in a small waiting area, say like a doctors waiting room, with about 4 or 5 other people, one of them being a celebrity and more likely than not I would be the very last person to take notice of that person. What can I say, that’s just how God made me. Second, I have always been the kind of person who sees celebrities as mere human beings just like you and me. They are far from perfect, even though too many times society may call them to present themselves as such, they are flawed and weak and unsure and seeking answers just like all the rest of us. So many are so quick to judge those in the celebrity world maybe because they look up to them or maybe because society holds them to such a high standard, whatever the reason is I feel like it is more important that we simply pray for them. And so today, as Hollywood deals with the tremendous loss of such a talented actor and as millions around the world mourn that loss as well, I pray for the “celebrities” still with us in the world.
“May God bless you and guide you in your journey through life. May you know that your talent, whether as an actor, athlete, singer, rocker, news announcer, game show host, talk show host, or what ever your talent may be, is seen and appreciated by millions more than you may know. May God help you to use your talent to bless others and may He help you to continue to grow your talent and to use it for the best possible outcomes. May God’s loving presence bring you peace when your life becomes chaotic, may He bless you with wisdom to follow His good path for you and may you always know that even when times get hard, there are so many people out there praying for you, more than you may know. May you always remember that God blessed you tremendously and He is the reason that you are who you are and that you are where you are. May having that wisdom help to both keep you grounded while at the same time reminding you that if God could bring you this far, surely He can bring you through anything that you may face. And may you always feel the loving and faithful presence of Jesus Christ who loves you and walks with you through all of your days. Amen!”

Keep Praying

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"Ask and it shall be given to you..."  Matthew 7:7

“Ask and it shall be given to you…” Matthew 7:7

Today as I get ready to head out the door to go to church I lift up a special prayer for those who received a card from me this week. For the person who found my card in a Subway restaurant, for the lovely young lady who checked our groceries at Wal-Mart who plays the organ at her uncle’s church in Franklin, VA, and for the sweet and very talented couple in our church who are hoping for God to bring them a beautiful bundle of joy to call their own, as well as for all who are reading this who have believed God to do some amazing things in your life, but He hasn’t quite come through yet, “May you feel God’s presence strong in your heart today. May His loving presence assure you that He is indeed working out all things in your favor and He is going to bring you happiness, joy, peace, love, healing, and restoration. May you all know that God loves you so much and He wants only the very best for you and today as you stand in His amazing and wonderful presence may He bring you peace in the waiting, hope for your future, and blessings to fill your life abundantly today, tomorrow, and everyday. Amen!”
God loves you all, keep praying, not only for your own blessings, but for others to be blessed as well.

A prayer for my friends

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"Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."  1 John 3:18

“Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Tomorrow one of my dearest friends will celebrate her birthday. She will turn one year older than me and she will still be the beautiful and joyful young woman I have always known her to be ever since we both met and began our friendship more than 26 years ago. I have been blessed to have made numerous friends over the course of my 40 years and even though I don’t get to see all of them as much as I would like to and even though life may have drifted many of us in numerous different directions all of them are still very much a part of my heart and a part of who I am. Today I send up a special prayer for all of my dear friends both nearby and far away, “Friends, may God, our Father, always bless you and always be with you. May He keep you safe in every journey that you take and in every endeavor you may face. May God always remind you that no matter how hectic, how crazy, or even how blessed life may become, you will always have a friend who is praying for you and thinking of you. May God remind you that His loving arms are always open for you to come running to whenever you need Him and may you always know that my front door is always open to you to stop by and as my grandmother always used to say, “sit a spell!” And today may God gently lay upon your heart my smile, my laughter, and my love for you to get you through your day and to bring a smile to your face. Amen!”
I love you all of my friends :)

A prayer for the campers

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"For I am the Lord your God...do not fear; I will help you."  Isaiah 41:13

“For I am the Lord your God…do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

Today I woke up to an approaching thunderstorm. As I peeked outside of my front door I could tell that it was not going to be much of a thunderstorm and so I popped in a workout DVD and went about my workout completely unaware of what was going on in places not so far from me. It wasn’t until I had finished my 45 minute workout and the storm had passed me by that I turned on the television and saw that a nearby camp ground was hit by a tornado leaving thousands of people scrambling for safety and sadly leaving two people dead and several more people injured and taken to nearby hospitals. This afternoon I lift all of these people up to God in prayer, “Father I thank you for being with them all through the storm and for keeping so many safe. Father I pray that you will be with all who have suffered injuries or who are very shaken by this experience. Father God, may you protect and bless them all. May you heal them both physically and emotionally and may you mend the broken hearts of those who lost their loved ones in this terrible storm. Lord, may you continue to be with them all and bless them and bring them peace, comfort, and healing. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!”

A prayer for the Chic-Fil-A employee

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God Bless You

God Bless You

The other day I came across this little box sitting just beside the front counter of a local Chic-fil-A restaurant. Beside the box was a sign that read, drop your business card in for a chance to win a free lunch. I decided to drop in on of my “Progressive Prayer” cards simply because I figured it would be a nice surprise for some wonderful employee who works there to get. Who knows, perhaps the person who finds that card may be facing difficult situations in their lives right now or perhaps he/she is very blessed with no problems to speak of and that simple little card telling them that someone who they don’t even know prayed for them will brighten their day and they can pass that along to someone else. That’s the point of the Progressive Prayer Project. To spread love, peace, and genuine caring around the world with the power of prayer. I pray for the employee who receives that card, “May God bless you in many ways and may He bring you through any difficulties you may face and always bring you peace and happiness. May you always feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you wherever you may go, keeping you safe and leading you always down the right path. Amen!”
Even if you don’t have a card to hand to someone you meet, pray for them anyway. It can be the cashier who checked your groceries at the store this morning or it could be the pool attendant at the swimming pool you took your children to today or it could simply be someone you pulled up next to in traffic. Pray for someone else today and trust that while you are being a blessing to someone else by lifting them up in prayer, God is working on sending you your very own blessings, too.

A Prayer for my boys

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"Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

My boys are growing up oh, so fast. I realize this the most when I find myself sorting through pictures of them when they were little. Celebrating birthday parties, playing with friends, and proudly standing beside couch cushion forts that they’d built, I have the pictures to cherish and reminisce on it all. Then I turn around, put the photos down, and see that my boys are quickly becoming men. Men who I am proud of more and more with each new day. Men who I know I could never claim all of the credit for, because I know that I never could have raised them without the guidance and wisdom and help that God has provided me over these past 19 years. Today, as I think about how fast they are growing and how all too soon they will be leaving home and going out on their own, I offer up a prayer for my boys: “May God always bless you both and guide you. May He always comfort you when times get tough and ease your mind in times of trouble. May His whispers of truth always ring louder in your ears than any doubts and fears the devil will try to shout at you. May God keep you safe from all things bad, may He protect you always from harm and may He restore you if ever you have to face a broken heart. May He remind you that people and things will come and go, but that Jesus Christ is always the same-always loving, always forgiving, always sheltering, always uplifting, always encouraging, and always by your side. And may God always remind you that no matter how far from home the roads may take you, you will never be too far gone to turn around and come home. Amen.” I love you boys so very much. Keep God with you in whatever you do and you will always be headed in the right direction. Love, Mom :)

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