Are We Shutting In or Shining Out?

Shut in or Shut outIt’s hard to believe it, but three months ago—Thursday, March 19th—Governor Newsom gave a statewide “Stay-at-Home” order to the residents of California. All of us went into our homes and shut the door. What did we shut the door against? Covid-19, yes, but also fellowship, camaraderie, freedom of all kinds, and meeting together on Sunday mornings.

Most of us have stayed in touch with our families and others through our devices: phones, iPads, emails, Zoom meetings, and social media pages. But a “virtual hug” or a wave doesn’t make up for human touch.

I have talked with mothers of school children, who are “done”. I mean really done. The stress of 24-7 kids at home, trying to understand the technologies needed to help their child continue in school, husbands who are working from home and needing quiet… what a challenge! I’ve talked with lonely widows who cry at the sound of a friendly voice. I’ve seen fear in the eyes of strangers in the supermarket as we maintain our 6’ social distance and try like heck to go down the aisle the right way. I miss the sound of laughter. I miss the smiles that I hope are behind all those masks. I miss the hugs from my grandchildren. I long, oh how I long, for how things used to be.

AND YET… through all of this, I have grown. I have rekindled my love for reading the Word. I have been drawn in once more to the promises of God and they have touched me deeply. I have learned to seek Him first in my day and I have been rewarded. One of the “fruits” of this time has been a new habit. I’ve started writing notes to people – friends, family, church goers that I miss. In those notes, I include a recipe card promise from the Word. Many have replied that it was just what the needed. Think about those people who could use an encouragement right about now and ask the Lord for a promise. Let His light shine in the darkness through you.

Dear Child

Sample Promises for Your Recipe Card
For the fearful: Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 2Kings 6:16
For the unemployed: And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
For the brokenhearted: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
For the depressed: For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
For the discouraged: Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Psalm 43:5

Nana’s Nudge: Let your “little light shine”!
Music has sustained me these past months. Listen with an open heart:
Nana’s Songs
You Are Loved  |  The Blessing  |  Breakthrough  |  You’re Gonna Be OK  |  Our God  |  See A Victory  |  Dancing on the Waves
Nana’s Prayer:  Thank You, Father, that You are always near and You draw us close. Help us to see our brothers and sisters who are in need of encouragement. Give me Your inspiration, Holy Spirit. Jesus, shine Your light through us, Lord!

It is said that there are 7,000 promises in the Bible. I highly recommend Promises of God by Dr. Lester Sumrall – available for free in pdf format.

The 6:56 Movement

It's 6:56 PM & Time to Pray for OthersOur church family was shocked to learn that our pastor’s wife, Hope Ettore was heading into a third battle with cancer. She is an accomplished woman with 6 children at home–including two adopted  with special needs. Because of her passion to help 3rd world countries, she has pursued her AA, her BS, and her Masters and was recently hired into a fabulous position in her field as a Research Analyst and Epidemiologist. So, how can her hopes be realized when her world has come crashing down once again? Plain and simple: FAITH! and a word promise she has carried in her heart since before her first battle: “Plan for Longevity.”

I am a member of our church prayer team and receive email alerts for those in our Body who need prayer. Hope has just been added to the top of the list. My daughter-in-law, Kathy, phoned me the other night with a strong urge to enlist me in an idea she had. She said, “Mom, I set my phone alarm to pick up my kids. Why can’t we set our alarms to pray for Hope and others who need healing at 6:56 PM?” That morning she saw a Scripture verse that came alive her. It was Mark 6:56.

Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

WE can be THEY.

All of us know someone who needs healing from cancer, arthritis, heart issues, digestion, sleep disorders, anxiety… and the list goes on. That’s the point! Make a list! I have a habit of writing down the date, the person’s name, and the prayer need on a 3 x 5 card. I keep them at my sink and pray through them every day when I get dressed. You have NO idea how delighted I am to write down the date of answered prayer and file that 3 x 5 card away in my blessing box.

So, think  about it… dinner is over, dishes are done, and your favorite TV program hasn’t started yet. Want to join me and others to lift our friends and dear ones up in prayer at 6:56 PM?

Nana’s Nudge: Set your phone alarm for 6:56 PM. Get out a 3 x 5 card and write down the names of those who need healing. Place your hand on that card and PRAY!
Nana’s Songs: One More Song For You | Healer | In Jesus Name
Nana’s Prayer: Oh, Father, look down upon these sons and daughters who need a miracle. We  call upon Your name as Jehovah-Rapha (God Our Healer) and give thanks that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to offer Himself as a sacrifice in our place. It’s by the shedding of His precious blood and His life-giving sacrifice that we bring Hope Ettore and (your list) to Your throne room. We ask for grace. We ask for healing of ALL their diseases. Touch them with Your powerful love. May their days begin and end with the peace only You can provide. Bring comfort, faith, hope, love, and support to their families. And above it all, help them to know Your mercy, compassion and lovingkindness.

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