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IMAGE 10 -Peanut Butter sandwich

5:30 a.m. A loud noise electrifies my body. Without a peep, I reach for the snooze button. Ten minutes later another blast jolts me into motion. With my feet firmly planted on the ground, I make my way to the kitchen. Oh, the blessing of an automatic coffeemaker. Still not fully awake, I notice the clock now reads 5:45 a.m.

A pleading prayer immediately pours out, “Lord, it’s another day filled with routines— kids to get ready for school, breakfast to make, dogs to feed, lunches to create, buses to catch, homework to remember, athletic shoes to pack, notes to sign, and whatever else I’m forgetting. And all this has to be done by 6:30 a.m.! Please, help me have a positive attitude this morning.”

After waking the children, I take another sip of coffee. I hear a small rumble from the bathroom, which ignites into a roar. What are they fussing about this time? Thankfully my words of wisdom quickly extinguish the argument. Of course, they know from past history it is to their advantage to heed my warning… if you know what I mean.

Cereal is the breakfast of choice––quick and easy! Realizing time is running short, I begin making lunches. In the process, this thought runs through my mind, “How many peanut butter sandwiches have I made over the years?” The minute this thought exits, another idea surfaces, “What if I begin praying for my children as I make their lunches? I can use these peanut butter sandwiches as visual reminders to pray for each one.” With a twinge of excitement, I grab the bread, knife, and jars of peanut butter and jelly. With a large glob on my knife, I begin to pray…

“Lord, just as I spread this peanut butter on the bread, may You spread Your Word on my children’s hearts. Give them an excitement to spread the message of Jesus to their friends at school. And as this jelly brings sweetness to the sandwich, may Your Holy Spirit sweeten their relationships with Jesus. Like these two pieces of bread that cover the peanut butter and jelly, may Your love and protection cover my children’s lives. Finally, as they eat these sandwiches, may they experience the taste of Your spiritual nourishment throughout their day.”

Immediately, I realize God responded to my early morning prayer for a positive attitude. Humbleness fills my heart, soul, and mind. A song of praise comes from my lips as I give God the glory for His presence and for answering my prayer.


Are you in need of a fresh perspective and outlook for the day? Ask the Lord for encouragement throughout your daily routines. Look for ways He spurs you forward and answers your prayers. Oh, how precious it is when we leave the details to Jesus and watch Him change our hearts!

So I opened my mouth, and He (God) gave me the scroll to eat. Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. –Ezekiel 3:3

Excerpt from My Prayer Chair by Carla McDougal

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Jesus. Savior. Messiah. Over 2000 years ago, His humble entrance into this world changed our future… forever. God, in the flesh, bringing hope to the world – a world filled with corruption, chaos, and moral decay. In the little town of Bethlehem during the utter confusion of the census, Jesus’ birth silently swept in like a new fallen snow.

  • With no phones, television, or the internet how did the word get out about the Messiah’s arrival?
  • Why did God send Jesus at such a chaotic time of year?
  • As a mom, I can’t image giving birth in an unsanitary stable with hay, animals, and GERMS?
  • Why did the wise men bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Why didn’t they bring blankets, baby clothes, and rattlers?

Imagine The Wise Men just doing their thing… being wise. When suddenly, they notice a Star beaming in the East. With all their wisdom and knowledge of scripture, they recall Numbers 24:17, A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab and destroy all the sons of tumult.

These men didn’t sit around contemplating the situation. They moved into action. With little time to waste, they headed East following the star. Imagine their journey. Possibly they were singing songs of praise or contemplating what they would say first. With every step, their hearts beat faster and faster. Keeping their eyes on the Star, their pilgrimage ended at a humble home in the little town of Bethlehem. The excitement pounding in their hearts resembled their knock on the door. As the door opened, they see the toddler who was with his mother. The Wise Men couldn’t contain themselves any longer. The Messiah, their long-awaited Yeshua, humbly standing in the midst them. With arms opened, they ran toward the child and fell on their knees before Him in worship and praise. Immediately, they reached into their bags. One-by-one they laid their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh at the feet of the young boy – their King! Tears puddled beneath them. Physically weary, yet energized spiritually they left this humble abode to return home. Wow, what a trip home that must have been!

The Wise Men’s gifts had purpose and meaning…

  • Gold symbolized Royalty – Representing Jesus as The King of the Jews.
  • Frankincense was a Fragrance – Used in the Temple – Representing Jesus’ Priesthood.
  • Myrrh was an Ointment of Death – Prophesying Jesus’ Death.

God had it all planned out. He directed The Wise Men perfectly, not only with the Star but with the perfect gifts! Through these three presents, God provided Joseph and Mary the financial resources needed to flee to Egypt, escaping the wrath of Herod. These gifts not only provided physical purpose, but also spiritual significance. God used The Wise Men to be His hands and feet here on earth. Oh, what we can learn from these men of God.

Challenge this Christmas Season… May this Christmas be one you will remember as life changing. Not because of the gifts you receive or places you go, but because of the unseen gifts you give to others. Possibly the most precious present you can give someone is the gift of prayer. I challenge all of us to be Prayer Givers this Christmas season. The most beautiful thing about this gift is… It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

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