Encouraging Words Blog 


Yesterday, Today, Forever

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8 (New International Version)

The one thing I have noticed about facing daily chronic challenges is that they are inconsistently consistent.  I’ve likened it to a roller coaster ride.

Will my heart stay in rhythm today?  Will I be able to get up and move around?  Will I need pain pills and muscle relaxers?  Will it be a remarkably “good” day and I can accomplish things?

In the Palm of His Hand

 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  Psalm 49:16

Today I started thinking about hands and all they are capable of doing.  Maybe it is because mine don’t work as well as they used to.  I fumble more when I am doing things.  Intricate work I used to do, well - let’s just say I don’t do much of it anymore.  

There are so many kinds of hands.  There are helping hands.  There are hands that reach out to hurt.  …

Searching for Comfort?

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“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

We had one of those dreaded early morning calls.  With so many in our household right now, emergencies come more often.  This time, it is a call for my daughter-in-law.  A close friend of hers is in severe pain and needs to get to the hospital.  She has no money or insurance to pay for an ambulance.  …

Have You Ever?

Psalm 31

Some people view the Bible as an old “dead” book with no relevance today. Psalm 31 is a petition from David to the Lord.  It speaks to us today.

 Do you ever feel that no one knows your pain?  That no one cares?  

Psalm 31:7   I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. 

Do you ever feel that you have no one to go to with the challenges you face?

v. …

Prayer Walking

Pray continually.  (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV)

One thing I have a lot of now is time.  I often wonder how to fill up my days.  I am not much of a TV person, and there I times I don’t really feel good enough to do anything.  I may want to – but my body is not always cooperative.  I used to let those times weigh me down - feeling useless – purposeless – empty.

One day I learned about prayer walking.  (Although for me, sometimes it is an imaginary walk.)  …

My Comfort Tree

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

Outside my bedroom window is a large shagbark hickory tree.  I only recently truly became aware of this tree. One day, I realized it looked like a Walt Disney “tree person.”  It has limbs on each side that look like arms – and branches shooting up into the air like hair on the top of its head.  This tree, however, is a comforting tree and not a scary one. 

Devotional: Whine … or Wine?

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  1 Peter 4:12 NIV

One of the devotionals I get is from Oswald Chambers.  I find he says many things that I find difficult, but that my spirit knows to be true.  This is part of one I received today and it inspired me to write today.  Today is not one of the good days for me.  Yet these words beg to be written.  …

The Legacy We Leave Behind


Do you ever feel like some moments in life are "milestone moments"?  The kind where you are offered a choice that could literally change everything?  No, not the ones where things happen around you, but the ones where you are making a choice that could impact the rest of your life - and the lives that come after you.

Today I read a wonderful devotional (link below) about leaving a legacy.  I always enjoy Karlton's writings, but this one hit home so very hard.

A Hundred Million Miracles

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 NIV

There is an email going around that says something to the effect of “Don’t tell God how big your problems are.  Tell your problems how big your God is.”

Sometimes, I forget that.  Sometimes, I look at everything that is happening in our lives and think, “Wow, there is no way out of this one.”  …

The Night Jamie Died 2

He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

Twice a year I am overcome with intense sadness.  If things had happened differently, perhaps I'd feel more joy - yet it is difficult.

July 7, 1975 was the day my daughter was born.  At midnight on January 19/20, 2005, her life was taken from her, as well as the life of her unborn child.  …

Have Hope!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4) NIV

I don’t know about you, but some days I am sorely lacking in hope.  I see no end to the days ahead of me with my body being in active rebellion and my life so totally changed.  Some days, hope is all I have – so losing that hope is devastating for me.  …

Talk Happiness

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22

Most of my “communication” with the outside world takes place on my computer. I get daily devotionals from a number of places. This quote came through today and really spoke to my heart.

“Talk happiness. The world is sad enough without your woe. No path is wholly rough.”  Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I have to admit that when I first read this, part of me rebelled.  …

Worth the Wait?

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

If I were to guess at one of the lessons that God is teaching me through the challenges He has put before me, I’d say that it is to learn to wait.  I wait at the doctor’s office.  I wait for test results.  …

When Holding On Isn't a Good Idea


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

Have you even seen that poster of a kitten who is holding on to a branch desperately trying to keep from falling.  The words on it convey the idea of "hanging on" when things get tough.

Yes, holding on can be the thing we need to do.  …

With Every Breath I Take

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7 NIV)

Lord, I thank you for today.  I thank you for this opportunity to trust you, for that is exactly what this is.  It is an opportunity to look to You, to focus on You, to feel closer to You. This morning I pray for my breathing, Lord.  It is something I often take for granted.  

Deliverance From Fear

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;  He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

I do not consider myself to be a Biblical scholar.  There is much I do not know.  I know I do enjoy reading scripture and looking at verses.  Sometimes I see verses in a different light than I did previously.  This verse is one of those verses.

It seems plain that the Psalmist is saying that he sought God and found Him and that God answered him.  …

Renewed From the Inside Out

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  (2 Corinthians 4:16, NASB)

Do I believe God takes care of us?  Yes.  Do I believe I have a role in taking care of myself?  Again – a resounding “Yes.”  Now I’m not talking about the daily physical things we need to do, though I know those are important.  Watching what I eat, getting the exercise I can, getting the rest I can (remembering my CPAP machine each night even though I don’t really like to wear it.)  …

Sleep in Peace

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 NIV

There are times when I do not like to go to bed.  There are a myriad of reasons.  Sometimes I am simply not tired and dread lying in bed awake.  Other times, I am hurting and can’t sleep.  At other times, I just don’t want to go to sleep because I know I often feel worse when I wake up on the morning.  I almost dread bedtime. …

Need to Feel Safe?

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1 NIV

When I worked as a counselor, I was taught that people have different basic needs that drive them.  It was theorized that a person could be driven by the need for power, money, safety, comfort, recognition, or most likely a combination of the above in differing degrees.  

If you knew what was motivating the person, you could help them meet their goals.  …

Time to Change the Channel?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8, NIV)

Who “controls” the TV remote in your house?  It seems to be a common joke that the men control the remotes, and women just have to suffer along watching whatever the man of the house wants to watch.

Devotional: Times to Remember; Times to Pray

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?  (Psalm 77:11 NIV)

I like to keep a prayer journal.  I keep it on my computer, now – and I discovered something that helps encourage me when things get tough.  I write down my prayer requests – one to a line – and when they are answered, I write out the answer and go back and highlight the answer.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

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Then they sat seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great. Job 2:13

Do you know what I like least about facing my challenges?

Feeling I am not heard.

Sometimes, when I go just to talk to others I am barraged by words that discourage me.

"You know, you really should try ....." (Fill in the blank.)

"Well, if I were you I would ...."

"If you really wanted to you could ...."

Bitter or Better?

Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (I Peter 4:19)

These are difficult words.  They are hard to understand.  Suffering according to the will of God seems like such a contradiction.  God wills that we should suffer?  I have to admit that is a statement I do not understand.

Yet, we are called to trust ourselves to God – knowing that He is doing what is right.  …


Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:10-11, NIV)

Do you feel blessed?  I know there are times I feel anything BUT blessed.  While there are periods of peace and contentment living with my daily challenges, there are times I rail against the challenges presented to me.  …

I Will Follow Him

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My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27

Ok, I admit it - I'm a sucker for old songs.  Golden oldies have now turned into "moldy oldies."  That's ok.  It's kinda fun listening to the old tunes and seeing what can be a second message in them.  Yes, I know that the songwriter most likely did not have the same meaning in mind, but as I am beginning to see God everywhere, this seemed apt.

Don't They Know It's The End of the World?


I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. Revelation 21:1

For those of you who are in my generation, you'll recognize the title as the words to a song in which a young girl is bemoaning the loss of her boyfriend.  …

Devotional: Consider it Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  James 1:2-3 (New International Version)

Ah, there is that word again.  Perseverance.  I am beginning to detect a theme here! I have recently been delving into the book of James.  I often read Scripture piecemeal (almost wrote “peace” meal – interesting slip of the fingers).  …

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