Encouraging Words Blog 


Revisiting: 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).  …

The Answer to All Our Questions

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By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:17-19

Dealing with my husband's new health problems has caused a lot of upset in our house.  …

Revisiting: The Alpha and The Omega

 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 1:8

It takes me by surprise when I realize I have forgotten this verse.  I get so tied up in my day-to-day problems and frustrations, I forget that there is something out there far greater than I am.

I guess it is human nature to think life is all about us.  I mean, after all, it IS our life.  …

Revisiting: Where You Go, I Will Go

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.  …

Revisiting: Trials and Trails

For we walk by faith, not by sight.   2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

For those of us who follow Christ, it is a walk of faith.  For those of us with chronic challenges in our lives, that walk seems to call forth a deeper faith.

It is easy to have faith when things are going well.  It is easy to have faith when life is full of blessings.  But, I wonder, what kind of “faith” is that?  Are we simply trusting in the good (not that I am against good things mind you!) …

Guest Post: God is in Control

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I am so grateful for those of you who have stepped up to help me keep Encouraging Words going out on a daily basis.  Today's post is from Fiona Burrows and so very much fits what I need to hear today.  Thanks, Fiona!

For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:3,4 NIV)

Do you ever wonder how different your life could be if things had happened differently. …

In the World Ye Shall Have Tribulation

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Sometimes someone has already written the words I need to both write ... and hear.  This is one of those times.   This is taken from  Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING:


      "In the world ye shall have tribulation."  
             -- John 16:33

Art thou asking the reason of this, believer? Look upward to thy heavenly Father, and behold him pure and holy. Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like him? …

Living on the Isle of the Unknown

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“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34


That's where we are living right now.

The unknown is all around us.

And things are changing so rapidly that it is hard to get one's bearings.  Just when we think we know something about my husband's condition - it changes. 

I'm realizing that it is during times like these I run to the person I consider to be my best friend.

Revisiting: Three Squeezes

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For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’  Isaiah 41:13, NIV

I seem to be living in the book of Isaiah lately.  I search for encouragement.  I find myself thinking back to my childhood and the times I was “ascared.”  I was a mama’s girl.  If I was near my mom, I knew I’d be ok. I remember taking her hand to help me feel safe when I was really frightened

My Prayer for You Today

With my not being able to be with my husband at the hospital, it's difficult to know how to encourage him the way I'd like to.

I've been sending him text messages with Scripture verses in them  They seem to help him.  I know they help me.

I can't pretend I'm not shedding tears today.  His future, our future, seems so uncertain.  Yet the uncertainty only lies in this life.  

I whispered, "I'm scared" to my husband.  …

Revisiting: The Night Jamie Died

I am not sure that, on this day, I could write anything other than this.  

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.  …

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

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For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

The opportunity of a lifetime.

That is what we have each been given, each of us in different ways.

And this is the opportunity I have been given today. 

Yes, my husband may have another cancer diagnosis.

But I know that is not all there is.

Yes, I may be frightened.

God Has It Covered

This will not be your usual encouraging words post.  I'm not even sure it will make it out in time for reading in the morning.

My husband was diagnosed with leukemia today and is in a hospital in Chicago waiting to start chemo as soon as possible.

It's been quite a day.

I learned about the diagnosis in a text from my husband as I sat in a dental chair in the same hospital complex.

I was surprised when I burst into tears as I read the words.

New Post: Changing Our Minds


Let me start by making it clear that I think it is perfectly fine for us to pray for healing.  We want to be whole, again.  And I do believe that God answers that prayers in different ways.

Yet, lately, my prayers have taken a different turn.  I'm seeing verses I never lingered over before.  It is as if I am being drawn to them.  And more than reading them, I'm praying them.

Verses such as:

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  …

New Post: Making It Personal


Some days, what I need is the simple but strong reassurance from Scripture that God is with me and that we are safe with Him to protect us.  In these next days of testing for my husband: another bone marrow biopsy, blood transfusions and waiting for test results, I need to hold on tightly to this verse.  

One of the ways I have learned to make this very, very personal is to put my name in each verse. It would look something like this:

New Post: When We Cry

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You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8

When I was younger , I viewed God as some distant, majestic being that was far from concerned about my life.  I thought God may have done miraculous things in the past, but that He was pretty untouchable in the here and now.  He had a storybook, fairy tale quality to Him.

As time has gone by, my viewpoint have changed a number of times.  …

Guest Post: Let's Not Shrink Back

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My thanks today to Fiona Burrows for her guest posting here.  I think Fiona addresses an issue pertinent to everyone, especially those of us who deal with chronic illnesses - as it seems we are far more misunderstood and often suffer the hurts of those who can't see or understand our illnesses.  Hope you enjoy Fiona's words today.

“But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. …

Revisiting: Loving Anyway

Choosing todays revisit was easy.  Part of what I am reading in Lysa TerKeurst's book "Unglued" talks about our expectations.  While I've been able to identify the fact that my expectations of others often cause problems in my life, I'm realizing that identifying it is about all I have done and still needs a LOT of work!

But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. …

Revisiting: It's Still A Wonder-Filled World

I recounted to you my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.  Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.  My soul is weary with sorrow strengthen me according to your word.  Psalm 119:26-28

It’s hard to stay positive when you live a life of chronic challenges.  It’s easy to think there is nothing positive to find at all.

I so appreciate the Psalmists words “My soul is weary with sorrow.”  …

Revisiting: Roller Coaster Rides

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?  Psalm 121:1 (NIV)

Facing physical challenges on a daily basis has been likened to living on a roller coaster.  Some people like roller coasters – I never have.  There are days when I feel “almost” good.  I can appreciate the good things.  Heck, I even appreciate when I can do laundry now.  Who knew I’d be glad to be able to walk around and dust!  …

Revisiting: Forsaken?

I guess it might sound silly to say I am blessed by my own words!  Yet, looking back through the older devotionals gives me some perspective on how God has worked in my life.  When I look at how I was feeling when I wrote this devotional - and how I am feeling today, I can only praise God.  He has brought so many wonderful people and new friendships into my life.  People who are so dear and so close to me, many of whom I've never even seen.  …

New Post: Growing Up (At My Age???)

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So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind.

Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation, Since you have [already] tasted the goodness

Guest Post: God - A Refuge In Our Pain


As I read through Fiona Burrows guest post, I was amazed at how similar her words were to my own experiences.  Sometimes, it does all seem like "just too much."  I pray Fiona's words bring comfort to you today just as they did to me as I read them.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)

Pain makes you do things you don’t want to.  I remember being told that pain makes us want to hurt someone back - and the people we most often hurt are those closest to us.

Revisiting: When You Can't See The Road Ahead

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  (Isaiah 30 21-22)

One night, years ago, when my dad was driving us home, we ran into incredibly dense fog.  Traveling on a dark interstate, my dad realized it would be just as dangerous to pull off to the side of the road as it was to keep going.  

Revisiting: Tears Or Joy?

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.

There are lyrics from musical “The Fantastics”:

                            “Plant a radish.

                             Get a radish.

                              Never any doubt.

                              That's why I love vegetables;

                              You know what you're about!

                              Plant a turnip.

                               Get a turnip.

Feeling "Unglued"?


I felt the need to write about this today, so you  get a real time post this morning! 

As a prisoner of the Lord, the, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:1-3

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