Encouraging Words Blog 

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Torn Asunder?

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 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21

It's a mixed blessing that night of my brother's death and Easter are just a week apart.  

My brother was a large part of our family Easter "to-do" that we used to put on.  We'd cook for days before and then have so many family members over.  My brother was always the one who gave the blessing.  Bitter sweet memories now.

Yet, what a strong reminder that after our death on this earth - we pass over into eternal life with our Savior.

Afflicted or Gifted?

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But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  2 Corinthians 4: 7-10

A Special Revisit: "Heaven is for Real"

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Today is the day of my beloved brother's funeral. Rainbows and funerals have special significance for me.  So, on this day of mourning in our family, I feel it is important for our family to remember that "Heaven Is For Real."

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  Isaiah 11:6


Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. …

Revisiting: GPS

O LORD, you have searched me  and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar.You discern my going out and my lying down;  you are familiar with all my ways.  Psalm 139:1-3, NIV

I was reading an email devotional I subscribe to and I suddenly realized the answer to something I’ve struggled with for years.  You see, I make frequent use of the words “I feel lost” or “I’m lost, I just don’t know what to do or where to go.”  …

How We Develop Hind's Feet

The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:19

The words that follow yesterday's verses began stirring some thoughts in me.  I've been pondering on them since I searched out Habakkuk 3 for my writing.

I've been thinking about the high places.  You know, mountain top moments - those times when we know God is so close to us we can feel Him in our lives.  

When it Feels Like Everything is Gone

It was my intent to write a new post for today.  In fact, it is mostly completed.  When I went back to the graphic I wanted to use, I found this post.  It sums up exactly what I was trying to say. Though only posted a year ago, it needs to be revisited again today.  With another difficult loss in our family, the words pick me up and carry me.  If today, you are in need of a strong support, please lean on the words God has given to us.  …

In Loving Memory

My only brother died last night at the age of 72.  Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis his passing was swift.  Ill only for a few days, God was gracious and took him home.


Melvin Wallace Hansen

November 25, 1941 - March 23, 2013


I love you, Mel, and I always will.

your little sister

A Gal Named Peg

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

I follow the email prayer chain sent out by our church.  I am often amazed at all of the needs than can come to my inbox in one day.  So many people having so many problems.

I usually prayer for the requests as they come to me.  …

When God Gets Real

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Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24

There are times I feel rubbed raw.

Not physically (although I do often hurt when my skin is touched), but emotionally.  Some days life seems as real and intense and painful as it could possibly be.

Many of you know that my husband is battling leukemia after having survived multiple myeloma and an aortic aneurism with a valve transplant.  

Revisiting: In the Land of Overwhelm

Today I feel I am living in a place I rarely visit anymore – the Land of Overwhelm.  Everywhere I look, something seems to be calling to me.  There is so much immediacy and I have so little energy.  Things from the past, which I thought were long settled are raising their heads.  When I am overwhelmed, I want to hide.  I want comfort. 

It amazes me over and over, that when feelings like this attack me, my mind goes into Scripture hunt mode without my even realizing it

Bending but Not Breaking

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“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

For some reason, I started to think about bamboo when I was searching for a topic for today.  

Bamboo.

Strange, huh?

In some ways, it's not so strange.  I've a wonderful flute made out of bamboo.  …

Revisiting: Where Do We Belong Now?

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.         1 Peter 2:9

So often, those of us who face chronic challenges wonder who in the world we are now and where we belong.  Our identities have changed so much.  I’ve been struggling lately with having to admit that even more of my plans are going by the wayside, and it’s hard to deal with.  

So, How About You?

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. …

Kicking Against the Goades

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You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5

There are times when I realize that I am just about my own worst enemy.  I can take a bad situation and make it worse.

I am reminded of Saul during his encounter with Christ. Saul has been persecuting the new Christian faith.  He has this experience: 

At midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

Revisiting: Merry-go-round Rides

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This is such an apt post for today.  I'm tired.  I feel weary - bone weary.  There is much for us to do as we prepare for my husband's return home for a few weeks before his next bone marrow test.  I'm not sure how I can care for him when I'm barely able to care for myself!  I need so to remember that God is the one who will get us through this.  Sometimes I forget this and think I need to try to do it all on my own.  …

Good From Pain?

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This is, no pun intended, a painful revisit.  While I'm not dealing with full blown trigeminal nerve problems with this bout of dental issues and the pain is nowhere near as severe, I find myself questioning why I'm heading down this road of dental pain and problems again.  This seemed like the perfect devotional for today for me to reread.  Praying it encourages you today.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; I Peter 4:12

When We Are Weary

I recounted 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 

I’ll admit it.  I don’t understand God.  That’s not saying I don’t want to.  I do.  Yet there are times I have to admit as well, that I don’t put as much effort into finding that understanding as the Psalmist did.

Help, Lord!

"Help, Lord." Psalms 12:1

Do you ever feel as if your prayers are inadequate?  I have heard preachers/pastors/ministers whose words seem so eloquent.  Their prayers and petitions seem so much more powerful than mine.  

How reassuring it is to know that we only really need two words.  And I’d go so far as to say, maybe even one.  “Help.”  There are times when that is all we have the time to say.  There are times when that is all we have the energy to say.  …

Revisiting: What About God?

Sigh.  Another morning.  I hate to get out of bed.  I bet I have another lousy day.  I’m hurting already.

     What about God?

I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Nothing changes.  It just gets worse.

     What about God?

I think this is so unfair.  Why aren’t I healthy like every body else?

     What about God?

I can’t do what I want, go where I want.  I can’t do anything.

    What about God?

No one comes to visit.  …

Are You Listening?

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Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. …

Spirit Song


Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Simply a song for today.  

O let the Son of God enfold you
With His Spirit and His love
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
O let Him have the things that hold you
And His Spirit like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole

Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs

Hard Pressed

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.                        2 Corinthians 4:8-9

One of the sayings I heard over and over as a child was “Nobody said it was going to be easy.”  Well, nobody told me life was going to be this hard, either!

I went into Chicago to have some dental work done.  No one in our area wants to deal with my illnesses and allergies.

Revisiting: In The Prayer Place


After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.  Job 42:10

I found this interesting little verse tucked away in the book of Job.  I have to admit I don't often frequent this book - thinking I pretty much know what it contains.  Stumbling across this one has caused me to ponder on what it says.

I often wonder why particular verses are included.  …

Poised for Calamity?

I love analogies.

There is a word picture in "Hind's Feet on High Places" that is resonating with me lately.  The main character, Much Afraid, alludes to herself as a quivering jelly fish as she faces a huge rock wall in front of her.  Not only does it block her path, but it requires a bravery she feels she does not have to begin to climb the formidable precipice.

Oh yes!  As I look at all that surrounds me lately, I realize that I am that self-same quavering little jellyfish.

Born to Fly

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Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I'm not sure when I first heard this story.  I know it was many, many years ago.  It has it's origins in a sermon from Charles Stanley.

The story goes something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a lowly little caterpillar crawling along in the mud.  It would inch its way over twigs and leaves, belly covered with the wet earth beneath him.  …

 © deni weber 2010-2015