Encouraging Words Blog 


‘Preparing for Any Event' Checklist

Hospital gown

This is one of the few times I’ve had advance notice of being hospitalized.  I’m usually admitted through the E.R. in a crisis moment.

While this is a crisis moment of sorts, I am allowed to prepare for it.

“Pack your suitcase,” the nice receptionist told me.  “Make sure you have everything you need.”

So, true to form, I made a list.

Hospital stays are complicated for me.  I can’t eat hospital food.  I can’t drink tap water.  …

Are You In the Lion’s Den?


I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1-2

If you’ve been reading my current blog posts, you know of my current penchant for VeggieTales.  It’s funny that, now, as an adult, I’m seeing so much more in those songs than I ever have before.

They are lifting me up at a time when I dearly need it.  And, once again, I see God using music in my life.

It’s Worth It


More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, Philippians 3:8 a (NASB)


I don’t get it.

No, not the cancer part.  I’ve realized it happens in this world fractured by sin.  Your word talks about the way our creation grown and suffers under the weight of sin. I know I am not singled out - many have gone down this road. 

I don’t get the way I’m feeling.

“God is Bigger Than the Boogeyman” (or If God is For Us, Who is Against Us?)


If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:31

Today, the past week’s events got real.  Very real.

While I was expecting that a biopsy would be happening soon, and probably a mastectomy at some point in the future - I wasn’t expecting the call this morning saying that they wanted to do the biopsy at 10:00 on Monday, followed by the surgery itself.

Truth be told?  I started shaking.  I got real scared - real quick.

Where We Turn Our Attention Matters


Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2 Chronicles 20:3

Something I’ve not talked about a lot in this blog is my tendency to have panic attacks.  It has taken me a while to realize that is what is happening to me at times. Not just being afraid - a full-blown panic attack.

I’m learning - as God teaches - that getting through these attacks requires a real focus on God.

Surviving … or Thriving???


I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

In my previous life as a clinical psychologist, we were encouraged to write up five-year plans, ten-year plans, and to develop a mission statement.

Things went off track during those first five years - derailing completely before those years were up.

I’ve not looked at those papers for years.  …

My Theory on Life

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For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

I have developed this theory on life.  

God created us jammed full of different emotions - and to have lived a good, full life - one is allowed to experience them all.  

To that, I say “Amen!”

I will admit that I’ve wondered if I’m looking at limited time spent on this earth.  …

When the Battle is Not Ours

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I’m finding the reaction to my news of having breast cancer kind of interesting.

There is a lot of support out there for me, which I greatly appreciate. Any and every prayer is welcomed.

I also find I get some odd (to me) reactions.

“You must be so devastated by this news.”

“Oh, your poor family has been through so much!”

“I don’t know what I’d do if I were you.”

I guess those are fairly typical reactions, actually.  …

When the Unexpected Happens


I wasn’t really expecting this.

No - not the news that the lump in my breast is cancerous and I probably have a mastectomy in my future  …

I wasn’t expecting the joy I’m feeling.

Yes, I’m taken aback - and still in disbelief.

But I awakened this morning, before the doctor’s appointment, with a children’s song playing in my head.  Actually - in my heart.

I started to quietly sing out loud even before I got out of bed.

Fear … or Faith?

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My lesson for the week?

Waiting on God and living in the moment.

After having had my sonogram yesterday and a biopsy ordered - then looking up details for myself online and seeing the potential for something ugly growing in my body - my mind was off and running.

I wasn’t thrilled with the clinic that did the sonogram. They had little awareness of my complex medical issues and how that could interfere with the biopsy. …

On My Knees

If you've read this before, I pray you can find something that speaks to you.  If you are new to the blog, welcome.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,  Psalm 30:11

To say that my life is not turning out the way I expected it to is a vast understatement.  Even plans I had a few short years ago are now on the distant horizon, maybe never to be realized.  It’s hard.  …

Safe and Secure?

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to feel safe and secure.  

I think we all do.  Chronic illness can cause one to feel anything but safe and secure.  It is as if we are out in a desert, all alone, with no real path to follow.

We never know what will happen next - or what kind of day it will be.  God tells us that we are completely accepted by Him once we have given Him Lordship over our lives.  He also tellsus that we are able to feel secure in Him, even if we don’t feel so with our illnesses.

Are You One of the Ten?

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Gratitude has become important to me. 

I have kept odd lot gratitude lists, or kept partial lists in my daily journal, but I decided I wanted to keep one journal dedicated to all of my “Thank You’s”.

It fascinated me that in a reply to an email I had sent to a friend, she wrote back that perhaps our legacy is to simply say Thank You.

It gave me a lot to think about.

It also caused to me search out the verses below.

In This Moment

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For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28 NIV

Perhaps you have noticed a theme to my recent devotionals, whether those from the archives or recently penned.  I know that I see the concepts of holding on and never giving up coming to the fore over an over again.

I’m realizing that mostly, I am talking to myself about holding on.  It’s been a year since my “death” from cardiac arrest, and it’s been a long and challenging year.  …

Never Give Up

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We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.  James 5:11 (New American Standard Bible)

There is a story I once heard about Winston Churchill.  While it has its basis in truth, the version told to me was not quite accurate.  However, even in its somewhat distorted version, it’s a good story.

Finding the Gift in the Pain

From the May 2011 Archives

“Good Morning, Lord.”

I lie in my bed looking out the window.  I see the cloudy sky and the leaves in the trees a lush green.

“It’s another one of those days, Lord.  You know, the kind where I wake up in pain and know – just know that nothing much will be done.  It’s a “bed” day.  I don’t like them, Lord.”

“I know, child.  I know.  But there is a gift in today for you, if you will only look hard enough.”

It’s In the Small Stuff

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Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 (NASB)

What is there about that leaf?

The one right outside my window this morning.

Tenaciously hanging on through the worst winter weather, almost to springtime.



Jesus Wept

"Where have you laid him?" he asked.  "Come and see, Lord," they replied.  Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!" John 11:34-36 (New International Version)

My son’s 10-year-old cat died today.  Quite unexpectedly and quite suddenly.  One moment she was following after him as she was wont to do – and the next – she laid down on the carpet - gasped for breath - and was gone.

I know to many of you this will seem trivial to the things you are experiencing.  …

What Legacy Will You Leave?

Could you drop me a quick note or leave a comment if you received this devotional?  (You can also simply reply to this post.) My feed provider is reporting no subscribers at this point, so I’m not sure the posts are being mailed out.  Thanks!

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.

Hold On

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever,  for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.  Isaiah 26:3-4

Can you even imagine it?  Perfect peace?  I know I can’t.  Not really.  I know I get knocked from side to side so easily when problems arise.  I also know I do not have that “steadfast mind.’  Yet, the requirement seems pretty simple.  


What Really Matters?


There is a difference between living with chronic pain or illnesses or challenges as a Christian and living that same life without God.  

At least, I think there should be.

My guess is that folks who live  this life without a knowledge of God have different life goals than we do.  

I know we all want to be better.  

We'd like the pain to decrease or go away.  We'd like the challenges to stop.  We’d like to have days with no new challenges on the horizon.

Just For Today ….

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

My roots are in 12-Step programs.  As I began my journey to understand my dual addicted daughter, I found myself learning the basic traditions for all of the 12-step programs.  Some folks don't care for the programs.  Some swear by them.  I just know they helped me then just as they help me now.  …

When There is Nothing

Some mornings are what I call "dry well" mornings.  What do I write about?  I look back over older blog posts and see if one is waving its hand asking to be reposted.  Nope.  Nothing. No ideas come to mind. I've prayed about it .... and still nothing.

It's a cold, gray day.  I'm tired.  I'm not feeling well. Today writing seems like a chore.  Several things I counted on have fallen through.  How do I encourage when I feel discouraged myself?  …

When Bumblebees Fly

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

Another crisis looms large in front of me.  I close my eyes.  I find myself thinking, “No.  No, I just can’t keep doing this.  It is too much.  It’s impossible.  Just impossible.”

I sigh.  Once again, things look so bleak.  “This one is impossible.  I just can’t keep going.”

Have You Put Your Stone of Help in Place?

stones for meditation

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebebezer, saying “ hus far the LORD has helped us."  1 Samuel 7:`13

There is a saying that almost always comes to mind when things are going badly for my family or those close to me and doubts begin to form about God's being there.  I'm not sure where I first heard it - and I'm guessing most everyone knows it or some variation of it.

"God hasn't brought you this far to let you down now."

When We Have Reached the End

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:67-68 NIV)

I've been having some very deep conversations with one of my best friends.  They have been diagnosed with a degenerative disease and life is falling apart for them.  We've spent hours talking about God and the reasons for things like these in our lives.

 © deni weber 2010-2015