Encouraging Words Blog 


Into the Eyes of Fear

cross shadow

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2-4

I sit here stunned.

My husband and I have just ended a phone conversation with Social Security Disability.  While he is headed toward long-term disability from his employer, a requirement is to submit a Social Security Disability application.

True Joy

cloud of witnesses

Restore to me the joy of our salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12

Today is a struggle for me.  I'm realizing how pain wears me down.  It has been so long since I have had a truly pain-free day, that I don't really remember how it feels.  I'm sorta used to the usual stuff - but today ... ah, today is a challenge.

I struggle to read my Bible.

I struggle with my prayer time.

I'm struggling with writing.

And God Granted His Request

Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request.  I Chronicles 4:10

“And God granted his request.”  Sometimes I think folks look at this prayer as if it were some sort of magical formula for getting what we want from God.  It seemed to almost be a fad for a while to be praying this prayer.  …

Having A Christ Filled Day

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and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19

This past Christmas, our pastor challenged us to wish folks a "Christ-filled Christmas" rather than simply saying Merry Christmas.  I really took to that saying.

That cliche "have a nice day" is, to me, better replaced with that same saying, "Have a Christ-filled day."   I've begun using the phrase a lot - and as I closed a comment to a reader with that statement, I started thinking.

Why Pray?

Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request.  I Chronicles 4:10

In the Lord’s Prayer, Christ taught us to pray that we be delivered from evil (NASB) or from the evil one (NIV).  In ‘The Message’ bible, it is worded  “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”

That Your Hand Might Be With Me

Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request.  I Chronicles 4:10

Jabez prayed for many things in this one short sentence.  While he asked God that God’s hand might be with him – those of us who follow Christ have that as an assurance.  Romans 8:38-39 tells us that:

When You Feel "Less Than"

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

One thing that writing this blog does for me is that it makes me look for encouraging things in my life to write about.  Most everything becomes grist for the mill.  I look at each day and think ..'How can this be used to encourage others?'  It helps keep me positive.

I dwelt for so long in negativity.  …

"Oh, That You Would Bless Me!"

Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request.  I Chronicles 4:10

Many of you may have heard of Jabez (whose name means sorrow maker) or have read the book about Jabez’s prayer.  It’s interesting to learn that Jabez was considered honorable ‘above his brothers,’ though we are not really told why.  …

Barbs and Thorns

“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.” (Numbers 33:55 NIV)

Let me start this off by saying that I don’t think that we can cure all our problems by “positive thinking.”  I get frustrated and angry and could feel quite guilty when I hear that. I don’t believe it is just my thoughts that keep bringing challenge after challenge to me.  …

On My Own

 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

I was a counselor by profession in my “former” life.  I learned the tricks of the trade to help fix whatever problem someone had.  Sometimes those fixes didn’t work.  There were people who, although looking for help, were not ready for change.

I remember going to a supervisor about one client in particular who had been in therapy for years – but never got the “change” he desired. …

I'm Just Clapping Along with the Trees

You will go out in joy
  and be led forth in peace;
  the mountains and hills
  will burst into song before you,
  and all the trees of the field
  will clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:10-12 (New International Version)

I don't know how the weather has been where you live, but here in Indiana it seems to be summer already.  We had very little snow, a mostly warmer winter, and Mother Nature is outdoing herself.

As I looked out my window, I saw the trees with their lush greenery already in full bloom.  …

I Believe


Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1: 12-13

"I believe that for every drop of rain that falls ... a flower grows.

I believe that somewhere in the darkenest night  ... a candle glows.

I believe for everyone who goes astray ... someone will come to show the way.

The Question Is ...

When I reread older blog postings, I sometimes find one that fits better than one I could write today.  This is one of those times.

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. (John 6:67, NIV)

“Lord, I’ve been looking at the storms again.  I see the winds raging, the waves crashing. I see no shining sun, only dark threatening clouds.”

My mind rushes to the storms of the past as I remember the pain they held.  

Why, Why, Why???

Romans 8-7-8

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.  Romans 8: 7-8

“If your God is all-powerful, why did He let my child die?”  “Why are there horrible wars in the world?”  “Why doesn’t He heal my illnesses?” Why, why, why ...

As human beings we want answers to the tragedies of our lives.  …

God, Are You There?

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.  
Psalm 139

Some days are what I call "empty days."  Perhaps you have had days like this.  The outside world seems bleak and chilled.  …

Happy Mother's Day?

Broken Glass

So many things that happen to us in life seem to leave a gaping hole in our soul.  We lose something precious - family or friends - health or money - and we are left feeling an emptiness so large it feels the wind could blow through it.

So, what do we do?

There have been many losses in my life, as I am sure there have been in theirs.  This walk along the road of chronic illness is littered with the things we have had to leave behind.

When Will It End?


 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3

“When is this going to end?” 

My husband looked at me dejectedly.  He was at his wits end.

At His Feet

christ high priest

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.  Nahum 1:7

My dear, dear readers - our lives are such struggles at times! 

As my husband's battle with his Parkinson's and cancer continue I find I am relating to pain and illness in a new way.  I guess I'm almost used to my own challenges.  In some odd way they are old familiar friends to me.  I pretty much know what to expect.  …

When We Feel Unloved by God (or "God Likes Him Best!")

balance scale

Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  Even all the hairs on your head are numbered.  So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

It was a difficult moment to say the least.  Here was my grown son, all 6' 5" of him standing in front of me demanding answers.

"Why does it feel like you love them better than you do me?  …

Comfort in Our Trials


For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.  2 Corinthians 1:5

I know that in my own life, I turn to God when things get tough.  When do we usually pray?  When we want or need something from God.  Ongoing suffering and pain can help us to realize our only real ally in our misery is God.  People often desert us.  We feel alone.

God is there when we hurt.  …

Enough, Already!

Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.  I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  …

Bearing Fruit - or Being Unbearable

growing hearts

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

I decided I need to work on memorizing more Scripture.  

The good news?

I think I have it memorized!

The flip side?

I realize how often I don't reflect those traits.

For a while it was depressing.  I'd think - how can my life look like that with all I am dealing with?


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 New International Version)

No – my cat did not just walk across the top of my computer keyboard.  Those are letters I saw on a button worn by a gal at the store.  Curious, I had to ask her what it stood for.  …

High Places


Have you ever had one of the "duh" moments.  You know the kind - when something that is so obvious, but overlooked jumps up at grabs your attention.

I had that experience after posting my "When There is Nothing" devotional. I went back and listened to the verse on my phone.  Then I listened to the next verse.  How could I not have realized what came next?

Verse 19 of Habakkuk 3:

The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’

 © deni weber 2010-2015