Encouraging Words Blog 

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God Always Knows Best

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I once heard a story that has helped me to understand how the trials of our life help us grown and become more.

You may have heard it, or read it, but I’d like to recount it as I remember it.

There was once a man who was entranced with butterflies.  He marveled at how such a plain little thing a cattepillar could change into a completely different creation.

One day, finding a cocoon on a bush near his home, he snapped off the twig and took it inside with him to watch it emerge.  

A Life Worthy of Him

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I think that somewhere along the way I bought into the idea that it was easy to be a Christian.  The whole health, wealth, and prosperity deal.

Now, that is NOT saying that God couldn’t choose to restore my health, or couldn’t provide me with wealth and/or prosperity.  None of those are inherently good or bad.

What it is saying is that I do not believe my comfort in this life is the main point of giving myself over to Christ. 

When Life Hurts

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I’ll never be able to say it as well as C. S. Lewis did in his book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” and if you’ve never read the story, a quote may not make much sense - but the story tells of a young boy’s experience with being changed from what he had become into what Aslan (representative of Christ in the story) wanted him to be.

It was likened to having one’s skin peeled off.  Literally.  Not a sunburn peel, but having the very skin itself removed.

Yesterday: Where the Rubber Hit the Road for Me

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I almost didn’t write today.

Yet, I’ve heard the best thing to do when you are discouraged is to reach out to try and encourage someone else.

So, that is what I am doing.

I’ll start off by saying up front that I’m back at home and ok - so I won’t hold you in suspense for the rest of the story.

Another ER run yesterday - beginning to seem like I need a standing reservation for weekends.

This one jolted me.  Felt a funny taste in my mouth and ended up with several mouthfuls of blood.  …

Making the Most of Each Moment

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Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)

How do we make the most of each day?

This very day?

Is can be a daunting question.

I have to wonder, are there opportunities in front of me that I’m not seeing because I am so darned focused on myself?

I believe God wants me to serve, and grow and change each day.

Like I said.  …

The Worrier Begins to Understand

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“I am Oz, the great and powerful!”

Most of you will recognize that quote from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

When I was a kid, I was truly frightened of the manufactured wizard that Dorothy and her companions faced.  How terrifying!

And, I have to admit that for a long time, I viewed God through those same child-like eyes.

Yes, my view of God has changed over the years, but I realize just how much that original impression of who God is has hindered my spiritual growth.

Worrier or Warrior?

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And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  Matthew 6:27

“Mom, you’ve always been a worrier.”

Those weren’t exactly the words I wanted to hear today. 

Things just haven’t gone the way I’d have chosen them to go today.

I’m waiting (Oh, no!!! Not waiting!) an extra day to get results I needed to get today to monitor my bloods clotting ability.

I’ve been put on a 30-day heart monitor before GI tests can be determined to be safe for me.

It’s a Beginning

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Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 18:29-31

When I was younger … raising a family of four little ones and living with an abusive alcoholic husband - Scripture was my refuge.

I could hardly wait for time alone so I could grab my Bible and read.  …

The Last of Three Questions

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I see the Christian life summed up in three questions.  The first was asked by Christ of Peter. “Who do you say I am?”  That question is behind me now.  

The next question, Christ asked of His followers.  “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?”  is one that sears my heart.  

The third question was asked of Jesus followers as many realized the road they were traveling was not the road they wished to travel.  …

The Second of Three Questions

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Jesus asks those who follow Him, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46

This could not possibly pertain to me. 

Could it? 

It seems to me that once God grabs hold of you, He doesn’t let go.  I begin to realize that the Christian life is a process that goes far beyond “If you died tonight would you go to heaven?”

Some folks portray the Christian life as an easy one.  Just accept Jesus and you will lead an abundant life.  …

The First of Three Questions

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This was written to be part of my book, “The Journey Into Darkness.”  I realize I am on a similar journey, once again, and the same three questions apply.  I will be posting them over the next three days.

The first of the three questions:  Who do you say I am?

Christ asks Peter, in the book of Mark, “But, who do you say that I am?”  

I realize that my journey in life has once again brought me to the point of needing to answer this question.  …

I Want to Paint a Picture

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I want to paint a picture, Lord.

I want to paint a picture of the Shepherd holding a tiny lamb to his bosom, murmuring soft words and caressing the fearful little animal:  

One He sought out and called by name, knowing it was lost and afraid - not giving up on His little, helpless charge, even as it wandered through the brambles and thorns. 

He patiently seeks His own.  Each one is precious.

I have to wonder - what is one sickly little lamb compared to the healthy flock He tends?

Following Christ - or Living Like Him?

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He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
– Jim Elliot, missionary

Things are changing so rapidly for me.

What I once thought of as normal is almost being thrown in my face.  I’m seeing things through new eyes.

I feel as if I have crossed a bridge of some kind … one that leads directly to Jesus.

I am being convicted over and over and over of how un-Christlike I have been.

You see, I believed in the American dream.

American Idol?

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

This is a kind of touchy subject for me to approach.  Or, at least I think it will be.  

One of the things that I mentioned learning is that I have turned my heath conditions into an idol in my life.

God showed me that I had let my artwork take that idol status.

I could hardly wait to finish up my devotional time so I could go play with colors.

The Growing Place

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“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. …

“Where Was I???”

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For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:3

I’ve promised to tell a bit more of my story from my episode of cardiac arrest.

There are still details that I don’t know - and don’t really care to at this point.

I know my heart felt funny and I knew I needed help.

I barely remember my sons and EMTs trying to keep me conscious.  I remember the first electroshock to my heart which caused me to scream and feel like I was flying out of my chair.

Twice Saved

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I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galatians 2:20

Two months ago, I fell off my own pedestal  The woman who felt she was so strong in the Lord, has realized just how weak she truly is.

I will admit these have been difficult months.  I don’t think I have faced anything as challenging, albeit completely different, since the brutal death of my daughter nine years ago.

 © deni weber 2010-2015