Encouraging Words Blog 

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Morning Thoughts and Hard Questions

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Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

I had a strange thought this morning.  At least, it seemed strange to me.

I wondered if, sometimes, I am praying against God’s will.

Sounds kinda harsh, but I’ll explain.

I am seeing how God uses the circumstances around me to change me.

Challenge? Or Opportunity …

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… making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:16

Months and years seem to fly by.

Days … not so much.

It seems I have more time now, and less things I am able to do.

It gets challenging.

Almost daily I realize how much I miss my mom (who lived with us) and my husband.

I hadn’t realized how supportive they were of me.

It’s odd to have good news - and no one to share it with and hug, or to create a new tiny painting and have no one to show it to.

Living in God’s Presence

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Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in Your presence.  Psalm 140:13

There are two spiritual concepts I have been grappling with lately.

Both have to do with the presence of God.

When I was a kid - God had a house that we went to once a week - His church - and He stayed there.  I’d go visit the next Sunday - and all was well.

A lot of time has passed since then and I’ve learned so much more.

The Presence of God.pdf

Can We Find a Place to Rest, Even on the Bad Days?

Study this Book of Instruction continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.  Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8  

First of all - I apologize for the sporadic posting.  I’ve been dealing with symptoms that are leaving me so tired - and I’ve not felt I’ve had encouraging things to share every day.

Today, as I was reading one of my Bible app devotionals (if you use a smart phone or a Kindle, I highly recommend YouVersion.  …

Forever

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And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth. Psalm 116:9

I don’t think one can read through the book of Psalms and not be encouraged to praise God.  

That is something I don’t do enough of lately.  

Yet, praise has been welling up inside of me - that I can praise in spite of all around me. I know it is from reading HIs Word.

This is my favorite praise song …. and I’m going to be playing it more often!


Who Am I Again?

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But to all who have received Him, those who believe in His name - He has given the right to become God’s children. John 1:12

The past two days have been “just help me make it through the day, Lord” kind of days.

I won’t go into the hows and whys and wherefores. Those don’t really matter.

What matters is that I make sure that I don’t lose focus on God during these times.

I know I’m not alone in this.  I’ve heard from many of you. …

Does God Really Protect Us?

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When I was in grad school - one of my psychology professors commented that ambiguity is the feeling least tolerated by human beings.  During my time as a therapist and in my own life, I have found that to be true.

I want to know. More than that, I hate not knowing.

Interesting that in my monthly read through of Proverbs (only one chapter a day gets you through it in one month!), I read this:

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way.  …

We All Need Hope - and It’s Right Here

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I’ve got a number of books lying around the house.

Some of them look fairly new.

Some have scarcely been used.

I’m ashamed to say that they are all the same book.

God’s Word.

I seem to have this “thing” about books and it doesn’t  end with Bibles.  I’ve so many different versions, translations, paraphrases, and parallel Bibles, that I should be somewhat of a scholar by now.

Know what?

I’m not.

But I’m having something hit home more and more each day.

When We Begin to Sink Beneath the Waves of Life

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Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!” Matthew 14:28-29

I’ve recently read - and marveled - at the tiny book, “Practicing the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence.

I have so much trouble with learning to abide anywhere near consistently in Christ.  

I try.

I was reading today about Peter’s walk out of the boat toward Jesus.  I’ve read it more than once.  …

A Gentle Spirit? Not Always …

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Living with high functioning Autism has been interesting.  For the longest time, I had no idea why I would blurt out ill-timed comments.  I was on the boisterous side when I was growing up - and well, lets say I failed “lady-like” 101. Social “niceties” escape me.

I find I can hide it fairly well behind a computer screen, where I can write and rewrite and delete before I hit “send.”

In real life, I can be rather loud and speak my mind quite freely. …

Rejoice? Really ….?

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I find I am still craving peace in my life.  I know it should be there.  Yet, I struggle to find it.

Searching Scripture I found Philippians 4:4-9.  (Not exactly a new find.) 

I’m sure most of you have read it many, many times.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. …

The Dark and Difficult Days

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I wasn’t sure I was going to write a post for today.  

Discouragement and challenges continue to face me on many fronts. 

As I am learning I need do, I went to Psalms.

I figured out that if I listen to five Psalms a day, and one chapter of proverbs, I can go through the books of Psalms and Proverbs in a month.

I’m great at falling behind in my plans.

I pretty much had to force myself open my Bible, and follow along as the verses were read to me from YouVersion.

Awake My Soul .pdf

When Christ Bid Us, “Come …”

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"Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you are are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I’m here, Lord.

I’m tired, scared, hurting - pretty much a wreck - but I’m here.

I can manage through most days pretty well.  

Once in a while there is a good one.

But there are days, like today, when I have no clue what to do.

Days when I feel broken beyond healing.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been this weary.  …

When a Plan Comes Together

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I guess I’ll be dating myself by this quote, but I used to watch a lot of the T.V. show, “The A Team.”

This was kind of a catchphrase in it. One of the characters, Hannibal, spoke it in almost every episode.

“I love it when a plan comes together,” spoken when some strange concoction of a plan worked out the way he hoped it would.

I find I think that phrase a lot, especially during those times when it is so obvious to me that God is orchestrating things in my life.

Feel Like You Are Only Crawling Toward Christ?

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

I bit the bullet this week and bought a large print Bible.  I was straining so hard trying to read my little Bible that it actually made reading so much of a chore.  

What a difference it has made.  I don’t have to worry about seeing; I can focus on meaning.

I think it’s that way with God in my life.

Sometimes I try so hard to see Him, that I forget the meaning of my faith.

Joy Restored? Is It Possible?

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There hasn’t been a lot of joy in my life lately.  I guess I feel guilty about that.  Yes, I understand why I am where I am. I know God is working in my life in amazing ways.

I know I am on a different footing with God since my heart event and somehow I expected that joy would quickly follow.

Yes, there are times of contentment.  But not many moments of joy.  

That is difficult to write.

I’m learning (slowly) that when I am feeling the most down is when I need to immerse myself in Scripture.  

Open Letter to My Friend

This is one of my most personal posts.  To be honest, I’ve really debated about posting it here.  Yet, it says most clearly what is happening in my life right now.

Readers have asked me a lot of questions lately, regarding my health, my spiritual walk, life in general.  I received an especially dear letter from a friend and I thought that my response to her might answer a lot of questions.

My Dear One,

Your note brought me to tears.  

Providence

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And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

 I have to admit that “providence” is a word I haven’t thought much about.  It’s not one I often use.

I read a blog post that talked about rather than luck or coincidence, what we are seeing happen is providence.

That got me to thinking about the word.

Providence.

When I looked it up, the definition read, “The protective nature of God.”

Peace? Really?

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The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

This is one of the verses I have known since early on in my Christian walk.  It’s become rote for me.  I can quote it easily.  

I know there are times I have felt that peace.  The strongest memory I have of that peace is the night my daughter was killed.  We received a midnight call saying she had been stabbed - no more details.

When Fear Comes to Call

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I’m realizing that my battle with fear is not yet over.

Funny how I can be so sure I am free from fear - yet soon, I find it knocking on my door again.

I’ve been talking to the Lord about my fears lately.  Finding verses to read and recite. 

It’s no huge secret to those of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time, that my heart is the biggest source of my fear.

Even though God chose to keep me here with the cardiac arrest event, I still get frightened when my heart starts banging around in my chest.

“Critically” Ill - (Spiritually)

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I guess that the concept of ‘seeing’ has a lot to do with our life with Christ.

I know I want people to see Jesus in me.  I want them to know that I am different because of Him.

On the flip side, I need to remember to see others as Jesus sees them.

That’s not always easy for me.

I can be such a critical person. My expectations of others can be so high.  I feel upset when they “fail” me or let me down. I get disappointed easily.

Have You Been With Jesus Today?

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I am finding that Scripture verses speak to me more now than they have for a long time.  Most of the time they seem to come in the form of questions.

Acts 4:13 was that verse today.

The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.  They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.  

 © deni weber 2010-2015