Encouraging Words Blog 


Devotional: Daytime - Nighttime

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Sometimes night time is difficult for me.  As the sun goes down and the world goes from colorful to dim hues to greying shadows and finally to darkness, I often think of how much more I enjoy the sunlight.

Things seem “different” in the darkness.  Shadows take on odd and sometimes unsettling shapes.  I recently saw a children’s book that dealt with helping a child to understand that the sometimes scary shadows are the same things we see in daylight, but our eyes “play tricks” on us and we perceive them as something completely different.

Peace and Understanding

peace and understanding

For the past ten+  years I have pretty much focused only on illness.  From my first bout with afib, through my car accident and subsequent stroke, to my diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibro, and others - illness has dominated my life.  How to live with it.  How to survive.  Finding others who understood.  I'm realizing it has been an important season in my life.

But seasons change.  I find I am reading  more blogs written by folks who don't deal with chronic illness.   …

Living Here and Now

cloud hand

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:33-34

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~My son sits quietly at the desk by my bed doing his schoolwork.  We are using an online charter school and it seems to be working so far.  …



God is our refuge and strength, 

A very present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change 

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam, 

Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.           Psalm 46:1-3

Life is confusing – so many changes happening so quickly.   Earthquakes.  Hurricanes. Personal tragedies.  Things over which we have no control.

On My Knees

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.  Sometimes I wish folks would come right out and say it.  Living with chronic challenges is a difficult, demanding, sometimes seemingly impossible task.

What About Me?

christ high priest

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.  Hebrews 3:1

I’ve seen God work in amazing ways in the past few weeks.  On two separate occasions, he has chosen to begin healing in the lives of people I know – people who were not expected to live.  Do I rejoice in this?  Of course I do.  I care deeply about what happens to them.  …

What Does Attitude Have To Do With It?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.           Philippians 2:5

I’ve mentioned before my penchant for quotes.  I read one today that stopped me dead in my tracks.  You know - the kind of words that simply pierce your heart?

If the world were like me, what kind of a world would this world be?                   -- Author Unknown

I stopped - read it, and then read it again.  Oh my!  The implications of those words!  …

Devotional: Loving Anyway

But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. John 2:24-25 (New American Standard Bible)

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. …

When God Says, "No"

You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
Psalm 139:5

But God, I don’t understand.  Why me?  Why now?

It is difficult for me to explain to you child.  At least right now.

It’s not fair!

I know it must seem that way to you.

It doesn’t ‘seem’ that way!  It is unfair!  Why me?

Haven’t you learned by now, little one, that I bring rain upon the just and the unjust alike?

But it’s not what I had planned.

What? Me Worry?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Matthew 6:27-29 (New International Version)

I love the way God uses people in my life.  He doesn’t always use them in the way I expect.  Some of my rudest awakenings have come from the comments from others.  …

Why Does It Have To Hurt So Much?

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15, NIV)

“But why does it have to hurt so much?” 

I remember uttering those words to my mother when I was a teenager after ‘breaking up’ with my first real boyfriend.  I just couldn’t understand the pain involved.  The emotional pain was every bit as real as any physical pain could be.

Devotional: 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.  …

Devotional: Never Give Up

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.

Devotional: Forget Me Not

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget,  I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”  (Isaiah 49: 15-16 NIV)

The path of chronic illness can be a lonely one.  Sometimes you are physically isolated from others.  At other times, there may be people around you, but they simply do not chronic illness. 

Devotional: When Everything Changes

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

I once heard a song, title long forgotten that contained the words, “Just when you think that you know what you’ve got – that’s when everything changes.”  How well that describe chronic illness.  I’ve heard chronic illness described as the “etc” condition.  Everything chronic.  So many of us have a myriad of challenges we deal with.

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my thinking flexible.  …

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