Encouraging Words Blog 


Revisiting: Dot-to-Dot

The weather is not chronic-illness friendly in Indiana right now.  We vacillate between extremely hot weather, cold weather, and thunder storms.  My body really doesn't like this as I go into what must be fibro-flares.  The brain fog that accompanies it makes writing new posts a bit of a challenge.  I'll be reposting from posts from 2011 for now.  Thanks for understanding these are not new posts - but ones that are being recycled!

When You Feel God Isn't There for You

hope despair

Sometimes I get uncomfortable.

I've had people think that because I am beginning to come to a place of peace in my life, that I have always been this way, and that they can never come to know these feelings.

That saddens me.  

I want to tell them so many things.

I want to tell them how scared I have been (and still am at times). 

I want to tell them how devastated I have felt after dealing with so many losses.  

I want to tell them how angry I have been at God.

Prayer and Attitude

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I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.  John 17:20

Over and over, I am finding that the concept of my attitude and the need for prayer (which I think comes down to being an attitude as well), are being presented to me.

If there are lessons I am being taught - it is the two of these, which seem to be intertwined.

To be honest, I don't always do well with either.

Hard Pressed


There are mornings when I wake up feeling empty.  I do my Bible reading.  I work on my memory verses.  Usually by then, I have an idea of what I need to be writing about.  Some days, nothing comes bubbling up.  I am hard pressed for an idea.

Once in a while I toy with the idea of not writing.  Yet, in good conscious before God, I can't do that.  That is when I turn to my archives.  I read through them until something "clicks" and I know it is what is needed for today.  …

When We Look Around - Part 2


Yesterday's post, When We Look Around, got me to thinking.  

If we are not to look around anxiously (something so easy for me to do - kind of like anxiety is my fall-back position), how are we to look around?

I came up with this list:

Look with anticipation.  

Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted exceedingly; moreover, my flesh also will dwell in hope [will encamp, pitch its tent, and dwell in hope in anticipation of the resurrection]. 

When We Look Around


‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Isaiah 41:10.

I know that this is a well-loved and oft-quoted verse.  It's the one I held in my hand, written on an index card, when I had my kidney surgery.  I thought I knew it inside and out. 

Yet, today, I saw something new in it.  …

God - It's Me (Again) …

This was originally written in early 2011.  Sometimes the questions remain the same ...

God – It’s me again.  I’m having a hard time here – and I need to talk to someone.  I … I need to talk to you.

Yes child - go on ...

It’s just that lately … well, it’s just been on thing after another and it’s getting difficult for me to understand.  It seems as if one thing just barely ends and it’s something else.  Today just hit me in the face.

Revisiting: Live Now

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead ... (Philippians 3:13, New American Standard Bible)

I never used to watch much television.  Now, I find it keeps me company, even when I am doing other things.  Just now, I was watching a movie and doing my home bed exercises.  My attention was suddenly diverted from the task at hand as I heard a mother who was talking to her daughter - who must have an illness or an accident.  

Casting Your Cares

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Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:7, NIV)

I enjoy comparing versions of Scripture.  The NASB  reads “Casting all your care upon Him.”  I have to admit to many cares in my life.  What will happen to my body next?  I seem to have a never-ending progression of symptoms that provoke anxiety if I let them.  I find it to be an awesome thing that we are told to cast all of our anxiety onto Him.  …



For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

I've had a lot of nightmares since my husband died.  Most of them are about him.  In some, ones I can't even call nightmares, we are doing things together, the nightmare comes when I wake up and realize it was just a dream.

Is Your Plate Too Full?

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Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17 

The older I get, the more tenuous I realize life is.  There have been so many losses in our immediate family, our extended family, and among my friends this year.  And, the older I get, the more losses there are.  

Kind of an obvious statement, that, eh?

Revisiting: When Things Get Better … For Someone Else


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

Yesterday, I talked to a friend that I'd not heard from in years.  She had previously been diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis hadn't looked good for her.  She happily shared the news that she is doing better than she has for a long time.  …

Is It Weakness or Strength?


My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29

This week has found me thinking much about suffering.  I've been exchanging emails with a new blog friend and found myself writing:

 God has really opened my eyes to the intense suffering of some of my friends and the people around me.  I think that sometimes, people just don't share their pain because they are afraid of what people will think - that they don't have enough faith or whatever.  …

Finding the Words that Can Hold on to Us

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Yesterday I wrote about the importance of God's Word when we get so overwhelmed we feel we can no longer hold on.  Sometimes we are too tired or weak to even search out verses.  I came across these yesterday and thought they were very encouraging.  Hopefully they will encourage you as well.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, Ephesians 3:20

What If We Can't Hold On Any Longer?


Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live' and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.  Psalm 119:116

sustain |səˈstān|verb [ with obj. ]

strengthen or support physically or mentally

• cause to continue or be prolonged for an extended period or without interruption: .• (of a performer) represent (a part or character) convincingly: 

• bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling

"Hang in there."

Revisiting: This is the Way


Today's revisit is one that is going to be added to my "Good Memories" scrapbook.  How it helps me to remember that God is always there.  Even in an elevator.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21

Our trip to Chicago was eventful in a number of ways.  We spend over 25 minutes going around and up and down in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Parking garage trying to find a handicapped spot.  …

Lost in Pain and Darkness

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 

who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Today, I just don't have the words.

Revisiting: No Earthly Good


Have you ever wondered why I decide to revisit some of my devotionals?  To be honest, sometimes I feel that I just don't have it in me to write that day. I try to find a devotional that encourages me, and post that one, hoping it will encourage.  

On other days, like today, I know that no words are pouring forth because there is something that has already been written that is needed by someone, somewhere.  I search through my older posts until one jumps out at me.  …

Good Memories Only, Please

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Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

When I was 10 years old, my gramma gave me a set of books, "The Little Colonel' series, that had been given to her by a friend.  This friend had received a book a year on her birthday from the time she was 8.  Her friend had no daughter or granddaughter to pass the children on to, so she thought perhaps I might enjoy them.

Broken Branches and Scattered Leaves

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.  (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV)

Doesn’t that make a lovely word picture?  The tree planted by streams of water sounds so soothing.  …

Making the Most of Our Time - Part 2 Robbed of Our Joy


Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

This post evolved after I wrote The Act of Becoming two days ago. Yesterday's post Making the Best Use of Our Time leads into this one.  

I am by no means a Biblical scholar.  I don't know the "correct" interpretation of the words that state the days are evil.  

Making the Best Use of Our Time Part 2


Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

As I pondered on my post of yesterday The Act of Becoming, I started to realize that in theory it sounded good - but how does it look in my every day life?  How do I make it practical?

I started out by focusing on the things that I *can* do.  …

The Act of Becoming

St Matthew unfinished

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

Though I dabble with different art mediums, there is one art form that I have never attempted, though I would have loved to master it.

The idea of taking granite or marble and sculpting the form of something beautiful from it is so intriguing.

Circumstances as they are, that is probably something I will never attempt to do.

Revisiting: Have You Ever?

Psalm 31

Some people view the Bible as an old “dead” book with no relevance today. Psalm 31 is a petition from David to the Lord.  It speaks to us today.

 Do you ever feel that no one knows your pain?  That no one cares?  

Psalm 31:7   I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. 

Do you ever feel that you have no one to go to with the challenges you face?

v. …

Praying We Are Heard

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“Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord."  2 Kings 20:5

Have you ever been deeply engrossed in an activity when your child tries to interrupt you?

"Mom … Mom … Mom …"

"Dad … Daddy …"

They might tug at your sleeve or stick something in front of your face to get your attention. …

Don't Mess With Mr. In-Between


Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  Philippians 4:8

I've written about this site before.  I had completely forgotten about it until I received an email advertising it.  I don't know if this game is still free beyond the trial period.  …

Do What You Can … and Let Go

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Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Some things take a long time to sink in.

As in years.

I wrote yesterday of how I complicate my life when I fail to understand that outcomes lie with God.  Somehow I think it is all up to me to do exactly the right thing.  I place expectations on myself.

Those expectation have gotten heavier as I am able to do less and less.

I feel I "should" do this and that and the other.

Whose Fight Is It Anyway?

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"… and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s."  2 Chronicles 20:15

I hate it when things get complicated - when life seems to be nothing other than a huge snarl of tangled up events.

In my mind, I want things simple and straight forward.

What I am seeing is that I am responsible for complicating much of my own life.

 © deni weber 2010-2015