Encouraging Words Blog 


Dying to Self

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

I wish I could lay claim to having written the following.  If anyone knows the author, please contact me so I can give proper credit to this lovely writing on dying to one’s self that is based on Romans 6:11.

"When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting or hurt with the oversight, but your heart is happy being counted worthy to suffer for Christ;

Devotional: Necessary Loses

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8)

I have heard the term “necessary losses”.   Paul said to lose is to gain.  What an amazing statement!  To consider the loss of all things …. All things … and consider them rubbish.  I look to my losses:  My mobility, freedom to come and go as I please, the loss of many, many a dream, the loss of freedom from pain, the loss of my job.  …

A Way in the Wasteland

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  (Isaiah 43:18,19) NIV

One of the less kind comments I have heard about a person is “S/he is just a waste of space.” Have you ever felt like a “wasteland”?  I know I have.  I have felt hopeless, helpless, and useless.  Yes …. …

Loss or Gain?

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stall yet I will rejoice in the LORD,  I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 17-18) NIV

Oh, how easy it can be to focus on myself, and all I have lost in the past five years.  How easy to feel bitter about the twists and turns of my life. …

How Firm a Foundation

(Originally posted December 7, 2008)

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. (1 Corinthians 15:58a) NIV

I hear the words often.  “How are you?”  Whether from close friends or someone who simply knows my name is listed under strength and healing in our church bulletin, I have come to dread those words.  A few folks are really interested, but most don’t want the laundry list of complaints I could give them if I so chose. 

Devotional: What's the Point?

head of david

I've heard this question time and again.  "What's the point of it all?" It's a fair question.  What is the point of all the pain and suffering we go through?  

I found part of my answer when someone was asking why people get so upset when they read the word "mankind."  With the feminist movement, the use of the word man has become an insult if somehow it might refer to a woman instead.  My comment?  

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. …

The Journey into Now


Oh, the challenges of this journey into now!  How little time I spend in the moment.  I'm finding that my biggest challenge is impatience.  I've always known I'm an impatient person.  I don't like standing in lines at the store (or didn't - when I could stand).  I get impatient waiting for things to come in the mail.  I'm impatient when I fall behind schedule - or when others do. I want to know test results immediately.  …

Nor Did He Blame God

dollar bill

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.         Job 1:22

We've had a lot of upheaval in our lives the past few months.  We've also had a lot of peace.  I've learned a lot.  Hopefully grown a lot.  God is teaching, teaching, teaching.  I never knew how many times God was reaching out to me and saying to me, "deni ...  this needs to be changed if the true desire of your heart is to know Me - to be more like Me - to be conformed to My image."


But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.      Psalm 39:7

Did you see it?  It just now slipped quietly by.  Here comes another one.  Whoops .... it's gone too.  Ah .... one more.  One more what you might be asking.  A moment.  A fleeting moment.  One that is yours for the taking - now - but will never come again.  

Sometimes that is a good thing.  The difficult times.  The painful times.  Those times we'd rather not remember.

Devotional: But I Should Be Doing …


This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

As I am forced to spend more time with myself, I learn more and more about myself.  I've always known I'm not a patient person.  I didn't realize how much that impacts the way I view my life. I am finding that instead of staying in the moment called today, I usually am looking at the next thing I could or "should" be doing.  

I want things to happen in a specific time frame.  …

What Do You Mean I Have a Choice?

frayed rope

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:10

Have you ever wondered about the choices you make?  I mean really looked at them?  Have you ever thought about the power they have?  Life is made up of choices and moments, and the each choice we make - leads to what happens in the next moment.  

Devotional: Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch


You turned my wailing into dancing;  you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,  that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.  Psalm 30: 11-12

My mom had a song  she used to sing as she did her housework. I always thought it was a cute little song, but I never thought about it much.  It went something like this:

     "I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion patch ... an onion patch ... an onion patch.  

Do You Face Illness ... or Challenges

cloud of witnesses

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1

Today is a good day.  Somehow, I think that folks aren't going to want to read this in a devotional about chronic illness.  I get the sense that they would rather hear about the challenges, the difficulties, the problems than hear that life with chronic illness can be good.

Devotional: Live in Today

Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11, NIV)

Did you know that the word “today” appears over 200 times in the Bible.  While we must take our past and our future into account - “today” is where we live.  It can be hard to live in the moment.

If it is a painful moment, we want it to pass quickly.  If it is a good moment, we want to hold on to it, yet that moment soon belongs to the past.  

For those of us with chronic conditions, it can be hard to stay in today.  …

It Might Be WHAT???


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

The past 24 hours were kind of scary for our family.  My husband had developed a severe rash that was very itchy and scabby.  When I saw it, I encouraged him to go to urgent care.  He's on a med that can have severe reactions first showing up as a rash, and to me it looked infected.

Devotional: Beneath the Surface

DCP 1834

If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Luke 12:26-27

I love flowers.  In particular, I delight in wildflowers.  I’ve written before about the beauty that surfaces year after year in the land surrounding the home we live in.  …

 © deni weber 2010-2015