Encouraging Words Blog 

Previous

But If We Hope

candy.jpg

I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.  Psalm 130:5

There is one particular Christmas that stands out for me.

I must have been seven or eight years old. 

My mom shopped at a grocery store that carried toys at Christmas time.  Up above the regular food items, high on a shelf, were glorious toys.  My favorite?  A doll.  She was called a "fashion doll" because she came with several other outfits and manikins. …

Visiting the "Same Old, Same Old"

There are some amazing bloggers out there.  

I so appreciate it when friends pass along their wonderful finds.

Todays post is a bit of a cheat on my part as it's not really my post, but one of those finds.

I received it a few days ago and went back to it today. Why?

Because today feels like a "same old, same old" day for me.  I've trouble with routines.  I fall off that wagon pretty quickly.  It's hard for me to keep doing the things that are good for me to be doing and easy to want to lapse into  ... well ... the same old, same old.

The Things I Didn't Expect

daisy.JPG


I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

Oh, the lessons that this life with chronic challenges teach me.  They are so hard learned and so precious.

I'm realizing how vital it is for me to appreciate the good days (hours, minutes) that I have, and not begrudge the bad.  In the past I know I would be so incredibly depressed that the relatively good health that allowed me to do my art show has peaked and I'm sliding downward again.  …

Facing Adversity

adversity


But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:10

My three times rule struck again.  I've mentioned before that if I hear something that seems to pertain to me one time, I kind of notice it - but maybe just go on.  If I hear it two times ... I kind of go, "Hmmmmm," and maybe notice it a bit more.  …

Guest Post: Living Among the Positives

DCP 1840.jpg

I chose this post from Fiona Burrows as my guest post for the week.  I am always blessed by her words. She shared this post with me that was written in 2003.  It is just as pertinent today!

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.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. …

Revisiting: Still in His Grip

Today is a good day for me to revisit this post.  Somedays, I really need to remember the words I wrote here.  Psalm 121 is really an encouragement to me.  I hope it is for you as well.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. …

Being Thankful Even When There Seems Little To Be Thankful For

emptyhands2.jpg

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

I apologize in advance to those of you who don't celebrate Thanksgiving, as it is the topic I chose for today.  …

Weak but Never Alone

Praying Knees.jpg

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans:26-27

Today is a clinging to faith day.  I can pretty much be ready for my body to be unhappy for a day or two after I do anything out of the ordinary.  …

Underestimating God?

Three Red Candles croped

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

When I underestimate myself, I am underestimating God's power.

Big words for me to write.

I've been homebound, wheelchair restricted for so many years, I'd prefer not to actually count them.

Yes, a lot of what has kept me home has been legitimate health concerns.  Last year, I was a lot worse off physically than I am today.

Revisiting: Get Out of the Boat!

It is early morning here and I successfully made it through day one of my art show.  There were many moments when I was sure I couldn't last another moment, but prayer and family support got me through.  As I come to the last day of the show, I am trusting God to get me through.  This is scary for me, as I've not done anything like this for so long.  But I am halfway there.  This seemed like a good verse for posting today.  …

Revisiting: Live in Today

As today is the first day of my first art show, I thought that "today" would be a good revisit.  I'm trusting God to get me through two days of busy, busy, busy.  If you care to - send up a prayer that I can be a testimony to Him through my artwork and that my body can handle today.  This is the most I have attempted to do for years and years.)

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

Did you know that the word “today” appears over 200 times in the Bible.  …

Revisiting: Where Do We Belong Now?

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.         1 Peter 2:9

So often, those of us who face chronic challenges wonder who in the world we are now and where we belong.  Our identities have changed so much.  I’ve been struggling lately with having to admit that even more of my plans are going by the wayside, and it’s hard to deal with.  

Easy as 1, 2, 3

staircases.jpg

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.                2 Corinthians 3:4-5

I'm not exactly sure why my postings are taking this turn.  But, as they seem to have a mind of their own once I start writing, I'll just go with it.

I've been thinking a lot about 12-step programs since I wrote both "House of Cards"

When We Aren't in Control

crown.jpeg

 

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise  the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

One thing I learned during my years in the psychology profession is that human beings have a huge need for control.  I had a favorite prof during my school years who used to drum into our heads that the one thing we, as humans, cannot tolerate is ambiguity.  

Do You Need Courage, Acceptance, or Change

serenity prayer.jpg

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you. Joshua 1:9

I shared about my friend who is trying to face all of the changes that is happening to them lately.  It is so hard to watch yourself become less and less of what you once were.

As I try to encourage them, knowing full well the devastation of chronic illness, I find myself falling back on my roots in 12-step programs.  …

A House of Cards

house-of-cards.jpg

But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:49

I've been realizing something about myself lately.

Sometimes, when things fall apart around me, my tendency is to find the broken shards, sweep them together, and begin to build again.

Guest Post: In the Classroom of Suffering and Patience

cross.jpeg

I'd like to thank Lola McGuire for today's guest post!  I always appreciate learning from her and seeing how God has used her illnesses and trials to strengthen her faith. This really spoke to me as things are not as I would have them today.  I need the reminders of God's classrooms and the lessons I can learn.  I pray God can use her words to inspire you as well.

Gods Word says:  "As an example of suffering and patience, we are to take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord....…

Revisiting: Nighttime Thoughts


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.

When We Reach the End

5 Candles.jpg

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:67-68 NIV)

I've been having some very deep conversations with one of my best friends.  They have been diagnosed with a degenerative disease and life is falling apart for them.  We've spent hours talking about God and the reasons for things like these in our lives.

When Negativity Creeps In

camera lens.jpg

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23: 7 (KJV)

I am learning something about myself.

When I am down about something, or frozen as to what to do, and I stay there - I open myself up to a wealth of other negatives.

I seem to view the world through a "negativity" filter, if you will.  

Not only am I feeling down about my current situation, I'm finding that if I dwell on the difficulty, other doubts creep in.

When You Don't Know What To Do

checklist.jpg

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “ This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.  Isaiah 30:21

For many diverse reasons, this is a storm-tossed day for me.  There are problems I see no solutions to 'most everywhere I look.

It's a day that could cause fear to rise up in me.

It's a day that I could sit and mull over all of the "what if's" that are on my mind.

I am choosing not to do that.

Everything?

girl in prayer.jpg


Pray without ceasing1 Thessalonians 5:17

I'm trying to be less impulsive.  

My tendency is to jump into things without a lot of forethought.

That has caused me a lot of problems over the years.  Some large - some small.

I'm slowly (emphasis on the word slowly) learning I need to pray before I act.

Our family has a decision to make and my first thought was to just go ahead and do what seemed right to me.  

I realized, "

Addicted to More

girl fingers in mouth greed.jpg

Ok.

I admit it.

I am addicted to more.  It seems I am never satisfied with what I have.  I've tried to be content with what I have - but it seems I simply can't be.

I've really tried.  

Honest!

But it is so very, very hard. That little voice inside keeps calling out to me.

More.  Always more.

Others have told me that I should be content with what I have. I'm not sure they are right anymore.

I'm not even sure when this addiction started.  …

Guest Post: Put On Love

love.jpeg

Once again, I am blessed to share this blog space with Lynn Severance.  Lynn's words always bring comfort to me.  She has a the gift of staying positive even when living with difficult and challenging medical conditions.  I pray she blesses each of you today!

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. …

When Life Begins to Take

autum tree.jpg

Who will separate us from the love of God?  

Will tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

Just as it is written, "For your sake we are being put to death all day long.  We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  But in all these things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, not things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  …

Revisiting: Darkness Around You?

White Candle

As I struggle to adapt to the many changes in the lives of my family members, it can feel I am walking into a darker world.  Yesterday's revisit and today's remind me that I may not be understanding my role in the problems we face.  Perhaps, you need this reminder as well.

Lord?

     Yes, child?

I was wondering if you have some time to talk?

     Always.  <smiles>

Well, You know what I wrote yesterday - and I've been thinking.  …

Revisiting: Let Your Light Shine

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16 NASB).

You might be saying to yourself, “How in the world can I be a light for the world?  …

 © deni weber 2010-2015