Encouraging Words Blog 

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If We Only Have Love

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My new goal is to keep moving forward - to keep growing each and every day.

Noble goal, isn’t it?

I am SO good at setting goals, getting myself organized to start something.  My enthusiasm runs high.

Then, reality sets in.

When it comes to the doing of it.

That is the quandary for the day.

It’s morning.

I’m sitting tucked warmly in my recliner.

The day is ahead of me.

So … what do I do today to keep moving forward?  What can I do today to help take a step toward my goal?

The Winds of Change

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I watched several videos this morning that showed the madness of Black Friday.  I saw fights over material goods, people yelling and screaming, fighting guards to be one of the first in the store.

I felt sad.  It was as if I saw greed personified. 

I watched a video of a tsunami hitting a beach already littered with dead bodies.

I felt as if I saw how fragile life is and how destructive our world can become.

Another friend shared an article about a young couple who built a tiny, tiny home on wheels and live (happily) with the barest of necessities.

Nothing to Be Thankful For?

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This is a bittersweet day - so many changes from last year.  My husband and brother gone, my mom in a nursing home, it will be a much smaller gathering than we’ve had before.  But - the house is still filled with love and for that I am always and forever grateful.  

Thanksgiving was a big deal at our house when I was little.  My mom would be bustling in the kitchen early in the morning, and I remember the smells wafting into my bedroom waking me up.

Renewed

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Today’s Verse:

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

I’m a skeptic - a critical person.

I think part of that has been honed by my chosen profession as a psychologist. Somehow, when you become immersed in a science-based field, you learn to look critically at things.  You identify flaws in reasoning.  You learn to tease apart complex situations. …

Is Hope Enough?

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Todays passage:

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5

I enjoy words.  A word that has been headed my way a lot lately is the word ‘hope.” Hope is an interesting word. It is defined as:

hope |hōp |noun

a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen: a person or thing that may help or save someone

When It’s Difficult to Give Thanks

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Today’s passage:

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

Thoughts of being thankful abound this time of year.

If you are on Facebook, you’ve seen folks chronicling the things they are thankful for each day.

I was reading “Jesus Calling” this morning, and the topic was, not surprisingly, about thankfulness. 

I like what the author has to say when she states, “Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula …”

The Peace of God

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Today’s Passage:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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. …

Facing Our Own Mortality

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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, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

I’ve been feeling pretty well the past few days.  I have an art show coming up with weekend, and I’ve been looking forward to that.  There have been a few days where I have really felt well.  …

Listening for God

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My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27

It seems one of my current lessons is to learn how to listen for God.

Not listening to God.

Listening for God.

It’s one thing to be hearing from God and not paying attention.

It’s another to learn to listen for Him in my life.

One of the things I have difficulties with is telling the difference between my own thoughts and God’s voice:

That still, quiet voice that speaks to me.

Every Moment a Cross Road?

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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

Sometimes, strange things get my attention.  I see odd correlations.  Metaphors. Analogies.

I fit things together that don’t necessarily go together - at least not in my mind.

When God Says, “I’m God - and You’re Not”

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Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

I’m on on day 13 of the 60/60 challenge.

Stop every hour and think on God.  Connect.  Or reconnect.

Sixty days worth.

I’ve talked about how I have an app on my iPhone that comes up with a Scripture verse every hour and gives you a suggestion as to how you might  incorporate that verse during the coming hour.

I also have a “beep” set on my phone that goes off on the half-hour.  …

Time to Put God First

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But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

The one thing that all of my challenges have done that affects me the most is to slow me down.

Well, ok, things came to a grinding halt.

I don’t like to think about that.

But, I have plenty of time to think anymore.

I used to be busy.  Really busy.

I was working, going to grad school in Chicago as a non-traditional student, trying to keep house and somehow reign in our two adopted kids and my own two that were living here at home.

Living Intentionally?

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A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9

I had every intention of sending out a blog post yesterday.  I even had the subject in mind and the gist of what I wanted to say.

I’m realizing God must have a great sense of humor and I’m not missing the irony in this.

My subject for the post?

Living intentionally.

And things didn’t go at all the way I intended them to go yesterday.

The Reason Why There is No Post Today

I had every intention of sending out a blog post today.  However, a Mac OS update took until 10:00 tonight to finish.  Good Lord willing, a post will go out tomorrow!


Places as Yet Unknown

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 [Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. Hebrews 11:8

Sometimes I feel like a wanderer in the land of chronic illness.

I often find it's a lonely journey.

As I try to chronicle the paths that God leads me through, I find so many cannot relate to where I am.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

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"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."  Psalm 23:1

My own health is so up and down right now.  The problems with my mom are triggering my anxieties. Life feels out of control.

I often have trouble holding onto insights and carrying them with me.  With my self-revelation yesterday that I no longer need to worry if I am "enough" to meet the current demands of my life, the issue for me becomes holding onto that insight.

"Am I Enough?"

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Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:1

Sometime I am actually able to see the golden threads that run through my life, connecting seemingly discrepant happenings.

What would seem like coincidences (which I don't believe in anymore), are actually God at work - stances,  leading me and guiding me - and I feel awed.

Compared to What?

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 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  Exodus 3:4-5

I love Ann Voskamp's writings.  They seem to reach in and grab me at my very core.  Yesterday,  I read a blog post that touched me deeply and I feel compelled to share.

Revisiting: "Where Is Your God?"

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I am dealing with some eye problems and migraine-ish issues today.  This is a repost that I hope is meaningful to you.

When tragedy of any form strikes folks are quick to question God. 

"My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  (Psalm 42: 3)

Can't you just hear the mocking quality in that question?

It can be hard to be a Christian and face daily challenges.  …

How Can God Be Good?

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This is a repost that seems important to me today.  Some days it can be so difficult to remember that God is good, no matter what circumstances surround us.  I am ever so slowly coming to terms with the rapid changes taking place around me and our family.  This verse if one of the most important verses in Scripture for me.  I needed it today.  Prayerfully, it will help you as well.

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. …

Failing Forward

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If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us  and to cleanse us from every wrong.  1 John 1:9

I can be my own worst enemy.  I often believe the lies that are prevalent in my thinking.

"You're useless."

"Nobody needs you."

"You were a giant mistake."

"You're dumb."

"You're stupid."

I have to fight against these old, old thought patterns.

Other people can tell me that I'm ok - but I often don't believe it.

Honest, I'm Not Scared …

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By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 71:6

I started reading a new book.  …

Stress, Anyone?

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When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.  Psalm 94:18-20 

If patience is the most difficult thing I struggle with, I think anxiety can run a close second.  I love what this verse says - not if ... but *when* my anxious thoughts multiply, my consolation will come from God.  And not only will I be consoled - my soul will delight in those consolations.

Sometimes my world seems to call out, "Look to God.  …

 © deni weber 2010-2015