Encouraging Words Blog 


Guest Post: How Did You Grow in 2012?

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Kerryn Wright is one of my favorite Rest Ministries devotional writers.  I'm blessed to be able to share one of her Rest Ministry posts. If you are on the lookout for great daily devotionals, be sure you check out Rest MInistries as they have a staff of encouraging article and devotional writers as well as other chronic illness support materials.

Have you reflected on how you have changed this past year? Has God made you a better person-- or are you more bitter because of circumstances getting the best of you? …

Guest Post: "Stand and Shine"


One of my dear friends introduced to the blog "The Middle."  I find the posts by Deidra to be so encouraging that I just had to share this with you all.  I asked her permission to post this particular writing as I think it is so applicable for those of us with chronic challenges.  Be blessed!  I hope you visit her site and perhaps sign up for her blog

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. –

Revisiting: Curse or Opportunity

This devotional, written after kidney stone surgery a few years ago, still contains important words for me.  This verse, in particular has become a well-beloved one.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

My surgery was "easier than expected" (according to the urologist) and I am back at home.  …

Revisiting: For Now We See Through a Mirror Darkly

This devotional - from December of 2008, reminds me that even though I don't understand today's problems any more than I understood the ones that were happening then, one day I will see "face to face" and understand and be understood as well. Although it has been somewhat recently 'revisited,' I'm trying to post the blogs in order of their writing.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. …

Revisiting: In Our Time of Need

As I repost (and reread) older devotionals, I am struck anew by now long this struggle of mine has gone on - and also just how faithful God has been for me.  I am so grateful that He is always there in each and every time of need.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need  (Hebrews 4:16)  NIV.

Lord, I’m tired. It’s one of those days.  …

Everything is All Right

This devotional originally posted in November of 2008.  I find it is just as applicable for me today.  Praying it speaks to you today as well.

But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.  The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers.  "My head! My head!" he said to his father.  His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother."  …

God Bless Us, Everyone!

For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6)

You may not feel much like celebrating Christmas this year.  You may be tired, in pain, or simply not feeling well.  Even wrapping the presents may seem like too much to do.  You may not feel “Christmas-y”.  Christmas Eve may feel like any other day of the year.

Christmas Came Softly


A good friend of mine sent me this is an email.  I tried to find the complete work but was unable to locate it.  

Please consider this my Christmas gift to you.  

He came quietly, gently in obscurity, poverty -

A light in a world dark with sin.

A baby, helpless, unnoticed, unknown.

He had no battalions to conquer the nations, he chose not to 

live by the sword,

In kindness and love he created his kingdom, in meekness 

Guest Post: Life Is A Blessing - Seeing God's Hand at Work

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Today's guest post is from Sandy Platt.  I love the way that Sandy approaches her life and her challenges - continually looking for the good.  I pray her words bless you all today.

"Though the mountains may shake and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

Twenty two years ago my husband and I were young, with three small kids, and at last we were ready to begin our ministry. …

Revisiting: In Christ Alone

 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect … 1 Peter 3:15 (New International Version)

I post a lot of information about my own health issues in this blog.  I get many different types of responses ranging from “How do you keep going?” to “Aren’t you angry with God that this is how your life is turning out?” …

Revisiting: Answered Prayer

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) NIV

I am often “fuddled” (to use one of my mom’s favorite words) when I try to understand the way the Lord works in my life.  I do believe that every prayer we send up is answered.  I’ve found though, that the answers are most often not what I expect or foresee or sometimes even really want, if I am honest about it.

Revisiting: The Storm

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 4:11:12)

How easy it is for me to look at the continuing storms in my life, my illnesses, my husband’s cancer, my dad’s death, dealing with an old house that now thinks broken water pipes are a nice habit to form, and sit and feel sorry for myself.  …

My Own Desert Time

My beloved readers,

If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I have been struggling with lack of energy, mental and physical, and new problems that are cropping up healthwise.  The past few months have been so challenging and words for posts so hard to come by.

To be honest, I'm running on empty.  Running on "fumes" as my dad used to say.  I've prayed about letting go of "Encouraging Words" completely. I do not sense I am at that point yet.  …

Revisiting: Coming Apart at the Seams


“ … and He said to them, 'Come ye yourselves apart to a desert place, and rest a little,' for those coming and those going were many, and not even to eat had they opportunity,…”   Mark 6:31

Coming apart at the seams ...Have you ever felt this way?  As if after one more demand, one more thing to do, one more negative comment and you will just completely come apart?

One of the things I am starting to look at is how Jesus managed the demands of His ministry.  …

Who Do You Blame When Evil Comes to Call


This isn't anything I talk about in much detail.  Yet, today it calls to me.  And no, it won't be your usual encouraging words.

Today I feel compelled to write about the Connecticut school tragedy.  I know many of you are overwhelmed by it and probably don't want to read more about it.

Yet, I need to write about it.

You see, that school shooting hit far too close to home.  As I heard the news, my feelings ran so high that I could only cry out, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come." 

"Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."


(I ask your indulgence today, as this is a longer than usual post.) 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

This morning I journal:

I don't get it, Lord.

I mean, I do know what all I could be doing here.  Yet, this mood, the irritation, the depression just seem to go on and on.

Guest Post: Set Your Hearts On a Pilgrimage


Writing devotionals has brought me wonderful friends. I am blessed that some of those are writers themselves who have offered devotionals of their own for me to post as my writing gets more and more difficult.  Todays guest post by Sandra Platt so closely ties into my post of yesterday.  I want to thank Sandy and all who have so graciously allowed me to post their words.

"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.  …

Revisiting: What Does God Expect From Me Now?


For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
Romans 8:28-30

A reader left a comment on my recent post “I Did Not  Sign Up For This.”  She wrote, “I feel like a grape in that wine press. But that's a good thing, right?”  

I realized she is right.  It is a good thing.

I started thinking about the times in my life when things were going well.  …

When Each Path Seems To Lead to "No."


In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, Make me to dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Today I struggle to write a post.  I had a glimmer of this post a few days ago.  Today, I find the words for it.  

What happens on the day when there is simply no more to give?

What happens on the day when there are no more words to write?

What happens on the day when there is nothing?

What happens on the day when every path you have followed seems to lead to, "No."

Heaven Knows

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 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

I've written about the recent art show I could not attend.

  I've shared my disappointments and sadness about not being able to do what I love.  I've wondered why.  I've wondered if perhaps I shouldn't be doing my artwork - if I am putting my energy elsewhere. …

Guest Post: For .... In

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This post from my lovely friend, Lola McGuire, was posted on her site for Thanksgiving.  When I read it, I thought it applies to us, no matter what the day.  Thank you, Lola for your wise words.

 ..in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.....1 Thessalonians 5:18

As I reflect on this time of thanksgiving, I realize it is easy to thank God for all the good things in my life.  Those things I consider blessings, but for those of us who suffer, whatever the reason, giving thanks to God can be difficult or almost impossible at these times.  

I Will Choose To Listen To

I apologize that there was no devotional sent out for Friday (email friends - Saturday).  While the post was written - it did not publish to my blog correctly until Saturday.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

I've been listening to this song over and over again.  As the newer attempts to control my heart rhythm seem to be having little effect, I find myself questioning God as to why. …

Revisiting: When God Says, "No"

I realize it has barely been six months since this was published.  Yet, today it jumped out at me as the "right" choice for my Friday revisit.  No doubt because this would have been the beginning of my second art show and I'm trying to gracefully accept that God has said, "No" to this particular event.  I have to trust that there is a reason - and things are going as they should go.  So today, I give you ... …

What Can Happen in an Hour


But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Exodus 17:3

Sometimes the simplest of words bring the biggest lessons home to me.

I would not have told you that I am upset by my current health setback.  I've admitted to fear of what all is happening again, but upset?  Resentment? …

When God Creates a Painting

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For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

When I begin to paint, I usually have an end result in mind.  I've seen a picture, or a scene that inspires me to try to capture it so that it becomes tangible.

I don't just sit down with my pastels and being to put haphazard strokes on paper.  (Though I've seem some non-representational art that looks that way!) …

When I Am Afraid ... Not "If"


When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

"I don't know what to tell you, deni.  I'm not sure what's going on."

My doctor looks back through my chart. 

"It could be that your thyroid has finally burnt out after your bout of hyperthyroid.  That sometimes happens."

I have already found out that what I thought was cellulitis on my ankle would most likely be from a blot clot in a deep bruise.  "Nothing to worry about,"

Revisiting: Fear Not

Today needs to be a "revisit" day for me for several reasons.  I'm dealing with more pronounced heart issues and am heading out to see my doctor.  I need to take these words with me.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10) 

I startle as I feel my heart pound.  It skips a beat, then beats wildly against my chest wall.  …

Guest Post: Giving My All, With Thanks


I'd like to thank Lynn Severance for this week's guest post.  What draws me to Lynn's writings is her emphasis on the positives around us.  I'm slowly learning that the only way through this interesting life full of challenges is to focus on the good - and on God.  Thanks, Lynn!

“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:44).

 I have had one vision of this verse -- a poor woman with her widow’s mite -- willingly dropping that fraction of a penny into a basket.

You Are My God

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But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “ You are my God.” Psalm 31:14

This morning, I lie in my recliner - foot propped up.  A nasty bruise on my ankle (I bruise easily being on Coumadin.) has seemingly turned to cellulitis - possibly in a few spots.  I know some of my extreme tiredness comes from the infection as well as some of the heart irregularities that are resurfacing.  My show this coming weekend is looking less and less likely.

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