Some Morning Encouragement

Good morning friends. I hope you are all doing well. In reading my devotions this morning I remember my early teachings of what I need to do as a Christian and not understanding the rules at all. Now that I am much stronger in my faith I think back on those teachings and still somewhat disagree with how it was represented but totally understand what they were trying to say. 

Being caught in an act or lifestyle of evil is a sin and makes you a slave to it. So change it and be a slave to Christ.  

The word slave has such a negative feel about it that I think it turns away those who are seeking because they don’t want to be a slave again to something else, they want freedom.

If one rules another by saying, “You must do this,” and, “You will do that,” he breaks the human spirit, making it unfit for God. Oswald Chambers

But when we recognize the true attributes of Christianity – love joy peace kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control – then being a “slave” to such things is really a freedom, a freedom from evil. When our slavery comes from obedience in recognizing who Jesus really is, then it is not slavery at all. Slavery is something you don’t want to do but loving our risen Lord is something we relish doing.

 Let your soul find the fulfillment of its deepest longings in fellowship with God. Billy Graham

My hopes are that you find the beauty of joy of following Christ. He shows his love in the simplest ways and makes it easy to follow. For me, I find His presence in nature where he shows his beauty of creation. I decided to grow a few sunflowers this year and some are well over 12 feet tall.  They make me laugh, especially when neighbors walk by and stop to stare. Share the love of Christ from your heart and it will always be right. Have a great week and remember to always be kind.

Encouragement from a ‘shroom

All aspects of life have the ability to encourage…even a mushroom.

With us having rain for over a week, it is inevitable that mushrooms would show up…everywhere. But I am a firm believer that all things created in nature come from God and have the ability to show forth some sort of value. In my devotion today, I was reminded that ALL of creation has a purpose. Even these dreaded mushroom has a purpose. For those that are edible, they are high in nutrients, for those that are not edible, they provide much nutrition to the soil which feeds the plant life around it. They provide a sustainable value.

Every tiny bit of life has value. Oswald Chambers

There are some people who feel their value is no longer needed but that could not be further from the truth. During this past year and a half, we have all been shown the enormous value we all have. While we were hunkered down for safety, we realized the love, faith and confidence we have in Christ. And many turned their inside experience into ways of sharing  love, kindness and perseverance. By being able to reach out with phone calls, letters and through the internet with email, we have shown Christ’s love to others. Our seemingly small efforts brought enormous joy and encouragement to many as the bright light of Christ was shared to dispel the dark gloominess of fear and uncertainty. 

Today, faith and confidence in the resurrected Christ can change your fear to hope and your disappointment to joy. Billy Graham

Now as we wait for these rain systems to move on, we know that bright sunshine will once again find us and bring us its warmth and joy. Let us wait patiently for those days where we see the sun, but knowing we have the Son inside of us to share His light with others and bring joy. Never forget your enormous value, while you think your contribution may be of little value, it could be the one single act that gives the hope needed for another individual. And as always, remember to be kind in all you do. Every small act of kindness has huge value.

Evening Encouragement

The power of encouragement

Good evening friends. I hope this was a good day. In reading my devotions today, I was reminded of two main things – Life is about choices and Jesus is the correct choice, always. Billy Graham reminds us that while we all come from different backgrounds, it’s our choices that drive our direction. When we get discouraged we need to refocus on the future, not next week’s future but the future future – Jesus returning to make things right. When we focus on the brokenness around us, it can be depressing and gloomy but if we gather people who love us close to us and combine that love with Jesus’ love, then we can sustain our position and focus on the blessed day of hope.

The sunlight of His love can still shine in the darkest part of your life. Billy Graham

Succeeding in life has to do with choices and we can choose how we react to any situation.  We can blame  this broken world for our situation and wallow in the muck of it, or we can accept our responsibility of our choices and make better choices. Think how perfect the world was when Adam was here…and the choice he made.  God has always given us the power of choice.

We have to remember that Jesus was also born into this broken world but he changed it by changing people. Billy Graham

I have a new favorite t-shirt that I got from the church t-shirt sale and the back of it says “God’s got my back”.  And I think if we choose to hang onto that truth, He will not only have our back but will walk beside us and occasionally carry us when needed. So hang on to His blessed love and His promise of hope that one day we will be face to face with Our Lord.
Have a wonderful and calming evening and may you feel His peace surround you. And as always, remember to be kind. It helps you be calm as much as the one to whom you are being kind with.

Encouragement for Monday

Yesterday the US celebrated the 4th of July, a day we celebrate our independence. So, belated Happy Fourth of July to others in the US. A lot of us have today off as well so bonus for us. I also hope you are having a good day today wherever you are. It is bit hot already but after watering, I did get some beautiful pics of my yard and thought I would share them with you, they will be at the bottom.

Last night’s devotion in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, combined with the Fourth of July celebration, really gave me pause for who we are. Peter spoke to the Israelites making them understand that they were a chosen people for God’s purpose. For any of us who follow Christ, it does not matter what nation we live in, trust in, or love. That is all temporary. We are His nation regardless of location…even if a nation of one.

The gratitude we feel when we draw near to God, enables us to perceive more clearly the love relationship we have in Christ. Nothing can separate us from His Loving Presence.  Sarah Young

That is a huge comfort because I know I mess up every day. We can’t control everything around us but we can control how we react to it. Instead of worrying, trust! In stead of panicking, trust! Instead of clinging to old ways that no longer do us any good, trust! He is always doing something new for us, protecting us for His use. Trust!

He always has a hand out for us to grab. Grab and hold tight, for while it may be a bumpy ride, it will be a glorious ride.

And remember, some are having a bumpier ride than others, so always be kind.

Always Be Kind

Weekend Encouragement

Its Friday again friends – wow what a week. I hope your week was good and hope this encouragement can help with anything you may face for the weekend

I am enjoying this much needed rain we are getting but I hope we don’t get too much. We are such a silly lot, complain when we don’t get enough and then complain when we seem to get too much. 

The encouragement I am sending today comes from various sources that I read and I am combining three of them as they all spoke of a central theme –  the various gifts God gives us and how we choose to use them. 

The opening statement in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young said “Open your hands and your hearts to receive this day as a precious gift from God.”

There are many forms of gifts we are given and we know from our reading and studying God’s word that each of us has been given  a gift unique to us. He takes great delight in reminding us that He is always there  and He rejoices when we reflect His beauty in our actions and gifts.

I am taking a writing course in poetry, not what I thought it was going to be, but the lesson I am learning is how sad life can be without God in your corner. God opens doors often to show his great love for us but we have to be willing to open our hands and hearts to accept it. Billy Graham’s devotion had a statement that made me chuckle but only because I fully understood what he was saying where those who don’t know Christ are still floundering on the dry beach gasping for air.


“While the IRS keeps a record of how we spend our money, that is nothing compared to the records God keeps with how we spend/use our gifts.” Billy Graham


 The majority of God’s gifts probably are not of monetary value. In some instances they are, but most are gifts to help further His kingdom. And these gifts affect how we walk our in Christian lives. In Oswald Chambers Devotion this morning from Utmost for His Highest, he made a statement that sometimes we can not be effective in our walk until we have been through the Fires of Sorrow.

As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people. Oswald Chambers


And that to me is a true gift from God, the ability to stand strong when chaos is swirling about you, knowing He has got your back; the ability to still see the world through a glass half full instead of half empty; and the ability to show comfort and kindness to others when there have been times when you yourself were not show these things. So I remind you to take courage and peace in knowing God is holding your hand.

And as you feel the love and peace of God surrounding you, remember to be kind. Acts of kindness can have a profound ripple effect.

Monday Encouragement

On Mondays and Fridays I send out a little encouragement to remind us that even though this world can give us troubles, we have an advocate to help us traverse these trials. I pull in scripture with pictures for these encouragements because they help me visualize better. Today I want to remind all of our deliverer.

Good evening friends. What a glorious day today we had here in the midwest. It was a true reprieve.  Webster describes reprieve as : to give relief or deliverance for a time. And today with the little bit of rain we got Sunday and the front finally moving through, it gave us a much needed but short reprieve – after all it is June and legally summer for the northern hemisphere. It was 72 when I left the office today – 72!! This time two weeks ago it was 92 . Thank you, I will take this short deliverance from the heat.
Deliverance is an interesting word. We think of getting something delivered to us or delivered away from us that makes us relieved in some way.  I like to think of the quiet but powerful deliverance we get from God. The Psalms are full of the messages of deliverance from the troubles of this world. God protects us – I picture a cleft in a rock or a cave with Jesus standing protectively in front of that opening. Nothing harmful is getting past Him to us.

We are delivered…for all time. Hard times, difficult times and sad time still come but we are given peace to survive them.

The only thing is, it requires trust. And for some, that can be a hard thing. Sometimes our lives blow up in our faces so much we have little trust to give. But if we can get there, it is the most surprising thing to feel and comprehend. There is not anything you can compare it to here on earth for it is not from earth – it’s from heaven.

So  trust in  Him, believe He loves you, even when we may not seem loveable – He still loves us. He loves us when we feel on top of the world and when we are shattered and scattered across the floor. He is always close at hand, you just have to reach out to Him and he reaches down to you.

His hand is always reaching for your hand, regardless of where you are in your walk with Him. At the beginning, in the middle…wherever you are.

So be encouraged that you don’t have to do this alone. You have an advocate to walk beside you. There are even times He will carry you because you just don’t have the strength. He will never leave you.

Remember his profound kindness to you and try to always be kind for others who are struggling.

Always Be Kind

Encouragement for the Weekend

Good evening friends. Hope your week has been good. Have you ever questioned if you were doing things as God needed you to. I think we all have from time to time and after I read my Thursday’s devotion, I questioned myself enough that I had to run it by Pastor Rob. I think it’s normal to ask those questions for when we get so comfortable never to ask, then that may be a troublesome sign. And it’s funny to me how God usually finds a way to answer those questions, either through someone, a song you may hear or something that you read. When I read last night’s devotion before going to bed in Jesus Calling’s Evening edition, I had to smile at God. In paraphrase…


He is pleased when we ask questions of concern of our walk, for asking is a collaborative way of living that he had in mind for us when we were created. The more we collaborate with the Spirit, the freer we become. Freer to live in and love extravagantly and to know Him with increasing intimacy. Sarah Young

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I love the comparison of a Christian to a caterpillar as we change and grow to become a beautiful butterfly in His eyes. I had this short piece below published in an anthology last year, The Sound of Brilliance, that reminds me of our struggle sometimes as a Christian being somewhat bound in a dark harsh world. 

A Monarch Task

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The warmth awakens me but I am tightly bound. I can’t move. My life blood is pulsing through my veins, waiting to explode. My head is pounding and screaming to break free of this dungeon. Yet, I can’t move. As cracks appear at the top of this cell, bright light is filtering in. I push with my might against the wall, as the crack begins to grow. I feel the closeness of freedom. I can taste it in the air, and feel it in the warm light. Pushing again, the binding splits. I roll out of the slit, stretching, feeling the ecstatic of freedom. The warmth strengthens me for my mission, my colors furl out refracting the light on the leaves. Time is wasting, I must hurry, only six weeks of life at best. 

And while we have longer than 6 weeks to live, the struggle is the same. We push against the hardness of this world and when we begin to feel the warmth of God’s love, the stronghold of the world breaks and we have freedom of life with the Spirit inside us. The Spirit then stands beside us and guides us as we go to face the challenges we run into.

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God always knows our hearts and guides us according to His will.

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So I encourage you tonight to not get concerned if you have questions about where you are in your walk, for we are at different places of our walk. But feel the peace  of Christ in knowing you are not doing any of this alone. Be safe and have a blessed weekend. And as always, remember to be Kind.

An Evening Encouragement

As I study and glean words of encouragement from some of the devotionals I read, I like to pass those thoughts on to anyone who may need a little encouraging themselves. The biggest benefit for me is that it helps me to study knowing that I have to make sense about what I am trying to say. This morning Oswald Chamber in His devotion called My Utmost for His Highest made a statement I had never really thought about but it is entirely true. Those of us who call ourselves Christians know that we are all created by God for His purpose but if we don’t go to Him and follow Him, He can’t fulfill His purpose in us. He will not force it on us, its our choice.

God will not make me think like Jesus— I have to do it myself. I have to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” – Oswald Chambers

A lot harder to do than sitting on a soft comfy couch. Oswald reminds us that all thoughts matter…financial, intellectual, emotional, all matters that make us human, regardless of our circumstances.

Jesus never chose His own circumstances, but was meek, submitting to His Father’s plans and directions for Him. Oswald Chambers

We have a tendency sometimes to wallow in our circumstances never enjoying the serenity of life which is hidden in Jesus. But there is a better way.

So if you feel sometimes that you think “just a minute Lord, I gotta do this first” – rethink that process.

Make the determination to abide in Jesus wherever you are now or wherever you may be placed in the future. Oswald Chambers

It may seem like it creates more chaos, but in the end, more calm will be the result because you have allowed Jesus to drive the car. You know the old adage about Jesus driving the car don’t you?

a – You can wave at Jesus as you drive by Him as He waves at you when you pass, missing all the benefits of following him… or

b – You can stop and pick Him up but put Him in the back seat and listen only to what you want to listen to, again missing the benefits…or

c – You can stop to pick Him up, slide over and let Him drive the car, reaping all of His benefits. Its all part of obedience.

Make the determination to abide in Jesus wherever you are now or wherever you may be placed in the future. Oswald Chambers

And since you are choosing to abide in Him, remember to always be Kind.

Encouragement of “That Day”

Good morning friends. I hope this day is bright and sunny as you look around the beauty of today. I want to share with you the gleaning I received from my morning devotion. After several days of needed rain, it is refreshing to see the bright sunshine and beautiful blue sky.

Scriptures remind us that some days will be stormy, and I am not really speaking of weather. Life is hard sometimes but we can be lifted to the peace and beauty of the heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and then Jesus can teach us the truths of God.

Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship. Oswald Chambers.

All we have to do is ask….

What a great honor to be able to speak, pray and be one with the Father. Being able to come to the Father in this manner proves His love for us and proves our union with Christ is real and absolute.

Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name in His nature. Oswald Chambers

So relax and feel the peace of “That Day” – It is not a day in the future but is in fact any day. And remember that not everyone understand this truth. So reflect the Love of Christ as you go about “That Day” and be kind. Kindness is a pure reflection of God’s love.

Helping Out Fellow man

What you do with the gifts God gives you shows others, who are watching, the value of the gifts you have been given.

Today, my church participated in the World Vision Waterwalk for 2021. Our goal was $1500.00 and we met our goal. Knowing what some people in some countries have to go through just to get clean water is scary for those of us who just turn on a tap and there you go. May we never take it for granted as one day it may all may be compromised.

Enclosed are some of the photos I took of our church using our gifts to try to put a drop in the bucket of much needed water across this globe. If this stirs you heart, it is never to late to give.

Have a blessed day and remember that any gift of kindness brings joy to the giver and the receiver.

Always be Kind