Thoughts Behind Encouragement

Good evening friends. I had someone ask “why I do this” the other day and after thinking seriously about it, I did come up with an answer that I always thought was it – Because I was asked to. But lets back that up a bit and unpack it. While I am a Christian and I do go to church, that is fully not the reason.

“The church is the only institution that exist primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.” William Temple, Arch Bishop of Canterbury

Think about that statement that was made several decades ago that still rings true today. This past Sunday, pastor Rob spoke on this statement and what it really means for the church to be reaching out. And we are not talking about the church as a building but the church as an entity, its people. We are told to go and invite others to come see what Christ is about. All through the New Testament, Jesus tells us to go and tell His story. His story of how much He loves us and how much He cares about everything we are going through, good and bad. He cheers with us when its good, He carries us when its bad. And he wants everyone to know this so He tells us to go tell others. Plant the seed of curiosity and see if it will grow.

Proclaim means to tell…

I am in no way any type of preacher or evangelistic leader. I am a tiny light in this dark world who has experienced dark times and the bright light of Christ. So, I choose to share it here with those who care to read. Because I am a visual person, I incorporate pictures with scriptures because to me they are easier to read.

When we can share His stories of hope, with the love, kindness and goodness of what Christ is all about, then it intrigues others to want to hear more, so you tell them more. And all through God’s word are stories of how much He loves us.

And nothing can break that bond of love once it is established.

Therefore, I write encouragements to help others who may need to have a moment of kindness, a handful of hope and a direction of where to go find other assurances of love that is there for all who want it. ALL! If I can encourage 1 person with each note that I write, then I feel my note was a good one. And I read more inspiring works from people(and the Bible) to find new ways to encourage others of how special they are because God never makes a mistake in creating.

Always remember we are all wonderfully made for His purposes. Yes, we do get off track time to time, but He is always right there to help guide us right back where we need to be. And He does it gently and with kindness which is why I always close with a picture showing the beauty and power of kindness.

Always Be Kind

Weekend Encouragement

Good morning friends. I have not given any encouragement this week and thought today would be a good day. It’s the end of one week with our eyes focused on a new week to come.  Today I bring you encouraging words from Steven Scott and his devotion book Jesus Speaks. It’s a wonderful devotion that has a commentary hosting all the words that Jesus spoke that is separated by topics.

Since this is a quick word of encouragement, we all understand how easy it is to get discouraged. But we need to remember where our discouragement comes from. It comes from our adversary, satan, whose task it is to steal our life of happiness. He knows that if he can make us miserable, we focus on what we have lost, what we no longer have for it has been taken away from us. But we must remember that Jesus came to give us life.

Jesus is our Shepherd that brings us abundant life that is eternal. When Jesus gave up his life for us on the cross, He defeated satan. Jesus broke satan’s power and authority over us. But we are merely human and have a tendency to forget this power and submit to the rules of this temporary kingdom, forgetting our eternal kingdom. This robs us of the joy we find when we are in touch, by mind and heart, with Jesus.

So start each day in His Word with thankfulness and He will surround you with an inner peace beyond anything you could imagine, regardless of the chaos of this world that is beating at your door. Breathe in His peace.

And remember to reflect this peace with kindness in all that you do and the light of Christ will shine from you.

Be purposely kind

Encouragement Analogy

I woke up this morning still tired from the pacing and stress of the night. My throat is still sore from all the yelling and pleading…at the TV. It was National Championship night for college football. And yes, my team won. Yeah, Go Dawgs.

But this morning I was reminded that we are all winners in a championship game. This life is temporary but we are in it for the win. Jesus is on the side lines, in the stands and standing right beside us cheering us on as we do good and pacing when we misstep, ever guiding us along the Way. He never leaves our side. And we must praise Him in this promises.

What is a promise – according to Webster – a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

All through His Word, Old Testament and New, he reminds us of how important each person is to Him and how He is ever on the sideline cheering us onward. His love for us knows no bounds. This picture below is called First Day of Heaven, but just remember, while we are on this earth, He is still hugging us that fiercely.

So I encourage you today to feel His love as it surrounds you. Embrace it and know that it is real and be assured that no person, no circumstance, no misstep you may make will ever turn Him away from His love for you.

Isaiah 41:10

As you embrace this day, let His light shine from you to others whose light may not be as bright. But the light is always there, sometimes you just have to dust it off a bit. Dust with kindness and that light will shine bright.

Morning Encouragement, Jan 6

Good chilly morning friends as we are in single digits today. I hope you are all staying warm. I have several devotions I read each morning along with my bible and thought I would share some of those thoughts with you. I sincerely hope they bring you comfort, encouragement and a warm smile.
Billy Graham’s devotion this morning tied right in with bible study yesterday. He spoke of our need for constant anticipation of Jesus’ return.
If we could live everyday as though it may be the very last one before the final judgment, what a difference it would make here on earth!  Billy Graham

“I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and begin His own. I am not looking for death. I am looking for Him.” Dr. G. Campbell Morgan
I think some days we tend to plunge forward moving from task to task not thinking at all about the future of that glorious day and in turn totally missing the wonder of it and the beauty around us in all of the daily blessings we encounter. The purpose of both of these blessings is so that we can stop, breathe them in, and share the joys of them with others; the blessing of knowing that He is coming again and the blessing of knowing that whatever we face today…He has got our back. 

Oswald Chambers reminds us that sharing our blessing only magnifies them not only for us but for others as well.
God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing completely for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessing to others. Oswald Chambers

So I encourage you today to be watchful in your daily blessings…the things that make you smile, the things that make you laugh, the song that is forever in your head today – all of these have a purpose that turns our thoughts and love toward Him and others. 

Feel His blessed tenderness as He holds you today and remember to always share His kindness.

JusJoJan the 3rd, Abundance

Linda Hill’s prompt for JusJoJan January 3rd, 2020, is “abundance.” Use the word “abundance” any way you’d like. Enjoy!

What truly is abundance? Merriam-Webster describes it as “an ample amount”…but that will differ for each person and each item to each person.

For example, on New Year’s Day we got an average of 7 inches of snow. To me, that is an abundant amount…for the year, thank you very much. Inside my house for Christmas (and its not a large house) we had an abundant amount of Christmas decorations – four 4 foot or higher Christmas trees upstairs and six 4 foot trees downstairs – not counting the small table trees and all the sit arounds. We have to have that many trees to place the abundant amount of tree ornaments we have, yes, it could be an addiction – but what a fun one to have.

Another example could be the abundant amount of cookie, breads and muffins made to give away as gifts. And so many more examples could be made.

I think we who have the ability to sit in front of a computer and share our ideas across the globe of blogging have an amazing abundance of opportunities to share love and kindness in everything we write and photograph. Even when we may feel tired, down trodden or of little use – a kind blogging friend will respond with encouragement of abundance that they have for that day to help lift them up so that in turn, they can share of that abundance.

My 14 inch Christmas stick lights are still outside, because they are now frozen in the ground. But they remind us that even though we may sometimes get buried by life’s dumps, we can still show our beauty as it shoots out from us in all directions.

Let your light shine

Remember in all that you do, you can always be kind. Let you kindness abundantly shine through.

January 1, JusJoJan-SOCS

Resolve to make a definite and serious decision to do something

Why do we silly humans think that January 1 is the time to resolve from a harmful habit? Only to make said resolution that gets broken by January 3rd – valiant effort? I think not. If we have a habit that is harmful to us or others, it needs to be stopped immediately…not some “traditional” day. It proves we really didn’t want to resolve it in the first place…maybe tomorrow.

Resolution : the act or process of resolving

May we be fully aware of the things we need to change in our lives to make us better people, and may we fully and completely go through with those changes and become better people.

Come join in on Linda’s prompt, Just Jot January and SOCS, and enjoy a positive side of just being.

And remember, if you can resolve to be anything, resolve to be kind in all you do.

Be Powerfully Kind

Woman – Hazardous Material

Good New Years Eve friends. Hope you are safe and warm. In cleaning out my spare room to turn it into an office/writing room, I ran across some old books and papers I have not seen in a very long time. I wanted to share one that I found that, as a woman myself, made me chuckle and hope it brings you a smile for then end of this… “interesting” … year. I do not know where it came from but it was tucked in the quality control papers from my management position down in Alabama and fit the types of papers we dealt with assuring safety and quality within the automotive industry. It is titled “!!Hazardous Materials Data Sheet!!” Enjoy the chuckle with me.

Element : Woman

Discoverer: Adam

Atomic Mass: Accepted as 55kg but known to vary from 45kg to 225kg

Physical Properties:

  1. Body surface normally covered with film of powder and paint.
  2. Boils at absolutely nothing – freezes for no apparent reason.
  3. Found in various grades ranging from virgin martial to common ore.

Chemical Properties:

  1. Reacts well to gold, platinum and precious stones.
  2. Explodes spontaneously without reason or warning.
  3. The most powerful money reducing agent known to man.

Common Use:

  1. Highly ornamental, especially in sports cars.
  2. Can greatly aid relaxation.
  3. Can be a very effective cleaning agent.

Hazards:

  1. Turns green when placed alongside a superior specimen.
  2. Possession of more than one is possible but specimens must never know of other possessions or make sys contact.

In reality, all women must understand their great value to all of mankind. While we can be possessive creatures, when it get down to brass tacks, we really want the best for everybody. So women – stay pure and beautiful as God made you and remember beauty is not always on the outside. Inner beauty always carries more power, courage and resolve…regardless of gender.

Have a very good new year and remember always to be kind.

Happy New year

As I read my devotion this morning, I was reminded of God’s love for us. As we approach this new year let us not worry about how we tripped up this year and fell short of His expectation…or rather our expectation of how we thought we should have been.

God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of our missteps to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. Oswald Chamber

Let’s not waste time worrying about the “oops” we made this past year but allow Him to guide us, using those missteps through the new year, to show the beauty of who we can be.

While we have lost opportunities that will never return, God can transform these lost opportunities into constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ. Oswald Chambers

I wish you the very best New Year and hope that all things go well for you. Remember God wants us to be happy.

Let your fresh start for the new year be filled with kindness. Kindness comes for the heart and reflects His love for all.

At the End, It is a First

Hello friends. Crazy title for a post isn’t it, but that is what December has been like here in Iowa. We had crazy record breaking highs in the 70s combined with February cold in the teens. No wonder people are running around with the sniffles. But today is the first snow for December. It wont last. It will turn to rain by lunch but it is a sign of what is to come. This coming weekend may prove to be what the weathermen have been telling us all through the fall – winter is going to be cold.

First Hint of Winter

The changes of the weather can sometimes be a reflection of the changes in our lives, some days hot, some days cold, and what we really want is comfort in the middle. My daughter gave me a fabulous gift for Christmas. Its a sandscape picture with soothing colors of blue, white, black and a smattering of glitter, The picture is filled with water and oil and as you flip the picture, it changes in a most mesmerizing way, soothing and calming to the nerves. I have heard these do wonderful calming effects for children in the autism spectrum to help them focus. I can see why, and can sit and flip it for the better part of an hour as every turn creates a different picture.

When you flip the picture you see the oil bubbles float to the top creating small gaps for the various sands to fall through creating a mountain range of various shapes. Coming from the southeast and the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this reminds me of the peace and tranquility of those mountains. A most fitting feeling as we walk through the last week of Christmas being reminded again about the Prince of Peace coming as a small defenseless babe.

This sandscape also reminds me of life and how it moves, sometime fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes all at once that can create a mess if we don’t have our feet grounded.

But regardless of the speed of the sands of life falling, if we stop, listen and breathe…we will feel the peace and comfort of God surrounding us.

So as we close out another year, let us focus on a new year to come with sands of beauty as God gives us the strength to stand firm in however they fall.

Tranquility

Regardless of how your sands may look to fellow man, to God they are all beautiful. So share your beauty of your creation with others so that they too will understand the beauty of their own sandscape. And as always, remember to be kind. It helps unlock those doors of fear.

Christmas Eve Encouragement

Tonight is a night we focus on the memory of Christ’s birth, a quiet joyful night usually with candlelight. The candlelight represents His light coming into the world and as we share the flame from candle to candle, it shows how we should share His light from person to person.

Christmas means that God is interested in the affairs of people, that God loves us so much that He was willing to give His Son. Billy Graham

In my Christmas village I have an observatory and it reminds me we should always remember to look for His star, His light, as it shines on us and the rest of the world.

The Hope Observatory, may we all feel the hope of His light

I wish you all the very best Christmas. If this is a joyous time for you and your family, I hope it continues to shine brightly. If this time of year is sad for you, I hope the light of Christ finds you so that you understand just how much you are loved. He came for all of us to find His love and peace.

Merry Christmas