Tonight I am posting an evening encouragement in the form of a reflection with a few of the Psalms written by David and others where they poured out their hearts in writings and songs with love to God. On nights when I can’t seem to sleep, I will turn to this book and just breathe in His peace and encouragement of the Psalms. This is just an example of the consistent love God has for us. In reality, this post could be really long as there are lots of good encouragement in the Psalms but I will pick out a few we don’t read as often and maybe sometime later, I will do it again. Tonight I will start at Psalm 1 and go onward. Enjoy and be encouraged. I took these pictures from christian websites.
Recently we started a new out-reach with our church to do evening encouragements. Normally people do morning encouragements to help get your day going but with Covid still among us and seeming growing for a second wave, we felt like all of our members could use some encouragement at the end of the day so yesterday we rolled out the Nightly Encouragements. The pictures are not mine but found on Christian websites that matched the message of encouragement I am trying to share. Tonight we are discussing the value of laughter. My hope is that if you decide to read on, that you are in some way encouraged to stand firm for another day.
In a time such as this, where we are weighed down with life around us…we need some laughter. We have been told laughter is the best medicine but laughter has many documented medical benefits as well.
With our hectic lives that we live, zooming here to there or staying closed off in our homes, we all need a little encouragement that everything will be okay…eventually. While no one can guarantee that, I can guarantee this…you are truly loved by God and I share this with you as a little encouragement to help keep you going.
To be encouraged is to be filled with courage, to face life as it moves around us. Let’s face it, there are many things we come upon that fill us with fear and discouragement, like… Is this what I need to do, am I good enough to get it done, did I do it right according to whomever, the list is endless… but Jesus encourages us with His word as He reminds us that all discouragements that have ever made in this world… He has ultimately squashed…
We Will Stand Firm
I stand and stare at the silvery pool that was left by the outgoing tide. The beauty of its simplicity is in stark contrast to the darkness surrounding it and the menacing sky above as the storm moves on to other lands. This seems reflect my life for now, small pools of silvery beauty while the remainder of life storms all around me. A cold threatening darkness with winds of change that threaten to blow me down. But yet I remain standing, breathing, as I take in this silvery beauty of hope.
I am reminded of the power of strength given from above that helps us stand firm through all storms of life. God’s outstretched hand is ever present, ever guiding, and ever comforting. He reminds us all though his word – “I will never leave you” – and this encouragement gives us the strength, the determination and the hope to remain looking at the silvery pool even though the storm of life may rage around us.
We will stand firm.
For visually challenged writers, the image above shows a beach in the half-light, bounded by dark dunes and holding a silvery pool of water that mirrors the sky.
As you take in the beauty of life as it surrounds you, remember to always be kind. Kindness has a beauty that far surpasses the darkness that may be around you.
Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine has a fun weekly prompt that I like to read and occasionally play in but today it is gray and rainy and we are supposed to stay in…so I give you a picture I didn’t take but the message is of hope from the Word and cyber hug from me.
Matthew 17:20 – I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Today is Monday, day 2 of Holy Week. On this day as Jesus was heading to Jerusalem he was hungry and saw a fig tree. The fig tree had not fruit, so Jesus told the tree to never bear fruit again of which the tree instantly died. His disciple were shocked but Jesus answer to them is what we all need for today.
Matthew 21:21-22 – “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.
Twice, in a short amount of time, Jesus told us our faith could move mountains. So I remind you and challenge you to hold on to that faith as we go through these uncertain times. This curve of a mountain we are facing as a world population will soon flatten and we will be stronger for it as long as we do not lose faith. As we hang on to this faith, let us always remember to be kind.
In a world surrounded by the same pandemic attacking countries with no reason of sanity with over 720 thousand cases across more than 150 countries, we are scared. We are all in this together praying for the same cure. In our state today we lost an infant. An infant who had not had enough time to grow any type of immune system. A virus that shows no apathy to the young, the old, the sick or the weak and carried by loved ones who mean no harm.
But I believe in our God. A God that loves every single person on this planet regardless of their religion because he did not create a religion for us to follow. He created us to follow him. He wants a true relationship with you and you with him. He loves you.
Musicians are wonderful tools God uses to remind us that he is always there for us to come to. They write songs of courage, remembrance of his love, remembrance of our love for him and we lean on those songs in hard times.
Casting Crowns wrote a song that I think fits well with the situation this world is finding itself in and how we just need to lean on him and Praise Him in the Storm. And while God sometimes can calm a storm, sometimes he allows the storm to rage while calming us with reassurance that he is in control. Allow your heart to praise God in this current storm and feel his calmness reassurance for you.
Sometime when the storms seem out of control, kindness can come in forms to help settle your heart. Be that calmness for others who so desperately need it.
Man, I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. I sure hope I can find a close parking space at the mall. Or how about – I hope I can lose this weight after Christmas or I hope this growth isn’t cancer. Many thoughts toward the word called hope. The dictionary beaks it down like this:
One word in that group stood out for me – Cherish
When we think of hope from a Christian perspective it takes on a whole different meaning. I think what tends to happened with any language or word of power in any language is that we get complacent of its meaning and its power.
In Sarah Young’s devotional book Jesus Calling, she reminds us that many Christian’s today misunderstand the word hope believing it to denote wishful thinking. And I agree with her statement of ‘Nothing could be further from the truth.’
Christians believe that once we accept the Son as our savior, we replace the fears of hell with the longings of heaven. We then have the hope of heaven that strengthens us and encourages us, filling us with a yearning for God, our creator, our protector, our savior.
“The phrase hope of heaven highlights the benefits you can enjoy while remaining here on earth. This hope keeps you spiritually alive during dark times of adversity; it brightens your path and heightens your awareness of God.”
Hope, while it is not tangible to physically hold onto with your hands, it can be felt in your heart. What a powerful gift from God to bring us love, joy and peace…hope.
Now that the Christmas season is upon us, spread that power of hope around and let your kindness be full. Let the love of Christ shine brightly in all that you do.
This is a post of many mixed emotions and possibly a thought just for the black hole of the universe with each person having their own opinion with most of us have a leaning one way or the other. I took a walk the other day for quiet reflective thinking and left being sad and upset. Why was this not fixed? How can this remain this way? Does no one care?
Life is a cycle, I think everyone agrees with that. Babies are born, become young children, grow into crazy teen, then young adults, and so on until we die. We as living beings don’t like talking about death as it seems a scary thing. But in reality, its just a part of life. We don’t know what to expect so we fear it, or we lean on our faith with hope and strength. My faith tells me that with my very last breath, I die. Only to take my next breath with Jesus. It is that fast.
Scripture tells us that when God made Adam, he was made from the dust of the earth. Gen 2:7, the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. Gen 3:19, tells us that from dust we came and into dust we will go. In my opinion of how I understand the scriptures, and my knowledge is small, I think people get concerned about not having a body to rise from the grave. Ezekiel 37, in speaking about the valley of dry bones and how God will give them knew life to be with him. 37:12 says ‘I will open the graves and bring you up’. I Thessalonians 16 tells us that at Jesus’ second coming, the dead will rise first from the grave and join Jesus in the air. But I think what people forget is at that split moment in time, we will receive new bodies, the earthly body is no longer useful. So it doesn’t matter if its dust, ashes, from the ground, from the ocean, wherever the remains are lying, they will be raised to new life in Christ.
Now that the philosophical and Christian avenue has been spoken, lets go back to the original shock of mixed feelings for cemeteries. When you think of all cemeteries over the centuries that are no longer in existence, yet the graves are still in the ground, then the pictures I took may make it more understandable. It still makes me very sad of the apparent apathy as this is a final resting place. I, myself, am choosing cremation as my family is scattered and in 200 years, who will care. Some of these tombstones are over 200 years old now and only because perpetual care of the grounds is done does it seem mostly cared for. You could tell they just mowed around fallen head pieces. So sad.
This is all the more reason I push in all of my post for the show of kindness to all living creatures while we are still on this side of the dirt. Once we are in heaven, we are in the middle of all the love of Christ but can not get it that kindness back down to earth where it is so badly needed. So remember to always be kind.
I am part of an outreach program at church and our new T-shirts came in today.
Sometimes it is easier to ask a total stranger for prayer, regardless, we are always open to help bring hope through prayer.
And as always…
Remember to be kind.