Encouraging Words Blog 


Finding Peace


Feelings of peace and contentment can be hard for me to come by at times.  Today is one of those times.  Yes, it is Resurrection Sunday and there is joy in my heart - but it is a deeper joy.  One I have to look for a bit harder than usual.

Easter Sunday was always a special holiday in our family.  Egg hunts, huge family gatherings, traditional foods ... well, I guess the word tradition covers a lot of it.  Lots of children, new dresses and suits, lots of laughter and gaiety.  …

Thank God


I'm on an interesting journey in this life of chronic battles with emotional and physical challenges.  March has been a difficult month for me the past several years, and I’m finding this year not all that much different. The one difference is that my thought life has been far more challenging.

So, I've been doing a lot of reading and searching to see exactly what changes need to be made in my life.

One of the books I am reading had an interesting suggestion.  …

Teach Me to Pray

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As I continue to read the book "Fervent," I am realizing how ... well, wimpy my prayers can be.  Now, I do believe that God hears and honors our every prayer, but my prayers were often unsatisfying.

As I am learning how to use Scripture for the basis of my prayers, I'm finding it to be a powerful experience.  I thought I'd share the way I used Colossians 1:9-14 as the basis of prayer for myself and for others.

Even Under the Sea

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With most members of my household gone now, for one reason or another, I find my days get long and lonely.  I’m just not used to being alone anymore.

My growing up years were fairly solitary.  I liked to be alone, writing music or poetry, reading almost anything that had words, journaling, listening to music all amply filled my time.  Add in school and my artistic dance skating love, and my days were overly filled.

When You Can't Forgive Yourself


I read the My Utmost for His Highest devotional by Oswald Chambers most every day.  As I've been challenged by dealing with forgiving others, I realized that I harbor a lot of unforgiveness regarding myself.  A lot of that stemmed from the fleshly identity I put on due to the actions or inactions of others.

My self-esteem took a beating as a child, and I never quite got over feeling not quite good enough.  …

A Plan to Fight Unforgiveness


I realize, that some folks will not need the suggestions I will be putting here, and are adept at forgiving.  They can simply forgive.  For whatever reason, they are blessed with the ability to forgive easily.  They can take a hurt to God, forgive the event, and that is that.

I am hoping I get to that place.

For me, it's taking something different to let go of some things.  Either the hurts were too strong, or are too old, or have grown to large for me to know how to simply say, "I forgive that" and let it go.

When Unforgiveness Holds You Prisoner


When I started writing on how God brought me to examine the role of forgiveness in my own life, I didn't realize I was starting what could easily be a book.  There is so much that I am exploring and God is showing me so much, connecting dots, loving me, guiding me through a fairly painful process.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with the long list of names I had written in my journal.  The names of all those who had hurt me in one way or another.  …

What Does It Mean to Forgive?

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I started writing yesterday about how my prayer to God for help turned into a series of days of self-examination.   I think it ties back to my fervent prayer for my identity in Christ.  It is hard to view myself the way Scripture says.  And one of the things that holds me back is that I know the things about myself that I hide from others.

Bitterness, resentment, and envy are always nipping at my heels.  And I'm now realizing they do because I have such a low estimation of my worth.  …

What God Did With My "Down" Time

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Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8: 10-11

Some kind of bug has meandered through my house, leaving me with less energy than usual.  It's a hard time of year, so succumbing to illness is not terribly surprising.  Kind of dismaying, but not surprising.

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