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Tag Archives: encouragement

To You

To you with problems ahead of you that seem so big… I want to encourage you tonight to listen for Jesus. Listen close and hear him whisper, “I am bigger.”

To you who feels so weak tonight and so rightfully sure that you don’t have what it takes… I want to encourage you tonight to close your eyes and fix your heart on Jesus. Because he is there- right in that place with you. May you feel his peace wrap around your heart and here him whisper, “I have what it takes and I am with you.”

And to you, who has come to know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that on your own, there are so very many things that are impossible, that you simply cannot and will not ever do. Can I tell you something tonight? To you Jesus whispers, “With God all things are possible.”

And to you who wrestles daily with fear, who fights to find peace, who trembles inside at the tribulations ahead. Yes, tribulation will come, just as Jesus said. But listen close to His voice one more time. He spoke it, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Did you hear what he said? “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” His warnings of tribulation were not meant to scare you, but to assure you… That the only One strong enough to conquer the world is available to you. May you lay your head down on your pillow tonight and rest in His peace.

A prayer:
Sweet Savior Jesus, you are never too far, but all too often, I am. Help me to draw close to you tonight and rest in your presence, your goodness and your love. Thank you. Yes, thank you. Amen.

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There is Hope

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So this? This is a plant in our yard- one that I haven’t really tended to in the two years we have lived in our home as it is kind of in a tucked away place along our side yard- somewhat out of view.

As I took on the task of tending the plant a few things became very obvious. First, the plant is beautiful. Perhaps even the most beautiful plant in our yard except for one major thing. It is wounded, horribly wounded.

As I took a close look it became obvious that a very large and long vine with sharp thorns had grown to cover the beautiful plant. As storms came and winds blew the beautiful leaves would be torn by the covering vine.

All I could do to try and restore the plant was to first remove the vine and then remove the damaged leaves. And there were many damaged leaves. So many that from a distance the entire plant looked damaged. But deep down new leaves were growing that can now grow fully in the place of what was so badly hurt.

What thorns are covering you? What torn areas in your heart need to be removed for new life and love to grow? Is there bitterness? Is there worry? Is there an ongoing offender in your life that continues to leave you damaged? Are you slowly becoming plagued by thoughts and attitudes that are hiding your true beauty?

There is hope. Because God sees you. You aren’t off and out of sight. You are in plain view and his hands are reaching.

I pray today for anyone who may need it: that the thorns be lifted and the damage miracously removed from your heart. I pray your heart finds comfort knowing that God can see past the damage. He sees the beautiful you hiding and trying to grow. You have been hurt. But there is healing, and no need to hold on to the hurt. May you shed all that is dead and begin to grow with new, beautiful life.

 

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Written on His Hands

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So on Sunday our Pastor encouraged us to pick up a prayer bracelet to remind us to pray for a young person that would soon be attending a Young Life camp. Standing in the parking lot after after church I felt the feeling of a something being wrapped around my wrist. I looked over and our son had wrapped this bracelet with the name “Cole Swayze.” And since then, I have been praying at all moments of the day and night for Cole Swayze. I have no idea who he is, but I must admit I can’t get over how this one little bracelet has caused me to think about and pray for him all the time. And it has got me thinking.

Somewhere is Cole Swayze. He has no idea who I am or that his name is written on my wrist. He has no idea that I even exist let alone that I am filled with hope and joy for him. He has no idea how the little things I see cause me to stop and pray for him. So many thoughts and prayers because his name is right there near my hand.

And you know something? Your name is written somewhere to.

Isaiah 49:16
“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…”

God knows your name. He has written it on his hands. His thoughts of you are countless. His hopes for you, unending. And you may not have a single thought about him, but that doesn’t stop his many, many thoughts and prayers for you. My prayer for you tonight, as it is for Cole Swayze, is this:

May you daily see the hand of God moving everywhere you move.

 

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Just the Bait

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These last few days our kids have been picking up worms hidden under the stepping stones along our side and front yard. Incredible to watch really.

Somehow those worms seem to thrive in the dark and dirt. They are found in the tightest, most crammed places. They are found literally up against a rock.

Which got me thinking.

Sometimes God will allow us to be in the dark places, those places where it feels like we are up against a wall, places where its hard to breathe, places we are forced to dig deep.

But you know what is incredible about those dark, crammed, and dirty places? In those places, if we can look closely, and pick up what God is trying to show us and teach us, we can become equipped to truly catch his blessings.

No, not every life experience is something we desire to have in our hands.

So many things we don’t want to feel.

So many things we would rather have out of sight.

But God has a way of shedding his light, lifting our eyes and showing us the purpose of life in the dark places.

And our time there… Every heart beat and motion in those dark places is also felt and held in his hands.

All of it, yes all of it… Is just the beginning…

Just the bait for great blessings to come.

 

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Pin This to Your Heart

Some time ago my dear friend gave me a little pin. It was the shape of a shield, on a little paper that said “Faith.” On the front of the shield was a cross. On the back of the shield was the following engraving: Joshua 1:9b.

It took me sometime to notice that. I pinned it on my little purse at first. At some point I lost the little clasp that held it in place. Since then it has been dropped, lost, stepped on… Seriously stepped on- I mean find it stuck in the bottom of my boot stepped on- cross barely distinguishable from being scraped off further and further from being stepped on. But if you look closely, there are still traces of the cross. I have picked it up dozens of times and put it in my pocket or purse only to be lost again. I have found it sweeping floors, sitting by my bathroom sink where I emptied my pockets the night before, found it in my dryer… Yep- it has taken a beating, gone through some heat, and yet- incredibly it keeps showing up. I keep finding it again and again.

I found it yesterday only moments after a moment where I entirely lost my cool- after a moment where the Jesus in me- like that cross on that little shield- was practically indistinguishable. There it was- this little, tiny battered shield, in the corner of the very room where my faith in myself felt so battered and trampled on by my own actions. Faith was there.

I picked it up, fully confident of this: I am held in the palm of my Makers hand. And you know what? So are you.

I don’t know what your week has been like. I don’t know if or where you may have lost faith in yourself- but tonight I want to encourage you with the very verse that is engraved on the back of this little pin:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

You know where strength and courage is often the hardest to get your clasp on? It is in those areas where time and time again you have failed. Those areas- where you know you have gone- only to fail- and truthfully you don’t want to go there again. You don’t want to try again because what if? What if you fail again? After all, you failed before! And it is YOU going there again. Isn’t it? Yes… And no.

It’s not just you. If God leads you to get up and try again- he is going there with you. Think about that.

So if tomorrow, you know you are stepping back into the very same place you failed today or yesterday. I want you to take heart tonight. I am.

I am going to get up and take on the very children that brought me to my knees because I know that is exactly what God has called me to do.

What are you going to take on? Whatever it is, I pray you take it on with new strength and courage tomorrow. Pin this to your heart tomorrow, dear friend, and keep the faith:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

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Great is His Faithfulness

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Looking at our baby boy this morning,
Still standing at our front door,

Watching,

Waiting,

For a glimpse of his daddy who left many minutes before.

I look at him and I am reminded of God’s faithfulness to us.

When we walk away,

He is still watching.

When we are far off on our own agendas,

He is still standing,
Waiting for us to come home.

When we are faithless,

He is still faithful.

Great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

 

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As Resolutions Resolve and Dissolve

As the year progresses and resolutions resolve and dissolve, I pray we can each remember this: In every God given moment there is a chance to change and start new.

Praying for each and everyone of you, and for me, that this year be a year where we draw closer than ever before to the Father’s heart. May we not desire or be satisfied with a life that is full of “good” things, but may we only desire and find our joy in a life that is filled with “God” things.

May we identify the weights that are holding us back from being all that God has created us to be. May we fully grasp the knowledge that God has given us the power to set aside each and every weight that holds us back. May we set them aside and realign our focus on Him and those people in our lives who matter most. May we be blessed with peace, strength and true joy as we do.

Happy New Year friends and family.

May you all receive to the fullest the gift of each moment this year. May our eyes be opened to the wondrous possibility God has placed before us in every moment.

For nothing is impossible with God.
(Luke 11:37)

– Charity

 

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