Tag Archive | Encouragement

Glow in the dark

By Jason Grey

Sometimes the world feels like a mess. Full of drama, full of stress. And life puts a fist right in your ribs. You can hide if you choose to. And no one would even blame you. Or you can let them see how you deal with it

That even in the darkest place. His love can make you radiate

Doesn’t matter how deep, how dark the night is. Keep hoping, keep on shining. And they’ll see His light burning in your heart. And if the road gets rough, just keep your head up. Let the world see what you’re made of. That His love’s alive in your deepest parts. Like a flame, like a burning star you can shine right where you are. He made you to glow in the dark

Don’t be ashamed of your past. If you’re shattered like a piece of glass. The more broke you are the more the light gets through. Show your wounds and your flaws. Show them why you still need the cross. Let them see the work He’s doing in you

That even in the darkest place. His love can make you radiate

Doesn’t matter how deep, how dark the night is. Keep hoping, keep on shining. And they’ll see His light burning in your heart. And if the road gets rough, just keep your head up. Let the world see what you’re made of. That His love’s alive in your deepest parts. Like a flame, like a burning star you can shine right where you are. He made you to glow in the dark

I don’t have a lot to say about this today. I think that it is pretty self explanatory. I just want to encourage you to “Glow in the dark”!

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Balm for my soul

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭122:1‬ ‭KJV – “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was tired from traveling all weekend. I had lots of work to do. But also, yesterday was the one year anniversary of the home-going of my grandpa. It was also the day that we had a funeral at our church for a local family whose 2 year old daughter drowned last week. My heart was super heavy.

Yet, we had Ladies’ Meeting last night. I brought a lesson on Hannah. We shared some laughs while getting God’s work done. It was good.

As I was sitting there listening to the wrap up of the meeting, my heart was just overwhelmed at God’s love toward me. He knew that I was tired. In fact, we were all tired. The majority of the ladies there had served at the church all day long trying to provide a meal for the huge amount of people who attended the funeral. God knew that we were all spend – physically and emotionally. Yet, He brought us all together to give balm to our souls.

Some people have the misconception that church is boring and doesn’t do anything but tell you all the ways that you are wrong. Well, that’s not true. Church is a “called out body of believers”. Church is a place where your additional family abides. Church is a place to be lifted up and encouraged. It is a place to share your burdens with others and receive comfort in knowing that someone is praying with you and for you. Church is a place to develop eternal relationships – with God and His people. And sometimes, church is the place where God brings us to remind us where we have gone wrong but at the same time to provide us with the opportunity to make things right.

You see, I have found that when I am obedient to His Word and attend a service of some sort whenever it is offered, I am blessed in one way or another. Even when things are tough or down-cast or joyful or bewildering, I am brought closer to Him when I am with His people in our local New Testament church. And that makes me want to say – “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Becoming

‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

Last night, one of the guys at my church brought a message partially centered around this verse. He did a great job.

I had listened to a podcast earlier in the day about becoming who you are. Of course, it was a secular thing and there was really no spiritual meaning attached to anything they said, but I believe that God brings things into your life to teach you and grow who you are, no matter the source.

So, those things together got me to thinking about becoming. What does it actually mean? Off to Dictionary.com I went. Here is the definition I found – “to come, change, or grow to be (as specified)”. The 1828 Webster’s definition is this – “to pass from one state to another; to enter into some state or condition, or by assuming or receiving new properties or qualities, additional matter, or a new character”.

I am not the same person I was yesterday. I will not be the same person tomorrow that I am today. I should be growing and changing and becoming closer to the person God would have me to be.

When Jesus called out His first disciples, they were a ragtag bunch of men that really had no significant background. They were fishermen who had probably been fishermen since they came into that area. It was what they did and who they were. They weren’t great scholars or problem solvers or men of renown. But Jesus saw something in them that made Him call them away from their nets and everything that they had ever known.

And they weren’t great missionaries straight off the starting line. It was something they had to grow into. It was a pattern of growth from one state to another by the learning of new qualities and the refining of pre-existing qualities. But it required challenges and choices and being thrusted into situations that were confusing and combative. It wasn’t an easy growth period to be sure. But each one became someone different, someone better, someone who would advance the Kingdom of God beyond all human comprehension.

Where does that leave me? Have you ever heard that song “He’s still working on me”? That’s where I am. I am still becoming. I am still becoming the wife, mother, employee, blogger, daughter, friend, occupational therapist (and whatever other word to describe me that I’m currently leaving out) that He wants me to be. I’m a process – a work in progress. I need a sign some days.

I guess what I want to send out to everyone is this – be patient with yourself and with others. We are all becoming. We are all works in progress. It might take a while to get where God wants us to be, but one day, we will get there.

The week before

1 Peter 5:6,7 – “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

Do you ever dread a week? For me, the week before vacation is a dreaded week. I’m working like a crazy person trying to get everyone seen and all their paperwork completed that might be due while I’m gone. I’m thinking and making list after list about what I need to remember to purchase and pack. I’m leaving things out on counters so that I don’t forget them. I’m trying to clean my house because if I die, I don’t want people coming into my house dirty (I know, it’s morbid. I can’t help the way my brain works!). 

But here I am on Friday. One last day this week to get those people seen and get that paperwork done. One more day to get the items on that list. One more day to remember how God has brought me through this week. 

It hasn’t been a bad week. It really hasn’t been a rough week. It has just been a week. And as glad as I am that it is Friday, I’m really anticipating Monday at 2 – when work is truly finished and I clock into vacation mode. 

But God has got it between now and then. He sees my lists. He knows my potential issues and problems. He knows what all needs to happen between now and then. I’m not worried about it. God is going to take care of it. 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

These are the words I’m claiming and have been claiming this week. I’m choosing today to lay my burdens at His feet and walk away trusting that He is going to make it happen one way or another. And I can do this because He loves me. He, the God of Heaven and Creator of all things and Savior of my soul, loves me – a sinner choosing to give my best by following after Him. 

So on this Friday, I want to encourage you to let Him love on you. Let Him take your burdens. Let Him hold you close. Let Him show just how awesome and amazing He can truly be. Happy Friday. 

The Encourager

Deuteronomy 3:28 – “But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”

Encouragement. We all need a good, hefty dose now and then. We need someone to come alongside of us, wrap their arm around our shoulder and hear those words, “It’s okay. You got this.”

Too often, however, sometimes I find myself looking at that encourager and laughing at them. I want to say, “Seriously? Do you SEE what I’m up against?”  I don’t allow the one trying to lift me up to do so. Whatever good they are trying to build up within me, I’m tearing down just as fast as they build. 

Why? Why is that? Why do we reject emotional and spiritual and, sometimes, physical encouragement? 

Pride. “I don’t need no body’s help!” (Yes, I know it’s horrible grammar but it paints a more realistic picture. Work with me here!)

Pride is a horrible, ugly monster that creeps out of us at the most yucky of times. Here we are, wallowing in the mud and someone offers a hand to help and we push it away by trying to convince them it’s a spa treatment and we like it. When in truth, we are bawling our eyes out on the inside. We want their help but pride keeps us from accepting it. 

In these verses, God is telling Moses to go and have a few words with Joshua to build him up. He needs to be encouraged. He’s about to take over as leader of the children of Israel. I underlined “children” because that’s how they acted most of the time. You know, kinda like us…..

Joshua needed all the encouragement he could get. And know what? He took it. He gobbled it up like a Thanksgiving turkey! He knew he needed all the wisdom and encouragement Moses was willing to offer. 

We can learn a lot for Joshua. When someone tries to encourage you, take it. Gobble it up! Don’t be stubborn about it. Don’t try to be all cool about it. Take it in! God knows something you don’t know and He is using that encourager to get to you and build you up. 

Listen. Listen well. God is speaking. He wants you to hear. 

Keep going

2 Timothy 3:14,15 – “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior the summer before my fourth grade year. So, basically, I don’t remember life without Christ. I have gone to church my whole life. I have attended Sunday school since before I was born. Jesus has always been a part of my life. 

And for all that time, I have learned and heard that Jesus is coming back soon. “It can’t be too much longer with the way things are going!” 

I have met people who scoff at my belief that He will return soon. Most people don’t know what to say when I say, “I hope the Lord comes back before my children have to face that!” I’m not sure if it scares them or they are just avoiding the conversation, but it seems that whomever I am speaking with quickly changes the course of the conversation. 

I have been taught to love others in all things. I have been taught to speak the truth at all costs. I have been taught to fear God and keep His commandments. I have been taught to respect others and respect myself. I have been taught that it is okay to be different when the world calls you a Jesus freak. 

But there have been times in my life that I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like my friends. I wanted to go to the parties. I wanted to have all the cool things everyone else had. I wanted to know what it was like to be the first to know what had gone on the night before because I was there. 

Those times are gone. 

Now, I just want my children to see their mom serving and loving God. I want others to see something different in my actions and in my words. I want to have a light in my eyes that is genuine. 

In order to accomplish all of this, I have to keep going in the way that I was taught. I have had Sunday school teachers and family and pastors and loved ones who have impacted my life in ways that they may never know. I have been encouraged by them, instructed by them, disciplined by them and most importantly, loved by them. They tell me to keep going. 

And now, I tell you – keep going. No matter the length of your testimony, keep going. When life is laying down on you like a dump truck emptying it’s contents, keep going. When you are soaring on the mountain top, keep going. When you are so confused that you don’t know if you are scratching your watch or winding your behind, keep going. 

There is a purpose in all of this. Jesus doesn’t just set us down here and say, “Go at it!”  No, He has a purpose and plan in each and every action and thought. Just keep going. 

A bit of enourgement

1 Peter 5:10 – “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (NIV)

Note: I have been using KJV lately but always read NIV along with it. When I did the research on this verse, I noticed that the NIV was closer to the original language of the verse than KJV. This is not always the case. I encourage all readers to look up all the verses. Never take anything anyone says about Scripture without confirming it yourself through prayer.

Now, onto the verse.

When I read this verse the other day, the first thing that caught my eye was the last four items. Items of encouragement after a dismal reminder that we would suffer. No body wants to suffer. No one wants to face hard times. Unfortunately, that is just the way that things are. No one’s life is a bed of roses (which, why do we say that when roses have thorns?).

Let’s get onto the encouraging stuff:
Restore you – In the KJV, the word used is “perfect”. Both words are correct. The original word means “to complete thoroughly, i.e. to repair or adjust, mend, (make) perfect, prepare, restore”. So what does that tell us? Suffering can break you. Duh? How many bodies have we seen broken by suffering? How many lives torn apart? Need I go on? But Christ is in the restoration business. He is ready and willing to put us back together. Makes me think of the movie “Toy Story” when Woody is repaired after Andy broke him. God does the same thing for us.
Make you strong – In the KJV, the word used is “stablish”. In the original language, the word used is “confirm”. They are all right. The original word means “to set fast, i.e. to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or to confirm, fix, (e-) stablish, steadfastly set, strengthen”. When we falter or sin, Jesus provides us with the opportunity to turn around away from our sin by confessing them to Him. He gives us the strength to walk away from that sin and keep us away from that sin. Sometimes in our life, our suffering comes from unconfessed sin, not always, but sometimes. Jesus has the desire to pick us up and turn us around steadfastly in the other direction. We just have to ask for His help.
(Make you) Firm – In the KJV, “strengthen”. The original word means “to strengthen, i.e. confirm (in spiritual knowledge and power)”. Jesus will use this opportunity of suffering to build up or strengthen your spiritual knowledge and power. He will use this opportunity to make your choice in Him more firm. Either way, princess, suffering is a time for growth. We just don’t see it at the time.
(Make you) Steadfast – In the KJV, “settle you”. The original word was translated “establish you”. The original word means “to lay a basis for, i.e. erect or consolidate, (lay the) foundation, ground, settle”. Jesus will use this opportunity of suffering to expand and further your knowledge base. This firming of your foundation will calm you down and give you greater assurance that He is in control. You will have greater security.

All of these things happen in one way, and one way only – through Him. You cannot receive this assistance on your own. You cannot get this help from someone around you. Your therapist cannot provide this level of comfort. This verse clearly states that He Himself will provide this comfort in your suffering. The original language is clear here. The word used is a reflective pronoun. That seals it. That settles it. It’s kind like this, you know when you get frustrated that something has not gotten done and you find yourself saying, “I, myself, will make sure that it gets done.” That means that it WILL get done, right? That is the language used here. Jesus WILL get this done. No questions asked.

Today, princess, I just wanted to share a bit of encouragement that might help you get through a rough time in your life. We all have them. I know that there is a lot of language stuff in this post, but sometimes we need to know what is going on behind the words to get the real meaning. I would encourage you to check this information out for yourself. Study this verse and apply it’s meaning to your life to grow. We all need to grow. We should never stop growing spiritually.