Tag Archive | Spiritual encouragement

I’m not alone. And neither are you.

Sometimes, life seems like a great Big SMACKDOWN ! I mean, you jump a hurdle, like maybe get over an illness or your family’s finances improve, than Smack! Before you can finish the victory jig, your face-down in the dirt again.

   Take this pandemic, for instance. Finally, businesses and parks are starting to open. It feels safer to leave our homes again, then smack! “Two Inch Long Murder Hornets land on U.S. Soil!” Wait, what?!


Then, of course, I have my own personal ups and downs, like a scary thing that happened yesterday. It started with a “Help, Dave!” and ended with a “Why, God?!” 

After a winter-long exercising slump, plus a health setback, Dave and I finally started exercising again. We were muscle-toning and walking our ever-lovin’ hearts out. It felt great. In fact, I said to Dave, “I feel a decade younger!” Yay!

Then, smack! 12 hours later, my back goes out. I’m crumpled on the floor, crying out in pain. Just like that. No warning. Today, I’m hobbling around like I’m a decade older, not younger. sigh…


But, fortunately, I have backup. God’s word and His good Spirit will see me through this storm, like He has seen me through every storm I’ve ever faced ever since I came to know him in college, lo’ those maaany years ago. (No, I ain’t sayin’ how many) (Yes, college educated folks say ain’t)

The point is?

I am not alone…I may have struggles and doubts. I may have pains that make me shout! But I am not alone.


~~”For it is written, ‘I will never leave you not forsake you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5b

~~”For whatever was written in former times was written for our instruction that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. ” Romans 15:4 ESV

~~ “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV

~~”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV

How ’bout you? How has God helped you through some storms? Please share. Your story may be a lifesaver for someone else….

Job 28


     I’ve never really like Job (pronounce Jobe). The book, that is. Never knew Job personally, of course, but the book about him? Depressing!

BUT I found a wonderful passage, or it found me (feels that way, sometimes) just the other day.  My Bible opened to Job 28 and I started reading these poetic words, eye candy for the word-nerd’s soul:

“There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 3 Man puts an end to the darkness; he searches the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness. 4 Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft, in places forgotten by the foot of man; far from men he dangles and sways. 5 The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire; 6 sapphires come from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold. 7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon’s eye has seen it. 8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there. 9 Man’s hand assaults the flinty rock and lays bare the roots of the mountains. 10 He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures. 11 He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light. 12 “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 13 Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ 15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver. 16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphires. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold. 20 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’ 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.‘ “

I love the imagery describing man’s treasure hunting. Then the question is asked, “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?”  It’s more valuable than rubies, it’s pointed out, more valuable than silver — “It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver” ( vs.15). Like it says in Proverbs, “Nothing you desire compares with [wisdom].” ~ Proverbs 3:15

Wisdom: “…the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good.” (Merriam Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

So, nothing I desire — good looks, Cancun vacation, fit body — can compare with knowing what to do and when to do it for the best possible outcome.

But, if we can’t buy it with silver or gold, how does one get wisdom?

“The fear of the Lord — that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” :28

prairie-dog-in-prayer-300x277      Let’s pray:

Father in heaven, thank you for wisdom and Job 28. I want to “exercise sound      judgement”. Please teach me to fear you, Lord, and please give me lots of wisdom so I make the best choices with my time, talents, and treasures. For your kingdom and righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the One who knows where wisdom can be found? Click the ruby below for a quick intro:


Did you hear about the endurance swimmer who swam 110 miles from Cuba to the Florida Keys?  Amazing, right? Even more amazing? She’s 64!

Diane Nyad, 64, and her support team. 53 hours in the water, 110 miles. Cuba to the Florida Keys. Photo credit: Andy Newman, Florida Keys news bureau, via Associated Press.

Diane Nyad, 64, flanked by her support team. 53 hours in the water, 110 miles. Cuba to the Florida Keys. Photo credit: Andy Newman, Florida Keys news bureau, via Associated Press.

After repeated attempts over the years, starting when she was 28, she made it through the glaring sun, jelly fish attacks, and shark threats.

Gives Dori the fish’s encouragement to “Keep swimming” new meaning. Keep swimming. Keep swimming….

I heard Ms. Nyad on the radio this morning saying that jelly fish were the major obstacle that held her back on earlier attempts. She had to learn how to endure their stings.

Been there done that. Doing that now, in fact.

I’ve got “jelly fish” in my life, too, people who seem real pleasant and nice, like pretty jellies, but stung me bad. I’m learning to make it through.

One of the ways Ms. Nyad adapted was covering herself with a protective suit.

What’s my protective covering? Jesus.

Chip Ingram said, when you are hurt, run to Jesus.

Ms. Nyad also covered herself with sting-stopping protective gel. What gel protects us from others venom? Forgiveness.

Romans 12 says to slather on copious amounts :

“Repay no one evil for evil…To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Romans 12:17, 20

Lyzette Alvarez wrote in the New York Times:

Ms. Nyad’s success was built on her failures After each attempt, she improvised, learning what to adjust, whom to consult and which new protective protocol to consider.

And she had to endure years of “grueling training”.

Same with us. Our Trainer puts us in deep water sometimes, messy situations, facing repeated challenges to forgive and go on, or quit and become bitter. And we can always learn from our failures “where to adjust, whom to consult and which new protective protocol to consider”.

Don’t quit. Like Ms. Nyad, keep on swimming. Keep on forgiving.

Chip Ingram says forgiveness = letting go, letting loose.

Let loose. Let God do the avenging.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

And follow Ms. Nyad’s advice:

… we should never, ever give up.

But how?  By help from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To keep swimming ahead, we need to keep trusting them with our hurts and pains. Like Ms. Nyad learned and told reporters:

…it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.

How ’bout you? Are you a lone swimmer? Click the pic below to learn how to get on God’s team.  He’ll keep you safe from the jellyfishes, so you can keep on swimming. =]


Do you see them?…

The Camouflaged Looper

The inchworms.

They’re called Camouflaged Loopers.  Big blue one on the left, two smaller browns on the right.

With bits of sticky spit they glue bits of flower on their backs so they blend in.

The blue one is in the process of dropping it’s blue flower costume for a brownish yellow one to fit in on this new flower he’s decided to eat.

See the yellow and brown under the blue?

The Camouflaged Looper

Clever little poser.

Pity. I like the blue so much better. Really makes him stand out.

How ’bout you? Are you afraid to stand out?

Are you a poser, changing who you are depending on who you’re with at the time?

Been there, done that.

Hi, I’m Gloris. I’m a camouflaged looper.

I’ve shed my good “clothes” (i.e. attitudes, behaviors)  for cruder ones and my bad “clothes” for good when it’s helped me blend in.

Tsk. tsk. tsk…  =[

Well, here’s the “clothes” the Bible says we should always shed and never put on:

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self  with its practices”  Colossians 3:9

And here’s the clothes we should always wear no matter who we’re with. Read these verses slowly. Chew on them like you would a good flower if you were an inch worm =]

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” :12 and 13.

Let’s pray…

The Camouflaged Looper   The Poser’s Prayer:

Father, do you want me to be a Camouflaged  Looper?  I didn’t think so.  You called me to be a child of light who always speaks the truth. (Ephesians 5:8)

Help me to always lay aside anger, wrath, slander and obscene talk. Help me to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Help me to be compassionate, kind, humble, meek and patient. Help me to put up with people’s faults and forgive them when they’re wrong.

Send me forth as a light, a beacon for you, Father. May I walk in the light as You are in the light. (1 John 5:7).  In Jesus’ name — the One who never changes (Hebrews 13:8) — Amen!

Do you know Jesus? Not just about Him, but really know Him who made the camouflaged looper, the sun, moon, stars, and you?

If not, click on the pic below to get on His flower. =]

Honey bee on daisy



Do you see him?

I had a hard time getting a picture of him.

When  I tried to focus on the fuzzy antlers in the background, the camera would get distracted by an ugly branch in the fore….


Reminded me of how discouraged I’ve been lately about the long list of things I can’t eat.

Food allergies =/

My friend said, “Focus on all you can eat, not what you can’t.”

Good advice for all of life.

Focus on the CANS not the CAN’TS.

I was focusing on the ugly branch.

I should have been focusing on the antlers, instead.


   Let’s pray… Thank you, Father, for boundaries. You are the good Shepherd and know just where to put up a fence to keep Your sheep safe.

 Today I will choose to rest in Your boundaries and trust that You know what You’re doing.  But, I am just a dumb wayward sheep, after all, Father, so like that country song says, “Help me to help my stupid self.” =] In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know Jesus Christ? Not about Him, but really know Him? He has His eye on you.  Click the pic below to see how to start focusing your eye on Him:

I see you.  Stephen M. Young, photographer.

I see you. Stephen M. Young, photographer.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.They will come in and go out, and find pasture” ~ Jesus (John 10:9)

For Christ’s Sake…

“For Christ’s sake…”

“Get a job, for Christ’s sake!”  “For Christ’s sake, stop making that racket!”  “What do you think you’re doing, for Christ’s sake?!”

“For Christ’s sake” is a popular exclamation when things go wrong, especially in the movies.

It’s said a lot in the Bible, too, especially by the Apostle Paul, but for different reasons…

Paul asked the Romans to pray for him, for Christ’s sake:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me…” (Romans 15:29)

And, Paul told the Philippians that, for Christ’s sake, he considered worldly achievements to be nothing:

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ “ (Philippians 3:8)

And, then, Paul reminds the Ephesians that we are forgiven, for Christ’s sake, and so we ought to forgive each other:

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

There are many other Biblical examples of living, loving, and forgiving for Christ’s sake.

So, get out there, and do some of that for Christ’s sake!

Let’s pray! Oh, Father, for our sake you died on the Cross so that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for your sake. (2 Corinthians 5:15)  May my thoughts and words honor you. (Psalm 19:14) May I live, love, forgive for your sake.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Without Him the Boat Don’t Float

image from Amazon

I found this poem in  Moonlight on the Amazon , a book about missionary life in Brazil:

Without Him…

The boat don’t float
The goat don’t bleat
The beat don’t rhyme
The time don’t tick

The eye don’t see
The tree don’t grow
The foe don’t flee
The sea don’t roll

The voice don’t sing
The king don’t reign
The rain don’t fall
The ball don’t bounce

The ounce don’t weigh
The day don’t break
The steak don’t grill
The pill don’t help

The hunch don’t pay
The hay don’t pitch
The stitch don’t hold
The cold don’t end

The wound don’t heal
The meal don’t serve
The nerve don’t hold
The bold don’t pray

The house don’t stand
The band don’t laugh
The calf don’t rope
The boat don’t float

The boat won’t float.

clic pic for source

Let’s pray:

Jesus, please be the Captain of my  boat.  I know it won’t float without You at the helm.

May You be first in my heart, first in my thoughts.

Thank you that I can cast all my anxieties on You because You care for me. (1peter 5:7)
Here’s the worries that threaten to sink my faith:
[fill in the blank, take your time.  Don’t forget the little naggy things.  They can tangle up to form quite a block in the river]______________________________________________________________

Thank you that I can trust You with these concerns, no matter how big, or small.  May my  boat float smoothly today.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

His Eye is on the Sparrow

“Not even a sparrow…can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it…So don’t be afraid.  You are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.”  Matthew 10:29,31 click pic for sparrow facts. See below for picture source.

Sing with Ethel Waters:

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely, away from heav’n and home,

For Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know that He watches me.

So, I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

~~Civilla D. Martin (1905)~~

Do you know the One who has his eye on you?  Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

see below for picture source

****Sparrow pic (top) from: http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/sparrows-and-computer/***

****Sparrow pic (bottom) from: http://www.thecolor.com/Category/Coloring/Bird.aspx

*****Lyrics from:  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/His_Eye_Is_on_the_Sparrow/****