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      The apostle Paul who had known much suffering and hardships wrote: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And his suffering included: doing hard labor, imprisonments, countless beatings, five times receiving forty lashes by Jews, and spent a night and day adrift at sea. On frequent journeys  he was in much danger from Gentiles; danger in the city and wilderness, danger at sea, and from false brothers, beaten with rods,  stoned once, shipwrecked three times. He toiled through many sleepless nights, hungered and thirsted exposed to the cold weather. Paul had achieved much for his Lord, and he gave Him credit for all he had achieved. My life pales when compared with Paul’s achievements, but as Paul, I give God credit …

Sifted and Tried

Have you ever felt like nuggets of gold in sand being sifted in an effort to separate gold from grains of sand?  Been in deep water up your chin and can’t swim?  or Been in a boat with no paddle? During many recent months, sometimes I felt that helpless, but never threw in the proverbial towel and gave in to my circumstances. Though living as an evacuee during about two and one half years and living in several places, God was with me and though sometimes distressed, continued my writing ministry, which was good therapy. I confess to wondering why God was allowing my sifting, but believed that it was being used to prune branches …

Lose That Treadmill

When Danny first got home from rehab he bought a treadmill. It helped tremendously with building back his stamina.  After he went back to work it just sat in our living room taking up space.  We’d been thinking about putting it on the swap shop and on Saturday morning we did just that. And within 30 minutes it was sold.  The coolest part was that a local pastor bought it to help with his recovery from health issues as well.  This treadmill will go fast, incline like you’re walking on a hill and measure your heart rate. But it won’t …

Endeavor to Encourage Others

  Once Paul had been a devout Jewish man trained at the foot of Gamaliel, a Palestinian teacher of oral Jewish law, who held a leading position in the Sandherin and enjoyed the reputation as a teacher of the Jewish law. Paul, the humble servant of Jesus, formerly was a prideful persecutor of Christians, and it would take drastic means to change him from persecutor to sufferer of Jesus Christ. He confesses before becoming a believer, he was chief of sinners. To repeat his words, “I thank Him who has given me strength, Jesus Christ, our Lord, because He judged me …

Encourage One Another

The last few years have been an incredible time of growing and learning in my faith journey. I have learned so much that I want to share with other women to encourage and inspire them in their lives. Women are just such incredible people! We are CEO’s and writers and architects and teachers and wives and moms…and most of us, no all of us, will have struggles, uncertainty, tragedy, and hard times. We all have good days and bad days, hard seasons and seasons full of happiness. It is in those hard times we especially need each other. Support, a …

Receiving Encouragement Requires Courage

          “If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.” Judges 6: 10-11 Do you see the irony here? If you’re afraid with only 300, take just one and sneak up into harm’s way. God is offering to reassure Gideon, but even the means to receive the reassurance requires an extraordinary step of faith. If caught, surely they would be …

Praise God for His Facts

  While visiting with a friend last night I realized they are going through a rough time. The first response to this awful news was to commiserate with them. I felt the panic and pain. We discussed it. I sent prayers upward on their behalf. About halfway through the conversation God spoke to my heart. And I began to talk about God instead of the problem. Faith rose up in me and as I spoke the TRUTH over my friend she too had faith rise up in her. The talk went from wringing of hands to praising the Lord. By …

The Broken Pot

I read this story about 18 years ago, I don’t know who wrote it but it immediately became a big part of my testimony as I could totally relate to it. Once upon a time there were 2 clay pots. These were no ordinary pots for they could talk. One was beautiful and exquisite and the other had several major cracks in it. The beautiful pot would taunt the broken pot every day. It said things like “I don’t know why they keep you around here. You are ugly and broken and can’t even do what a pot is supposed …

The Power to Encourage

  Encouragement is powerful.  It’s incredible.  It inspires, it motivates and it lifts people up.  On the other hand, discouragement is just the opposite.  It put people down, it hurt and injure them.  And for some, it stop them in their tracks and keep them from moving forward. In the book of Acts we are told of a man by the name of Barnabas.  While there are many aspects of his life, it is specifically noted in Acts [4:36] that he is called the “Son of Consolation.”  However, Barnabas was certainly good at “lifting another’s spirit”. Consequently we see the …

Can Anything Good Come From There?

  Nazareth was not considered the village of fame.  It was a small obscure village hidden in the hills of Galilee with nothing happening.  There weren’t any buying and selling routes running through it, so it had no commercial value.  It was a community off the beaten path, being the ideal place for many outcasts to make their home. The reputation of the town was so bad that when Philip told Nathanael he had found the Messiah‚ Nathanael’s immediate response was‚ “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”  Instead of arguing against Nathanael’s protest, Philip simply answered, “Come and see.”  …