to Encourage!


A good friend pointed out to me after last week’s video encouragement that the picture behind me was crooked.  

Does that bother you?

Because it really bothers me.   I knew I had a problem when I was listening to a speaker once and I got distracted and lost focus because the picture behind him was a bit crooked.   I wanted to run up there and straighten things up.

That is kindof a joke in our family.   When the kids come for a visit they will sometimes make all the pictures crooked to see how long it takes me to get irritated and straighten things up.   

What do you get distracted by?  Because honestly, the pictures the world gives us are usually crooked or at best out of focus.  Sometimes the snapshots of life we get are distorted.  And we often go through things, hard things, that shake the walls and bend things and cause a distorted view.   

I am encouraged by what Paul wrote to the Philippians (3:13-14) “But one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind (point to pictures) and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

I hope you find encouragement in those words, knowing that the goal and the prize are the same…….Christ Jesus and his call to follow him. 

I can find hope in this journey, in a crooked and distorted world, as I keep my focus on Him.

Be encouraged, share a smile of hope with someone.



More Devotionals for your encouragement.....

When Kristi and I prayed together this morning, we enjoyed beholding the beauty outside from a place of warmth within. The beauty might be chilled if our hearts were as cold as the temperature out there.

Isaiah 31:9 was part of my devotional reading, and it caused me to reflect on the warm fire of God as I look out at the beautiful but cold morning outside.

"His rock shall pass away in terror and his officers desert the standard in panic, delcares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem."

There is a place where the fire of God and a furnace of God is declared and where worship happens, where reverent fear is cultivated and sin forgiven and consumed.  A place can be created where purification happens, a place where the wind of the Spirit fans the flames of a warm passion for Jesus.

Isaiah 33:14 speaks of the consuming fire.  Isaiah 6:6-7 pictures the prophet's lips touched with a burning coal from the altar.  A furnace.  A fire at the altar.

The next chapter of Isaiah, chapter 32, builds from that furnace fire to talk of righteousness, justice, and a warm shelter in the storm.

The cold outside and the beauty of the trees is something we are enjoying this morning from the warm place of God's presence.  The place of prayer.  The furnace fire of a war room where an altar is declared in the furnace of prayer.

We are praying for the warmth of God's presence in the lives of our friends and family today.














Sometimes I take myself way too seriously.  Laughter really is good medicine.

Have you laughed lately?  When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?  
It’s really difficult to remain angry at someone who makes you laugh.  It’s hard to remain sad around a person who makes you giggle.  It’s extremely difficult to hold a grudge against a person who brings a smile to your face.  It’s almost impossible to stay frightened if you’re with a person who causes you to chuckle.
Laughter is a tie that binds hearts together.  Who or what makes you laugh? 
Learning how to laugh at myself provides an endless supply of  humor.
Try watching a hummingbird, hanging out with a 2 year old, or telling a joke about yourself.   Consider how good you have it compared to some.   Reflect on the great things God has done and see if a smile emerges.
Choosing to consider the greatness of God is a source for a joyful attitude.

“Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.”
~Psalm  126:2-3~



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