Encouragement


 


Current Article

Archives:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
 

The Love of God

There was once a certain man who walked out into the middle of a field where he would not be interrupted by anyone, raised his arms toward heaven, then with tears streaming down his face, trembling with fear, he began to shout. He, with all the strength in his being, shouted out to God saying, "I just can't take it anymore! " I have been used, abused, beaten, cursed, laughed at, lied to, and sneered on. I have tried to love exactly how You asked me to. I have turned the other cheek hundreds, even a thousand times until my cheeks ache. I have given even when I had to borrow so another might survive. I have prayed and cried for many who do not know You God. Oh God... I am tired, worn out, and discouraged trying to fight the evil that buffets my soul.  I feel that You have turned from me God, I feel like this is more than I can do! God, do You really even care?"

Then he heard a voice speak softly within his troubled Heart....The Voice said: 

"Yes I am here, I have never left. You know nothing of how many Souls have watched you in your struggles, your pain, your perseverance. You know nothing of how many Souls have turned to Me because you have stood against the wiles of evil, not breaking but standing firm. Many have seen your pain because of your testimony of Me and they will stand without excuse before Me because of your life before them!" The Voice continued within this man and said, "If I ask of too much pain from you for the sake of other Souls, then go into your house and do nothing, I will find another who is willing to give for the sake of lost Souls. I will find another who will walk thru the suffering and pain even as I allowed pain and suffering in Paul, Peter, and all those who went into this world of sickness and evil so others might know Me!"

The man fell upon his face ashamed and then the love of God lifted him to his feet. He looked up to Heaven as his entire being began to experience a refreshing and a new strength. He whispered... "Lord, I am ready to go back and love; even unto death," and as he walked away, he heard a Voice say, "Well done My faithful friend."


A Woman's Tear

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?"

"Because I'm a woman," she told him.

"I don't understand," he said.

His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

"All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say. The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said: "When I made the woman she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children. 

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly. And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."


A Story with Three Lessons

A man had fought in Vietnam, was discharged and headed home. He called his parents from San Francisco.

"Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me."

"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."

"There's something you should know the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."

"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."

"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."

"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

Three things about this story hit me. First God loves us no matter how many wounds or scars we may have. Secondly, we desperately need to accept our brothers in Christ with all of their wounds and scars. Thirdly, there are tons of people hurting badly who need to know they are loved. A kind word, a gracious exhortation, a Christian hug, a prayer with them on the phone could make a big change in someone's life. Let's do it, shall we?


God's Wings

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. 

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies.

When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live. 

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge" (Psalm 91.4) 

HOW GREAT THOU ART- "We praise you O God" Do it in your heart right now.


The Goodbye Kiss

The Board Meeting had come to an end. Bob started to stand up and jostled the table, spilling his coffee over his notes. "How embarrassing. I am getting so clumsy in my old age." Everyone had a good laugh, and soon we were all telling stories of our most embarrassing moments. 

It came around to Frank who sat quietly listening to the others. Someone said, "Come on, Frank. Tell us your most embarrassing moment." 

Frank laughed and began to tell us of his childhood. "I grew up in San Pedro. My Dad was a fisherman, and he loved the sea. He had his own boat, but it was hard making a living on the sea. He worked hard and would stay out until he caught enough to feed the family. Not just enough for our family, but also for his Mom and Dad and the other kids that were still at home." 

He looked at us and said, "I wish you could have met my Dad. He was a big man, and he was strong from pulling the nets and fighting the seas for his catch. When you got close to him, he smelled like the ocean. He would wear his old canvas, foul-weather coat and his bibbed overalls. His rain hat would be pulled down over his brow. No matter how much my Mother washed them, they would still smell of the sea and of fish." 

Frank's voice dropped a bit. "When the weather was bad he would drive me to school. He had this old truck that he used in his fishing business. That truck was older than he was. It would wheeze and rattle down the road. You could hear it coming for blocks. As he would drive toward the school, I would shrink down into the seat hoping to disappear. 

Half the time, he would slam to a stop and the old truck would belch a cloud of smoke. He would pull right up in front, and it seemed like everybody would be standing around and watching. Then he would lean over and give me a big kiss on the cheek and tell me to be a good boy. It was so embarrassing for me. Here, I was twelve years old, and my Dad would lean over and kiss me goodbye!" 

He paused and then went on, "I remember the day I decided I was too old for a goodbye kiss. When we got to the school and came to a stop, he had his usual big smile. He started to lean toward me, but I put my hand up and said, 'No, Dad.' It was the first time I had ever talked to him that way, and he had this surprised look on his face." 

I said, "Dad, I'm too old for a goodbye kiss. I'm too old for any kind of kiss." 

"My Dad looked at me for the longest time, and his eyes started to tear up. I had never seen him cry. He turned and looked out the windshield." 

"You're right," he said. "You are a big boy....a man. I won't kiss you anymore." Frank got a funny look on his face, and the tears began to well up in his eyes, as he spoke. 

"It wasn't long after that when my Dad went to sea and never came back. It was a day when most of the fleet stayed in, but not Dad. He had a big family to feed. They found his boat adrift with its nets half in and half out. He must have gotten into a gale and was trying to save the nets and the floats." 

I looked at Frank and saw that tears were running down his cheeks. Frank spoke again. "Guys, you don't know what I would give to have my Dad give me just one more kiss on the cheek....to feel his rough old face.... to smell the ocean on him....to feel his arm around my neck. I wish I had been a man then. If I had been a man, I would never have told my Dad I was too old for a goodbye kiss." 

I don't know about the rest of the guys, but I wanted more than anything to put my arms around my Dad let him know just how special he was to me. 

It is so easy to forget to tell people how important they are to us, especially our parents. If you are lucky enough to still have your dad (or Mom) around, then go and see him. Tell him how much you love and appreciate him. 

And if you can, put your arms around him, give him a kiss on the cheek, and let him know just how important he is to you.


What Kind of Person are You?

This is powerful and much needed in our world today. It helped me!

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's a more important quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier? What's the lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.

--- Charles Schulz


The Will of God!

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Everything happens for a purpose. We may not see the wisdom of it all 
now, but trust and believe in the Lord that everything is for the 
best.

Author Unknown, Article Selected from Weekend Encounter
(Acts International): http://www.actsweb.org/ 


Enriching Thoughts

The highest aim in life - To know God and do His will!
The most enriching good habit - Complimenting others
The most destructive bad habit - Worry
The greatest joy - Giving
The greatest loss - Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work - Helping others
The ugliest personality trait - Selfishness
The most endangered species - Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource - Our youth
The ugliest look - A frown

The greatest "shot in the arm" - Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome - Fear
The most effective sleeping pill - Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease - Excuses
The surest way to limit God - Unbelief

The most powerful forces in life - Love
The most dangerous piranha - A gossiper
The Greatest Life-Giver - The Creator
The worlds most incredible computer - The brain
The worst thing to be without - Hope

The deadliest weapon - The tongue
The two most power-filled words - "I Can"
The greatest asset - Faith
The most worthless emotion - Self-pity
The most beautiful attire - A SMILE!

The most prized possession - Self esteem
The most powerful channel of communication - PRAYER
The most contagious spirit - Enthusiasm
The most urgent need - SALVATION
The greatest attribute of Jesus - Obedience

The GREATEST - GOD

Author Unknown


Keeping a Positive Perspective 
Author Unknown

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' -or- whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. 

Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. 

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back ... a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back ... he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. 

"Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up! 

It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! 

What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him . . . all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. It's the same with LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity...the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us! Remember that forgiveness, faith, prayer, praise and hope...all are excellent ways to "shake it off and step up," out of the wells in which we find ourselves! In the face of recent tragedies, we all must respond this way!


Ten Steps to a Blessed Day

1.  Today I Will Not Strike Back
If someone is rude; If someone is impatient; If someone is unkind ... I will not respond in like manner. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

2. Today I Will Ask God To Bless My "Enemy"
If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask God to bless that individual. I understand the "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger. For God so loved the world He gave His one and only son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)

3. Today I Will Be Careful About What I Say
I will carefully choose and guard my words, being certain that I do not spread gossip, slander or malign anyone in any way. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres(1 Corinthians 13:7)

4. Today I Will Go The Extra Mile
I will find ways to help share the burden of another person. I will find ways to make life more pleasant. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)

5. Today I Will Forgive
I will forgive any hurt or injuries that come my way. (I will also work to forgive injuries that have been inflicted upon me in the past) God is love. (1 John 4:8)

6. Today I Will Do Something Nice For Someone In Secret
I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another person. We always thank God for you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:1-2)

7. Today I Will Treat Others As I Wish To Be Treated.
I will practice the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - with everyone I encounter.

8. Today I Will Raise The Spirits of Someone Who Is Discouraged
My smile, my words, my expression or support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37) 

9. Today I Will Nurture My Body
I will eat less I will eat only healthy foods I will thank God for my body

10. Today I Will Grow Spiritually
I will spend a little more time in prayer today I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today; I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to God's voice.


It is in the Valley That We Grow
Unknown Author

Sometimes life seems hard to bear, 
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe 
It's then we have to remember 
That it's in the valleys we grow.

If we always stayed on the mountain top 
And never experienced pain, 
We would never appreciate God's love 
And would be living in vain.

We have so much to learn 
And our growth is very slow, 
Sometimes we need the mountain tops, 
But it's in the valleys we grow.

We do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

The little valleys are nothing
When we picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining 
When I'm feeling so very low. 
Just give me a gentle reminder 
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord 
And use my life each day 
To share your love with others 
And help them find their way.

Thank you for the valleys, Lord 
For this one thing I know 
The mountain tops are glorious 
But it's in the valleys I grow!


Enriching Thoughts

The highest aim in life - To know God and do His will!
The most enriching good habit - Complimenting others
The most destructive bad habit - Worry
The greatest joy - Giving
The greatest loss - Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work - Helping others
The ugliest personality trait - Selfishness
The most endangered species - Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource - Our youth
The ugliest look - A frown

The greatest "shot in the arm" - Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome - Fear
The most effective sleeping pill - Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease - Excuses
The surest way to limit God - Unbelief

The most powerful forces in life - Love
The most dangerous piranha - A gossiper
The Greatest Life-Giver - The Creator
The worlds most incredible computer - The brain
The worst thing to be without - Hope

The deadliest weapon - The tongue
The two most power-filled words - "I Can"
The greatest asset - Faith
The most worthless emotion - Self-pity
The most beautiful attire - A SMILE!

The most prized possession - Self esteem
The most powerful channel of communication - PRAYER
The most contagious spirit - Enthusiasm
The most urgent need - SALVATION
The greatest attribute of Jesus - Obedience

The GREATEST - GOD

Author Unknown


Written by an 83-Year-Old Woman to Her Friend

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every! morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

Oh, dear people, enjoy life. Jesus said I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly" John 10:10. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your life" Psalms 37:4.  Make the main things the main thing, Loving Jesus, reading His word, praying (talking) to Him every day, all day, telling others how to go to heaven, exhorting one another daily, and laying up treasures in heaven.

 

[ HOME | Heaven | PrayerBoard | Marriage | Leadership | Ladies | Illustrations | Quotes | Prayer | Motivation ]
[ Creation |
Encouragement | Witnessing | Series | FAQ | Contact | Books | TapesLinks | History | EvangeCube | Order ]
[ Jabez: Prayer Plaque, Puzzle, Wallpaper ]   [ Email Headquarters | Web Archive ]

Copyright 1999-2009  SumnerWemp.com. All rights reserved.