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Archive for the ‘encouraging verse’ Category

God’s Eyes

 
For the eyes of the Lord range
 throughout the earth to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9
 
 
When we are fully committed, the gaze of God finds us and strengthens us.  When we are not fully committed, we miss the extra strength that could be ours.  One way I believe this strengthening occurs is by God sending his words to us. 
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God
Our part is making ourselves available to receive God’s words by listening and by purifying ourselves.  Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1).  May He strengthen our hearts so that we will be blameless and holy in the presence of God our Father (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
 
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
Strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 18:1 and 119:28
 

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no more pain

 
Why is my pain unending and
my wound grievous and incurable?
Jeremiah 15:18
 
 
My heart is heavy because of the intense chronic headache pain of a new friend and the emotional pain of an old friend.  The pain of my friends, my daily pain, plus the suffering in the world often feels overwhelming.  It gives me hope to remember that “there will come a day, no more tears, no more pain, no more fears” (Jeremy Camp).  When our pain feels unending we can know that there will be an end to our pain.

This day is an actual day that will occur.  It is not some far-off dream, but a reality and one we can look forward to like we would a wedding or a birth.  For important days there are preparations and anticipation. Let’s prepare for and anticipate the day that we will be free from pain.  God will wipe every tear from our eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (based on Revelation 21:4).

“If you are hurting today, take heart. Every day you are one day closer to the other side of your pain.”  Chrystie Cole 

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create ….”  Isaiah 65:1

To hear Jeremy Camp’s song There Will be a Day click here. 

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Lent

 
I call out to the Lord and
 
He answers me.
 
Psalm 3:4
 
 
My friend Beth just forwarded the following e-mail to me from youth Pastor Damon Kelly.  It was a timely e-mail as my family was discussing Lent tonight. 
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent in the church year …. For those who might not know a ton about Lent, it is a time of taking stock of our lives with God and one another and taking a 40 day period to consider where we are at in relationship to God. This time has become a time to potentially give up something that may be rivaling our attention from God and then also ADDING something in it’s place that would encourage us towards God in some way. Maybe TV gets less and God gets more somehow. Maybe lack of exercise gets less and caring for our bodies, God’s temple gets more. There is no right or wrong about the subtracting something and adding something as long as it is pointing us Godward. 
 
You could gather at dinner tonight or sometime in the evening or even at breakfast tomorrow and spend time sharing about the idea of Lent with your family. There is no pressure to start tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. There is no pressure for this to look a certain way, but it is an opportunity for you as Dads and Moms to love and lead your students towards God in a simple family observance.
 
Here is a link that you could use or even read as a family that talks a bit about Lent and the ideas behind it.”
http://www.upperroom.org/methodx/thelife/articles/lent101.asp
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The past few years I have abstained from sugar, but this year I felt like I needed to do something different.  I have decided to “give-up” talking on my cell-phone (conversations with family and friends) and to “add” praying for my family and friends more deliberately.  My decision was confirmed by my children’s adamant belief that I will not be able stay off the phone!   

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overflow with hope

 
May the God of Hope
 
Fill you with all joy and peace …
 
So that you may overflow with Hope.
 
Romans 15:13
 
 
When I find something that truly helps someone who has overcome horrific physical and emotional pain, I pay attention.  My friend Christine gave me the book The Allure of Hope for my 40th birthday.  This book helped her tremendously after she was burned in a grease fire.          (You can read about her story by clicking here.)
 
In the book The Allure of Hope, Jan Meyers Proett clearly shows how hope is not a passive concept, but an active, life-changing reality.  This book touched my heart by giving words to how it feels when I am “jolted by life’s suffering.”  Seeing hope as a radical way of responding to life, rather than a mere desire for something good to happen, helps me to coexist with pain.  When you live with pain on a daily basis, it is hard to have hope, but it is possible.  This book invites you to do the courageous — and glorious work — of hoping.
 
Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts.  Romans 5:5
 

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eat with joy

 
Go eat your food with joy ….
 
Ecclesiastes 9:7
 
 
I found this verse last year, on the last day of my fast.  I wrote it in my journal along with these words: “God wants us to enjoy our food and appreciate it.  Not eating for a while certainly makes you appreciate food!”  I know that sounds simple, but fasting helps put food in its proper place in life — something to be enjoyed in a healthy way.  Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and taking a break from eating (or eating certain foods) causes you to notice how you are caring for your body.
 
Eating can be very complicated for some people.  I have one dear friend who is struggling with an eating disorder and another one who is trying to lose weight.  For them, food is not a source of joy, as God desires.  Thankfully, there is hope for all who struggle with food issues.  Embracing hope is one of the first steps to discovering how eating can be a joy. 
 
 
You still the hunger of those you cherish.  Psalm 17:14
Fast 
Book recommendation: The Allure of Hope, Jan Meyers
 
Disclaimer:  I am not recommending that anyone with an eating disorder fast or that fasting be used as a weight loss strategy.  I am only recommending fasting as a spiritual discipline for healthy adults.  
 

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