Call me crazy, but I look forward to going to bed and waking up to a brand new day. A day that my husband and I will share together on the back porch drinking coffee, talking and watching the birds. A day that I will laugh at his silly antics, play with the dog, and design another critter. A day that I will thank God for my family and friends and for blessing me with a long and healthy life. A day that I will remind myself how short and fragile life is and that I must be very careful how I live it!
In today’s hectic world of computers, cell phones, and video games, we have a tendency to ignore the ones sitting in the same room with us. The ones who want a real, eyeball to eyeball conversation. The ones who need to know that we value their thoughts and concerns. The ones who want to scream, “Will you PLEASE shut that thing off and pay attention to me?!”
People need encouragement today more than ever before. Just a smile, a hug, a phone call, a genuine, “How is your day going today?” is food for the weary soul.
I’ve been going through a tough time the past few weeks; a time of uncertainty, anger and grief. Finally, I shared it with a dear friend who gave me words of wisdom and encouragement. That was all I needed to get me back on track; to refocus and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you want to be more like Jesus, be an encourager!
She isn’t on a shopping spree. It’s not her birthday. Her husband didn’t buy her a big fat diamond ring. No, Tilly is happy cause she’s free. Free from bondage. Free from guilt and shame. Free from lofty expectations; of herself and the world in which she lives.
But it hasn’t always been this way for Tilly. She remembers well the torture of playing the pleaser game and never winning, and jumping through fiery hoops and always getting burned. She remembers the scalding tears, the aching heart and stretches of depression. She remembers running for safety and building walls around her heart. She remembers the anger and rage that ripped her world apart. She remembers the scornful voices shouting in her ears. And she remembers stuffing her pain way down deep and pretending she was fine. Heaven forbid that she ever let anyone see all that ugly inside her!
Then, one day, Tilly couldn’t pretend anymore. The dam of hurt was too hard to hold back. Little by little it began to leak till finally it broke, nearly drowning her in grief. She dropped to her knees and cried out to God. He must have been there all along because immediately he scooped her in His arms and held her as she sobbed. Amazingly, He was not appalled by the ugliness that poured out; all that anger and rage, rupturing like a festered boil. Instead, He touched her hurt, washed her clean, and dried her eyes. For the first time ever, she was free!
Every now and then Tilly gets off track. She takes her eyes off God and pulls away from His hand. She gets lost; angry, hurt and confused. Suddenly, she remembers God. She calls His name, and there He is again; just like the thousands of times before; loving her, encouraging her to keep up the faith and reminding her that He will never leave her nor forsake her. And that, my friend, is why Tilly’s so happy!
I Believe in Miracles
Battered and bruised was my bleeding heart
embittered by Satan’s poisonous darts
Anger and rage consumed my soul
like a blazing fire burning out of control
Fear and anxiety battled within
waging a war I could never win
I can’t take it anymore I cried to the Lord
then like a rag-doll I crumpled to the floor
God knelt down beside me and I felt His touch
I never knew that He loved me so much
He changed my life forever that day
when He cleansed and washed my sins away
Once I was blind but now I can see
because God worked a miracle in me
This poem came to me one quiet morning during a moment of meditation. Suddenly, across the screen of my imagination, flashed a brightly colored robe . . . a token of Jacob’s love for his son, Joseph. This robe symbolized a position of honor and esteem. “I wish I could have known a father’s love like that,” I thought enviously. Then, like a gentle breeze, I felt the cloak of God’s love wrap around me, reminding me that I am precious to Him. All the finest and brightest treasures of this world pale in comparison to God’s unfailing, unchanging, unconditional love for humankind!
A Coat of Many Colors
With loving care and tenderness, my Father made for me a coat of many colors for all the world to see. He didn't have to tell me; I saw it in His face, this coat of many colors must ever be worn with grace. Threads of pure gold proclaim His birth, purple, His royal descent. Stripes of snow white and patches of blue proclaim His purity, honor, and strength. And to complete His glorious masterpiece, He trimmed it all in red, proclaiming the cross at Calvary upon which His blood was shed. Father, thank you for your wondrous gift so precious, rich, and free, for the coat of many colors you have made for me. And lest in arrogance I wear your gift, forgetting from where it came, remind me of the price you paid, to cover my guilt, my sin, my shame. Sandi Staton
Renewed Sinking low in the pit of despair my soul was trapped in Satan's snare. In anguish I cried, "Lord, do you really care? Do you even hear my earnest prayer? You seem so far away, I can barely make it through the day. My heart is breaking in two. Lord, I can't make it without you!" Then, gazing through my window pane I heard his voice again. The trees must have heard it too, cause the leaves were clapping neath the sky so blue. Robbins and bluebirds, too rejoiced as from limb to limb they flew. And in that glorious moment, my spirit was renewed. My heart had forgotten to worship the King, my soul, too down-cast forgot how to sing. But, engulfed in the beauty of God's wondrous Creation, I heard His voice, I saw His face, I felt His warm embrace. He captured my soul from the miry pit, and chased my blues away. He gave my heart a new song to sing, and the courage and strength to live each day. Sandi Staton
Sugar and spice and all that’s nice
That’s what Eve was made of,
And placed in the Garden of beauty and charm
To bask in the warmth of God’s love.
Then along came a serpent so charming and sweet
With a hellish mission in mind,
To crush and destroy the apple of God’s eye,
And to rob her precious soul blind.
How foolish was she that fateful day
When she ate from the forbidden tree,
And stripped herself bare of God’s righteousness
For all eternity.
But even before He formed the clay
God had a plan for man-kind,
To redeem and restore our broken soul,
And give us life sublime.
He sent to earth His only Son
To die on a splintered tree,
To wash away sin’s ugly stain,
And set our spirit free!