Monday, June 29, 2009

Guest Post: Notes from The Power of Encouragement

Encouragement is at the center of helping those who hurt. "Dr. David Jeremiah examines the heart of encouragement - self-giving, genuine love - and shows how we can eagerly use our hands, feet, eyes, and ears to love and encourage those around us."


Chapter 1: Everybody is a Somebody

One way of encouraging is through "friend therapy". This is when a person comes along side of another person to encourage them as they go through difficult times. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit also made encouragement a matter of priority. So this means that anyone who is a believer should be an encourager as well. Our goal should be to refresh the hearts of the saints. If things are done properly, encouragement begins with God and then continues from one person to the next - without end. Our small words of encouragement could be the one thing that turns a person's day or life around.

Follow along as we continue the book study of Power of Encouragement

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest Post: Words of a Grieving Mother

Written in the words of a grieving Mom who lost a teenage daughter:

One of the hardest things in dealing with a loss of a child is the disappointment you gain in people. Unless they have been through it, they don’t get it. They don't understand the shock and extreme pain.

I look back now and realize I was in shock for several months and maybe even years. We would look for our daughter to come home at night. We had never had that time of breaking away from her. She had never left home for college or to be on her own. When I clean her bedroom I still feel she is yelling from heaven “Don’t clean my room”. She never liked me to clean it.

When people say their heart is down to there feet that is exactly how I felt. Your heart is so heavy. I don’t have that feeling much anymore, but sometimes yearn for it. I just miss her SO much. I can look at my daughter's picture and it will just about suck me in. It is such a weird feeling. You just hurt so much and want her back so bad.

I have to remind myself over and over - she was on loan to me and I need to be thankful that I had her for 18 years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm a 5:16 Gal


While searching the web, I found this interesting button. I clicked on it and I fell in love with the idea. Here is what the website had to say:

What is a 5:16 Gal?

A 5:16 gal is a gal who has decided that she wants to redeem the time with her Savior. She is choosing to rise early, before the day takes her away, to sit at the feet of Jesus.

What is the 5:16 club?

The idea for the 5:16 club began as the 5 am club. While the ultimate goal is to rise early, circumstances don't always allow (pregnancy, new baby, illness, etc.). The real purpose of this club is to encourage and journey with one another as we seek to spend time with the Lord every day - whatever time of the day you are able.

Why 5:16?

Ephesians 5:16 says, "making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." The literal meaning is "redeem the time." We are seeking to redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity to seek the Lord with all our hearts.

Why?

Because the days are evil. We must prepare for battle each and every day - sometimes just to get through the day!

I was hooked! Although the idea original started with a Mom and her daughters, it spread over to the website Like a Warm Cup of Coffee. I am extending the invitation to you! Who needs to redeem the time with her Savior more than a Mom?

There is also a forum and Twitter "516 Twibe" where you can chat live with other 5:16 Gals!

Want to join us? Leave a comment with your name and website (if you have one) or click here. I will create a list of names on ABC Jesus Loves Me as they come in!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Verses of Encouragement

A dear friend of mine was going through an Interrupted Expectation when her mom was dying of cancer. Since she was hours away, I emailed her words of encouragement from the source of encouragement. Here are the verses and prayers I sent in one email.

Psalm 55:15 – I call on God and the Lord will rescue me.

Psalm 55:22 – Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Thank you Lord that You are there with open arms and will not let my friend fall, no matter how exhausted, torn, and broken that she is.

Psalm 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.

Dear Lord, this verse blows me away. I just smiled when I read it. You care so much about us that you collect each tear and have record of it. Can I fathom this kind of love? I pray that my friend will feel this kind of love tonight as she rest in Your arms.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Words for those Hurting

I wish I had a big yellow umbrella
that would keep away
all the rain in your life…

I would hold it over your head,
and the drops would splash, splash
and you would never even feel it.

But I don’t have a big yellow umbrella…
so I’ll walk through the rain with you,
and cover you in prayer
until the sun comes out again.

--Holley Gerth

This poem is available on a card as well as a necklace pendant to give to a person you know who is hurting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Memories

My husband and I were watching an old Barbara Stanwyck movie. It is about a Mom of two young boys who loses her husband to a long time illness. A friend of her's suggests that she should sell her house and move away from all of the memories of her husband. She says "Memories aren't as painful as people think." Oh how true.

People are afraid to mention memories of those who have died. It is thought that this rude thinking that mentioning memories would be too painful. Actually the opposite is true. It is the memories that you cling to to help you get through the grief. On a personal level, one of my biggest fears is forgetting those times I had and others forgetting as well.

A friend sent me this quote that I thought was so perfect:
The mention of my sister's name may bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring music to my ears.
If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of her name.
It soothes my broken heart, and sings to my soul.
-Author Unknown-

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grieving


Taken from Karen Kingsbury's book Reunion (pgs 363-364)

"Human suffering is too big to get our arms around. Don't try to figure out what God's teaching you by this, don't try to understand it and don't try to understand God. If He could fit into your idea of Him, He'd be too small for any of us."

"We never own the people in our lives. We love them, yes, but they are on loan from God. We have them for a moment and then they're gone. Go ahead and grieve because you miss them. But while you're grieving, don't get mad at God for the minutes you'll miss with them. Thank Him for the minutes you had."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Clenched Teeth

I read this quote on a blog and wanted to share...
“Concretely, abandonment to the will of God consists of finding his purpose for you in all the people, events, and circumstances you encounter. If God tears up your beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because he wants you to discover his plan, which is more beautiful that anything you or I could have dreamed up. The response of trust is “Thank you, Jesus," even if it is said through clenched teeth."

The will of God is something that I continue to wrestle with. Trying to understand why the will of God is sometimes a miraculous healing and other times is death. Why can one situation beat all odds and other times the chances seem so minimal but yet...

Now, I know what some are thinking..."God doesn't give us more than we can handle." "Everything is for a reason." "God's plans are better and we would choose His plan if we could just see the whole picture."

Okay. My head gets that. But my heart doesn't sometimes. I struggle with the fact that if God's will was for me to hurt so greatly, then could His future for me hold the same excruciating pain?

This is when I come back to the promises of God. This is where I remind myself that it is all or nothing. Either I believe in God or I don't. I don't have the option to believe little bits and pieces about God. If I decide to put my faith in God, then I chose to believe all.

This is the verse that I cling to every time:

Jeremiah 29:11 - I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (The Message)

I am not to the point that I can say "Thank You, Jesus" for the pain and grief that I have gone through. But I am thankful for the testimony and understanding that I have gained that has allowed me to reach out to other people. Maybe someday, my teeth won't have to be clenched. At least not as tight.

I would love to hear the verse that you cling to. Please share!


- Mommy C


I was unable to find a solid point of reference for the quote above.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Guest Post: Turning Life's "April Showers" into "May Flowers"

We think that we have to have it all together before we can minister to other people. God says, "No, I want those who are broken." This devotional was adapted from the book, Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times.

There’s an old story about two pots. One was perfect in every way. The other had cracks and broken places. Each day a woman filled the pots with rainwater she collected and then carried them down the path to her home. The first pot felt proud that she never spilled a single drop. The other felt ashamed because no matter how hard she tried, she lost a lot along the way.

One day the two pots overheard the woman talking with someone who lived nearby. The neighbor exclaimed, “The flowers along your path are so beautiful! What’s your secret?” The woman answered, “One of my pots is broken and the water that spills out helps the flowers grow every day.”

That story reminds me of a song called “By His Wounds” that’s a collaboration featuring Mac Powell from Third Day, Mark Hall from Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Brian Littrell. Each one sings ISAIAH 53:5…
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

I first heard this song while driving home from work one day. During that time some pain in my life seemed especially pointless. I also felt concern that nothing good would ever come of it. “Lord,” I silently prayed, “How can you even use me when I’m so broken?”

As I paused and considered that question, the song above came onto the radio. When the music ended, a new perspective on my hurt began. I realized that through Christ’s wounds we are healed and because He lives in us…our wounds can bring healing to others too.

We think that we have to take what’s broken and make it perfect in order to be used by God and bless others. But God thinks in a completely different way. He took what was perfect, His Son, and made Him broken in order to bring us healing.

So if you’re sitting there wondering if God can use you because your life is not as it should be, and your heart is aching—know that your greatest hurt will probably be your greatest ministry. Like the disciple Thomas who doubted until he touched the scars of Jesus, some people in your life need to see your broken places more than your victories.

We’re all like the second pot in the story. Our “April showers” can truly lead to “May flowers” because God sees purpose in our brokenness even when we don’t, and He can use it to bring forth beauty that blesses those around us.


About the author: Holley Gerth is an award-winning writer and editorial director for DaySpring. She is also the author of Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times. Visit Holley online at Heart to Heart with Holley Thank you Holley for allowing me to share this article with others!

Momma C




Under the wise advice of a friend - I have given myself a name!! Using a childhood nickname, I came up with "Momma C". You will now see my image and name on all blogs written by me.

As always, I love to hear from you! You can always email or leave a comment.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Verse

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:5-8

Praise God...run to Him. He only will provide rest.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Suggested Book: Bend in the Road

There are two books that really touched my Mom after the death of my sister. Here is other book:



Description: Drawing on his insightful sermon series, renowned pastor/teacher David Jeremiah shares the comfort and hope of the Psalms and how these truths can guide believers through life's greatest challenges. He includes inspiring real-life stories of people who have struggled with terminal illness, the loss of a child, or the imprisonment of a spouse. Jeremiah interweaves his own journal entries, revealing his battle with cancer and how the Psalms helped to sustain him during the fight of his life. A Bend in the Road is an invaluable source of help and encouragement for people facing major obstacles in life.