The writers of Encouraging.com are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on amazon.com, iTunes, and BarnesandNoble.com.

Take My Hand, Dear One

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face.  Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.
Psalm 16:11 MSG


“Take my hand, Claudia, I will keep you safe crossing this road.” I cannot count the number of times my parents said this when I was a child. 

That is the same way God protects us when we become His child.

Our journey through this life has many perilous intersections, dangerous drivers, split second decisions, and blind curves. Our Heavenly Father offers His hand of safety in the form of His Laws, like the Ten Commandments and His warnings throughout the New Testament.

In an article from the “National Observer,” May 29, 1967, there was a cartoon depicting a busy intersection and cars were bumper to bumper in all four directions. Horns were honking, engines steaming over, and tempers were on edge. Impatience was written on the face of the drivers. And there was a pedestrian standing on the corner looking across the street in disbelief at the sign. Instead of its reading the normal “WALK” or “DON’T WALK,”  it read, “GOOD LUCK.”

Are you traveling through life’s perilous journey without the safety of the Lord’s guiding hand? Well, GOOD LUCK!!!!!

When HE takes your hand, you will be on the right way.

Take my hand, Precious Lord, lead me on. Thank you, Lord, for your guiding hand.

Claudia Jackson

Between A Rock And The Best Place

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19


Many “several years ago” when I had a hard body and long hair, I did some mountain climbing and rock climbing. During those times, I heard many climbers making pleas and promises to God such as: “Help me, Jesus! Lord, if you just get me off this mountain, I promise I will never do this again.” Sometimes during climbing the fear level on a Richter scale of 1 to 10 can be a 25.

Once during a climb, our experienced, lead climber, suggested I do something I had never done before----rappelling, to be able to view the face of the cliff below us. He explained how he would tie himself to a tree above the cliff and belay (secure me by a rope around his body) so that I could lower myself down over the cliff edge. As I backed over the cliff edge, my feet kept grabbing at my comfort zone of soil beneath my feet. My friend who was belaying me shouted, “Trust the rope!” When I did as instructed and left my comfort zone, I got to experience one of the most exhilarating adventures of my life---to view and dance on the stunningly beautiful, vertical, rock face of the mountain. 

This was and still is a benchmark moment for me. When God calls me to do a new thing that requires me to leave my comfort zone, I imagine Him shouting, “TRUST ME!” To say, “no,” to His call will cause me to miss out on blessings, joy, obedience, and experiencing the “new thing” my Almighty God is planning for my life.

God always empowers those He calls. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your  heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.’ (Jeremiah 29:10-14).  

To what perceived safety or comfort are you clinging or grabbing at that is preventing you from answering, “Yes, Lord,” to God’s invitation to experience the “new thing” He has planned for you? You can TRUST HIM. HE LOVES YOU.

Claudia Jackson

Beauty in Barren Places

I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:5


Last month, while jeeping on an alpine trail at 12,500 feet altitude, I was astounded at the bounty of glorious flowers. There were natural-formed bouquets of golden sunflowers, delicate lavender blooms scattered among them, and an array of pink and white blossoms peeking around the rocks. 

How does all this beauty survive in this poor soil, high, cold, and rocky environment?

Have you ever noticed in yourself, and in others, the most spiritual growth and beautiful fruits have come out of life’s most difficult situations?

Those places where the going is tough, rocks and boulders seem to block every move? Where the winds of loneliness chill you, and there doesn’t seem to be enough oxygen in deep breaths or sighs? You know God loves you, but, some moments you feel weak, weary, and worried. These times in my life have grown me more than the bright periods of sunshine and happiness.

In the struggles, Jesus has been there in so many ways to gently goad, guide, and grow me.  He has been my generous, loving shepherd, and encourager in the bleak places.

Thank you, Father, that You have not wasted our bleak, struggling times. With You, even our rocky times are fertile with spiritual growth.

Claudia Jackson

The Real Super Glue

So God Created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27


My professional background is in healthcare, and ever since my very first anatomy and physiology class I have been fascinated with the beauty, complex simplicities, and precision of God’s creation-----us! 

God knitted us together in our mother’s womb so intricately wonderful even His Word declares it in Psalm 139:14, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

As I studied each part of our anatomy and how it functions I was “gob smacked” (a term my dear Australian friend taught me for utterly astonished, astounded, shocked) at God’s creativity. He even built in back-up systems for some of our vital physiology.

Starting with the very basic glue that holds our cells together, the Laminin molecule.  Microscopically a molecule of laminin is shaped like a cross. Wow! Could this be Christ’s signature on every cell in our body? Just wondering!

Colossians 1:15-17 reads, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Microscopically we are held together one cell to another by a cross.

Spiritually we are held together with Christ thru The Cross.

Thank You Lord for creating me in Your image. Help me live each day so others see You in me.

Claudia Jackson  

Lost Fawn

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O, God. 
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2


In the little one stop-light town where we vacation during the summer there is a herd of deer that roam the yards, streets, even Main Street, and the parks much to the delight of everyone except some avid gardeners. As my little nephews excitedly exclaim, “Look there are mommy deer, daddy deer, and baby deer!” What a pleasure to watch them quietly move gracefully by you.

One day I watched as a fawn was so distracted in its own grazing that it became separated from the safety of the doe and the fawn’s twin. When the fawn realized how far away from the mother he had wandered, he became frantic----running back and forth, here and there.

Observing this unfold before me, I thought how often I have been like that straying fawn in my relationship with Jesus. I was so intent and focused on my desires that I was slipping farther away from that close, nurturing, connection. I allowed distractions such as pleasure, leisure, and busyness to take precedence over spending time with my Lord.  Before realizing how far I have wandered from that spiritually nourishing closeness, fears and insecurities invade my thoughts. Whoa! What have I done?

The solution is simple----move back in the direction of my True Safety---Jesus Christ. Time with Him everyday is KEY.

Lord, You are my God, my True Safety. Please keep me stayed always close to You.

Claudia Jackson