All in Encouragement

The Best Kind of Pride

My aunt, my mother’s only sibling, was a remarkable woman. My mother was beautiful, but my aunt was smart and stylish. My mother married young and it looked as if my aunt would be a career woman when, in her mid-thirties, she met her future husband. After two years of marriage, they bought a little house. Soon after, opened their own real estate office. Because my uncle was a natural salesman and my aunt was a genius manager, their business was a success.


I play Solitaire and other card games on my phone to wind down. Some games turn out better for me than others. I can’t win them all, but I’d really like to! My competitive nature compels me to try to win. I discovered a nifty little undo button at the bottom of the screen I can use. If I make a move that doesn’t help me win, I simply undo that move and try a different one. I can undo as many moves as I would like. I can also reset the whole game if it’s going badly.

Can You Hear Me?

I heard whimpering from another room. I called my dog, “Buddy, come here!” But he only whined more. I put down what I was working on to check out the situation. I had forgotten to remove the leash from my dog after his morning walk. The leash was caught under a leg of the couch, tethering my little dog to it. Turning the corner, I was greeted by a wagging tail, a wiggling body, little yips, and expectant eyes. I was Buddy’s hope of freedom. I quickly unhooked the leash, setting him free.

Do You Emoji?

Probably by now you have seen the cute little smiley faces that come with texts. These are called, emojis. The younger generations communicate all kinds of things with these little pictures. There are emojis that cover the entire spectrum of feelings, and there are even rules that go along with using the right emoji. The intensity of the emotion might be expressed with repeated emojis. Emojis make all the difference to those who use them prolifically to convey just the right feeling or intent to the other person. And how you communicate often depends on the status or depth of the relationship.

On Fleek

If you are not really current in pop culture (or have a teenage girl nearby), you might not even realize that "fleek" is a word. It's slang, but it means, perfect, flawlessly styled, and looking great. Teenage girls commonly describe perfectly styled eyebrows as "on fleek."

In the Feels

When teenagers want to convey that something touches your heart, they might say that thing "gets you in the feels." Another example is if someone is emotional, or she wants to talk about her feelings, she would be, "in her feels."

No Shortcuts

So I have a teenage daughter. I am learning new things by the minute. She is filling my life with laughter and terror all at the same time! It's a roller coaster, and I love it. This week I'm going to catch you up to speed with communication in the style of a teenager.

I’m Stuck!

The nuisance of being stuck in the mud on a country dirt road is frightening if a tow truck is not around the corner. Wheels spinning, dirt and smoke billowing contribute to frustration. Cell phone in hand—whew! Help is on the way.

The God of Comfort

How does God comfort His children? How does God comfort you? I imagine the answers to those questions are as varied as the life situations that bring the need for comforting! I experienced a very serious illness this past year and discovered that I consistently needed God’s comfort during the quiet of the night. I experienced few distractions to my physical and emotional suffering during those hours. It was just God and me—alone with my need for comfort. So, how did God ease my distress as I actively sought Him?

Living Water

The story of the Samaritan woman has popped up many times in my life lately. Whether in a sermon, study, or on the radio—The Woman at the Well has continued to knock on the door to my heart.

Do You?

As Jesus walked through Jerusalem he made his way to a pool where people with physical ailments sat waiting to get into the churning waters for healing. He picked out a particular man who had been an invalid for years to ask a specific question.

A Christmas Puzzle: Day 4

Puzzles come in all sizes and degrees of complexity. The Christmas puzzle we will assemble this week is of the jumbo variety; big, chunky pieces and few details. But they will be enough to adequately illustrate the story we want to tell.

Leaving your Legacy . . . Be Purposeful

Last page, last letter—the time has come. Paul gives his protégé, Timothy, a stirring charge. At the beginning of this letter he told him that he, Paul, was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:11). Now he places his ministry of the gospel in Timothy’s hands. In effect, he endows his son in the faith with his legacy. He solemnly offers to Timothy, before God, what is tantamount to a binding oath. The Message translation is pretty onerous: I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder.

Seat at the Table

Why do our furniture purchases occur when we’re on vacation? 
My husband had a valid point. It did seem we’d done our share of hauling tables in our SUV. Our current kitchen table had caught our eye while on our first Christmas vacation. We loaded it in the back of our car, drove for two days, and waited for my parents to bring the chairs a few months later.