All in Encouragement

Refined as Gold

Do you know how precious metals are refined? Smelting is the process in which gold is separated from ore and other metals. The ore is first pulverized with extreme pressure to create tiny particles, which are then melted at almost 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. As the gold becomes molten, most of the impurities are burned up. 

Trials Like Fire

No matter how you slice it, life is full of challenges. Each hardship represents some sort of loss; loss of a person, home, safety, stability, or purpose. This is why these experiences can be so painful.     

Rescuer of Pit Dwellers

Praise the Lord! He rescues us from the pit! I don’t know about you, but I have been in the pit many times throughout my life. Sometimes it’s sin that throws us into the pit, however, sometimes it is circumstances out of our control that throw us head-long into it. spit

A Thirsty Soul

The sad houseplant looked like how I felt. Forgotten, parched, brittle and malnourished. I had been so busy these last few weeks with all the responsibilities of keeping a family fed, clothed, and content, that I’d neglected that plant. I rushed it to the sink like a heart attack victim to the ER. Refreshing water flowed, but the soil was so hard and dry that the life-giving liquid just ran off into the sink. No matter how heavy the flow or how long the water ran, it just poured off the surface, wasted and unappreciated. I finally placed the weary plant in a pan of water to soak and hoped that the leaves would rise, the color would return, and the plant would be vibrant again. 

Be Intertwined

While fishing on a river near flood stage, my husband noticed what appeared to be red leaves floating at a distance. But upon close inspection, he discovered instead that each red patch was composed of thousands of ants intertwined. Heavy rains had washed the ants out of their homes. They were holding onto each other and floating in order to survive. When Don splashed water on the ants, the water bounced off. These ants were averting disaster by remaining close to one another. 

Beauty in Barren Places

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. 

Lost Fawn

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.

The Work of a Lifetime

It is hardly news that traditional marriage is in trouble. And its main competition is not from all the inroads made by its exotic rivals--same-sex marriage, open marriage, polygamy—as we might fear. These days, traditional marriage might just be its own worst enemy.

The Rock

It was obvious from far back in line that my five-year-old pig-tailed girl had not had a good day. As I waited for the teacher to put her in my car, I could see that she was deflated, alone and sad. By the time we pulled out of the school parking lot, she was sobbing. “I had to sit on the rock, Mama,” she cried.

Close Encounter

I was settled in a window seat on the plane looking forward to solitude while finishing my beach trip journal. A slender, pretty and radiant woman—probably in her early forties— became my seatmate. She wore a stylish outfit with fashionable slits in her designer ankle jeans complemented by great shoes. Her short blond hair was chicly highlighted. She explained how nervous she was to fly while she was ordering a glass of wine at 8:00 a.m. from the flight attendant.