Wednesday’s Word—A Day Late…Again

All right. I did it again. I feel a little like the Reese’s Cup guy: Sorry…not sorry.

There was no way I was going to get the weekly word posted yesterday. I thought maybe. I thought several times: I need to get to it. But I was glued to my TV all day. I needed to be.

I needed the return to decorum. I needed to feel the healing that comes from change. I needed ritual. I needed the ceremony. I needed to feel connected to something bigger than me…and something positive.

I went to bed thankful. And I woke up literally formulating this post. My first thoughts at 4:12AM were this post.

My prayer is that you can see and feel hopeful.

One of the highlights of the day was the reading by the Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. Her words bring me to tears…in the best kind of way.

Hope will make us brave enough to be it.

Wednesday’s Word: Miracles

Today’s word comes to you courtesy of my dear friend, Mary Hofacker.

When I think of miracles, I am reminded of a song Nelson and I heard at a Steve and Annie Chapman concert way back in the 1980’s. Living far from family with two toddlers and very little income, we felt desperate and prayed for God to miraculously reveal his power and grace. The song was a constant ear worm: things are looking right for a miracle.

When I went to WordSwag to create the pic for today’s post, I used a font I rarely use, but it fit perfectly. Miracles quite often come in very plain and obvious ways: a miracle healing, the perfect job, etc. But sometimes the miracle we need comes disguised as something else and we appreciate the gift or improvement to life, but we don’t see God’s intervention coming in a way we couldn’t have imagined or even begun to ask for. We missed the backstory completely, claimed the gift, and moved on.

I think that’s why I appreciate Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians (see Eph. 3:20): Now to the One who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything and everything we could ever ask or even imagine…

And that God knows me best and loves me most. You, too.

Things are looking right for a miracle.

Wednesday’s Encouraging Word

Today’s word was suggested by my friend, Deborah Helm Liffick.

I want to apologize for not getting this out on Wednesday (1/6/21). I don’t know how your day went, mine was an emotional roller coaster. My husband had to return to Ohio. We had a wonderful visit. He also accomplished several “honey do” items that will make my stay here easier. But good byes (even for a few months) are hard.

Then there was all the insanity in Washington with the attack on the Capital. I was up until after midnight watching the news. I grieve the loss of life and the loss of our ability to engage in civil discourse. Accountability and consequences for deplorable and illegal behavior is a thing of the past.

But I had determined that I was going to establish a weekly post utilizing the encouraging words given to me by friends. I couldn’t allow yesterdays emotional obstacles to deter me from my goal.

So, here it is. The post. I don’t feel all that great about it, but the feeling may come as I build upon the weekly achievements and prove to myself I can finish this goal.

Hopefully that’s what we’ll see together.

Wednesday Word: INSPIRING

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These words are meant to serve as an encouragement. When I think of inspiring I think of people and places, times and events. Let’s think about the people who inspire us.

Who inspires you and why?

Who are the people across your life who have beaten the odds, strived for excellence without necessarily seeking attention, or persevered and prospered when everyone else gave up?

Can you see them? Have you told them? Is their picture on the fridge or where you can see it so that when you want to give up their memory or presence spurs you on one more time.

We need these people in our lives. Examples of what can be…what we need to be.

And we need to be these people.

Don’t get all false modest on me, thinking there’s nothing in your life that could inspire anyone. You may not be looking to live an inspiring life. You may be wondering if you’ll just make it to lunch—but the way you do even that might be just the inspiration that someone needs to not give up.

Here’s the truth: people are watching. You know that because you watch others.

Be someone’s inspiration today. Face down your giants. Live large though you’re shaking in your shoes. Don’t let anyone—ANYONE—trample your dream. Do what others say can’t be done. Love. Forgive. Live.

You can do this. We can do this together.

 

Wednesday’s Word: Awe

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So the plan for this weekly post is to have an encouraging word for those extra long days and weeks that weigh heavy and are discouraging.

Today’s word is a great word for that purpose. So many days we get tripped up by the mundane, sabotaged by the pain, or overwhelmed by the struggle. We’re taken down by those things because we lose perspective: the ability to see above and beyond.

A scripture that lifts me to a place of awe is found in Isaiah 40:

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

God can give us the ability to soar above…and that’s pretty awesome. He keeps his promise, gives us everything we need—including the ability run, or  the strength to just keep walking.

That’s awesome and amazing.

 

Wednesday’s Word: BRAVERY!

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I have spent most of my life in the shadow of the Cowardly Lion of “Wizard of Oz” fame. He was afraid of everything. He spent most of the movie working himself into a state of anxiety over all the things that could go wrong.

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I get him. This is my “me too.”

Yesterday, I got a call that a family wanted me to come to the hospital to pray. The hospital is in Cleveland—somewhere I’d never been before—and the sky was threatening to dump a deluge of hurricane proportions. In my heart I was ready to run out the door, but in my mind I was seeing all the things that could go wrong.

I asked a few trusted friends to pray for me, keyed the location into my phone, and with fear and trembling walked out the door.

I don’t consider myself brave. I have to draw on other resources: God, the prayers of friends, the encouragement of my husband to do the things I would otherwise shrink back from.

Courage is not the absence of fear. According to Dorothy Bernard: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

Many times in the movie, when the Lion wanted to run, his friends would lock arms and walk beside him into the fearfulness of the moment. God promises to never leave us or forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5ff). So there’s One who is always on our side, and at our side.

But don’t discount the friends who either by their presence or encouraging words will go with us as well.

When the situation calls for bravery you cannot muster on your own, who will you call on to help get you through?

And by the way, the hospital visit was great! There were only occasional droplets of rain. I found the hospital with no problem (parking was a little trickier, but accomplished). The family was a joy to be with. And I came home blessed and encouraged.

 

Wednesday’s Word: Trust

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I read a meme recently that said: “Whether it’s friendship or relationship all bonds are built on trust. Without it you have nothing.”

But in a day when no one seems trust-worthy—how do we do it?

Lincoln Chaffe said, “Trust is built with consistency.”

I believe it is also developed through discerning. Discerning who can be trusted, when, and why.

We trust individuals, corporations, friends, physicians all at different levels and for different reasons.

But we need first to learn to trust ourselves—our intuition, gut, intellect, resources. We need to learn to trust the process.

We need to learn to trust that the truth will rise to the surface, and that is often the process…and it often takes time to rise.

And we need to learn we can trust God.  Several times in both the Old and New Testaments there is invitation to test and trust God. Work through his promises and see if he doesn’t come through.

Trust is like a muscle. You have the potential…you just need to exercise it.

 

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Wednesday’s Word: Confident

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Truth? I don’t always feel confident. I rarely function with “no uncertainty.”

But I have boatloads of “strong belief.” And never ending trust in the One who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL I could ask or even imagine.

So today, I will live and move in the “full assurance” that not CAN HE, but He will!

That’s the confidence I carry into today. How about you?

Wednesday’s Word: Vivacious!

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Definition: (especially of a woman) attractively lively and animated.
synonyms: lively, spirited, bubbly, ebullient, buoyant, sparkling, lighthearted, jaunty, merry, happy, jolly, full of fun, cheery, cheerful, perky, sunny, breezy, enthusiastic, irrepressible, vibrant, vital, zestful, energetic, effervescent, dynamic

Attractively lively.

People aren’t always attracted to cheerful, perky, effervescence. I’m not sure why Eeyore prefers to stay melancholy.

I’m not saying I don’t get down sometimes, or discouraged, even disappointed. But I’m like the balls the kids hold underwater in the pool: I always spring back up.

I just don’t want my zest and lightheartedness to push people away. I want my joy to be encouraging, inviting, wooing.

When Paul wrote to Titus he said this: Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14, NIV).

The word Paul used for eager is often translated as zealous: bubbling over.

I want to be bubbling over for him!

Wednesday Word: MAGNIFICENT!

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I will confess, this word was a challenge. I don’t see myself as magnificent, so how would or could this be encouraging to me?

So here was my train of thought. All aboard…

The first stop in this trip was Psalm 8, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, the human beings that you should care for them?” Not very encouraging when taken out of context.

Next we pulled into Psalm 139:14, “I thank you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But while amazing, did not make me feel magnificent.

There must be a better destination.

Then I saw it. Actually, I saw a meme on Facebook—predictable. This was the message:DFA22DA1-DE1E-4EA7-B4EC-7E562EBEF94B

Now that’s magnificent! God chose me, chose you to be a piece of his creation, of his plan, of his purpose. He wants us here. Our part may not seem big, but it’s important.

We are intentionally part of something huge, grand, and that’s MAGNIFICENT!