We all have days when we feel we just can’t take another step. If we go by what we see, life at times can seem pretty hopeless. But it’s not.
Go ahead. Step out in faith. Put one foot in front of the other, knowing that the One who holds the universe, is on your side. For always and ever…
By Kathy Cheek
My friend and I hadn’t met for lunch in a long time since she had moved across town and was going to a new church. After we were seated and were sipping our iced tea, I asked “How are you doing?” and her “fine” didn’t sound fine at all.
When her voice started to tremble and tears welled up in her eyes I knew something was wrong and when she began to spell out a difficult situation in their family she also shared that she hadn’t told anyone because she was afraid of what others would think.
She admitted that holding it in and not talking to anyone seemed to just make the stress harder to bear. She finally realized she needed to be open and we talked about the fact that when we don’t share our burdens we end up adding burden to burden.
What do I mean by adding burden to burden? The best way I know to describe it is when we have difficulty sharing our burden with others because we think it is too much for them to handle, we are adding a new burden to our already existing burden. This happens when we are reluctant to open up with people and talk about what we are going through, not wanting to impose our problems on others. When we keep it in and think it is too much to put on others, we are adding burden to burden.
God made His family to have that desire to come alongside hurting people and help them through the hard times. This is part of His plan to carry us through those difficult times and out of the valley. God goes with us and brings others along to walk the journey with us. Pain is not a journey meant to be walked alone. We don’t have to walk alone when we let friends and family help us in our time of need.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Kathy Cheek writes faith-filled devotions and is published in LifeWay’s Journey magazine and Mature Living, and also contributes to several devotional sites, including Thoughts About God, Christian Devotions, and CBN.com.
Her favorite subject to write about is the rich relationship God desires to have with us and the deep trust it takes to live it out. She and her husband of 33 years live in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas and they have two daughters and one son-in-law who also reside in the Dallas area. You can read more of her devotions at www.kathycheek.com.
Kathy is thrilled to announce her book First Breath of Morning – A 90 Day Devotional is contracted to be published and will be out this fall! You will find info and a description of the book on her Book News page at Devotions from the Heart
By David Parks
Usually, I saw Mr. Priest when I was skidding my bike around on Teft Road or Baker Street.
“Hello, Mr. Priest!”
Instead of waving, he smiled and nodded. That’s because his hands were busy with two 5-gallon pails stuffed with gladiolas in full bloom. Mr. Priest cut these beauties from the garden behind his house on Baker Street, and he was delivering them to customers.
No flowers, but a box
This January day, however, Mr. Priest carried no flowers. Instead he brought a box of surprises. I needed surprises, because the doctor had sent me to bed for many days to allow some bones to mend.
Mr. Priest’s box was cardboard, like the box my new shoes came in from the store in Jackson. But a wrap of heavy white paper hid the J.C. Penny logo, and it was larger than my shoe box. Maybe it once held a pair of boots.
Each day a new surprise
On all four sides, from under the lid, numbered tags dangled on strings. Mr. Priest told me to pull tag #1. I pulled, and out came a tiny plastic car. He said tomorrow I should pull tag #2 and the next day #3. The number of tags equaled the number of days I had to stay in bed.
So each day I tugged at a new tag, and out came a new surprise — a toy compass, a magnifying glass, a pen, a 3×5 notepad, a plastic comb, a pocket mirror, a little tractor, etc.
Just a regular guy
His name really is Guy, and he was just a regular kind of guy, so my real surprise was Mr. Priest, himself.
I never guessed he could pick me out from the batch of kids playing tag on bikes. Yet here he was, standing beside my bed.
I never dreamed Mr. Priest might have once been a child himself. Yet his tags spoke the language of a 12-year-old. They glittered more brightly than the golden bells and pomegranates at the hem of Aaron’s robe.
I would not have picked Mr. Priest as our “Most Creative Neighbor.” We lived among merchants, missionaries, and college professors. Some told my parents how concerned they were for their injured child. Yet it took the imagination of a glad gardener to point a 12-year-old’s thoughts away from another long day in bed ─ toward today’s surprise.
That’s how I remember Mr. Priest, a regular guy with a box of surprises. Read the original post here.
Dave Parks began writing in 1957 as editor of the ReDit, his high school paper.
He edited books.
- Living Prophecies:A Crumbling Wall between Christians and Jews, by DeWayne Coxon
- Practical Help for Language Helpers and Conversation Partners, by David Sorteberg
He edited professional papers, with permission to reference two.
- “Trends of Acute Hepatitis B Notification Rates.” Zhifang Wang, Yaping Chen, Jinren Pan, PLOS, 2014.
- “Pre-reform Socialist Welfare Housing Estates in China.” Yiti Wang, Lei Shao, Ya Ping Wang, Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering,
By Jennifer Hallmark
“Friends are needed both for joy and for sorrow.”
~ Yiddish Proverb
I’m a writer and I love writing. But it’s not always easy. Sometimes I struggle with disappointment, fear, tiredness, and apathy. My friendship with other writers has kept me from changing my vocation.
I know that if I start down the “give up” road, I can call or Facebook message one of “these” friends and they’ll talk me off the ledge of quitting. They’ll share a story about a time they wanted to give up or remind me of the way I’ve grown over the years. We laugh and send emojis and before you know it, I’m ready to sit at the computer once again and start a story or blog post.
Some of my friends are authors, others are unpublished for the moment. I know editors, publishers, and agents. They get tired just like I do and I hope I can often encourage them in return.
Because we all need a little encouragement now and then. Thank you to all my writing friends. There are too many to name but you know who you are.
“If you want a friend, be a friend. “
~ English Proverb
“Peace begins with a smile..”
― Mother Teresa
I found this great prayer about kindness…
“Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.” F.B. Meyer [England, 1847-1929]
By Jennifer Hallmark
A New Year approaches and with it, a fresh start. In 2017, Ellen and I have enjoyed sharing small acts of kindness that affected us and also displaying kindness through the posts of guest bloggers. But there is one more act of kindness you can do for yourself before the New Year begins.
Several years ago, I was discussing the New Year with a friend and she told me how she was already praying about the New Year and setting goals.
“That’s always good to do. But I have one question for you,” I said. “Have you brought the year 2017 to a point of closure?”
She asked what I meant. I explained that in the thesaurus, the word closure compares to conclusion, end, close, and finalization. Had she brought this old year to a close? Have you? Below are several questions you can ask yourself so you can successfully end the year 2017.
(1) Have I taken a moment to examine all the people in my life to make sure there is no bitterness or unforgiveness against any of them? The point is not whether they deserved to be forgiven even if they hurt you badly. When Jesus went to the Cross and suffered like He did so we could go to heaven, His love erased any excuse we might have to hold unforgiveness towards anyone for any reason. Reconciliation is not always possible, but with the help of God we can forgive.
(2) Have I looked at all the events in my life and come to a place of peace/acceptance? Some things that happened to me this year were not good. Have I reached a place where I can move forward? It helps me to write my feelings down either in prayer form or a declaration. In a catastrophic event like the concert shooting in Las Vegas or the hurricanes that ravaged so many areas, I put into a prayer my thoughts and feelings of that day.
In an event, such as sickness or pain, I first write what the doctor said, then what God said in His Word. At the end, I write a declaration that I have chosen to believe God over man. I don’t deny the diagnosis. I simply believe God for healing, either in this lifetime or the next. During hard times, I can go back and read and remember, using these prayers and declarations to strengthen my faith and give me hope.
(3) Have I examined my goals and dreams I had for 2017? Which goals did I reach? Which ones were probably unrealistic to begin with? As I look back at my accomplishments and the things I didn’t accomplish or finish, it will help me to set new goals, plans and dreams for 2018. I can also release my goals and dreams back to God and believe He has a purpose and plan within it all.
2018 offers a clean slate. Make sure and take a moment to bring 2017 to a point of closure. Then you’ll be free to start the New Year with faith and hope in the One who makes all things new.