Archive for Daily Encouragements

We Shine

Have you ever seen something you’ve seen many times before, and suddenly it looks different? Maybe it’s the way the light hits it. That obviously happens. A table that looked clean the day before, looks dusty when the morning light lays across it.

The light of God’s love shows things as they truly are. I cringe at the thought, wondering how I must look when God’s light shines on me. But then I remember, He loved me even before I knew Him, and I realize His love is much the same as that morning light, and things are not as I thought they were. They’re better. Because though some of the dust remains, in His eyes… we shine.

Ray of Light, India 2005

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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Right Where I Am

I am quoteAll my life, I’ve heard the saying, “let go and let God,” but I resisted, thinking it was a cop out—an easy way out. No, I thought, I’ve got to keep fighting; I’ve got to figure this out on my own. These days, I can’t say I’ve completely let go, and I can’t say I’m now completely letting God. But I can say I’ve come a long way in both regards. And I didn’t know it at the time but even when I was trying to do it all on my own, God was guiding me to the place He needed me to be. Right where I am.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

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I Want To Be Like Billy

This is a repeat, but it bears repeating. God puts people in our paths to show us the way. I wish I could’ve realized it sooner; maybe I would have paid better attention. Fortunately, the lessons he showed me with the people he sent my way took root. It just took me awhile to realize it.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Psalms 25:4

God sends special people into our lives for us to learn from. Today, I’d like to tell you about three very special ones He sent my way.

Judge Billy Meck was my Sunday school teacher when I was ten. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him, but he left a lasting impression on me. I remember him as one of the kindest, perpetually happy men I’ve ever encountered. I want to be kind and always happy like Billy.

just us kids 2

In case you can’t tell, Billy Ray is the one on the right. The other two are pretty special too. (I’m the beanpole on the left. Kenny is the hot dog below me, and sister, Patsy is the beautiful little girl in the middle.

Another Billy who left a lasting impression on me was my little brother, Billy Ray Mashburn, who died at fourteen in a car accident two weeks before I graduated high school. Billy Ray could look at you with those big blue eyes—fighting back a smile, so as not to crack his forever chapped lips—and you couldn’t help but smile back at him. Billy Ray loved everybody and everybody loved Billy Ray. I want to love and be loved like Billy.

My oldest son, Billy (he goes by Bill these days, being grown up and all) is the Billy I admire these days. I don’t know anyone who can match his work ethic or his love for his family. He’s a good man, a good husband, and the most devoted father I have ever seen. I am so very proud of my son. I want to be a good man like Billy.

I’m working on it.

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Start-Overs

When we’re tired physically, mentally, or spiritually, we sometimes start to wonder what, exactly, we’re fighting for. We forget what our goals are and even why they became our goals. When tiredness of any kind comes upon us, we must learn to rest. When we’re tired, we make mistakes, and our judgement is not at its best, and that’s when we need to turn to God and give our burdens to Him so we can rest.sunrise

The best way to serve God is to begin anew each day, putting the past behind, the future on hold, and starting the day with hope. There are no do-overs, but every day is a start-over.

 

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. Isaiah 40:31

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Powerful Words

couple with crossThe following are excerpts from the new book of encouragements we’re working on. Sherry and I read two of them every morning as a method of editing. We’ve read devotionals, and then my encouragements, every morning since we’ve been together. It has made us and our love stronger in so many ways. Our faith in God and in each other grows more powerful each time we read His Word together.

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I cannot imagine facing the challenges and evil in this world without God. If I didn’t have Him, my rock, to lean on, this would be a very scary time to be alive. But I do, and so do you.

Unfortunately, we are too often easily distracted and often find ourselves deep into the battle without our shield—the Lord. It’s so easy to get swept up in the fast-moving current of worldly affairs, suddenly finding we’re in a battle that simply doesn’t matter. Many of the things the world thinks are so important, are of no importance at all to God.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

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When we’re constantly seeking God’s knowledge, He’ll deliver us—even keep us—from the battles of this world. If we persistently seek Him and take refuge within the walls of His love, He will cause the things of this world to seem trivial and meaningless, which, by the way, they are.

Everything we do in the name of God matters, and everything going on in this world that isn’t of God, doesn’t matter. How do we know the difference? Ask Him. Seek Him through His Holy Word constantly, loving Him and praising Him as you do. He will reveal what is good and He will deliver you from what is evil. Seek first the kingdom of God.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

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The Early First Hours

Jesus hugIn the early first hours of the day, God speaks to me silently from His heart to mine, and I feel like a child on my Father’s knee, my head against His chest, listening to the sound of His loving heart. And as I go into the day, where I’m often quickly swallowed by the cares and turmoil of this world we live in, I hold tight to His hand, as a toddler holds his father’s hand. I feel His presence—His hand on my shoulder—every minute of every day.

The day will come when all this is true. Perhaps not while I inhabit this body and dwell on this earth, but it will come. He tells me this in the morning, and it causes me to sing for joy and be glad all my days.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

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Far and Beyond

07-19-17 3 quoteGod’s love never fails; it is always constant, always strong, always everything we could want, even when we don’t deserve it. Our love for others, even for Him, is fragile and easily disturbed. The smallest word or gesture can cause us to shrink back from those we hold most dear, and even from God. Our love fails.

Therein lies the wonder of God’s love; His love never fails, and one day our love for Him and others will be as perfect as His love. All else will pass away, but love—because God is love—will never cease to be.

Love never fails. But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

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