Category Archives: Encouragement


From Sunrise…………………

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.”

I recently attended the service of a very Godly and humble man’s celebration of his life. What an uplifting service! The words spoken by the pastor who gave the message blessed me, and I somehow needed to share this.

This pastor spoke about death with such encouraging words through scriptures. He reminded us that we are all dying. Most prefer to not talk about dying, but death is inevitable. Where will we spend eternity?

As I was listening to the pastor, my thoughts wandered to people that I know and some I don’t know who may be dying right now and not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I know Jesus is the only way to salvation.

What could I do? I can only humbly tell what Jesus has done for me and remember Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19-20. I can guard my heart, my words and my actions.

I Corinthians 15:55-58 says, “Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Jesus Christ said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Billy Graham said, “Our hope of immortality is based on Christ alone – not on our desires, longings, arguments, or instincts of immortality. And because we know Christ is alive, we have hope – hope for the present and hope for life beyond the grave.” And I say, “Amen”.

……………… To Sunset!



Jesus – Our Comforter and Our Provider

“All God’s Chillun got troubles”! I heard that from a good friend today when she was telling me about a friend who was having troubles pile on her one thing after another. I feel sure if you have lived long enough you have felt like that! I know people who seem to have more than their fair share of troubles.

The first thing that came to mind when my friend made the statement: “All God’s Chillun got troubles!” was the scripture in Matthew 16:33 where Jesus says in the first part of that verse: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.” Sometimes we fail to read the second part of that verse where Jesus says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus said a lot in that one verse. I’m sure there is a pastor that could preach a sermon on that one verse. You see Jesus said he was telling us all these things so that we could have peace in this world when troubles that we know are coming do come. He told us that He had overcome the world. He told us we needed to be encouraged knowing that He is in charge. Our hope is in HIM! We can trust Jesus as our Provider and Shield. We can rest in HIM!

I am so thankful my friend made that statement to me today because I needed to be reminded of that verse in Matthew. I had spent too much of the day complaining about something and venting to those I love – feeling sorry for myself, frustrated and confused about things going on around me. Jesus reminded me to “Take heart, I have overcome the world!”

The Holy Spirit works in Wondrous Ways!



I had a dream one night not long ago. There was a person in the dream listening to someone who was telling him about his religion which was clear to me that it was something other than Christianity. I was a bystander in this dream, listening and watching. The two of them started to walk away! Suddenly, I shouted out, “Wait, wait!! Let me tell you about my Jesus.” Then I woke up!

I believe God was reminding me in this dream that I need to share Jesus boldly, because the time may be short for some or all of us.  Not long after I had that dream, I heard the song, “Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus”. Another reminder for me!!

So, let me tell you about my Jesus and what He has done for me and what He can do for you!

1. Jesus came to this world to die for my sins as a perfect sacrifice for those sins.  He loved me that much, to offer His Life as payment for my sins.  He paid it all. (John 3:16)

2. He knew me before I was ever born. (Psalm 139:13)

3. He protected me before I ever knew Him as my Savior and Lord. (Psalm 3:3)

4. He has a plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11)

5. He loves me and cares for me. (Ephesians 3:18)

7. He carries my burdens. (Psalm 55:22)

8. He makes a way where there is no way. (Philippians 4:19)

9. He will never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

10. He has prepared a place for me in Heaven for eternity. (John 14:3)

The Good News is that Jesus can do that for you, too!


Oh, Lord, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to understand, hearts to believe and mouths to tell others of your love and salvation. Amen



I have always liked using my refrigerator door for reminders on my schedules, pictures, artwork of my children, scripture verses, mementos of trips or events. I still have my refrigerator door full today! These refrigerator items help me to stay grounded in my thankfulness and my faith.

My Refrigerator Door

Scriptures are of the utmost importance:

When you meet someone today, meet him with a smile. Show him the Love of God through your kindness!
Don’t be afraid! “Fear Not” or “Do Not Be Afraid” appears 103 times in King James Version of the Bible! What a message from God!
The Hope of God and His Provision should bless us every day!
The 23rd Psalm is one of the most quoted chapters in the Bible!

Thoughtful Gifts From Friends or Trip Mementos

Made by my friend as an example of her friendship!
A Memento from my trip to Israel! My ride on a Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee!
A paper angel made by a friend for me!
Souvenir from a trip to the Smoky Mountains! Blue birds!


Psalm 118:24 is my life verse! I try to live by it every day and remember that no matter what this new day brings, I can rejoice and be glad in it because I know Who holds tomorrow!


God loves you just as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you where you are. He wants you to grow closer to Him. Walk with Him daily. Depend on Him for your every need. Pray to Him. Present your petitions to Him. Be still and know that He is God! If you don’t know God, go to

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16




Ever found yourself drifting away from Jesus? Realizing that it wasn’t Jesus who had moved? Knowing that gradually Jesus had not been the center of your life? Realizing that Jesus and His will had slipped from being Priority #1 in your life to being second, third, or last?

That’s how I felt recently when I heard a pastor who gave a sermon about how drifting from Your First Love, Jesus, will cause an upheaval in your life. He gave a couple of things that drifting away from Jesus will do to you:

  • Drifting will quench your passion for Jesus.
  • Drifting will weaken your resolve against sin.

It caused me to stop and realize that I had neglected being where Jesus would want me to be. You see, Jesus wants our heart. He desires to hear from us, even though He already knows our thoughts. He inhabits our praise. He knows we are living in a world of war with an enemy. Satan is our enemy and wants to destroy our every day.

But God gives us an “Armor” and wants us to put on that “Armor” every day.  Otherwise, Satan will slip into our thoughts and actions.  Putting on the Full Armor of God is our self-defense strategy to fight the enemy, Satan.  Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us an account of the Armor of God. 

  • Belt of Truth – God’s Word, the Bible
  • Breastplate of Righteousness – Obedience to God
  • Shoes of Peace – the Gospel produces peace with the Lord
  • Shield of Faith – Stay in God’s Word
  • Helmet of Salvation – Battlefield of the mind
  • Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God

The war we face with the enemy is not a physical war. It is a war that wants to capture every thought and rein over us. It is a spiritual war that we need to be prepared for every day and not drift away from Jesus and His Word and His Will for our lives. It is a real war, and God has given us what we need to fight this war. It is a protection for every part of our being, from the top of our head to the soles of our feet and our inner most being. So put on that Armor! Acknowledge Jesus’ Presence every day! Meet with Him daily, and He will meet with you!

In researching the Full Armor of God, I found the following prayer from Billy Graham’s website and thought I would share this to end this blog today:

From Ephesians 6:10-18

Prayer: Father, help us to prepare for any battle we may face. Help us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. As we go through today, help us to stand strong and not live in fear of the enemy.

Please Lord, equip me today with the armor of God.

I put on the belt of truth (verse 14).

May Your truth rule in my heart, my mind, and through my words today.

I put on the breastplate of righteousness (verse 14).

Apart from You, Jesus, there is no righteousness. Through Jesus I have been “born again” and made righteous in Your sight. Help me to live as a righteous person.

I put on the shoes of peace (verse 15) and pray that they will be firmly grounded in the good news of what Jesus did on the cross.

Lord, help me to reflect the Gospel in my words and in my actions, that through me, I may shine Jesus’ light and others may be drawn to know You.

I take up the shield of Faith (verse 16) for any fiery darts that may come my way. Thank You that in Jesus, we have the victory. No matter what tactics the enemy may throw at us, God has everything under control.

I put on the helmet of salvation (verse 17)

Lord, protect my mind and remind me that nothing can separate me from Your love. I’ve been saved by grace through faith.

I take up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (verse 17).

Lord, as I open Your Word – let Your Holy Spirit open my eyes to see new things about You and open my mind and heart as You lead me. May I be “filled with the Spirit” and ready with Scriptures. Help me to memorize Your Word and keep it safe in my heart.

Finally, Lord, remind me to pray in the Spirit on all occasions (verse 18).

Help me to always be in constant communication with you. Cause me to be alert, to be joyful and give thanks in everything. In Jesus’ mighty name – Amen.

Peace in the Difficulties

There are so many Scriptures that we can turn to and be encouraged when difficulties in this life seem to be overwhelming.  Write them down and write them on your heart.  Pull them out when you feel burdened.  We can find peace through God’s Word. Here are just a few that come to mind, but you can search the Scriptures and find many more.

Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”, according to Jerimiah 29:11.

It is written in Philippians 1:4, 6, “I always pray with joy . . . being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

John 14:1 tells us, “Let not your hearts be troubled, Believe in God; believe also in me.”

From “Streams in the Desert: “The world says that ‘seeing is believing’, but God wants us to believe in order to see.” The question was asked: “Do you believe God only when your circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what your circumstances may be?”

Be encouraged today and believe God and His promises in order that we may see what He has in store for us. The path may not be easy, but, if you are a believer, you can know that the Lord is walking with you through it all. He always has a way through it, and we should be able to look back and see blessings that come out of our difficult circumstances.

I feel sure all of us know people who seem to have more difficulties in their lives than others. Or we may be the one who seems to have more than “our share” of problems than others we know. There is so much we don’t understand.

Charles Spurgeon tells us, “Many people owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” I say again; be encouraged in your walk with the Lord. You can be sure Jesus will walk with you. Find Peace with God in your difficulties!

Look Up; Keep your eyes on Jesus!

sharing my heart…………………

Hear my prayer, O Lord!

So many to pray for…… So many prayer requests……… The list is long…… Sometimes it feels overwhelming…….. There are people in need of healing, getting through the loss of a loved one, getting through a difficult situation. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is upside down…. People living as if right is wrong and wrong is right! It makes no sense to me, but God is not surprised by any of of it. He is aware of our every prayer before we ever pray it!!! God is all-knowing, ever present.

So much trouble in our country and in this world! I have many things that are troubling. Each of you reading this have things on your heart that you are going through and are concerned about. Pretty bleak picture of things in the world. But looking back in history, you will find times such as we are living in now. So, take heart. Don’t despair. God is still on the throne, and I do believe that He is in control. God won’t necessarily remove our problems. He will show us the way through them. You know when the Israelites were faced with trying to get away from the Egyptians and were there at the Red Sea, God didn’t remove the Red Sea. He gave them a way through it. Listen, now, this is me sharing my heart with you who are reading this and pouring my heart out to the Lord for His help and guidance!

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every thing, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO? Below is what I am going to do:

1st – Draw Close to the Lord. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

2nd – Delve into the Bible and study the scriptures. “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

3rd – Ask God for wisdom and understanding. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

4th – Pray but pray believing! “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

Dear Lord Jesus,

I just want to praise your Holy Name. You are my Strong Tower, my Provider, my Promise Keeper. I know I can depend on you, Lord, when everybody else fails me. You said you would never leave me or forsake me. You said that in this world that I would have trouble, but you told me to take heart that you had overcome the world. Thank you for your creation, Lord. You created everything in perfect order. Thank you for allowing me to see your Creation through the beauty of it all.

I pray for the lost souls out there who need you and your salvation, who need to not just have “head” knowledge but to have their “hearts” changed, to not just have a “religion”, but to have a “relationship” with you, Sweet Jesus.

I am so unworthy, Lord. I fail all the time in my walk with you. I ask for forgiveness and you forgive. Thank you, Lord. Keep me on the path you want me to be on. I pray that you would be glorified in everything I do. I love you, Lord!

In the sweet and precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Sharing my heart………

Jesus said: “Bring It to me”

Do you have a need today? Some trial, difficulty, emergency?

If so, bring it to Jesus.

In Matthew 18:14, when Jesus was about to feed the five thousand and His disciples had found only five loaves and two fish among the crowd, Jesus said “Bring them to me.” If you have read the story in the Bible, the five thousand men, not counting women and children, were all fed and filled. Plus there were leftovers that filled 12 baskets.

Bring your need to Him, in faith, trusting Him to fill your need. That’s what Jesus wants you to do. Answering your need may not be in the way you want or the timing may not be your timing. But trust Him! God’s timing is perfect and precise. He does things at His appointed time. We must wait on the Lord. Oh, yes, it is a hard thing to do, but we must have faith that God’s plan is perfect! Just believe and rest in His provision!

Romans 8:32 says, “He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”



Some of my memories of growing up are connected to music.  I believe I have always had a love of music.  I have always had the desire to play an instrument or to be able to sing.  To this day, I still cannot sing on key, but I still try.  No one can take that away from me.  I have told my husband and family that when I get to Heaven, I will be able to sing in God’s choir and sing praises to HIM!

As a child going to church, all those beautiful hymns are entrenched in my memory.  I can recall them from time to time when I stop rushing from place to place.  Sitting in church and hearing and singing those hymns told the story of Jesus and how I knew even then that I needed HIM and that HE loved me.  It was not until I was older that I fully surrendered my life to Jesus and put my faith and trust in HIM.  The Lord was drawing me to HIM ever so gently because, you see, He knew the plans that He had for me… give me a hope and a future, to prosper me and not to harm me.  Those hymns were like hearing God’s Word in a way that I could understand at an incredibly young age.  Much joy was received from my early days in church!

Junior Choir and Youth Choir in church were especially important.  Even though I could not sing very well, I loved participating.  All of this placed a song in my heart.  When I was in Junior High School, I was able to go to summer camp for a week at Lake Stephens in Oxford, MS.  I feel sure it was a sacrifice for my parents to send me, but it was an experience that I will never forget.  At night when it was time for lights out, the Lord’s Prayer was played over a loudspeaker.  Tears would flow every night.  I do not know if I was homesick or if the Lord was softening my heart.  It could have been a little bit of both.  I will never forget hearing that beautiful Lord’s Prayer played every night.  There was also a place at Lake Stephens that was called Vesper Hill.  There was a trail that led to the top where a large Wooden cross stood.  We would sing camp songs and have a devotional there every evening.  “Kum Ba Yah, My Lord” is one of the songs we would sing.  It means Come by Here, My Lord.  That gave me joy unimaginable! 

One of my sisters played the clarinet in the school band.  This same sister also had a ukulele and tried to teach me how to play it.  I remember getting her ukulele and strumming the tune she taught me.  The tune was “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”.  That gave me much joy

A neighbor had a piano in her home because her daughter took piano lessons.  This sweet lady would let me play on that piano from time to time.  My parents could not afford to buy a piano or pay for lessons.  But somewhere along the way, I had taught myself to read the notes with my right hand, the melody.  I also learned to play a few little “ditties”.  That gave me joy!

When I was still in school, the band director asked me if I would like to learn to play the bassoon.  I am not sure why he asked me though.  The school had a bassoon that no one was using, and he offered to teach me.  I was extremely excited that he made this offer.  So, the story goes that I tried and tried but just could not play that instrument.  It was difficult to handle.  At least, I tried.  That, too, gave me much joy

After I married and had my own children, one of my relatives let us borrow their piano that they did not use any more so that my children could take piano lessons.  My daughter learned to play and did well.  My son decided to try lessons, too, but it ended up not being for him.  That was okay.  I believe he was glad he tried.   From time to time, I would sit down at that piano and read the notes and play.  All of this gave me great joy!

After my daughter married and had children of her own, she wanted them to have an opportunity to learn to play the piano.  At first, they learned to play on a keyboard before their parents found a piano to purchase.  All three of the grandchildren learned to play very well and will always have that to fall back on when they decide to play again.  I was able to go to some of their recitals, which was especially special to me.  One of the granddaughters still plays well today.  I love listening to her play.  She even plays some of the hymns that I grew up hearing and singing when I was a child.  All of this gives me joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!!  And still does to this day!!

My granddaughter suggested that I bring their keyboard to my house and try to play.  She even gave me some instructions on how to begin, along with some of her early music.  That keyboard is now here in my home, and every now and then, I get it out and play some hymns.  Just the melody, of course, but I am playing.  What a joy that is!

Fast forward to the present, here I am, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and I have no regrets for not having been able to play and sing like other exceptionally talented people can.  All those things relating to music as I was growing up have had a great effect on who I am today.  I especially enjoy listening to hymns being played and sung.  This music quiets my soul and gives me peace in a world that is so torn with strife and hatred.  I can slip away to a quiet place and rest in the Lord.  To say that I am thankful for music is an understatement.  Music is a part of my very fiber.  It is one way that I can worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!  Joy that is unspeakable!!

“HE (Jesus) withdrew………to a solitary place.” Matthew 14:13

Sometimes, in all the humdrum of life, it is a good thing to withdraw in a quiet place and rest. I am constantly being reminded to “Be still and know that HE is God.”

And I can rest in that!  Amen

LESSONS LEARNED and blessings found in 2020!

may our hope in the new year be grounded in Jesus christ!
Photo by Mary Lockett Burcham

I am sure that all of us would agree that 2020 has been a year that has been totally different from any year we have ever experienced. As I have lived each day of this past year, I have learned many lessons and have found many blessings that should help me to be a better person. I hope that I don’t forget the things I have learned and the blessings that I have found from this past year. I pray that I will take those lessons and blessings and remember them in the year ahead.

Never take for granted hugs from friends and family. Always cherish smiles from people you meet and always smile back, even if you have to learn to smile with your eyes. Be grateful for every day we breathe. Live each day as if it is your last because we are not promised tomorrow. Be thankful for family. Reach out to people around you because they matter. Never stop being optimistic. Remember there is a God who never sleeps and who cares for you. Don’t ever forget that HE is still in control. God is not surprised by anything that has gone on this past year. Don’t ever stop praying. Don’t ever stop seeking God’s will for your life. Don’t ever stop studying the Bible and coming to know the ONE who will never leave you or forsake you.

This past year I watched several very good movies. One of those movies had as the moral, Giving Gifts. If I could give you gifts to carry you through 2021, they would be these gifts that came from that movie:

  1. The Gift of Faith that you would have a love for God in your heart.
  2. The Gift of Friendship that you would learn to love others deeply.
  3. The Gift of Peace that you would enjoy life to its fullest and have a heart filled with peace.
  4. The Gift of Family that you would embrace family no matter the circumstances.
  5. And, most of all, the Gift of Forgiveness that you would discover the healing and restoring power of forgiveness.

I pray that I will live this coming year in perfect step with Jesus and that all that I do or say or think will give HIM Glory! Some scriptures that I will carry with me this year are:

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Matthew 4:17, “….Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

May 2021 be a year that you and I live more like Christian citizens than ever before. Amen.