Be Encouraged Today

Droplets To Ripples 12.30.19


Scar Tissue

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
A physical scars are adhesions on tissue in the body that form after trauma and can affect skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons. As part of the body’s repair process, new protein (collagen) fibers replace the injured tissue and a scar is formed
I have been a Christian for a very long time and have been in the ministry for over 20 years. I must admit that I, like most of you have experiences hurt in my life. Hurt from family, friends, co-workers and yes enemies. I believe like a physical scar, emotional hurt causes us to have scars.
So why would God allow us to have emotional scars?
You see I think there is beauty in our scars once they are healed. Right now I have a large scar on my leg where cancer was removed. It still looks horrible with red ugly lines where the stitches were and a long ugly cut where the incision was made to remove the cancer. It is summer and time to wear shorts. Some days I am self conscience of my scar and I choose an outfit that will cover my scar. Most days I choose to see my scar as a battle wound of a war I won and I choose to let my scar shine.
2. A scar will be a reminder to you not to repeat the same act that caused the hurt. For some of us it may take us getting hurt more than once before we get it.
3. Our hurts draw us closer to the Lord. When we are hurt as Christians our healing comes from the Lord. When we are hurt, God is hurting for us. He wants us to come to Him to ask for His help. He wants to help our hurt heal.
4. Your scars are proof of God’s healing power. Once God has healed you through your hurt, it becomes a testimony to others. Our story will be that God never gave up on us. And that we have been healed from our hurt.
You see I think there is beauty in our scars once they are healed. Right now I have a large scar on my leg where cancer was removed. It still looks horrible with red ugly lines where the stitches were and a long ugly cut where the incision was made to remove the cancer. It is summer and time to wear shorts. Some days I am self conscience of my scar and I choose an outfit that will cover my scar. Most days I choose to see my scar as a battle wound of a war I won and I choose to let my scar shine.
God has a purpose for your scars— a powerful purpose. Maybe today you just need to stop and ask God what that powerful purpose of your scars are for and then fulfill your purpose.

Read 100 Books In A Year

Book Boss

Happy New Year!  Today is the first day of 2016.  Every year I set 3 new goals for me to accomplish by the end of the year.  Most of them are educational but a few are just for fun.

I had already chosen my 3 goals for 2016 by December 15, 2015.  One of them was a stretch and a BIG commitment.  I had decided that I wanted to learn Hebrew so I could read the Hebrew text of the Bible.  I had been researching taking Hebrew on line earlier in 2015 but had tried learning a foreign language once before (Rosetta Stone) and found it hard to really get the punctuation down right without a physical instructor.  Oddly enough, once I decided I needed to find a classroom environment to attend for my training, one of the volunteers where I work shared with me in a conversation one day that her husband taught free Hebrew classes.  Wow was that God or what.  So my first goal was confirmed and set.

The second goal I set for 2016 was to learn Calligraphy.  No special reason, Just because I think it is cool.  I believe it will be fun and something I can use here and there.

The 3rd goal was both educational and fun.  My wonderful daughter gave mea  high dollar camera with lots of bells, whistles and lens, just because she loves me and knows I have wanted one.  I love to take pictures.  When she was born, being my first child, I took a picture of her every day for almost a year.  I was less than the professional but I think photo’s are a window into and reminder of our past.  I enjoy taking photo’s and class would help me learn how to take even better photo’s thus capturing greater memories.

With all three goals set I was ready for 2016 to be rung in.  On December 30th I was browsing Face Book post and two things really got my attention.  One was a post from a women’s book club I follow.  It gave of 100 books you should read before you die.  The number 100 stuck with me, even though I did not read the list.  The second post was from another book lover titled “7 simple ways to read more this year.”  This article caught my attention because the number 100 had stuck with me and now how to read more stuck with me.  I put the two together and decided to add a fourth goal, to read 100 books in a year.

My first reaction was to do the math to see what that would be per week.  It came to just 2 books per week.  Initially, I began to make excuses about how I did not have time to read that much.  It started to hit me that I spend a lot of time reading online, playing games on my Ipad, watching TV and doing a lot of work on websites and Face Book for my job and church.  Not to mention time spent just reading post by friends and family on Face Book  With those facts sinking in I decided to add a 4th goal for 2016.  To read 100 books in 12 months.

Well, I posted it on my Face Book timeline and ask others to join me.  So far almost 24 hours after my posting challenge I have one person signed up to take on the challenge.  With or without anyone I have decided that I WILL READ 100 books in 12 months.  I also decided to blog about the books I am reading, how it is impacting my life and the challenges that will come with it.  I hope you will decide to join me on this journey.  I know the other 3 goals I have chosen will stay on my list with the same level of dedication.  Hey, maybe I can read books surrounding those other goals.  LOL  Either way….Here is to a great year of reading, learning and challenging my brain, my body and my habits.  Happy Reading My Friends.

JoAnne – Book Boss Leader


Waiting For The Mail

On Tuesday, my husband and I picked up our grandchildren, that live in our home town, to take them to dance and karate. As soon as I walked into the door my 4-year-old grandchild meet me to let me know that he had mailed me a letter. I was a little surprised because he nor I had ever sent mail to each other. After his big announcement he ran off to play. I confirmed with his mother that he had indeed put something into an envelope for me that she then addressed and put a stamp on it. She did not know what was inside the envelope but he had told her that he had written me a letter. I found myself getting a little excited wondering what he had decided was so important that had to be mailed to me. His mother had tried to convince him that he did not need to mail it because I would be there to pick him up on Tuesday, then he could just give it to me personally, but he would hear nothing of it. As a matter of fact once he put the letter in the mail box he kept a watch out for the mailman to be sure it was picked up for delivery. When his mother noticed that he was waiting she informed him that the mailman had already picked up the mail for that day and told him his letter would not go out until the following day. His mother said he was so distraught over the news that she loaded him and his baby sister into the car to track the mailman down in the neighborhood so he could mail his letter that day. Now I must admit that I was a little excited about this surprise letter. I could barely get it off my mind and found myself just as excited the next morning when I woke up. When I went home for lunch I kept watching for the mail to be delivered and really hoped that it would come before I had to go back to work. Lunch came and went too fast because no mail was delivered. On the way back to the office I scanned my neighborhood for the mailman. I spotted the mailman and ask my husband to stop her to get our mail. I know he thought I was crazy but he did as I ask. As he handed me the mail I quickly looked at the names on each envelope and there it was addressed to Mimi. Now I must tell you that the drawings on the back of the envelope was enough to make me cry but when I opened the envelop up, pulled out a picture of a colored rabbit with his words wishing me a happy Easter it was all I could do not cry a river. How silly, you may say?!? How wonderful I say. The really funny thing is that when I got the letter I made sure to call him to tell him how wonderful it was. Being 4, the letter was the past and he was happy I had gotten it but had no desire to spend any time talking about it. That was yesterday and he had things to talk about that happened today. Maybe he has the spiritual gift of encouragement or just maybe he just loves his Mimi. Either way, MY letter was wonderful. Thank you Nicholas for my letter and for inspiring me. I pray that you and I may add that much excitement to someone elses day today and everyday.

Another Health Care Blog…

Today I was a bit distracted with all the negativity in the media regarding the new health care bill. I am very concerned about what this means to me personally but I also understand how some friends of mine are supporting it. I think America will stand on one side or the other and at this point I am not convinced that either of us are wrong. My husband and I do not have insurance. I work for a small firm that has a total of 4 employees including the owner and they have chosen not to offer insurance as an option to its employees. I knew that I when I took the job. My husband is a pastor for a small church that can not afford to pay for his insurance benefits so he does not have insurance. Thankfully we are both very healthy so not having insurance has not been an issue for us. My husband and I already pay so much into taxes and live on such a tight budget I wonder how we will budget for more taxes and insurance cost? I understand the need to insure everyone, however we will now HAVE to purchase insurance and I don’t know where the funds will come from to do that.

My parents are both retired with a lot of health problems and they receive Medicare and Medicaid that don’t cover their health cost now, how will they pay the bills when these funds are reduced? How will they afford more taxes to help pay for the new bill when they are already living from check to check.

On the other side I have a few friends who this plan will probably help and they are very excited about it. One has a baby who has had health issues since he was born and has already maxed out on his lifetime coverage. This plan will help him and his parents. Another friend of mine has wanted her husband to change jobs for the last two years but he couldn’t because her child had medical issues that would be considered pre-existing conditions and with the new bill this will allow him to change jobs.

I am concerned that this is going to be yet one more division of Americans and yes even Christians. I was always taught that you should never talk politics or religion at work, well I guess we need to add health care to that list.

Christians, don’t loose focus on Jesus no matter what side of the health care debate you stand on. We need to look for things that unify us not draw us apart. If you notice someone does not support your views on this issue than talk about how America needs Jesus. You may not can count on your congressman to vote your way but you can always count on Jesus. HE is the answer to all our issues.