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. 1 Cor. 15:58


Monday, October 31, 2011

day 135: A Little Halloween Leftover

Mark 5:6-13
When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him.  With a shriek, he screamed, "Why are you interferring with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  In the name of God, I beg you, don't torchure me!" For Jesus had already said to the spirit, "Come out of that man, you evil spirit."

Then Jesus demanded, "What is your name?"

And he replied, "My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man." 

Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby.  "Send us to those pigs," the spirits begged.  "Let us enter them."

So Jesus gave them permission.  The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.


First of all, Happy Halloween.  I hope you have a great day, and remember that God is still in control-- even of demons and monsters.  I'm posting this early because I forgot I had written it for Halloween and I wanted to post it today.  I will continue to write the Encouragers Checklist Wednesday.

This verse proves that. 

Now, if there are 2 things I really don't like to talk about, they are death and demons.

I'm not big on demons lol.

But as I was searching the Bible, I found this verse, and knew it was perfect for Halloween.

There are a few things I want to focus on in this verse:

1. The demons recognized that Jesus was God's son.  In a world where some very good people don't recognize him-- the evil spirits do.  They knew who he was and wanted him to leave them alone.

2. The demons begged.  You don't normally think of demonic spirits begging.  It just doesn't seem natural.  TV, books, and movies have led us to believe that Demons are all powerful, evil beings who control everything and are impossible (or nearly impossible) to stop.  Demons are scary and can fill our nightmares.  However, we know that Jesus can stop them.  And he could destroy them.  They begged him to not send them away.  *THEY* knew he had complete authority over them.

3. Jesus gave them permission.  The demons had no authority or power to do anything unless Jesus let them.  That leads the question, "why?" does God and Jesus allow demons to do things, and I don't know the answer to that.  But I do know that it is His will and even God uses demons to serve His will (whether they know it or not).

So, if you have watched too many scary movies tonight... maybe got too into Ghost Hunters... and every noise in house is making you cringe-- remember that there is nothing under the sun that God doesn't control.  Even the demons have to obey him.  If you are scared, denouce them in the name of Jesus.  And remember, when God is on your side, there is nothing to be afraid of :)

God Bless You :)

Happy Halloween :)


day 134: Encourager Checklist (XI)

1 Thessalonians 5:21
(Do not scoff at prophecies,) but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.


We are continuing on this series on how to be an encourager.  Today's verse is on testing what is being told to you in a prophesy and to hold on to what is good.

Now.... I know what you are thinking... you are thinking didn't we JUST talk about yesterday to NOT scoff at prophecies and here I am telling you to test them.

Well.... yes... yes I am.

But it's not just me telling you this.  It's Paul.

There are many false prophets out there.  MANY people who tell prophecies just for the money.  There are people who switch the words of the Bible around to make their way seem right (sometimes intentionally-- sometimes not).

If someone tells a prophecy or if you hear a sermon, it is up to you to test it.  Not in the same way you aren't supposed to test God... this is different.  This test is to look in the Bible and see if what you heard matches up with what you read.  If it does, great :)  If not, you need to see where it differs.

The next thing is to hold on to what is good.

That is hard sometimes.  It is so easy to get caught up in the bad that we forget the good.  But we are supposed to hold on to the good so that we can get through the bad times.

How does this lead to encouragement?
*Help others who have listened to prophecies test if they are Biblically sound or not.

*Remind others what good things they have in their life when they are going through a rough time (in a compassionate way).  Sometimes people forget and have to be reminded.

(If you have a devotional blog, don't forget to leave me your url and a brief description so I can add it to the Devotional Blog Directory ).

God Bless You :)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

day 133: Encouragers Checklist (X)

1 Thessalonians 5:20
Do not scoff at prophecies.


Have you ever had someone tell you something (could be considered a prophesy) and you think 'yeah right'... and then it happens and are like, "WHA!!!?"

We should never scoff at godly people who are telling us things about God.  Even if we don't see it happening in our lives, it is not good to laugh at them or think them as silly.

If it is a fortune teller or a fortune cookie, that's fine--- scoff away.  But if it is from a preacher, teacher, or godly person-- listen.  See if you can find the truth in their words.  See if you can feel God in their words.  Search in the Bible and in your heart to see if you can understand what has been said to you.

I was at a prayer revival meeting the other day, and the speaker stopped right in the middle of everything, looked right at me (she had been staring for a while) and said, "Do't try to do it yourself.  God will take care of it."

That could mean a lot of things in my life, and was a prophesy of sorts.  I shouldn't (and didn't) mock it or make light of it. I don't entirely know what it means... I have an idea, but still. It was something that someone felt like God was telling me.  And I appreciate that.

How does this encourage others?

If you get the guts up to tell someone a prophesy you got from God for them, and then they scoff at you-- you are likely to turn with you tail between your legs and never do it again.  That hurts YOU and the person who told you.  Don't be the type of person who discourages someone.  Simply say thank you, and walk off if you don't believe it's from God. If you do, really reflect on what it means and why someone told you that.

If you are the one getting the message, tell the other person anyway.  It might be the one thing they needed to hear to confirm their suspecions about how they are supposed to work for God.

We have a few more of the Encouragers Checklist left to go. I hope and pray they are helping you as much as they are helping me to learn about them.

God Bless You,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Introducing a Devotional Blog Directory

I'd love to have a list of devotional blogs here so people can 1) find new blogs and 2) become encouraged even further.

If you have a devotional blog, please send me an email ohthatmomagain [at] yahoo [dot] com. I'll look at the blog (make sure you aren't scamming me ;)) and send you a confirmation email.

The criteria:
*Must be God based.
*Blog must be at least a month old

What do I consider a devotional blog?

Well, any blog that has posts with a scripture and some writing with it... it could be a prayer, an explanation, anything. And the blog doesn't have to be entirely devotionally based (ie, the blog doesn't have to be like this one and be only devotionals-- but a good smattering throughout the blog would be good).

Any questions? I'm sure there are. If you have any or have a blog you'd like to submit, please email me (again that's ohthatmomagain [at] yahoo [dot] com).  Also, if you don't to email me, write your url in the comments section and I'll look at it that way.

Lets start encouraging others!!! :)

I'm so excited to start/host this feature on this blog!  :)

God Bless You!


day 132: Encourager checklist (IX)

1 Thessalonians 5:19
Don't stifle the Holy Spirit.


If you are new to this blog, for the past several days I have been writing over ways to be an encourager.  All of these ways are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11-23.  So far we have learned about:
Build each other up.
Honor/Respect Spiritual Leaders.
Live in Peace
Warn the Lazy
Encourage the shy/timid
Help the Weak
Be Patient
Resiset revenge
Be Joyful
Pray continually
Give thanks

And today's is......

Don't stifle the Holy Spirit.

Right now, I figure you are having one of two emotions.  1)  I already know all about this or 2) What in the world does 'stifle' mean?

To 'stifle' the Holy Spirit (or Ghost if you are so inclined to call him that), means that you ignore the it in your life.  You basically squander your spiritual gifts (ie the gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit).

Do you know what your spiritial gift is?  If you do, I'd love for you to share because I'm not entirely sure what mine is yet.  I took a test once (yes, I did) and it said that mine were encouraging and teaching.  I had a lady the other night tell me that mine was giving hope (which I'm not sure I see-- but it was a nice thought).  While online tests are fun, I believe that the real answer of what your gift(s) is comes from God and your prayers with Him--- and what He puts in your heart.

So, what are some of the spiritual gifts?  Well, I had to google it because I wasn't entirely sure.

I found this site ( ) that talks about it.  I'm not going give the scriptures (you can find it there), but I am going to list the 20 things it has in bold type (it also lists 7 other gifts at the bottom).

Here are the ones that are listed: prophesy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, distinguishing spirits, speaking in tongues, intrepretation of tongues, apostleship, helps, administration, evangelism, pastor.

I'm going to add that I believe that anything you do well (and or do it for God) is your gift.

The Holy Spirit gives us these gifts (and not everyone has the same one-- and none are more awesome than the other) so we can encourage others and lead them to God.  If we didn't have the Holy Spirit with us, we'd fall back into the world.  He gives us boldness to talk to others and helps us realize our gifts and use them to glorify God and to win people to Him.

if you stifle your gift (ie don't think it's "good" enough, too shy to do it, question it.... for a long time, tell God he's nuts and you aren't going to do it, etc) then you will hurt the entire body of God.  Even if your pinky finger hurts-- your whole finger hurts. Same with the whole spiritual body.  If the pinky falls by the way, everyone suffers and feels defeated.  You not doing what you are supposed to do can DISCOURAGE someone from doing what they are supposed to do (and we definitely don't want that).

So, pray about your gift.  What has God called you to do for Him?  Are you going at it full force, or are you fighting it?

God Bless You.


Friday, October 28, 2011

day 131: Encourager Checklist (VIII)

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.


There are circumstances when thanking God is the last thing you want to do.  But if we look at that verse again, Paul isn't telling us to be thankful FOR all circumstances--- just to be thankful through them.

Over at my other blog Oh That Mom Again... I love to do something called 'Thankful Tuesday' which means that every Tuesday I list the things in the week I am thankful for then make a link up in case any other blogs want to join me.

And I do that on the good weeks and the not so good weeks.

I love to take time to be thankful because sometimes-- we aren't-- sometimes *I'M* not.  Sometimes I forget that it took a miracle to wake up in the mornings... SOMETIMES I forget that takes a divine force to make this ole bag of blood, bones, and dirt into a human, living person.

Think about it?  Our body is totally  organic.  There is nothing but water, dirt, vitamins (and maybe something else I can't think of right off hand lol).  It takes a miracle for your body to even be living.

If you have nothing else to thank God for-- thank Him for that.

I encourage each of you to write down what you are thankful for-- if not daily, weekly.  You will see how much you really do have and how much God has truly blessed you.

How does this make me an encourager?

*If you see they things in your life that you should be thankful for, then it is easier to encourage others to find things in their own lives.

*Being thankful makes you happier (mostly), and that happiness effects others' lives.

*Thanking God brings Him to your mind which makes you think of Him more-- you always talk about what you are thinking the most about.  Thinking about a TV show?  You talk about it.  Thinking about God?  You talk about Him.

If you haven't before-- I'd love for you to stop by 'Thankful Tuesday' next week over at and link up.  Sometimes it is just encouraging to read how God has touched other lives :)

God Bless You :)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

day 130: Encouragement Checklist (VII)

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Never Stop Praying.


I never noticed before that these 3 little words were in the Bible.  3 little words that have a BIG meaning.

We are still in our series of how to encourage others.  Today's verse is a big one!

We we are sad... never stop praying.

When we mad... never stop praying.

When we are tired... never stop praying.

When we are happy... never stop praying.

When things are going well.. never stop praying.

When things stink... never stop praying.

When we are on top of the world... never stop praying.

When our world falls apart.... never stop praying.

When we want to give up on someone...... never stop praying.

When we don't know what to say.... never stop praying.

When we don't know what to do....  never stop praying.

When we are blessed.... never stop praying.

In the good....

In the bad.....

In the mundane.....

In the excitement....

Never stop praying.

How can we use this to encourage someone?

*Praying in and of itself is your connection to God.  When you can't, God can.

*Praying for someone keeps them on your mind and in your thoughts.

*Praying, and telling that person you are doing it, shows them you care.

*Praying insures that you are on your best behavior (you ususually can't talk bad about someone when you talk to God.)

*Praying lets someone know you care-- and that is all the encouragement some people need.

I love this verse.  It may be my new favorite. :)

God Bless You-- and PLEASE if you need any prayers send me an email at ohthatmomagain [at] yahoo [dot] com OR leave a comment (if its unspoken, that's fine.).


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

day 129: Encourager Checklist (VI)

1 Thessalonians 5:16
Always be joyful.


Today's checklist item on how to be an encourager is short--- but really, REALLY hard.  I think it's something I struggle with a lot (how sad is that???)

Our next item on the Encourager Checklist is: Be Joyful.

I read this and thought, "Oh no!  I'm doomed." because, sometimes, I'm not the most joyful person. Ok, more often than not I'd say (or at least that's now I feel sometimes).  And that leads to feeling ungrateful which leads to feeling bad which leads to feeling down which leads too----

You get the idea.

I read in my Study Bible that, "If we do God's will, we will find it easier to be joyful and thankful."

I am very thankful--- So thankful for everything God had given me.  Sometimes I think that's why I don't have more joy (ok, therapy session for Kelly today---).  Bare with me... maybe you are the same way.  I feel like God has given me so much (a husband who loves me-- 3 awesome kids), and I'm afraid I'm going to mess things up.  So while I'm thankful-- I'm so caught up in the worry that I lose the joy.

What a silly way to live lol (and yet I do it).

To be an encourager means to be joyful in even the midst of problems.  To know that no matter what, God is in control.  It also means that when we want to encourage someone, it is best not to have your sourpuss face on.  Its kinda hard to encourage someone when you aren't smiling, or at least act like you are in a good mood (maybe that's my problem lol).

How can you be joyful?
*Trust in God
*Know that He is in control
*Don't sweat the small stuff
*Be excited about life (even if you have done the same exact thing at the same exact time for the past 6 years.......)
*Focus on the good things
*Help others

**There are lots more.  If you can think of any, I'd love to hear them. 

So, was this post meant for anyone today (*um* raises hand lol.... anyone else?)

God Bless You :)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

day 128: Encouragers Checklist (V)

1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no no pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.


Today is our 5th day learning about the Encouragers Checklist.  So far, we have learned 7 ways to encourage someone.

Build Each Other Up
Honor/Respect Spiritual Leaders
Live in Peace
Warn the Lazy
Encourage the Timid
Help the Weak
Be Patient.

Today, we get to talk about a really juicy one.  Resist Revenge.

Oh, poo-- you say.  But Revenge is sweet.

Well, probably not so much-- and we will see why.

While "an eye for an eye" was the norm in the Old Testament-- "Turn the other cheek" was what the New Testament taught us.

What happens when you repay evil with evil....  Well... It makes you do Evil

There is no such thing as a "Good Evil".  It is either evil or not.  Lie to a co-worker because she lied to you--- well, you are just as guilty at she is because you both told lies.

Revenge not only hurts our souls and makes us sin, but it hurts our testimony.  People will always remember the bad. You will never be perfect, but if someone sees you going after revenge-- they will automatically think, "I thought she was a Christian."

So, what in the world does this have to do with encouraging someone?

If someone does evil against you, don't waste your time plotting revenge.  That takes you away from God's work and also hurts you more than it helps you.  If you are like me, your conscious is strong (too strong at times) and if I hurt someone (even someone who deserves it), I feel bad.

Taking the high road does NOT mean that you are letting them walk all over you. It means that you will not stoop down to their level and let them take you away from your time with God.

IF someone has done you wrong, how can you encourage them?

*Pray for them.  This is the best thing you can do about any situation.  It not only works, but it allows your focus to be where it is meant to be-- on God.

*Do something small for them.  Sometimes if you are nice to people who are mean to you, the shear shock of it will take them off balance. 

*Don't gossip about them.  It is so easy to bad talk someone-- especially when we don't like them, but that is one of the worst things we can do.  We are supposed to build others up, not knock them down.  I guess this goes back to the whole "If it's not good, don't say it." mentality.

The last part of this verse is important, especially in this day and time.  Do good to each other and to all people.

It didn't say be good to everyone-- as long as they believed like you.

It didn't say be good to everyone-- as long as they behaved like you.


DO we have to like what they are doing?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  BUT, we do have to encourage them, love them-- not hate them.  Remember, it is not our job to judge-- and you catch more flies with honey than with a flyswatter (or something like that).

To sum up, revenge sometimes would be so sweet (and disliking a certain group is so easy), but it isn't what people who want to encourage should do.  We should lift each other up, be a light in their life.  If we don't like what someone does, that is EXACTLY the people we need to pray for. 

Tomorrow will be verse 16.

God Bless You :)


Monday, October 24, 2011

day 127: Encourager Checklist (IV)

1 Thessalonians 5:14
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.  Encouarge those who hare timid.  Take tender care of those who are weak.  Be patient with everyone.


Today, we are continuing our series on What/How we encourage others.  There are lots of things we need to talk about in today's verse so lets get right into it.

So far, we know that to encourage others, we should: Build Each Other up, Honor/Respect our Leaders, and Live in Peace.

We have 4 new checklist items to add from this verse.

1. Warn the lazy
Ah, laziness.  A fun "sin".  I get lazy at times.  You get lazy at times.  We all get lazy at times.  If we are lazy or feeling lazy, and someone asks us to do something, yeah, it's hard to do it.  We would just rather kick back and do... well.... nothing.

If someone does nothing, then that means they are doing 'nothing' for God-- and we can't have that.  If you see someone who you think is lazy, gently ask them to join you in a project.  Be nice about it.  Don't say, "Hey lazy bones.  Come here and do SOMETHING!" (I might have thought *said* that to my husband a time or two lol).

No, we need to use nice words.  Encourage, not discourage. And don't say anything about the being lazy or seeming to have time.  Just say that you need help and was wondering if they could help OR tell them that you were needing help and was thinking of them and knew they would be the right person to help (everyone loves to feel special).

So, find a way to use someone's 'laziness' for your advantage.  Encourage them to help you--- that way you are helping them and yourself :)

2. Encourage the Timid.
Believe it or not, I'm a shy person.

Truly (don't laugh people that know me...)

I'm a teacher (both in a school and at church).  I write 2 blogs... but I'm shy around people.  I have a hard time even speaking up at church (sans my Sunday School class).  I bet I haven't talked maybe 5 times-- ever in the service.

In a word, I'm timid.

People like me need encouragement.

And it might not even be talking in church... you might just be timid in everyday life.

If you are a big talker (and I mean that in a good way), encourage the more timid among you that you speak up and you haven't keeled over (apparently that's what I'm afraid of).  Find ways to get the more timid to speak up :) 

3. Help the Weak
There are 2 kinds of weak: Physical and spiritual. 

Helping the physically weak would include volunteering at a nursing home or rehab center.  Maybe talking food to shut ins.  Maybe even helping a mom carrying her kids in church if she seems to need it.  Some people don't like to be 'waited on'. If that is the case, encourage them by telling them how well they are doing.  And how proud you are of them.

Helping a person weak spiritually is a bit different.  A spiritually weak person can be helped by praying for them.  Reading the Bible with them.  Offer to do a bible study with them.  Anyway you can think to encourage them spiritually is a good thing.... but be nice about it.  Don't try to shove it down their throat, but still offer things for them to do with you.

4. Be Patient with Everyone.
I think this is one of the hardest ones.  Sometimes, our patience is gone.... GONE.  We have none left or so we think.  And you know what, *that* just happens to usually be when other people notice us.  And that is the image they have of us and our testimony. 

There are some people who you think are saintly patient. *I* am not.  I have 3 smalll kids and sometimes, well its just gone.

And you know what?  I feel bad about it (but that's not for this post).

The honest truth is that no matter how much you encourage someone to speak in church and not be timid, it might not work.  No matter how much you try to help someone's laziness, it still might not work.  And you can lose your patience.

People have had others giving up on them all of their lives.  To be an encourager, we have to be patience with everyone.  We have to be the one that doesn't give up on them. 

And that is hard.  It is.  When I read this (and I want to encourage others), I thought Oh--no. lol.  This is definitely something I need to pray about.

Tomorrow, we will continue on this series.  I'm finding it very interesting... I'm not sure if you are lol.  I hope and pray it is.

God Bless You,


Sunday, October 23, 2011

day 126: Encouragers Checklist (III)

1 Thessalonians 5:13
Show them great respect and whole-hearted love because of their work.  And live peacefully with each other.


This is the 3rd part of the series "What does it mean to be an encourager?"

So far we've learned that to be an encourager, we need to:

1. Build Each Other Up

2. Honor/Respect Spiritual Leaders

And that leads us to today's verse. 

The beginning of it elaborates a bit more on Respecting spiritual leaders.  People who do God's work should be loved whole heartedly and shown great respect. It isn't an easy job or calling, but we are all so indebted to people who have answered that call, done what God told them, and helped lead us to our salvation (and also help us with our Christian lives there after).

Our third point on our checklist on how to encourage others is:  Live Peacefully with Each Other.

If you think about it, it's not easy to live in peace with people... even people you love. They do things that drive you crazy at times.  There are things you wish they would stop doing and sometimes you lose your cool (or is that just me....).

To encourage others is to live peacefully with them.  Well, how can you do that?

1. Don't start quarrels over things that don't really matter.
Ever fight with someone over what TV show to watch... or something silly like that?  Lots of times big, life changing arguements begin with a single nuisance.  We've talked before about how sometimes little annoying qualities can lead to hate if not dealt with... well, sometimes it's not the OTHER PERSON that needs to be changed (that leaves US).  If you really want to encourage someone, don't harm them by starting fights over little things that won't matter in a few years anyway.

2. Don't be selfish.
The laptop computer is mine.

That's just all there is to it.

When my husband gets on it, I get irritated.  I'm going to admit it. It drives me nuts.  When I'm irritated and wanting it back, I'm not encouraging him.  He doesn't get on much, and when he does, he doesn't stay long, but still.  Those little things can cause us to not live peacefully together.

3. Take the High Road... but don't brag about it.
Have you ever been in a 'fight', stopped fighting because you want to be the bigger person, but then tell people you stopped to be the bigger person?  Yeah, that doesn't go over well with the other person.  If you are in a disagreement with someone, it is best to not keep it going.  You need to encourage everyone, even people you don't like.  Don't give anyone a reason to be upset with you.  Pray about it and move on. 

4.  Realize that not one is as "perfect" as you are... and move on.
Ok, so we know that only Jesus was ever perfect, but WE think we are more perfect than others at times.  We think we know all the laws, sins, rules, etc to live a near perfect life.  But we have to realize that no one can live up to 'OUR OWN" idea of 'perfect'. Once we realize that, we will understand that it's not good to harp on it.  To encourage someone, we have to accept their weakness... and build up their strengths.

Tomorrow we will be talking about verse 5:14.  I'm praying that this series is helping you in some way.  It really is me.

God Bless You :)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

day 125: Encourager Checklist (II)

1 Thessalonians 5:12
Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.


If you missed yesterday's post , I'm going to post a 16 day little series on "What is an Encourager?".  I found this passage bookmarked in my Bible.  I had forgotten all about it, but since this blog is called 'ENCOURAGE 365", I thought maybe we should know what all that meant.

Yesterday's post was Checklist Item #1: Building Each Other Up.

Today we are talking about another way to encourage others.  This time, it is encouraging our spiritual leaders. 

I don't really consider myself a spiritual leader.  I do teach Sunday School and some would consider that some sort of 'spiritual leader' role.  In my class, I get discouraged if the class doesn't answer questions (a rare occassion here lately-- thank the Lord-- truly!), or if we don't have a big number stay, or if I feel *I* am not doing the best job with the lesson. 

There are times when people come up and say the enjoyed the lesson or they got a lot out of it, and it means a whole lot to me.  NOT because *I* want any praise for the lesson (Goodness knows I could NOT do it without God's guidance), but because *I* want to know that I'm doing well... and that others are getting things out of it.

The first person that came to mind when I read 'spirital leader' is the preacher.  Preachers pretty much have a thankless job if you think about it.  You hear all the congragations problems-- issues-- bickering-- preach a sermon and hope it hits home-- -and SOMETIMES you have to do the UNENVIABLE task of preaching what the Lord gives you-- when you KNOW the congration might not be too thrilled about it.  That takes guts. 

I don't believe this verse is talking about the kind of 'honor' where you give metals, plaques, or dinners.  I believe this 'honor' is to respect them.  To know that they have your best interests at heart-- but are human just like you. 

So, what are some ways we can encourage our Leaders in the Lord's Work?

We can look for ways to cooperate. Nothing can bring someone down quicker than if they can't get people to cooperate with them. It can make them feel like they aren't doing a good job because they can't get people motivated in which case it makes them question if they should even be doing it in the first place.

We don't want that!  We never want to discourage anyone-- especially when it comes to serving God.  Even if you don't totally agree with whatever the leader wants of you (as long as it's legal lol), see that God had laid it on their heart and in the end, it will be OK.

Look for ways to help.

* Pray for them.  I truly believe that prayer is one of the most powerful things you can do for a person.  And the kicker is, you can do it really without them knowing it is going on-- but you can see the fruits of your prayers in their lives. I really like helping others when they don't know it's you. 

*Simply say "Thank You".  How can people know they are doing a good job, if we don't tell them.  I know people who don't like being told they did good when they are doing something for God because they want God to have the glory-- and I get that.  But I believe that sometimes people can get discouraged if they don't get feedback every once in a while.  Tell them how much they mean to you and how their ministry has affected your life. 

We know that everyone needs encouraging at one time or another.  We have learned so far that to encourage we need to: BUILD PEOPLE UP, and RESPECT OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS.  Tomorrow, we will hit the next verse 5:13.

God Bless You,


(Make time to encourage someone today. It could mean the difference between a good day and a bad day for them.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

day 124: What does it mean to be an encourager? (I)

1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.


I, honestly, didn't know until 2-3 days ago that encouraging people was a spiritual gift.  This blog is called, "Encourage 365" because I had it really deeply planted in my heart to encourage people every day.  Now--- I'm not sure if this is really meeting that.  I'm not sure if some of these posts are encouraging, but I do believe that I've written what God wanted. 

I found a checklist in my Bible of what is an encourager tonight when I was praying about what to write about.  Actually, I had this page dog-earred, but I had forgotten I had done it.

There are 16 points to being an encourager that are listed in the verses 1 Thessalonians 5:11-23. I'm going to talk about one verse a day for the next 13 day.  Over the next two weeks, we should know lots more about being an encourager.  I'm praying that this series helps you and me both.

Day 1:  Verse 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

The first part of this verse is about encouraging each other.  If people aren't encouraged, they get disgruntled or upset.  They think that what they are doing (whether a job, a project, or something for God) isn't doing enough.... or anything really.  They start getting down on themselves.  They could even want to give up.

We do NOT want that! 

Everyone needs an encouraging word from  ime to time.  Everyone needs to be told they are doing well... that they are following God.... or even that their hair looks nice (kinda different there, but the best way to raise a person's mood is to compliment them on something).

At school, I'm big on "Good job!"  "Way to go!"  and the kids favorite-- the "YOU USED THE POTTY IN THE POTTY!" dance.  (Yeap...)

The kids love it.

I dare say as we get older, we like the "Good job!" thing too.  However, when we get older, it is fewer and far between.

When you see someone working for God (and I'm not just talking about this blog lol... I'm not hinting for comments...), comment on it.  Tell them you see what they are doing and that you appreciate it.  We are human.  We need encouragement, or we get down on ourselves.

Our first point to remember for being an encourager is: Build Each Other up.

We should point out to others a quality or trait they have that you admire/appreciate/ or thank them for.  It would be nice if it was something internal (like their kindness or their ability to listen).

Encouraging words help so much, especially when you are running a figurative long race.  Your tired.  You want to quit.  But encouraging words from a friend (or maybe someone you don't even know) lifts you up and helps you keep going.

Tomorrow, we will talk about verse 5:12.  There is so much to learn about encouraging others in these verses. I can't wait to learn/write about them.

God Bless You,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

day 123: The Importance of a Pinky Toe

1 Corinthains 12:17
If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything


Ok, I'm hoping that you either know what I'm writing about today or you are thinking I've completely lost my mind lol. 

If you don't know what today's verse is talking about, it is on spiritual gifts-- and more specifically it's on how not everyone can have the same gift.

We are human, and if we are being really true and honest, we know that sometimes we think that one person's gift is better than ours-- OR we think there is one gift we'd give our right eye for because it seems "more important" (to us).

However, we know deep in our heart, that isn't the case.

If everyone had the gift of prophesy/ministry, who would fill the pews for the millions of preachers?

If everyone spoke in tongues, who would intrepret?

If everyone could intrepret, who would speak in tongues for them to do so?

If everyone had the gift of teaching, who would they teach?

If every body only was a foot-- we would all look pretty silly.  Little feet, hopping around, no guidance, no stomach, no eyes--- just plopping around merrily until we keeled over (and couldn't get up because we'd have no hands---)

If every body just had a head-- we would all be rolling around everywhere.  Knocking our noggins around on rocks.  It wouldn't be pretty.

A pinky toe might not be thought of as 'important'-- but if something happens and you have to get it cut off, you see how important it was.

A church, as a human body, is made up of different parts, doing different things, to reach a common function.

You might "just" be the pinky toe, but remember, the whole church's balance if off if you aren't there.

God bless you :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

day 122: Who is Your Darth Vader?

1 Corinthians 13:6
It (love) does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.


I was thinking about this tonight, and apparently I have more to say about it.  See, if you have ever watched any of the Star Wars movies (totally showing my geekness right now), you know that Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) was probably one of the most evil movie villians of all time.  Really... ok, sure he had a 'heart' and in the third movie he "only" killed those people and all of those little kids to avenge his mother and save the woman he loved.

But still...

Anakin was pretty evil.

He was so consumed with hate that the fire literally (and figuratively) overtook him.

Before he totally he had gone totally to the 'Dark Side', he had a wife and she had gotten pregnant with twins-- who would become the future Luke Skywalker and Leia.

Now, we, the audience, knew that Darth/Anakin was a pretty bad dude. 

And Luke knew it too, I mean, he cut off his hand for goodness sake.  BUT, Luke still had a soft spot for him.  He still had the need, the want to save him.

He never gave up on him, even though Darth was his biggest enemy.  And in the end, because he didn't give up, Darth was saved.

NOW, yes, I realized that I've rambled on about Star Wars on a Devotional Blog.  Hear me out.  My intention is not to compare Luke to Jesus.  My point is to compare Luke to us... average, every day Joes just minding our own business until one day something extraordinary happens.

Luke could have given up on the person he hated the most.

It would have been so easy and no one would have been upset.

If we were more like Luke, if we treated our enemies like that, the world would be a better place.

Jesus had every right to give up on us.  Think he doesn't know your sin? He does.  He felt every one of them on the cross.  Every.  Last.  One.  From everyone in the entire world.  He knows.  We, our sins, hurt him.  People hurt us.  But we are supposed to strive to be more like Jesus... no, we will NEVER reach his perfection.  But we should try. 

God Bless You :)


**Today, I'm guest posting at Singing Pilgrim Dancing,  Please head on over and read about Psalm 19. :)

**Linking with:

@ My Daily Walk in his Grace

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

day 121:When You Need a Kick in the Pants...

Hebrews 10:24
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.


Sometimes..... we aren't motiviated.

We don't wanna read our Bible.

We don't wanna spend time with God.

We don't wanna go to church.

We. Don't. Wanna.

We need motivation.

Personally, I need a lot of motivation to keep going.  My motivation for this blog was my promise to God that I would do what He told me and write 365 daily devotionals.  Even on days when I didn't really have the words, God did and I'm on day 121.

I had to have motivation to finish the Bible in 90 days program.  My sister who did it with me was a great motivation along with the weekly signing in for accountability.

This February, I was riding my exercise bike 5 miles a day and keeping tabs of it on one of the mommy boards I frequent.  I was doing well--- then I stopped writing it down. And I stopped doing it.  I don't think I've ridden my bike since June because I have lost that accountability.

The point is, we NEED motivation to finish any task.  We need to be held accountable for doing things for God.  For acts of love, and for good works.

Sometimes it's easier to sit back and think, "No one will ever know if I don't donate food to the Help Center this month."

Well, God knows.

Find someone in your life that you can be accountability buddies with.  Someone to motivate you--- and you inturn motivate them to show acts of love and do good works.  If you don't have anyone, email me (ohthatmomagain [at] yahoo [dot] com) and I'd be glad to be your accountability partner.  I need some as well (thought my sister does a pretty good job lol).

The verse says for us to ".... think of ways to motivate one another"

What ways can you think of?

Off the top of my head I can think:
*Comment on blog posts you like

*Send a friend encouraging Bible verses a few times a day.

*Buddy up for church functions.

*Be a listening ear when someone needs to talk.

*Encourage people to not give up.

*Be someone's accountability partner.  I need to lose weight and I've had a few people offer to be my accountability buddy.  This could work for Godly work too.

What other ways can you think to motivate one another?  We all need it at times?  Do you do something in your life (or wish you could do) that you really like?   Please share any ideas you can think of.  I'm really interested in this :)

God Bless You.


linked with: On Your Heart Tuesday

Monday, October 17, 2011

day 120: Reading Your Bible

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost throughts and desires.

Think about it-- the Bible was written 2000 + years ago. 

That is a long time--- however, we can read it today and still get things from it.  And it doesn't matter how many times you read it, you always get something different from it. 

That is what it means that "the word of God is alive and powerful."  It is alive because it touches the person reading it in different ways.  Your personal relationship with God's word is your own and you can only get it through reading the Bible daily.  There are things in the Bible that no one can tell you because you have to read them for yourself to get what 'you' need out of it.

An interesting thing is when reading the Bible convicts you.  There are times when you are reading and you have to wonder how someone living 2000 years ago understand EXACTLY what you are going through NOW-- and how he knows your heart.  It's funny how convicting it can be to read the Bible-- and it isn't always the same verse that does it.

If you don't read your Bible daily (and I didn't used to either), you should.  You get something new out of it every time  you read it.  You learn new truths.  Find out things you didn't realize before. And yes, have things slap you in the face. 

It truly does expose your innermost thoughts and desires (some good-- some not so good).

I encourage you to set aside some time daily to read your Bible.  See what new things God wants to show you :)

God Bless You :)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

day 119: Sing... Sing a Psalm

Colossians 3:16
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.  Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.  Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.


As I mentioned yesterday, Megan from Baby Steps Through the Bible posted a guest post by me about singing psalms.  Of course, the book Psalms are just basically songs, and a few days ago, I got to wondering how each song originally sounded.

Now, I know that I will never be able to sing them like they were originally intended (in this life anyway), but that's not the point.

Have you ever forgotten the ABCs?  How do you remember them?  Personallly, I have to sing the ABC song.

What about songs you hear alot?  Do you know the words?  Are they deep in your heart/mind?

I teach special education pre-k and I have this little flip chart that I have been using for about 5 years.  Each letter has a song that goes with it set to a familiar tune.

Like C is sung to the song "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
Can you bake a cake?
Can you cook a T-bone steak?
Can you make chocolate malted?
Can you make an ice cream shake?
Can you boil a cup of water?
Clean the dishes like you otta?
Can you bake a cake?

Ok.... before you think I've lost my mind, there is a point.  The point is I remember those words because I sing them-- a lot.  I could, right now, sing every one of those songs and they are at school and I'm at home.  They have branded themselves in my head.

People tend to remember more when they sing things.  That's why lots of kids shows have songs on them, because we, as people, learn better that way.

The same for the Psalms.  We might not memorize them by singing, BUT the words, the feeling, the tone, the emotions, we can.  I like to look at each one, try to figure out the tone, the circumstances of it being written, was it happy or sad... and sing it.

I think that singing is a wonderful way to go through Psalm.  You sure can feel it in your heart as you go through the psalms.  And before you know it-- you are praising God.  Can't get better than that :)

God Bless You :)


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest Posting today..

I don't  normally disrupt the 'flow' of the days on here, but I wanted to let you guys know that I'm guest posting today over at Baby Steps Through the Bible.  I appreciate Megan so much for asking me to write something for her.  The post is about a 'different' way to go through Psalms. I'd love for you to click, read, and let me know what you think. 

Have you ever gone through Psalms like that?  If so, how did it go for you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

God Bless You,


day 118: When Jesus Got Angry

John 11:38
Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.


Ok, if you don't know where this story is coming from, it's the story of Lazarus.  Jesus had gotten word that his friend, Lazarus, was very sick.  He loved him very much, but didn't rush to heal him.  Once he got there, Lazarus had died, and his sisters were in anguish.  Lazarus' sister, Mary, was crying, saying how she knew her brother wouldn't have died if Jesus was there sooner.

Her words and her weeping (as well as others) filled his heart with deep anger.

He was still angry when they got to the tomb.

We know the rest of the story.

The stone was rolled away.  Jesus commanded, "Lazarus, come forth." and he did.

You might be asking what in the world the post today is about-- well, it's about anger.  Apparently, anger is one of my most favorite topics... or maybe God just thinks I need to learn a thing or 2 about it. 

Anywho, from today's verse, we can learn a few things about how to deal with anger.

1. Yes, Jesus was angry, but he didn't let his anger get the best of him.  Jesus didn't get his feelings hurt and stop off.  He didn't say, "You don't believe in me?  Fine.  I'll take my powers and go home!"  No, Jesus-- angry though he was-- stayed to help his friends.

2. Jesus didn't yell or shout.  He could have gotten so angry that he yelled at the mourning friends.  Sometimes when people doubt you, you tend to get offensive.  Even though, Jesus was angry, he didn't let his words suffer.

3. Jesus didn't dwell on the anger.  He still had the anger in him when they got to the tomb, but after Lazarus rose, Jesus didn't say, "See!  I told you so!!" He was happy and content that his friend was alive. 

I don't know about you, but I find it comforting that Jesus got angry.  It is a very human emotion.  We can't let it get the best of us, but we can focus on what Jesus did when he was angry in this example and try to live like he showed us to live.  To handle anger like he did.

When we get mad, give it to Jesus-- he understands.  Its not the anger that is wrong-- it is how we react to the anger that can lead to trouble.

God Bless You :)


Friday, October 14, 2011

day 117: Before You Were Born

Jeremiah 1:4-5
The Lord gave me this message:
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."


I like the book of Jeremiah.  Bless Him.  He had a hard time. 

If you haven't read it, you should.  Jeremiah thought he was too young to tell anyone about God, but God told him he was going to do it anyway-- and that He would help him. 

In today's verse, God told Jeremiah that He knew him before He (God) formed him in his mother's womb.

Do you think of your kids (or yourself) like that?

God knew us all before we were even born.  He formed us, put us there for a reason.  A purpose. 

I don't get all political much, but sometimes I think about those poor babies who are aborted.  Can you imagine which one could have cured cancer, been the next big missionary, brought people to God, cracked intricate medical codes and maybe even helped millions of people?

God gave us all a purpose.  He put us in our Mama's belly for some reason.  He knew us all when He put us there.  If you are a mother,  you are entrusted with a person that God touched before you even could. If you aren't a parent, think of yourself-- God touched you, made you exactly who you are for a reason.  He touched you before your parents ever could.

That is a big responsibility if you think about it--- I actually never thought of it before now.

It is probably a good idea if someone is driving you batty to think, "God made them for a reason... I don't know what that reason is (surely its not to nag  me to death), but He knows... and that's what matters."

Trying to be delicate here, but when I think of when my kids were, um... made.  I think back to the circumstances.  We tried for my oldest-- our youngest was not trying, not preventing-- and our middle daughter was because I thought my husband was really cute right at that minute. (yeap).  But God sure knew what He was doing each time.  He touched these babies before they were even gleams in our eyes. 

And we are the same way.  You are the same way. 

You are special to God.

He loved you enough... thought enough of you to take the time to put you in your Mama's belly.  That is an awesome thought.

He also uses medical science to place babies and adoption to place babies.   Scientists think they have it figured out, but they are only using the wisdom and knowledge that God gave them

If you are ever feeling down or not important, think that if the creator of the entire world took time to make you, then you must be very special :)

God Bless You :)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

day 116: Faith and Works

James 2:14
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith, but don't show it by your actions?  Can that kind of faith save anyone?
The entire chapter is actually a very important thing to read, and if you haven't read it in a while, you should.
This isn't saying that good works get you to heaven, but its saying that if you have faith and don't do good works, that here on earth it won't do others any good.

If you have faith in Jesus--- trust him as your savior-- and just sit in the pew every Sunday. You have faith.  *you* will go to Heaven.  But what about Bob down the street who doesn't go to church and isn't touched by anyone's good works?

I'm talking to me as much as anyone.

I'm an avid sit filler.

However, I keep finding scriptures that keep pointing me to something more.  More what... I'm not entirely sure, but definitely 'more'.

If you keep reading in that chapter, it says that even the demons know who Jesus is-- but their actions don't honor him--- not by a long shot.  I'm not comparing us to demons, but there is a difference in knowing God and serving God.

I wrote about it once before (not on this blog though I don't think).

Faith is essential in Christian life.  Actions are outward expressions of how we show our faith.

How are you showing your faith?  What ideas do you have for someone to show their faith to others?

God Bless You, Friends :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

day 115: What is a man's reward?

Eccelesiastes 9:9

Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun.  The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toll.


I'm going to admit that sometimes-- I don't feel like a reward lol.  I'm also sure that *sometimes* maybe my husband feels the same way (not that he would say it).

Even in Solomon's darkest last days-- when he was old and down and depressed looking back on life-- still one of the things he knew was good was the wife God gives you.

I like the thought of being the wife God gave my husband. I know it was true because I liked him for a year before he even looked at me 'that way'. And it was at a church event where I had sworn I was never going back there again because I felt kinda stupid going there 'for' him when he didn't even think of me 'like that' (yes, I'm telling you more than you need to know lol).

Then he said it was like a brick hit him in the head and *insert angel music* he looked over to me-- and the rest is history.  We dated 3 weeks-- got married 2 months later... Yeap.  that was 8 years ago and I'm NOT saying that's always been easy.  It's not.  But we know that, in the end for better or for worse, we were meant to be together.  We are the people God had in mind for each other.

We need to live happily with our husband (or wife). Sometimes it's definitely not easy (and sometimes marriages end.  That's life).  But while we can, we need to find some way, some thing, some idea to make a happy marriage. 

We, wifes, need to see ourselves as a reward to our husband.  We need to act like a reward-- not a burden.  A trophy wife (in a good way lol).

I told my husband that I was his reward-- his trophy and he grinned. He said I was--- bless him.

Have a great day!  Tell someone about God and find something to be excited about.  It's the only Wed. Oct 12, 2011 we will ever have :)  Lets make it a good one.
God bless you,


Linked with:  Encouraging Words Wednesday And

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

day 114: Plans and Steps

Proverbs 16:9
We can make plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.


We all have plans.  I've talked a lot about plans on here (and the other blog).  Some plans we have are big-- some are small... and some are just... well... we don't see  them ever happening (I have some of those too lol).

The Lord is the one who determines if our plans turn out the way we think they will.  And like the verse in Isaiah, His thoughts are much more than our thoughts-- and His ways much more than ours.  When we don't think it will happen, God has other plans.

So, what am I trying to say?

God puts desires in our heart and sometimes the desires don't turn out the way *we* think they will.  But the desires get us to where we need to be. 

And sometimes when we think we are going the way we going OURSELVES, we need to remember that it's God that is guiding our steps.  Even when we don't think He's in control-- He is. 

God Bless You!


Monday, October 10, 2011

day 113: Seeds

Isaiah 55:10-12
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

I think that is pretty powerful stuff right there.

God sends His word and it will accomplish what *HE* wants it too-- and it will prosper everywhere He sends it.

Sometimes we don't know what or why we do the things we do-- especially when we don't see 'fruit' right away, but God does.  Thankfully, He sees every seed planted.  Every thought... every grain implanted in someone's heart.

We might not see the 'fruit' of what we are doing for God, but He does.

It will never fall on deaf ears, and it will never come back void.

A seed has to be planted before anything can grow.  Same for people turning to God.  People aren't born saved.  They aren't born automatically living for God.  But through people planting seeds (ie parents taking their kids to church, Christian friends, a church outreach, etc) God's fruit begins to grow in that person and they begin either knowing Him or wanting to know Him. 

All you can do is plant the seed and water it.  God does the rest.

God Bless You!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

day 112: History Books

Judges 3:31
After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel.  He once killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.


In the book of Judges, there were 12 Judges who saved Israel at different times in history.  Some of the more well known were Gideon and Samson (and Ehud to me... but just because he was the 'star' of one of our Sunday School lessons earlier in the year).  Deborah was one.  Othniel.  Tola.  Jair.  Jephthah (if you have never read about him, you totally should!), Ibzan. Elon.  Abdon-- and of course Shamgar.

Some of these judges had chapters devoted to them.  Samson had 3.

Some, like Shamgar--- had one verse.


What do we know about Shamgar?

Well, we know that Anath was his Daddy.  We know that he killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. 

And that's it.

We don't know if he had any kids.  Any livestock.  If he was a good judge or a bad judge.  If he questioned God.  If he followed Him whole heartedly.  We don't even know how long he was a judge.  Shamgar is the only judge who's years aren't recorded.

So, what is the point to this?

The point is that eventhough we don't know much about Shamgar-- he still changed the world.  He was still a judge appointed by God to help Israel. 

Shamgar's actions might not have been as 'mighty' as Gideon's or Samson's, but they were actions for God.

Whatever you do for God might not be the biggest-- and your calling might not be (to you) huge-- but its 'YOUR' calling.  It's what God had in mind for you before you were even born.  Not everyone can have 500 blog followers-- and not everyone can have 2.  It's the balance that God wants.  It's doing what He wants you to do and doing it with all your might to serve Him.

I haven't done that completely-- I know I haven't-- but I'm trying.  I'm working on it.  And I'm getting a second wind.

God made you for a reason, and everyone's reason is different.  You may not be the biggest or the grandest-- but its yours and it's special for you from God.

God Bless You :)


Saturday, October 8, 2011


Proverbs 15:15
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.


There are some people who (seem) to react to live like one day is as bad (or worse) than the one before.  They are beaten down before they ever started.  Defeated before their feet even touch the floor.

They are troubled from the moment their eyes open until they close.

They aren't happy people.

There are times when we have had those days.

I've had those days.

But we have to break the 'funk' or we lose months, years, a lifetime to those despondent emotions.

To a 'happy' heart, every day is a feast, an adventure, a grand present from God with new and wonderful possibilities.

Wouldn't it be awesome if we woke up in the mornings with the same excitment as we have on Christmas morning (yes, I know you all are just as excited as kids on Christmas morning ;) ).  On Christmas morning, the anticipation takes hold.  You can feel the excitement in your veins.  You can't wait to see what the day has in store.

Do you have that same feeling on oh say October 8th?  I day say that unless Octover 8th is your birthday (or your kid's birthday, or your anniversary) you don't have that same happiness in your heart as you do Christmas (or any day you are excited to see what the day brings).

To God, every day is like Christmas.  He gives us presents every day-- whether we appreciate it or not.  You parents know how it is. You buy your kid the best present ever (or so you think) and they either 1. only play with the box or 2. complain that it's the "wrong one".  Are we acting the same way to God?

Lets wake up tomorrow like it is Christmas morning!  Lets have that same excitment in our hearts as we feel when we are opening presents.  Because, as the old saying goes, Yesterday is the past.  Tomorrow is the Future.  But today is a Present from God.

God Bless You :)