Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TOOLS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his
face always. Remember the wonders he has
done, his miracles, and the judgments he
pronounced." -- (1 Chronicles 16:11-12)

Many years ago, I heard a sermon on the importance of keeping a record of what God has done in our lives.  The account of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-37) was used as an illustration.  David, remembering how God gave him the strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear that had snatched a lamb from his father's flock, was able to boldly proclaim, The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:37)

Inspired by this message, I gathered all my bits and pieces of paper with scribbled notes of things the Lord had done, organized them by topic, and copied them into a tabbed notebook, along with some relevant Scripture verses and choruses.  So, for instance, I put all descriptions and dates of times the Lord rescued me from very close calls or intervened to turn a negative situation around for good under the God's Grace tab; financial breakthroughs under Jehovan Jireh, My Provider; miracles of healing under Jehovah Rapha, My Healer; and so on.  I even have a Lessons Learned tab where I've recorded times I missed out on God's very best for me because I let pride or fear keep me from making the right choice. 

On the cover I have pasted the Awesome God chorus, and added the title, Memories to Ponder on Difficult Days.

I must say, no matter how deep into the doldrums I might be, I can't stay there long if I start leafing through this notebook so full of instances of God's faithfulness, and the unexpected ways He has come through for me when I was facing issues that seemed insurmountable at the time.  It is also a great reminder of His unconditional love, and how much better His timing is than mine. 


Shortly after that, I started another tabbed notebook, a little fat one entitled, "It Is Written," each section dealing with an issue I struggle with in my personal life--Anger, Fear, Health, Discouragement, Spiritual Warfare, Who I am in the Lord, and so on--and every time I find a verse that speaks to my heart, I copy it into the appropriate section.  This little reference book has come to my rescue on more than one occasion when I was trying to think of a particular Scripture or where to find it, but my mind drew a blank.

Eventually I turned it into a published book, by the same name, which is available as a paperback, and also in Kindle or Nook versions (see the sidebar of this blog if you are interested in purchasing a copy).  If you are reading this post though, and would like a free PDF you can download to your computer,  leave me a comment with your e-mail address, and I'll be happy to send it to you--no strings attached.   Or, you could even start one of your own.

 I've also taken to marking up my Bible by underlining verses that have special meaning to me, sometimes putting little hearts next to them, and whenever a promise is actually manifested in my life, I put a little TP (Tested and Proven) next to it, along with the date.  This helps keep me from wavering or being influenced by someone else's thoughts when I hear them say these promises are not for today.  I can tell them they've arrived too late with their message, because I've already seen them manifest in my life, and that is evidence that cannot be disputed or denied.

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