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Maybe this title caught your eye and grabbed your attention because you are going through a rough time right now in your faith. Maybe you haven’t been feeling very close to God recently. Maybe you feel like no one cares, even in your church. Maybe you feel as if people are ignoring you and your needs – you’re not alone!

Maybe you think you are the only one struggling with your faith right now; but you’re not! A lot of Christians are discouraged right now. 

Maybe it's problems in your home, your marriage, your family, your job, your finances, your health, or a thousand other areas may have you down – but you are not alone!

Sure, it’s easy to go to church, sing and worship, and hear a nice sermon, but it seems as if something down deep inside isn’t getting right. It feels like God is so far away and has become silent in your life – but you’re not alone!

Maybe you are having these nagging doubts – doubts about God, the Bible, prayer, and just the whole Christian walk. Maybe you’re questioning a lot of things you’ve always believed – believe it it not, you’re not alone!

You wonder why it seems that the wicked prosper, that evil advances, and good and the right is being shredded before your very eyes – you’re not alone!

You want to believe there’s still hope – hope that things will get better, hope that what you’re going through is normal, but you really wonder if this is just all an endless spiral of despair and depression – you’re certainly not alone!

DISCOURAGEMENT – ‘One of Satan’s Most Effective Tools Against the Believer’

We ALL face discouragement from time to time. 

Discouragement means: “to be deprived of confidence; a feeling of hopelessness; a defeated spirit; to be disheartened.” 


The apostle Peter, who seems to focus so much on suffering Christians in his epistles, writes to assure us that this issue is not any different for any other believer…

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, AS THOUGH SOME STRANGE THING HAPPENED UNTO YOU

No, this is not some “strange thing” for you to feel the way you are feeling. It’s a natural part of the struggle in this life – it’s a battle and it’s not out of the ordinary – you’re not alone! Let’s look at what the apostle Paul says about this and the hope that he reminds us of…

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Yes, this is a "common" thing, but there really is a way to win in this struggle...


1. This is not an uncommon problem – everyone goes through times of temptation to be discouraged. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Look around and you will find a lot of other believers going through hard times as well.

2. God is faithful! We may not be consistent, but HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL! So, if you are facing doubt and discouragement and feel like giving up, stop looking to yourself and look to Him! Forget trying to “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” and look to His faithfulness! 

Stop looking inward or outward - and start looking UPWARD!

3. Realize God knows your limitations and won’t let you get past the breaking point! God has put a leash on the devil – and he can’t get any further than God permits! He knows how far is too far, and He won't allow you to pass the breaking point.

4. Look for the exit door! When the heat gets too much, there will be an emergency exit route for you to escape to! God will always have the antidote to the poison! 

It’s never over! God PROMISES this! He is faithful to do this! You will get through this…GOD WILL MAKE A WAY!

But notice what it says, “…that ye may be able to bear it…”. 

Don’t mistakenly think it is always going to be easy! Sometimes it just takes some “grin and bear it” attitude and you will find that you are going to get through it just fine!




It is so hard to believe that we are in the final days of 2017!  In just a few days we will honor the first Thanksgiving in America and, as is the tradition, we will be challenged to reflect upon the things for which we are most thankful from a personal perspective.  May we all take this opportunity to thank the Lord for the wonderful things He has done in us and through us this year.  I would ask that you go even beyond thanking Him for what He has done and think about all the things that have NOT been part of this year and be thankful.

Please allow me to explain further.  This year has brought unique medical issues to our family.  In March, our oldest son had emergency surgery to stop some significant internal bleeding which took numerous tests to identify.  In April, my husband, John (Andy), and I were flower shopping when he slipped and fell and totally ruptured the quadricep tendon in each leg rendering him temporarily unable to walk and needing an eight week stay in a rehabilitation facility after emergency surgery.  In May, our other son was attacked by a pit pull while cutting grass. 

During the early hours of the morning in March at the hospital with my oldest son after several diseases, which the doctors were certain were the culprit of his blood loss, were ruled out, I was praising the Lord for His goodness.  As I was thanking the Lord, I realized how frail my son appeared and how weary I was after several days without sleep, but yet my spirit began to rise up in that praise of the Lord and I found myself naming all the diseases and things the enemy had tried to tell us about our son that were proven false!  My prayer of thankfulness became a fervent prayer of worship and honor for the things that were not!

As we sat in the rehabilitation facility just a few weeks later faced with the difficult and long recovery period for my husband, I remembered that night in the hospital with my son and began thanking the Lord for protecting my husband’s bones and his skull during his tumble.  He could have easily broken bones or had a head injury – but he didn’t!

And again, as I sat with my youngest son in the hospital in May as they tended to his wound and administered intravenous antibiotics for the spreading infection, I offered thanks and praise to the Lord that while our son had been attacked by this large, strong dog, he had not been mauled and would recover without surgery or significant scarring.

I don’t share these things for sympathy at our plight this year.  I share them because God has been so very good to us and we have been richly blessed!  Yes, we have had some difficult times this year and we will gladly say goodbye to 2017 as we usher in 2018.  However, I never want to lose sight of the wonderful lesson God imparted to me during this year.  I encourage you to not focus on the difficulties of your life – there will always be plenty – but, instead, turn your focus to the situations where God has protected and saved you from much worse.  We each have stories to tell of the challenges we have faced individually and collectively as families, but I encourage you to also spread the good news of what the Almighty God has done to protect you and how He goes before you to pave the way because He loves you.  Yes, the Creator of all things, the Great I AM loves you!

I pray that this Thanksgiving season will bring much happiness to you and your family and I pray that you, too, can rejoice in the things that were not this year.  May you always know that no matter what you face, you never face it alone and are not required to endure by yourself.   John and I are praying you have a Thanksgiving season full of blessings and renewed commitment to the Lord such as you have never experienced before.  




THE LITTLE THINGS by Carol G. Heizer

Opportunities to help others in the big, outstanding ways do not often come our way, but we can make a difference in the lives of other people when we focus on the small acts of kindness we can do for them.  I decided to put that attitude into practice and began looking for the little things I could do for the people who crossed my path each day.  I realized that such acts of kindness are not bound to any particular age group.  Whether we are young children, teens, young adults, or senior citizens - all of us have those around us who ccould use a special act of kindness.

Almost immediately, I began to see the difference it made not only in the lives of others, but also in my own life as I focused more on others and less on myself.  The poem that follows is the result of those thoughts.


The Little Things

I baked muffins for the young man who cut a portion

of my yard and would not take any money.

He said how good they tasted.


I went to the grocery store for an older neightbor couple

during a snowstorm when they were afraid to drive.

They were grateful for the food.


I took a special pastry to the gentleman in the neighborhood

on his 90th birthday when he was not expecting it.

He smiled and said he liked sweets.


I prepared lunch for the carpet-layers as they worked in the heat

and had forgotten to bring lunch with them.

They ate like hungry children.


I took drinks to the trash men on a hot afternoon in summer heat

when they looked so exhausted from the humidity.

They drank it like men never having water.


I took home-made chicken noodle soup, crackers, and cheese

to a lady in an auto accident, temporarily confined to a wheelchair.

She liked the taste of something she had not prepared.


I sent a special card to a lady in the neighborhood

who was facing her husband's first birthday after his passing.

She thanked me for being sensitive.


I had a "thank you" lunch for the ladies who had helped with food

after my knee surgery and the following convalescence.

They had a good time of fellowship.


I baked brownies for the plumbers I always called with problems

when they did not charge me for a service call.

They appreciated the recognition.


I spent the afternoon with a friend who had lost a close family member

when she had no one else with whom to share her hurts.

She felt the freedom to cry and felt better.


I sent a special card to a lady whom I had known for years

when she faced the first Christmas without her husband.

She knew that I truly understood her situation.


I stoped and thanked the custodian at the busy local hospital

when he was mopping the dirty footprints from the hall.

He stood up straighter and seemed so pleased.


I prepared a meal for a friend who works many long, hard hours

when she came home weary from being on her feet.

We enjoyed the meal together and talked.


I thanked the check-out lady at the grocery store cash register

when she totaled my bill and gave me change.

She was pleased that someone appreciated her.


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