Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In Praise of God's Goodness

photo from

Selections from Psalm 107
Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good;
    his love is eternal!”
Some wandered in the trackless desert
    and could not find their way to a city to live in.
They were hungry and thirsty
    and had given up all hope.
Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He led them by a straight road
    to a city where they could live.
They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
    for the wonderful things he did for them.
Some were living in gloom and darkness,
    prisoners suffering in chains,
because they had rebelled against the commands of Almighty God
    and had rejected his instructions.
Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of their gloom and darkness
    and broke their chains in pieces.
They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
    for the wonderful things he did for them.
Some were fools, suffering because of their sins
    and because of their evil;
they couldn't stand the sight of food
    and were close to death.
Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He healed them with his command
    and saved them from the grave.
They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
    for the wonderful things he did for them.
Some sailed over the ocean in ships,
    earning their living on the seas.
They saw what the Lord can do,
    his wonderful acts on the seas.
He commanded, and a mighty wind began to blow
    and stirred up the waves.
The ships were lifted high in the air
    and plunged down into the depths.
In such danger the sailors lost their courage;
they stumbled and staggered like drunks—
    all their skill was useless.
Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the raging storm,
    and the waves became quiet.
They were glad because of the calm,
    and he brought them safe to the port they wanted.
They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
    for the wonderful things he did for them.
They must proclaim his greatness in the assembly of the people
    and praise him before the council of the leaders.
May those who are wise think about these things;
    may they consider the Lord's constant love.

As I read this passage of Scripture, the repeated phrases, highlighted in yellow, jumped out at me. I began to think, What if I took out the reports of what the people endured, and substituted an account from my own life? What if I deleted the words relating how God cared for his people in their distress, and instead wrote how He has cared for me? 

Will you join me in this exercise, inserting your faith stories and blessings? As we wisely consider the Lord’s constant love, our faith will increase and we will gain peace, even in the midst of challenges. Seeing, plainly spelled out, just what God has done for us in the past, gives us hope and renewed faith for the present and future.

Be encouraged!

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Little Things Mean a Lot

“Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones.” Luke 16:10

Lots of old adages reaffirm what Jesus says in Luke 16:10. Just consider the following words of wisdom recorded through the years:

In the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
--Khalil Gibran

If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
--William H. McRaven

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
--John Wooden

Jesus knew that how we treat the little things in life reflects how we will tend to the big things. Do we apply our best effort even to small tasks or do we figure It’s just a little thing—no one will notice anyway? Are we always honest or do we rationalize by telling ourselves It’s only a little white lie? Do we watch how much we spend on sodas and coffees and sweets or do we discount these purchases with It’s only a dollar? Being honest, it is easy to minimize the negative effects of what, to us, seem to be insignificant actions or attitudes.

We also tend to minimize the positive. We wonder how the one bag of canned goods we donate to the food bank can really help feed a hungry family. We question whether anyone even notices that we don’t join in on the gossip sessions at work. We doubt that our few words will encourage our down-hearted friend.

I remember walking into a room full of strangers, feeling like a deer caught in the headlights. How very thankful I was when a man came to stand beside me. He started a casual conversation; I have no idea about what, but I distinctly remember that my discomfort immediately dispelled when he walked over. His little act of kindness meant so much to me that evening.

As the Bible and many quotes attest, the little things DO matter. Let’s give them their due by giving our best even in the small stuff!


©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Early Morning

Photo by Pam Williams
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed.”
Mark 1:35

I totally understand why Jesus got up while it was still dark to pray. Early, early morning is my favorite time of day. I love these moments of just God and me. I can hear His voice, I can see into my soul, I can understand better what changes I need to make, and I can discern more clearly the path I need to follow for the rest of the day.

Part of the reason I love the pre-dawn is the lack of distractions. No one else is up—not even the cat. It will be several hours before I need to be on my way to work or the church or to the grocery store. There are no tasks that require my immediate attention. My only obligation is to give Jesus my full attention.

Another plus is the absence of noise—no dishwasher or clothes dryer running, no texts or calls beeping to announce their arrival, no footsteps treading overhead. Even the traffic on the busy nearby highway is light at this hour. I can play quiet instrumental music as background if I want or I can enjoy total silence.

It is an atmosphere and ambiance I cannot find at any other time of the day or night. For me, it is exactly what I need to link up with God in a real and time-stopping way.

Not everyone is a morning person though. I haven’t always been an early riser. But since I began this practice, it has become a precious, spiritual lifeline for me.

We all need those intentional moments when we shut out the world around us and turn all our attention to God. I would love to hear when and how that happens for you. Can you share a bit in the comments section?


 ©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Because Someone Shared

Bill and Peggy Williams
Praise Assembly of God
Tilton, New Hamshire

“You can do this, Mom,” Kodey whispered to his mother. He didn’t understand our daughter, Erin's tears during the hymn at Good Friday’s Tenebrae service. He thought she was nervous about her upcoming reading part.

In reality, her tears were tears of deep appreciation for a man named Jack Woods, who led the singing at one of our churches during Erin’s childhood. In a phone conversation on Easter Saturday, Erin said, “Mama, as we sang that hymn, in my mind I could see Jack leading it at Morgan Run. He sang with such enthusiasm and joy. His love for the Lord was so obvious.

“Jack was there the Sunday morning I went up to the altar to ask Jesus into my heart. Certain hymns always remind me of him and of that day. You know what I mean?”

Yes, Erin, I do. A precious lifeline of people come to mind when I look back over my life and think about those who shared Jesus with me. . .

Rev. Bingamen, our pastor during my own childhood years
The adults who ministered through the Good News Club that met after school
People on the street corner in Chambersburg passing out tracts
Paul Kauffman, my husband’s co-worker during our first few years of marriage
Rev. Harry Sagar, whose quiet, constant faith spoke to all
Rev. Bill and Peggy Williams, who showed Dick and I that Jesus IS with us
The Gospel group who ministered the morning Dick and I asked Jesus into our home

This little list is in no way complete. I thank God for all those who prayed, encouraged, and taught me on my journey of faith—many of whom I am not even aware. They took seriously the words of Jesus when He said:

“Go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples:
baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28:19-20

Who shared the Good News with you? Who helped you to see your need for a Savior? Who helped you realize Jesus is alive?


©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I didn’t expect the snow yesterday. It seemed to me we had already gotten our fair share of frozen precipitation. Besides, it was March 31st! The calendar said we were officially in the season of Spring!

Yes, the snow was unexpected and unwelcome. But I have to admit, it was beautiful as it clung to tree branches and covered the ugly drab ground in a luxurious mantle. The redwing blackbirds and the cardinals were stunning against the fluffs of white that covered our apple tree like blossoms.

Isn’t that often how blessings come—unexpectedly and in the midst of ugliness? I remember Father John Tamalis and Rev. Bob Driesen coming to the hospital and praying over our son when he had to have his kidney removed. What an unexpected blessing! Two ministers from denominations outside our own took the time to come together and pray for Seth, who didn’t know either one of them. I can still see us gathered around Seth’s hospital bed, holding hands, and quietly praying for him. This unity of faith was beautiful to behold.

How has God brought beauty out of the unexpected for you?

What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9


©2015 Pamela D. Williams