Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Giving Thanks

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west,
from north and south.
4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
they nearly died.
6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
he cut apart their bars of iron.
17 Some were fools; they rebelled
and suffered for their sins.
18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
and they were knocking on death’s door.
19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
snatching them from the door of death.
21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
23 Some went off to sea in ships,
plying the trade routes of the world.
24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
stirring up the waves.
26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
28 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
30 What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
and before the leaders of the nation.
33 He changes rivers into deserts,
and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there
and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
and harvest their bumper crops.
38 How he blesses them!
They raise large families there,
and their herds of livestock increase.
39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
while the wicked are struck silent.
43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

How have we seen the faithful love of the Lord in our lives, in our “history”? Are we speaking, telling, singing, praising, exalting, offering sacrifices of thanksgiving so that not only does God receive the glory He is due, but others will hear and learn and turn to Him?

The season of Thanksgiving is a great time to start offering our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving so all those around us can know the greatness of our God!

I thank Jesus for not only taking the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross, but also for sending His Holy Spirit to draw me to Him. I pray that you know Him, too, my friend. If not, I would love to share with you how you can. Just contact me or click here.


©2016 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Take 5

We make sure we eat three meals a day. We know we should exercise 30 minutes five times a week. But do we fully comprehend we are more than flesh and blood? That we are spiritual beings? We need to link with God to be spiritually healthy and to experience inner peace.

For me, it only takes five minutes of simple quietness—listening, watching, waiting, embracing. With each passing season, God gives me opportunities to connect with Him, to nourish my innermost being:

  • I can watch the Autumn leaves slowly drift down and realize God’s infinite patience and wise provision.
  • I can catch snowflakes on my tongue, feel Winter’s chill on my cheeks, and marvel at God’s ability to forgive and wipe away every spot of sin, making my soul whiter than snow.
  • I can gaze at the tiny Spring shoots poking up through the earth and take hope that although difficult situations seem to be unchanging, underneath God is at work and will bring forth something beautiful.
  • I can soak in the Summer sun’s healing warmth and bask in the knowledge of God’s unconditional and unmerited love shining on me and all those I love.

 With Advent and the Christmas season soon upon us, quiet time can be a rare and precious commodity. Finding even five minutes to slow down and breathe in God’s presence will require preparation, but will reap eternal rewards. What are your plans for nourishing your soul during these busy weeks?

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Keeping it Real

photo by

I recently read a short, thought-provoking piece by Becky Eldridge on the many “30 Days of Thankfulness” challenges that crop up during November. Becky praised the concept of recognizing all that we have been given by our generous Heavenly Father. And then she asked, “I wonder how many of our human relationships would last if we kept all our conversations at the level of thanks? Relationships move to a different level when we risk being vulnerable, when we have a deep sharing of heart, and when we have a space to voice not only what we are thankful for, but also our lingering questions, our desires, and our struggles.”

She’s right. A relationship which is less than open and honest soon feels shallow and fake, eventually losing its importance.

Likewise, I wonder how many of our human relationships would last if we rarely recognized and expressed our thanks for all the positive, wonderful aspects of our lives, including the relationship itself? Constant grumbles, criticism, and needs causes a relationship to become burdensome, dreary, and unwelcome.

I find I am sometimes guilty of these unhealthy extremes, not only in my interactions with people, but also in my communication with God. At times, I fear admitting to God how I honestly feel—let down, doubt-filled, angry, scared to death, empty, blah. Other times I go on and on complaining about this and ranting about that.

I can pretend all is well with my world, outwardly “counting my blessings” while inwardly listing my woes. But God sees through that. I also can allow the struggles of yesterday to block out the blessings of today, whining about what I “wish” were different and failing to see the fresh God-sends right in front of me. “Tsk, tsk,” says God, with a slow shake “No” of his head.

Psalm 139:2 says that God knows our thoughts, He perceives what we are thinking. So why not be honest with Him, why not keep it real? If we truly want a living, breathing relationship with Jesus, that is what it takes—moving to a different level where, like Becky shared, we risk being vulnerable, where we have a deep sharing of heart, and where we voice both what we are thankful for, and our lingering questions, desires, and struggles.

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Now?

It’s over at last! No more campaign ads, persuasive speeches, annoying phone calls, and political Facebook posts! (Happy Dance!)

At our polling place, my husband and I waited in line two hours to vote. It was that way ALL DAY LONG—right up to when the doors closed on the last person allowed to enter the building to cast their ballot! We live beside the education center where voting takes place and the parking situation and traffic jams were downright dangerous! I have NEVER seen so many people determined to get out and vote!

Believe it or not, everyone at our polling place was civil, friendly, talkative, and neighborly! I didn’t hear one political conversation during that two hours! There was lots of laughter and many exclamations of, “How ya’ doin’? Haven’t seen you in years? What are you up to these days?”

I don’t think my fellow voters yesterday will have too much trouble with John Wesley’s election advice, but I think it is worth sharing:
1) Vote, without fee or reward, for the person you have judged most worthy.
2) Speak no evil of the person you voted against.
3) Take care that your spirits are not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.

No matter who we voted for, now that the decision has been made, it is our responsibility to follow Romans 13:1 “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God and the existing authorities have been put there by God. So live responsibly as a citizen.”

There it is, spelled out in plain language—God is in control.

Our response is to pray for those He has put in power. “Pray especially for those in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct. This is good and it pleases God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2: 1-3)

Let's join in prayer for President-Elect Donald Trump. May he allow God to lead him as he leads our nation.

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What Goes Around Comes Around

photo courtesy of

“You know, what goes around comes around,” I jokingly told my daughter when she related a story about the exasperating behavior of one of her boys.

Most of the time when we quote that adage, it carries a negative connotation. Lately, however, I have experienced it in the positive sense.

About a month ago, our daughter began worshiping with a different church than the one she previously attended. She LOVES her new church home! Every time I talk to her, she mentions something spiritually challenging she heard in the sermon or at the fellowship group she is attending on Monday evenings. Her boys eagerly attend both church and the youth program; THEY remind HER of meetings and special events. She has questions and I hear the excitement in her voice about what she is reading in her Bible. I am witnessing not only my daughter walking with Jesus, but my grandsons as well! Those phone calls warm my heart and renew my own enthusiasm for Jesus.

As Christian parents, we all pray that our children with one day discover for themselves a relationship with Jesus. By word and example, we do our best to instill a living faith in their souls and minds. Sometimes we wonder about just how good a job we are doing in that department. And then we get a phone call like the ones I have received lately, and our feet and hearts start doing the happy dance.

My experience reminds me that even more than human adages, God’s Word is true. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Sounds a lot like, “What goes around, comes around.”

And that isn’t always a bad thing.

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams