Encourage Blog2022-11-02T23:58:37+00:00

Encourage-[en-kur-ij] to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.

The enCourage Blog is weekly dose of encouragement in a world that is often filled with bad news. We offer life-giving entries each Monday and Thursday written by gifted women from across our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). You can subscribe below to have them delivered to your inbox. With hundreds of blog pieces, you can search on a variety of topics in the search bar above to read and share with friends. Christina Fox, a gifted author, serves as our enCourage General Editor. If you are interested in submitting a piece, you can contact her at cfox@pcanet.org.

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Give Thanks to the Lord

BECKY KIERN|CONTRIBUTOR O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, planes formed of old, faithful and sure. He will swallow up death forever; and the LORD GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, It will be said on that day; “Behold, that is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”  (Isaiah 25:1, 8-9) There is nothing like the excitement of children around the holidays. Just the other day while on a video call with my niece, she excitedly showed me a count-down chain she and my nephew had just finished creating. She explained how each little paper circle represented a day of school they must complete before they get to start Christmas break. Christmastime is almost here, and she can’t wait. Likewise, the Christmas season stirs up a variety of emotions in adults as well. Gathering with family and friends can bring us much joy, laughter, and gratitude. But the season can also bring painful memories and tears as we grieve those who won’t celebrate the holidays with us this year. Hard emotions born from life lived in a fallen world often compete with the joy of the season—emotions such as grief, fear, doubt, weariness, loneliness, cynicism, or despair. They may wrestle for our affections and attempt to steal our hope and joy. But Advent knows better!...

The Joy of Advent

BECKY KIERN|CONTRIBUTOR O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, planes formed of old, faithful and sure. He will swallow up death forever; and the LORD GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, It will be said on that day; “Behold, that is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”  (Isaiah 25:1, 8-9) There is nothing like the excitement of children around the holidays. Just the other day while on a video call with my niece, she excitedly showed me a count-down chain she and my nephew had just finished creating. She explained how each little paper circle represented a day of school they must complete before they get to start Christmas break. Christmastime is almost here, and she can’t wait. Likewise, the Christmas season stirs up a variety of emotions in adults as well. Gathering with family and friends can bring us much joy, laughter, and gratitude. But the season can also bring painful memories and tears as we grieve those who won’t celebrate the holidays with us this year. Hard emotions born from life lived in a fallen world often compete with the joy of the season—emotions such as grief, fear, doubt, weariness, loneliness, cynicism, or despair. They may wrestle for our affections and attempt to steal our hope and joy. But Advent knows better!...

How Jesus Cares for Caregivers

MARISSA BONDURANT|GUEST There is a picture on my phone that is hard for me to look at. It’s of me lying on the sofa with our four-year-old daughter lying on my chest. She’s completely bundled up in a thick, furry blanket. It wasn’t a cold day, but because of how sick the cancer had made her, it was the only way she was comfortable. I remember feeling exhausted that day. And overwhelmed. And sad. So sad. Deep in my heart, I asked God tough questions about my child’s suffering. I wondered what the days ahead would look like. I lamented the fact that I really didn’t want to be in that caregiving position. After all, caregiving is hard. Not only do we grieve the suffering of our loved one, but we also process our own losses. Caregiving requires us to lay down our preferences and plans, and pick up the holy calling of meeting the needs of another. Caregiving also means keeping. Keeping appointments and medicine schedules. Keeping doctor’s numbers and medical details. Keeping up with cleaning, cooking, and other family members’ needs. Keeping track, keeping up, keeping on top of. In the marathon of caregiving, we might hit a point where we look around and think: In all my caregiving, who cares for me?...

Giving Thanks Every Day

BETHANY BELUE|GUEST Ten years ago, I sat across the table from a dear friend whose mother had recently passed away.  As we shared a bowl of cheese dip, she talked to me about the pain of losing someone so close to her.  Her grief was raw; her questions were real. But what I saw even more was how she clung to Jesus through her pain. That night she shared with me about keeping a journal of gratitude through the difficult season of watching her mom battle an illness and eventually go into the arms of Jesus. Each night, she wrote out specific things she was thankful for, things she was trusting God for, and a promise of God she was clinging to. Over time, she had pages and pages filled with her thoughts and desires. Although it did not change her circumstances, it gave her perspective in the midst of life's storms. What Happens When We Trace God’s Goodness As I walked the Manhattan streets back to my apartment that night, I was challenged by the discipline of my friend and her simple practice to remind herself of truth. At that time, I was in a season where life felt mundane and so many desires were unmet. It was so easy to lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day and think that the Lord was not answering my prayers and wonder where He was in my story.   That night, I decided to start keeping my own journal...

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