Bless It Forward

I pray you are (or will soon be) having a blessed day. If you linked here from my devotion The Power of Encouraging Words, I’m so glad you stopped by! I’m amazed at what God can do with encouraging words. They can literally change the course of someone’s life. I know because they have mine. More about that tomorrow.

A few years ago, my friend Carrie came up with the idea to “Bless It Forward” inspired by the movie Pay it Forward. Today I pray that we’ll bless each other forward by encouraging and getting encouragement through the stories and lives of women around the world!!

“Bless It Forward” starts when you give a blessing to someone else and ask them to bless it forward to another person. Here is how we can start blessing it forward this week:

First, I’ll be giving several of you a gift, and then I want you to pass the blessing on when you are finished being blessed by it. The blessings will include a P31 autographed book, a worship CD, a teaching DVD, a P31 woman magazine subscription and $10 Target card.

Second, being part of the first blessing has a two-fold purpose. To enter to win, I want you to share how someone’s encouragement in the past has impacted your life, and in turn you will inspire others to bless it forward by encouraging someone they know today. Let’s get started.

Click on “comments” below this post.

Type your comment. A white box will pop up where I’d love for you to describe one way someone has encouraged you – either another person or something God did. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just something that brought encouragement to your heart. God will use your story to show others how they can encourage someone today.

Include the following details: your state and/or country, your name if you want to, and be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Post your comment. Click on the orange button to post it. If you don’t have a blogger account, simply click anonymous.

Take time to read the other comments and ask God to show you an idea and a person He wants you to encourage today – either through a note, a call, a text message, an act of kindness or something you get here.

Come back tomorrow to tell us how you have or will bless it forward through the power of encouraging words this week. To remind yourself to come back, scroll down the right margin and sign up for bloglines. You’ll get a notice in the morning when I open up my blog for new comments and more chances to win!

With today’s comments I’ll draw 3 winners and with tomorrows commitments I’ll draw the other 2 winners to bless it forward. I’ll do the drawings and announce Wednesday morning who the the winners are for my “Bless It Forward” give-aways. I can’t wait to see what God will do.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Hi rene,
    I was really blessed by your devotion today, it was very inspiring. You caught it right there when you said that in helping others you take your mind away from your fears. Isn’t that just like witnessing? You are scared to approach a stranger to tell them of the love of Jesus, but when you see someone who’s in trouble, that fear just vanishes. Thank you for your timely post.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi,
    I have been encouraged and challenged as well by your words (and God’s words to me through them). I am at a juncture in my life where God seems to be wanting me to step out as well…but I am fearful. It is His call to help others but I feel inept. After I read your post on Prov. 31, I read your blog about opening your heart and home to the women of Africa. Your words about dependence…moment by moment on God, have touched a spot in my heart because that seems to be the place that God is trying to bring me as well. It is so difficult to “lay it all down” and trust HIM to guide me (and guide those I love).

    I am at one of those places where I am “all out” and if I am to continue on with the LORD it will have to be Him that takes me forward…that utter surrender that you spoke of…will need to be more of a life-style than a “respite”, a dwelling place (home) not a hotel… I guess that’s what He meant by abiding…

    Thank you for shariing your story…that stirred my heart to move closer to God today… CJ

  3. I went back to school 4 years ago. There were days that I felt like I could not do it. I felt God’s presence with me through it all encouraging me to not give up, but instead lean on Him for the strength I needed to finish the goal He had given to me. It taught me so much to know that God never fails!

  4. Morning Sister,

    As you know, I am battling Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. After being diagnosed one of my main concerns was how would this disease affect my ministry and in particular my ability to speak and lead bible studies. Not only did I have encouragement and support from many friends, I also gained, through much prayer, God’s assurance that He would never place a calling on my life that He would not equip me to handle. Is it always easy? No. But the beauty in that is that my faith and dependence on God is growing and in turn He is giving me fresh perspectives to share in my ministry. I am like Paul in that “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

    Blessings and grace to you!

  5. Your devotion today touched my heart. I remember reading some of it from an earlier blog post you did and thought what a brave encourager you were. Sometimes even when we are not feeling brave, we find encouragement for ourselves in encouraging others.

    I was not the recipient of many kind or encouraging words growing up from my earthly father, but he has changed and encourages me today. Back in the day, the words of encouragement I did receive made me believe I could scale the rock wall you mentioned!

    Christ, however, has been my Encourager for quite some time. I let God battle infertility in my life for a long long time, 8 years to be exact. He gave me encouragement in His Word through one particular verse…”He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.” ~ Psalm 113:9 (NIV) I raised my husband’s daughter from age 6 to 20, and am now a grandmother to 2 precious grandsons. His Word has come to pass – I only had to be encouraged by it. Sorry for the long post, which could be even longer if I were to list all the ways Christ has encouraged me!

    • Hi There, I feel that there is definately a small bubble forming here in Vancouver now. Being a Vancouver realtor for almost 10 years now I have seen ups and downs in the market. Given our current levels of sales over listings we are not in a very good position. Overall I will be honest and say that the Canadian market is overall about 25% overvalued while the US market (some areas) are now 25% unlduvaere. – Rate this comment: 0  0

  6. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.2 1/2 years ago God called my family and I to go on the road traveling with my husband’s job. I was so fearful of leaving my bubble of friends and security, but God was holding my hand.He has become so much more real as I have had to learn how to depend on Him alone for things spiritually, emotionally, phsically, and financially. He has sent encouragement from friends back home who have believed in me, friends who would speak life and purpose into my heart. I am so grateful to my loving God. I am also grateful for the people He has put in my journey to pour into. I am happiest when I am being His Vessel, being used by Him and not focused on me. I look forward now to the people He has put in my path across the country. I need to be giving for Him. He wired us that way I think.
    Thanks sharing your encouragement and wisdom today. I was really blessed.

  7. I remember one time I was going through a real growing and stretching time with the Lord.. And it was scary to me. But, the Lord placed godly women in my life to run this race with me.. They have been so encouraging.. There have been times that I thought I would not make it, and the Lord would have someone call and say just what I needed to hear to keep on, keepin on!

  8. Ahhh .. let me count the ways that the Lord has encouraged me with His presence. One of my earliest encounters was when I was 18, with me struggling to attach a new rubber bumper guard to my car which had been in hit and run. After an hour or so and a few tears, with no success, I stopped to pray, “God please help me. I can’t do this.” Then I resumed my job and immediately it slipped into place. No reason why that was suddenly possible, except that God wanted me to know that when we ask, we will receive. God is good and He is faithful in ALL things and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Phil 4:13) That day taught me a wonderful lesson that I can think back on and apply to the rest of my life.
    Thank you, Rene, for your blessed minsitry!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    There was a time when my kids were 4 and 2 and I was feeling down about myself. I had been talking with a friend about not feeling attractive to my husband. I was tired. The next day she gave me an encouraging note and money, offering to keep my kids so I could to a spa and relax. It was such a surprise. It was so refreshing and just what I needed to get through a challenging time. I had never been given a gift like that before but just as equally nice was that she took my kids for the day so I could do it.
    God has blessed me in so many ways big and small. For years my son has had hand me down clothes that were like new. He would say “Mom can we go shopping in my closet” There were so many clothes that I was able to pass them on to 2 other boys. My husband’s dad was in ICU 2 weeks ago,he was very sick. A friend (hadn’t talked in long time) called to say God had impressed him to call and let us know he and his wife had been praying for our ministry and wanted to encourage us so I was able to share about Dad and he was going to call my husband right away and pray with him. There are so many ways to encourage and bless someone if only we stop and look and allow God to lead. I could go on and on. Thanks for doing this.
    Darla.Leatherman@uscm.org
    Indiana

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, for this ‘reminder’ for me to be a blessing. My women’s Bible study group has received this same challenge so God’s blessings will surely be multiplying!

    The Lord has blessed me with a husband who has truly been through it all with me. When I met my husband we were both teenagers. I was struggling with family matters that seemed to difficult to handle. Looking back, I know God placed Eric in my life to be encouraging, to love me no matter what and to protect me. God knew it all! And He provided just what I needed. He always has! I give Him all the praise.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, for this ‘reminder’ for me to be a blessing. My women’s Bible study group has received this same challenge so God’s blessings will surely be multiplying!

    The Lord has blessed me with a husband who has truly been through it all with me. When I met my husband we were both teenagers. I was struggling with family matters that seemed to difficult to handle. Looking back, I know God placed Eric in my life to be encouraging, to love me no matter what and to protect me. God knew it all! And He provided just what I needed. He always has! I give Him all the praise.

    Maria Zematis
    CT
    mszematis@yahoo.com

  12. Thanks for your devotional this morning. God certainly used it to confirm something He's been teaching me. This last Friday, I hurt my back pretty bad. It's hard to walk, and a real challenge taking care of my three small children. While it might seem like this has been a rough few days, they've been some of my BEST! Because God has overwhelmed me with love from those around me. As soon as I started having trouble, friends stepped in to take care of me and our family. They brought gadgets, like heating & massaging pads; took care of my kids; brought dinner; and offered up countless prayers. Even minutes ago, another friend brought lunch & groceries. I am just FLOORED by God's care and love through others, and I SO want to be just like them. I want to be used unashamedly in moments of need, without hesitation or fear. So it starts today. I will begin by letting those who helped me know how much they have blessed me and that God has used them to teach me to be more like Him.

  13. Renee-
    Thank you for your devotion today. I touched my heart as I was reminded of the power of encouragment. I didn’t realize how powerful encouragement was until I found a friend that encouraged me. As a person with a “words of affirmation” love language, I had always desired to be encouraged but never had an encourager. This friend came along after God had prompted me for a few years to begin speaking publicly about what He had accomplished in my life. Due to fear, I had been refusing to obey God. My friend soon realized this and pushed and prodded me until I finally said yes to God. I will be indebted to them for the rest of my life for giving me the opportunity to truly trust in and rely on our God.
    Christie
    Illinois

  14. Four years ago Saturday, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I had a 6wk old little girl, no job, and we were barely getting by financially. Through word of mouth, past churches where I had served began to call and offer to cook, clean, come stay with my daughter and I while my husband went to work, and even paid some of our bills for us. We were indeed blessed by those churches.

    Since my diagnosis, and healing, I have been able to encourage several other women who have been diagnosed with cancer. It is amazing to hear their stories, to keep up with their stories, and be a shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough. I am truly been blessed by each of these ladies.

    carlyn … NC … cceeyore@mac.com

  15. “In believing the power of God’s promises for others, our confidence in His promises for us seems to grow as well.” Wow. That one quote was worth reading a week’s worth of devotionals!! It is why I like being a teacher– as I teach the truth of God to others, it becomes real to me in a new way.

    I hear you were up at my old stomping grounds, Camp Berea. They said that you were excellent in your teaching of the Word and very well received. Congratulations on a job well-done!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hi,
    I wrote earlier (before you finished your blog entry.)

    I was just thinking the other day about someone who really blessed me greatly not so long ago. In the early summer our basement flooded and we had a mess (that we’re still working on) to clean up. There were a few people that called and said “if I can do anything let me know” which was a kind thought but it was hard to know quite what to tell them. But one friend called (her name is Renee also) and she said “I am going to make your family a meal what can I make?” I hesitated and she insisted that we let her do something…it almost felt as though I was doing her a favor in letting her help. She was SO kind and she and her husband gave us a $100 gift card as well as a terrific dinner. It was a sweet blessing in a time of trial. If she had only said “let me know if there’s something I can do” which most of us say, I probably wouldn’t have called her back…but since she insisted on helping in a way she was good at (cooking)…it truly blessed our whole family! I thought about how I needed to be more like that…she was an example of “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

    CJ-MICHIGAN raisin4@gmail.com

  17. Not long ago, a dear blogging friend encouraged me with some great words of encouragement regarding my writing journey (actually, more than one friend…many!). In particular, her words extended beyond the usual “you can do it” to chronicle some specific points she felt God leading her to tell me about my writing.

    It was spoken to me over the phone and so impacted me, I emailed her and asked her to write the words down for me in an email. I told her I wanted to remember them for always. What makes this so significant is that my friend has cancer and is going through some really dark days right now. Thus, the witness of her words and her taking the time to speak and write them means all the more to me.

    Now, when I’m feeling discouraged, I reach for her email and re-read the gift that she gave me. I will cherish it for always.

    I’m from NC, my name is elaine, and I hope that the witness of my friend will encourage us all to use our words and our blogs for God’s kingdom purposes.

    peace~elaine

  18. Hi Renee,
    I was encouraged by your devotion today and also Lysa Terkeurst’s blog. She talked of taking a problem she was having with her daughter and the middle school she was attending, one day at a time and with lots of prayer to God. Also she talked about tucking bible verses sprayed with her perfume in her daughter’s book bag to help her daughter throughout her day. The Proverbs 31 blogs are always encouraging and I enjoy reading them daily.

    Deb
    dvolkman@bright.net

  19. A few weeks ago my husband asked me to consider taking a ministry position in our church. The position has been open for a long time but the job description just changed, and it’s very involved. With two young children and no experience, I was very scared and did not want to apply, but God encouraged me every day for more than a week. From the weekly chapel meeting at our preschool where I teach to verbal encouragement from a trusted friend to even winning a special mom’s organizational planner when I stressed about how to get everything done, God has definitely made it clear that I’m supposed to trust Him! Now I have an interview for the position Thursday evening, and I know that whatever happens, He’s taking care of it – and us.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Your posts are so encouraging to me. Thank you for your love and sharing the joy in your heart. My family has been so blessed by others. We have a daughter who is 8 and she has a brain injury that occured when she was 18 mo. old. She was a typical toddler but became sick and went downhill. Her disability is similar to CP. I can not begin to tell you the outpouring of love we have recieved. Her health has not been the best for a few years and our local church has really stepped up. Meals, cards, prayers and love. The kind of support that you know comes from God shinning through others. We do our best to pay it forward. When someone is in need and it is possible for us to help you better bet we are there. That is what this life is all about. Relationships and growing in Christ!! We as a family have felt the presence of Christ in our life. Family and friends have stepped up in our times of need more than we could have ever imagined. They have unselfishly given of their time, support and hearts. We cherish each and every one of them. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

    God Bless you and your family,
    Tricia in KY

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your devotion today, I have been blessed by it. I started Nursing school in the beginning of 2004. I entered into an accelerated program which required me to work full-time and attend school full-time. I also had a family, husband and children, to attend to. I have always heard that nursing school was too hard and that most people don’t make it. They either flunk out of school or just can’t pass the state boards. No one in my family attended college. I was the first. I always thought I was not smart enough to go to college. Nursing school was not easy for me. I’ve had many sleepless nights and many tears. But through much prayer and encouragement from my sisters in Christ I was able to manage all three (family, work, school) and finish nursing school and passing the state boards. Now my oldest daughter wants to be a nurse and my niece also. Throughout those tough times I knew that the Lord will help me. I made it my business to attend services regularly and meet with my sisters in Christ because I knew what I was in for. This has changed my life. Now I just pray that I can be a role model for my children. I really know “with Christ all things are possible”. I owe it all to Him.

    Rosemary

  22. Anonymous says:

    Rosemary: Chicago, rlopez671@aol.com

  23. The devotion today was wonderful!
    Here is my story about how GOD encourage me this last week!
    Last week I was praying to see more of God’s presence in my life. My prayer was answered and not just one answer but several answers to prayer. This one I share today is about my daughter. She had a assignment a month ago in her 8th grade English class to write 3 letters to 3 different schools. The letter including telling the class what her life is like and interest, hobbies etc. Just writing about herself. Well one month later her teacher came to her and told her she had received replies from one of the school she had written. It was not just one letter it was 86 letters from all the English Classes at the school. It was overwhelming! She was so excited and was in Awe! SO Was I..Each letter from the kids were so encouraging and wonderful. She now has 86 new pen pals. Her intend is to write them back, she is working on it now.
    God is so Faithful! He answers our prayers! So it encourages me to keep persisting in prayer, and I hope it encourages someone else to persist in prayer!
    Blessings,
    Debra
    dzantman@yahoo.com

  24. I have a big one to share….Last spring after my husband had lost his job. (He has a disability, and had been approved for SSDI, but that money hadn’t started coming in yet.) Because of my husbands disability, we don’t know how long he will be able to walk. So every year we plan a family vacation with my parents. They have a time share, so it costs us getting there and food. We always save our income taxes for this purpose. Well, we were suppose to be leaving for vacation with in a month of him losing his job. We really debated weather or not we should go. Reservations were made, and we felt God prompting us to continue on with our plans. Before we had left, my husband had made a huge cross for our church’s Good Friday service, where we all nail our sins to the cross. That was out on our patio, we needed to get it to church before we were set to leave. It was Palm Sunday…. in the afternoon, we suddenly had visitors at our house. A group of 5 people came, we all circled around the cross to pray. They came to just pray with us, let us know things will be ok. This isn’t something I will forget…compassion, caring, friendship, the body of Christ visited us. They didn’t stay long, and when they were getting ready to leave they handed us a card. Telling us how much we mean to them…..they came to see us!! They meant alot to us….they had put 1100$ in that card and said to have a good vacation……OOOOOOO the body Of CHRIST….someday I will pay it forward!

    Shannon
    Minnesota USA
    Smarklow@gmail.com

  25. I think that it’s always important to be open to God urging us to do things that may seem strange or feel uncomfortable to us. Last weekend, one of my neighbor’s brought me a huge bag full of apples that he had picked at his dad’s orchard. Out of all of the neighbors, he brought them to us.

    What he didn’t know is that just the night before, I ate an apple and was praising God for how delicious it was. I was bummed because it was the last one and I wasn’t sure when I could get to the grocery store again. When Billy brought me the HUGE bag of apples, I felt so incredibly blessed – by his kindness, but also God’s love for me because it was such a personal and tangible answer to a prayer I really didn’t pray. If that makes sense.

    Anyhow, I think that God does guide us to bless others in ways we wouldn’t expect. When we act on them, we bless others in very special and unique ways AND honor God’s leading.

    Sweet blessings,
    Amy in OR

  26. Renee,
    Thanks for the devo today and for the challenge to bless it forward. I am constantly encouraged by words I read, especially with the writer’s honesty. But the story I want to share is awhile back I had a miscarriage and a friend sent a card saying, “I have no words to say, but I serve a mighty Lord who has it all under control. He holds you and your baby in his hands.” She thought she had nothing to say, but her words said it all. Ten days later she experienced a miscarriage and I was able to tell her the same thing. God has encouraged each of us in this difficult time and brought us closer together.

    Thanks for this post – it’s great to read everyone’s thoughts.

    Blessings from Iowa,
    Jill
    jillberan@yahoo.com

  27. I’m a college student, which means I have no money. 🙂 Usually I have enough to make it through, because I work part-time while I go to school. Last year, I was laid off from my job right before Thanksgiving time. I had no one to really turn to so I asked God to take care of me. He showed His love for me in some many ways. I’m crying remembering it. 🙂 I had people from my church family sending me cards with small amounts of money, saying God had impressed them to help me and when I finally told the church what was going on, they had a collection for me.

    I had also been attending meetings at a domestic abuse shelter and they gifted me with food and a gift card for Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. The best part was that the church that had denonated the food for Thanksgiving was a sister church to the one I was attending!

    And I also got five or six Christmas boxes from both my chuch and that sister church. Much of the food was non-perishables and I’m still finishing off the last of God’s love gift to me.

    It was truly what I needed at that moment and encouraged me through some really tough times. Our Lord is so AWESOME!!

    Thanks for making me remember that blessing. I needed to be reminded of that today. It brought a much needed smile to my face. 🙂

    Have a great day!
    ~Heather from ND
    kobie55@hotmail.com

  28. Anonymous says:

    My husband died almost two years ago. While he was battling cancer, we learned SO many things about trusting God. The ways God has blessed me and my children (5 children, 2 at home at the time) has been amazing. I get such a blessing sharing with others how God has blessed me.

    I’ll share one story, and it is definitely a ‘bless it forward’ story. Last year the week before Christmas I had a flat tire. My 13 yr old was trying to loosen the lug nuts to change the tire, and couldn’t even get them loosened. After about 15 min someone stopped, and started changing my tire. In visiting with him I found out he was a Christian with Homeland Security (didn’t I feel safe, thank you GOD). He found out I was a Christian, that my husband had died the previous year just before Christmas, and he was a veteran. I felt I could trust him, and asked his advice on which tires to buy. He followed me to the tire store to make sure I got there safely, and helped pick out tires. We went to do some shopping while the tires were being changed. When I got back to pick up my car, I was handed the receipt, and it had a note on it, PAID. What a blessing for my family, the week before Christmas. I felt it was a gift from God, and am happy to share with others what God has done for me.

    Sharon
    smousepotato@msn.com

  29. Hi,
    I always think, ‘I should write that down” whenever someone says something to bless me but by the time I get to pen and paper, I have forgotten the moment!
    Recently though, I was blessed by my Pastor’s wife. She is quiet and has her hands full with 4 beautiful children but she walked into church on a Wednesday and when she saw me, she told me that on her way to church she thought to herself that one person she would really like to see when she walked through the door was me and there I was! She then told me I always added so much to the Bible study when I was there. It had been a long day and a real struggle to get to church that particular evening and I was wishing I had stayed home. When she walked in, a smile on her face, with those words of encouragement, I felt the weight of the day leave me and I was refreshed, blessed, happy! Caron

  30. Stephenie says:

    I loved your devotion. My husband and I recently made the very difficult decision to leave a church home we had for several years. We have each struggled with people whom we considered to be friends, angry and no longer speaking to us. That being said, I received an unexpected phone call 2 weeks ago. It was a member of the staff and an aquaintence. She wanted to let me know that she knew my husband and I did not make our decision without a lot of thought and prayer. She did not try to change the decision, but wanted me to know that she understood and would always be around.

    I can not tell you how much that phone call meant. I have thought back to that conversation when I get frustrated. I have no doubt it was from God right when I needed it most.

    Stephenie
    OH
    carlson2398@roadrunner.com

  31. Hi Renee.

    Great idea.

    This summer at She Speaks I was blessed forward in countless ways. One was having lunch with you and that you took time to include me. One was meeting Lelia and having her tell me I smile with my eyes. One was when Lysa told me how much she had seen me blossom the last year on the blog community and that I truly was “God’s Work In Progress.”

    I’m from Illinois.

  32. Hi Renee,
    I loved this devotional. I have been saved and serving the Lord for about 4 1/2years.I was once told I had the gift of encouragement….. I laughed really hard. Growing up in a physically and emotionally abusive home, I was always told to sit down and shut up. My opinion nor my words ever mattered. So I became shy. Not talking much, hated being up infront of people. When I got married, I stuffed all my feelings down. Which has not been good. My identity became a people pleaser. Trying to close my ears to what people said I was. Didn’t worry about making myself happy, as long as others were happy.All I wanted was to have people like me. Unfortunately in the end no one was happy, including me.
    As I have grown in the Lord, I have seen the power of HIS word setting the captives free. I have also seen my own insecurities and my own low self worth being changed by people’s encouraging words as well as the truth of GOD’S word!!!

    I once was told by a wonderful sister in the Lord, that my identity was not what man said I was, BUT WHO GOD SAID I AM. One day I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to make a list and write down every word that I was ever called. Good or bad. Then I looked up the words. If it was a positive word, I found a scripture that encouraged me in it. If it was a negative word, I found a positive word that counteracted it and found a scripture that backed it up.
    Instead of not being wanted, I found out that “I AM A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD,GOD’S OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE”!!Instead of thinking I was a tattletale, I discovered that “BEFORE I WAS BORN, I WAS SANCTIFIED AND SET APART TO SPEAK GOD’S WORD TO ALL THE NATIONS”!!!
    This word that my friend spoke into my life has been monumental. I am slowly seeing who God’s says I am. I encourage anyone who reads this, and is having an identity crisis or has listened to the lies of people or satan, to look up in GODS word, and see what HE says you are. Colossians 2:10 says “We are complete in HIM”

    Just a note, when you look up tattletale in the dictionary, it says ONE WHO IMPARTS NEWS!!! God has a purpose and a plan for all of us, and satan doesnt want it to come to pass. I now realize that I need to speak God’s encouraging words to all, so they can trully see how much HE LOVES US.
    Secondtim1vs8@aol.com

  33. Renee,
    Thank you for this opportunity.
    The past few years I have been struggling with deep depression, to the point I was hospitalized. God answered a 10 year prayer, and brought someone into my life, who has become a true sister to me, my best friend. She speaks truth to me in love, even when it is hard, and has in fact gotten me to the hospital when she felt I wasn’t safe. She has faithfully prayed for me, and helped me to see more clearly God’s call on my life.
    As I have gotten healthier, I have been able to become a steadfast prayer partner for her, and reach out and encourage her right back.
    Thank you for this opportunity and reminder of how we can pass the blessings we have received from others.
    God bless you,
    Heather from Wisconsin

  34. Hi – I am truly surprised each time I read your blog – it seems that the day “fits” your message. That is the way that God shows me his work. I am learning to be more intune to where God is leading me – and it is difficult – but I truly believe in the Bless It Forward attitude every day. Whether through kind word or kind acts, we are placed here to show others God’s love, mercy and kindness. Micah 6:8 tells us the very thing you are challenging us to do. Show mercy, love kindness and walk humbly. Thanks for your security and encouragement.

  35. Hi Rene,
    I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy your devotions and blog. They have been such a blessing and encouragement to me. It’s wonderful to hear about trials and tests and the lessons that come from them from other mothers and women of God.
    I had such a heavy burden when I came across this ministry a few weeks ago. I knew God was always there for me and my family even when it didn’t feel like it. I knew I had to keep the faith and thank God wholeheartedly everyday my husband was out of work. We were days away from no food and our electricity being turned off and God put a man in my husbands path. He gave my husband some work and told him if he ever needed some work to call him.
    Hallelujah! God is always on time.
    God Bless,
    Cheryl

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    I am back today to tell how I blessed it forward. It is Ministry Appreciation Month and so we took each pastor a card and one of those huge chocolate cookies that read..GOD BLESS. Just a nice gesture. WE tend to forget the hard work that they do and the long hours that they can potentially have. I have witnessed this first hand. Whenever we call in regards to our family our pastors are the first to send an ecncouraging email or a card. They have come to the hospital and waited with us through many surgeries, prayed for us and just loved us!! So, have you thanked your pastorial staff this month??

    Have a blessed week,
    Tricia in KY
    tdc13@fuse.net

  37. Anonymous says:

    I am so thankful for ministries “out there” that allow me to write in a prayer request. One of those that I have written to always sends a response and scripture with words of encouragement. They promise to pray for me and often ask me to let them know when God answers. There are times in life when it seems as though I cannot find a “friend” and these people who “have no face”…because they are behind the ministry…these “secret pray-ers” have been a life line to me many times. Especially Tess H….I thank God for her and those like her. Only in heaven will they know how many lives were touched through their care, love, prayers and kind words.

  38. We struggled privately with the issue of infertility for a year before we shared our burden and our heart break with our church family. Every Mother’s Day after honoring all Mothers in the church service, the church prays for couples longing for children either by birth or by adoption. The service usually had about 6,000 in attendance and in the past a dozen or so couples would stand for prayer. We never really knew them by name but we prayed anyway. This particular year, the time came around for prayer, the minister asked those needing prayer to stand. No one stood until my husband and I stood. I was on staff at the church and the minister called me and my husband by name. People surrounded us and prayed over us as the minister prayed for us very personally. A couple of months later as we got to the end of our financial road with medical tests. The next step was beyond what we could afford but we were willing if God provided. Our motto was always God will make this child and God will pay for this child. Three days later we found out we were pregnant. We began building our nursery with dreams and prayers that God will again provide for us for all the things babies need.

    When I was almost 7 months along, I got a call from a woman in the church (we had since moved to a closer neighborhood church) where we were prayed for. She didn’t know us but knew our story and knew some of our friends. She was expecting her fourth and it was a boy and she was getting all new furniture soon. She called to ask if we might be interested in some of their baby furniture and gear. She said it is very girly so if you are having a boy you might not like it. Oh, I forgot to say, she also started the conversation with we want you to have this if you can use it. Have – as in free! My mom and I went to her house to look at the furniture. We came home with an SUV full of clothes, bedding, toys, and baby items. My husband came home with a truck load of furniture – bed, changing table, gliders, the works! We were just overwhelmed by their generousity. They only asked for a picture of the completed room.

    Three weeks later, we sat in a hospital room listening to a nurse tell us that I was too sick to remain pregnant. My kidneys and liver were close to failing due to the sudden and harsh onset of pre-eclampsia. The baby had to be delivered. My daughter was born 8 weeks early only weighing 3 lbs and 11 oz. She was perfect – just tiny. We both left the hospital healthy. So many in the same situation do not have such an outcome.

    We thought our little miracle girl would be our only. Ha! Who were we to think that God would only provide once?! Six months later, I was pregnant with my second daughter. After a difficult pregnancy, she too was born without any health issues.

    I could recount forever the times God has provided miraclously for us and for our daughters. We made a commitment to God that as He provided for us, even in seemingly small ways, that He would be honored and get the glory as we passed on the blessing to others. Sometimes that blessing has come in walking along side a couple carrying the same burden for children that we did. Sometimes it has been to simply share our story as a story of the power of prayer and the power of a praying church family. It has also been a blessing to share our story of being committed to being financially wise in God’s eyes and how He has blessed because of that commitment. The blessing has also come now that as our girls are outgrowing the baby furniture, we get to now make that phone call and give it all away. The family that will be receiving the furniture are family members and they are nonbelievers. We would appreciate your prayers as we share with them.

  39. One day I was feeling really down. I desperately wanted to know that God loved me. I just needed that affirmation – I knew He did, but I needed Him to tell me.

    I was doing some cleaning in our office at home and I accidentally hit our computer. When I did, the screen lit up and a question appeared: “Do you want to connect?”

    As I had NEVER seen this message before, I decided to click into the computer and check my e-mail. Only one message. It was from a gal who I know who has never expressed any form of sentiment towards me. Her message wasn’t signed and all it said was, “I love you”. God was telling me that He loved me through this friend. My day changed as I realized I truly was loved, and I could pass His love on to others.

    Really enjoyed reading the comments here. What a wonderful idea to “Bless It Forward”!

    Renee, know you are loved by God and by me,
    Hugs,
    Joy

  40. It has been eleven years since my sister was killed in a car accident but I remember the ladies from my church gathering around me in my home as soon as we all found out and lifting me up in prayer. It greatly encouraged me and covered me with peace in the midst of one of the greatest trials in my life! I then remember being in the car listening to the radio when God provided a song to minister to me, “Life is hard but God is Good” by Pam Thum. God uses those tough things we go thru to help minister to someone else..and to keep pressin’ on even when we want to give up! I am so thankful that even tho I may not have my sister here on earth I am surrounded by many sisters in the Lord who have taught me and encouraged me alot on lifes journey and I want to help those around me too!! Raylene, Iowa, otool6@msn.com

  41. I was a junior in high school…
    not a real pretty time for me. I was in a creative writing class and felt WAY out of my league. As the teacher passed out our recent assignment, I was thrilled to see in red ink…A+…great job!!! My heart soared…until…
    Dan…a more intelligent altogether kind of guy got his paper. He wasn’t as excited about his grade and leaned over to announce to his class in an irritated voice, “You got an ‘A+’?? How did that happen??” Humiliated…I prayed that the earth would open up and swallow me.

    In her wisdom, my teacher, Mrs. Hall quickly removed me from the situation and asked me to run an errand. She spoke to the disgruntle student and took some time to encourage me personally.

    I am still writing today because of her encouragement.

  42. Hi Renee,

    By the way love your name and especially the spelling of it. I am also a “Renee” and I enjoy writing devotions.

    I just found your blog a few weeks back. I am probably too late for the “Bless it Forward” but, here goes.

    A few years ago I was teaching a Ladies Small Group at my old church. We were indeed a “small” group and I found myself not only teaching but also the main care group leader and outreach leader! During that time I was also caring for my mother-in-law who was in the early stages of Alzheimers and homeschooling my three girls. Deep down I was feeling overwhelmed, over committed, out-numbered, unheard and quite simply a little unloved. At our small group Christmas party the host had decorated her home so lovely and festive. Every room had a touch of Jesus in it. I noticed a tall gold angel candle holder that she had placed in front of a gold trimmed mirror and commented how I loved it and would like one for myself. In class the next week the class bought me a Christmas present. When I opened it up it was the very angel I had mentioned wanting! God showered me with His love through this lady. He heard my hearts desire, something so small, but oh so significant to me. No one but God knew how insignificant I was feeling at the time. His love is amazing! If we would just take the time to stop and recognize the little things He does for us through others.

    In Him Alone,
    Renee
    North Carolina

Share Your Thoughts

*