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Words of Encouragement
“. . . David encouraged himself in the Lord his God . . .”
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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements
\
Introduction

Poem: Always Count That Day

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER
About the Author

Footnotes
Preface

W
schedule.
hether you are a parent, school teacher, bus driver, plumber, fast food worker or
Corporate Executive Officer (CEO), this book is designed to “fit” into your busy

Within its framework are the necessary tools to unscramble the many “questions” that life so
often flings your way.
With this new found knowledge, you now have a greater confidence to be that “listening ear”
or “voice of reason” to others struggling with the same questions of life.
Contrary to popular opinion, “Words do have power”!
Once those syllables roll off your tongue and spring forth from your lips, whether it’s the
shortest or the longest word of 189,819 letters, it carries within itself the potential for
encouragement, discouragement, love, hate or even the solution to wars and famine.
The impetus for this book came about one afternoon while I was in the middle of a power
break.
Then without warning, this thought cascaded across my mind, “People go to sleep mad and
wake up mad; why not write something that will ease their pain and anxiety? It might just be the
highlight of their day”.
And with that, Words of Encouragement was unexpectedly birthed.
Although the material in this book is not new, the manner that it is collated makes it unique,
eye-catching and easy to remember.
There is no doubt that this book is destined to enhance the lives and living of people from all
ages, genders and social/economic statuses.
Words escape me as I try to thank the countless folks who graciously allowed me to “fold”
their writings and life’s experiences into this book.
Without their expertise, I would be hard pressed to properly articulate with any degree of
sanctity the stories and subjects you read.
Once I began my trek down “writer’s road”, a few lessons came to mind;

—After sitting on your derriere for 4 to 6 hours, you have a tendency to lose sensation in that
part of the world
Introduction

“Today is the last day that I walk out of my house ‘naked’,


ill prepared for battle”—Author

VENIMUS! VIDIMUS! VICIMUS!


[we came! … we saw! … we conquered!]

O
tonic.
nce you begin your literary journey, instinctively you will know that this is what you
have needed; your “cure” for what ails you; the “sick and tired of being sick and tired”

Are you weary? Are you feeling drained from constantly wrestling with those “Monday
blues”?
Tired of trying to “kick start” your engine only to find that the desire or will to kick has long
left you?
If you are, then this book is just what the doctor ordered!

“1 December”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“J oni Eareckson Tada struggled with the issue of healing for a long time. As she
recounts in her book “Joni”, she sought physical healing of her quadriplegia.
In her words, “I certainly believed. I was calling up my girlfriends saying, ‘Next time you see
me I’m going to be running up your sidewalk. God’s going to heal me.’”
Yet, forty-five years after the accident that left her paralyzed, Joni is still in a wheelchair.
However, her perspective remains one of great Faith: ‘God may remove your suffering, and that
will be great cause for praise. But if not, He will use it for a deeper healing.’”

SELF EXAMINATION: Has life left you feeling overwhelmed? If so, don’t fret, you are not
alone.
However, the question now is, “What can I do”?
I issue this challenge to you: Commit to reading Words of Encouragement for a month.
I believe in this month you will find no-nonsense answers too many of your questions;
answers that just may surprise you
January
Words of Encouragement

Yī yuè [Man.] Enero [Tag.]

Janvier [Fr.]

Man. = Mandarin …
Tag. = Tagalog …
Fr. = French …

“Hardships often Prepare Ordinary


People for an Extraordinary Destiny” ―C.S. Lewis
1 January

鼓励
“In the beginning, God created
the Heaven and the earth” [Genesis 1:1]

T he thoughts and emotions that envelop us each New Year often run the gauntlet from
suspicion, to fear, worry and even regret. So often we find ourselves wrestling with the
question, “Will this New Year be better than the old one”?
Yet, we need not fret over the future: as a Child of God, you have the Lord Jesus Christ’s full
assurance that “No weapon formed against you shall prosper”!
The fog and haze that you’re trying to wrap your head around is a reminder that your faith is
about to be tested, proven and then realigned in ways that you never imagined.
I know you feel lost and alone at times, but please understand this, in spite of life’s
uncertainties; Jesus Christ has been with you all the time.
In the midst of your problems, failures, faults, quirks and idiosyncrasies, the Lord has never
left you!
The moment you accept this, instantly you will see Him!
Your darkness turns to light; your hopelessness to hope, and those problems that you thought
were mountains, are, in a word … only hills: hills that you are now dancing and running over …
all because you saw Jesus!
April
Words of Encouragement

Sì yuè [Man.] Abril [Tag.]

Avril [Fr.]

Man. = Mandarin …
Tag. = Tagalog …
Fr. = French …

“Only God can turn a Mess into a Message, a Test into a Testimony
a Trial into a Triumph and a Victim into a Victor” ―Anon
1 April

鼓励
“But as for us, the LORD is our God,
and we have not forsaken Him . . .” [2 Chronicles 13:10]

I n Psalms 23, God is using the analogy of sheep and their nature to describe us. Sheep have
a natural tendency to wander off and get lost. As Believers, we tend to do the same thing.
It’s as Isaiah has said: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way” [Isaiah 53:6].
When sheep go astray, they are in danger of getting lost, being attacked, even killing
themselves by drowning or falling off cliffs.
Sheep are basically helpless creatures who cannot survive long without a shepherd, upon
whose care they are totally dependent. Likewise, like sheep, we are totally dependent upon the
Lord to shepherd, protect, and care for us.
Sheep are essentially dumb animals that do not learn well and are extremely difficult to train.
They are very slow animals who cannot escape predators; they have no camouflage and no
weapons for defense such as claws, sharp hooves, or powerful jaws.
In declaring that He is the shepherd of the sheep in John Chapter 10, Jesus is confirming that
He is God. The Eternal God is our Shepherd. And we would not want it any other way.
June
Words of Encouragement

Liù yuè [Man.] Hunyo [Tag.]

Juin [Fr.]

Man. = Mandarin …
Tag. = Tagalog …
Fr. = French …

“If [since] Jesus is your Lord and Savior, live each day as if it was your last
curtain call, your last day of work, your legacy” ―Author
1 June

鼓励
“For I the LORD your God will hold your right hand, saying
unto you, Fear not; I will help you” [Isaiah 41:13]

A s a verb, “help” means “to give assistance or be of service”. As a noun it means, “a


means of serving”.
In this particular Verse in Isaiah, the Hebrew word is azar {aw-zar’}, and means “to succor or
to support”.
In essence the Lord is telling us, “I will stay by your side and succor you”. What a comforting
thought to know that the Creator of the Universe is with you, helping you through the mountains
and valleys that life may impose on you.
At times, the most difficult part of the journey is not doing what is right, but feeling so
inadequate, so ill prepared and so helpless while doing it.
Case in point: The first time I preached, I was nervous, but my mouth was dry, and my knees
felt like rubber. The only thought I had in mind was “hurry up, finish and get this over”.
At the end of the message, I fully expected no one to respond, but to my delight and surprise,
a soul came forth for prayer. Only the Lord could have taken my halting and stumbling words to
minister to that seeking heart.
Therefore, if you ever feel you “can’t”, then know this, “. . . with God all things are possible.
. .” [Mark 10:27]
September
Words of Encouragement

Jiǔ yuè [Man. Setyembre [Tag.]

Septembre [Fr.]

Man. = Mandarin …
Tag. = Tagalog …
Fr. = French …

“God has not only left the porch light on for us, He’s out on the front
porch watching, waiting, and calling us home” ―Author
1 September

鼓励
“So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass,
know you that the Kingdom of God is almost at hand” [Luke 21:31]

I n the past 80 years, since 1914, we have seen two wars so great that they came to be called
“World Wars”. World War I surpassed in destructiveness the sum of all the wars of the
preceding 2,400 years!
Then World War II was four times more destructive than World War I! It ended with the
nuclear annihilation of two cities. Following World War I came the greatest famine in all history.
During the worldwide Depression of the 1930’s Stalin engineered death by starvation for millions
of his own countrymen. After the Second World War, a fourth of the world was left starving!
Jesus had already said that the signs of the end, most of which are woes, would stand out and
be easily seen against the background of history. Essentially, Jesus is saying that, once the events
of the end times begin, they will happen quickly. The age of grace has continued for a very long
time. But when the time for judgment finally arrives, things will be wrapped up posthaste.
This concept of God’s drawing things to a rapid close is echoed in many other passages of
Scripture (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20; Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20). “. . . Even so, come, Lord
Jesus”. [Revelation 22:20]
December
Words of Encouragement

Shí èr yuè [Man.] Disyembre [Tag.]

Décembre [Fr.]

Man. = Mandarin …
Tag. = Tagalog …
Fr. = French …

“It’s not the defeats or the losses in life that define who we are,
but how we act or react in these situations” ―Author
1 December

鼓励
“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church;
and let them pray over him, anointing
him with oil in the name of the Lord” [James 5:14]

J oni Eareckson Tada struggled with the issue of healing for a long time. As she recounts in
her book “Joni”, she sought physical healing of her quadriplegia. She prayed and fully
believed that God would heal her.
In her words, “I certainly believed. I was calling up my girlfriends saying, ‘Next time you see
me I’m going to be running up your sidewalk. God’s going to heal me.’”
Yet, forty-five years after the accident that left her paralyzed, Joni is still in a wheelchair.
However, her perspective remains one of great Faith: “God may remove your suffering, and that
will be great cause for praise.
But if not, He will use it; He will use anything and everything that stands in the way of His
fellowship with you. So let God mold you and make you, transform you from glory to glory.
That’s the deeper healing”.
The question we need to ask in any given situation is what does God want? Someday, all
sickness and death will be eradicated (see Revelation 21:4). Joni Eareckson Tada will walk again.
Until then, there is a greater healing; the cleansing of sinful hearts, that God performs every day.
2 December

鼓励
“But the Word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the Word
which by the Gospel is preached unto you” [1 Peter 1:25]

I t goes without saying that the only things of eternal value in this world are those that are
eternal. Life in this world is temporal, not eternal, and therefore, the only part of life that
has eternal value is that which lasts through eternity.
Clearly, the most important thing in this world that has true eternal value is having a
relationship with Jesus Christ, as the free gift of eternal life comes only through Him to all those
who believe (John 3:16).
Every member of Christ’s body can make meaningful contributions when we humbly seek to
edify the body and to glorify God. Remember, on earth Christ has no body but ours, no hands but
ours, and no feet but ours. Spiritual gifts are God’s way of administering His grace to others.
When we show our love for God by obeying His commandments, when we persevere in the
Faith despite all opposition and persecution, when in His name we show mercy to the poor and
sick and less fortunate, and when we help alleviate the pain and suffering that is all around us, then
we are indeed building with the “gold, silver, and costly stones” that have true eternal value.
About the Author
======================================

A uthor, ordained minister, husband, father, grandfather, avid jogger and bowling
enthusiast are but a few of life’s treasures that James has embraced since retiring from
the navy; a career that spanned almost three decades and touched five of the seven continents of
the world.
When asked if there was one place that he considered the most exotic, he replied, “Enewetak
Atoll. Although it was remote, almost isolated, it’s position was essential to the formation of a
large coral atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean”.
James is founder and senior pastor of the Pilgrim Outreach Ministries.
He credits his high school history teacher for sowing the seeds that would one day led him to
the status of published author.
“I remember a slight twinkle in her eye one day as we talked”, he recalls.
“James”, she said, “The road to becoming a successful author is never one of ease. However,
with hard work, sacrifice and a bit of luck, you have a good shot at joining those ranks”.
After duty stations in California, the Philippines and Italy, it wasn’t until 2002 that James
wrote his first novel, GrandMamma’s Prayers.
“My most memorable work”, he would later say.
“Once the writing bug bit me”, he adds, “It has been off to the races these past 16 years”!
Although he traveled the world over while on active duty, James admits that without Cecilia
faithfully keeping the “home fires” burning, he would have quit a long time ago.
“Just knowing that she ‘had my back’ in every conceivable instance made life that much
better”.
The Langston’s have been married for almost 40 years.
They have six children and fifteen grandchildren.

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