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“… David encouraged himself in the Lord …”

Words of Encouragement
======================================

by James Langston

Preface

W hether a parent, school teacher, bus driver, plumber, fast food worker or
CEO of a Fortune 500 company, this book is designed to “fit” into your
busy schedule. First, it provides you the necessary tools to better unscramble
the many “questions” that life flings your way each day; and second, this new
found knowledge gives you the confidence to be that “listening ear” or “voice of
reason” to others struggling with these same questions.
Words have power! Do not allow anyone to convince you otherwise. Once
those syllables spring forth from your lips, the shortest 1 letter word or the
longest word of 189,819 letters carries with it a force for encouragement,
discouragement, love, hate, healing or even the potential solution to wars and
famine.
The impetus for this book came about one afternoon while I was seated at
my computer table. I had taken a break and was blissfully enjoying a few
moments of peace and quietness when a random 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 could be the highlight of their day.” And so
with that, Words of Encouragement was unexpectedly birthed.
There is no doubt that this book is destined to enhance the lives and living
of–hundreds and thousands of readers.

Introduction
======================================

“Today is the last day that I walk out of my house ‘naked’ and ill prepared for battle”—
Author

V enimus! Vidimus! Vicimus! We came … We saw … We conquered! Once
you begin this daily literary journey, you will instinctively know that this is
what you need; your “cure” for the “sick and tired of being sick and tired” blues.
Are you weary? Are you feeling drained from having to constantly wrestle
with those “morning blues,” and then losing day after day? Tired of trying to
“kick start” your engine only to find out that the kick has long since gone?
If you are, then this book is just what the doctor ordered!
SELF EXAMINATION: Has the constant demands of life left you feeling
overwhelmed? If so, don’t fret, you are not alone. However, the question, “What
can I do?” still remains unanswered.
I issue this challenge to you; commit to reading Words of Encouragement for
a month. I believe during this time you will find short, no-nonsense answers too
many of your questions of life; answers that just may surprise you.
FIVE MINUTES EACH MORNING; that’s all the time that you will need– five
minutes. This equates to 1,830 minutes or 6.5 hours a year! A small investment
considering we spend an average of 45 minutes a day or 4.5 hours each week
shopping.
The two symbols that precede each days reading ( 鼓 励 ) are Chinese
logograms or Hanzi (simplified Chinese) representing “encouragement.” Once I
found out that Chinese characters constitute the oldest continuously used
system of writing in the world, I knew it added a touch of nostalgia to the book.
So, if you are ready to embark on your journey, simply turn the page and let
your year long countdown begin!

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” [Gen. 1:1]
T he thoughts and emotions that often envelop us each New Year range from
suspicion, to fear, and even sometimes regret. After all, we try to tell
ourselves, the “old” was not only safer, but predictable.
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 are currently before your eyes are there to let
you know that your Faith is on “trial” to “test” to “prove” and to “empower” you.
Now, briefly, extend your trembling hand and push the “pause” button of
your life. This will better enable you to see that Jesus Christ has been walking
beside you … all the while … in the midst of your problems, failures, faults,
quirks and idiosyncrasies, the Lord has stayed with you!
The moment you see Him, instantly, 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 –
because you saw Jesus!

2 January
======================================

鼓励
“And you, be fruitful, and multiply; bring
forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” [Gen. 9:7]

A lmost 3500 years ago, standing on the banks of the Red Sea, the Lord gave
Moses and the children of Israel a seemingly impossible command, “Go
forward.” [Ex. 14:15]: this inspire of Pharaoh’s army behind them and jagged
mountains and cliffs on either side, the order was given – “advance.”
Someone once said that God must have a sense of humor to the oft
situations that confront us; to that I agree 100 percent!
Noah and his family had just come through and End of Life Event, yet, as
they walked off the ark, the Lord gave their marching orders, “be fruitful and …
bring forth abundantly …”
How could they continue? How can you? The answer has not changed from
then until now – we lean and depend upon the Lord. His strength is made
perfect in our weakness.

I’ve learned to lean and depend on Jesus.
I’ve learned to lean, trust in the Lord.
For if I trust Him, He will provide;
I’ve learned to lean on Jesus’ everlasting arms
(Lee Williams)
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” [Isa. 41:13]

A s a verb, the word “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 not only
stay by your side, but hold your hand to succor you.” What a comforting word to
know that the Creator of the Universe is not only with you, but also helping you
through the mountains and valleys that life may impose on you.
At times, the most difficult tasking 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 a sermon, not only was I nervous, but my mouth was dry,
and my knees felt like rubber. The only thought I had in mind was “hurry up
and finish.”
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. So, if
you ever feel you “can’t” then know this, “. . . with God all things are possible.”
[Mk. 10:27]
2 June
======================================

鼓励
“They have not known nor understood: for He has shut their eyes, that
they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand” [Isa. 44:18]

W hen anyone turns from the Revelation God has given of Himself in the
Scriptures, and bows down to idols, or places something else ahead of
God, a judicial blindness from God then descends upon him. When that occurs,
it is then impossible to show a blind man anything, and this sadly characterizes
the plight of the unconverted heart.
Their ignorance was willful, because they were deceived. Other than a
revelation from God, all of the instruction, information, and teaching they are
given, will be of no use. This is the reason that education (as necessary as the
right type of education is), is not the answer. This is the reason as well, that
most Preachers see no spiritual results whatsoever. They appeal to the intellect,
instead of the heart. Therefore, the Lord must appeal to the heart, revealing
Himself through the anointed preaching of His Word. Only then can a man “see.”
Sadly and tragically, the Modern Church is attempting to produce a crop of
psychologists instead of preachers.
Because they “did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them
up to a reprobate mind [Rom. 1:28].
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” [Jam. 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 Pet. 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 a few of the benefits James now pursues since
retiring from the navy; a career that spanned almost three decades, and took
him to 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. It was remote, almost isolated and formed a large coral
atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean.” James is founder and senior pastor of
the Pilgrim Outreach Ministries.
James credits his high school history teacher for sowing the seeds that
would one day lead him to the status of published author. “I remember a slight
twinkle in her eye while we talked.” “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 finally decided to write his first novel, GrandMamma’s Prayers.
“My most memorable work,” he would later say. “Once the writing bug bit me,
it has been off to the races these past 14 years!”
Although being in the navy took him all over the globe, James admits that
without his wife 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 more than 37 years and have six
children and fourteen grandchildren. They live overseas in Italy.

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