Encouragement

personal

You never know who’s watching.

You never know who models his or her life after you.  Sure, there are the ten percent who make it clear, but like icebergs, the other ninety are quiet. Below the surface and virtually invisible, but no doubt there.

All the while watching… for a path to follow… a faith to imitate… or a life that’s contagious.

So walk your path authentically. Believe hopefully.  Live abundantly, all the while leaving clues for searching hearts to find.

Because somebody’s watching.  And they’re following you. [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Teamwork

(In 100 words, every New Testament reference, in order, from John to 1 John, describing God’s vision for how Christ followers act toward each other. Read this slowly. Thoughtfully. Out loud if possible. Learn some things… watch the flow, note the repetitions… and remember, this means both giving and receiving, so go back and re-read it as a potential receiver. Leave a comment and tell me what you find. )

+++++++ [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Marathon

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews12:1-2a, NET).

You are running, and the race is long. I pray that your eyes, your ears, your heart will be open to know just how many witnesses you have – how great a cloud of watchers, so aware of the race you are running.

Others near and far have been tripped up and fallen. I pray that you run free from the entanglements and weights – light-hearted, love-driven, and alert to distraction.

Underdogs and favorites all start well, but only one receives the prize. I pray that you will have the will of the marathoner, knowing the road is long but your will and power to endure is longer still. [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

The light in young woman hands in cupped shape. Concepts of sharing, giving, offering, taking care, protection

“I don’t know how to describe this.”

Ever have an experience like that?

Ever observe something so profound, so extraordinary, so loaded with meaning that words looked cheap next to it?

One of the finest wordsmiths of all time, and a major contributor to the Bible itself, had that very experience. And in the midst of his gritty, get-it-done work and demeanor, even he was at a loss to use words to describe what was taking place. All Paul could say was, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

That’s a profound thing to say, considering some of the things he did describe in his New Testament letters.

Know what makes it even more profound? This “indescribable gift” came disguised as something rather ordinary, that anyone, anywhere can enjoy. This isn’t some secret sauce for super-saints. In fact, on a surface level it looks rather common and ordinary. And yet something behind the scenes turns the ordinary into a speechless wonder.

Know what makes it even better than that? You may have been participating in this indescribable gift and didn’t even realize it. Or if you haven’t, you can start today. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Dandelion

Because of God’s great faithfulness and love, I enter boldly into His presence today to stand in the gap for you.   I pray that on this day that He has made that He would grant you to be…

Established in hope, and renewed in the expectation that a greater day awaits tomorrow…

Loosened from every limiting fear or false belief[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Sadness and happiness

Hop on the Hypothetical Bus with me for just a minute.  Let’s take a ride.

Let’s assume that as far as you know you’ve been doing everything you know to do correctly.

  • You brush and floss 2-3 times a day.
  • You have your daily devotions.
  • You exercise devotedly.
  • You give your money regularly to your church and other places.
  • You do a really good job at whatever you call work.
  • You only eat organic Cheetos.
  • You get your milk from a Christian cow.

Yet despite all the good things you’re doing and the faith and expectations you’ve been exercising, you just checked the scoreboard and,

Uh oh…

Your life is something like that mean football cheer:

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon rind!
Look at the scoreboard and see who’s behind…
You!

What do you do when the news should be good, but it’s discouraging instead? [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Hold Tightly in the Night

by Andy Wood on February 18, 2015

in Life Currency, Love

Comforting friend. Woman consoling her sad friend.

Closer than you may realize,
And darker than you can imagine,
Someone you know languishes now
Under black clouds of fear and despair –
Clouds that never seem to break enough
To let the light in.
The only hope that they have
Is the light that shines through you.
Believe fervently for them.
Hope confidently for them.
Love them gently
As you hold them tightly in the night. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Wrestling

Imagine going to the mailbox and getting a letter – a personal letter – from a famous person.  Not a politician or media darling, but someone who is supremely respected in spiritual circles.  Let’s say for the sake of illustration that it’s a hand-written letter from Billy Graham.

And since I’m making all this up, let’s say you’ve never met Dr. Graham, and are a little surprised he knows you exist, much less knows your address.  But there you are and there in the mailbox is his letter.

After some preliminaries, some kind greetings, Dr. Graham gets around to his reason for writing.  “I want you to know, [insert your name here], that I’ve been struggling lately.”  (Oh… step back… Let’s assume this isn’t a fund raising trick.  Now on with the story…)

Instantly your concern and attention gravitates to these words.  Egads, he’s getting personal! Why is he struggling?  Why is he telling me he’s struggling?  What does his struggle have to do with me?

“This has been going on for some time…”

Wow, this is serious.

“And I’ve been battling this with everything I have.”

He’s not kidding around.

“And the struggle is over you.” [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Businessman removing a wooden card reading Confident from the pocket

Chances are, you instinctively know how important and powerful a little encouragement can be.  Now there’s scientific evidence worth paying attention to that’ll back that up.

This was reported yesterday in Fast Company.  A recent study published in the Basic and Applied Social Psychology Journal suggests that the more detailed and specific an adviser expressed confidence in a student’s potential for success, the more likely that student would be to take action to pursue that success. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Hand reaching out from the sky

Time and time again you’re the one who shows up when somebody needs you to.

Sometimes you bring your words with you, sometimes no words at all – just the enduring companionship of a faithful friend.

But who shows up for you when you’re the one who’s aching for the presence of another?

Jesus, that’s who.  And in this case, me… because He wanted me to remind you, He’s always there.

 

You’re the one they turn to for their own self-understanding.

Like a human mirror or road map, you help others make sense of the terrain or the terrible, the magic or the mystifying of their lives.

But who holds up the mirror or points the way for you when the way seems baffling or impossible?

Jesus, that’s who.  And in this case, me… because He wanted me to remind you, He’s always there.

Alone is just a figment of a blind imagination.
Lost is just the devil’s panic button of despair.
So when you need reminders of your hope and destination,
Hear the Spirit’s whisper that your Friend is Always There.

  [click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }