Tag: Encouragement

40 Days of Promises

40 Days of PromisesThe Lord let us know, through the writings of the Apostle Paul, that the things which happened to people in the Old Testament happened not only for their instruction, provision, and discipline, but also for ours:

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11 NKJV

So let’s use Moses and the twelve spies for our example. God instructed Moses to choose men, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, to spy out the land of promise. The men were to be leaders; men who were recognized for their position and ability. Men who would gather information about their new homeland and its inhabitants, and return with samples of its produce. Men who would mix the gathered facts with what they already knew in their heart; that God is faithful and true. Men who would influence their nation to follow after God.

God gave them 40 days of promises; time to meditate on all that He had promised.

The word translated “spy” means, “to meander about, especially for trade or reconnoitering.”

Reconnoiter. I like that word. It means, “To go to a place, or area, in order to find out information about a military enemy: to do reconnaissance.” In other words, the twelve leaders’ mission was simply to gather the facts and report them to Moses and the others. And by doing so, the rest of Israel could gain the much needed support for their faith to help them actually possess the promises they had been hearing about the past several generations.

Support for faith. It’s something all of us need if we’re to possess the promises of God. And that’s the reason for this series of posts.

Think of this reading material as a type of reconnoitering; looking at the land God has already promised. Examining its impact on our way of living. Seeing the faithful God in a whole new light. Understanding His love and great desire to impact our lives for good, and for eternity.

Sure, there may be things that appear much too large; impossible, even.

But the Lord does not say one thing and mean something different. He is, among many other things, faithful and true.

One huge lesson we can take away from the spies of old: look at life through the eyes of faith in God. Mix faith with the promises of God. Don’t be overwhelmed with the size of the enemy, the problem, or whatever. God didn’t send them into the land to investigate the prowess and power of the enemy; but to witness the greatness of His Glory against the backdrop of impossibly.

40 Days of Promises. An opportunity to examine the “land of promise”, dream the dreams of God for your life, and, hopefully, by mixing faith with the promises, personally experience God’s handiwork and power.

And just imagine the joy you’ll have in telling others about the land of God’s promises.

Feeling Like A Failure

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I must confess: at this moment I feel more like Gideon in the winepress, than David running out to meet Goliath.

What happened? Nothing in particular. Just life.

But though my flesh is tired, and I’m frustrated with my circumstances, I will not quit fighting the good fight of faith. Though I feel like a failure…

No, I will encourage myself, just as David did when it looked as though he would be killed by the Philistines.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:1 – 34:10 ESV)

I know I don’t look like a mighty man of faith and power. I realize I don’t have the muscles of a warrior. I haven’t noticed any ladder in my yard whereupon the angels of God are ascending and descending. I haven’t heard the voice like that of many waters call my name, or even clear his throat.

The voice I’ve been hearing for the last hour or two has sounded more like the serpent than the savior. The message that’s bombarded my spirit seems more like my accuser than my advocate. And the heaviness on my heart can’t be anything other than the cares of the world.

Regardless of what I feel, what I hear, or what life is trying to force me into believing;

I am God’s. He is mine.

I’m not required to run and meet Goliath.

All I need to do is run to my God.

He is all I need.

I am not a failure.

Barney Banana

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I must say, at the onset of this post, the story you’re about to read is someone else’s fault. A friend told us the ending, which prompted me to learn more about what happened.

Anyway, the story goes like this…

Once upon a time in a faraway land where fruit trees abound and grapevines cover the hillsides, stood a dozen or so banana plants. Yes, they felt a little out of place; probably about like a watermelon in a strawberry patch. But that’s the way life was in the fruity little land called Grove.

Grove was known for its sweet, fresh air and well groomed residents. It was a well known fact, that because of Grove’s specially treated water made available with just a twist of the tap, everyone lived to a ripe old age. Visitors always remarked about wishing they could take the town home with them. Everyone loved the little town of Grove.

Except Barney Banana.

Now Barney wasn’t a bad banana; in fact he’d never even been so much as bruised. But he’d heard stories of life beyond Grove, and the wanderlust in his heart began to grow so strong he thought he’d bust right out of his skin.

Old Barney would dream of Monkeland, with its bright lights, fast carts, and loose cupcakes looking for anything with a peel. He knew he could make it big in Monkeland, if he’d only have the chance. Yes, Barney knew he had what it took; and he just had to find a way.

But there were a couple of barriers that hindered our friend from making his big split from Grove.

One, he was downright scared. Well, maybe scared isn’t exactly the word; how about, uptight? Yeah, that’s it. Barney was uptight. Why? It was his momma’s fault. When he was just a little baby, still small and green, she told him about this evil critter that made Monkeland its home. She would describe the evil being as hairy, very quick, with hands and feet unlike anything she’d ever seen. And it loved to tear into bananas.

She also showed him pictures and newspaper clippings of other terrible occurrences happening in the awful and forbidden land of Monkeland. Horrible stories of fellow bananas getting knifed, flayed, and then buried under 3 piles of white dirt, by a grinning monster wearing a little hat. As he studied the pictures, and especially the little hat the monster had on its head, Barney figured the “BR” stood for Banana Ruffian. It was enough to send icy chills up and down his skin.

Of course, Barney was getting older and could fend for himself. And he could certainly do his own thinking. He didn’t need advice from someone who had never lived on her own, and who had always been surround by other bananas; her own kind!

He was tired of hanging around the same, dull, fruity people. He was tired of listening to the same old spider jokes. Like the one, “What do you call something with eight legs on a yellow floor? I don’t know, but it’s crawling up your back!” My, was he ever tired of that one.

So Barney decided he’d been bunched up long enough. No fear was going to hold him back. He’d show his mom, his siblings, and even the Reverend Banana, that Barney B. could make it on his own! He would jump down when an apple cart came by, and off he’d go to Monkeland.

So, the day of opportunity arrived and Barney slipped away. Into the apple cart and out of sight.

Too bad this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Big Barney met with an untimely death. You see, there was this little old grandma who, that very day, was baking a gingerbread man. She happened to live in the neighboring town of Fairytale.

Anyway, as she finished her baking, she opened the oven door and out jumped her gingerbread man. As it took off out the front door, it sang, “Run, run, as fast as you can; you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

Well, grandma chased him about as far as she could. Exhausted, she turned back toward home. All of a sudden she caught sight of the apple cart as it headed toward Monkeland.

“Oooh, that looks good”, she exclaimed as she notIced Barney hiding among the apples.

With that, she reached into the cart, picked up ol’ Barney by the scruff of his neck, and whistled all the way home.

Barney was never seen again.

You see, you never know how things may end up when you decide to leave the bunch. You may get caked, split, smashed, or something else.

But you’ve got to realize that the banana that leaves the bunch is the one that gets peeled.

Think about it.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)

Thrilled!

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What does it take to thrill you? A scary movie, an exciting football game, a great song? How about some good news?

Would a gift of a million dollars thrill you?

Are you a hard person to thrill? Why? Have you had too many unfulfilled promises left in your hope chest? Does your heart simply refuse to be thrilled, or even encouraged?

Remember the old song “The Thrill Is Gone”? It was written by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins, and made famous by Mr. B.B.King. Here are two verses of the song. Do they describe you? Has the thrill left you?

“The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday”

“The thrill is gone
It’s gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although, I’ll still live on
But so lonely I’ll be”

Have you lost the capacity to be thrilled? Has the “thrill” portion of your heart been fried too many times? Has it died?

Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life…” Not only can he raise us up from the grave, he can resurrect our old and cold, dead heart! It can pump hope again! It can be thrilled again!

You may ask, “what does it take for The Thriller to change this hopeless excuse for a life?” Just a little bit, actually.

Just a little bit? Yep.

That should be good news for someone who’s running low on hope.

All it takes is a little bit of faith. Just a smidgen; about the size of a mustard seed. And he’ll even supply that little seed of faith if you ask him.

By the way, Jesus does much, much more than stimulate the senses and exhilarate the soul. He regenerates, reactivates, and rejuvenates the very depth of your being! A new creation; a brand new you, from the inside out. Old worn out desires, dreams, and disappointments disappear as the new life of hope and faith rises from Golgotha; the place where man was reconciled to God by the cross of Christ. By faith in the cross.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT)

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)

The thrill of living can be restored. The hope of a bright, eternal future can be resurrected. The long night of sorrow and hopelessness fades as the sun of righteousness begins to shine into your heart – thrilling and filling you with glorious, inexpressible joy!

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. (Psalm 92:1-4 NLT)

Thrilled!

Halftime!

20131125-194711.jpgWhat a game! Did you see it? I’m referring to the Broncos/Patriots game last night. Wow!

I must say, I was hoping the Broncos would win. And at halftime, with the score 24-0 in favor of Denver, I was tempted to shut the TV off and read a book.

I would have missed quite the show!

I wonder what Coach Belichick told his Patriots in the locker room?

Patriots scored their first possession in the second half, and eventually led Denver 31-24. Finally, with only 3:06 left in regular time, Denver scored a TD, tying the game.

Overtime was interesting, as well. It looked as though Denver would score early. They had first possession because Belichick declined it, choosing to opt for playing with the wind rather than against it. But, no score by either team for about the first 13 minutes of OT.

Ask!

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Looking for God? Are you sure He’s around? What if He doesn’t want to have anything to do with you? 

Maybe there really isn’t a God! Perhaps you’re just wasting your time looking for someone who isn’t real in the first place.

Okay, suppose there is a God; what makes you think He gives a rip about anything happening in this crummy, old world? And especially anything going on in YOUR world! 

Really, now, why does mankind everywhere have this preoccupation with God? And though they may say they don’t believe in God, or a God, they fill their lives with all sorts of pseudo-gods; someone or something they can worship. EVERYONE worships; no exceptions. 

Something within each person cries long and loud for God. They may not see it as such, but EVERYONE hungers and thirsts for God.

I cannot PROVE to you God exists. I BELIEVE He does; in fact, my experience witnesses to me there IS a God. But I can’t prove it to you. I can’t convince you by arguing with you about the reality of God.

I would never be able to pressure you into believing, nor would I even try

If you have any questions about God: is He real, does He care for me, will He answer prayer, is there more to this life than I’m experiencing, does He care if I’m a Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, or a whatever; there’s only one thing to do.

Ask Him.

Ask Him?

Yes, ask Him.

If you will only be honest with yourself, and God, you will begin to experience the reality of God. I’m not referring to some new age mumbo-jumbo, or an ancient spiritist’s “all paths lead to God” mentality. 

I’m simply saying, if you REALLY want to know God, act like it and ask Him.

You see, if you were REALLY hungry or thirsty you’d not have a problem asking anyone and everyone for some food and water.

“But I don’t know who to ask for, where or how to call, and what the proper protocol is when addressing deity.”

Just ask!

Find yourself a quiet place, a place you can at least appear to be alone. Then, begin to say what’s on your mind and heart. Though you may think it sounds foolish, ask God to reveal Himself to you. A sincere heart is a heart God desires to commune with

Of course, you can call out to God in a very loud place; a place so noisy you’d think the world just came to an end. It doesn’t matter to God. He hears the heart’s cry of the serious searcher. 

A number of years ago I wasn’t sure about this “God thing”. But I knew part of me could not rest until I got some answers. So I asked. 

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” (Jeremiah 29:13 MSG)

“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” (Isaiah 57:15 NLT)

God revealed Himself to me, through His Son Jesus Christ. He opened the eyes of my heart, helping me see that He had been “wooing” me all along. 

The Lord became real to me, and is desiring to reveal Himself to you. To the one who is serious about “finding God”, new life is available for the asking. 

So ask.

The Ponderosa Prize

20130916-234450.jpgIt had been a long day. My wife and I had traveled about 500 miles and decided to stop in Greenfield, Indiana for the night. After checking into our hotel and cleaning up a bit, we went looking for a place to eat. Lots to choose from, but what really sounds good? Oh, there it is; the Ponderosa Steakhouse. Yum, yum!

After trying out a couple of tables, we finally seated ourselves in a booth close to the exit. No particular reason other than it just seemed like the spot to be.

After praying over the food we were about to gather, we each grabbed a plate and started filling it with meatloaf, chicken, salad, a little fish, and a few other tasty items. On the dessert table was banana pudding, one of my favorites! I spooned out a nice portion from the corner of the pan that had not been touched; oh, happy day!

Well, as we were just about to finish, I noticed one of those “claw” machines about 10 feet from our table. You know the kind I’m talking about; the kind with different stuffed toys, animals, and…JAY CUTLER from the Chicago Bears! A doll of Jay Cutler for only 50 cents!

I can just about hear you say, “Why would a grown man want a doll of a football quarterback?” I have a couple of reasons, actually. First, I’ve been a Chicago Bears fan for about 30 years. Second, I thought it would be cool if I could actually win something from the machine. And third, if I won the doll, I’d have something to beat on while watching my team play (just in case they weren’t playing like I thought they should be).

After observing some teenagers spend a few dollars trying to hook some sort of doll (they weren’t trying for Jay), they finally clawed something and left the machine open for me to go to work. I had my two quarters in hand and my strategy in mind; ready to conquer.

I discovered it to be just a little harder than it looked. I was able to drop the claw around Jay’s neck, but I just couldn’t get him to budge. So, I decided I’d try a dollar bill, and get two more tries.

By this time I had an audience, a table of 4 somewhat elderly people, cheering me on! My wife was also encouraging me, along with one or two of the restaurant workers. My third try hooked a real trophy; a multi-colored cloth unicorn. As I removed it from the machine, I heard a lady from my cheering section comment about how much she liked the unicorn. Since I knew my wife wouldn’t want it, I walked over to the lady and gave it to her. She was ecstatic, but I still wanted that Bears doll.

Hey, what’s another dollar? Slipped in the buck, moved the claw, hit the button to drop it and started to bring the doll up when, NO! It dropped again! But it was close, and I still had one more try.

The cheering section was going wild! I felt like a contestant on “The Price Is Right”! They were cheering, coaching, holding their breath, clapping…people throughout the restaurant knew something big was happening over by the exit. Just before I made my last attempt, the lady who I gave the unicorn to came up waving a dollar bill for me. She wanted me to keep trying for the quarterback! And folks, we were just outside Indianapolis! Not exactly Bears territory!

I moved the claw and was about to drop it, when one of my encouragers hollered from his table, “Go for the legs! Go for the legs!” So you know what I did? Took the guys advice, dropped the claw on Jay’s legs, and won myself a quarterback! SWEET!

Jay Cutler cost me a buck fifty, but the experience was worth a lot more. To be surrounded by people I’d never met, cheering me on in a place I’d never been, was so invigorating! As we finally left the restaurant, my wife reminded me of what a good picture of encouragement those people were. It was like they truly wanted to see me succeed.

Wouldn’t it be something if we could be that way with each other? After all, the prize we’re all after is worth much more than even a Chicago Bears doll. How much more important is it that we cheer one another on, lift each other up, and maybe even toss a dollar or two to someone when needed?

Paul and Barnabas did that very thing. Luke wrote about their ministry: “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22 ESV)

Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians is one for us, as well: “So encourage each other and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT)

We may feel someone is wasting their time and resources going after some stupid looking doll. We may be right. But why not leave that issue with the One Who truly knows? Instead of figuring out everyone’s motives, let us rather see what we can do to encourage them, spurring them on to a life of greatness, of achievement, and one of obtaining the prize.

Musicians and Music

20130629-224623.jpgIt’s been said that musicians are a strange breed of cat. I’ve been inclined to agree. But I’m not sure anymore. I believe everyone has a bit of peculiarity about them. God would call it uniqueness.

However, there is something powerful about music. Maybe it’s the melody, words, rhythm, and harmony all working together that makes it so powerful. Ask any person 50 years or older about a certain bell, a certain tune, they’d hear during the summer and chances are they’d begin telling you about the ice cream truck, or bicycle. And, oh, the power of that little tune was enough to get every kid running to their parents, all yelling the same thing, “Can we, Puh-Leeze?!?”

Musicians and music. In my opinion, you can’t separate the two. They are connected by the heart of the musician. A musician can create a piece of music, write it down so others can play it, all the while never realizing the spirit that embodies the song.

I know, it sounds pretty weird. Let me say it a different way. Whatever is in a person’s heart, or spirit, in abundance, is what will come out; regardless of what they’re doing or what their gift is. For instance: do you know people who complain all the time? Guess what’s in their heart. Actually, you don’t need to guess. They give it away! Know anyone who is kind and encouraging? Out of the abundance of the heart…

There are examples of this phenomenon in the scriptures. David, before he was king, was a singing, worshipping, shepherd boy. He loved God, worshipped God, and stood up for God’s Name regardless of the circumstance. His heart was full of love for God. So, when King Saul had emotional and spiritual problems, and probably felt like he was losing his mind, someone suggested to him that he get David to come and play music for him. David came and brought the Presence of God with him, soothing Saul’s soul.

Another time, King Jehoshaphat was preparing to join forces with King Ahab, but hesitated until he could hear from Elisha, the prophet. Elisha said, “Bring me a minstrel (or musician).” As the musician began to play, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha. The musician helped usher in the Presence of God,and mighty things were accomplished.

Lucifer himself used to be the chief musician in Heaven (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). Music and a holy anointing flowed out of him; until the day iniquity was found in him. Until the day he was consumed with himself; his importance, his gifts, his power. But even though a holy anointing ceased to flow out of him, still, music and an unholy anointing flows from his heart. Out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks, sings, worships (himself), plans, etc. Same way with God and mankind, who were created in His image.

Everything flows from the heart!

Ministering, serving others, flows from the heart. Giving to the widows and orphans flows from the heart. The power to resist temptation flows from the heart.

Everything flows from the heart!

There’s coming a day when the children of God will learn this truth. They will come to know that, regardless of the situation they may be in, they can bring Godly influence and His Heavenly Presence into their midst. It’s not a matter of praying long prayers, fasting 200 days, or even saying so many “amens”, “oh me’s”, or “hail Mary’s”. It’s allowing the heart to do what it longs to do most – love and worship God! It was created to yield to God, to allow God access to all He’s placed inside each of us. The creation yielding to its Creator – now that’s beautiful music!

Whatever is good, lovely, pure, kind, fruit of the spirit (the human spirit); let those things be in you in abundance and they will flow from you. “Out of your inner most being will flow rivers of Living Water.” Because the River is in you, it can flow out of you.

Everything flows out of the heart!

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ’Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 ESV)

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 ESV)

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV)

Musicians – do you want to make a positive difference in your world? It’s not about building a platform, putting a band together, recording and distributing your songs, or making a name for yourself. Do you remember the name of the minstrel who played for Elisha? No? That’s because his name wasn’t recorded. Only One Name is important. And amazing things happen because of that Name.

The main thing is being the person God can anoint and flow through to touch others. After all, something is going to flow out of your heart. Let it be something God can partner with.

Everything flows from the heart!

Keep On Truckin’

20130616-211515.jpgWay back in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, when I was a hippie-wannabe, there was a phrase floating around that fit me to a “T”. The phrase was “Keep On Truckin’!”

It meant something like, “just keep doing what ever you feel is the cool, far out, groovy, right on, hip thing to do. Don’t stop just because the Establishment doesn’t approve. Stay with it, outlast the squares and the creeps. Be your own freaky self, paint your own picture, carve your own initials. Sing your own song, write your own story, live your own life!”

Keep on truckin’!

It went well with my “traveling” lifestyle; hitch hiking here and there, city to city, just because I could. I thought of myself as a free spirit, a cool freak (for sure, man). I was a happening cat, dude. The Establishment was always harassing me, though. Something about me being only 16 years old. Some people just never could understand.

A lot has changed in my life since then. I’m no longer the hippie-wannabe; I’m actually part of the Establishment (gasp!). The things I used to pursue (like becoming a rock and roll star) don’t have the pull on me they once had. As a Christian, my focus is no longer on “doing my own thing”, but it is “finding out what pleases The Lord”. I still get to be my own freaky self, but the emphasis isn’t centered on being freaky; just on being who God wants me to be. Of course, there will always be some who consider me freaky (translated=weird).

So, a lot has changed, but the phrase “Keep on truckin'” is still just as fitting today as it was 40 years ago. Actually, it is much more appropriate!

This passage in 2 Timothy says it best: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV)

The way things are in the world, and the way people are ignoring God’s Truth, it is very tempting to pack up all my gear, say a final prayer for the world, and lay low until Jesus comes. To do the bare minimum, as far as any Kingdom work is concerned, pacing myself so as not to exert too much energy, lest I run out too soon. To say to myself, God, and anyone who’ll listen, “Why should I continually wear myself out for people who don’t appreciate it anyway? They don’t seem to mind they’re going to hell; why should I knock myself out for them?”

And in the midst of all those thoughts I hear The Lord say, “Son, keep on truckin’!”

The Apostle Paul wasn’t around during the 1960’s and ’70’s, so he said it a little bit different: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)

The message is clear, no matter how it’s said. “Just keep doing what ever you feel is the cool, far out, groovy, right on, hip thing to do. Don’t stop just because the Establishment doesn’t approve. Stay with it, outlast the squares and the creeps. Be your own freaky self, paint your own picture, carve your own initials. Sing your own song, write your own story, live your own life…FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”(Colossians 3:17 ESV)

And, “KEEP ON TRUCKIN’!”

Everyone Needs Someone

helpEveryone needs someone.

At some time.

In some way. 

Encouragement can make or break a life; it has that much power. 

Encouragement serves to help give courage to someone so they can:

Face what they couldn’t face, say what they couldn’t say, do what they couldn’t do, and believe as they couldn’t believe… 

Maybe YOU are that “someone”…

Recently I wrote a book called, “The Power of Encouragement”. It was written to help each of us understand what encouragement can accomplish, and how to encourage yourself and others.

Here’s an excerpt from the book, “The Power of Encouragement”:

20130102-223510.jpg“The early church, even without all the high-tech gadgets—beautiful buildings at strategic locations, radio and television ministries, popular worship teams with copyright licenses and multimedia stage performances, Bible colleges and correspondence schools, and the latest marketing tools and gimmicks that the modern church often feels it must have to successfully “reach the lost,” shook the world and turned it upside down with the power of God. Multitudes were saved and discipled and took their place in the body of Christ because of a total commitment to the kingdom of God and because of people like Barnabas, the Encourager.

Barnabas, who was given the name Joses by his parents, was known among the apostles and church family as someone who would set aside his own preferences and opinions to encourage others in the ways of God. They knew him as a person radically in love with Jesus and the people Jesus loved. He was a giver of his time, comfort, and resources and could be counted on to help others. He was someone who entered into a situation, stood beside the one in need, and grabbed hold of that person until the need was met. So people began calling him Barnabas, the Encourager.

How important is encouragement to the work of God? How necessary is it to have people like Barnabas around? Can the work of God really be effective without people like Barnabas active in its ranks? Just how much influence did Barnabas have in the early church, and why should it matter to those of us living two thousand years later?

I believe that without people like Barnabas, the work of God does not move forward but dies out. Great works of God start in a blaze of glory, but it takes the encourager(s) to keep it moving. God moves on and anoints gifted leaders to plant works and ministries, to take territory for the kingdom of God. But souls, cities, and territories aren’t won without a struggle with the Enemy. Many lives and ministries have started well but, due to discouragement, have become shipwrecked along the way. But encouragers come alongside the gifted and called leaders, join themselves to the task, help lift the downcast, and inject hope into the situation.”

I encourage you to look for ways to encourage others. Go out of your way, if necessary. It really does make a difference for someone; possibly an eternal difference!

If you’d like to order a copy of my book, there are a number of different ways to do so. 

WestBow Press http://tinyurl.com/lp23yhr
Amazon http://tinyurl.com/kjxk52u
Barnes and Noble http://tinyurl.com/lhjf59a
Christian Book Distributors http://tinyurl.com/m6whfbp

Also, you may go to your favorite bookstore and they can order it for you.

Now, go out and encourage someone.

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