His Encouragement: Bless His Name!

I do not know about you, but I find it very hard to stay sad, discouraged, upset, apathetic, hurt or any other negative feeling when I am praising the Lord. There is something about the very act of giving thanks to God, even when it seems we have very little to be thankful for, that lifts my mood, eases my burdens, and floods me with peace. It is not always easy to find things to be thankful for.

His Encouragement: Give Thanks

Today is November 1st, and as is my custom, I try to spend the entire month in a special spirit of thankfulness. We should be grateful all year long, but it is not uncommon throughout the world and human history for people to recognize a time of special thankfulness, usually around harvest time. In Biblical times, two of the major feasts outlined in Scripture were specifically connected with harvest and showing gratitude to the Lord for His blessings.

His Encouragement: Do to others

We all could learn from the young man on the bus. May we also never forget to treat others as we, ourselves, would like to be treated — even if we do not receive (on this earth) recognition for doing so or even if it may not be in our favor to doing so.

His Encouragement: Peace I leave with you

Every moment, every day is a precious gift of time. Let us cherish the time we have now and, no matter what difficult circumstance you may be going through, claim the peace that the Lord offers. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

His Encouragement: All I could do is sing

There were a few times this past week when we had no idea if Mom would survive. You may have experienced or may be experiencing something similar. It is important to grieve, to deal with the flood of conflicting emotions, to process the current situations (as uncertain as it is) and begin to mentally prepare for the various outcomes. But never lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Even when faced with death. Death is not the end but merely the beginning of a new chapter.

His Encouragement: 1 Peter 5:6

Humility is looked down upon in many circles today. It is all about taking care of #1! Showing off your accomplishments by spending lavishly. Flooding your social media with perfectly posed and curated photos to give the impression your life is glamorous. Humility is a weakness at best and a crutch at worst in the eyes of many. As such, there is little respect for the virtue of humility. Yet throughout the Bible it is mentioned over and over and over again.

His Encouragement: Micah 6:8

There are quite a few passages in the Scriptures that provide clear, practical instructions on what the duty of God’s children is. Among them is Micah 6:8. Not only are we directed to love kindness even when kindness is hard, but we are also told to walk humbly with God. I like how one dictionary defines humbly as “unpretentious” or “not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed”.

His Encouragement: Matthew 5:14-16

Well, today is Thursday once again, and I know it has been a very hard week or two for some of my family and friends. A lot is going on right now, and it is not always easy to process. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Right now, there are so many people hurting. They need a kind word, a gentle hug, a listening ear. They need to know that they are loved, that they are important and matter. You might even be one of them.

Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23

Fruit of the Spirit

Harsh, mean-spirited, and judgmental. More and more often, I am hearing saddening accounts of brothers and sisters within our church families who have been attacked by fellow church members for having different experiences, different opinions, different likes and dislikes. Attacked by individuals displaying the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit.