• Topic > Relationships > Encouragement >

    Blinding Blue Pants

    Oh, Dad . . . Dad,” he said with equal parts love and horror. Pointing at his father’s shocking blue pants, he went on: “It looks like you’re an aging youth pastor trying to look young.”

    The Twelfth Man

    A large sign at the Texas A&M University football stadium says “HOME OF THE 12TH MAN.” While each team is allowed eleven players on the field, the 12th Man is the presence of thousands of A&M students who remain standing during the entire game to cheer their team on. The tradition traces its roots to 1922 when the coach called a student from the stands to suit up and be ready to replace an injured player. Although he never entered the game, his willing presence on the sideline greatly encouraged the team.

                Hebrews 11 describes heroes of the faith who…

    Keep Up the Good Work

    My son loves to read. If he reads more books than what is required at school, he receives an award certificate. That bit of encouragement motivates him to keep up the good work.

    When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he motivated them not with an award but with words of encouragement. He said, “Brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more” (1 Thess. 4:1). These Christians were pleasing God through their lives,…

    Words for the Weary

    A few days after his father died, 30-year-old C. S. Lewis received a letter from a woman who had cared for his mother during her illness and death more than two decades earlier. The woman offered her sympathy for his loss and wondered if he remembered her. “My dear Nurse Davison,” Lewis replied. “Remember you? I should think I do.”

    Lewis recalled how much her presence in their home had meant to him as well as to his brother and father during a difficult time. He thanked her for her words of sympathy and said, “It is really comforting to be taken…

    Words of Life

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” That saying has been used to cushion the blow of unpleasant words for more than 100 years. We know, however, that harsh words can pierce our hearts and shatter our spirits. Bruises and broken bones can heal with time, but a broken heart and crushed spirit caused by harsh statements aren’t easily mended. Some wounds can even prove to be fatal.

    The Swagger

    In the summer of 2015, Hunter (aged 15) carried his brother Braden (8) for a fifty-seven-mile walk to raise awareness of the needs of people with cerebral palsy. Braden weighs sixty pounds, so Hunter needed frequent rest stops where others helped him stretch his muscles, and he wore special harnesses to disperse Braden’s weight. Hunter says that while the harnesses helped with the physical discomfort, what helped him most were the people along the way. “If it weren’t for everyone cheering and walking with us, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. . . . My legs were sore…

    Tongues Afire

    Over the past month or so, my wife and I have had some hard conversations. Places of deep hurt have become visible again. As we’ve talked, amid much sadness, I’ve had to reckon with a lasting wound I left on her heart. Years ago, before we were married, Miska and I endured a significant conflict. In that turmoil, I spoke words to her that were foolish and immature, words that lodged into the most tender and vulnerable places of her heart. I didn’t speak in anger or malice, but rather with ignorance and stupidity. I’ve asked her forgiveness multiple times,…

    Coming Alongside

    Her thirty classmates and their parents watched as Mi’Asya nervously walked to the podium to speak at her fifth grade graduation ceremony. When the principal adjusted the microphone to Mi’Asya’s height, she turned her back to the microphone and the audience. The crowd whispered words of encouragement: “Come on, honey, you can do it.” But she didn’t budge. Then a classmate walked to the front and stood by her side. With the principal on one side of Mi’Asya and her friend on the other, the three read her speech together. What a beautiful example of support!

             Moses needed help and…

    Keep Climbing!

    Richard needed a push, and he got one. He was rock climbing with his friend Kevin who was the belayer (the one who secures the rope). Exhausted and ready to quit, Richard asked Kevin to lower him to the ground. But Kevin urged him on, saying he had come too far to quit now. Dangling in midair, Richard decided to keep trying. Amazingly, he was able to reconnect with the rock and complete the climb because of his friend’s encouragement.

                In the early church, followers of Jesus encouraged one another to continue to follow their Lord and to show compassion.…

    In Jesus’ Love

    In Jesus’ Love. He closed his email message with those words. And as I read them, I realized how poignant they were. For this young man—who I had seen come to a saving faith in Jesus, who I’d baptized, whose faith was maturing—was back home for a stay in his birth country, a place not known for kindness toward believers in Jesus. He mentioned receiving “strange looks” from nationals as he prayed before his meal in a restaurant, the coolness his friend showed toward his faith, and that he was lonely. So I strived to encourage him by writing, “I’m so…

    Understanding how much God loves you

    How much does God love you? Today on “Discover the Word,” we begin our study on “The 4D Love of God.” Interestingly, when the apostle Paul described “the height, the depth, the width and the length” of God’s love for us, he himself was under house arrest. How can understanding Paul’s circumstances change our own perspective about how much we’re loved by God? Join the group today on “Discover the Word”!

    How do we best pray for others

    Today, we’ll pose the question, “How do we pray for others when we don’t know what’s best for them?” In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul gives us a model on how to do that, so we can pray, even when we don’t know what to pray for. That’s today on “Discover the Word.”

    True confidence comes in Christ alone

    In the film, “The Sound of Music,” Maria von Trapp sings, “I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain.” But nature can’t help you when you need answers to prayer. The apostle Paul modeled true confidence. His trust was in Christ alone and the power of prayer to transform people into His image. Don’t miss this important conversation today on “Discover the Word”!

    Praying with joy

    In today’s busy world, does the thought of having to pray consistently for someone seem burdensome? Today on “Discover the Word,” we’ll discuss how Paul is our example when it comes to praying with joy. It’s all about relationship. Don’t miss the discussion, today on “Discover the Word”!

    Bearing each other’s burdens

    One sign of a healthy church is bearing each other’s burdens in prayer. Today on “Discover the Word,” we will discuss what it means to be “Praying for Others” with the apostle Paul’s words to the Philippians, “I thank God every time I remember you.” Paul had forged a strong bond with the people there. But since Paul was only in Philippi for a few weeks, how was that possible? Join the group today on “Discover the Word”!


    September 2019: Christian Living

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