Tag Archives: Encouragement

Giving Encouragement

Living in the Spirit
November 17, 2017

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

So then let us not fall asleep as those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
–1 Thessalonians 5:6-11

Sleep, of course, has its purpose in preparing us for the work of the day as does food and exercise, study and prayer. Our focus must, however, be on our purpose: building a world ruled by God’s love.

The need for quality sleep is in the news a lot. Modern people tend to sacrifice sleep for things they rank more important than sleep. Others get so caught up in the stress of the day; they cannot sleep as they revisit the problems turning them over and over in their minds. Still, others believe sleep allows time for our brains to process things unencumbered resulting in new insights.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

 Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below.*

We do need to encourage one another whether we are missing sleep to sit with a sick friend or wrestling with an issue that seems to have no good conclusion or waiting patiently for God to open a window to let in light on a life situation ensconced in darkness.

Prayer: Lord, enable us all to be encouragers of others as we welcome encouragement ourselves. Amen.

Verses 1 and 2 of Be Still,My Soul by Kathrina von Schlegel see at https://hymnary.org/text/be_still_my_soul_the_lord_is_on_thy_side

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.


spinning a topLiving in the Spirit
Light a Candle for Children
September 25, 2014

 Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-13 

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. — Philippians 2:1-4

Do what I say not what I do.” Is a phrase that describes what I think many of we adults expect of the children with whom we interact. It doesn’t work that way. Children learn as much or more from our actions and reactions than they do from the wisdom we share via our words. Paul, in our scripture today, is admonishing the Philippians to let their lives reflect the Christ in them. While Paul was most likely addressing interpersonal relationships among the adults in the church, I think we can readily apply this in our interactions with children.

While traveling in Turkey recently, I was resting with others on our tour at our designated meeting place when some ten to twelve year-old boys began pestering us to buy the wares they carried. They did not speak English and we did not speak Turkish. If you have every encounter these street urchins you know they can be very persistent. One boy particularly caught my eye as he was selling tops. His unspoken sales pitch was demonstrating his rather impressive skills with the tops. He could spin one on the ground, pop it still spinning into the palm of his, and then jump it to the top of his head. I had not gotten a keepsake for my brother yet and remembered how he liked to play with tops as a child so I thought it might be fun to get him one. I motioned to the boy that I wanted two tops. He removed the two that I had selected from the handful he had and then tried to get me to take the larger group. I shook my head no and pointed to the two he had taken out but he persisted in handing me all the others. The friend setting next to me said, “I think he wants you to hold those so he can show you that the others work.” So, I took the handful of tops and indeed he carefully wound one and then the other and showed me that both of the tops I was purchasing were good. My reaction to his salesmanship, based on my friend’s insights, added one small encouragement to a future honest businessman. These small encouragements add up. So do small discouragements.

Oklahoma Fact: Oklahoma spends 1.4 times as much per prisoner as per public school student.*

 Prayer: Lord let our lives reflect your encouragement, particularly to children. Amen.



All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.