Encouragement – We all want it, heck, we all need it!
I’ve found that things are a little different in the kingdom than they are in the world. For instance, if I need something, I usually have to begin to give something away. If I need kindness, I need to be kind. It’s a kingdom of opposites in some ways.
What seems right to a man is death, (Prov. 16:25) Hmmm. I think this scripture may have something to do with the ‘kingdom-way’ of doing things. If I keep doing things only for me, me, me, all it will do is bring death. If I am so full of things or information and never give back or pour back out to others, I’m a virtual dead sea with no outlet. I’m dead.
So, when I need encouragement, I encourage. When I need wisdom, I first of all ask, but then I give the wisdom He’s given to me, to others seeking it too. God will always be faithful in giving to us what other’s need.
Encouragement is often like an affirmation. It’s the turbo boost we sometimes need at the very end of a project or season. When things seem like they couldn’t get any harder but still do, encouragement is the juice that will keep us contending for the breakthrough we know is just around the corner. It will cause us to stand up straighter and know that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.
So, am I right; don’t we all need encouragement? I would challenge you to purpose your day to go out and find someone who needs exactly what you need and encourage them to not give up, to keep pressing until breakthrough comes. Tell them exactly what you need to hear, use the same exact words you are longing to hear yourself. You will be amazed how refreshed you will feel. Holy Spirit may even now be whispering to you some of the things you need to do or say to bring about this refreshing to others and vicariously for yourself.
I’ve done this before with great success. This is not a formula of course because we all need different things. But it can be a tool. One day when I was feeling pretty discouraged I went into the grocery store to pick up a few things. All I wanted to do was get what I needed as quickly as possible and then go home. When I got my things and approached one of the checkout lanes, I noticed that one of the cashiers was really looking down and discouraged. I knew that if spoke some encouragement to her and simply spoke blessings over her, she would be lifted up and maybe even begin to smile; she would be encouraged.
Of course that’s exactly what I did. I began by telling her what an awesome job she was doing and that immediately brought a smile to her face. I spoke other encouraging words over her and not only did her countenance change but so did everyone else who was standing in line behind me. By the time I left the store, which was really only a matter of ten minutes, I was encouraged myself! Win, win.
The kingdom of God is here, living inside of each and every one of us. It’s not supposed to remain there. It’s supposed to be shared, transplanted in dark places or even in people who have no hope left. We have the answers to all they need. When we encourage others we are bringing light into their current darkness and isn’t that where light belongs, in the dark places? Aren’t we to be messengers of hope? I believe encouragement can be (and is) a great big doorway into bringing the kingdom to earth and transforming our neighborhoods and cities; one kind encouraging word at a time.
Let’s purpose to do this and if you do, come back and tell me about it; I will be greatly encouraged too!
So go! Get out there and encourage someone, right now, today!
So, I’m supposed to be writing more, as in every day! I feel like I should be spending an hour at the bare minimum developing my ‘craft’, aka writing, even though I’m not exactly sure what that means.
Since I’m really working on being a good student, I am here sitting at my desk trying to not be distracted by the view out my windows so I can do this thing called writing. Also, I’m trying to shut out the voices that are laughing at me and saying, “Who do you think you are? You’re not a writer! You’re wasting your time. No one will read anything you have to say.” Shut up voices.
Whether anyone ever reads a single sentence I write, I am going through with this. I will never write anything if I don’t make time to do it or practicing the doing. So, here goes……
See look; three short paragraphs already! Woo Hoo, what a rock star I am! Okay, just kidding. I obviously don’t have a clue what to write about today but still it doesn’t matter. I know if I keep going, something will come out of it. A coherent thought will finally land and then I will expound on it. Yeah! That’s the ticket.
One recent thing I’ve done is finish reading Stephen Kings book, On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft. I read a great review of it by Steve (not Stephen) Bremner and afterwards, I was intrigued. So much so, I went out and got my own Kindle copy; it turns out that Steve was right. There were so many nuggets in that book to help me on my journey. Tucked inside the book are nuggets about whether to plot or not to plot, (sorry), adjectives and why they should die, tips about the 1st draft vs. the 2nd draft. All right there for the taking.
I’m so glad I did read this book. Whether I ever write a book, fiction or otherwise, I have gleaned much from it. I’m optimistic that there is even more in there that is waiting for me to discover. Yes, I do realize I’m being vague but I’m not here to tell you bit by bit what you need to know. I’m actually here to tell you that it’s in there and this is to be considered an invitation or maybe a treasure map that has a great big X on it marking where the treasure is. It says you are here X, and the treasure is here X. Come and get it!
It’s obvious by the above date that some time has elapsed since writing the first part of this. And it might also be obvious that I didn’t exactly write for an hour each day. It’s okay because I’m writing now. Or am I? Is it writing if I simply type out the things that are running through my head? I believe it may well be. (Smile)
Note: Apparently I didn’t have much running through my head. But then again, between these two dates, I did have a birthday, I did bake lots of orders and I did work many hours at Ziggy’s.
I believe I need to start using the voice recorder on my phone to write down thoughts because I’m almost always driving when I have ideas about what to blog about or just things to write down. Probably should…..
7/4/15 (Happy Birthday America)
I’ve been thinking about social media lately and how in the last 8 or so years it’s changed my life, and the lives of many other people also; for the good and the bad. While on Facebook I got to minister to and encourage many people that I knew and many that I didn’t even know I was even speaking to until sometime later. I began to come out of my shell more and more as boldness was being established in me. Yes, I do know that many people are a lot more brave or bold on social media and say a lot more on social media than they ever would if someone was actually standing in the same room with them. Oh, I know that indeed, and it’s not always good.
But that’s not what I’m talking about in reference to my boldness at all. What I’m talking about is the boldness to think I might have something to say that someone else may need. I started to write out experiences that I had had and things I had learned. My introvert-ism began turning into an ambivert-ism (as a friend calls it.) I wasn’t transformed into an extravert but I was no longer an introvert so the term ambivert fits pretty well. I could step into which ever type of vert was needed for the situation and still keep it real and not something contrived to ‘fit in’ with the social media crowd I happened to be engaging with at the time.
So that was a pretty cool thing I got from social media. Another was all the people I’ve met and come to know and love over the years. Wow! It’s amazing how you really can form lasting relationships with people whom you’ve never physically met in your life. I’ve been blessed to have quite a few of these relationships and feel honored that these people would call me friend.
But what got me thinking about social media and how it’s changed me over the last several years was a conversation I was having with someone who was over for an intercessory meeting last week. We got to talking about Facebook in general and of course the recent Supreme Court decision also came up and all the craziness happing on any and all social media. And the craziness wasn’t just on Facebook; it was everywhere, no matter where you turned. I for one had no clue what was going on other than simply being aware of the Court’s decision. I had left FB back at the first of the year and gone over to MeWe, which was apparently not experiencing any of the same reactions from believers or non-believers. (That is, at least among my contacts, etc.)
The person I was conversing with, like many others, had never heard of MeWe. I went in to my usual ad campaign for the sight, espousing all the great things about it, like no ads, we own the content, not the other way around and how peaceful and quiet in general it is. I told her that one of my favorite features was the ability to actually use my voice to speak a comment or post. I was talking about how cool it is to actually use the power of your words, in the audible sense to pray for someone and to let that sound reverberate over them as opposed to simply typing out words to my prayers.
While talking about the power of my words it got me thinking………
We are so used to typing our words via text, emails, inboxing/private messaging and status updates that I wonder if this is something the enemy uses to steal some of the power of our words or prayers? Is all this non-verbal communication something that is so prevalent and normal in our culture that we have stopped using our audible voices and the power behind them? I know that I love to talk to someone face to face but that’s not possible, the next best thing is talking on the phone to someone. But sadly, many people don’t even use the phone to talk anymore, instead they choose to text their conversations. I find this not only puzzling but sad. The sound of someone’s voice is priceless; especially if you can’t be face to face.
Again, these were just some of my thoughts and actually have made me start to pray into some of these things. I’ve been asking the Lord about how to be more intentional in using my words, especially my spoken words. And I’ve been talking to Him about how to actually begin using methods of audible speech more often and more effectively. I know this is possible on MeWe and Voxer but I’m guilty of all the sad things others are doing; I text more often than pick up my phone and call someone. I type out conversations on MeWe rather than using a built in feature that allows me to use my voice; I simply haven’t really utilized the resources I’ve had at hand very much.
I can only guess the reason I haven’t used the audible resources that much is this thing about me not liking the sound of my recorded voice. I cringe when I hear it and say, ‘Is that my voice? I don’t sound like that!’ So, I tend to type out things rather than speak them, I don’t even give it much thought, most days.
Honestly, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and talk about using our voices when I don’t even do it myself. Help me Lord! But then again, this not liking my own voice could be something the enemy planted years ago that I’ve come into agreement with, or simply fear that I came into agreement with. Whichever the case may be, it’s simply not acceptable; I will just have to jump that chicken line of sounding terrible and SPEAK my words, by golly!
In all the busyness of life, I sometimes feel like I’ve missed out on things or should have been a part of some things but there didn’t seem to be enough time. I have no desire to live in regret but I do have desire to connect with people and to be able to have time to accomplish all the things I set out to do. So I don’t live in regret but I sometimes do live in puzzlement over the aspect of time occasionally. I mean, we’re all given the same 24 hours each day right? So why does it sometimes it feels like I have fewer hours than that? If you were to look at my ‘to do’ list and what actually got done, this would seem to be the case. I know, I know; I need to prioritize my time better. And some days, I do.
But then there are the times when all these thoughts melt away. They melt away when I turn my focus from regret of things that haven’t gotten done and turn it to my Father instead, He will tell my soul that all is well. There’s a peace that comes while with Him and with it is assurance that there is time, more than enough time. And, I haven’t really missed anything at all.
All the while I’m interacting with God; time loses meaning. It no longer has a pull on me. So I often I wonder where does all the time go, I mean really, where is it?! When I’m out and about doing life it seems like there is a huge hole in my bucket and time slips away, almost without me noticing it. Time was a thing created for us here on earth and when I blink, it’s gone or so it feels. Where does it end up? Is there a black hole in the spirit realm just teaming with all the lost time? Maybe it’s looping back around into eternity to be spent then.
Another occasion this ‘slippage ’ of time seems to happen is when I have an event scheduled weeks or months out; sometime out in the future where I can’t really grab a hold of it. I plan and get organized for the event (as much as I know how to prepare), but it seems that there is only so much I can do since it’s so far away. What the event is doesn’t really matter. It could be that someone ordered dozens of pies for a wedding or simply friends coming to visit.
Suddenly this event that was way off in the distance is here, it’s right now. So, how does this happen? Where did all the time in between go? What happened to that period of time where I could anticipate the arrival, get more things done in advance? Where’s the middle time? Why didn’t I see time departing and the event approaching? So many mysteries; or are they just silly questions?
I guess I need to investigate this loss of middle time, it’s just a mystery to me how this can happen. I love suddenlies but not so much in this context. What this feels like is one minute I had all the time I needed to get ready and prepare but suddenly everything needs to be done, TODAY, right now! It’s here! The day that was so distant has arrived.
Am I the only one this happens to? Is it just me that gets so caught up in the day to day living and life stuff that I can’t even see the train coming at me? Yes, that was a little melodramatic, I know but even though the suddenly of the event being here is great and brings with it much expectation, it often feels like I have been blindsided by it. How could this have happened to me again?
So what I’m left with is running around finding the ducks I left lying about, here and there and spend all the remaining time left trying to get them all in a row!
My times are in his hands and if I don’t sweat the small stuff all will be well. And you know what? It always turns out well. So, where ever that middle time went, I suppose I will never know. But one thing I do know is that most of the time when I’m blindsided by the arrival of an ‘event’, I’m the only one who knows it. So I hear ringing in my head: Let it go, let it go, let it go……..enjoy the day; it is sufficient for my needs.
It is well. Yes indeed
Everyone left today. The pictures are no longer filled with their beautiful presence. But don’t think this is about loss or I’m being melancholy, this is simply the quiet interlude before the next adventure. . . .
It’s funny how bittersweet the leaving can be. While we all knew this weekend would come to a close, that we’d all have get back to our own individual lives, it’s kind of a shock when it actually arrives. Not a bad thing really, just a re-adjust.
I had two precious friends who came from North Carolina and spent the weekend at my house. I also had another friend that lives here who came also. Kimberly Ann is one who came from North Carolina and she and I had met on Facebook but had never met face to face before. When she arrived, I didn’t have any idea what to expect but I found out right away that she is a riot and even more fun than I could have guessed in my wildest dreams; she is definitely fun-sized indeed. She’s big folks! I can’t wait to see how our relationship will grow and what paths it will take. Thank you so much for coming Kim. The trust you placed in us to keep you save, to love you unconditionally and to accept you as the beautiful woman of God that you are, is almost overwhelming; almost. Thank you for that. You are beautiful.
KK, also hailing from North Carolina, is someone I met back in 2009 on Facebook and became an instant friend. We began talking on the phone and on Facebook, getting to know one another better. In 2012 she and another Facebook friend came and spent a week with me, (us). It was the first time we met face to face and I have to tell you; having KK back in my house blessed me so much! She is so kind, wise and such a joy to be around. I guess that’s why she signs everything, Kindly Karen. (Smile). She and I have shared so many trials and victories over the years. She knows what being a sister is all about. If you ever need an intercessor with clear vision and an ever expanding heart, KK is your girl. I love her so…..
Mary who lives here and is part of our home group is a very special friend. I was so happy that she was able to come and spend 2 days with us. She had gotten to meet KK back in 2012 and was looking forward to meeting up with her again too. It was a great reunion for them. One thing I can tell you about Mary is that she is one of the most compassionate people I know. She has such love in her touch, her voice and even the words she chooses. Don’t get me wrong; she’s a pistol and it’s one of my favorite things about her, it’s the side she most often shows. That is what is so wonderful about her; when that love and compassion comes out it is so breathtaking and beautiful, and yes sometimes almost unexpected. I’ve learned so much from just being around her. She is a deep deep well and is certainly one of my most favorite people on the planet.
Mary left after 10 pm last night and we were pretty sad to have to see her go. KK and Kimberly and I ended up staying awake and talking until well after 1 am. Argh….the 5:30 alarm was not going to be a welcome noise in the morning. The North Carolina girls had a long journey ahead of them and were planning on leaving early.
Leave taking was put off by sitting and drinking coffee for a couple more hours before saying our final goodbyes; for this adventure anyway.
And then they were gone. What remained were memories and a deeper bond of love that cannot be stolen. The house seems quieter now; girls can be so loud in their merriment and love.
And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing about this weekend, except I would stop time if I could. What a joy all three of these women are! What passion and strength they exude! If you don’t know them…..you should make it a point to change that.