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Author Topic: ENCOURAGEMENT  (Read 28308 times)

Offline Hasmonean1

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ENCOURAGEMENT
« on: October 05, 2009, 01:15:37 PM »
Post scriptures, songs, videos, or anything else that would give encouragement to the body.


Encouragement: Our Gift to the Next Generation


Written By: Dr. Grant McClung, as a member of the Church Of God International Council

I grew up in the western United States, a region of wide open spaces, massive ranches, and extensive farms. It was, at least in my childhood imagination (helped along in a large part by Hollywood images), a place captured in the idyllic words of a Cowboy tune, commonly regarded as the anthem of the American West:

Home, home on the range Where the deer and the antelope play Where seldom is heard a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day

Since those childhood days, life's realities have taught me that not all words are encouraging, not all days are cloudless, and most endeavors are met with obstacles and those "special" individuals who seem especially able to locate the negative in every situation!

In retrospect, we smile when we recount that:

• After Fred Astaire's first screen test, a 1933 memo from the MGM testing director said: "Can't act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills mansion (we don't remember the name of the testing director!).

• An "expert" said of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, "He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation."

• Louisa May Alcott, the author of the famous Little Women, was advised by her family to forsake writing and find work as a servant or seamstress.

• Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.

• The teacher of famous opera singer Enrico Caruso said Caruso had no voice at all and could not sing.

• Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for "lacking ideas." He went bankrupt several times before building Disneyland.

Though there have been well-known individuals such as these, who persevered in the face of resistance, doubt, and insurmountable odds, there are multiplied millions who have accomplished much in life because they were encouraged by others. Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1904), considered the virtual father of black American poetry, captured it like this:

"Encouraged"

Because you love me I have much achieved, Had you despised me then I must have failed; But since I knew you trusted and believed, I could not disappoint you and so prevailed.


Encouragement is a natural part of human existence - certainly a central focus of parenting. Every year it is estimated that there are some 200 million Mother's Day cards sold in the United States - a recognition of the encouragement of mothers. The Apostle Paul used the imagery of a father when he told his friends in Thessalonica:

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2.11-12).

Most definitions of "encourage" and "encouragement" stress that to encourage is to inspire with courage, hope, or resolution. Some older versions use the definition "to hearten" which literally means "to put heart back into someone." This is particularly relevant in light of soul-searching times, described by Jesus as times when "men's courage will fail completely" (Luke 21.26 Phillips Translation).

In scripture, encouragement carries the emphasis of "urging forward, persuading, counseling with, and stimulating" others in the discharge of their duties and obligations as believers - especially in the face of harsh opposition, resistance, and violence. Scripture directs us to, "...encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3.13). Early Christians, facing stress, persecution, and obstacles were counseled, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10.25).

The Bible reveals our Heavenly Father as an encourager: "You hear, oh Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry" (Psalm 10.17). God has designated encouragement as one of the spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Alongside the more (supposedly) "prominent" gifts such as prophesying, teaching, governing, there appears the spiritual gift of encouragement (Romans 12.8).

How then, do I extend encouragement to my peers, to those I influence, and especially to the next generation of leaders? I recommend at least five practical ways to encourage others by: standing with them; speaking a word to (or for) them; showing them a concrete act of encouragement; praying (supplication) for them; seeing the future with them.

1. Stand with them

Into the face of a hostile crowd, the Apostle Peter stood up to preach. When he did, there was the movement of eleven other men who stood up with him. I like how the Phillips translation of this Day of Pentecost event describes it, "Then Peter, with the Eleven standing by him" (Acts 2.14). One man may have done the verbal preaching but eleven others were standing in unity and solidarity with him. The eleven "encouragers" beside Peter were basically saying to the crowd, "we believe and affirm this man and what he is preaching. Take up stones to stone him and you will have to stone us all!" By standing with others we express our commonality in calling, commitment, and collaboration.

2. Speak a word to them/for them

As children we sometimes repeated the schoolyard chant, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Words, however, do hurt. Thank God, however, that encouraging words also heal, help, and give heart. That is why the scripture admonishes us to speak to one another:

"Therefore encourage each other with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4.18).

"Preach the word, be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Timothy 4.2).

"He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" (Titus 1.9).

How often has my perspective been changed or my spirit lifted by someone taking even a brief moment to speak something significant into my life. Novelist Charles Dickens reminds us (through one of his literary characters) that, "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else."


3. Show encouragement with a concrete sign or action

Recently my wife and I attended the dedication ceremony of the second child of one of our missionary couples. Typically, in visiting congregations we are there to say something, i.e. to speak. This time, however, our ministry was that of presence. Being there said to this young couple, "we value you and your friendship; your family is important to us." St. Francis of Assisi gave his colleagues the now- famous instruction, "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." We often encourage as much, or even more, by what we show than by what we say. Encouragement must often be seen before it is heard. A card, a special gift, our presence to help on a work project, sitting with someone through grief, a financial offering - the list goes on and on.

4. Supplication: Pray for them (and let them know it)

Most everyone has a file or a special place full of meaningful letters, mementos, and memorabilia. Mine has a handwritten note from a former professor, one of the evangelical world's best known missiologists. Not long after leaving seminary to start my own missionary service, I received a note from him in the mail, written on behalf of the wider group of colleagues that had impacted my missiological journey. "Today," he wrote, "in faculty meeting we remembered you in prayer." Paul's letters are full of reminders to his ministry partners how he remembers them and prays for them. Among my favorites is:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, ...(Philippians 1.3-5)

5. See the future together

The completion of Paul's reminder to his Philippian partners tells them that they have a future and he sees it together with them:

"... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1.6).

Other leaders, especially younger colleagues, need to have someone get up on the mountaintop with them and look toward the horizon together, appreciating and affirming the vision that God is giving the next generation. They need to have someone show them how it looks to finish well and express confidence that it can be done again tomorrow as well as yesterday.

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 09:56:57 PM »
Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  When you are going through lean on that special brother or sister for they were born for the adversity.  God has commissioned them on your behalf to help you make it.  Don't be too proud to use the help God has provided.

Lean On Me


http://www.youtube.com/v/JR0NZqu6igg&hl=en&fs=1

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 07:21:45 PM »
Don't Quit


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 02:09:12 PM »
 I didn't write this but am passing it on to everyone.  It's some good word.

I speak to those who have encountered recent situations and circumstances that have set up unseen roadblocks. You seem to have gotten stuck and do not feel like you can advance. This is because you have allowed these things to cause you to see yourself as overwhelmed and failing. But, I say to you, this is not the truth. This is a tactic of the enemy to frustrate and even embarrass you. Rise above your feelings of being blocked into the realm of the spirit and resist this attack, and purpose to move ahead, says the Lord.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.     

Offline MissMusic04

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 02:10:43 PM »
I didn't write this but am passing it on to everyone.  It's some good word.

I speak to those who have encountered recent situations and circumstances that have set up unseen roadblocks. You seem to have gotten stuck and do not feel like you can advance. This is because you have allowed these things to cause you to see yourself as overwhelmed and failing. But, I say to you, this is not the truth. This is a tactic of the enemy to frustrate and even embarrass you. Rise above your feelings of being blocked into the realm of the spirit and resist this attack, and purpose to move ahead, says the Lord.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.    





AWESOME!!! Thanks. Love that scripture BTW.

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2009, 06:54:24 AM »

Offline LaylaMonroe

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2009, 06:58:33 AM »
I love this thread!

And I loved your input in Bible Study last night. That was good stuff, man.
When you're in love you don't want to fall asleep bc reality is finally better than your dreams.

Offline LEYLAH

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 03:48:49 PM »
WELL STATED :)
**Psalm 118:24**  -^ GO INDY-COLTS ^-

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 01:55:09 PM »
Spirit of Prophecy Bulletin   Spirit of Prophecy Bulletin SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- 2009:  Beloved, I have gone before you to make crooked places straight and rough places smooth. It may not seem like it, but the fact is that it would be virtually impossible for you to navigate this spiritual terrain without My help. I am not surprised by the things that challenge you, nor am I worried that you will not come through, for I am with you to bring you to new heights. The path is narrow, and there is no other way to arrive at this level of spiritual maturity than the way you have come, says the Lord. Trust Me and keep pressing on. Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth.


Live in courage because it is ment for you.

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 02:34:57 PM »
"Whatever it takes", be ye deteremined to make it through. The Lord will make a way.


http://www.youtube.com/v/p-aGKz764VE&hl=en&fs=1

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2009, 01:33:23 PM »








What is a Friend?

What is a friend and what does he do
Does he put up with your mess and allow you to be you
Is he friendly in all aspects of life?
Does he understand your misery and strife?
Does he give respect like the seasons that change?
Understanding his role with nothing to gain
Does he hold your hand when you begin to fall?
Giving words of encouragement to help you stand tall
Does he act silly and make you smile
Making your pain seem worthwhile
A friend is there when you need to be heard
Listening attentively to your every word
Together you laugh, mourn, and cry
Retaining precious memories of years gone by
Hopefully he’s one on whom you can depend
One who’s there through thick and thin.
Karen Darling 08-29-2006

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 09:07:05 AM »
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns:
I experienced a prophetic enactment in which there was a single strand of a spider's web about 3 feet in front of me, and instead of pulling it down I chose to ignore it.  Then, within the space of about half an hour it was in my face.  And, I heard the Lord say, " You we need to be pay attention and be aware of the work of the enemy and pull it down as soon as you see it or it will be in your face. 2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

Offline docjohn

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 01:32:09 PM »
Very cool bro;hope LORD returns this blessing upon you

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 08:37:15 AM »
It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.
Henry Ward Beecher


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau



Ask yourself this question:
"Will this matter a year from now?"
Richard Carlson, writing in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Offline MissMusic04

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 08:50:36 AM »
It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.
Henry Ward Beecher


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau



Ask yourself this question:
"Will this matter a year from now?"
Richard Carlson, writing in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

*_______* Love that last one!

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2009, 12:03:08 PM »
It's gonna be alright

Offline Rshay

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 05:10:31 PM »
Now, this is the Hasomean1 I know.  Always have something encouraging to say.

Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2009, 09:12:35 AM »


Psalms 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.



Offline Hasmonean1

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2009, 05:44:23 AM »
 
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND
by Marsha Burns
Beloved,  I am relieving you of obligations that have kept you from walking in the liberty of My Spirit.  And, I am removing the guilt that others have imposed upon you that kept you from the freedom that I wish for My children.  This is a new day and even the beginning of a new era.  I will lead you on the path of liberation in this season if you are willing to let go of the limitations and bondages of the past, says the Lord.  Trust Me! Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Offline kmccray

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Re: ENCOURAGEMENT
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 07:40:56 AM »
All of these words of encouragement is just what I needed.  Keep it coming! :)
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