I just want to add that I have received such genuine encouragement from this blog and that it seems that this is a very felt need with a lot of people. Always seems to be plenty of people to tear down and I’m not saying we shouldn’t push on people, challenge, I’m not saying it’s like most of society today, tell everyone they’re wonderful. It is strange for so many they just hear the down side, the criticism, and for others they’re enabled in their negative and destructive lives. Anyway, I appreciate the positive feedback I’ve received from some very genuine people, their encouragement was very much appreciated.
We who write these Christian blogs often seem to be writing to or for ourselves. That’s actually a good thing, we aren’t going to have the world patting us on the back. But when I put out a signal for encouragement and I got it. People like Wally Fry is a regular encourager, it’s almost like he looks for the opportunities and I try to look to encourage too. Real nice note from anitvan, that there are lay people out there who do have a ministry of encouragement. Please give your input, and when I deserve it let me know where I could improve, I have no doubt I need a lot of improvement. And I’m not saying there will be times when you shouldn’t ask “what were you thinking? Or that’s not the way to do that!” I appreciate that too, if someone’s willing to take the time to make me better, I am very thankful. Thanks to all who take time to read these blogs and I hope that I can encourage many of you as much as you’ve done for me. In the meantime let’s keep talking to each other and building each other in Jesus. Continue reading →
I have been feeling kind of beat down lately. Things have been going, been interesting, combined with the liturgical season though, it’s been kind of a beat down. I can see where God really does provide, just the right people at the right time. I’m not going to name names. But when the meeting is getting a little hectic, when that one person pops up and quietly assures “keep doing what you’re doing”, that is absolutely priceless. When it’s seemed that the joy is getting kind of beat down and someone comes along and tells you how joyful and another tells you how encouraging, it is truly beyond meaure.
This may sound a little goofy, but I know these are from God, because the comments pop up out of no where and often from a most unexpected person.
There certainly is a time and place for that same friend or certainly another friend with different gifts, to come along and encourage by telling you: “That’s not working” or “Jim you have to change this or that about yourself.” That is encouraging too, because you know that someone has “your six” and they’re watching out for you. I am very grateful that people have been there to encourage and redirect. It takes effort on their part and I am very grateful that they (and I’m hope they all know who they are from this blog) will exert their time and effort to spend it on me encouraging and guiding. It certainly is a mark of friendship, the Jonathan and David kind to invest that in someone else. That’s also why men’s groups are so important. They do give guys the mutual encouragement and strength to go back out and deal with their world. You can do that when you know another strong brother has your six. Thanks to those guys who have mine at First St Johns they have no idea how much they have blessed me. In probably none of those cases has it been a situation where I or they have felt compelled to be friends. But They were put there by God, they saw the need and what God was leading them to do. I saw what God was doing and was blessed to receive it.
This is a hard thing for guys, we have to be self-sufficient. Well that’s the world talking. The smart guy remembers God’s word in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron. So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” So guys who is God putting you with for mutual strength and encouragement? Who is your Barnabases? (Refer to Acts 4:37, 9:26-28, 11:25-26).