The Art of the Handwritten Note

In these days of emails, emojis and texts, a handwritten note is a rare commodity.  An old-fashioned message that requires a stamp for delivery is really something special in the 21stcentury. A handwritten letter communicates to the recipient that you were willing to actually pause your life long enough to write down your thoughts, place them in an envelope, search out an actual address, purchase a stamp and get the letter to ...

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We Could All Use a Little Encouragement

William Barclay, one of the world’s most prolific Christian commentators, said, “One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement…It is easy to laugh at [people’s] ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks ...

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Day 40 #liftupforlent

This is the final installment of the Lift up for Lent series on encouragement. Today we begin the journey of Holy Week, from the joyous shouts of Hosannas to the breaking of the bread at the Last Supper to the cries of "Crucify Him!" to the tragedy of the cross and on to the victory of Easter.  It is quite a roller coaster of a ride. This is perhaps the best ...

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Day 37 #liftupforlent

This is one of my favorite scriptures of encouragement--especially in times when grief or pain or disappointment is so great that I can't imagine ever soaring or running or even walking without feeling weary. I think it's the use of the future tense in this passage that makes it so powerful. It doesn't tell me that those who trust in the Lord find new strength right now or that those who ...

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Day 28 #liftupforlent

There are times when encouraging words are counter indicated. Yesterday I learned that a young couple I married last year found out one week shy of the birth of their first child that there was no heart beat. Up until that final doctor's visit, there had been no sign of trouble or trauma. It had been a happy, healthy pregnancy. When something as devastating as the loss of a child happens to someone, ...

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Day 27 #liftupforlent

William Barclay, one of the world's most prolific Christian commentators, has said, "One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement...It is easy to laugh at [people's] ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or ...

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Day 25 #liftupforlent

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all." I'm not sure who said it, but according to the internet, it was either coach Vince Lombardi or General George Patton.  Whoever it was, the statement has merit. When we are overworked, overwrought and overwhelmed, even the slightest of problems can seem monumental.  There may no time when we are quite as susceptible to believing that things are hopeless than we have been sleepless.  The ...

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Day 23 #liftupforlent

Today's exercise of encouragement may seem counterintuitive, but it can be really meaningful to someone who is struggling. Rather than downplaying people's struggles by telling them "it's no big deal" or "just don't worry about it," acknowledge that what they are going through is hard. Often when people are wrestling with a decision or particular situation, they can convince themselves that they are are the problem.  That they are just not smart enough ...

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Women Lifting Women for Lent

Lent begins in 10 days. Are you still wondering what you will give up or what discipline you will take on? This year, I'm inviting women to give up criticizing other women. You may be thinking, "I'm not critical!" but women criticizing and critiquing other women has become such a part of our cultural landscape, that sometimes, we don't even realize that we're doing it. (She really shouldn't be wearing that. ...

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