No Platitudes, Please

I'm in a bad mood most of the time these days. I'm tired of the pandemic. Weary of living it out in a small apartment in a new city where I hardly know anyone. I'm angry at those who are not taking COVID seriously and putting others at risk. I'm disappointed in people who answer "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter." And I'm incredibly disheartened by ...

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The Two Things Every Christian Needs

May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude. Romans 15:5 [Common English Bible] One of the things I fail miserably at every day is the effort to be more Christ-like. Where Jesus was kind and patient and gentle, I tend to be cranky, impatient and snarky.  Perhaps this is why I’m drawn to encouragement as a spiritual discipline. I ...

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A Grateful and Encouraging People

November starts tomorrow!  Let's spend the month not only giving thanks, but giving thanks for people in our lives…and letting them know they are appreciated. Here’s a handy list of people to give thanks for each day.  You may not have someone in your life that fits every day, but I bet you can think of someone who comes close. Whoever you are thankful for each day, I encourage you to ...

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Be Excited for People…Instead of Stealing Their Joy

In the midst of people being angry and irritable about pumpkin spice lattes or Halloween candy out to soon or even (gasp!) Christmas decorations already for sale, I thought I'd share a post from my 18 Days of Encouraging Others. This is Day 5, and it's all about being excited for other people when they're excited about something...instead of acting like they're idiots for taking joy and having some fun. Rejoice ...

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18 Days of Encouraging Others

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 38 #liftupforlent

It's coming up on graduation season. Young people all over the country will be wrapping up a phase of their lives and moving on to something new.  Perhaps you know of adults who are getting ready to embark on a new thing--a new job, a promotion, a marriage, a child. Anytime you start something new, there is excitement, but there is also apprehension. Getting encouragement in advance of starting something new can ...

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Day 35 #liftupforlent

We can encourage people because it is Biblical: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 We can encourage people because we want to help We can encourage people because it makes us feel good to be the encourager rather than the discourager Or we can encourage people because science tells us it is an effective tool in our workplaces, communities and ...

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Day 34 #liftupforlent

As always, words of encouragement need to fit the person and their situation, but I have found this quote from Einstein really helpful at times. A pastor's schedule can easily spiral out of control. Illnesses, deaths, relationship crises, conflicts in the congregation are never on the calendar--which is often already overbooked.  It can be overwhelming and become almost paralyzing. When there is more to do that I can ever get done, my ...

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Day 19 #liftupforlent

A year or so ago, some of my parents' friends fulfilled a lifelong dream, they took a three-month cruise around the world. They had planned and saved for years. When they made the reservations, they began to tell their friends. The most common reaction was not, "How awesome!" or "So happy for you!" It was "Why would you want to do that?" or "Three months on a boat? Will you ...

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