Encouragement


18
Feb 2019
Supplies, Support, and Sharing

Matthew 15:29-39 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down.  Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others…  Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”  The disciples said......

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22
Jan 2019
Lift Your Eyes

I encourage you to listen to this beautiful piece by Mendlessohn as you keep reading:  Lift Thine Eyes. Psalm 121 is one of my favorite scriptures.  It has personal meaning to me, having grown up in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia and being surrounded by glorious mountains.  Each year, on my parents’ anniversary, we took a special trip to the Peaks of Otter and spent the evening there enjoying nature.  In college, I learned the art of climbing mountains, and learned to appreciate them even more.  When I moved to Richmond for......

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21
Jan 2019
Mountains We Have Climbed

Psalm 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The Lord shall preserve thy going out and......

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14
Jan 2019
Water, Wind and Fire

Try reading these two scriptures Isaiah 43 & Luke 3 together…in a new way.  What do you hear differently? Below, the Luke text is italicized. Isaiah 43:1-7 f Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the......

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17
Dec 2018
Draw Near to Justice, part 2

Read Luke 1:46-56   Reflect: God’s justice is different than our justice. It’s about making the world right!  Where do you see God’s justice being birthed this Christmas? in your life? in the lives of others? Reflect & Practice: “Jesus became light for our darkest decisions, peace for our self-centered wars, and love for our life-draining animosity towards others.”  How is this becoming true in your life this Christmas? Practice: Uses images and poems from this week’s bulletin and the Advent Guide this week in your devotional time to draw near to......

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03
Dec 2018
Draw Near to Wonder

Read Luke 21:25-36 There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.  People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  They they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.......

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20
Nov 2018
You Are What You Do

On Sunday, we were challenged to give our thanks, to release our gratitude from within and share it with others.  Here are some ideas from the sermon to help you get started: Gratitude Journal Gratitude jar – like a penny jar! (Look back at them once a year like on New Year’s Day) Gratitude Letters Gratitude phone call Gratitude visit Spend quality time focused on a person you are grateful for Give more compliments Don’t just say “thank you” – say: What I love about you is…” “My wish for you is…”......

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13
Nov 2018
Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything

Reflect: Look back over the past week or month at some of your negative moments and difficult situations. Where was God in those times? Can you see God’s grace? Reflect & Practice: Each day this week, try to keep a tally going of your positive and negative thoughts. What is the ratio in different relationships and activities? Do you need to work on increasing the positive? If so, put some intentional energy towards cultivating grateful thoughts. Practice: This week, try to write your own psalm expressing your struggles honestly, offering your questions......

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22
Oct 2018
Gratitude within These Walls

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1) What a beautiful day we had at Hood Memorial Christian Church on Sunday.  Homecoming 2018 was full of joy, celebration, memories, hope, tears, and love. Jason and I want to offer our deep appreciation to everyone who helped prepare for this special day.  Many hands were involved in getting ready for this day.  Members of our church and community spent time and energy sharing in these acts of love: painting replacing ceiling tiles wiping......

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01
Oct 2018
Invest in Love

When Christians want to know what the Bible says about money and stewardship and investments, we typically look to the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. I cannot tell you how often I have heard this parable used to explain to me how God is displeased when we do not save and invest our money to multiply it. And I have always been troubled by that line of thinking for two reasons: There are so many other passages in the Bible that teach us differently. For example, Luke 18 says: Sell everything......

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