Encouragement


12
Feb 2018
Talitha cum

He took her by the hand and said to her “Talitha cum”, which means “Little girl, get up!” There are so many new things that stood out to me this time I read this story from Mark 5.  The fact is, there are not many accounts of Jesus healing children.  We know Jesus’ love of children and he taught us how important they are in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But, we only get a handful of one of one experiences with children and this is one of them. The image from this......

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06
Feb 2018
Healing Touch

Touching someone’s life is powerful. Prayers, visits, phone calls, cards of encouragement, meals, sitting together, singing together, listening together…these all have tremendous power to bring healing into our lives. This is part of the message I shared on Sunday. And I threw some research and data at you all that showed exactly how powerful touching someone’s life within a community of faith can be. But numbers and research can be a bit overwhelming when it is just spoken. So, I want to share that with you again today in writing. Power of......

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30
Jan 2018
Waiting for Renewal

Do you feel tired? Stretched too thin? Is there a place in your life where you feel as if you are at the end of your rope? Has your strength faltered? Is your perseverance waning? Are you searching for courage? As I think back to my thoughts and feelings in the midst of times in my life when I have answered Yes to all these questions, a couple of things stand out: I prayed a lot; raw, tearful, humble, and passionate (sometimes angry!) prayers for help and strength I had lots of......

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29
Jan 2018
You serve, you are great!

Technically, I am on day 19 on the reading plan (Matthew 22).  We are moving right along.  Just a few more days in the gospel of Matthew.  But today, I want to reflect on words from Matthew 20 that spoke loudly to me when I read it this time. In Matthew 20:20, Jesus is approached by the mother of James and John. She asks him to make a special spot on each side of him for her sons in his kingdom.  Jesus tells her that isn’t really his responsibility.  And then the......

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17
Jan 2018
The Spiritual Gift of Snow

Today I have had dozens of things I wanted to do: several folks I wanted to visit, phone calls to make, projects to check on, planning and prep to keep working on, an exciting small group time this evening, even building permit to pull for my pending home renovations. But the pause button has been pushed. And not by me. Mother Nature did it. Winter wonderlands and work schedules don’t go so well together in North Carolina. When it snow, as it has been doing for much of the day, most things......

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16
Jan 2018
Faith in a Hurry

I have made it through the first 11 Chapters of Matthew (the first 9 days of reading through the New Testament).  Here are a couple of things that have stood out to me over the past couple of days of reading: Matthew seems to write in a fast pace.  It almost feels like Jesus is in a hurry.  As soon as he was baptized, his teachings, healings, and other parts of ministry begin with a lot of momentum.  After reading through the Sermon on the Mount, it felt like Jesus was on......

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10
Jan 2018
Freedom & Purpose

If you have grown up in the United States as a citizen, you have no doubt been taught you are free and that freedom is the sine qua non of life. We love freedom. We write books and make movies about freedom. We teach our children about freedom. We craft laws and policy to protect freedom. We fight for freedom. Freedom probably has the top place on the list of priorities for most every American. So, listen to what Paul has to say about freedom in our lives: I have the freedom......

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09
Jan 2018
Listening (Or Not)

Have you ever gotten caught not listening? I have, especially as a child (Okay, yeah as an adult, too!) I can recall so vividly being a kid and getting to sucked in to a television show that I unintentionally tuned out the entire world. And, of course, my mom would start calling for me: “Jason. … Jason? … JASON?!?!” And I never heard her. I was completely oblivious. It’s not that she was calling too softly. By the third or fourth time she was practically yelling and the whole house could hear......

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02
Jan 2018
A Spiritual Shower

Joanie and I recently purchased my grandmothers home in Angier and this past week we started renovations. We’ve begun pulling out all the old cabinets in preparations to completely remodel the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Everything in the kitchen dates back to the 1960s when my grandmother and grandfather built the house. So, needless to say, there was some good old 1960s dust behind the old stove and underneath the old cabinets. While it wasn’t the dirtiest job I’ve ever done, it most definitely left me with a dusty, sticky, 1960s......

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13
Dec 2017
The Art of Waiting

I’ve been reading a wonderful Advent collection from the writings of one of my favorite German theologians Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And I want to share one of these devotions with you today. Many of us are experiencing some intense situations of waiting this Advent season – waiting on family to come home for the holidays, waiting through the journey of grief over the loss of a loved one, waiting on medical tests, waiting in hospitals, waiting for answers, waiting for strength and pace…and so much more. I found this piece encouraging within my......

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