Encouragement


03
Apr 2017
The Strength of Waiting

Today as I was driving, I reached to turn on the radio like I normally do.  I stopped myself and decided that it would be best to sit in the quietness and take note of the presence of the Lord.  Almost immediately I began to sing to myself a familiar praise chorus: Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord. Then I started thinking about this verse.  Strength will rise as we wait.  Our strength grows when we wait......

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07
Mar 2017
Levavi Oculos

I sat in chapel with stone floors and a high wooden ceiling surrounded by hundreds of other students.  It was opening convocation on my first “official” day of college.  I was nervous, naive, and brave enough to take on the world, all at the same time.  And as I sat on the long wooden pew, we were directed to repeat after the college president:  “Vi”  “Vi”, “Vavi” “Vavi”, “Levavi”  “Levavi”, “los” “los”, “culos”  “culos” , “oculos”  “oculos”, “Levavi oculos” “Levavi oculos”.  After our Latin pronunciation lesson, the president carefully explained how we would learn......

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01
Mar 2017
Sacred Spaces

Are there specific places that are important to you?  Are there places where you faith has been shaped and developed? Is there a place you went as a young child or a camp that is meaningful to you? Is there a place that you like to return to you and revisit your memories of how you were shaped by God when you were younger?  Is there a sacred space in your life where you can find God and come back to your relationship with God?  Is there a quiet spot in your......

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01
Mar 2017
Worship For All

At one moment during worship this past Sunday – when our children were especially excited – Miss Skylar hopped up onto the stage and I motioned to her to come sit with me.  She walked right over and I picked her up and placed her in my lap.  I whispered to her, “Do you see all those people out there who came today to worship God?  Isn’t that wonderful?” Through her smile, she mumbled, “Uh-Huh!” “Do you see your mommy and Gigi out there?” I asked. “Uh-Huh,” she giggled. “I bet you are......

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15
Feb 2017
There Are Always Exceptions

Some folks really like rules.  I am not really one of them.  But there are some folks who see rules as a guide or compass that makes life straightforward and easy enough to manage.  The basic idea is that if you follow the rules, you will be safe and have opportunity for a good life. My trouble with rules is that there are always exceptions.  Its like learning spelling or grammar in school.  You can learn a general rule, but there are always a number of words that simply do not fit with......

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09
Feb 2017
Choosing the Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is one of my favorite images in the entire Bible.  It bookends the story of God.  In Genesis, the Tree of Life is planted in the idyllic Garden of Eden.  And in Revelation, it is found in the center of the River of Life within the New Jerusalem. So, it must be an important image for understanding God’s story. There are trees throughout scripture which remind us of the Tree of Life at the beginning and end of our sacred story.  Just a few examples include, the tree by......

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07
Feb 2017
Planting Seeds

I enjoy gardening. In fact, I enjoy it enough that for the past several years prior to moving back home to the Wake-Harnett County area, I lived on an old farm that Joanie and I were restoring along with some other folks from the Charlotte area.  We gardened mostly by hand – no big equipment – and mostly using permaculture principles – so no fertilizer, no eletric irrigation, no pesticides…you get the idea. Gardening in this way, we had to pay more attention to bugs and find natural ways of warding them......

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26
Jan 2017
Looking Like Fools

I tend to take my mistakes pretty hard and often walk away from them feeling like a fool. Maybe you are like me. Or maybe you are more at ease with mistakes than I am. Either way, I am willing to bet that you have done something in your life – whether work of play – where you have felt as though you looked like a fool. That feeling of foolishness is uncomfortable. It’s like a little embarrassment and shame accompanied with some regret and anxiety. And usually we want to stay......

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