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Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

The Results of Unity

The second chapter of Philippians begins by picking up where chapter one left off.  It begins by focusing on one of the most important facets needed for the Christian faith, unity.

Paul begins with Therefore.  He is referring to what he had just written about standing together in one spirit and more mind.  This is necessary in the difficult times that come with following Christ.  Paul begins describing what unity looks like.

Paul first writes about four motivations for unity.  If there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion.  Encouragement in Christ comes from a word that is similar to how Christ describes the Holy Spirit as another Helper.  Consolation of love indicates living closely with one another.  Fellowship of the Spirit describes a partnership and mutual sharing.  The affection and compassion Paul describes being emotionally tied to one another and merciful to one another.  These four motivations are where unity begins.

Unity truly makes Paul joyful.  He begins verse 2 that these four motivations make my joy complete.  How does this happen?  By being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Literally this means being like minded, intentionally loving, one Spirit, and thinking one thing.

Paul finishes out by describing what unity in Christ does not not look like by comparing and contrasting.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  What Paul is really saying is that we should put others before ourselves.

So what do we take from this?

1.  We have been given the motivations for unity by coming to faith in Christ.

2.  Seeking unity leads to a oneness.

3.  Unity leads to putting others before yourself.

What Gratitude Can Do For You

October 21, 2013 8 comments

Thoughts on Colossians 2:1-6

Gratitude is something that we all can agree on.  We all would agree that we should be grateful.  This goes for not only what the Lord has blessed us with, but also for what people do in our lives as well.  However, few of us probably think of the benefits of gratitude.  We might be surprised that gratitude offers us much more than mere reflection back to who or what we are grateful for .

Gratitude helps you fight for unity.  It helps knit the Body together.  We will find ourselves closer within our communities when we express your gratitude.

Gratitude causes you to love.  It is difficult not to love when gratitude is part of the equation.

Gratitude results in a better understanding of God Himself.  We will come to the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, Christ Himself.  We simply limit our understanding of God if we are not grateful people.

Gratitude helps prevent us from being deluded.  It is harder for us to grow disillusioned with our faith when we have grateful hearts.

Gratitude leads to an encouragement of faith.  We are built up and established in a faith that includes gratitude.

All of this comes from lives that are overflowing with gratitude.

Are you living a life of gratitude?

 

An Invitation To Build Community

One of the greatest things about the past couple of years of blogging is the community that has been built here. It isn’t a large community, yet it grows constantly. I appreciate it, as I have “met” so many of you and built friendships which I believe would be there in any time of need I had.

As I mentioned Monday, the next few months will be one of transition. I want to move what I do to a self-hosted site. Here’s the kicker, though. I hope you will join me. I hope those of you that have spent your time coming here over the past couple of years will simply shift with me.

I hope that others will join us as this community grows and expands. I think it will be exciting. But it’s not just for my ego that I hope that you good folks will continue to read my random thoughts that I have daily. Here is why I want to invite all of you to continue to help me build a community here.

One reason is accountability. Knowing who will be here shapes what I write. Not that I won’t be honest, but you help me keep from going on some tangents that I am capable of.

Another is encouragement. You don’t know what you comments do for me. The encourage me and help me to write sometimes when I don’t really want to. I hope that I encourage you too. It can’t be a one-way street.

The final reason is stimulation. I hope that we stimulate each other to love and to good works. This doesn’t always come naturally to me. I need the motivation you provide. I hope I can do the same for you.

Thank you for coming back, day after day, to read my musings. You are awesome.

Is community important to you?

First Church Year #6

February 27, 2012 10 comments

It’s hard for me to believe that I have now written six of these First Church Year posts.  We have gone to our new church each Sunday this year, so we have been there for around nine Sundays.

One of the things that stood out to me was marked by a couple of absences.  Our worship leader was gone for the day.  The gentleman that filled in for him did a great job and even wore a Daffy Duck tie.  It wasn’t that the music suffered with him being gone.  It was just a fact that a member of our fellowship wasn’t there.  I believe that truly makes a difference.

Another friend was absent due to having surgery Friday.  Both he and his wife were gone and we have begun developing a good relationship with them.  Besides the fact that I personally missed them, I could tell that the body as a whole missed their presence.

A couple of other things really stood out to me from Sunday’s service.  There have been some issues and problems within the church prior to when we began attending church there.  I can sense the Lord working in the lives of many of the people.  I see healing happening.  I really believe that this church is on the verge of revival.,

The final thing is that our Sunday School teacher came up to me after the service.  He told me how much he appreciated the comments I make in class.  He also said that it challenged him to prepare even better each Sunday.  It was pretty cool to be told that you are encouraging someone who has been in the church for several years.

How about you?  How was your Sunday?

Whatever!?!

January 15, 2012 3 comments

You might not have been cool like me.  You might have stayed home and watched Full House from 1987 through 1995 while it was on TV.  Me?  I was out having fun on Friday nights.

Those who stayed home on Friday night have told me that there was a character named D.J. who had a friend named Kimmy who had a boyfriend named Duane.  Those same people told me that whenever Duane was asked a question, he would answer, “Whatever!?!”  They say that Duane just had a nonchalant, not caring attitude toward almost everything.  If I had watched the show instead being out having fun, I might be able to testify to it.

Depending on what group you belong to or who you listen to, today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  And you are asking, “What does that have to do with Full House, Duane and Whatever!?!

I’m afraid that many of us, like Duane,  take a Whatever approach to life.  We take the same attitude.  We just don’t care.  We don’t care about things.  We especially don’t care about people.  We, as a society, don’t seem to care about life.  Sometimes we, the Church, do the same thing.

Sure, we care about being pro-life and hate abortion.  We all want to help kids.  But do we care about life elsewhere? Do we care about life inside the church?

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called Why I Quit Being A Hater.  In it I said that I was going to quit being a “hater”.  I was going to let my love for Christ flow through and quit being negative.  Like I told my friend, David, this week, this is easier to say and write than to put into practice.

So, what does Sanctity of Human Life mean to me?  Sure, like I said above,  it means that I hate the thought of abortion.  However, it means much more to me.  It means that I want to promote a culture of life.  It means that I want to uplift others.

How do I put that into practice?

If you’re a regular reader you know that I am looking for a new church.  Perhaps we are about to zero in on that.  We are about to meet a lot of new people.  If we join this church, we are going to be gaining new brothers and sisters in our lives.  How will I live with them?

Will I live with them in unity?  Or will it be “Whatever”?

Will I let no unwholesome word proceed from my mouth and only speak good words that will edify my new brothers and sisters?  Or will it be “Whatever”?

Will I consider how to stimulate everyone to love and good deeds?  Or will it be “Whatever”?

Will I be an encourager?  Or will it be “Whatever”?

Will I speak the truth in love, with the attitude of building them up instead of tearing them down?  Or will it be “Whatever”?

Obviously, you know what I want to do.  My prayer is that I follow through on this.

How about you?  Do you take a Whatever approach when it comes to others?  Or do you look for opportunities to build them up?

Thank You!!!

November 11, 2011 20 comments

Maybe you’ve stopped by Deuceology before.

Maybe this is your first time.

It doesn’t matter to me.  I have two words for you.

Thank You!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Your visits mean a lot to me.

Encouragement

You encourage me.  It wouldn’t matter if you were the only person who stopped by and read my musings.  I would write them anyway.  I just appreciate that someone reads them.  You encourage me in my walk with the Lord.  You don’t know what that means to me.

Inspiration

You inspire me.  I wonder what I will write.  I wonder how it will affect you.  I wonder if it will inspire you.  I didn’t always do that.  I do now.  You inspire me to pursue the Lord with greater passion.

Empowerment

You empower me.  You empower me to show up.  You empower me to tell you what’s going on with my life and with my relationship with Christ.  You empower me to be transparent.  You empower me to pour my passion into this blog.  You empower me to not settle for generic.

Patience

You are patient with me.  You have put up with me when I’ve had bad attitudes and it leaked into my writing.  You have been patient with my poor writing.  You are patient with my musings and ramblings.

Before I stop today, I want to ask you to do one thing.  I want you to make a comment.  Maybe you’ve commented before.  Maybe it would be your first one.  Make a comment.  I want to thank you personally for stopping by, reading and making a comment.

Thank You!!!