I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV
In 2005, the office supply chain, Staples, launched an ad campaign featuring the easy button. The idea was that Staples made everything customers could ever want in an office supply store easier, almost as easy as pressing a button. The commercials were funny, and featured everything from a child in class who doesn’t know the answer to his teacher’s question, to a cowboy wrangling a bucking horse, and a father changing his twin infants’ diapers. Have you ever wished for a button you could push to make life easier? Of course! It’s a tantalizing fantasy.
One of my dad’s favorite hobbies was wood working. He seemed to always have some sort of project going. His creations varied from small and practical, all the way to beautiful pieces of furniture that our family gets to cherish now in his memory. We even attached a little plaque to a curio cabinet he made our family with his name and the date it was made. I’m sure part of the enjoyment he derived from creating things was the work they involved. Making something can often be a hit and miss process of learning and improving. Even if no one else is grading your work, you are! Trying something, failing, then trying again, seems to be the way God made us. Grading our success at any endeavor gives us the kind of satisfaction any sort of participation trophy never could.
In our walk with God we often find ourselves running into walls of frustration as we try and sometimes fail to grow. God, our perfect judge, and Jesus, our perfect example, stand as measures of our progress as we live our lives. Searching God’s Word and approaching Him honestly and often are two of the best ways to know where we stand. Another important method is fellowship. Conversation with someone who is moving in the same direction, or is simply willing to listen, can help solve problems or cut them down to a more manageable size. Have you ever noticed how getting out of your head with someone’s help can give you better perspective?
Finally, one of my four favorite Beatles, George Harrison, wrote a song that includes the words, “You know it don’t come easy.” Even though I still occasionally find myself looking for that “easy button,” I guess I’m glad it doesn’t.
“… it is the greatest of all mistakes to begin life with the expectation that it is going to be easy, or with the wish to have it so.” ― Lucy Larcom,
What to my eyes is a mountain, might be to yours a hill. My marathon might be your short walk. I’m overjoyed at successfully boiling water, while you carefully tend your souffle. No matter where you’re at your work is your work; Mostly, I’m glad God made it that way.
Possibly off the subject: “Women are the most wonderful beings created by God, they are easy to understand when you show them love but hard to understand when you don’t.” ― Bamigboye Olurotimi
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25ESV
What comes to mind when you hear the words “encourage” and “discourage?” Merriam-Webster says of encourage, 1 a : to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope : HEARTEN // she was encouraged to continue by her early success. Of discourage, 1 a : to deprive of courage or confidence DISHEARTEN // was discouraged by repeated failure
While for all practical purposes we can agree there are right times to encourage and discourage, I argue there is a real lack of encouragement in our world generally, sometimes even coming from the people who should be the most encouraging of all, followers of Jesus. After all, who has better cause to encourage? Among our promises from God are direction, help, and comfort in this world and salvation in the next. You won’t find an encouraging package like that anywhere else; it’s a Jesus Christ exclusive.
So what is that root word, courage? Using the dictionary again, we find it defined as : mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Everyone needs courage of some kind. For one it could be the courage to rescue someone from a rooftop in a storm. For another it might be stepping into an elevator. For you it might be telling someone the source of your hope. There are all kinds of courage. The best source of Godly courage will always be Jesus.
It has always been a strategy of the enemy to convince us that as we are at this moment is not enough, that the situation we are in or task at hand is greater than us and the God who has prepared us to this point. But God has not given us a spirit of fear, and the next step he wants you to take has already been prepared beforehand. With God there are no surprises and there is never a lack of resource. So take courage! And by all means, give it too.
When desperate and faltering I found myself by what I considered my lack I searched the best source of courage to make sure my feet on the path
I found my guide and strength in Jesus who prepared the way before He became my light and compass so I needn’t fear anymore
Christ gave me courage to carry but it wasn’t just for me it was a lamp to show the way so more captives could be freed
quick around the block walk
shop n walk
can we talk?
strap on some tunes n walk
more fun if you rock walk
read while you walk?
stare up at the sky walk
watch out for the other guy walk!
pray and walk
streaming video walk
bring soap and shower while you walk?
branch out and travel walk
crock while you walk
download while you walk
wash while you walk
or dry while you walk
don’t prance while you walk
maybe dance while you walk
pick a flower while you walk
avoid those cracks while you walk!
trim your nails while you walk?
are you kidding?
take your mate and walk
kid around while you walk
grand-kid around while you walk
love while you walk
keep it clean while you walk!
don’t be mean while you walk
or obscene while you walk
but with eyes open walk
Help me Lord,
knowing my place is to listen,
to work out those
rough spots of
So soon after forgiveness
I run headlong into
a new misadventure or error,
all the while taking credit
for my redeemed character.
When You hold a mirror before me, Lord,
with the other hand give me strength
to really see what it reflects,
and not color it unduly
with my own interpretation.
These lessons are best learned