A Plan For Encouraging One Another (part 2)

See the good.

In part 1 of this series, we asked (and hopefully answered) the “who” questions.  What next?  Three simple words:  see the good.  All too often, we overly focus on the things we like the least in ourselves and in others.  I regularly meet with a guy, who, every time he comes into the office, he goes on and on about how bad of a person he is.  He’s on the “bottom of life” as some say. And sure, he has his problems.  Who doesn’t?

His biggest problem is that he just doesn’t see any good in himself.  Now, let’s be clear.  The Bible says that no one IS good except God alone (See Mark 10:18 or Luke 18:19).  That’s why we ALL need a savior, a sacrifice from the only one who IS good.  But, when we bring the language of “good” back down to our human paradigm, we can see some elements of goodness in everybody.  At a minimum, every person is created in the image of God, and certainly that is good.  Right?

Back to the man who doesn’t see any good in himself.  He’s actually a Christian, in relationship with the God who created him.  And, he loves his wife.  And, he loves his kids.  And, he has a soft heart of compassion for others.  And, he regularly serves others.  And, every time he comes in, I have to remind him of these things because he only sees his faults, and they haunt him.

What is good in you?  

As you reflect on the people in your answers to the “who” questions, what good is in them?  

Now that I’m at the end of this post, I feel like there are three more words that must be added. Speak the good.

Six simple words:  See the good.  Speak the good.

What To Do When You Are Discouraged

Ok.  So, every now and then, they let me teach in “big church,” which gets recorded.  That happened last Sunday, and I taught on the topic of discouragement and how we can be encouragers of one another.  About minute 22:00, I started talking about making a plan.  Due to time limitations, all I could say, was “we should have a plan.”  I believe this is a good platform to dive deeper into what that plan could look like.  That’ll be the topic of my future posts.  The next one will drop in a few days.  Check back.  Alongside…

How Suffering Leads To Life

I recently had the privilege to baptize 2 friends of mine, and their stories are powerful!  As they worked through the loss of a child, God drew them to Himself.  Now, they live in such a way that everyone that knows them, sees the grace of Christ in them.  Watch and listen to Andrew’s story below:

And, his wife, Conitra’s take on what happened:

What does suffering and loss do for you?  Does it draw you closer to God or farther away?  How do you work through suffering and loss?

There’s A Simple Way To Break Down Barriers With Others

It’s simple, but not easy, to break down barriers with others, and it involves speaking the same language.

Last week, I was standing in a buffet line at a Chinese restaurant.  The lady in front of me accidentally knocked her empty cup off of the food bar.  She glanced back and saw me pick it up and return it.  Then, she surprised me by not even saying, “thank you.”  Upon further observation, I noticed that she looked like she was from a different country, and I rapidly concluded that she probably just spoke a different language.  However, I then thought that she could have communicated using more common language…a smile and a nod, or a “thumbs up” perhaps.  But, maybe even that language wasn’t common for her.

IMG_4852Later in the week, my 15 year old daughter sent me a recipe on my mostly dormant, rarely used Pinterest account.  I opened that account years ago, but didn’t understand why I needed it.  But now, my daughter and I have more common language.  And, it started with avocado chicken salad with cilantro and lime.  We also currently share the language of “Dancing With The Stars.”  I know I lose some “man points” in all of this, but it’s worth it.  In regaining some “man points,” you should know that it’s easier for my son and me.  We regularly speak basketball, hunting, and weaponry.