encouragement, Life, Trials

Be a Barnabus

If TV commercials were any indication of our normal, everyday life then we would all be having a warm, loving, fun Christmas season filled with good food, laughter, the excitement of shopping and the expectation of gifts.

For someone struggling, the Christmas holiday can feel like a burdensome task of trying to make merry when the heart is sick. If you know someone who is struggling, please be careful with your words and actions. We can inconvenience ourselves in the name of love, can’t we?

I found this article (link below) about encouragement that you may find helpful. I’ve added a few tips below of my own.

Encourage One Another

In addition, if you are attempting to encourage someone who is struggling:

  • Before you attempt to encourage someone who may be down, don’t say something that you wouldn’t want to hear yourself. For example, if someone is struggling with finding a job, don’t start suggesting jobs, especially if it’s work that you wouldn’t want to do yourself! He or she is already looking for work; don’t make the situation feel hopeless.
  • Along the same lines, don’t offer advice at all unless it’s solicited, or unless the person is clearly sinning or in danger.
  • Don’t attempt to encourage by detailing how you overcame your own sorrow, unless you are making it clear how the person can use the advice for his or her own good. For example, if someone has lost a loved one recently, letting them know about your own loss is fine, but don’t hastily follow it up with how it will get better with time, or any other pat response. She’s hurting now. Hurt with her for a while (see Romans 12:15).
  • And, following from above, don’t gloss over someone’s hurt by attempting instant cheerfulness:

Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.” Prov 25:20 NASB

I sincerely wish you all a Merry Christmas. And, if it doesn’t seem so merry, (believe me I understand) remember (as I’m trying to remember!) that this too shall pass.* Drop me a comment below, or if you’d like a private response, fill out the Contact Form. Thank you for reading.

patricia grace

*Not an actual Bible verse. But, see Psalm 102:25-27 and James 4:14 (Links to BlueLetterBible.org)

Daily Devotion, Daily Diet

Prayer meeting

The church I’ve been attending since moving is in transition since the Pastor retired. The transitional Pastor has been warmly and faithfully teaching the Word of God, but recently someone else was called in to lead the Wed night study. He is an older man who formerly Pastored a church himself, and I am really enjoying Bible study under his teaching.

His focus has been on the subject of prayer. Tonight was a great reminder that prayer isn’t all about petition. There should be a regular amount of praise and thanksgiving in our prayers to God. All good things come from Him and He is worthy of all praise.

My prayer time has become my favorite time of day, but lately my mind wanders terribly during my devotions. I’ve had the idea to actually set up a specific time to pray each day, like an appointment. I pray in the mornings, but I’ve not been very disciplined about it. So, I’ll start with a 6am appointment and see how it goes. I’m sure that my puritan brothers and sisters in Christ would be so proud of me *smirk*

As for adding my daily food intake, I added a text widget to the sidebar to use until I come up with something else.[edit: daily diet list is on its own page now]. I am not using the self-hosted WordPress version for this blog, so I’m limited in plugins. I’ll think of another solution soon. If you have some ideas, please share!

Merry Christmas,