Archive for the ‘Gift of Encouragement’ Category



   Posted by: pastordiehl Tags: , ,

Have you ever noticed that its tough for a kid to get a swing going? But if you give him/her a push, then they begin pumping and keep the swing going by themselves. They just need a push. Giving people a push is what the gift of encouragement is.

Joseph, better known as Barnabus, gave his brothers a push in Acts 4:36-37 when he sold land that belonged to him and gave the proceeds to the apostles for Kingdom use. That had to have encouraged others to do the same. People just need a push.

When have you received a push from someone else and how did it encourage you?



   Posted by: pastordiehl Tags: ,

Nature teaches us some valuable lessons. Look at geese, for example:

1. They fly in a “V” formation because it takes 71% less energy compared to flying solo. We Christians need to fly together.

2. The lead goose has the difficult job of breaking the wind barrier, so they rotate leadership. Let’s give someone else a break at church by helping them.

3. Geese honk as they fly. If one drops out and breaks the efficiency equation, the others honk encouragement to the leader. Let’s honk at somebody next weekend.

4. If a goose is hurt along the journey, two others accompany it to the ground to give help. Let’s take care of each other.

What experience do you have with geese and what can we learn from it?



   Posted by: pastordiehl Tags: , , , ,

In his book As Iron Sharpens Iron, a great book on the power of mentoring, author Howard Hendricks tells this story of his troubled home background:

“By the fifth grade, I was bearing all the fruit of a kid who feels insecure, unloved, and pretty angry at life. In other words, I was tearing the place apart. However, my teacher Miss Simon apparently thought that I was blind to this problem, because she regularly reminded me, ‘Howard, you are the worst behaved child in this school!’

So tell me something I don’t already know! I thought to myself, as I proceeded to live up (or down) to her opinion of me.

One time I got so out of hand that she physically grabbed me, shoved me into my desk, tied me to my seat with a rope, and wrapped tape around my mouth. ‘Now you will sit still and be quiet!’ she announced triumphantly. So what else could I do?

Needless to say, the fifth grade was probably the worst year of my life. Finally I was graduated – for obvious reasons. But I left with Miss Simon’s words ringing in my ears: ‘Howard, you are the worst behaved child in this school!’

You can imagine, then, my expectations upon entering the sixth grade, where my teacher was Miss Noé. The first day of class she went down the roll, and it wasn’t long before she came to my name. ‘Howard Hendricks,’ she called out, glancing from her list to where I was sitting with my arms folded, just waiting to go into action. She looked me over for a moment, and said, ‘I’ve heard a lot about you.’ Then she smiled and added, ‘But I don’t believe a word of it!”

I tell you, that moment was a fundamental turning point, not only in my education, but in my life. Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone believed in me. For the first time in my life, someone saw potential in me. Miss Noé put me on special assignments. She gave me little jobs to do. She invited me to come in after school to work on my reading and arithmetic. She challenged me with higher standards.

I had a hard time letting her down. In fact, one time I got so involved in one of her homework assignments that I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning working on it! Eventually my father came down the hall and said, ‘What’s the matter, son, are you sick?’

‘No, I’m doing my homework,’ I replied.

He kind of blinked and rubbed his eyes, not quite sure whether he was awake. He’d never heard me say anything like that before. Finally he shook his head and said, ‘You’re sick!’

What made the difference between fifth grade and sixth? The fact that someone was willing to give me a chance. Someone was willing to believe in me while challenging me with higher expectations. That was risky, because there was no guarantee that I would honor Miss Noé’s trust.”

Do you have any experience with you own little Howard?



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For the next several days I’d like to blog about encouragement. That is a gift some have in the Church. Here are some famous comments that have been made over the years that gave a false encouraging word:

Marshal Ferdinand Foch in 1911: “Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.”

Business Week, 1958: “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.”

Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, on December 4, 1941: “Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.”

Economist Irving Fisher on October 16, 1929: “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

Not every encouraging word is a word from God. His word can always be trusted.