Tag Archives: exhort

In search of good news? You just found it

1 Timothy 2:1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

I have habitual sayings that I don’t realize until someone brings them to my attention. Such as “Jeepers Socks!” Meaning I’m excited. I actually stole it from a friend; I love it because it brings back an era to my mind (even before I was born) that was a much more wholesome time than we live in today.  Another quote that was recently mentioned to me was “That’s the reality of it.” I had no clue how often this phrase came into to my daily vocabulary until a friend said it back to me and brought it to my attention.

Well, some days I’d like to duck out of reality. Escape to a paradise island apart from the media, any bad news of any sort or any negative Nellie or Ned and live in total peace for the day. But “That’s not the reality of it.” Life is harsh and we must go on. But take heart dear friend there is some good news!

The State of Iowa advanced a Religious Liberty Bill

Not passed, but advanced a bill that would protect Christians and other faiths from being sued for refusing to serve or act in manner contrary to their beliefs. That’s good news! Iowa should be prayed for and God should be glorified!

Christian Athletes give God the Glory at the Winter Olympics

This article tells the story of several of the Christian Athletes who have given God the glory and spoke openly about how their faith has gotten them to where they are. That’s good news! Pray for them and share their story with young people in your life so that they may have the courage to share their Praises of God too!

Oklahoma University Re-Invites Christian Speaker

Oklahoma University had un-invited Ken Ham, Creationist Speaker, to speak at their university because of campus opposition from the LGBT community. They have since had a change of heart because of an outcry from Christians, legislators and local residents concerning the right to free speech. Glory to God, that’s good news!!!

Revival at McDonalds!

On a more personal note for myself: In 2006 I traveled to the Philippines and while there I stayed with Daniel and Jamilla Caba. Dan pastors a church in Manilla. At that time it was a roof top ministry that was set up every Sunday morning for services and taken down at service end. They’ve since graduated to a beautiful facility. Since January of this year they’ve held 3 evangelistic meetings at McDonalds. They’ve had a total of about 350 people attending those meetings and over 200 made a profession of faith! Today they continue to disciple those who were saved creating more workers for the Kingdom of God.

Please pray for our missionaries on foreign fields, and pray for our missionaries America! Can you imagine having a revival at McDonalds? Can you imagine 200 souls saved in less than 2 months? How amazing would that be?!

In this world that is so inundated with bad news and likely no shortages in the future, it’s good to know that there is still good news to be found in the Christian realm. So on days that I am inclined to crawl under a rock and ignore the world around me, I glory God that within a few minutes of searching the web under Christians news I was able to encourage my Spirit! And with one update requested I received the news from Jamilla.

So today I exhort you! Hoping that his blog encouraged you to continue on. Let no rock be crawled under, else the rocks may cry out! (Luke 19:40)

Pass it on!

exhortationI love the holiday season! I also love the chaotic insanity that comes with it when friends and family gather, my kids and grandkids traipse in and out leaving behind a trail of leaves, mud and toys… well maybe I don’t like the trail left behind, but the joy of the visit is always welcome!   It’s the season of lost senses. I love encouraging and being encouraged; bringing joy to someone if only for a fleeting moment. All of which lead me to a wonderful gift, given to every child of God, but not always used. The gift of exhortation.

The word “exhort” isn’t found in the Old Testament. Even a likeminded word like encourage is only found nine times. And most often refers to encouraging themselves or others in the service of the Lord. But “exhort” is found 33 times in the New Testament and usually in a context of encouraging the believers in service and faith in Christ. It’s first found, and not by chance I believe, at the onset of Jesus’ ministry.

Luke 3:15-18 ~ And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

The gospel of Christ is about to hit the scene, and John is the Master of Ceremony exhorting the people on what’s about to take place. It’s a new day! That Baby in the manger is now a grown Savior. He’s set forth a new standard that religion couldn’t hang with; the standard of grace. The ultimate gift that is non-refundable, paid for on the cross at Calvary by God himself. Our human, selfish selves can’t understand why He would choose to pay that price, but it should cause us to extend a hand of grace and mercy at every opportunity and should give us the desire to exhort one another in these trying days as we wait His return.

So how does one exhort one another during this crazy season?

In Faith

It’s an indictment against our nation that the words “Merry Christmas” are considered offensive. So it’s important as Christians that we stand up for the rights given to us by Almighty God and those who have died for it on the battlefields of earth. I love wishing store clerks and businesses a “Merry or Blessed Christmas” whether or not they are allowed to reciprocate. I look forward to various church events and play that allow me to fellowship in faith. It keeps me ground in the purpose of the season. And most of all the Word of God should be given a place and time to exhort ourselves during this hectic time of year.

In Forgiveness

That word is almost as bad as a four letter word in the mouths of some Christian folk. We all want to receive it, but it’s not often we enjoy providing it. What if every wrong and hurt that came into our mind was followed by, “I forgive that,” and from there we just moved on. What joy would fill our hearts and homes and what new and wonderful works could God do with us?

In Fellowship

It doesn’t cost anything more than time (and sometimes a little gasoline) to spend time with people we love and care about, and especially people who have no one to love and care about them. But the opportunity to exhort one another during this season abounds! Makes sure that the focus of this season isn’t on the monetary as much as the moments we get to share with one another.

Exhortation is a gift we’ve all been given. Let’s pass it round this season and make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright.

Why are you being so Ugly?

evil queen

That was the question to myself yesterday during the business conference I’m attending. Perhaps it was because my sinus’ have caused my head to  feel as though it’s going to pop off of my shoulders, or a half dozen other factors of the week, but one session yesterday left me in a seething mood as the rude woman spoke. Her information was outdated and non-relevant and she read all 57 gray and black slides with little emotion and an occasional awkward snicker. The conference folk made the mistake of giving me a link to an online evaluation survey of her piece of the event at the beginning of the session. Well, in my boredom I felt compelled to fill it out on my iPhone. I didn’t care if she thought I was texting and being rude, she was rude.  And as I entered each little black dotted rating I happen to wonder what God might think of my own behavior. After all… as a speaker I’ve been extended favor and mercy on more than one occasion and amazingly enough been invited back. Seriously Shari… why are you being so ugly?

1 Peter 3:8-9 ~ Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

A Compassionate People

I certainly want compassion in my life when I have an off day. For certain the woman was not ready for the conference, she stumbled over ordinary words in her slide that would likely not have been an issue if she’d studied. Tell me you’ve never shown up somewhere less than prepared… I can’t. Another issue I have issues with is uncompassionate people who feel compelled to rip everyone apart as if they’re they authority on life, I just about slipped into that one myself.

A Contrary People

I’ve met many a contrary railing people. They’d argue with a fence post if nobody was around, but Peter said contrariwise blessing. I highly doubt God has appointed you or me as “Heaven’s Critic.” Our job is to be a blessing, and that can’t be done when you’re tearing someone apart. Let some chick gain a little wait (or a lot), have on an unkempt pair of jeans or a dress without a slip and watch the party start among critical women. Oh my goodness, I’m meddlin’ now! But it’s the truth and if you’ve been in any church across America you know it’s a fact. I remember one particular time the “slip” issue slipped out of someone’s mouth about a mother of several children. My first thought was “are you serious? You’ve never seen the profile of a leg before?” Not to mention the fact that this perfectly tailored lady had grown children and had long since forgotten what it was like to pile the kids in the car and get to church on time. It was a miracle she was at church, and you dare comment on her lack of a slip. The truth of the matter was, she’ll likely find a slip before that lady finds some manners.

A Called People

Knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing….

We’re called to not only be a blessing but to inherit one. My lesson today, as I began another day of long sessions is to remember what God called me to do. I’m to be the example of Christ. When someone looks at me that should see something contrary to the world. The world will eat you up and spit you out, I should have no part of it. My presence should be like a balm on a wound of a soul in pain, because that’s what my Lord has been for me.