One aptly spoken accolade can go a long way toward motivating positive change, giving strength to the weary, and perseverance to those trudging through the mundane. And to the contrary–silence can sap a friend, ministry team member, child, or spouse’s strength. Consider the following: My daughter loves art, and I believe she’s quite good at it. But… she didn’t start out good. No one does. Everyone begins with scribbles which progress to stick figures. Sure, some will show more aptitude than others, but aptitude alone doesn’t necessarily lead to growth. There’s a key ingredient, I believe, in growth and that is encouragement. Hearing someone say, “You’re good at that,” often motivates one to try harder and be better.
In Hebrews 10:24 Paul encourages us to be one another’s cheerleaders when he says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (NLT). Today my sweet friend and coffee buddy, LoRee Peery takes a deeper look at this important word, sharing tangible ways we can stand behind and walk beside our brothers and sisters in Christ. As you read her fun devotion, I encourage you to pause to take time to look up and read each verse, asking God to help you put it into practice.
But first, I wanted to announce the winner of last week’s give-away! Sheila Hall, congrats! You won a copy of Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s novel, Rodeo Family! I’ll contact you shortly!
And speaking of give-aways, Amazon is practically giving away my debut novel, Beyond I Do! They’ve marked it down, print and kindle copy, to two bucks and change! If you haven’t read it and were wanting to, now’s a great time to grab a copy. You can get it here. Might want to stock up for all those upcoming birthdays as well. 🙂
ENCOURAGING WORDS by LoRee Peery
Writers are all about words. Some words jump off the page with meaning. Consider the word encourage. The motivation for encouragement is LOVE. Love abounds in God’s people when we are open to opportunities to encourage one another.
After all, we are continually encouraged through the Holy Spirit as we dig into what God has written to us through the Bible. As the children of God, we have a responsibility to pass on encouragement.
E = EDIFY love edifies 1 Corinthians 8:1
N = NOURISH constantly nourished on the words of faith 1 Timothy 4:6
C = CARE have the same care for one another 1 Corinthians 12:25
O = ONE ANOTHER build up one another 1 Thessalonians 5:11
U = URGE urged to encourage the fainthearted 1 Thessalonians 5:14
R = REFRESH they have refreshed my spirit 1 Corinthians 16:18
A = ACCOMPLISH prayer accomplishes much James 5:16
G = GIVE more blessed to give than to receive Acts 20:35
E = EXHORT spiritual gift to come alongside. Romans 12:8
Hebrews 3:13 reads “But ENCOURAGE one another day after day.”
Sometimes encouragement doesn’t require words. How much do you smile when you’re out in public? I try to make eye contact and smile. Sometimes that’s hard if I’m concentrating on my next purchase, especially in the grocery store. If I’m not a woman on a mission, though, I do try to acknowledge others.
Now, my husband is a retired salesman. He smiles and talks to almost everyone he meets. Sometimes those people don’t even have to be looking at him. But I’ve seen him brighten a stranger’s day many times over. On occasion he doesn’t use many words. He may reach for something too high for an older shopper. He opens doors, he’s put packages in trunks, and he’s aided those dedicated spouses struggling with the wheel chairs of their mates. I can’t count the times some woman has said to him, “You’re the first man to ask if I needed help.”
I encourage you to take these thoughts to heart and make someone’s day by a word or act of encouragement. We are in this faith journey together.
Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn’t expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader. Creighton Rice has been content to live alone with his God–until he meets Shana. He’s drawn to her, but must fight the attraction. Getting close makes him face a lifetime’s accumulation of scars. Plus, Shana doesn’t share his faith. But when Shana’s life is threatened, Creighton must protect her–even if it means letting her in. Will Shana discover that even when a woman loses everything, she can regain courage and strength through faith in God, and can Creighton allow God to heal scars and open the door to a lifetime with Shana?
A Nebraska country girl, LoRee Peery attempts to see God’s presence every day. Often that gift comes from nature, and she is most relaxed in the outdoors. The call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson. A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. A rainbow holds special significance, since one appeared the day of her father’s funeral and means the promise of the Lord’s presence in her life. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith.
You can find her at www.loreepeery.com or the Pelican Book Group site http://tinyurl.com/kwz9enk
Let’s talk about this! I’ve heard it said, people will rarely remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. We are a tired, discouraged, insecure bunch in desperate need of encouragement. Who can you encourage today, and how? Perhaps make a list. Maybe make a list daily. Your friends, family, and co-workers will love you for it. 🙂
Share your thoughts and ideas here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.
For those following my book-launch tour, here’s where I’ve been this past week:
Today I stopped by Angela Meyer’s to talk about the best possible response to a chaotic day. You can read more here.
Yesterday I participated in a book give-away (which is still going on). Give-awa, and talked about how God uses everything–every tear and regret–to bring about His glorious purposes. Knwoing this should bring us great joy and peace, regardless of our circumstances. Read more here.
Yesterday was a busy day, cyber-space speaking. Ginger Solomon interviewed Jacqueline Dunn, the main female character in my sophomore novel, When Dawn Breaks. You can read that here. I also encourage you to read a short story I wrote through the eyes of one of America’s forgotten children. You can read that here.
I also got all mushy and sentimental yesterday on Gail Pallotta’s blog as I talked about what I really wanted this Valentine’s Day. You can read my post here.
Reviewer Sarah Ruut invited me to visit her blog to talk about my novel and passion for writing. You can join our conversation here.
An old writing mentor, Fay Lamb, had me on her blog this past week, starting with a guest post, then a character interview, and finally an author interview. Pop by to learn more about me, my novel, and Jacqueline Dunn.
This weekend I’m heading back to Kansas City (Olatha, KS, actually) to do a signing, and I have to say, my Northland church family has blessed my socks off by their outpouring of encouragement and support. I was touched not only by their actions but by the knowledge that God spurred them to it, which was like a gentle hug from my Savior and a clear reminder that He’s in this writing thing. To my Northland family, I love you guys! Can’t wait to reconnect! 🙂
The following weekend (Feb. 7th) I’ll be speaking at the Art of Marriage conference here in Papillion. I’d love to see you. I cannot recommend this conference enough. It’s one my hubby and I go to annually. It’s that good, and that important! That afternoon, I’ll be signing copies of both my novels at the Bookworm in Omaha (at 4pm). I’d love to see a slew of Christian fiction readers come! I love supporting secular stores that support carry Christian fiction. 🙂
Hi, Jennifer and LoRee! Awesome, uplifting, encouraging post. Love the scriptures. Just what I needed. My husband is quick to smile, talk, help, engage with everybody. I tend to be more reserved. But after this post, I will look for opportunities to be an encouragement!
I found LoRee’s post very inspiring as well. Not long ago, as I was praying for someone I wondered, “Do they know I’m praying for them?” I realized probably not, unless I told them. So I began sending friends texts when God brought them to my mind. They responded with such gratitude I decided I needed to do that more often. Then I decided, what if I told people all the positive things that went through my head in a day? I received the same response, so decided to do it more often. 🙂 Last night while I was at Walgreens picking something up, the lady noticed I’d purchased two travel bottles of conditioner. Thinking I wanted one of shampoo and one of conditioner, she mentioned this to me. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but as I walked to my car I thought, “That was very considerate, not just that she mentioned it, but that she took the time to notice.” I wondered, as I kept walking, if I should tell her I appreciated her act. I felt kind of silly. After all, I was all the way to my car, and she could’ve been occupied with other customers. But I decided I wanted her to know I noticed, so I went back and thanked her for her considerate act. She was a bit surprised, and honestly, I’m not sure if she thought anything of it. But I hoped it encouraged her and let her know what she does every day matters.
Jennifer, that encouraged me as well. I’m sure it did her as well, knowing that you appreciated the effort she took to make sure you had what you needed. I like that you send texts when someone comes to mind. I tend to send emails or cards. Everybody gets bills, but when you get a card in the mail, your heart gets a little jump wondering who it’s from lol. I think I’m going to have to send more this year.
Oh, that’s a great idea! You are so right, there is something special about receiving personal mail. 🙂
Hey Jennifer, uplifting coffee partner, thanks for having me here today.
Sally, you are so dedicated to keeping in touch. Many friends have encouraged me over the years, and of course biblical encouragement is beyond measure. I hope your day is blessed.
Thank you, LoRee. Biblical encouragement is the best. I love having a circle of friends who are encouraging and supportive, but then to get that encouragement from God’s Word, that is awesome. Praying for you, LoRee. Have a great day!
LoRee, I’m delighted to be a fellow Pelican with you, and am continually blessed by your sweetness, “encouragement!” and Christ-centered support. Blessings to you always! xo ❤
Marianne, I concur with your assessment of LoRee! It’s such a blessing to have her on my site today!
What a beautiful, encouraging post, ladies! LoRee, you have a gift for encouragment. I can’t count the times you’ve lifted my spirit with your sweet words and kindness. Love the post! Jennifer, thanks for the reminder to go the extra mile to brighten someone’s day. Sounds like you’ve been BUSY…and that’s good, right? 🙂 Blessings to you both!
Marianne, I cherish you as a Christian sister and a like-minded Pelican author. Your smile and God-honoring words always encourage me.
Delia, I view any connection I have with you as a blessing, and say your words right back from me to you. Thanks for taking the time to be here today.
Hi Loree, your husband makes me think of my brother-in-law. I try to smile at strangers as they pass, but I could do more. Thanks for the encouragement.
Zoe, you have a great smile so I’m sure you can encourage strangers.
I think a smile can make a huge impact for people. I love that you make a point to smile–to add sunshine, or perhaps more accurately Son-shine 🙂 into other people’s day!
Love the acrostic, LoRee. Thanks for the reminder to encourage others. So many are going through rough times, and encouragement is vital these days. Good post.
Linda, isn’t acrostic a great word? I thank you for stopping by.
Zoe! Great to see you here! I need to work on this as well. I am not an overly outgoing person naturally. Sometimes just speaking to people I know is hard. But with God’s help and discernment, we can do this!