encouragement

The Encouragement Factor

You can do it!!”  When we do difficult stuff & go through challenging seasons, receiving encouragement can be really helpful!  I see a great example of the power of encouragement when Jonathan went out to David, when David was discouraged & really pressed to the wall. Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was chasing David & trying to kill him, so I suspect that Jonathon’s encouragement was all the more helpful to David. Basically, Jonathan told David that David would become king & Jonathan was very supportive of David.

When someone is in a tough spot, seems discouraged, going through a challenging season or is experiencing setbacks & hardships, let’s be committed to encourage them!  Speaking life & giving hope is what God does for us & can do through us as well!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Lessons from Softball :)

The snow was sifting slowly to the ground and my breath was forming mini-clouds to welcome the tiny flakes on their descent.  This is a friendly way to say that last night was very cold for playing softball.  To make it even more thrilling and chilling, we had a double header & our final game concluded just before 10pm.  I felt like a popsicle as my feet shuffled me to the car.  I learned some very good lessons from last night’s adventure:

  • have FUN!!  Despite the cold, snow and losing both games, it’s fun to get outside, banter, encourage and move my aging body for a little exercise!
  • look to serve:  our team joined a rec league, so it’s not highly competitive.  This makes it all the more enjoyable to serve the other team and look for ways to be helpful – carrying gear, collecting foul balls, sharing equipment, etc
  • be encouraging more than competitve:  this is a big one for me.  If I go down the competitive trail (which is more my natural instinct), it’s less enjoyable than when I stay in an encouragment groove.

God can teach us many wonderful lessons, using a variety of contexts and circumstances.  Let’s be willing and eager learners!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

What Is Sacrifice?

I’m making my way back home from speaking at a pastor’s conference in Bangledesh. This has been a “quick trip”, considering that getting to Bangledesh can be a 30hour journey with a 12 hour time change – so no travel to Bangledesh is a in reality a “quick trip.” When I was deciding about this trip, I was weighing the cost of the trip, not only financially, but the cost of time, impact to my family & Spring Break time together – sacrifices.
With all these considerations, I felt in my heart that I needed to join this conference – a very unique opportunity to meet Christian leaders in a Muslim country & hopefully encourage & minister to them. And in light of our new nightcare in Bangledesh, I felt that this opportunity would also be strategic & a great way to begin some important relationships for the future.
Before I left for this trip, most of what I felt was a mix of hope, anticipation & sacrifice. Now that I’m returning home, I recognize the sacrifice to be sure. But getting to team up with Holy Spirit to minister to such incredible leaders has left me astounded. Additionally, I experienced some progress on some questions in my heart. And I sense a significant green light from God about Saving Moses growing in our nightcare work throughout this region of the world. Yes this trip was a sacrifice & I’m physically very tired. I’m also very awestruck with God’s generosity that counteracts the sacrifices that we make. I’m very thankful.

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

God Makes a Way

Hard circumstances, unknown terrain, impossible journeys – these are all things in which God specializes.  As you read this, maybe you’re in a financial crisis & Christmas looks impossible;  maybe you’ve received a medical report that’s disturbing;  maybe you have some toxic relational challenges that seem to be never ending;  maybe you’re discouraged or depressed;  maybe you have some work or school difficulties that are bigger than your abilities, time or energy.

Be encouraged today, that God can make a way when there seems to be no way.  Remind yourself of how God delivered the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt:

  • providing a leader, Moses, who was educated & committed to their freedom
  • supernatural signs & wonders (10 Plagues) to break the slavery bondage
  • Passover to establish the relationship between God & the nation of Israel
  • plundering the Egyptians when the Israelites walked out of Egypt
  • split the Red Sea & drowning the enemies who were intent on dragging the Israelites back into slavery

God did lots more when He liberated the Israelites, so be encouraged that you’re not in a situation that exceeds God’s ability to transform nor redeem!  Feel free to share this with your friends to encouage them as well!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Here’s Some Hope!

Hope is super important!  Indeed, it’s listed along with faith & love as being vital, at the end of 1Corinthians 13, the love chapter!

So here’s something quick to encourage you & anyone you know to share this with, for hope!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 3 comments

Eating an Elephant

Do you ever struggle with big projects? Sometimes things can seem overwhelming when they’re massive in size & scope. It’s easy for me to get under the water when I have big projects that I have to complete, but it helps me to think about big projects in small bites. So I always say, “start with the toenails when you have to eat an elephant.”

David did this when he was facing Goliath. When Saul asked David about killing the giant, David replied, “I’ve killed a lion & a bear, so God will help me with this giant!”
Here are a few helpful thoughts to eat an elephant / accomplish big projects:

  1. Look at a small & do-able part of the big project & start there
  2. Pay attention to your thoughts so they don’t get overwhelmed with the size of what needs to be accomplished
  3. When you get into the project, come up to periscope depth from time to time to celebrate progress
  4. Remind yourself of your precious accomplishments to be encouraged!
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

hot topic: grammy awards

Last night, the Grammys were awarded to lots of very talented people who have achieved some incredible things, some admirable & noteworthy.  Despite all of these accomplishments, let’s remember what’s even more important than achievements – people.  People are important because they’re people and not only for what they can achieve. So here are some ideas to affirm & encourage people in your life today:

  • tell someone why you like them in relation to their character – I like that you’re: compassionate, patient, passionate, creative, fun, thoughtful, etc
  • be liberal with compliments & stingy with criticisms
  • look for ways to encourage someone:  I saw that you went the extra mile;  I see that you’re trying to improve in this area, I appreciate your creativity, etc
  • affirm differences rather than shaming for conformity 🙂
  • let the Holy Spirit encourage you today & this can help us encourage people around us!
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, listen, living, relationships, values, watch, 0 comments

Making Progress!

I like to accomplish things & can sometimes get discouraged when it seems like I just slough along seeming not to get anywhere. I’ve had some really big projects on my plate for several months & I finally seem to be making progress & this is WONDERFUL!! Nevertheless, I’m learning some important lessons for “in between” trying & achieving:
*persistence & patience – nothing worthwhile is achieved without these important pieces
*stay encouraged – this is no one else’s responsibility but mine
*teams are important – I can achieve WAY MORE on a team than by myself
*keep your eyes on Jesus – a great immunization for distractions & discouragement 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 1 comment

Goliath’s sword

Recently, I read the story about David killing Goliath – it’s always inspiring & encouraging!  As I read the story leading up to Goliath’s death, David recounted how he had fought off a lion & a bear to protect the sheep under his care.  David used this memory to encourage Saul that with God’s help, David could overcome Goliath.  Futhermore, when David confronted Goliath, he boasted that he would use Goliath’s own sword to cut off Goliath’s head, which is exactly what happened.  Later in David’s life, David again acquired Goliath’s sword from a helpful priest for his own weapon as he was running away from Saul to save his life.  Goliath’s sword was a turning point for David’s life – shifting away from sheep & moving toward kingship.

In our lives, there are turning points, like Goliath’s sword.  God uses unique things & experiences in our lives for both victories & encouragment at very strategic times, particularly for me with Saving Moses.  We can trust God to direct our steps and give us the resources necessary for each step 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 3 comments

balancing multiple demands

Well friends, I’m back from Angola with Saving Moses & life continues to maintain its seemingly hectic pace.  Do you ever feel like there’s more work than time or energy?  It seems to me that often when I return from int’l trips that I have lots to catch up on & this return home seems no different than any others:  using a snorkle to keep swimming until I can come up for air.  But here’s something that is really encouraging to me today as I try to catch up from last week’s travels:  keeping my focus on Jesus helps me to not get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done.

As I was praying this morning, I just was encouraged to remember that Jesus already knew about everything that I need to get done with the limited quantity of time that I have.  With this in mind, I receive great strength knowing that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will help me.  It’s when I get my focus off of Jesus & onto the Mount Everest size work in front of me when I seem to get discouraged.  So, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus & keep swimming ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, 0 comments