Tag Archives: encouraging

Encouragement

 


encouragement

Inspire21.com

“How do you know if a man needs encouragement? If he is breathing.”
– Truett Cathy, Founder, Chick-fil-A

With so many people in the world telling us we can’t succeed, we need to hear people telling us we can. I remember my high school English teacher telling me not to apply to Cornell University because they wouldn’t accept me and even if they did I wouldn’t be able to do the work. (It’s funny that I’m a writer now). I almost didn’t apply but a few days later I saw Ivan Goldfarb, a former teacher, in the hallway and asked him about Cornell. He said, “If you get in, then you go. You can do it.” His words made all the difference. I applied, was accepted and majored in Lacrosse :).

Too often we think it’s our role to inject a dose of “reality” into someone’s life. We think it’s our job to protect people from the pain of failure and defeat. We think we must point out how bad the economy is and how horrible the job market is and how the sky is falling. We think that dreams were meant for others.

I say there are enough pessimists and “realists” in the world. The world doesn’t need more negativity and impossible thinkers. The world needs more optimists, encouragers, and inspirers. The world needs more people to speak into the hearts of others and say “I believe in you.” “Follow your passion and live your purpose.” “If you have the desire then you also have the power to make it happen.” “Keep working hard.” “You’re improving and getting better. Keep it up.” “The economy is tough but you can still grow your business.” “The job market is not great but I believe you’ll find the right job for you.” “We’ve hit a lot of obstacles but we’ll get the project finished.” “Even if you fail it will lead to something even better.” “You’re learning and growing.”

When it comes to encouragement I know that everyone of us loves working for and with people who bring out the best in us. We love being around people who uplift us and make us feel great. And while we’ll always remember the negative people who told us we couldn’t accomplish something, we will always cherish and hold a special place in our heart for those who encouraged us.

Today I want to encourage you to be an encourager. So often the difference between success and failure is belief. And so often that belief is instilled in us by someone who encouraged us. Leadership, after all, is a transfer of belief.

Today decide to be that person who instills a positive belief in someone who needs to hear your encouraging words. Uplift someone who is feeling down. Fuel your team with your positive energy. Rally others to focus on what is possible rather than what seems impossible. Share encouragement. It matters and we all need it

 

Streams In The Desert

As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests… shall rest in the waters… the waters shall be cut off (Joshua 3:13).

The people were not to wait in their camps until the way was opened, they were to walk by faith. They were to break camp, pack up their goods, form in line to march, and move down to the very banks before the river would be opened.

If they had come down to the edge of the river and then had stopped for the stream to divide before they stepped into it, they would have waited in vain. They must take one step into the water before the river would be cut off.

We must learn to take God at His Word, and go straight on in duty, although we see no way in which we can go forward. The reason we are so often balked by difficulties is that we expect to see them removed before we try to pass through them.

If we would move straight on in faith, the path would be opened for us. We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles.
–Evening Thoughts

What a lesson Columbus gave to the world of perseverance in the face of tremendous difficulties!

Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good Mate said: “Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!'”
“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak!”
The stout Mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'”
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the Mate:
“This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word;
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck
And peered through darkness. Ah! that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck–
A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world

Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
–Joaquin Miller

Faith that goes forward triumphs.

 

February 11, 2014

Crosswalk.com

Creative Reminders to Pray
Wendy Pope

“I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer.” Psalm 55:17 (TLB)

Why is it so easy to remember every word to my favorite 80’s songs, but so hard to remember to pray for others?

There have been many times when I’ve told a friend, “Yes, I will pray for you.” Then time goes by and that promise slips my mind. Guilt fills my heart as days later I remember the forgotten prayerrequest.

My heart’s desire is to pray with purpose for each person and every need because I know God listens. The psalmist knew this too, and wrote these words in Psalm 55:17, “I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer.”

That’s my intention too. Unfortunately, life’s busy schedule and my dwindling memory keep me from praying the way I want to.

So I asked the Lord to help me in this area. And He answered that prayer in an unusual way.

For some strange reason, I have the uncanny ability to remember the make and model of my friends’ cars. God used this ability to help me generate prayer prompters. Seeing the make and model of a friend’s car prompts me to pray for them.

But God didn’t stop there. He also showed me how to use other prayer prompters besides cars. Maybe my list will help you generate your own prayer prompts.

• A red Honda minivan: Renee Swope and family (She used to drive one)
• When my ears ring: Lysa TerKeurst (She had some damage to one ear)
• Leopard print: Lisa Allen (She loves leopard print)
• Purple, especially pens: Sharon Sloan (She loves purple)
• Fog or low lying clouds: Kristi Butler (We call low lying clouds the glory of the Lord)
• Wonderful, Merciful Savior: My former pastor (It is one of his favorite songs)

There are many ways we can remember to pray. Enter prayer requests as an appointment on your phone with an alarm to remind you. Write names and requests on a calendar to pray on specific days for specific people. Keep a notebook with you and record prayer requests.

Prayer prompts make it easier to pray morning, noon and night as the psalmist did. We can use red minivans or reminders on the calendar. Whenever the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray, God will hear and answer. Our prayers don’t have to be long, with big and lofty words. We just have to remember and pray with a sincere heart.

Dear Lord, I know that You hear and answer prayers morning, noon and night. Help me to be faithful to pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Be Positive

 

Be Positive

 

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Virtually no competition

While professional soccer is still struggling to find a firm foothold in the United States, in the 1970s the North American Soccer League marked the brave first attempt to introduce the game to American sports fans. While most teams had only limited success at best, one did manage to break through to genuine mainstream popularity – the New York Cosmos.

It was the brainchild of Steve Ross, a passionate soccer fan who was also a major executive at Warner Communications.

Max Ross told his son Steve: “In life there are those who work all day, those who dream all day, and those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfil those dreams. Go into the third category because there’s virtually no competition”.

Source: “Once In A Lifetime – The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos” by Gavin Newsham

 


The little wave

The story is abut a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”, the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”

The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”

Source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

 


Believe what you feel

On this day, Morrie says that he has an exercise for us to try. We are to stand, facing away from our classmates, and fall backward, relying on another student to catch us. Most of us are uncomfortable with this, and we cannot let go for more than a few inches before stopping ourselves. We laugh in embarrassment.

Finally, one student, a thin, quiet, dark-haired girl whom I notice almost always wears bulky, white fisherman sweaters, crosses her arms over her chest, closes her eyes, leans back, and does not flinch, like one of those Lipton tea commercials where the model splashes into the pool..

For a moment, I am sure she is going to thump on the floor. At the last instant, her assigned partner grabs her head and shoulders and yanks her up harshly.

“Whoa!!” several students yell. Some clap. Morrie finally smiles. “You see”, he says to the girl, ‘you closed your eyes, That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too – even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling”.

Source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

From: Rogerdarlington.com

 

Determination and Persistence

 

Determination and Persistence

This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.


In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.

In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

From: academictips.org.

 

Hospital window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by th! e window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

From: academictips.org

 

Encouraging Stories

 

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“THE HAPPIEST OF PEOPLE DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING; THEY JUST MAKE THE MOST OF EVERYTHING THAT COMES ALONG THEIR WAY”.


Encouragement

TWO MEN, BOTH SERIOUSLY ILL, OCCUPIED THE SAME HOSPITAL ROOM. ONE MAN WAS ALLOWED TO SIT UP IN HIS BED FOR AN HOUR EACH AFTERNOON TO HELP DRAIN THE FLUID FROM HIS LUNGS. HIS BED WAS NEXT TO THE ROOM’S ONLY WINDOW. THE OTHER MAN HAD TO SPEND ALL HIS TIME FLAT ON HIS BACK. 

THE MEN TALKED FOR HOURS ON END. THEY SPOKE OF THEIR WIVES AND FAMILIES, THEIR HOMES, THEIR JOBS, THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, WHERE THEY HAD BEEN ON VACATION.

EVERY AFTERNOON WHEN THE MAN IN THE BED BY THE WINDOW COULD SIT UP, HE WOULD PASS THE TIME BY DESCRIBING TO HIS ROOMMATE ALL THE THINGS HE COULD SEE OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.

THE MAN IN THE OTHER BED BEGAN TO LIVE FOR THOSE ONE HOUR PERIODS WHERE HIS WORLD WOULD BE BROADENED AND ENLIVENED BY ALL THE ACTIVITY AND COLOR OF THE WORLD OUTSIDE.

THE WINDOW OVERLOOKED A PARK WITH A LOVELY LAKE. DUCKS AND SWANS PLAYED ON THE WATER WHILE CHILDREN SAILED THEIR MODEL BOATS. PEOPLE WALKING ARM IN ARM AMIDST FLOWERS OF EVERY COLOR AND A FINE VIEW OF THE CITY SKYLINE COULD BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE.

AS THE MAN BY THE WINDOW DESCRIBED ALL THIS IN EXQUISITE DETAIL, THE MAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM WOULD CLOSE HIS EYES AND IMAGINE THE PICTURESQUE SCENE.

ONE WARM AFTERNOON THE MAN BY THE WINDOW DESCRIBED A PARADE PASSING BY.

ALTHOUGH THE OTHER MAN COULDN’T HEAR THE BAND – HE COULD SEE IT. IN HIS MIND’S EYE AS THE GENTLEMAN BY THE WINDOW PORTRAYED IT WITH DESCRIPTIVE WORDS.

DAYS AND WEEKS PASSED.

ONE MORNING, THE DAY NURSE ARRIVED TO BRING WATER FOR THEIR BATHS ONLY TO FIND THE LIFELESS BODY OF THE MAN BY THE WINDOW, WHO HAD DIED PEACEFULLY IN HIS SLEEP. SHE WAS SADDENED AND CALLED THE HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS TO TAKE THE BODY AWAY.

AS SOON AS IT SEEMED APPROPRIATE, THE OTHER MAN ASKED IF HE COULD BE MOVED NEXT TO THE WINDOW. THE NURSE WAS HAPPY TO MAKE THE SWITCH, AND AFTER MAKING SURE HE WAS COMFORTABLE, SHE LEFT HIM ALONE.

SLOWLY, PAINFULLY, HE PROPPED HIMSELF UP ON ONE ELBOW TO TAKE HIS FIRST LOOK AT THE REAL WORLD OUTSIDE.

HE STRAINED TO SLOWLY TURN TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW BESIDE THE BED.

IT FACED A BLANK WALL. THE MAN ASKED THE NURSE WHAT COULD HAVE COMPELLED HIS DECEASED ROOMMATE WHO HAD DESCRIBED SUCH WONDERFUL THINGS OUTSIDE THIS WINDOW.

THE NURSE RESPONDED THAT THE MAN WAS BLIND AND COULD NOT EVEN SEE THE WALL. SHE SAID, “PERHAPS HE JUST WANTED TO ENCOURAGE YOU.”

AS THE MAN SMILED, HE TURNED TO THE NURSE TO SAY HOW BLESSED HE WAS TO HAVE KNOWN HIM, AND HOW CONFIDENT HE WAS TO GET BETTER NOW, AND SO HE DID…

“THERE IS TREMENDOUS HAPPINESS IN MAKING OTHERS HAPPY, IN SPITE OF OUR OWN SITUATIONS. IF YOU WANT TO FEEL RICH, JUST COUNT ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY”!

From: Inspiringstories.com.

 

The Park Bench

BE A LIGHT TO OTHERS AND YOU WONT STUMBLE ON YOUR OWN PATH.

STORY

THE PARK BENCH WAS DESERTED AS I SAT DOWN TO READ BENEATH THE LONG, STRAGGLY BRANCHES OF AN OLD WILLOW TREE.  DISILLUSIONED BY LIFE WITH GOOD REASON TO FROWN, FOR THE WORLD WAS INTENT ON DRAGGING ME DOWN.

AND IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH TO RUIN MY DAY, A YOUNG BOY OUT OF BREATH APPROACHED ME, ALL TIRED FROM PLAY.  HE STOOD RIGHT BEFORE ME WITH HIS HEAD TILTED DOWN AND SAID WITH GREAT EXCITEMENT, “LOOK WHAT I FOUND!”

IN HIS HAND WAS A FLOWER, AND WHAT A PITIFUL SIGHT, WITH ITS PETALS ALL WORN – NOT ENOUGH RAIN, OR TOO LITTLE LIGHT.  WANTING HIM TO TAKE HIS DEAD FLOWER AND GO OFF TO PLAY, I FAKED A SMALL SMILE AND THEN SHIFTED AWAY.

BUT INSTEAD OF RETREATING HE SAT NEXT TO MY SIDE AND PLACED THE FLOWER TO HIS NOSE AND DECLARED WITH OVERACTED SURPRISE, “IT SURE SMELLS PRETTY AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL, TOO. THAT’S WHY I PICKED IT; HERE, IT’S FOR YOU.”  THE WEED BEFORE ME WAS DYING OR DEAD.  NOT VIBRANT OF COLORS: ORANGE, YELLOW OR RED.

BUT I KNEW I MUST TAKE IT, OR HE MIGHT NEVER LEAVE.  SO I REACHED FOR THE FLOWER, AND REPLIED,  “JUST WHAT I NEED.”  BUT INSTEAD OF HIM PLACING THE FLOWER IN MY HAND, HE HELD IT MID-AIR WITHOUT REASON OR PLAN.

IT WAS THEN THAT I NOTICED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME THAT WEED-TOTING BOY COULD NOT SEE: HE WAS BLIND.

I HEARD MY VOICE QUIVER; TEARS SHONE IN THE SUN AS I THANKED HIM FOR PICKING THE VERY BEST ONE.  “YOU’RE WELCOME,”  HE SMILED, AND THEN RAN OFF TO PLAY, UNAWARE OF THE IMPACT HE’D HAD ON MY DAY.

I SAT THERE AND WONDERED HOW HE MANAGED TO SEE A SELF-PITYING PERSON BENEATH AN OLD WILLOW TREE. HOW DID HE KNOW OF MY SELF-INDULGED PLIGHT? PERHAPS FROM HIS HEART, HE’D BEEN BLESSED WITH TRUE SIGHT.

THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLIND CHILD, AT LAST I COULD SEE THE PROBLEM WAS NOT WITH THE WORLD; THE PROBLEM WAS ME.  AND FOR ALL OF THOSE TIMES I MYSELF HAD BEEN BLIND, I VOWED TO SEE THE BEAUTY IN LIFE, AND APPRECIATE EVERY SECOND THAT’S MINE.

AND THEN I HELD THAT WILTED FLOWER UP TO MY NOSE AND BREATHED IN THE FRAGRANCE OF A BEAUTIFUL ROSE AND SMILED AS I WATCHED THAT YOUNG BOY, ANOTHER WEED IN HIS HAND, ABOUT TO CHANGE THE LIFE OF ANOTHER UNSUSPECTING INDIVIDUAL.

From: Inspiringstories.com.