Does God Encourage You?

When learning about the prophetic the focus is almost always on others. We learn how to give prophetic words, we share pictures and visions and we generally try to encourage other believers.

How often do we turn the gift on ourselves and listen for what God is saying to us? Do you hear encouraging words from God the Father?

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Last week I was part of a group of guys that went to pray for a lady who had been diagnosed with cancer. While we were there I caught myself thinking, “I wonder how she feels to have all these people pitch up at her house and pray for her?”

In theory, asking others for help should be easy enough, but sometimes, it isn’t.

This was brought my attention just a day after praying for the lady with cancer. For the last few days, I have had a sore neck and I have battled at times to turn or bend without it being painful. It started last week, went away and then came back on Sunday.

I took painkillers at various intervals throughout the day and hoped that it would go away by the afternoon when I was on duty to facilitate our evening service at church. It didn’t go away and I ended up asking on our chat group if anyone could do the facilitation for me. In the end, our pastor did it, but I realised through the process that I am really bad at asking for help.

I mean really bad. It took a lot of effort to type the message I sent and, even as I type now, I still have feelings of guilt because I burdened someone else with my responsibility.

But I know what a blessing it can be to help others, so why is it so hard to let others help me?

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Two weeks ago I wrote about being quiet. It has become a bit of a theme for me in the last little while and I feel like I am learning various aspects of what being quiet means.

This verse has been popping up for me repeatedly in the last few days:

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:30-31 NASB (emphasis mine)

I think the Lord may be trying to tell me something! As I read this verse this morning the word “wait” was highlighted to me. At the time I was doing a busy mix of reading my bible plan, getting distracted, checking email, going back to a different devotional and eventually coming back to this verse. When I read “wait” I stopped and thought, “What would waiting on the Lord actually look like?” I stopped and focused on the Lord and almost straight away felt His presence.

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Worth a Read

First the details. I love to read. I regularly have at least four books on the go so that I have something to read no matter what mood I’m in. About four or five years ago I pretty much phased out reading novels because I realised I had too much to learn and not enough time to do it in. Of the many books I’ve read, these are the few that I would highly recommend to anyone.

Next the disclaimer. This is my list so it’s going to be a subjective opinion. Not every book listed is an actual Christian book, but is on this list because it helped in some way with my walk with The Lord, or it helped in some way with ministry. I’m not going to give a long description on each book, just why it made a difference to me, or how it helped. I have, however, linked each book to its Amazon page so you will find a full description there. Books are listed alphabetically by title.

And so, on to the list.

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Have you ever gone off somewhere to just be quiet?

Maybe it was just closing the door to your office. Maybe you left the office to sit on the bench outside. Maybe you just wanted to get out of the house and sit in the garden for a bit, or maybe you just took a drive.

Did you notice how unquiet it was?

I teach at a high school and as I write this I am sitting on a bench outside in one of my free lessons. It’s noisy.

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It’s not about the cash

When it’s my wife’s birthday I’ll buy her a present “from the boys” so that they get to give her a gift on her birthday.

How many parents here have done a similar thing? Or maybe your parents did that for you?

Or how about pocket money?

My son, Rory has a few chores he has to do around the house and in return he gets a small amount of pocket money. We’re starting to teach him about tithing and want him to give back 10% of his money to Jesus.

Where did the pocket money come from?

Mom and dad.

You could argue and say that he worked for it, but where did the opportunity to do the chores come from so that he could get pocket money?

Mom and dad.

It’s a similar thing with us. Everything we have or do comes from God. We work for “our” money, but it is really God who gave us everything we have.

When we ask Rory to tithe it’s not really about the money. If he does it or does’t do it, we’ll love him the same. We’ll still bless him with his own presents. We’ll provide for his needs.

So why the fuss about tithing, or “sharing” what you have with others?

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Seek and you will find

I had a past student phone me last night. He phoned at 00:30 to warn me about the state that South Africa was in and that I should be making plans to leave. We spoke for a good two and a half hours, but we didn't spend the whole time discussing politics. In fact, one of the main reasons he phoned was to discuss a book on Christianity I had lent him while he was still at school.

As a highly intelligent young man, he preceded to probe my thoughts on a god, or gods, the possibility of a multiverse, quantum theory and evolution to name a few. I am well read enough to know at least a bit about some of the stuff he was speaking about and engaged him as best I could. He told me that he was convinced that there was a god or at least some sort of intelligent designer who had made our universe, but that in all likelihood there were another "gods" who had made the other universes that existed in our multiverse.

Although he has read the Bible (in multiple translations) it seems that just one god doesn't fit what scientific evidence appears to be saying about evolution and the probability of a multiverse. At this point it necessary for me to say outright that, from a scientific standpoint, I don't have a clue about the probability of a multiverse. I haven't read nearly enough in this area to even consider myself vaguely competent to argue on the topic. All I could do was speak from personal experience about my understanding of things. So that's what I did.

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