E-mail Encouragement: Your Definition  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

Ever felt dampened about your abilities because of something someone else said? I remember a comment my father made to me my freshman year of high school. It definitely felt "dampening". Because of it, I didn't want it to become true. I did everything I could to prove the comment wrong. I am sure he never even thought about it after he made it, but it struck a cord with me. This leads to this week's quote...

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us. ~ Virginia Satir


When we allow other people to define us, we definitely limit ourself. People's comments will generally limit or empower us. Thinking about this, we can either be the one who does not let others limit us or think about what we say as to empower others to explore their abilities. And we are continually walking the line and stepping on one side or another depending on the situation.

I hope you will view your definition of your self by listening to the empowering comments and not the limiting comments. And I hope you will be the one who empowers and not limits others.

Have a great week and I'll see you Sunday!

Continually surprised ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: A Great Work - Nehemiah 6:1-14  

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It is almost always nice to start something new. In this case, it is nice to start a new week each Monday morning. You can put last week's business behind you and press on to making this week a great week!

God has a "great work" that He is doing all the time and everywhere. He guides us in carrying out that "great work" and that makes me excited to be a part of it! I hope that you can join in with an excitement of being a teammate of God's. Nehemiah had a "great work" going on and he was faced with opposition. See if you can use any of these applications to help you apply the lesson...

  1. Though it is Monday morning at 11:30 AM, has Satan called to meet you somewhere yet? Nehemiah's opponents tried to take him away from a safe place to meet up with him. Our Enemy tries to get us to go away from Jesus and meet him in a place where we're more susceptible to being weak. Keep this idea on your mind as you go throughout the week.
  2. Kids are taught at an early age that they can't have everything they want. I just visited with my 7 year-old nephew yesterday and he had just been at the store and wanted something but didn't receive it. However, this lesson never sinks in. Sure, some are more disciplined than others, but there is still a desire to want. The opposition to Nehemiah wanted them to not get the wall built so they could still have an influence on Jerusalem. We may want our "way" or may want a product. Either way, damage can be done in our pursuit to achieve that desire. Pray that the next time you "want" something - whether it is "your way" or something else - you think how it will affect your life and any others involved.
  3. This week is a new week and Satan will be serving lots of different ping pong opportunities at you. How will you respond? Peter encourages us to be "preparing your minds for action; be self-controlled" (I Peter 1:13a). Pray that God will keep you strong and under control as you "fight the good fight of the faith".

Have a Jesus-filled week!

Keeping up my shield ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Being the Lighter, Not the Snuffer  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

As we are called to "deny self" on a regular basis, one way we can do that is by inspiring others...read on...

What this country needs is more people to inspire others with confidence, and fewer people to discourage any initiative in the right direction more to get into the thick of things, fewer to sit on the sidelines, merely finding fault more to point out what's right with the world, and fewer to keep harping on what's wrong with it and more who are interested in lighting candles, and fewer who blow them out.
- Father James Keller

Which one are you? May you be inspired to inspire others to do bigger and better things!

Have a great rest of the week and be "candle lighters"!!!

See you Saturday and/or Sunday!

Carrying my lighter ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Got Debt, Don't Fret - Nehemiah 5:1-6  

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Christ's church is just awesome! Paul describing it as a body that has "many parts" all doing different things is just an ever-chewing idea. I am fascinated by what can be accomplished through people working together. I left our Vision Team meeting with a recoiled spring in my step. This was able to bounce me into Sunday morning where it was enjoyable to attend the "family reunion". Not forgetting, capping my evening off with a great Love and Respect group. Weekends like this make me so look forward to starting "all over" on Monday! I hope you have had similar experiences this weekend!!!

Nehemiah is a mind-blowing book. Maybe I look at it from the perspective of a leader. He had responsibilities and he tried to be constantly stirring. That is tough to do, but I enjoy the challenge! The Jews were coming back from exile and they had very little. They had been working just to pay off taxes/debt. They needed some relief and Nehemiah was the one to go to bat for them. Here are some other applications from yesterday...

1. How big is your debt? You might think of tangible (monetary) debt first; how about spiritual debt? Thanks to Jesus, our spiritual debt is at zero because he paid the price! Say a praise prayer to Jesus for paying the price for the debt you owed when sin came into your life.

2. When was the last time you were forgiven of something? How did it feel? Genuine forgiveness allows us to not have the mental unrest that debt puts on us. Does someone owe you something? Something like money, an apology, etc.? Think of a way you could alleviate some of that debt that is owed to you. God alleviated it by giving us a Savior. What can you do? If you don't have this in your life right now - keep it mind for when you do.

3. Pray that God sends you someone that you can be a "slave rescuer" to. Someone you can help pull out of the debt of sin. Also, pray that you have the wisdom to know when that "someone" comes into your life and that you will be bold enough to walk through the door.

We are in the rescuing business - who will you rescue!?

Praying that God will give you many open doors this week!

Turning the knob ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Beating a Wall  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , ,

Each one of us has a different life we lead. Some work while others are retired. Life experiences transform us. What have you been transformed into? That isn't something specific, but just self-reflect on what you've become. As we have looked at Nehemiah lately and the whole theme has been "Under Construction", a goal is to see us as always evolving into an even stronger Christian. Part of being a Christian is to share Jesus. When I think about opportunities that have come my way to share Jesus with someone, this quote seemed pertinent...

Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ~ Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Looking back, I would have to say that I've been a "wall beater" before. Sometimes I have been a "wall beater" because I've wanted something so badly that I was just trying to make a door out of it. God had other plans. Whether it is sharing Jesus, creating change, or something else, beating on a wall will never transform it into a door.

May we have the wisdom to understand when we see an opportunity as a "door" and when they are "walls".

Have a great week!

Sharing Him ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Through Foes, the Work Goes - Nehemiah 4  

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With school about to start, it seems that people are becoming busier. Whether it is physically busy or just mentally busy, the school year brings busyness. Sometimes the more busy you are the easier it is in life because it becomes such a routine for most.

As we press on to "build the wall", we looked at the fourth chapter of Nehemiah on Sunday. The builders were following Nehemiah to get the job finished, but they faced opposition. We, too, face opposition in life. Whether it is from something big or small, opposition is all around. How will you deal with it??? Think about these applications from the lesson...

  1. When was the last time you were provoked? How did you deal with it? Did it make your "blood boil"? Was it a comment about you or someone else? Pray that the next time you are provoked you will handle it with total maturity and steadiness. Don't let someone try to keep you from "building your wall"!
  2. When we really want something, we tend to talk about it a lot. Just notice a child that really wants a new toy in the store. Did they stop after they didn't get it? They will keep asking until they got what they wanted. What do you want God to do with your life? Ask God to give that to you. Remember that His will is what matters, but persistence is a big key to praying!
  3. The people who were in opposition to Nehemiah plotted to try to make sure they thwarted the plans of the people. Satan is out doing the same to us. He wants us to give in to our fleshly desires. He wants us to compromise our morals. He wants us to fail! Remember to keep your Armor of God on at all times, knowing that you are susceptible.
  4. We need the protection of God at all times. As in #3, the Armor of God gives protection, but that isn't all that will give protection. God himself will provide a safe place for us to be. As you stand guard and watch, remember to ask God to protect you - feet (where you go), eyes (what you see), hands (what you do), mouth (what you say), ears (what you hear), and mind (what you think).

How has God been using you lately?

In Him ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Giving of Self  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , ,

When we give of self we tend to get something back. Volunteering usually results in a "good feeling" of purpose. Whether it is volunteering or just giving of ourselves in another way, the product tends to be something good. This week's quote reflects that thought...

"Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind."

Who will you give of your self today? Try to accomplish this by giving to someone outside your household/family. See what happens.

Let me know if your life was affected by this...

Blessings ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Don't Be a Carl - Nehemiah 3:3-5  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , ,

I hope your week got started off on the right foot. After my weekly "family reunion" with all of you and then a great Love and Respect class, my week got to a good start. Unfortunately, Sunday evening our blower motor on our AC/heater unit decided to go out - during the hottest part of the summer! We're thankful it will be fixed on Tuesday!

Sunday, we looked at the third chapter in Nehemiah, specifically, verse five. In the whole list of those working for the progression of the wall, here is mention of those who didn't want to do the work. I wonder why they didn't? Did they not like Nehemiah, his ideas, his plans, his leadership? As "nobles", were they "too good" for that work? Were they just lazy? I don't know; but I do know that they didn't help out. Our challenge is to not be a "carl". I mentioned that the name Carl had a meaning that was taken from a word that meant the opposite of noble, that is why this lesson was titled, "Don't Be a Carl". Here are some applications to choose from...

1. I see the church as "under construction" because we can always "build on" to make things better. That is not necessarily numerically or physically. Rather, in some qualitative way, we can always improve somewhere. How will you not be a "carl" and get involved in a work of the church? Ask God where and/or what He wants you to be involved with.

2. Paul tells two different churches that the body is made up of many parts. Likewise, a church is comprised of many different types of people. Brainstorm your talents. Then, decide which ones you would like to see used in the Kingdom to aid in its growth.

3. As we understand that we are just a fragment in the whole Kingdom, we can also be encouraged by understanding that we are very important. Just as a puzzle is disappointing when you find out that a puzzle piece is missing, God also is disappointed when a Christian is "missing" by not aiding in accomplishing one of the "missions" of the Kingdom. Praise God that you are just a fragment and revel in the fact that you get to work with a lot of others to "build a wall"!

4. Our church needs you! We need to work together to "build the wall". Our "qualitative construction project" needs everyone working together "in sync" to accomplish our goal. Let us pray that nothing will cause the "cog of completion" to be jammed and come to a standstill!

5. Nehemiah made sure the work continued. On some occasions, God's "plan to save man" has been down to just one person or His peoples' backs have been "against the wall". Satan tried his best to stop the plan, but God was "supervising" and caused Satan to lose and the plan to prevail. We have many obstacles today in which Satan is working in (i.e. ACLU, relativity, no absolutes, etc.). However, just as God caused His plan to prevail, today, He will cause His will to prevail no matter what Satan does to impede it. Pray that as God supervises us and we will understand that He is the "Great Architect" and enjoy being a part of His "crew" to make great things happen for Him in this area!!!

"Carls" aren't involved, using their talents, humble, working harmoniously with the group, and under the direction of God. So, don't be a "carl" - get involved, use your talents, be a fragment, be in sync, and be able to be supervised!

May God bless you as you enter into your Tuesday!

Teaming Up with God ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement - Things Happening to You  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

What has been happening in your life lately? I am sure the weather (how hot/dry it is) has been a subject in your recent conversations. Hopefully, the distractions from the "ideal" weather patterns have not kept you from getting ready to "build a wall." I read a few additional chapters this week to stay ahead with the book of Nehemiah, and I have to say that there is a lot of great stuff in there. I am so looking forward to "panning for the gold" that God has put in there for me to find.

As God works along side of you and gives you opportunities to connect others closer to Jesus, I liked what this quote said...

Things are not happening to you. Things are happening because of you. ~ Anonymous


So, what "things" will you make happen "because of you"? It could be for bad, as we could complain, criticize, ridicule, gossip, etc. Or, hopefully, it will be for good, as we compliment, encourage, praise, help, smile at, etc. Maybe you can think of something else that could happen "because of you". Also, think about how someone could become closer to Jesus "because of you". How have you seen God working in your life?

Have a great rest of the week!

Serving Him ~Share/Bookmark