E-mail Encouragement: Be Brave!  

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

One might be able to somewhat know what it is like to go through a situation you've never been through, but you never genuinely know until you have experienced it for yourself. How would you describe having a filling put in your tooth if you've never had it done? Sure, it is usually painful, but it is hard to describe what the actual feeling is like. Speaking of something that is painful, that brings us to today's quote...

"Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you." ~ Author Unknown

Even as I wrote about the dentist experience, I experience sensations in my mouth of "drilling anxiety". I've had it enough to know it is not a pleasant experience - especially if there is more than one filling that is needed. However, since I have experienced it before, I have a sense of courage for anytime in the future. Whether it is pain from a dentist or pain from another experience, this quote holds very true.

Heartaches, feelings hurt, skin lacerations, failed test, lost job, etc. All are things that allow you to be prepared if there is a next time. The same works in evangelism. I might describe bravery as "anxiousness going forward". You might be scared to go through a house with no lights on, but you still go forward to find the switch. You might be scared to go into the dentist office, but bravery keeps you from not quitting. You might be scared to share Jesus with someone, but bravery makes sure you do. You will experience pain in life. If you didn't you would be one of the biggest idealists because you'd always expect things to turn out a certain way. Our personal challenge is to be brave and go forward in, specifically, our sharing of Jesus. If it results in pain, that just "nourishes courage", which will result in an easier next time. So, be brave and share Jesus!

May God bless you with a great end of the week, and one that ends with no pain! However, if you did have a pain during the week, be brave and keep moving forward!

Sharing Jesus ~Share/Bookmark

At this time of year, we don't get the opportunity to have fresh vegetables from our own gardens. However, the time of year should not matter as to whether or not our faith is fresh. Discouragement can be one of the bigger things to keep you from having a fresh faith. Depending on what is discouraging you, it can loom in your mind filling each thought, causing your faith to lessen. As we reflect back on yesterday's sermon from Numbers 13:1-2, 17-20, 27-28, & 30-32, here are some applications to choose from to use...

1. You have been given senses, a voice, talents, and material things. You have also been given the Spirit, who will guide you. As you seek to find ways to share Jesus, use what God has already given you and ask the Spirit to guide you to help you in each situation.

2. God sent the spies into the land which God had already promised to give them (Numbers 13:2). God didn't send them into the land to decide IF they could conquer the land or not. As God sends you out into the mission field each day don't decide if you can "do the job" because God knows you can! Possibly use the following question, "What was one of the highlights of your time at church on Sunday?" Your answer doesn't have to reflect the lesson, but it will open up the door to talk about Jesus - whether or not they went to church on Sunday.

3. God has probably done some pretty amazing things in your life up to now. It could range from your salvation to healing a major health condition of you or someone close to putting you in touch with someone you never thought possible. If you were to be granted a wish to make an impact for the Kingdom, what would your wish be? Now that you named it...you did name it, right? If no...what is the wish? OK, now that you named it, is it possible to do it in our church? Why not? If it seems far fetched, think about what steps you need to take in order to help get you to reaching your "wishing" point. Maybe it is to pray, maybe just mentioning it to someone else, maybe just opening your eyes to the potential. No matter what you do, lean toward the side of accomplishing it, but don't, don't, don't let something discourage you from attempting to accomplish your goal. Don't let the letters I & M be a part of any probability to make it become an IMprobability!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

What will you and God accomplish this week? What "lands" will you two be able to conquer together?

I hope all had a great Thanksgiving!

Spying out the land ~Share/Bookmark

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. You might notice a gap in the post dates...I took some time off from posting. I'm back!Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Give Someone a Compliment!  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

It is easy for you to give gratitude? Some people find it difficult and others find it easier. Each side could probably come up with various reasons of why. However, it is a shame that the "bad" things are usually brought out more often than the good things. In other words, if you've ever filled out a "comment card", the bad comments will typically get the attention first because that place of business will want to fix those problem areas. Whereas, the positive comments are probably just presumed because that is they way they SHOULD run their business. Compliments and statements of gratitude should be more important than negative comments. If you have a comment of gratitude, tell that person, don't keep it to yourself. Which brings us to this week's quote of encouragement...

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~ G.B. Stern

I like to live by this for personal reasons. Too often we don't mention good things people do, but focus on the bad. Usually the ones making the bad comments are few, but make it out to seem like they are the majority. We tend to remember the complaints we heard longer than the compliments. However, if the compliments outnumbered the complaints, it may change...so - give a compliment or two or three or four or more!!!

Have a great rest of your week! May God reward you richly!

Serving Him ~Share/Bookmark

Our culture is growing more accustomed to not having to wait on things. With the explosion of cell phone use, specifically amongst high school students, they can’t even wait 44 minutes (the length of a class) to talk to a friend because, if they can, they try to get away with sending a text message during class. Our need to know an answer is infected with impatience. This spreads into how we deal with God. We want to have the answer immediately…but God works by His own clock. Here are some applications to choose from regarding yesterday’s sermon…

  1. If you were picking someone to bear a child, your pick wouldn’t typically be someone who had been barren. God did. He picked an unlikely person to bring John into the world. You may think you’re an unlikely person to carry out what God has in store, but you may just be surprised at what happens. Pray that you will be open and willing to carry out what God sends your way!
  2. I would rather wait through many cycles of stoplights than sit and try to turn left, crossing traffic, on a busy street. With the stoplights I know what is going to happen, with the other I don’t know when my chance to “go” will be. However, probably the times when I “don’t know what will happen” is when God is going to do something with me. As you go through your week, look for the most unlikely times to have God send someone to you or you are sent to someone who is in need of something you have been selected to provide.
  3. What have you been asking God for that He hasn’t given you the answer you requested? Has He provided a clear answer that is opposite? Or somewhere in the middle? Sometimes God may give you an unlikely answer – one you didn’t expect. Maybe that is because it was not His Will to answer in the way you wanted. Maybe it was because you were not specific in your prayer, so your answer was as general as your prayer. Either way, we can learn to ask specifically, not generally. Ask persistently, not conveniently.
  4. God is a “dot connector”. He works out situations in ways we can’t fathom. Part of the reason we can’t fathom the ways He works the situations out is because they often overlap with more than just our individual life. People’s paths overlap in various ways and layers. Somewhere in there He allows us to be a dot that, hopefully, brings them closer to Jesus. Let us not be like Zechariah to be stricken with an unlikely condition when he couldn’t speak, but look at each situation as God using us for something good. Remember, a hopeless situation could just be a setup for you to be used as a mighty instrument in God’s Kingdom!!!

God is working things out according to His clock, which keeps perfect time and the batteries never run out. Your requests and situations may or may not work out the way you would like. Regardless, understand that God can use you where you’re at, at any given time. As you understand this, may you be freed from any barricade that may keep your faith from being fresh!!!

May your faith be continually refreshed ~Share/Bookmark

Prayer Outcomes: Does Praying Yield Tangible Results?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

Theme of the Week THIS WEEK'S THEME
Prayer Outcomes
Does praying yield tangible results?

Daily readings are as follows:

Sunday: SOS Prayers
MOI, November 11, 2007

Monday: Pooled Praying
MOI, November 12, 2007

Tuesday: Rapid Response
MOI, November 13, 2007

Wednesday: Crack Solution
MOI, November 14, 2007

Thursday: Sight and Faith
MOI, November 15, 2007

Friday: Test Case
MOI, November 16, 2007

Saturday: Weekend Wrap-up
MOI, November 17, 2007Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Putting Your Plan Into Action  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

We often look for the "ideal" moments to "get out and do things". Whether it is the right temperature, wind speed, sunny vs. rainy, busyness, etc., they all can play into our excuse making. Most of the time, we just have to start doing something and it seems to be much better than what we expected. I can relate to all of that, as I like to have the right "mood" in order to work on a specific project. I've learned, but tend to forget the lesson, that a project isn't so bad once you start working on it. I've also learned that when I set my mind on completing the project, I am very energized to get it completed and that there is rarely anything that can stop me once I get to that point. This brings us to this week's quote...

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. ~ Martha Graham

What have you been wanting to do for God that you've been waiting until just the right "ideal" moment? As there rarely is an "ideal" moment, the time to get started planning your work and working your plan is the present.

Don't block your potential - let it take wings and fly!!!

Have a great rest of your week!!!

Stretching my wings ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Can I Trust God to Lead Me? - I Samuel 23:1-5  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

Sunday’s assembly was a great uplift for me! The atmosphere was exciting and inviting! Hopefully, you had a similar experience and feeling to make your week get off to a great start!!!

Sometimes life hands us different barricades which cause our faith to not be a strong or consistent and it could be. Last week, we looked at being free from a hurtful past, as one barricade. This week was another barricade, we looked at the question, “Can I trust God to lead me?” As we reflect back, here are additional applications...

  1. When it comes to our personal thoughts on a certain scripture, a specific text, or a topic, we can easily make a mistake. As you question and/or investigate any topic, text, or scripture, ask God to lead you to the right answer and trust as He leads you in your investigation. May we allow God to shape us, instead of trying to shape God’s Word around our personal thoughts!
  2. As you think about the question “Can I trust God to lead me?” it may seem easy to answer with a “Yes” in most cases. However, think about if you can trust God’s wisdom in getting you through each day with every, yes, e-v-e-r-y interaction you have with others. I am talking about confrontations, as well as, opportunities to connect and walk through an open door. Can/will you trust God to lead you?
Have a great day!

Serving Him ~

E-mail Encouragement: Which Size of Flame?  

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

Being strong in just about every situation is a good quality. Strong bones help you be supported. Strong heart helps you live longer. Strong muscles help you run faster, jump higher, lift more, etc. Strong teams help you win more. Strong faith helps you not stumble. Each one of those becomes stronger because of strains that are placed upon them to cause them to become stronger. This brings us to this week’s quote…

Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it - likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them." ~ Viktor E. Frankl

The recent California wildfires were not diminished by the wind; rather, they were enhanced, to the point of destroying acres and homes. However, blow on a candle hard enough and it will go out. Which one defines your faith? Do you have a “California wildfire” faith that is raging? Or a candle-sized faith? The one can handle about anything that is thrown at him, the other can’t handle a single bad day. Maybe you would be somewhere in the middle…but where? Would your faith look like a controlled forest fire, a pile of leaves burning, a fire place fire, or like candles on a birthday cake?

How do you respond to bad predicaments? Does it weaken your faith or strengthen your faith? When your faith is stronger, it strengthens it. If it is too weak for the storm, it will be made even weaker. If you find yourself having a period of weak faith, pray that God will strengthen it. If you’re going through a rough patch and feel the need to share, let me know and I will be glad to pray for you! May your faith in other people be made strong enough to not tackle your burdens by yourself!

Keeping in (faith) shape ~Share/Bookmark