"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UP Your Encouragement Ability

Just want to share a poem that I had on my bedroom wall for many years in my young life. I think that I studied it so much that I worked it into my DNA.

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As everyone one of us sometimes learns,
That many a failure turns about
When you might have won had you stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit".
              -- author unknown

Later in life I learned that it's important to know WHEN to quit. Sometimes there are destructive things that we need to walk away from and it takes wisdom to know what that they are and when to walk (thank you Kenny Rogers!)  Sometimes "fighting a losing battle" or "climbing up hill" is not what is required of us.

But in matters of life itself - we must never give up! We cannot give up hope. We cannot give up trying to make our lives better and those around us. We cannot give up when we want to curl in a ball and cry. We must march on!

I've been thinking about how to add a bit more depth to this "encouragement" challenge. I know that my blog readers are VERY encouraging and positive people as many of you are my Facebook friends. I find Facebook to be a pretty encouraging place. At any given moment we can reach out to a friend and give and receive a kind word, in the form of a compliment or a "miss you, love you".  And if that isn't enough - there are all kinds of encouraging quotes and ideas posted non-stop during the day by friends and "groups". It's great to the point that it's pretty addictive.

So let's take this challenge to a new level today and ask for an additional dimension of "encouragement" for others. I'd like to challenge you to "up" your prayer life if you are a prayer or if not, send your well wishes out there for the universe to answer. There are ways that people need encouragement that we will never know. They will not share with us and they will not post it. Start to ask God to encourage those who need it in special ways.

Let me give you some ideas:

A job promotion for those who need added income.
Grace for a person struggling.
Healing for those afflicted physically.
Rest for those burned out.
Relationships for the lonely.
Relief for the poor and suffering.
Answers for some of the deep questions in life.
Strength in parenting.
Love for the hard to love.

These issues can be greater than the scope of our ability to help others, but there is help for them if we really press in to a higher power to come to their aid in a supernatural way. An extra five minutes a day spent on behalf of others can make a huge difference in their lives. Perhaps "spot prayers" where you  quickly lift someone up throughout your day work better for you. It takes very little time or energy to to this and the benefits are great not only for the recipient but also for you!

We have more "life changing" power in us than we realize, through both our actions and our prayers! "Up" your encouragement power today with prayer... it's good for the soul!

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