Tag Archives: encouragement

Note, Christmas Cards – Monday Messy Office Report – 10/27/2014

27 Oct

After a few months off, it’s back!  The Monday Messy Office Report.  It’s not that my has been clean all this time.  I’ve been busy or lacked the motivation to write.  Part of me doesn’t want to start back up again, so I’m compromising with myself and keeping it short.  Here’s what I found in my office today:

1. Note…of encouragement!  It was great to receive this.  A person from the church just wanted to encourage me!  When is the last time you gave someone a note of encouragement?  Maybe you could send an encouraging note right now?  Handwritten notes are still supreme in my book, but a quick email, Facebook message or text could do the trick!  Years ago I read a great book called The Church of Facebook, and the author suggests that we use Facebook to encourage people. So, how ’bout it?

Love146_Cards_Front_Page_medium2. Christmas Cards…from halfway around the world.  I know it is not in vogue to talk about Christmas too early, but I ask you to give this a listen.  For the second year, Imagine Goods is selling Christmas cards hand-made by survivors of sex trafficking.  You can purchase them here.  Since the Imagine Goods Fulfillment Center is just down the hall from my office, someone from Faith Church had graciously worked on assembling card packs at home (thus getting them ready for sale) and then brought them here.  Check them out.  Not only are they hand-made on recycled paper, but proceeds benefit survivors of trafficking!

3. Bag of Bean Soup.  Admittedly this has been on my shelf for weeks.  A neighbor of the church graciously brought it over for me.  I am so thankful for that!  But I am not going to use it, so I’m now looking for a loving home for it.  Do you like bean soup?  Want it?  Let me know!  With the weather cooling down as we head deeper into fall, this soup looks like a wonderful lunch for someone.

4. Cards for Missionaries.  The children of Faith Church made cards for our missionaries a couple weeks ago!  Their artwork is awesome!  We’re going to send these cards to Spain and Kenya soon.  Whitakers and Stoltzfuses, if you are reading this, look for a package soon!  We love that our kids can make connections with our friends who are serving the Lord around the world. As I write this today, I’m also exchanging emails with our travel agent in preparation for a summer 2015 trip to Kenya!  It has been too long since Faith Church had a mission trip, and so we’re quite excited to travel to Africa next year.  keny-LMAP-md

Now it’s time to clean up this mess!

Encouragement Note, PLACE books, CPYU Stuff – The Monday Messy Office Report – April 7, 2014

7 Apr

My Friday tidy office is mysteriously messy by Monday.  Here’s what I found today:

1. Encouragement note – It is simple, but very meaningful “Joel, Hope you have a great week!”  From, anonymous.  Isn’t that cool?  Someone placed that on my desk.  For as long as I can remember we keep encouragement note sheets on the mailslot shelves in our Fellowship Hall.  There are numerous times the biblical authors remind us to encourage one another, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:11.  Next time you are checking your mailslot at church, how about picking up a note and jotting off a few kind words to someone.  I think it is awesome that this person gave an encouraging anonymous note!  Let’s start a flood of encouraging notes.  Thanks, anonymous person!  You might have just launched a movement!

2. Stack of PLACE workbooks – Yesterday we started elective classes, something that I always think is fun. We pause all of our regular classes, and people get to choose a new topic to study. We have four going on during the month of April: Grief Sharing Group, Apostles Creed Video Class, Multiply Movement, and Spiritual Gifts. I am teaching the Spiritual Gifts class, and I was going to do a Bible study of the gifts passages.  But after a discussion with my friend Joseph, I decided to use the PLACE curriculum.  I love how it walks you step-by-step through learning about your personality, giftedness, abilities, passions and experiences, and how they work together to show how you are uniquely you, crafted by God for his glory and service.  My props to PLACE for having such awesome material.  Yesterday we did Session 1, all about personality.  If you missed the class, you can still join up!  Same goes for the other classes as well.

3. CPYU stuff – This past Friday night, my wife Michelle and I, and our friend Becka, went to the 25th Anniversary Banquet for The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. My wife met CPYU Founder and President Walt Mueller years ago, as she noted on Facebook “I sat there last night, thinking about 25 years ago…and the start of CPYU… And remember very clearly being a sophomore in high school (1991…23 years ago) and listening to this great speaker on my youth retreat. I remember a month or so later having a “boy issue/concern” and sitting down to write a letter about this to the speaker–a guy named Walt! It ended up being several pages long….a week or so later I got a letter in the mail. A response from this Walt. A response that pointed me to Jesus & that gave wise council. Thank you Walt for the work you, Lisa, and your team do. It was invaluable to me as a young lady, to Joel & I when we were youth pastor, and to us as parents of teenagers! Happy 25!”  I couldn’t agree more.  If you have kids, even if they’re not teens yet, please get to know CPYU.  If you have grandkids or if you work with kids, I can guarantee that CPYU will be a great encouragement to you.  Like them on FacebookAt the banquet, we received a copy of Walt’s book Opie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  Our world has changed, and I’m looking forward to reading this book.  

Now it’s time to clean this mess up!

On being in Christ – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

13 Jan

As Paul gets set to start confronting the Corinthians for their less-than-holy behavior, he starts off with a couple reminders that frame the context.  First, what we studied in 1 Cor 1:1-3, that in Christ they are holy and called to be holy.  Second, yesterday’s passage 1 Cor 1:4-9,  a very encouraging section.  I think I ought to print it out and post it on my office wall.  In the sermon, we went line by line through it.  Take a look at the words, read them slowly, as they are awesome:

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isn’t that excellent?  Take note at how many times he uses the words “in Christ” or “in him”.  Look at how he reminds them of God’s empowerment in their lives, giving them gifts, keeping them strong, and blameless.  And then he finishes with a flourish talking about God’s faithfulness, especially that they are in fellowship with Christ.

How often do you think about your relationship with the Lord?  The Corinthians needed a reminder of how they had a relationship with Christ, and that God was actively at work in sustaining that relationship.  I can imagine the Corinthians nervously receiving Paul’s letter.  They knew things had gotten out of control in the church.  They knew that they had allowed things to veer far from how Paul had taught them.  I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few of them were feeling convicted even before they read the first word.  At least they didn’t throw the letter in the garbage before reading it!

So what would God say to you?  Would you say your relationship with the Lord is close, distant, dry, thriving?  What God would say is pretty much what Paul says here in 1 Cor 1:4-9. Be encouraged!

If you need to confess and repent, do so, and be encouraged that you are in fellowship with Christ.

If you need to spend more time with him, do so, and be encouraged that he is actively involved in your life!