The Long Term Investment of Encouragement

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

The Long Term Investment of Encouragement

jcharleston

by Graham Bufford “Encourage one another and build each other up.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 HCSB Ever heard of a book named Leaves of Grass or its author Walt Whitman? Yeah, most people weren’t familiar with either when that book was first published in 1855. Major publishers wouldn’t touch it, leaving Whitman to invest his

Coin in the Mouth of the Fish

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Coin in the Mouth of the Fish

julia charleston

Silently, I prayed for guidance to do the right thing. My heart wanted to help him out, but my logic was trying to overrule. My husband had been unemployed for 8 months. I really didn’t need any financial burden, no matter how minor. I reasoned that if I gave the guy sitting in my office

Expecting Miracles in 2018

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Expecting Miracles in 2018

julia charleston

“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14 (NIV) A community of farmers from a drought ridden Midwest town called on the pastor of the local church to set up a prayer meeting. Their livelihood had been threatened by the lack of rain, so they decided to

Be Part of the Story

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Be Part of the Story

julia charleston

It was not pretty. And definitely not fancy or shiny or glowing in any way. Sometimes a sheep would end up on the roof of the stable. The donkey was often front and center. The standing wise men and Joseph toppled frequently on their sides. Baby Jesus seemed to wander the house from table to

I Want To

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

I Want To

julia charleston

“Away in a manger No crib for a bed The Little Lord Jesus Lay down his sweet head The stars in the sky Look down where he lay The Little Lord Jesus Asleep on the hay.” Why would anyone give up everything to take on nothing? Mark 1:40, 41 tells of a leper who came

Small Groups Changed My Life

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Small Groups Changed My Life

julia charleston

I remember the nervousness like it was yesterday. I was sitting in someone’s living room with about 15 different people I barely knew. Would they still accept me if they knew my secret? I had to let it out. After all, I was definitely miserable, and tired from the weight I had been carrying. The

Yada Even the Fleas

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Yada Even the Fleas

julia charleston

How do we find an attitude of gratitude when life sucks? When things don't go our way? When the train is stuck on the tracks and we can't get to where we need to go? Or our kids won't speak to us? Or we get a bad diagnosis from the doctor? Or the checkbook math isn't making sense and our bills pile up?

Alarms of Life

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Alarms of Life

julia charleston

by Julia Charleston A few years ago, for no apparent reason, every single smoke alarm in my house started beeping. It began in the living room, and soon all six alarms were screaming at me that there was trouble. Searching the house I found no smoke, yet the alarms disagreed. Grabbing the ladder from the

Throw Off Your Cloak

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Throw Off Your Cloak

julia charleston

by Julia Charleston “Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means ‘son of Timaeus’), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have

Graceful

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

Graceful

julia charleston

by Micah Andrews, CEO “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 [NIV] As we quickly depart the Holy Week, I am hopeful that we do not as quickly depart the meaning of these days.

If I Were 22 Again

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

If I Were 22 Again

julia charleston

by John Roland, MDiv, MBA Director of Development & Marketing A motto I hold dear is the Cub Scouts, “Do your best.” Notice the emphasis on YOUR best. At 41 years old my top 10 tips of advice, “If I were 22 again:” 1. Be wise in marriage–Marriage can be such an incredible joy and

By Ourselves, But Not Alone

Blog, Encouragement, Inspiration

By Ourselves, But Not Alone

julia charleston

by Julia Charleston “Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, ‘Sit here while I go over there to pray.'” Matthew 26:36 [NLT] Our strength comes from community; we’re most powerful where two or more are gathered. Jesus and his disciples were strongest when they were together. Their power