Wow! Another brand new year is upon us. I'm pretty pumped about the opportunities which lay ahead.....even if I don't know what most of them will be!
New Year's Eve, Kip and I watched a newscast which re-capped 2014. Although it's important to be aware of what is happening around the world (particularly so we can pray), our hearts (and stomachs) felt aggrieved. 95% was horrific.....worldwide. We know these are "real-life" situations, but moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day, wonderful, beautiful, uplifting situations take place through caring people. All my life I have been touched by special people who reach out in goodness. Following my car accident in 2001, my awareness went through the roof as folks blessed my/our life and my/our world. The same is true regarding my Mom's life, particularly during her last 5 months on earth.
I am VERY careful as to what I allow my brain to take in. I guard it heavily now as images and sounds remain vivid for hours, maybe days. I don't hide my head in the sand, but I do rigidly monitor what I watch and listen to. Doing so makes a huge difference in how I cope daily. I don't believe I am alone.
Chatting with the Lord about this during the past few days has deepened my passion to not only look for the beauty and gifts each person possesses, but to actively be a Barnabas---a verbal Encourager. A few special things have transpired the past several days and I am more focused than ever, wanting to build some type of platform through which the gift of encouragement can be multiplied...universally. I get so excited about it that I can hardly contain myself! I know there are other wonderful venues which tap into this idea, but I think of it in the same way as the person on the seashore did. Here's the summary: One day a man was walking along the beach. The tide was a long way out. Further down he saw someone bending up and down, walking back and forth to the edge of the water. He thought someone was dancing or exercising. As he approached the individual he asked what he was doing. The individual said he was throwing the starfish back into the sea because they would die exposed on the sand, in the heat with no water. The man told him that there were too many to save and that he really wasn't making any difference at all. The individual picked up another starfish, and throwing it into the sea said with a smile, “Made a difference to that one!”
We all have the ability to encourage. We all have the ability to lift someone`s spirit. I want to try something new with my Journal....I have been the recipient of some mountain-moving encouragement from various ones who have been following it (even though I haven`t had the energy sometimes to write more regularly). I feel God wants me to open it up, so others can sail this ship of encouragement alongside of me. It is a platform for positive encouragement only. I will place a keyword at the end of a weekly journal note. It would be so exciting for others to jot down an applicable word, quote or Scripture reference which would give others a smile, an idea, or awareness of some kind of beauty surrounding us in this magnificent world God has blessed us to live in!
Are you ready to tackle this with me? Are you ready to make a difference in even just one life just as the optimistic individual did on the seashore? Are you ready to BE encouraged through something someone else says?
Here is this week’s Keyword: 2015 (Example Comments: Watch for pleasant surprises, Grab hold of a new opportunity, Smile at someone every day, Contentment (Phil 4: 12b), etc.)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4: 8 NIV)
P.S.---Our local newspaper, the P.R. Peak, did a recent interview with me which is printed in their Dec. 30th, 2014 issue (print and on-line). Click on button below to view. Thank you sooo much Matthew and Joyce!
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UPLIFTING COMMENTS in BLOG ARE ENCOURAGED!