Monday, September 15, 2014

Where Never is Heard a Discouraging Word?

Oh give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
And the deer and the antelope play
Where never is heard 
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day. 

This blog was originally intended to be about the power of words...the power to build up, to tear down. I had intended to address the foolishness of Victoria Osteen's words...the President's seeming obsession with calling the Islamic State "ISIL" and what the meaning of "is" is. But technological issues derailed that post and so I find myself thinking of other things this morning. 

Mondays tend to be "Mondays" for me. They are often the most physically, spiritually, and emotionally challenging days of my week. I know many pastors who feel that way. It seems that the preparations for Sundays consume our emotions, intellects, and efforts and then we find ourselves spent come Monday. This is especially true for me because I don't sleep well or in great quantity. So I find myself on many Monday mornings struggling to get started; much less build any great momentum.

I have to admit that this was true this morning. I don't drink coffee (I know, I'm a weirdo!) and was having a hard time generating anything resembling enthusiasm for the day (I've been up since 3:30 am) when someone sent me a text message. I didn't recognize the number, but that's unimportant. 

The message was one of encouragement. The sender wanted to thank me for my service to our church. 

There was power in that message, at least for me. My heart was encouraged by the simple message and the words of thanks for my preaching. Those words penetrated my heart and unleashed joy. I cannot say that they made my day, but they sure helped me get off to a better start than I would have otherwise. 

So I guess I am still speaking about the power of words...but in the positive sense. We live in a world that delights in tearing things down, especially people. What a joy to receive a message that was intended to build up, to encourage, to strengthen. 

My response to that test message? To be someone who encourages others today. 


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