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BIBLE STUDIES-1-29-11-(TRANSFORMATION GARDEN-BY DORTHY-VALCARCEL)

Then David said to the messenger…Strengthen your attack upon the city and overthrow it. And encourage Joab."
II Samuel 11: 25
Amplified Bible



EXPLORATION

"How To Be An Encourager --
A Lesson From the Life of Normie Liles"

"The greatest thing you can do for another is not just share your riches but reveal to them their own."
Benjamin Disraeli


Who in my life serves as an "encourager" to me?



Do the people close to me believe I am an "encourager"?



How does it make me feel when someone encourages me?



"I will laud my enemies and they will become my friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers. Always will I dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip. When I am tempted to criticize I will bite my tongue; when I am moved to praise I will shout from the roofs."
Og Mandino




INSPIRATION

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person."
Albert Schweitzer


The Bible is filled with strange things that people have said. Let me give you one example which comes to my mind. In Genesis 4: 9 (K.J.V.), God asked Cain a question, "And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘Where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, ‘I know not: am I my brother's keeper.'" The unbelievableness of this statement is that Cain knew exactly where Able was for he had just murdered him. Cain's words were totally absurd, to say the least. While this is just one example of many times in the Bible when people said strange things, our text today contains another ridiculous response - this time from David. After a messenger from the battlefield arrived at the palace giving David a report about the goings-on of the war along with special emphasis given to the fact that Uriah the Hittite was dead, David instructed the messenger to go back to Joab and tell him to keep up the good work and continue forcefully with the battle and then there is this statement from David to the messenger, "And encourage Joab."




I had to read this line a couple of times. I asked myself, "How in the world was David encouraging Joab - a man whom he had enlisted in his plot to murder Uriah?" David, because of his evil behavior wasn't encouraging Joab. What he was really doing was "using" the messenger, whom I might add, likely did not know that Uriah had been slaughtered intentionally, to pump-up Joab's spirit with a phony pep-talk on how Joab should be happy on the battlefield as he lived with the knowledge of the crime he had engaged in. This verbal exchange got me thinking about the gift of encouragement - a gift we all possess -- and exactly how we use this treasured gift.




The word "encouragement" is defined as the ability to inspire with hope, courage or confidence. When we encourage another, we strength or hearten them. We foster a spirit of well-being and we lend our support to them. This, I want to point out, was not what David was doing. All he wanted to do was keep Joab's spirit strong during the war. David had an ulterior motive for his message to Joab. War was raging and he certainly didn't want the battle to be fought with the lead general down-in-the-dumps about the murder of David's thorn-in-the-flesh, Uriah.




And this brings me to a critical point that this text illuminates. We must be careful that the gift of encouragement, the gift of the way we use words to inspire others, is done with the touch of heaven. As Og Mandino so pointedly wrote about the results coming from our words. "Each kind word, spoken from my heart, can build a castle." Sadly though, today, many individuals in public life as well as private conversation, use words to flame the fires of bigotry; to instill fear in the hearts of the weak; and to promote distrust in anyone who doesn't agree with them.




What a tragedy, for our words should be heaven's tool to provide vital encouragement to hurting hearts in a desperate world. This is why I want to introduce you to Normie Liles. I've never met Normie, but oh, I know her. She's a solid brick of gold - the real thing. Normie lives in a senior residential home in Ohio. She faces some very substantial health issues and during the past few months, one of her sisters passed away. On occasion, Normie has asked for our prayers, but usually it's the other way around. She's the first to ask if there is someone for whom she should be praying. I could go on about this precious lady but let me tell you this, whenever I see that I have an email from Normie, my face lights up and I'm excited to see what she's going to send me because I know it's always something which will encourage my heart.




Yesterday was a perfect example. I had a long day with two doctor appointments capped off by my foot doctor carving on my feet. This left me in severe pain and with little ability to walk for the remainder of the day. However, when I arrived home, there it was. I opened up my Transformation Garden website and Normie had emailed me the most precious note of encouragement. She didn't know how badly I felt. She just did what comes naturally to her - she encouraged me. Even though she was having problems with her eyes due to glaucoma, she had time to look outside herself and encourage another person.




In August of this year, Normie, who is a wonderful poetess, sent me the following poem she had written and with her permission I'm sharing this with you.




Never Try To Make a Deal With God


"Sometimes in my frustration and despair

I wish to ‘make a deal' that is hardly fair

I fail to remember I'm already blessed

Kissed by the sunshine and sweet night's rest.


He sends me oceans of mercy

With sweet measures of grace

Without Him I would be nothing

I'm brought to my knees in prayer.


When the storms gather to blind my soul

I reach for the ‘Word' that makes me whole

I look for the rainbow after the rain

Without hesitation my sorrow doesn't gain.


If you try to ‘make a deal' with our God

You have tried on His Holy Infinite power

His love is endless, His love is supreme

Lean on His goodness, He'll carry you through.


I have been tempted to ‘make a deal' with God

But then I stopped quickly and without a nod

I realized that God isn't about ‘making deals'

He's there for to worship, trust and obey!"
Norma Liles
8-10-10





At a time in life when a person might complain about the circumstances they find themselves in, Normie uses her gift of encouragement to inspire, to hearten and to lift others.



Blaise Pascal wrote that "kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, a beautiful image it is." This is why, although I have never met Normie, I have an image of her in my mind. It is a beautiful, encouraging image to be sure, for she painted this picture herself with her inspiring words of encouragement.




"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship, it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when (she) discovers that someone else believes in (her) and is willing to trust (her)."
Ralph Waldo Emerson




AFFIRMATION

A Prayer in Honor of Women Encouragers

"Let there be in my life those women who,
knowing and unknowing,
flank my soul with
encouragement,
comfort,
a sense of place and home.
Let them come
tiptoeing their gifts…
filling my heart's halls
with the food and drink
of laughter and tears, visions and memories.
Let them come
stomping out the wrath of
indignities, indecencies,
injustices indescribable agonies
of many sisters gone before,
many still to come.
Let them live and move
and take up residence in me
where, at last,
we cannot escape Your love."

Jan B. Anderson
Adapted

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you Lord, for the flashback it is right on time..

Sweet words do have power to encourage and they also can disencourage as well. Watch the words we use let them be life to a hurting soul or bread to hungry or homeless

Let us encouraged one another with a pure heart.Amen

Words can express what the heart and mind can not tell a person. On time word for me because just on today I had to encourage two of my co-workers who had death in their families. I would like to share the words of love sent to them from my  heart. Yet in time of sorrow know that those who are in the Lord shall find an eternal resting place. Yet we shall miss their presence on earth but comfort in knowing they now rest in the arms of Jesus. For this immortal body has now a new heavenly body, for this temple of sin is now cleansed with purity. Thou you may be heavy in your heart, your spirit maybe wounded but know there is now sorrow on earth that heaven can't heal. So the comfort of words can heal and they can destroy. I enjoyed this article.

Who in my life serves as an "encourager" to me?

My spiritual leaders in Christ.

Do the people close to me believe I am an "encourager"?

Yes, They do.

How does it make me feel when someone encourages me?

I feel a like a weight has been lifted off of me, Freedom for sure...

You can have a bad ulterior motive for trying to encourage someone or a very good motive for encouraging someone, which will give someone hope, life, a sense of well-being...

2 Corinthians 1:3-5  

Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

Praise be to God for His touch of encouragement in His word and His children's mouth.

I Thank The Lord for this truly I do...this came right on time...Hallelujahhhhhhh...I Love My Father because He Take Such Good Care of Me and those who I Pray for Daily...which is everyone.  This article really Blessed My Soul.  Normie is an Example of Who We all should Aspire to emulate; We as Children of God should always ask God to help us as the Bible Says in 

Phillippians 2:3-4 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 

1Thess. 5:11 - Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.

Eph. 4:29 - Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].

Heb. 10:24-25 - 

 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.


Rom. 1:11 -  For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you;
1. Who in My Life Serves as an "Encourager", to Me? 
    My Leaders, Fellow Sisters and Brothers in Christ, and sometimes random everyday people 
    that I meet on a daily basis.
2. Do the people close to me believe that I am an Encourager?
    Yes, they really do.
3. How does it make me feel when someone encourages me?
    I feel so Blessed to know that Abba, Father God...has not forgotten about me and He knows what i need at all times; for he is truly the Lifter Up of my head and a Bridge Over Troubled Waters for me..especially during these last 5 months.  I am Truly Thankful to God for His Tender Grace and Mercy...Unconditional, Undying Love...Joy in Sorrow...Peace in the Midst of This Raging Storm...and I know it is Because He Lives that I can Face Tomorrow, and Because He Lives all Fear Is Gone...Because I know He Holds The Future...and Life is Worth the Living Just Because He Lives...Hallelujahhhhhhhhhhhh...No Matter What We are Facing and Are Going Through We Must Remember that We Live, Move, and Have Our Being...Because He Loves, and Lives within us and We are His OffSpring.

Praise God, This teaching is profound, this statement alone got me " "I will laud my enemies and they will become my friends"  to me, this right here is like God saying in Matthew 5:44 I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... There is no why you can do any of this in your own flesh... My God in the Kingdom... 

Who in my life serves as an "encourager" to me?

God's and His infinte love is my greatest encorager... 


Do the people close to me believe I am an "encourager"?

The few, that are close to me yes. 

How does it make me feel when someone encourages me?

A slight of hope and comfort.

"I will laud my enemies and they will become my friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers. Always will I dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip. When I am tempted to criticize I will bite my tongue; when I am moved to praise I will shout from the roofs."
Og Mandino

I receive this prayer in my life amen

AFFIRMATION

A Prayer in Honor of Women Encouragers

"Let there be in my life those women who,
knowing and unknowing,
flank my soul with
encouragement,
comfort,
a sense of place and home.
Let them come
tiptoeing their gifts…
filling my heart's halls
with the food and drink
of laughter and tears, visions and memories.
Let them come
stomping out the wrath of
indignities, indecencies,
injustices indescribable agonies
of many sisters gone before,
many still to come.
Let them live and move
and take up residence in me
where, at last,
we cannot escape Your love

 

My God, we must encourage one another, but it must be pure and without any ulterior motives too.  My God, we must use this gift to encourage and strengthen ourselves too.  This blessed my soul and I thank God for allowing me to read this on today.

We love encouraging others; because we know how it is not having an encouraging word spoken to us, one time or another. It makes the person become aware of their own inter-being, that “yes there is greatness within me”. Encouraging awaken, it brings alive that has been laying dormant. We as Host and knowing The Lord of Host is with us, we as believers can speak words of encouragement to others happily.  

Ne'eman now this was really sweet

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