Encourage Someone Today

Encourage One AnotherIf we look, we will see people all around us who need encouragement. Here are 4 types of people who need encouragement:

  1. Those who are not aware of their value and potential
  2. Those who are exhausted and frazzled
  3. Those just beginning their journey with Jesus
  4. Those who are discouraged and want to give up

Are you involved enough with other people enough to know when they need encouragement?

What will you do?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Grace and Peace,


Open My Eyes, That I May See

Music has always been an important part of my life. As a Christian many songs have had an impact on me and help shape my life. From time to time I want to share some of these songs with you.

Clara H. Scott (December 3, 1841 – June 21, 1897) published Open My Eyes in 1885. I remember singing this hymn as a boy and as a teenager.

Open My Eyes, That I May See

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.


Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.


How it shaped me.

I learned to yield my senses – my eyes, my ears, my mouth – to God. It points me to what God wants me to see and hear but it also leads me to open my mouth and share God’s good news.

Spirit divine, I sit silently and wait for you, ready to see your will for today. Open my eyes, illumine me. Open my ears and let me hear. Open my mouth and let me share.

Grace and Peace,


Seeing The Unnoticed

The final day of Jesus’ public ministry was on Tuesday of that last week. It was a long day of confrontation, controversy and rejection. Mark records the stories of this day starting in Mark 11:20 and continuing through Mark 14:9.

Let’s look at one of those stories told by Mark – a widow Jesus observed giving her offering in the temple courts.

We are not going to talk about the offering. We are not going to consider the men who made a big show of their gifts or even the woman who quietly gave out of her poverty.

I want us to consider Jesus and how he noticed the unnoticed. I think we can learn a lot about the mission he sends us on from his example.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 NIV

Do you take time to notice?

It does not seem that the widow gave her offering to be noticed in contrast to those who made their giving a big show, but Jesus saw her in her quietness.

Sometimes we are distracted by the loud, boisterous show of some while neglecting to see the quiet ones around us. Sometimes we’re just too consumed by our own agenda to notice.

Wasn’t Jesus always noticing those around him; the city of Jerusalem, the widow, a friend who denied him, a thief on a cross next to his? He sets the example for us to keep our eyes open.

Take some time today to notice those around you.

Grace and Peace,

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

    1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
    2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
    3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
    4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
    5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
    6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
    7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

      What Kind of Entry Was It?

      It’s Sunday in the final week of Jesus’ life leading to the cross and the resurrection. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey as the admiring crowd hailed him with shouts of “Hosanna – blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The story recorded in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44 and John 12:12-19 is traditionally called the Triumphal Entry.

      Yet when we read the account in Luke we find that we might ask what kind of entry was this, really?

      As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44 NIV

      As Jesus approaches Jerusalem what he sees causes tears to well up inside him and burst forth.  Jesus was sent by the Father to seek and save the lost, to open their eyes to see his grace and love. God, himself, had come to his people. Looking for them. Seeking them. Longing for them to come to him and find his peace. He came to his own but his own did not receive him.

      For whom did these tears fall?

      I don’t believe that Jesus is crying about himself and the fate that awaits him. He is coming as the Prince of Peace, astride his royal donkey. He is coming to the city called peace – and the people will not receive the peace with God that he offers. Jesus wept because the people refuse to accept him and the result will be devestation.

      The question I have been asking myself as I think about this final week is, “What do these passages reveal to me about the mission of the Father and how are we to participate in that mission?”

      Let me ask three questions about this mission:

      1. Are we coming near as Jesus did?

      Are we coming near the city, town, community where God has placed us or are we keeping away from the people who inhabit that place. Are we getting closer to the people who need God’s peace or are we living peacefully behind the walls of our houses (or church buildings)?

      Jesus was able to ride into town on a donkey becasue of the incarnation – God taking on human flesh. He was there to interact with sinful humanity and show them the way to God. Are we incarnating the place where we live?

      2. Do we see the city like Jesus did?

      As Jesus came near Jerusalem – he saw it. He did more than stop for a panoramic view. He studied it and what he saw broke his heart. Are our eyes open? Do we see the hurt, the pain, the loneliness around us? Do we see where God is needed? Are we looking to see where he is working so we can join him?

      3. Are our eyes wet with tears like the eyes of Jesus?

      Jesus cared and desired that the people come to God. Do we? Are we weeping over the city or are we ignoring the inhabitants?

      Let’s spend some time this Easter season drawing near those who need God and really look for where his love and grace are needed. It just might bring a few tears to our eyes.

      Grace and Peace,

      Join the Conversation: What keeps us from coming near and seeing the need?

      Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

        1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
        2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
        3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
        4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
        5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
        6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
        7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

          Book ClubHere’s an idea a young woman in our church shared with us. Actually, it was more than an idea – it was something she did to get better acquainted with a friend. She was in the bookstore shopping for a book to read so she could participate in an online book club. Finding the selected text she purchased not one copy but two. One for her and the other for her friend.

          She is a stay at home mom and was looking for a way to reach out beyond her four walls. Some old friends are part of the book club and it it looked like a great way to stay in touch.

          Occasionally, her path crosses that of this other young mother. She has been praying and looking for ways to build and strengthen a relationship with her.

          She does not know if her friend will join the book club or not. If they both join the club, they will be able to share online and over coffee from time to time. It will also provide contact with other members of the body of Christ. If her friend does not join the club, she hopes they will be able to meet weekly for their own reading group. Either way, she gets to give her friend a gift.

          Grace and Peace,

          Join the conversation: What are you reading right now? Is there someone you could ask to join you in conversation over the text?

          Look Up In That Tree

          If we are going to practice the habit of leaving and live every day with the reminder that Jesus sends us on his mission we need know some things about that mission.

          On the way to the cross Jesus stopped in the town of Jericho and looked up in a tree. There he saw a tax collector named Zacchaeus whom he invited down to dinner. That encounter transformed the life of that little man. At the conclusion of this story Luke records these words of Jesus regarding his mission:

          Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved, because you are a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man came to look for and to save people who are lost.” – Luke 19:9-10 CEV

          One element of the mission of Jesus was looking for people who were not in fellowship with God and with other people. He desires to reconcile people to himself and to one another. To be on mission with Jesus means that we join him on this quest. We must travel on and look around.

          Ask yourself a few questions about your mission of looking…

          • Who do I need to look for?
          • Where am I going to meet them?
          • Do I need to stop doing some things so I can look for them?
          • Do I need to start doing some things so I can look for them?
          • Am I part of a relational community which can help me look?

          Grace and Peace,

          Join the Conversation: What keeps us from living this mission of seeking and looking?