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Activated July 2015

Encouragement - July 2015

We can all be people-builders; let’s encourage others as God encourages us.
 

01-07-2015
Building and Strengthening
Building and Strengthening

The Roman author Tertullian (c.160–c. 225), when speaking of the early church, reported that the pagans would exclaim, “See how they love one another!” Clearly the Christians’ concern and care was visible in their actions, attitudes, and words.

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01-07-2015
A Lesson from Orchids
A Lesson from Orchids

Today would have been my daughter Rejoice’s birthday. It’s our custom to celebrate this day every year since she passed away by remembering some of the special moments she shared with us.

This year, mine is the orchid story. 

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01-07-2015
The Boy Sitting Next to Me
The Boy Sitting Next to Me

This should be easy, I thought as I prepared to enter high school. I didn’t expect to have any problems making friends or interacting with my classmates. Unfortunately, my confidence was shattered on the very first day of school, when I met the boy seated next to me in class.

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01-07-2015
Without Price
Without Price

More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason.
Author unknown

*

The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond our wildest dreams.
Sidney Madwed (b. 1948)

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01-07-2015
Crumpled and Dirty
Crumpled and Dirty

For some time, we’ve been putting on benefit shows in our beautiful city of Granada, Spain. On a particular occasion, we performed at a residence for senior citizens. After the usual dances, songs, and puppet show, I decided to end with an illustration about value. This is how it went:

“Supposing that I offered to give this away,” I asked the audience, showing them a €20 banknote, “who would want it?”

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01-07-2015
10 Principles of People-Building
10 Principles of People-Building

Be a people-builder by supporting others. These tips can help.

 

1. Build up excellence: Think of at least one thing that you find outstanding in someone, and then let them know how excellent they are in that specific way.

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01-07-2015
The Prisoner
The Prisoner

The prisoner dictated a letter to some of his dearest friends hundreds of miles away in another country. He told them that he was in chains—most likely chained to his jailer, as that was the custom of the time. Ironically, he had previously also been jailed in the city in which his friends lived.1 On that occasion he had been beaten and imprisoned—illegally, it turned out—in the city’s most secure cell. He was considered an atheist2 and a rabble-rouser, and was well known to authorities throughout the empire, who were glad to get him off the streets whenever they could.

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01-07-2015
Pass It On
Pass It On

I believe that God wants to encourage people, but often He needs us to do it. And, believe it or not, we do have what others need. We have God’s Holy Spirit and His words of love! Our life can be influential because of the power of our words. Our words don’t need to be profound or eloquent—just simple words that meet a person’s need for love, hope, significance, or comfort.

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01-07-2015
Dare to Dream
Dare to Dream

“I had seen that man before and now he was sitting in the snow outside the stadium [in Madrid]. I asked him what he was doing there. He said he’d been there for five hours, hoping for a chance to see the game, but his money had run out. That’s when I knew I had to help.” This is how José Mourinho, then coach for Real Madrid football (soccer) team, described his meeting with Abel Rodríguez, a Mexican-American who waxes floors in Los Angeles.

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01-07-2015
The House by the Side of the Road
The House by the Side of the Road

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran—
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

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01-07-2015
Being There
Being There

The right friends are a huge asset. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Friendship is one of the sweetest joys in life. Many might have fallen beneath the bitterness of their trial, had they not found a friend.”

You might think that being that kind of friend requires you to do or say something amazing on a regular basis. But I’ve found that the simple act of showing up when needed is often what really counts.

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01-07-2015
Durian People
Durian People

What makes people crave a fruit like durian? Why do they light up when they see clumps of those prickly, greenish-brown husks hanging liberally from vendor stalls? How do they get past the pungent, even revolting, odor? What makes them fight their way through the thick, prickly outer husk in order to reach the inside?

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01-07-2015
Bundles of Love
Bundles of Love

Our neighbor, Mr. Chen, enthusiastically returned my “Good morning,” adding a heartfelt, “Isn’t the weather great today!” As I watched him walk on with a spring in his step and a beaming smile that eclipsed his graying hair and wrinkles, I couldn’t help but marvel. Until recently, Mr. Chen had barely acknowledged my greetings, and he rarely smiled or talked to anyone. Chronic health struggles had left their mark in the depressed frown, slumped shoulders, and slow gait that seemed to characterize him. What could have brought about this wonderful change?

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01-07-2015
The VIPs
The VIPs

There are times in life when we each feel like an anonymous unknown. It’s a discouraging realization. You’re a statistic—a woman or a man, over forty or under forty, single or married, able-bodied or disabled. Every so often, you put your vote in the ballot box and wonder if it makes a difference. If you didn’t show up to work today, you wonder if anyone (apart from the payroll department) would even notice. Not many achieve the type of fame that would make us stand out in the mass of humanity. And even if we do, fame is lean comfort...

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01-07-2015
Believe
Believe

Have you ever let Me down? Have you ever fallen short? Have you ever failed? Yes. But have you also grown through the failures, learned to stand back up after falling, and come to love Me more through the times that you have disappointed Me and let Me down? If so, you are a success to Me, and there is much more success ahead.

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