Sunday, August 5, 2012


Somewhere I came across the following:

"Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume Thy bolts to throw
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge Thy foe."
- Alexander Pope

God help us to be more welcoming, less judgmental; more encouraging, less critical.

The widow of George Dempster of London (Finding Men for Christ, Touched By a Loving Hand, The Love That Will Not Let Me Go) wrote me after his death that she was praying God would give her "the ministry of encouragement."

God has blessed certain of His servants with just such a ministry.

John Minder of Florida not only encouraged my husband when a student; he was an encourager to all young preachers who came across his path.

In England, Lindsey Glegg had such a ministry.

And Henrietta Mears of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood had such a ministry.

"More people fail through discouragement,"  someone has observed, "than for any other reason."

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Most families, it seems to me, have an encourager.  Not necessarily the oldest, youngest, or middle ones.  They seem to have an innate sense of balance, and a good sense of humor.  These two qualities almost invariably go hand in hand.

They are the encouragers.  They keep in touch by note or phone call.  They smooth things over when the going gets a little rough.  They aren't much on sharing their own problems or hurts because they are too busy shouldering those of others.

One family I know invariably turns to the youngest son -- who is steady, unassuming, loyal, with remarkable wit and uncanny discernment.  He is the family rallying point.

Andrew in the New Testament was a bit like this.  He first brought his own brother, Peter to Jesus (John 1:41).  Then when there was no food for the five thousand, Andrew brought the lad with five loaves and two small fishes (John 6:8-9).  When certain Greeks sought to see Jesus, it was Philip and Andrew who told Him.  Andrew was the quiet disciple with the sensitive heart, quick to look for ways to help.

Legacy of a Pack Rat - Ruth Bell Graham

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