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Encouraging Others

Encouraging Others

 

High Fiving The Crazy Ones

As I have become introduced to the world of social media via Drew,  I have learned more about what it means to encourage others.  In the world of Twitter, it is good that you respond on some tweets and  read blogs that are posted via Twitter. On Facebook, we know that we encourage our friends by clicking the “Like”, leaving a comment or writing on their wall.  Then, there is the blogging as I do and that means that you not only write but you read and encourage others in their writing in the blogging world. You encourage fellow bloggers not only by reading their site but commenting and sharing as well. It is all about encouragement and staying connected.  I experienced such cyber encouragement via Branchingbecky’s Blog when she mentioned one of my blogs on her site. “Wow!”,  I thought to myself, “I am actually going beyond my walls!.” Needless to say, it made my day!

Encouragement and staying connected is all a part of what God wants us to do in the world He created.  It is important to stay  connected with Him so that we can connect with others and encourage them.  We connect with God through our prayer, worship, quiet time with Him and joining Him in His work through acts of encouragement.  Listening to God and responding by encouraging others comes full circle into our social media world.  It is through TwitterFacebook,  and Email that we can encourage others.  We can also go outside our social media world and encourage others through writing notes and/or simply encouraging someone in person that God places in our path.

Words of encouragement are gold to the heart.  We are all in this big world together with each of us having our daily challenges before us. Thus, it is important for us to encourage one another on the journey.

Today, I challenge you to encourage someone whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Email, writing a note, leaving a comment or simply encouraging someone in person.  It is by my experience that when you encourage someone, you not only give them a lift but you will feel a lift in your heart, too. Hebrews 3:13 says we need to encourage one another on a daily basis. How about you? Who do you need to encourage? Who sent you encouragement your way that lifted your spirits? Make encouragement a part of your daily routine.

Blessings-

Anthology

Helping Hand

Who and What Molds You?

 For those who know me personally, you know that I am big with relationships. Building relationships with other people whether are like me or different is the biggest investment that I can make in life. It’s through building relationships that enables me to share the love of Christ.

Jim sharing a story with his nephew, Bryan

Part of the process of building a relationship is to hear the stories of people God places in your path. Each one of us has a story.  On my web page, you can see my story on my About April page, and  on my Personal Testimony page.  You can also see parts of who I am through my writings of each blog post. As my son, Drew shares, “it is a series of short stories. In other words an Anthology.”

Sharing good food and stories around the table in Gatlinburg, TN

 Jesus” life was chronicled in what we know as the Gospels of the Bible.  We read in scripture from the time of His birth to the time of His death and resurrection  how He listened to stories of others. We read how His listening and shaped other people’s lives for the better, thus, giving them a story of hope and encouragement to share with others.

Taken at the Shrine of Christ Passion in St. John, IL

As you go through the days ahead, think about the story or stories that have molded and are molding you. Share your story of Christ and how He has molded you and continues to mold you into God’s image. Then, listen to someone else’s story and hear what has shaped them and molded them. It is out of the exchange of sharing that relationship with others and Christ are formed.

April and Jim @ Lake Junaluska, NC Summer, 2010

Below, is a copy of a blog post that my son, Drew wrote over a year ago. It is his Anthology. You can find his web site on my blog roll on the right side bar.
My Anthology
By Drew Hawkins

Drew laying down on the Sky Deck of the Sears/Willis Tower,,.Chicago, IL

Challenged by Chris Brogan, I decided to take a few moments to evaluate the importance of story in my life. Seeing how I have chronicled my last year or so on this Journal portion of my blog via a series of stories, the element of story is very key to how I express my thoughts about life and how these different experiences have put me where I am today.
So what is my story?
It’s not an epic poem or something that would be written as a screenplay to earn millions of dollars at a box office. I wouldn’t even go as far as saying it’s one long story. It’s more of a collection of short stories – some more exciting than others – that have each had some impact on the person I am today.
My story isn’t a story. It’s an anthology.
Each story has shaped who I am today. Whether it has been running up a mountain and encountering a bear, having my first wreck when I was 16 (not my fault btw), family trips, running victories or telling my future wife “I love you” for the first time, each little moment has done something to form my views, teach me a lesson and make me the blogger, marketer, runner and friend you all know.
The anthology is far from complete and I hope that it’s ultimately worthy of a best-seller by the time it’s all said and done. It’s a constant work-in-progress and there’s still a long way to go.
What’s your story?

A Branch From Singapore

Young Grape Vine

"I am the vine; you are the branches." John 15:5

In my November 1 post He Will Have The Last Laugh (aprilhawk.wordpress.com/2010/11/1/he will have the last laugh),  I wrote about how God had been tapping on my shoulder to write.  I also shared how I kept telling God ‘not now’ and ‘certainly it is not me you want!’ But with time, I sat down and began to write. As I began to answer this calling, I knew I had to define my purpose of my blog site. So, came April’s Faith Thoughts which are to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ and encouragement.  Jesus had called me to go beyond the walls of this front bedroom that I use for an office.

Each time I write, I come to God as an empty vessel and just simply ask Him fill me and use me. Along with that, I say a prayer that I may reach at least one person beyond the walls of home to someone who needs encouragement or a reminder that God loves them.  As a result, I have connected with some of my readers who in turn give me encouragement and with other bloggers with similar purpose who I send encouragement to and they to me. 

 As time progressed with writing, reading other blog posts and posting comments, I wondered to myself if I was going beyond my walls and how far. Well, God answered that question for me when I received notice that I had a link drop in someone else’s post. Not only was it a link drop but it has become a friendship via the technology world.  It was then, God showed me that I had not only gone beyond my walls but across the world! Koh Rebecca is a young lady  from Singapore and is witnessing her faith in Jesus Christ.  In her post True Happiness, (branchingbecky.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/true happiness) she simply reminds us that it is God who brings us through storms and He supplies the true happiness that we need in our lives.  God empowered me to go beyond my walls and in return a branch was reached to me from Singapore. 

 Through this connection, God has brought a new friendship to me, shown how small the world really is and how amazing things happen when I allow myself to be His vessel.  True Happiness does come from God. Yet, He brings extra joy and happiness when a branch from across the ocean reaches back to a little front bedroom/office in Owensboro, Kentucky

Is God calling  you to be His witness in a special way?  If He is and you are putting Him off like I  once did, now is the time to say “Lord, You are the vine and I am Your branch.”  Who knows, there may be a branch somewhere out there just waiting to reach back to you.

Encouraging Others

High Fiving The Crazy Ones

Encourage One Another

As I have become introduced to the world of social media via Drew,  I have learned more about what it means to encourage others.  In the world of Twitter, it is good that you respond on some tweets and  read blogs that are posted via Twitter. On Facebook, we know that we encourage our friends by clicking the “Like”, leaving a comment or writing on their wall.  Then, there is the blogging as I do and that means that you not only write but you read and encourage others in their writing in the blogging world. You encourage fellow bloggers not only by reading their site but commenting and sharing as well. It is all about encouragement and staying connected.  I experienced such cyber encouragement via Branchingbecky’s Blog when she mentioned one of my blogs on her site. “Wow!”,  I thought to myself, “I am actually going beyond my walls!.” Needless to say, it made my day!

Encouragement and staying connected is all a part of what God wants us to do in the world He created.  It is important to stay  connected with Him so that we can connect with others and encourage them.  We connect with God through our prayer, worship, quiet time with Him and joining Him in His work through acts of encouragement.  Listening to God and responding by encouraging others comes full circle into our social media world.  It is through Twitter, Facebook,  and Email that we can encourage others.  We can also go outside our social media world and encourage others through writing notes and/or simply encouraging someone in person that God places in our path.

 Words of encouragement are gold to the heart.  We are all in this big world together with each of us having our daily challenges before us. Thus, it is important for us to encourage one another on the journey.

  Today, I challenge you to encourage someone whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Email, writing a note, leaving a comment or simply encouraging someone in person.  It is by my experience that when you encourage someone, you not only give them a lift but you will feel a lift in your heart, too. Hebrews 3:13 says we need to encourage one another on a daily basis. How about you? Who do you need to encourage? Who sent you encouragement your way that lifted your spirits? Make encouragement a part of your daily routine.

Blessings-

He Will Have The Last Laugh!

Summary http://www.epa.gov/win/winnews/images0...

Image via Wikipedia

Since I began my blog post, people have asked me how I got started.   When I think about how I got started, I realize that  there is a testimony within the whole scheme of me starting a blog site. God had been tapping on my shoulder. I had excuses.  He laughed at me and said “we’ll see”.

If you have read my post on Stop, Evaluate, Prioritize, you know that at one point, I had hit a wall and absolutely had to cool my jets for a while.  As I stopped, evaluated, and prioritized, God brought me to the realization that seasons in life were changing for me and a new purpose for me was in the process of being re-defined.  Along with that, God began tapping me on the shoulder telling me that I would be writing to testify about His love, grace, forgiveness, and His son Jesus Christ and eternal life.

God tapping me on the shoulder has gone on for over a course of a couple of years.  He would tap me on the shoulder and say  “April, this is what you need to do.” My response would be, “you talking to me?” along with “maybe later”, “I don’t think you have the right person.” I was like Moses when God told him that he would lead to free the Israelites from Egypt.  Moses’ response was “go to my brother Aaron, he is a better speaker than me.” I would tell God that he already had someone in the family doing such a task.  He already  has  my dad who is a minister, who  writes short stories, poems and has also published a couple of books.  Along with my dad, I told God that He had my son who writes, and I would also say” and  what about all those Christian authors?!” ” isn’t that enough to get the word out!”.   God listened to my excuses.  He just laughed in my face.  As He laughed at me, He kept tapping me on the shoulder telling me to share about His kingdom.

The Almighty Father never gave up on me and His purpose for me at this season of my life.  He spoke to me again and this time it was through my son Drew.   One evening, Drew and I were talking to each other. He and I got on the subject of  purpose in life and me being in a new season of my life. Not long after that conversation, Drew sent me a tweet that said “think about what you are really passionate about and let me know.” I tweeted back with “I’ll have to think about that one.”  Next thing I know, he is telling me I should blog and how to get started.  Thus, here I am  with a  blog site sharing the love of Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, I am sure that God is sitting up there in heaven giving Jesus and the angels a fist bump. God won and is having the last laugh with me!

Lesson learned, don’t argue with God because you will not win. You may think you don’t  have the courage to do what He calls you to do but He supplies you with what you need. I don’t know what God will tap me on the shoulder to do next but I do know that : I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.  

What is God tapping you on the shoulder to do?  What argument or excuses are you giving Him ?   Realize you might as well stop the excuses and arguing with God. I encourage you to just let Him fill you up and do the work He has commissioned you to do.  Furthermore, don’t laugh when he tells you do to something.  For, I have learned many times over that   He will have the last laugh!

Blessings-

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