Encouragement

Finding a Refuge in Love | Lifestream – Christian Article

I don’t think anyone has sent me flowers before. But yesterday, I got an email from a friend in Oregon with a picture of two bouquets of roses.  Mark Warner is a former pastor and former alcoholic who knows the dark side well. His email was titled:  Why I Take Flowers to Two 95 Years Olds at the Retirement Center. The words that followed were some of the most profound I’ve ever read in such a short reflection: I do…

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Guest post from younger sister: The Amazing Exchange – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata I’d mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that some of the younger people were seeking answers to the mayhem that is everywhere today. They want to sort out what is happening. Their consciences are tender and their heart moves easily. So I’d compiled a list of theologically solid podcasts so that anyone seeking answers would hopefully be steered to good resources. Yesterday I was contacted by one of the younger sisters in my church asking for a review…

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Now the Lord himself of peace give you peace – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata The other evening I was standing at the edge of the hayfield, and the blue cornflowers gave a wonderful tinge that mirrored the sky, and the burnt sienna hay tips rustled in the breeze, showing where the wind had been. The birds swooped over the field looking for insects and I thought, how peaceful, how peaceful. This is my life, and it is wonderful. “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times…

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A Checklist for Your Fears and Anxieties – Christian Article

This is a good time to remember God’s words to us about fear and anxiety. Though God’s words are always beautiful, now seems an especially good time to remember how God comforts us. Here are some of his most important words. Check to see if you are missing any of them. 1. You will be anxious. “When I am afraid,” the psalmist writes (Ps. 56:3). In other words, you have good reasons to be anxious. Something important to you is…

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A Peek At My Email | Lifestream – Christian Article

I don’t post these emails because I like reading about myself on my blog. I’ve already read them and expressed my gratefulness to those who took the time to write me and to the Father for the way some of these things find their way into the world to encourage his people. I post these so that others who are struggling with similar things might find their way to the same resources that may be helpful to them. From Germany:…

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How is doing good to widows and orphans a pure & undefiled religion? – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27) How does pure and undefiled religion have anything to do with widows and orphans? In Bible times, widows and orphans were often destitute and without any sort of societal safety net, help, or support. In many cases today, it is the same. Widows and orphans need help.…

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It’s Rarely the Words… | Lifestream – Christian Article

During a trip on the East coast in 2016, I was asked to meet with a couple whose twenty-something daughter had been recently killed in a car crash. A friend of a friend asked if I could give them some time, so I met them for lunch during a free moment in my schedule. I never know what to say to people who are experiencing such loss, and though I felt like God was in the time we had, I…

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God will take care of us – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata I spent a lot of time outside yesterday watching the birds. There is an Eastern Phoebe nest under the awning at the patio, a Carolina wren nest in the underhang, and another wren nest at the other side of the lawn in the big birdhouse. I watched the mom of that one go back and forth incessantly, bringing food to her babies. I’d hear the baby’s racket inside the birdhouse and I’d know that the mom was…

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How to Have a Family Worship Experience at Home – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Many churches are pushing pause on gathering their congregants for weekly worship services during this season of coronavirus risk, including children’s ministry classes and groups. While many of us might be tempted to enjoy a break from church, that’s the last thing we really need. At times like this, we desperately need God’s Word to reassure us that He is in control; we need to sing songs that remind us of His power; we need worship.   The Bible teaches…

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I don’t want to go back to my normal life – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata These days are certainly strange. Mandated home sheltering, no going out except for minimal and pressing reasons, economy shuttered, the world staggering from a virus that sweeps through a population like wildfire. For many people, it’s strange to be at home for these lengthy times. No school, no work, being apart from extended family, uncertain financial future. People say, “I want my normal life back!” Even me, the loner, is not immune to this feeling. I ache…

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Encouragement for those alone: You are not alone – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata “May you live in interesting times”. You may have heard this phrase attributed to the Chinese as an ancient blessing. It’s actually a curse, that living in UNinteresting times is more of a blessing than so-called interesting ones, which usually involve war, famine, or other disruption of some kind. It never was a Chinese saying at all, whether curse or blessing. The closest the phrase came from is remarks made by Frederic R. Coudert at the Proceedings…

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4 Truths For The Discouraged Parent – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Parenting is hard. Newsflash, right? While nobody who has ever had a child is surprised by that statement, what has been consistently surprising to my wife and I is that raising kids seems to get harder rather than easier. We thought it was hard when we had a kid in diapers who needed constant monitoring. Then we thought it was harder when our kids started going to school and we were worried about everything they would encounter out there in…

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Dock Queens: A Sailing Story – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata I was a liveaboard sailor for a few years. We usually anchored out somewhere for free. If we had to get to shore for supplies, we’d take the dinghy and putt-putt in to land. We went to a dock rarely but sometimes you had to. You’d need to fill the water tank, or the fuel tank, or we were expecting a delivery of something from the marine store that the dinghy was too small to transport over…

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I Love How This Book Encourages So Many | Lifestream – Christian Article

One of the great joys I have every day is opening my email. Yes, there is lots of pain in there as people are struggling with the brokenness of the world and how much religious obligation has twisted their view of God and themselves. But there’s also lots of joy in it as people have been encouraged to take the road less traveled, away from the dictates of a religion to a vibrant connection with God and a growing trust…

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30 Things Parents Should Say to Their Kids – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Words matter. The words parents use have great power to give life to their kids. Here are 30 life-giving things parents should consider saying to their kids on a regular basis.   In the Book of James we read that the tongue, although quite small, can do great things. We are also warned to control the tongue, because it can just as easily do terrible things (James 3:2-12). When we think of controlling the tongue, we often think of stopping it…

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I Heard God Whisper, “Do you know how much I love you?” – Christian Article

I love to travel. I love everything about it. Being able to experience new places and cultures, make friends all over the world, truly excites me in such a way that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I find it funny however, how God uses the things we love most to speak truth over our lives. For me, God has always used travel. I think He does that for two reasons, one I enjoy traveling alone. I know, many people…

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The Moments That Bring Transformation | Lifestream – Christian Article

Winter 2019-2020 NewsletterIf you’d like to subscribe, fill out the form here. Do you know those moments when a nudge in your heart contradicts what you wouldchoose to do? Those are the moments on which your transformation hangs.   I can think of many occasions when the voice of the Spirit whispered through my illusion, to invite me on a better path. At the betrayal of a close friend: I have more to teach you if you walk away than if you…

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O Holy Night | Lifestream – Christian Article

O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol. Sara and I listened to it as we got ready to go to bed last night. I reveled in my favorite lyric from it: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” Ever since Eden’s Fall, the hardest belief for many to sustain, especially in times of struggle and failure is that they are worthy of God’s love and affection. So oftentimes…

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Ten Traits of Children’s Ministry Leaders Who Run a Good Race for God – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Dick Crider, DiscipleLand Field Trainer, shares his wisdom: In more than thirty years of ministry, I have known children’s ministry leaders who crash and burn after a few years and I’ve known those who run the race for 30, 40, and even 50 years. What distinguishes those who run for a lifetime from those who do not? Paul told Timothy that he had fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. So, what motivates those who do all…

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How to Build an Effective Children’s Ministry – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter which way you go.’” Where do you want to go? Visionary leaders see the big pictureOne of the most powerful keys to impact your children’s ministry is to “Begin with the end in mind.”…

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Prayer Blessing for Teachers | DiscipleBlog.com – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Prayer Blessing For Teachers As the new school year begins, it is our hope and prayer that God fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We pray that your classroom is a haven of love and peace where children, coworkers, and parents discover His grace and truth. Lord, thank You for every new teacher as they begin this new school year. Thank You for their ministry to Your children. Sustain them in health:…

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It’s all completely fabulous! by Ruth Leigh – Christian Article

Welcome to my life. Three beautiful children, perfect marriage, idyllic country location, lots of friends, chickens pecking around the veg patch. My made-up life, that is. The one I’d like everyone to see. As a writer, I find myself composing short, punchy bios of myself for each new client. It’s tempting to focus on the lovely bits, making myself sound more sorted than I am. Children. Marriage. Countryside. Friends. Chickens. Gosh, my life is AWESOME! Just between us (and I…

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What was your first reaction to hearing the Gospel? – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata The reactions of the different people in the Bible to hearing the Word of the Lord are wide and varied. Abraham, upon hearing that in his old age he will father a child: he fell on his face and laughed in delight. (Genesis 17:17). Sarai: upon hearing she will bear a child in her old age: laughed in herself, scoffing. (Genesis 18:12) Zechariah was told he will bear a child in his old age, the forerunner to the…

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We Don’t Always Want What We Want | Lifestream – Christian Article

I am traveling through the south of Florida at the moment, having spent the weekend in Miami, and now headed up to the Sarasota/Tampa area for the weekend. Yesterday, I had an amazing lunch conversation reconnecting with someone I’d visited several years ago. He’d come here to plant house churches and ended up discovering that the church was more wild and wonderful than that could contain as well. He, too, is learning that life moves at the speed of relationships. While…

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Let’s love each other – End Times Christian Article

By Elizabeth Prata I found this online. It’s a list that is sourced. Recently I’ve been a bit downcast by the in-fighting on social media. I guess after 24 years online going from BBS forums to CompuServe to commenting online newspapers to Disqus to blogs to Facebook to Twitter … I’m finally social media world-weary with the lack of grace and patience. Let’s love each other. The 59 ‘One Anothers’ of the New Testament 1. …Be at peace with each…

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