Archive for the Encouragement Category

No Place Like Home [ARTICLE – Melissa Hainline]

Tears trickled down her face as she gazed longingly out the window at the home she had known for so long. As the airplane rose higher, the landscape of her home grew fainter and fainter. They were leaving! They were leaving home! How she had loved the thirteen wonderful years her family had spent as missionaries in Kenya. She reflected on the past few month’s events: furlough, the offer for her Dad to work at Heartland, the night her parents answered “yes,” the last several weeks in Kenya packing up and telling everyone goodbye.  Now they were en route to America. “America.” She thought. America was the last place she wanted to live. She had even prayed “Lord, if we have to leave Kenya, couldn’t we just be missionaries somewhere else? I don’t want to live in America.” Questions flooded her mind, “Will I be happy there? Can I have

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Let God Be the Judge of Success and Failure [ARTICLE – Andrew Hurst]

Isaiah 49:4 – Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: Born in Ireland in 1843, CY O’Connor was hired in 1891 as the inaugural Engineer-in-Chief of the state of Western Australia.  Originally his responsibilities were primarily railroads, but, with the discovery of gold in 1893 in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, came the need to provide water to the arid, outback town.  CY O’Connor designed a catchment in the Darling Ranges along with a pipeline and 8 pump houses to supply water to Kalgoorlie.  The idea was visionary.  Never before had a pipeline pumped water over such a distance (530 km / 370 mi)!  Although he had support from the then Premier of Western Australia, Lord John Forrest, O’Connor had to deal with widespread criticism and ridicule from members of the Western Australian Parliament as well as the local newspapers.  Their concerns

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As For God, His Way Is Perfect [ARTICLE – Kristen King]

The majority of us have created a picture in our minds of how life should play out. I read a quote that really stuck out to me, although I don’t know who wrote it. It said, “Along the very noble path of attempting to explain God and His ways, we tend to domesticate His awesomeness and attempt to create Him in our image.” This usually works fairly well for us until God actually works and we see that it was nothing like what we imagined! Growing up in the home of a church planter/church re-starter, I grew an intense love for the ministry. I remember thinking that there could be nothing better than to be a pastor’s wife, and assumed I would go off to Bible college, meet a really sharp preacher guy, get married, and the rest would be history. I mean, that’s how it works, right? So, I

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God Does Not Always Deliver [ARTICLE – Tim Knutson]

God does not always deliver… So, does that get your attention? Let me throw a few quotes of commonly used statements at you for a moment: “You’re either in a storm, about to be in one, or just coming out of one.” “Just remember, someone’s got it a lot worse than you do.” “Don’t worry, you’ll understand this some day.” “Hey! Your best days are still in front of you!” “You just gotta believe!” There are many more of these aphorisms from various perspectives, but let me challenge you for a moment. What about those who are in a storm that doesn’t have an end? What if you are the “someone” who really does have it worse? What about those who suffered a horrible event and are now living in old age and STILL don’t understand why a tragic event happened to them? What if the best events in your

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Making a Statement Or Making a Difference? [ARTICLE – Tyler Prater]

It was Monday morning and I was enjoying my day off.  As is typical for me on Monday mornings, I was sitting down in my “man chair,” drinking coffee and watching ESPN.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out what the big news was from the past weekend.  It was the very controversial statement made by many NFL players and teams of kneeling down or not even coming out of the locker room for the national anthem. I’ve got to be honest, this really fired me up.   Then, I decided to catch up on Facebook.  Boy, was that a mistake!  I found nothing but statement after statement, video after video, and article after article making a case for both sides of the issue.  I’m not going to lie; I had a well-crafted statement typed out that I felt was very logical and strong for why I personally

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The Lord Wants Me To Be a Blessing To a Church… FOR FREE?! [ARTICLE – Eustace Daniyan]

When I left Oklahoma City after spending 6 years there, I felt like Jacob leaving Padan Aram. I arrived in Oklahoma City only with a collection of Air Jordans and some furniture from my apartment in New York, but I left there with a wife (one wife) and a couple of kids. In my naivete, I thought that God would acquiesce to my itinerary. My agenda was to graduate Bible college in 4 years, go back to my home church (with a full financial compensation, of course), and turn Long Island upside down. I couldn’t have been more disillusioned. Although I did graduate in 4 years, the grandiose fantasies and intrinsic neon lights showcasing “all that I learned in Bible college” gave way to reality. This reality didn’t include voicemails or an email account inundated with ministry opportunities from pastors, but rather a reality that would dash my meticulously crafted

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When Pain Hurts [ARTICLE – Ted Inman]

Like most men that I know, I am a big sissy when it comes to pain. I find myself avoiding situations that I know may involve pain: doctors, dentists, needles, exercise… Just about any circumstance that may be painful, I do all I can to delay it or to postpone it indefinitely. Men are that way…or maybe it is just me. The longer I live, the more I find that life itself is painful. I’m not just talking about the increase in doctor visits. There are other types of pain that come with life that are far more hurtful than any doctor can inflict–the kind of painful moments that life brings that we sometimes need help handling. Being in ministry certainly doesn’t make one immune, either. Painful family situations. The pain of lost relationships. The pain that death of those we care about brings. The pain of dealing with others’

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I Am My Stumblingblock To Joy [ARTICLE – Riley Barrett]

Not long ago, I was having my overnight time with God (no, I’m not that spiritual, just a night auditor). I remember talking with the Lord while reflecting on how my attitude and perspective toward life had been lately. It suddenly struck me: overall, my outlook had been downcast, discouraged, lacking real joy. “God, I’m your child, and I’ve really been trying. So, why don’t I have any joy?” Truly, too, I had been working hard at “being a Christian.” “Well,” God prompted. “If your perspective has been overcast, why not check where your focus has been?” Our focus defines our perspective every time. That’s biblical. And it’s human. Here’s what was crazy, though. I’d been focused on spiritual stuff. That’s why I was so befuddled. There were multiple areas of life where I was fighting vigorously. Areas that needed work. Areas that God had shown me needed work. So,

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Chutes & Ladders [ARTICLE – Kyle Martin]

By Kyle Martin – Youth Pastor, Berean Baptist Church, Parsons, KS At times, I enjoy board games. One of the board games that I play is Chutes and Ladders, especially since it is a favorite of my 4-year-old son. We both enjoy playing until we land on a chute and it takes us to the bottom of the board. It seems like an eternity sometimes to complete the game because of how quickly the game changes as you land on a chute, then a ladder, and then another chute. My son, and even I, will sometimes become frustrated and despairing as we land on a chute because we know that the game has changed and we are no longer going forward but backward. This frustration, though, is not exclusive to a child’s board game. We live in a world of change–a life of chutes and ladders. A major part of

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Missions: Is It Worth It? [ARTICLE – James Pranger]

By James Pranger, Missionary in Russia Growing up in Russia, my childhood was far from boring. Some of the best memories I have are those of taking trips with my dad to pass out tracts and Bibles. The most vivid memory I have is driving to the remote settlement of Tomtor. The trip of no return, or so I thought. Instead, the Lord was going to teach me a valuable lesson He knew I would need for years to come. As a thirteen-year-old boy, the trip to Tomtor was by far the scariest trip I had ever taken with my dad. What started off to be just like every other trip rapidly changed once we had turned off the main road and onto the only road that led to Tomtor. A couple of miles down the road, we came to our first river and quickly realized that there was no

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