Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

I thank my God every time I remember you. I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1.3-6

My family moved to a different city to work. We left behind many people that had been taught the gospel and that had continued faithful to the Lord. We often wondered how different ones were doing, if they were still faithful. After several years, we returned for a visit. What joy we had to see many of the ones with whom we had studied still faithful to the Lord!

God provides us with encouragement. He takes care of our daily needs. He uses other Christians to make this happen. Never underestimate the good that God can do with what, in your opinion, does not amount to much. He can make the blessings overflow with whatever we are willing to give him.

Participation is key. We must be willing to participate in His mission, to be used for his kingdom, the church. God is able to carry us to perfection, or maturity, if we stay with him.

#risingjoy #Philippians #encouragement

What you wish someone would do for you

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. Matthew 7.12

At times, one can sit around wondering what they could be doing to serve in God’s kingdom in a better way. That is a good thing! Many times we need look no further than our own need for encouragement.

What encourages you? Is it a note that has a Bible verse written on it that someone passes to you? A birthday card on your birthday? Could it be when someone calls to talk to you about things in general and with nothing specific in mind.

Everyone needs encouragement! The very thing that you wish someone would do for you, could be what would encourage someone else. It is just a matter of stepping out of our comfort zone to act.

Do you wish others would arrive on time? You arrive on time. Do you wish someone would send you flowers? You send those flowers to someone! Acts 20.35 states that Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. That applies in all areas of life. Treat others as you would like to be treated! Be careful for you may just cause someone’s life to make a change for the better!

#risingjoy #Matthew #encouragement

Daily Helps to Ponder in 2020

By Christopher Underwood

Tip Number 1:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The following notes may be helpful during the rest of your life during stress and no stressful times.

These tips may help:

  • Go slowly. Stress is tiring and it takes a toll on our mental capacity. Be patient with yourself.
  • Turn off the news. Consume enough to be informed – not consumed.
  • Sleep. And be understanding with yourself if you can’t.
  • Move. Just a 10-minute walk can reset your perspective.
  • Forgive. And that includes yourself. We’re all doing our best.
  • Apologize if you’re wrong. A simple “I’m sorry” can defuse tension.
  • Breathe. Sit quietly for a few minutes and breathe deeply. Give yourself some mental space.
  • Connect with a loved one. (Video chats are great, but you don’t even have to comb your hair for an old-fashioned phone call).
  • Find small things to be grateful for. The hot drink you look forward to each morning. An unexpected peek of sunshine.

Gratitude is good for you, so notice the little things that lift your mood.

#chrisunderwood #encouragement #tips

Encouraging note, May 2020

By Christopher Underwood — Everyone who has ever caught a child jumping into their arms can witness the joy of the safe catch and laugh. The child only knows that the catcher will absolutely grab them out the air before hitting the floor.

That bond of trust can continue to grow such that the child will always believe they can trust in your real or virtual arms.

The writer of Proverbs wants you and me to see the Father in heaven as a strong tower to be trusted as a guide. It may be in the image of a lighthouse, a skyscraper or a tall mountain.

Whatever the image, know that safety in the Father gives us the courage and strength to live obedient lives and welcomes us in his spiritual arms to catch us from falling. Let’s make up our mind to run to the Father daily.

Have a great day.

#encouragement #ChrisUnderwood #trust

The same encouragement applies

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

For the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit. And he must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3.10-12

Peter quotes Psalm 34 in these verses. The same encouragement applies today.

If you want to love life and see good days, be honest and speak only what is good. At times, our tongue can get us into bad situations. We do not always measure our words with care. James 3 compares the tongue to a fire that can flame out of control and wreak havoc.

Not only are our words important, so are our actions. Turn away from evil and do good. Not only must I do good, I must resist evil by turning away from it. That is very different from walking on the edge to see how close we can come to sinning and get away with it. By that time, we may have already committed it in our hearts.

One last thing Peter mentions here. We must seek peace and pursue it. That is acting towards peace and not stirring up the waters even more. Ephesians 4 says that we are to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. No one said that it was easy.

However, we can be assured that our efforts will not go unseen. For the eyes of God himself will see and his ears will hear the prayers that are lifted up to him.

#risingjoy #1-Peter #encouragement

Encouragement note March 2020

By Chris Underwood, Chicago

We may not want to book a flight on an airplane due to worries and precautions but we can book our spiritual flight to a home in heaven with confidence and joy.

The love of God is infinite in power for our souls to access protection more than sanitize liquids, masks, and isolation. Continue to seek God daily for thirst quenching help and joy. (Psalm 63:1-8)

Wash the physical hands three times daily.

Hear, understand and hold on to the right hand of the Lord continuously.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8

#Encouragement #chrisunderwood #devotional

Encouragement Note: August 2018

By Christopher Underwood

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Each day we have a choice to serve the Lord at home, or school or at the job. When studying for the new semester of school, plan to do it to the best of your ability as if serving the Lord.

When working on the job find a way to work joyfully as serving the Lord.

It will put your effort in perspective to gain more than just a perfect score on your exam, or get a raise from the company.

Your example can be the seed of influence to others. Just as grumpy people can spread grumpiness, you and I can reflect the joy of the Lord and spread hope.

Have a great day and ask God in prayer for guidance to obey the Lord faithfully.

#encouragement #service #example #encouragement-note

Source of encouragement

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)

Бог же всякой благодати, призвавший нас в вечную славу Свою во Христе Иисусе, Сам, по кратковременном страдании вашем, да совершит вас, да утвердит, да укрепит, да соделает непоколебимыми. (1-e Петра 5:10 Russian)

Most holy LORD God, my dear heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord for the gift of life on this new day that already demonstrates abundant evidence of your work as Creator of everything. Help me dear Lord to be a source of encouragement to those who are feeling weak and downtrodden by all the cares of this life. Be with us as we wait for the glorious appearing of our dear Savior. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley #encouragement

Encouragement Note October 2017

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

The strength that we have each day is connected by how deep our body, soul, and spirit are firmly entrenched in the Word of God.

Strong roots, or foundation allow each one to add faith, temperance, and love to keep us from falling (2 Peter 1:5-10)

Today decide to grow your physical and spiritual roots deeper as taught by command and example in the Bible. Choose to encourage someone to have deeper roots in the word to show how we are thankful for the gift of salvation through The Son of God.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


#encouragement #spiritual-growth #encouragement-note

September 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Philippians Chapter 4)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Help Those Women (Wade Webster)
  • Towards Spiritual Success (Cody Westbrook)
  • I Can Do All Things (Rob L. Whitacre)
  • The God Who Supplies (John Baker)
  • Farewell (Kevin Rhodes)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-women, #christian-worker, #encouragement, #financial-support, #philippians, #spiritual-strength, #success

Chris Underwood: Encouragement Note, May 2017

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

Each of knows that what fills our eyes and ears causes a reaction within our brains. Those thoughts translate into actions that are obedient to the will of God, or disobedient.

Thankfully the Bible scriptures remind us daily to think of the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and anything else that we want recorded in the book of Life.

The positive virtues help shape us to be filled with strength of the Lord, and makes it possible to repent of sin. Consider some or all the sin that once were a struggle to reject in your life. Those obstacles are eliminated or greatly reduced from your life through the blessing of the Jesus who gave his life for our redemption.

We still have to be careful with our words that come out of our mouths. The beginning of those words are a reflection of our thoughts. Think on being humble in the daily presence of the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Have a great day.

Chris is a brother in Christ from Chicago who works in aviation electronics. He worked recently for three months in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

#thoughts #words #encouragement #encouragement-notes

Determine your year ahead


One writer described the year 2016 as the year of disruption. I dare say he’s correct in many ways, speaking as he is from an American perspective. Disruption was true around the world as well, with Brexit, Fidel Castro’s death, China’s growth, Venezuela’s continued death spiral, and a host of other sad tendencies.

Brazil was no exception. President Dilma was impeached and removed from office. The economy slowed and joblessness grew. Corruption went beserk. Continue reading

#corollaries, #encouragement, #intention, #new-year, #planning

My brother is dying with bladder cancer We…

My brother is dying with bladder cancer. We visited him yesterday probably for the last time this side of eternity. My heart has been heavy since that visit, and today I wrote this poem as I thought of him and what he would say to me, his little sister.

When I become a memory
Think of me with a smile.
Tears may fill your eyes,
But only let it be for a little while.

Remember all the good things we did.
Remember when I was at my best.
Remember only the good times
And let go of all the rest.

Remember when I was healthy
And so full of life,
Remember me young and happy,
With a life free of strife.

When I become a memory
And am no longer here with you,
Smile and be happy and remember
My love for you is true.

-Glenda Williams 3-05-2015

#death, #encouragement

Illinois native Army Specialist Gabriel Garriga suffered from…

Illinois native Army Specialist Gabriel Garriga suffered from the severe burns he suffered when his Humvee exploded in a raging fireball in Iraq. Medics gave him a one in one hundred chance of survival. But in spite of the odds and after 29 surgeries, Gabe, as his family and friends call him, traveled the long road of recovery. For a long time he went through the process of rehabilitation in San Antonio at the Brook Army Medical Center. At the time he was just happy to be alive. Now he spends a lot of his time encouraging other soldiers recovering from their injuries. When I last read of him he was 20 and he was looking to the day when he could return to his Illinois home and resume a normal life. In my book Gab is a hero and is owed a great debt of gratitude from America. This is Just A Minute

#army, #encouragement, #gratitude, #just-a-minute

Mama said, "Everybody needs a church home…"

Mama didn’t have a high school diploma, but she was wise beyond her years. I’ve often thought had she been allowed to go to college, she would have been a great success at whatever she chose to do. With 17 brothers and sisters, she had to stay home after finishing the ninth grade to help out with things around home. She and I went to the same country school.

One of the things mama taught me as a teenager was the importance of having a church home. I recall we were in the kitchen of our small country home when she said, “Everybody needs to be a member of a church. Then if they have a death or some trouble, they will have people who will help and support them. People that don’t have a church family don’t have people to help when they have trouble.”

She had already taught me the distinctiveness of the church of Christ. She said, “Jesus built one church. There’s just one.” I knew early on the church He built was the One that wore His name, and the only one we can read about in the Bible. Denominations hadn’t come into the picture when Jesus established His church, the first church. She taught me this long before we started going to worship regularly. That’s a long story, and for another time.

It’s true. Everybody needs a church home and for multiple reasons. Let’s consider some for a minute.

1. We need a church home for salvation. Jesus gave His life as a sinless sacrifice for us that we might live with Him eternally in heaven one day. We can’t separate Christ and the church (Acts 5:23).

2. We need a church home for fellowship. Christians are like family members. They laugh with us when we laugh, and they cry with us when we cry. They will stand beside us all the way. People seldom get into trouble when fellowshipping with followers of Jesus (John 17:12; 1 John 1:3).

3. We need a church home for spiritual growth, to learn more of God’s word. Preachers and teachers spend endless hours preparing Bible lessons to teach others about the Lord, to increase the listener’s knowledge. We need a church home to be built up in the faith (Acts 2:42-47).

4. We need a church home to obey the command to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). David said, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).

5. We need a church home for comfort in difficult times (2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11).

The Lord intended the local church to provide much of the support and encouragement we need as His disciples.

#church, #death, #encouragement, #heaven