Tuesday evening, after the pre-school concert at First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Rebekah and I were talking with some folk about her out-of-town speaking trip this past weekend. Rebekah had delivered words of inspiration, hope and encouragement to a large church seriously in need of all three.
“That’s ninety-nine percent of the reason either one of us ever gets in the car or hops on a plane to speak anywhere,” I said. “Jesus is the only message we have, and encouragement is pretty much the only subject we ever talk about. Promise, hope, love, grace, reconciliation, restoration, and new life.”
DSC_0098PRE-SCHOOL ROCKS! I’d say the same reasoning lies behind our enthusiastic commitment to attend events such as the FPCB Pre-School Spring Concert. Because it’s impossible to sit through songs such as “Shout to the north!” – interpreted by pre-schoolers as “SHOUT to the north!!!!” – without smiling, being encouraged, and thanking God for the new life that’s so evident, and so compelling.
Abundant life - real and eternal life, more and better life than we ever dreamed of - literally bubbles up all over the place around here, and we are so grateful.
The Black family
I believe that’s one of the reasons Jesus admonished his followers to adopt the disposition of children. It’s not immaturity God favors, it’s the lack of cynicism. Children, Rebekah pointed out one day in a sermon, interact with the world around them with their arms wide and their hands open; whereas adults tend to stand with their arms folded and their fist clenched tightly shut.
PREACH IT, KIDS! The word of encouragement from children is that hugs are better than handshakes, sharing is more fun than holding on to “what’s mine,” and the spiritual intuitiveness that we’re born with is still more real than the cultivated unbelief that builds a wall, brick by laborious brick, between so many adults and the visceral, instinctive memory of God and the deep understanding that God is our home.
So my word for today is ENCOURAGEMENT. The word means, literally, to give courage, to inspire with spirit and confidence. These children do just that; they give me the courage and the confidence to live this “real and eternal life, more and better life than [anyone] ever dreamed of.” - DEREK