Encouraging, not depressed + Some links to the ministry

 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

This past year I have tried to be disciplined and send out some hand written notes of encouragement. Sending out thanks or words of encouragement to friends and partners in ministry. I know it may seem a bit dated in this email & social networking age. But I find there is nothing like getting something in the post from a friend. My purpose has no strings attached, just a line of scripture or a word of encouragement. I do not expect any response and I am not searching for people to send me notes because of this update. I am just trying to encourage others.

I have found that this practice has caused  some interesting  responses. Some have written back, some have emailed me or sent me a note via Facebook. (Not required, but appreciated. Thanks for the notes) Yet, some have thought I was depressed and I was reaching out for help. Friends who thought my note of encouragement to them was translated as my own personal state of mental health. (Now I might be a bit crazy to write these notes, but all in all I am doing fine) They would call or email me with concern. While others have admonished me because of the expense of the postage. That's encouraging...

It has been an eye-opening experience. I think in this era, the Christian community finds it hard to genuinely encourage one another and to accept edification. To many it seems odd that someone in the community would notice something positive about them, much less acknowledge it. Yet, it is something we are to do.

On the other side of it, why can't we accept a compliment or word of encouragement without reading into it or dismissing it. Maybe because we do not want to come off as puffed up or arrogant, but if people do not accept these words from others as a gift, others will begin to stop giving them out.

I was challenged by a book by Larry Osbourne recently to not send out a 'drive by guilting' in the area of gifts. Edification and encouragement are gifts, but shouldn't we all seek to encourage one another? It isn't too hard, but yet it can yield incredible benefits for both involved.

It is amazing what a genuine word of encouragement does for the soul. Not to get too warm & fuzzy or that in some indirect way communicate that I am seeking a 'group hug' from people. I do not need a hug, thanks.

I just thought, it might be worth encouraging people to be encouraging. 

Have you taken time to encourage a family member, a work colleague, a church leader (heaven forbid you should thank the music team at church, especially the drummer) or a friend today?

Thanks and I hope you would be encouraged today.

What would be encouraging to us is if you would look through the links below. Have a look at some of the links from our ministry in Sydney: 

I hope that you will be encouraged by our latest newsletter from City Bible Forum and some links to recent events.

Our latest newsletter gives you a sense for the scale, direction and potential of the City Bible Forum.

Also, if you want to catch up with what we've been doing, here are some videos to watch …

Nemmers visit and the city ministry Watch the time with Pat and Marilyn Nemmers and the national City Bible Forum team share what motivates them, and describe the shape of their ministry
Watch atheist Prof Lawrence Krauss discuss the Life, the Universe and Nothing events arranged by City Bible Forum
Watch an excerpt from one of our The Forum events where our panellists discuss if our technology gives us God-like control, or if it controls us
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