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3 Ways to Fill A Mug with Encouragement

A Cup of Encouragement

The sooner we stop believing the lie that we must offer some grand gesture to make a difference, the sooner more souls will find rest⎯the kind of rest a good, good Father desires for His children.

Maybe you remember the above quote from last week’s post? There, I shared a simple way to put our desire to encourage into action. If you didn’t catch last week’s post, you may want to read it here before reading today’s.

Okay, now let’s get started! There are obviously a multitude of creative ways to fill a mug for another but let’s begin with three. (Watch for more in July!)

 

3 Ways to Fill A Mug With Encouragement and A Prayer

 

Be still and know that I am God __ Psalm 46_10Do you know a frazzled mom (school is out, after all!), or a neighbor going through a difficult time? Or maybe a friend or co-worker seeking God for particular answers? Once you’ve purchased a mug, enclose a note, along with 4-5 individually wrapped tea bags (read the tea box carefully – if it says “sachets” the tea is not individually wrapped.) The note can be from you, encouraging the recipient to take a few moments to sip and savor the tea during their time with God, including the verse above. Or, the note could read something like this: “I look forward to My time with you. Love, Jesus” Psalm 46:10.

BlogCreatedMugMaybe you know someone struggling to find their way creatively, albeit cooking something new for the family, a project at work that refuses to budge, or an artist/writer wrestling the proverbial block to the ground. A mug is the perfect fit for a set of colorful pencils.Try finding a mug taller than it is wide so the pencils will have more support. Take the pencils out of the box and put them sharpened end up. On the enclosed note, one idea might be to write something like: “God created you to be creative. Like Father, like Daughter/Son.” Of course, nothing says you can’t attach an adult coloring book with the mug but the point here is to keep it simple. The colored pencils and your note of encouragement is sure to bring a smile to his/her face.

BlogLightofWorldmugJust in my circle of friends, three have received a cancer diagnosis this past year. In the past six months, two friends have lost an adult child. As a person who struggles with depression I know how tightly the darkness can cling, wanting to swallow me whole at times. Maybe you, or someone you know, struggles as well. Whatever form darkness takes, the Father stands ready to envelope us in the light of His love, mercy, and grace. Oh, what a glorious light! There are no shadows, no shifting lights of “what if’s” in His light — only the purest form of love. One that would choose a temporal but excruciating cross so that we might not have to endure an eternal one. In this mug, place an unscented candle, perhaps wrapped in tissue paper, inside the mug. {Unscented because fragrance isn’t a friend to everyone, and we don’t want a candle scenting the mug.} On the note, simply write John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” It doesn’t get any more encouraging than that, unless you add a handwritten sentence letting the recipient know you are praying for him/her…and then pray.

For all of the above mug ideas, be sure to encourage the recipient to pass it on, and most importantly, stay sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. He may want to change it up…and if so, to God be the glory! These are simply ideas.

Is there one of the three above ideas that resonates with you today? If so, I love to hear about it. Please share in the comment section. Thank you!

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When Ministry Begins With a Simple Mug

A Cup of EncouragementIt needed a creative title. Or so I thought until this verse came to mind.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” Hebrews 13:3

Suddenly, having a carefully crafted title for this mini-ministry involving mugs didn’t matter all that much.

Because at every turn, we find people in need of encouragement.

So, how do we become more intentional in observing those around us who are in need of spiritual refreshment? Here are four ideas to get us started.

Pray. We can’t be everything to every person {Whew! What a relief!} but we can pray for the Holy Spirit to expand our spiritual vision and sharpen our discerning senses.

Watch. It’s one thing to pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes but it’s another to remain alert to His workings. When we pray, we’re to do so in expectation that He will answer. We don’t know how or when, but why bother praying if we’re not going to believe He is at work in and through those prayers? Yes, we pray first, but then we remain alert⎯sensitive⎯to what God may doing around us each day.

Listen. We must spiritually-hone our listening skills. This may will mean talking less and listening more.

Act. As God leads, we must be willing to follow through with what He begins, whether that’s approaching a person letting them know we’re praying for them, fixing a meal for a busy mom, or simply sharing a mug filled with prayer and encouragement.

So, for the past several weeks, snippets of an idea have been forming into what I’m sharing today. I pray it will continue becoming whatever God wants it to be, but so far, it goes something like this.

   blogpurchasemug
Purchase a mug. TJ Maxx and Ross offer an array of mugs, all under 5.00 each. Ideally, I try to spot one with scripture as we know God’s Word never returns void. He alone knows how His words brimming with life will touch another.

blogpraymug

Pray over it. Who might God want to encourage through this small gesture of caring? Pray, trust, and act.

blogfillmug

Fill it. Two things will be included in my mugs. A note letting the recipient know I’m praying for them, along with a specific scripture reference, and an inexpensive but thoughtful treat to enjoy during their time with God. Practically anything can be shared in the mug {more on this next week!}. One of my mugs is filled with tea bags and another one, Hershey kisses. {Next week I’ll share ways to tie simple items to scripture.}

blogsharemugShare it. You can hand it to the person, leave it on their doorstep, or mail it. In the past, I’ve left gifts on friend’s front door stoops with a gift signed simply from Jesus, because ultimately, the glory is all His anyway for it is His love that compels us to love in return.

blogpassitonEncourage the recipient to purchase another mug and pass that mug on to another person. This could be written on the card that you’ll enclose, or you can share the idea when you hand it off.

Consider how many people in our community could be encouraged by a simple mug and a sincere gesture.

Ministry in a mugThe author of Hebrews exhorts us to encourage one another daily because he knew the weight of this world would beat heavy on our exhausted souls.

The sooner we stop believing the lie that we must offer some grand gesture to make a difference, the sooner more souls will find rest⎯the kind of rest a good, good Father desires for His children.

Cou●rage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

So, who do you know, or who will you cross paths with this week, that is need of mental or moral strength to be the spouse, parent, son, daughter, friend, or fellow God-glory seeker He has called them to be? They might need a hug, financial assistance, babysitting help, or they might simply need encouragement in the form of a Psalm 46:10 moment, with mug in hand.

What’s one simple way you encourage others?

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Three Ways to Draw Closer to the Father

by Cathy Baker

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more.

and

There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.

He loves us, we love Him, and so it’s only natural to want to spend time together.

Ready to try something new? Me too!

{Be still and know that I am God. 
Psalm 46:10} 

Practice Psalm 46:10: Pour a steamy cup of coffee, bundle up, and head outside just as the sun begins to peek over the horizon. If you’re not up for a morning time of worship, practice the same at sunset. It’s simply about remaining still, soaking in God’s magnificent creative power, and recognizing Him for He truly is…and who we are in Him.

 

 

 {C. S. Lewis writes, “My own eyes are not enough for me, 
I will see through those of others.”}

See art as an act of worship. Visit a local museum, go to a poetry reading, watch a potter at work. See through their eyes. Then set aside some time to create your own art as an act of worship. Sing, write, color, paint, take photographs, try your hand at poetry. It’s just you and your Father. Enjoy!

 

 

 {“The
King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
}

Donate hours and/or clothes. I need to do more of this but no doubt, when I do, I sense God’s presence in very real ways and perhaps that’s no coincidence when we consider Matt. 25:40. One idea that came to mind while gathering goods for a local missions group recently was to pray for those who will receive the items. We don’t know who that person will be, but obviously God does.

Your turn! I would love to hear from you. Is there one idea that was shared today that you would consider trying, or would you consider sharing one of your own ideas with us in the comment section? Thank you!

You’ll not want to miss next Monday’s post as Lori Roeleveld will be guest posting. She’ll share some of her journey, including a peek into her one-on-one time with the Lord. It’s sure to be a tremendous blessing.

 

Decluttering of a Different Sort


by Cathy Baker

This month we’ve learned how things like accountability, choosing wise priorities, and organizing our evenings can help us make over our mornings. 

Today let’s talk decluttering.

Not the kind of clutter collecting in our closets, but the sort that lurks in the corners of our minds. For me, this tends to happen when I try to sweep unresolved situations under labels such as “I’ll deal with this when I have more time to think it through” or “Maybe if I ignore it long enough, it will go away.” Before I know it, mental clutter makes itself at home in my heart, making my true home feel like anything but. 

This requires decluttering of a different sort. 

I find that a cluttered mind often remains undetected until it begins spilling over the sides of my soul, revealing itself through an overall feeling of uneasiness, almost as if I’m being suffocated by my circumstances.

While a hefty bag goes a long way in helping to clear closet clutter, the only help for the kind of clutter we’re talking about today comes from the LORD. 

I lift my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1, 2 
When I recently found myself in a discombobulated state of mind, I knew I needed to go back to the basics:
  • Get quiet before the Lord. (Psalm 46:10)
  • Release the burdens. I sometimes do this by writing each one down on a piece of paper, praying through each one, and then disposing of it. (Matt. 11:28)
  • Receive His peace. (Phil. 4:7) It’s our choice as to whether or not we want to walk around with either cluttered or clear, sound minds. Our God is not one of chaos or confusion but clarity and purpose. 
I think we can agree that quality time with the Lord far surpasses anything we’ve touched on this month when it comes to making the most of our mornings, and our days.
Whether you’re stopping by today for the first time or you’ve joined me for the entire September series (thank you!), you’re invited to leave a comment, and in doing so, you’ll automatically be in the running for this uber-cool writing journal*, just waiting to be enjoyed by you during your morning hours! The random drawing will take place next Monday, October 5th.
One way I’m learning to make the most of my mornings is to: _____________________.

And speaking of October, I’m once again joining the 31 Day Challenge to blog everyday. This year’s theme? 31 Ways to Fall in Love With Fall. Hope you’ll join me on this journey beginning Thursday!

*US readers only

The Scent of A God-Infused Whisper + Tea Cup Giveaway!

by Cathy Baker

Writing about the whispers of God this month has been both a joy and well, a challenge. I learned His whispers rarely tended to speak above a hush, and certainly didn’t try to contend with the clatter of my cluttered days.


Be still and know that I am God. 
Psalm 46:10
As we close out this series and begin a new one in April, {Whee!} I would like to offer a tea cup and saucer from my own collection to help someone settle in to their stillness time with God. 

There’s something about preparing a cup of tea (especially when using loose leaves) that brings a bustling day to its knees. Bringing the tea kettle to a whistle, allowing the tea to steep, and slowly sipping the warm beverage. By the time you’re settled in your comfy chair, with tea in hand, you’re ready to revel in God-infused stillness.

Marked: Gold in China, Made in Japan

If you’d like the opportunity to win this beautiful cup and saucer (my picture doesn’t do the vivid fuchsia flush of the flower or the light green rims justice), you need only leave a comment on the blog sharing which post in our March series you resonated with the most. (US participants only) 

Click the purple shaded area at the bottom of this post to leave the comment. (If you have any problems, please email me via the envelope icon on the sidebar.)

Contest will end Monday, April 6th. I’ll use random.org to draw a name and the winner will be announced that day via Facebook. (Good luck!)  

Beginning this Wednesday, April 1st, we’ll begin a NEW series:

Tiny House on the Hill

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