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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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Date Nights and Fall Buckets

by Cathy Baker

Friday nights around the Baker house means date night! 

Tonight, after we trek over to Moe’s (hubster’s favorite place) we’ll make our regular rounds to TJ Maxx and perhaps a bookstore. Yep, we empty nesters know how to whoop it up on a Friday night. See what so many of you have to look forward to? 🙂

But wait…the excitement continues! (Actually, if you’re a list-lover such as myself, you know I mean this in all seriousness.) Later tonight, we’ll pull out a sheet of paper and take turns listing ten things we’d each like to add to our Fall Bucket List. Here are a few of mine: 

  • Start a walk/run regime. (I just got clearance from the doctor!) What better time to begin an outdoor exercise than the Fall? 
  • Go to the Pumpkin Patch with the grand kids. I mean, could anything top this? 
  • Put on my flannel PJ’s, pop my favorite corn, turn on my heated throw blanket (best purchase EVER!), and watch all the original Pride and Prejudice’s (with Colin Firth, the one and only Mr. Darcy in my book) in a row…with the lights out. Remember one of the final scenes where they finally confess their love for one another? It’s a beautiful Autumn scene! But then again, I have to admit I’m a little distracted by the pools of affection catching light in Mr. Darcy’s eyes around that same time. Just sayin’.

It’s time to fall in love with Fall all over again and one way to accomplish this is for us to become more intentional. Just as we could list the many reasons we love someone, let’s list a few things we love and appreciate about Fall so we can make the most of our time. 

 
So now it’s your turn! What’s one Fallish delight that will be added to your Fall Bucket List this October? 

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 16 }

Could you use a fresh start? I could. 

Every. Single. Day. 

It’s for this reason I snatched the mug below off the TJ Maxx shelf lickety split. Yes, my eye caught the contrast between the white matte finish and sleek cool gray interior but it was the wording that prompted me to peel out a few bucks and make it mine.

Score! Thanks, TJ Maxx.

The words Fresh Start immediately brings Lamentations 3:22,23 to mind. It’s a verse I mention often, maybe because I so desperately need it.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Obviously, the truth of receiving fresh mercy from a holy God each and every morning is reason enough to awaken with a grateful heart, but when I rewind to consider the motivation behind it all, I’m blown away by God’s faithfulness.

Thankfully, the “why” has nothing to do with me or you, our performance or lack thereof. It’s all God. His love motivates our rescue every single day. The only thing that consumes and covers us today is God’s compassion. 

So, when the coffee perks and the coffee cup clinks tomorrow morning, let us remember Lamentations 3. Savor it, receive it, and walk in the freedom God offers us 24/7. 

Staying in Step with the Spirit: A grateful heart never fails to move closer to the One of morning promises. 

Heavenly Father, may the gratefulness pooling in our hearts spring forth into action today. 

What does it mean to you personally to know that the moment you awoke this morning fresh mercy awaited? 

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }
{ Day 13 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase

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