Praising Him in the Hall

Last summer, while I was living with my dad in Southeast Texas, I had the privilege of preaching every week for my friends at the West Orange Christian Church. There was a poster in a hallway in their building that said, “While you’re waiting for God to open a door, praise Him in the Hall.”

Good advice.

For the past several months, I have been looking for a ministry job. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard – after all, I keep hearing about a nationwide shortage of pastors. And I’m not hard to please. All I want is the opportunity to work with a local church, preach and teach the scripture every week, and make a living to support myself and my family.

Unfortunately, whether it’s because of my “advanced” age – I’ll be 62 in a few months – or because I don’t neatly “fit in” to a traditional denomination, or some other reason, I’m not hearing anything back from the numerous applications and resumes that I’m sending out. And I’m talking a LOT of applications. It’s very discouraging. And certainly, very depressing.

Meanwhile, I still like to eat, and I still have bills to pay, so I’ve had to go back to a career that I thought I had left in my past – retail sales. I’m working at the Mall of Abilene, at J.C. Penney’s. I like Penney’s, and I especially like the heritage of the store’s history. When Mr. James Cash Penney first opened his store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, it was part of a chain known as the “Golden Rule Store.” It’s good work, I like serving customers, and I’m enjoying getting to know my co-workers. As one of the oldest “sales associates” on the floor, I’m finding that my background and experience in sales give me a different perspective on the meaning of “customer service.” And I’m enjoying that, too.

Make no mistake: I still want to return to a full-time job as a minister, to be part of the team at a missions organization, or to do some other kind of work specifically for the Kingdom of God. At the same time, I don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that I’ll serve God “later,” or to fail to see the ways I can serve Him, and others, now.

The Bible class I get to teach at our church remains a rewarding, fulfilling part of every week, as does the Sunday night Bible study I share with several good friends. And the opportunities to witness and minister at my everyday job are becoming more and more precious to me.

Whether it’s a kind word, a listening ear, or a Christian example, I’m rediscovering lots of ways to live out my faith in the “secular” workplace. So while I am more than ready for God to open the right door for a full-time ministry position, He is teaching me, by His grace, to praise Him in the hall.

Overcoming Fear

Here’s a question for you: what is the most negative, most destructive, most harmful emotion? There certainly is no shortage of candidates to consider – anger, hatred, pride, just to name a few – but in my opinion, the worst of all has to be fear.

For example, have you noticed how many television commercials make their appeal by trying to stoke your fear? A majority of money management and investment ads fall into this category. They’re trying to make you afraid of outliving your money, or not being able to “keep up your lifestyle,” or some other vague concept to threaten you and make you afraid.

Insurance companies excel at this, promising to protect you from “mayhem,” and the fear that arises from the unknown and unexpected. We enjoy spending time on social media, but then are horrified to discover that personal information has been shared without our permission. Our elected officials give lengthy speeches that pump up our fears and appeal to our basest natures. A recent study by a major university found that an overwhelming majority of gun owners point to “being afraid” as their number one reason for buying weapons – and especially buying multiple weapons.

Last summer’s hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and mudslides affected millions of us, and made us realize how helpless we are to prevent natural disasters, and how susceptible we are to becoming a victim. And fear grows.

We are living in a society that is drowning in fear – fear of running out of money, fear of burglars, fear of disasters, fear of “others.” We are afraid of dying, and afraid of living too long. We are afraid of the government, afraid of corporations, and afraid of each other.

It’s my opinion that this fear is destroying the very fabric of our society.

We need to realize this type of paralyzing, crippling fear is not new. In fact, one of the most frequently quoted phrases in the Bible is, “Do not fear” – by some counts, that phrase appears 365 times in the scripture. And it’s clear from the Holy Word that while fear may be common and understandable, it doesn’t have to rule our lives. Consider –

  • For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim. 1:7)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa. 41:10)
  • He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, … (Psa. 91:1-5)
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psa. 27:1)
  • When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (Psa. 56:3-4)
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

God wants to walk in peace, not fear. So how can we do that?

Recognize fear when it appears. It’s natural and normal – even healthy – to have a certain level of fear about the unknown, about new situations, or other unfamiliar circumstances, but we can’t let that fear paralyze us into inaction. When we are making a decision about something, we need to evaluate that choice, consider the pros and cons, seek the counsel of wise friends – then decide! We must not let the fear make the choice for us.

Pray. In Philippians 4:6, Paul says “Don’t be anxious about anything; instead, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. We need to cultivate our relationship with God so that we can stay in touch with Him about every situation of our lives.

Stay positive. One of the most important techniques for battling fear is to fill our minds with positive and encouraging thoughts. Please don’t misunderstand: I am not suggesting any strategy that ignores reality. But as believers we must be filling our hearts and minds with the teaching of the Scriptures, the encouragement of Christian music, and the help of the Holy Spirit and godly friends, so that we are not vulnerable to falling into fear and despair. Remember that the first time God appears to Joshua after the death of Moses, three times in that conversation, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:6-9).

Plan well but realize… Nothing I am saying here should be interpreted as if I am against planning or preparation. By all means, we should plan and be as ready as humanly possible. We should try and anticipate possibilities and be as prepared as possible for any situation. But at the same time, we must remember that we are not in charge, that sometimes situations and circumstances come that no one could have expected or prepared for. I say this as a survivor of Hurricane Harvey. In those situations when our planning fails, let us not fall into fear, but let us know that our God is still bigger than our circumstances, that it has not taken HIM by surprise, and that He is with us, through everything.

Let us, then, have full confidence that we do not need to be anxious, that we can face each day and every situation knowing that He is with us, and that we need not fear. Strength and courage!

Remembering a Very Special Trip

Today – February 10 – is the anniversary of a day that is very special to me, part of a very special trip that I was blessed to take, nine years ago in February. (If you would like to read the details about the trip, and the miraculous way God worked it so that I COULD go, see “Visiting Israel,” from this blog for Feb. 18, 2013.)

February 10 was my favorite day in Israel.  We started out driving up to the top of the traditional site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.  It was very cloud and misting rain that day, but this picture shows the side of the mountain sloping down to the Sea of Galilee below.

Then it was on to the coastline itself, to the area where it’s believed that Jesus cooked breakfast for the disciples after His resurrection  (John 21), and then He and Peter went for a walk along the beach – “Feed my sheep.”

We went to Jesus’ adopted hometown of Capernaum next.  Words cannot really describe how special this part of the trip was for me.  We know about more miracles per square foot that took place there, than any other place In Israel.  The synagogue leader’s daughter, and the woman with the issue of blood.  The centurion’s servant, and the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him down through the roof.  Peter’s mother-in-law, and a miraculous catch of fish.  And on, and on, and on – yet most of the people did not believe.  (This picture shows Pastor David leading us in our morning devo, in a little park just outside the ruins of the synagogue there.)

Something very special and personal happened to me while we were in Capernaum. (This picture shows me standing in the synagogue there.) I began to think about all that Jesus did there, and all the stories from the Gospels – inviting Peter and the others to become “fishers of men,” visiting Matthew’s tax collecting booth, teaching in the synagogue, and more.

Capernaum is not a very big place – the entire village would easily fit on the campus of ACU – and all the spots where these things happened were just yards from where I was standing.  Here’s the weird part: it was almost as if I could see the faces of all the Sunday School teachers that I had when I was a kid, and I could almost hearing them telling me those stories again.  And here I was, standing in the midst of where all those things happened.

I had never felt the Spirit of Jesus more keenly than I did in that moment.

After lunch in Tiberias, we went to the museum of “The Jesus Boat” – a truly stunning archeological discovery of a wooden fishing boat from the time of Christ, very typical of the kind of boats Jesus and the disciples would have used. I won’t go into how they discovered and preserved this boat, but it’s a fascinating story.

From there, we walked down to the lake (AKA, the Sea of Galilee), and boarded a small motorized boat of our own, for a ride out on that famous body of water. (We call it the Sea of Galilee, but it’s actually a freshwater lake.)

Brenton Dowdy began leading us in worship, but in just a matter of moments, the weather changed from a sunny, pretty, spring-like afternoon, to a cold, windy, rainy day!

Remember those stories in the gospels about storms coming up suddenly? Well, God let us see one in action. (That’s rain you’re looking at in the picture – and a few whitecaps!)

Finally, with the day winding down, we drove south to where the lake empties into the Jordan River. There, many of us chose to be baptized in the Jordan. It was cold and still raining, but it was a very special, sacred moment, and the perfect close to a wonderful day.

For my part, I still hope to return to Israel some day, maybe even to lead a group over there. It is no exaggeration to say that the things we saw, and the experience of being there, continue to shape and inform every sermon I preach and every lesson I write. I thank God for the opportunity to go, and I still pray blessings over the anonymous friend (or friends) who made it possible for me to go.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.’ Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem… Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:1, 2, 6.)

 

Starting Over

Hi. It’s been a while, but I’m back. Thanks for being here.

As some of you know, I haven’t posted anything in a while; in fact, I haven’t posted anything new since I returned to Abilene, following the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. To be honest, I was feeling so overwhelmed by circumstances that I was unsure of how to proceed.

Back in mid-October, I went to work for Glenn & Carol Dromgoole at Texas Star Trading Company in downtown Abilene. They are wonderful people, and I really enjoyed working there, even though it was only a seasonal job. But because it WAS a seasonal job, that position ended once we got past Christmas and the annual inventory.

Meanwhile, dad remains in a nursing home in Lewisville while the Orangefield house is being rebuilt. My brothers Jimmy & David – along with lots of volunteers and some INCREDIBLY generous help from some of our cousins – have made great progress on the house, but it’s still probably going to be March or April before it will be ready. And since I can’t afford to twiddle my thumbs until then, I’m back on the job market.

Anybody have a good opening for a 60-something pastor?

I’ve been doing a lot of praying lately, and a lot of soul-searching, for what kind of job I want, and I’ve reached an obvious decision: I feel like God is leading me back into full-time ministry; I just don’t know where. So I have been polishing up my resume, and searching for open church opportunities. I am firmly convinced that if this is, in fact, what God has in mind for us, He will open the right door.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in it, here’s my resume.

I would love to stay in West Texas – Kathy & I both really like living here, and we have so many great friends. But anyone who has been in professional ministry knows that moving to new areas and making new friends is just part of that reality, so we will see.

Meanwhile, God’s words to Joshua keep me going – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).

“No More Squinting”

My friend Kacy Latham wrote an interesting article the other day, entitled “No More Squinting.” She’s a good writer, and more often than not, I find myself agreeing with her. This time, I felt like she REALLY hit it out of the park. So with her kind permission, I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s worth thinking about.

No more squinting…

There were years that I drank a little to much of the “Hyper-Christian punch…”

You know the kind… Jesus is always coming back on this certain day…only to see it come and go without a rapture…

I lost my keys because “Satan was messing with me.”

Every bad thing from thunderstorms to temper tantrums were caused by “demons.”

The biggest thing was a buzzword that was misused… A lot.

Discernment.

I believe that normal discernment is very important.

Discernment can be a code-word for sanctioned fear or rejection of all things unfamiliar. This is just a cover for fear. It makes good-hearted Christians act like snotty mean brats. It also draws a big line in the sand, marking our right to shun and judge others.

This fear of being “polluted by the world,” caused me to view everything through a very narrow lens.

Movies were scoured for secular humanistic messages. Pop songs were judged for glorifying lust and sin and other people (even other kinds of Christians) were always “suspect.”

Well, there comes a time when you get tired of “squinting.” You get tired of fretting. You get tired of your darn closed mind…

This isn’t the “freedom” we sang about.

So I stopped “squinting.” And it has been the best move of my life. In the same way I can marvel at the beauty in a perfect spiderweb, I can also enjoy the painting made by my friend who is Muslim. I can make an extra effort to smile and genuinely engage with the transgender woman behind the counter at Walgreens, without fear, without condemnation or the need to invite her to church!

My vision not so restrictive and cynical now…

I am not God; it’s not my job to reject people. It’s okay to be fellow human.

Quoting those “heathen” musicians, The Beatles, I’ve decided to “Let it be.”

Quoting Freddy Mercury, that homosexual, “open your eyes, look up to the sky… And SEE.”

I honestly don’t think your faith will be damaged by reading Harry Potter, listening to Kendrick Lamar, having a Halloween party, or watching a movie like “Life of Pi” which alludes to Universalism…

Faith should be robust and mystical…

Not rigid and easily shattered

We really can relax.

Opening our eyes makes us wiser… It makes us kinder and more loving… It’s okay to relax and appreciate strange new things.

I’m done with “squinting.” It’s a fear based prison… And the opposite of what real faith and love ought to be. ❤

Everyday Heroes

They are all around us, and we see them every day, even if we don’t always recognize them for who they are.

Everyday Heroes.

Surely you have seen these people. You might even be one yourself. If so, thank you.

Who are they?

They are the firefighters who run INTO burning buildings, when everyone else is running out. They are the police officers who run TOWARDS the sound of gunfire. They are the nurses who help patients with unpleasant symptoms, especially when those patients can’t help themselves.

They are the teachers who buy school supplies out of their own pockets and offer encouraging words to struggling students. They are the pastors who quietly sit with families that have gotten bad news. They are the linemen who climb utility poles in the cold and wet, so the rest of us can stay warm and dry.

They often go unsung, unnoticed and unappreciated. They watch as our society cheers athletes, rock stars, actors – people most of us will never interact with or personally know. But our everyday heroes hear no cheering crowds, and nobody is paying them much attention. And yet, every day, day after day, they quietly go about their business of helping other people, being a friend, making a difference.

They are Mr. Holland. They are George Bailey.

Surely you have known such people. A Sunday School teacher. A little league coach. A Scout leader. They are the folks who get involved in other people’s lives in a positive way and make a difference. They’re not flashy, and they’re not celebrated. But they’re remembered as the people who care.

And here’s the good news: we can all be in that category, if we’re willing to take a moment, to offer a kind word or a shoulder, or a sympathetic ear. I was a pastor for a long time, and I’m convinced that when tragedy strikes, people don’t remember very many of the things that people said. But they remember who was there.

You can be a hero today. Somewhere around you right now, a kid needs a mentor. A neighbor needs a friend. A co-worker needs someone to talk to. Meals on Wheels needs drivers. You can do that. We all can. Jesus said that if all we do is offer a cup of cold water in his name, we would certainly be rewarded in his kingdom.

It’s not too late to put this on your list of things to do for 2016: Be a more caring person. Give a damn. Get involved. Make a difference.

We need all the heroes we can get.

Slow Down

(Thanks to Keith Roberson, North Campus Pastor at Beltway Park, for kick-starting my thinking along these lines.)

It won’t come as a galloping surprise to anyone if I say, we’re busy. We’re all busy.

Duh.

And that busy-ness only gets worse during the holidays. Here it is, the first week of December, and my family already has somewhere to be, every night this week. And it’s going to continue like that for the whole month, right up until the 25th. Of course, by the time Christmas Day actually, finally, mercifully, gets here, we’re so exhausted that we won’t be able to appreciate it. So Christmas becomes something to be endured, rather than enjoyed.

Stop this train. I want to get off.

Nobody WANTS to hate Christmas. The truth is, most people enjoy many of the things associated with the season, but we utterly despise – and absolutely reject – the crass merchandising of the holiday, the cynicism of too-slick marketing, the packaging of warm fuzzies as if they were so many beans for sale on a store shelf somewhere.

Slow down. Nobody said it had to be this way.

I’m not going to tell you that you have to stay home from the office Christmas party, or not to exchange gifts with cousin Freddie, or skip putting up the outdoor decorations. But I AM suggesting that we all stop and think about what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. And maybe that DOES mean, simplifying our schedules and cutting back on some things, in order to focus on better things.

Almost everyone likes SOMETHING about Christmas. The music. The food. Spending time with family or friends. So, how about we focus on doing the things we enjoy, and skip (or at least, minimize) the rest of it?

If it’s Christmas music you like, give yourself permission to spend more time listening to it. Do you like Christmas movies? Skip one of the endless parties, make some hot chocolate and popcorn, and stay in with “White Christmas” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Or even, “A Christmas Story,” if that’s your thing. (Just don’t put your eye out!)

Do you like to cook or bake? Whip up a batch of your favorite holiday snack treat – chocolate chip cookies, peppermint bark, Chex mix, whatever – and enjoy. Share some with friends. And don’t forget to take some to your neighbors.

Do you have little ones, kids or grandkids, that you can spend some time with? Find a way to make some Christmas memories for them. Think back to your own childhood: what was most special to you? Many folks remember something fun and special that their family did. So now, it’s your turn to help your young ones have some special memories of their own. But it’s not about the stuff – it’s about the time.

I’m suggesting we skip maxxing out our credit cards and over-scheduling ourselves into a holiday frenzy, and instead, slow down, think about what this season is all about, and spend some quality time with the people who matter in our lives. Share a second cup of coffee with a companion. Reach out to a friend. Don’t just forward another mindless Facebook meme about “the reason for the season” – let the Spirit of the Christ-child living in and through you be evident to everyone.

We can start by spending a little time in the Christmas Story as found in Luke 2. Notice that after the shepherds come for their visit, verse 19 says that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Treasuring memories. Pondering them. Works for me.

“Falling” Opportunities

I love October. It’s my favorite month, and not just because of my birthday.

I enjoy the changing seasons, and the promise of approaching holidays. Beyond that, October brings with it numerous opportunities to reach out to neighbors, to connect – or reconnect – with those around us.

The cooler weather is perfect for going for a walk through your neighborhood. This, in turn, provides opportunities to bless your neighbors through something called a prayer walk.

A prayer walk simply means to walk around your neighborhood, praying as you go. (Some of us had to learn that it’s okay, at least in these circumstances, to pray with our eyes OPEN!) Just pray for your neighbors – by name, if you know it. If not, God knows who lives in that house, and He’s okay with you just offering a basic prayer of blessing over that home and all who live there. Don’t forget to ask God for discernment about how to pray for people.

While you’re out walking, you may meet some of your neighbors who are also out for a walk. Engage them in conversation, and if the opportunity arises, ask them how you can pray for them. (This may seem somewhat unusual, but very few people will object to having someone pray for them!)

Another idea – autumn, of course, means falling leaves and tree limbs. Are there senior adults that you know of who could use some help in cleaning up their yard? It doesn’t have to be an all day job. Just a few minutes raking and picking up small, dead branches can go a long way towards improving the overall appearance of a yard. And I’m sure it will be warmly appreciated.

One of my favorite things about fall is that we get to eat more delicious “comfort” food – soups, stews, chili, etc. The next time you make a pot of stew or chili, why not take a bowl of it over to an older adult or other neighbor? Or better yet, invite them into your home to share a meal together. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and in reaching out to them as a friend, you may just make a friend yourself.

Do you like to bake? Perhaps you could make some Halloween cookies or pumpkin bread and take some to the neighbors around you. Almost everyone loves home-baked goodies, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself and begin a conversation.

Every new season brings with it opportunities and challenges for reaching out, making friends, being a good neighbor – these are just a few suggestions that I have used. Try it! And who knows? Your new friends may just be waiting for you to knock on their door.

Lessons from Guatemala

I’m just back from a week in Guatemala. Why I went there is a story 40 years in the making.

Lori PinneyWhen I 12 or 13, I met a young woman named Lori Pinney. We were about the same age, but because of how our birthdays fell, she was a year ahead of me in school. She and her family lived in a neighboring town, where her dad was the preacher of the Christian Church there. We would see each other at various area church functions, summer youth camps, and other activities.

We both ended up going to Dallas Christian College, where we had many classes together. She was something of a trailblazer, because she was a Bible and ministry major, at a time when girls just didn’t do that sort of thing – but she did, and she did it well.

Lori ended up on the faculty at Colegio Biblico, a ministry training school in Eagle Pass, Texas, and she eventually met and married a young preacher from Guatemala, Eugenio (Queno) Nij. In 1985, they moved back to Guatemala, where they have lived and raised a family and worked ever since.

(There’s a whole story about Queno being falsely accused and framed for murder and being wrongly imprisoned until an international outcry finally compelled authorities to release him, but that’s another story for another day.)

Even back in our days at DCC, Lori’s passion was Christian education – but she never expected how God would use that calling. After being involved with different kinds of service, in 2001 she led in the establishment of the Morning Glory Christian Academy. What began as two rooms and 90 students is now six buildings, 35 faculty and nearly 700 students!

I have been asked to serve on the board of directors that oversees Morning Glory, and so I felt it was important for me to go to Guatemala and see the work for myself. Thanks to some very generous friends here, I was able to go, and I’m really glad I did, because I have learned some important lessons in the process.

Building relationships is the most important thing. Lori’s version of Morning Glory’s mission statement is short and sweet – “Morning Glory exists to build relationships that change lives.” When Jesus was asked about the most important commandment, remember what He said? “Love God; love neighbors.” It all boils down to relationships. How we nurture and grow those relationships is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

Make the most of what you have. Guatemala is a poor country, but some of the friendliest, most hospitable people I’ve ever met. I saw lots of small gardens, as families take advantage of even tiny pieces of ground to grow food. Space on a flat rooftop becomes a great place for a clothesline to dry clothes. Just about every home has a tank for collecting rainwater. Their approach to life is a great reminder that we can either whine about what we don’t have, or be thankful for what we DO have, and get busy making the most of it.

Don’t make excuses. Bless her heart, Lori has a number of serious health issues – most significantly, a life-threatening thyroid condition that causes weight problems and many other health-related complications. A lot of people would let stand in their way and become an excuse. But not that Texas girl! It makes me aware of how easily we can make excuses and let little things stop us.

new friendsI hope you’re not tired of hearing about Guatemala, because I’m certainly not done talking about it. I’ll be telling you more about the school, the kids, and how you can get involved, if you’re interested. But for now, I will just invite you to join me in praying for Morning Glory, for their students and faculty, for my friend Lori, her family, and her health.

Morning Glory is a great work, and I’m honored to be associated with it.

 

The Most Important Words

Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” In other words, just as the right accessory can beautifully frame a piece of jewelry, so the right word at just the right time can make a big difference to someone who needs to hear it.

Additionally, James 3:9-10 reminds us, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” All of us can think of people in our lives who have had a big influence over us, who always seemed to be able to say just the right thing at the right time. We can also remember times when we have been wounded by the careless words of someone whose opinion mattered to us.

The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is very mistaken. As we enter the new year, let’s remember that the words we use make a big difference to those who hear them — sometimes with the power to build up, but other times with a terrible power to hurt or tear down.

Many people are familiar with a document called “A Short Course in Human Relations.” It was a list of what the writer considered the most important words and phrases that we can use in dealing with other people.  After reflecting on this, and with an eye towards beginning the new year by being more mindful of the power of “a word fitly spoken,” here are my suggestions for the most important words we can say to each other:

 

  • Please.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I love you.
  • Thank you.
  • Let me help.
  • You can do it!
  • I made a mistake.
  • What do you think?
  • You did a good job.
  • We (As opposed to I, me, my or mine)

 

May we all be known as people who build up others with words of encouragement! God’s richest blessings on you and yours for a prosperous, safe and happy 2015.