May the God who gives endurance and encouragement
give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,
so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
ENCOURAGEMENT AND JOY
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we’re focusing on posts about encouragement and joy, posts that remind us to rejoice, be thankful, and encourage others with words and gifts. Some of the special days this month are National Pen Pal Day, National Say Something Nice Day, Worldwide Day of Giving, and National Day of Joy. When we find joy in God, we want to share it with others. One way we can do that is to speak kindness to one another!
In A Gift in 46 Words, Cindee Snider Re recounts the encouragement she received in words from a friend – how she felt seen, heard, and understood. Elyse Ogbourne shares how handwritten letters encourage her and give her hope in One Simple but Powerful Way to Spread Encouragement.
Listening can be a gift that greatly encourages someone, writes Sarah Zaske in Listening as a Way of Loving Others Like Jesus. Pamela Piquette discovered that giving took new forms when she could no longer give in the same way she did before illness. Her post Go, Stay and Give details how small things make a difference when we “give what we’ve got.”
Everyone needs joy. Bettie Gilbert’s devotional Seek to Cultivate a Joyous Sense of Thankfulness celebrates gratitude as one sure way to find joy. Readers can pray along with Bettie through the four prayers included in the post. In Rejoicing in God and His Gift of Joy, Curtis Almquist writes about different aspects of joy, including rejoicing in the Lord even in suffering: “There is something about facing the dark night that allows us to see the dawning of joy.”
OASIS OF HOPE
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we pray that God fills you with peace and love as you share in these personal stories. May each of you find encouragement and joy.
A Gift in 46 Words
We matter. Every person matters. She couldn’t have known what a gift she’d wrapped up in those 46 words, but they carried the fragrance of eternity. The love of the Father wrapped in the flesh of His child. Grace poured out, spilled over.
One Simple but Powerful Way to Spread Encouragement
Handwritten notes encourage me and fill me with hope. Putting pen to paper helps process my day, sort my thoughts, make room for new things.
Listening as a Way of Loving Others Like Jesus
While Jesus loved others well in a variety of ways, loving through listening was often his first move—and on that day I knew it should be mine.
Go, Stay and Give
Together has been an important word as I’ve invested my time in the ministry of Chronic Joy for the past years. Each day is filled with much learning for both my ministry partner, Cindee, and me – much leaning and pressing into the Father. He is building this ministry brick-by-brick, and we sense His pleasure as we give whatever we’ve got.
Seek to Cultivate a Joyous Sense of Thankfulness
When we seek to cultivate a joyous sense of thankfulness, it will change everything, our hearts, our outlook, and our prayers.
Rejoicing in God and His Gift of Joy
First, joy takes time. Joy is not fast food. It comes, I would say, as a by-product of living a savored life, of having time and taking time to “smell the flowers,” as we used to say. There is this old monastic insight about living a joy-filled life. Take time, take at least some time each day, to do one thing at-a-time.