Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 23, 2013

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."  Proverbs 27:17
Miss Thompson taught Teddy Stallard in the fourth grade. He was a slow, unkempt student, a loner shunned by his classmates. The previous year his mother died, and what little motivation for school he may have once had was now gone. Miss Thompson didn’t particularly care for Teddy either, but at Christmas time he brought her a small present. Her desk was covered with well-wrapped presents from the other children, but Teddy’s came in a brown sack. When she opened it there was a gaudy rhinestone bracelet with half the stones missing and a bottle of cheap perfume. The children began to snicker but Miss Thompson saw the importance of the moment. She quickly splashed on some perfume and put on the bracelet, pretending Teddy had given her something special. At the end of the day Teddy worked up enough courage to softly say, "Miss Thompson, you smell just like my mother and her bracelet looks real pretty on you too. I’m glad you like my presents."

After Teddy left, Miss Thompson got down on her knees and prayed for God’s forgiveness. She prayed for God to use her as she sought to not only teach these children but to love them as well

She became a new teacher. She lovingly helped students like Teddy, and by the end of the year he had caught up most of the students.

Miss Thompson didn’t hear from Teddy for a long time. Then she received this note: "Dear Miss Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class. Love, Teddy Stallard." Four years later she got another note: "Dear Miss Thompson, They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted you to be the first to know. The university has not been easy, but I liked it. Love, Teddy Stallard." Four years later: "Dear Miss Thompson, As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I wanted you to be the first to know. I am getting married next month. I want you to come and sit where my mother would sit if she were alive. You are the only family I have now; Dad died last year. Love, Teddy Stallard." Miss Thompson went to the wedding and sat where Teddy’s mother would have sat, because she let God use her as an instrument of encouragement.
That's a wise friend!
She encouraged Teddy!
She exhorted Teddy!
She empowered Teddy!
What sort of friend are you?
What sort of friends do you have?
Do you need to wise up in your friendships?

June 22, 2013

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
A wise friend is one who "rubs you the right way" and sharpens you as a friend and as a believer.
Friends sharpen one another by encouraging, by exhorting and by empowering.
Here are some ways that empowerment happens:

We typically think of fear as a negative emotion or the antithesis of faith. But fear can create tremendous motivation for you. For example, a healthy fear of disobeying God can motivate you to obey Him.

This humerous story illustrates the power of fear:

Late one night, a man had gone to a party and had too much to drink, so he decided it would be best to walk home. He found a shortcut through a poorly lit cemetery and, in the darkness, stumbled into an open grave. He tried to climb out but the walls were too slippery. Again and again he fell back into the grave.
Finally, in exhaustion, he settled in a corner to wait for sunlight.

A few minutes later, another man in the same condition was cutting through the cemetery and fell victim to the same grave. He, too, tried desperately to climb and claw his way out, and he was equally unsuccessful.

As he was about to give up in hopeless resignation, he heard a voice from the darkness of his pit: "You may as well give up. You’ll never get out of here."
But he did!


Remember learning to ride a bike or the first time you jumped off the diving board? You no doubt found the courage from the coaxing of a parent assuring you, "Come on! You can do it! I'm right here! I will help you!"

The four words, "You can do it!" or "I believe in you!" from a significant person have amazing power in the life of another! By means of your faith you can speak faith into another! You can believe in them and for them until they are able to believe themselves.

Faith is powerful!


You will do things for love that you woudn't do for money. That is the power of love!

Who would ever change a dirty diaper except for love?

Who would ever go to war except for love of country and love of freedom.

Love inspires and emboldens and empowers both the one who loves and the one loved.

Sometimes the love that empowers is tough love!

Recently I had to give my grandson some tough love and call him out in a certain area. Though it was a little hard for him to hear, he received it and made some changes. Later, he even thanked me for challenging him and asked me to continue calling out the best in him.

I will! I love him!

He will continue to receive it! He loves me!

Wisdom forms a firm foundation for friendship because it encourages and it exhorts and it empowers.

Don't settle for less.