Tag: encouragement


Sunday Inspiration: You Can Start Again

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. I hope these posts from various resources will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to paNASH’s weekly original career posts. Enjoy!

No doubt 2020 has been a tough year. So much has been lost, including life and livelihoods. If you feel beaten down by the past year, there is hope. You can start again despite what’s been lost.

Below is a reminder of what starting again can look like. I hope you find it encouraging as we close out one of the worst years in our lifetimes, and start a new and hopefully better one.

You can start again

“Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.”  Pr 24:16 NIV

On the night of December 9, 1914, Edison Industries was destroyed by fire. The loss exceeded two million dollars, along with the majority of Thomas Edison’s work. He was insured only for $238 because the buildings were constructed of concrete, which was thought to make a building fireproof.

At sixty-seven years of age, the great inventor watched his life’s work go up in flames. The next morning after firefighters had finally brought the inferno under control, he surveyed his charred dreams and crushed hopes.

As he looked at the scene, he said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

Three weeks after the fire, Edison produced one of his greatest inventions: the first phonograph. Try to imagine the world of music and entertainment without it!

The Bible says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

With God on your side you can begin again because the power to do it resides within you. It’s the same power that raised Christ from the dead (See Ro 8:11).

Paul prayed for believers at Ephesus: “That out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Eph 3:16 NIV).

Where is your strength? “In your inner being.”

He continues: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph 3:20 NIV).

So the word for you today is—you can start again.

I’m starting again

In August I took a break from posting these bi-weekly Sunday Inspirations. But now I’m starting again! I hope you’ll check in every couple of weeks for a word of encouragement.

Here’s wishing you a happier new year!

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/you-can-start-again-3

Sunday Inspiration: The Encouragement of Solitude

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a Sunday devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. This edition of “Sunday Inspiration” is an excerpt from my newly-released book, a 30-day devotional entitled Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a SUP (Hilliard Press). The book is available online through Hilliard Press and on Amazon (profits go to support my mission trip to Brazil with Justice & Mercy Amazon).

Day 23:  The Encouragement of Solitude

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. (Luke 5:16 NASB)

One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of encouragement. In every type of professional work I’ve done, I’ve been able to use my gift to serve my clients and my students. Likewise, in certain friendships and relationships, I’ve had the opportunity to give comfort and confidence to others in times of sorrow and anxiety, and have also had it reciprocated. To get to operate in my spiritual gift is an encouragement to me.

I remember listening to a podcast series by a well-respected pastor on the topic of encouragement. He said that people are in more need of reassurance and relief today than ever in the history of the world. He described different ways we can be an encouragement to others, and how we can be an encouragement to ourselves when we need it most. The pastor said one way we can reassure and restore ourselves is through solitude.

Solitude may be something some people are uncomfortable with, but I’ve learned to relish it, even when I don’t feel like being alone. Here’s what the pastor had to say about solitude:

God used certain people in a mighty way, but before He could, He had to teach them to be alone, teach them what isolation was all about. There is ministry in solitude and if we don’t learn how to cultivate that, we will have a very difficult time encouraging ourselves in the Lord. To be quiet so you can talk to God and so God can talk to you. King David understood the importance of getting alone, and so did Jesus. If a man considers his time to be so valuable that he cannot find time to keep quiet and to be alone, that man will eventually be of no value to anyone. To spend all of one’s time with people is soon to have nothing to give any of them of any value. ~Dr. David Jeremiah

For me, there are a few things I do in solitude that serve as a big encouragement for me. First and foremost, it’s reading the Word at the start of each day and recording in my journal what I think God is saying to me through His Word, as if He were talking directly to me. (Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 NIV) When I later go back and read what I’ve recorded, it’s often what I needed to be reminded of at exactly that point in time, or it’s to confirm that He did what He promised He would do.

The sounds of nature are also an encouragement to me. Being alone outside, especially paddling on the water, is soothing for me. God’s Word reminds me of the hope I have in Him, while being on the water makes me forget my sorrows and anxieties, at least for those few hours. The rhythm of the paddle strokes, coupled with the sounds of the water and the birds, make everything just melt away for me.

I love paddling on my own when I’m feeling discouraged (which was how I was feeling the day I wrote this). But I also enjoy paddling with a friend or a group who can also serve as an encouragement. I hope whoever is reading this is finding encouragement from the words God has put on my heart to share.

What are your own spiritual gifts (take the spiritual gifts test)? How are you using them, and are you getting encouragement from using them in various areas of your life? Spend some time in solitude to reflect on how you can better fulfill your purpose.

Side Note

Just last weekend I took a retreat on my own that required complete silence and solitude. It was a reminder of just how true the words of this post are. I encourage you to find time, even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, to get alone and be with yourself and with God. You’ll return to your daily routine refreshed and renewed.

Purchase the entire 30-day devotional

If you enjoyed this excerpt, I invite you to purchase the entire book. If you’re local to Nashville, you’re also invited to my book signing on June 24th, 11am to 1pm, at Paddle Up (525 Basswood Ave., Nashville, TN 37209) for popsicles, paddles, and paperbacks!

SUP

Books are $12 and the event includes a signed copy of my book, 15% off one paddle board rental the day of or any time during the 2017 season (courtesy of Paddle Up), and free Padrino’s Pops popsicles to the first 10 people!

If you can’t make it to the book signing, you can also purchase a copy online. Profits support Justice and Mercy International’s Amazon mission trips.

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Maintaining Positivity in the Face of Job Loss or Job Rejection

I applied for A LOT of jobs when I was looking for my first “real job” right out of grad school in the late ’90s. About 75 to be exact. And I got about 70 rejections. Rejection is difficult enough. But multiple rejections makes it nearly impossible to keep a positive attitude. Especially when you’re young and you’ve never experienced job rejection before.

I knew I had to find a way to not let it get me down, or else I’d develop a negative attitude that would be evident in my interviews. Going into a job interview with a negative attitude was sure to guarantee further rejection. I had to break the cycle before it started.

I decided for each rejection, I’d tell myself I was one step closer to the job that’s right for me. It also helped to think to myself, “If they don’t want me, why would I want to work for them?”

The Result of Positivity

I finally did get a job offer. It was working in two of my three areas of interest within my industry. I was promoted a year later and got to work in my third (and favorite) area, career development.

Interestingly, I originally applied for a director position even though I knew I wasn’t experienced enough since I was just coming out of grad school. I decided to apply any way, just to see what would happen.

While I got rejected for the director position (for obvious reasons — lack of experience), they called me and said the assistant director position was also open and asked if I would be interested in interviewing for it. I was, I did, and I was hired. A year later I became a director.

This goes to show that sometimes you can apply for jobs you’re not fully qualified for because you never know what can happen!

The Power of Positivity

My mantras made a huge difference not only in my level of positivity, but also in my confidence. They worked so well, I’ve used them in other areas of my life and career. I repeat them when I don’t land I client I want to sign, or when a relationship doesn’t work out like I want it to.

I never knew at the time just how powerful this positive mindset would be throughout my career. I’ve always worked as a career adviser in various capacities. Often I have to encourage my clients who’ve been laid off from their jobs or who are experiencing rejection in their job search. I share with them the same mantras that helped me. Also I remind them that, while they’ve lost their job, they haven’t lost their ability to work.

One client in particular was feeling very angry about being laid off. But after sulking for a few days, she decided to change her view of her situation. She decided instead of calling herself “unemployed” she’d call herself “FUNemployed!” I loved this and encouraged her to embrace that attitude.

Allow Yourself Time to be “FUNemployed”

 
rejection
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Periods of unemployment can provide you the time to get some much-needed rest, spend more time with your family, improve your health, be creative with your time, and explore your passions. Consider it a gift, and take advantage of it while you can. There will always be more work to do.

Are you at a place of career transition where you need some guidance? Have you lost your job and need help with the job search? Or do you need help exploring other viable options other than going back to work for someone else? Let’s talk! Click here to complete the paNASH intake form and schedule a complimentary “Path to Purpose” session. I look forward to hearing from you!

Related post:  What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Job Loss

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Need Some Motivation?

We all need some motivation once in a while. One way I personally find motivation is through the collecting of inspirational quotes and blogs. If you need some motivation this week, feel free to see (and share!) what I’ve collected on my Pinterest board. You can also read some of my inspirational blog posts. See you next week for Thanksgiving!

Encourage Someone Today

Encouragement is something I love to dole out to people. It’s one of many things I provide my clients, and because it’s one of my spiritual gifts, it comes naturally to me. It’s amazing what an encouraging word can do for someone, and it’s even more amazing what it can do for the person giving it out.

A Balance of Encouragement

This reminds me of a post I wrote for my SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer blog last year. I had been out paddling with one of my friends and we decided to teach ourselves some maneuvers on our stand up paddle boards. These maneuvers included walking forward and backwards on our boards while still staying balanced on them in the water, a difficult challenge for just about every paddle boarder when first trying it.

My friend and I would occasionally look over to each other to see how we were both doing. She encouraged me as she saw me trying to walk (I wasn’t graceful, but instead looked like a baby taking its first steps). And while it felt good to have encouragement from her, it felt even better to encourage her! She was doing awesome, and I just kept saying, “There you go! You’ve got it!” Just saying those words to another person lifted my own spirits so high.

It’s Better to Give Than to Receive

So if you find yourself in need of some encouragement today, try to give some to someone else. You may just find the phrase “it is better to give than to receive” to be true not just for gift-giving. A genuine and thoughtful offer of encouragement can greatly reduce your own feelings of discouragement.

One way you can encourage your friends is to share the paNASH blog with them so they too can benefit from the many posts that provide positivity, encouragement, and direction for their own lives and careers.

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