Vickie, of Vickie’s Book Nook, nominated me for the Barnabas Award 2019. After praying about it, I decided to accept her nomination. So thank you, Vickie, for this honor, and for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit of my life and my testimony and some personal things about myself, too. All glory to God!
Vickie is one of my regular encouragers. I enjoy reading her blog, and I enjoy it when she participates in commenting on my blog, too, for there we are able to enjoy sweet fellowship in the Lord together. Vickie is very transparent and honest, and that is one of the things I really like about her. She often shares her heart and her struggles, but her faith in God, too.
As part of accepting this award, I am to list five things about myself, and then I am to answer the five questions that Vickie has asked of me. So…
Five things about myself:
1. I was born in the last six hours of the 1940s. So, I will be 70 years old this New Year’s Eve. I have two older brothers and I had two younger sisters, but the youngest one is now deceased, so I have one sister who is still living.
2. I grew up attending church services in a strong evangelical church denomination which taught holiness (same denomination as A. W. Tozer). And, I was taught early on how to study the scriptures, and how to hear from God personally through the reading of his Word.
3. I began teaching the Bible at age 16, first to children, then to youth, then to women, then to college students, and then on the internet. I was never the lecture type of teacher. I always taught interactively, asking questions, and teaching my students how to study the scriptures for themselves.
4. From early on, I took God and his Word seriously, so I was sometimes made fun of for being a “goody two shoes” or a “holy roller.” I wasn’t perfect, especially not as a child, but I did take the Lord seriously, and I was serious about my relationship with him most all of my life. I did have a time of backsliding, too, but the Lord brought me back. Amen!
5. I have been married to my husband for almost 47 years. We have four grown children who are married, and we have fourteen wonderful grandchildren. Our children and our grandchildren are a very important part of our lives. We love them all dearly.
1. What is your favorite thing to do in order to encourage others?
There are so many different ways I enjoy encouraging others, but the most important one to me is in sharing with them the promises in God’s Holy Word, to give them hope, and to bring healing to their troubled hearts; to show them the way to faith in Jesus Christ, too, so that they can be delivered from their bondage to sin and be free in Christ to walk with him in his holiness and righteousness, all in his power at work within them.
2. Where (what physical place) do you go when you are discouraged?
I have a room set aside where we live where I have my personal time with the Lord each day, and where I write devotions and songs and poems, too, under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. It is a place I can go and shut the door behind me so that I can be totally alone with God. I haven’t always had this, so this has been such a blessing to me. It is like my prayer closet, so to speak, where I can pour out my heart to the Lord, where I can cry and express to God how I feel, and where I can work through my emotions alone with my God where he can comfort me with his love.
3. What are the best words of encouragement that you have ever been given?
The best words of encouragement I have ever been given come straight from the Lord and from His Word. His Word is a continual source of encouragement to my heart. My Lord regularly speaks words of comfort, hope and healing to my heart and to my mind. He is always assuring me of his promises, of his faithfulness, and of his love, care, and watch over my life, and that he has a purpose for me, and that he is fulfilling that purpose even through the bad times and the good times.
4. Why do you encourage others?
What comes to mind here is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
This is the main reason I encourage others, because when I go through bad times, which have been many, God encourages and comforts me with his love. And, I encourage others because I know what it feels like to be hated, persecuted, rejected, mistreated, abused, betrayed, abandoned, falsely accused, misunderstood, taken advantage of, lied to, and cheated on, etc. And, I know what it is like to feel absolutely alone with no one to support or to encourage me, too, but to have many come against me at once.
So, I want to encourage others so that they are not without encouragement and so that they don’t feel alone and abandoned, and because I want them to know that there is hope, and there is healing for their wounded souls, and that there is a friend like no other who will never desert them, never fail them, never lie to them or about them, and who will walk with them through the dark times if they will just trust him with their lives. His name is Jesus.
5. What kind of activities do you enjoy that encourages you and others?
Blogging is probably on the top of my list, because here in the blogging community I am able to be used of God to encourage others, and they are able to encourage me, too. Thus, we are working as the body of Christ is supposed to function for the mutual building up of one another in the faith. And, we are able to enjoy such sweet fellowship with one another, too.
I also like to sing and to write songs to encourage others, too. This is not about having a great sound or beat or great instrumentation or voice. This is not about being on a professional level (according to humans), either, in performance. This is about using the voice God has given to me in my old age, as weak as it is, and even when it cracks sometimes or gives out on me, and using the gift of writing songs and lyrics the Lord has given to me to share with others for their spiritual encouragement.
I also enjoy helping others in need, taking them food I have cooked, driving them where they need to go, visiting the sick in the hospital, making things for them, giving my time to them, encouraging them with a song or with a scripture, or writing them a note of encouragement or doing something special for them that they like. (End)
OK, now I am supposed to think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire me and to nominate them. So, here are my nominees:
You have been chosen for this award because of the encouragement and inspiration you bring to your readers and to me.
How this works:
Thank the person who nominated you, and share their blog.
List five things about yourself.
Answer the five questions asked of you.
Think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire you and nominate them.
Finally, ask your nominees five questions. Why five? Because it is the number that signifies grace.
My five questions:
1. What inspired you to start blogging, and what is the central focus of your blog?
2. When you are in need of encouragement, what encourages you the most?
3. What is the best way you feel that you can be an encouragement to others?
4. In what ways do you feel that your blog can offer words of hope, encouragement and inspiration to others?
5. In what ways can we, your fellow bloggers, encourage you?
To my nominees: Please do not feel obligated to participate. I nominated you because of the encouragement that you have been to me and I wanted to acknowledge that. Blessings!