My oldest, Ari, and I

Romans 15:2 (AMP) Let each one of us [make it a practice to] please his neighbor for his good, to build him up spiritually.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (AMP) Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.

Romans 1:11-12 (AMP) For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

We had a busy weekend at the Brogdon house. Our oldest son (my mother’s first born grandchild) graduated from high school. We spent the weekend celebrating him. We prepared the home to have family and friends over to celebrate. We put steaks and chicken on the grill. Friends came early and helped pitch in. It was a wonderful time. He felt so loved and is looking forward to going out into the world…because that is what we have been preparing him for.

There were some family that did not come. We did not leave our focus there. We cannot focus on those that do not show up, we have to appreciate the ones that do.

The same is true in all aspects of our lives. Some of you start a business and would love the support of your friends of family. They do not always show up for you the way that you hope. Appreciate the ones that do.

On the other hand, if you are one who struggles to show up for people, why? There are times that I do not feel like it, but I do not want to be known for not being there. I want to be someone that people can count on. I want to be a person that people look forward to coming around because they know that I will celebrate them. Honestly, I am one that avoids the people that want to put me down by comparing what others are doing. I will duck and hide, I will quickly walk the other way and I will even move in a hurry.

We recently have had someone in our lives that is constantly telling us about how much they enjoy attending this other service before they attend the afternoon service we have on Sundays. For the past three years we have been in transition and having to rebuild financially. The place we are able to meet in gave us an availability for us to have Sunday services at one thirty in the afternoon. Some really enjoy it. We have never discouraged anyone from watching or attending someone else’s church. We never imagined how much it would hurt to find out that loyalty and honor are not a part of culture anymore. How easy it is for others to tell you how much they are learning at so and so’s church. We tell them, good for them, but honestly it makes me want to hide.

Hebrews 11:24-25 (AMP)  Let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

I do not give myself permission to hide. My heart goes out to all those who fight the same battles that I do, and that are not longer in the five fold ministry. We know many who have left the assembly of a church and gone to online church due to just what I have described above. Online church was not meant to replace assembling together, it was meant to supplement when you could not (not choose not). It hurts to not be encouraged. So here is my encouragement for you today, learn to celebrate people. Learn to build people up. When you get in the middle of a life giving community, the ones that did not show up for you and the ones who try to tear you down with comparison, will not have the power to keep you from doing what God put you on earth to do.

God created us unique. God created us with a purpose. Jesus was accepted by everyone, so why should it surprise you that you are not. Celebrate each other and encourage each other. We are stronger together. Do not allow the discouragements to put you into hiding. You are called out to be a light. Why would He bring us the light for us to hide it? You are wonderfully and beautifully made. The glory of His being is within you. You are celebrated!

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