Encouragement for Life Blog

Work, Dignity, and the Source of Our True Value

By Daniel Darling, originally posted August 20, 2018. Because we live in a Genesis-3 (fallen) world, we are tempted to think wrongly about our work in two ways. First, we can make our work everything: an object of worship and devotion instead of the good gift God created it to be. Our careers are often seen as a marker of …

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Work, Success, and the Parable of the Talents

By Hugh Whelchel, originally posted September 3, 2012. Recently I saw a bumper sticker that read, He who dies with the most toys wins, but he is still dead.   This must be a post-modern version of the late 1990’s original, which simply read, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” If bumper stickers are a reflection of the soul …

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To Whom Much Is Given: Celebrating Freedom and America’s Independence Day

By Hugh Whelchel, Originally posted July 2, 2018 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — Thomas Jefferson, the U.S. Declaration of Independence Former U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall challenged Americans, “May we …

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Claiming Peace

By Nancy Cotterill, Claiming Peace http://www.uniteindy.org/claiming-peace/ I remember a book I read called The Poisonwood Bible in which a family of fiercely evangelical missionaries go to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They took with them everything they believed they would need from home, but find nothing but sorrow and loss in the cruelty of the African wild. Nothing works, people …

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Walking Where Jesus Walked – My Trip to the Holy Land

By Gary Stanton, Walking Where Jesus Walked – My Trip to the Holy Land Traveling all the way to the Holy Land and experiencing scripture come alive was a great confirmation of what I believe as a Christian. Being able to actually visit the locations of some of the greatest successes and laments of biblical history reinforced my faith of …

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More to This Life

By Darrel Geis, More to This Life In February of 2014, I stood at my younger brother Alex’s side as he sadly passed away at the age of 48 due to complications from years of alcohol abuse. He had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver that previous September, went through a detox program in October, and had been clean …

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The Greatest Birthday Gift Ever

By Darrel Geis, The Greatest Birthday Gift Ever It was late in the spring of 2006, and my parents had come from their home in Pennsylvania to Cincinnati to visit my wife and me on the eve of my birthday. They hinted of a special surprise for me, and the next day we piled into their SUV and headed to …

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Live in the Moment

By Darrel Geis, Live in the Moment It was the 2nd Sunday of Advent in 2003, and I was sitting in the back row of the sanctuary at North Cincinnati Community Church, my home church. On my left was my girlfriend at the time, who had flown from her home on the East Coast to visit me for the weekend. …

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St. Valentine, the Real Story

By David Kithcart, St. Valentine, the Real Story Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That’s what Valentine’s day is all about, right? Well, maybe not. The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn’t romantic at all—at least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story …

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Why “Character Goals” Should Be Your First Resolutions

By Hugh Whelchel, Why “Character Goals” Should Be Your First Resolutions How many of your goals are built around what you want to accomplish as opposed to who you want to become? The plans of the diligent surely lead to advantage (Prov. 21:5). In the mid-sixties there was a successful television series called Run for Your Life. Actor Ben Gazzara plays a …

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7 Words That Changed My Heart One Christmas

  By Darrel Geis, 7 Words That Changed My Heart One Christmas It was Christmastime in 1995, and I had organized a group from my church to go Christmas caroling. Using crudely assembled, photocopied song sheets, we ventured into the neighborhoods surrounding our church. In spite of the cold, more people showed up than expected, so afterwards, I dropped by the …

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Do Something Meaningful This Christmas

  By Drew Dinkelacker, Do Something Meaningful This Christmas We see the de-valuation of Christmas all around us. I willingly admit that I have spent more time and money on gift giving rather than personally preparing to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. It’s clear that the story of Jesus, as the central focus of Christmas, has been lost on many …

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Shine Like Stars

By Darrel Geis, Shine Like Stars “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”   John 1:5 “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philippians 2:15b In my January 2017 blog titled “Game Day”, I shared the story of the faithfulness of a handful of students involved with OSU Bible Studies to …

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Humility: The Key to Wise-Decision Making

By Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics “Overconfidence can lead to poor decisions. Ultimately, pride is our root issue and humility is the best antidote.” In a talk at Catalyst in 2009, Malcolm Gladwell tries to answer the question, “Why does confidence sometimes lead to bad decisions?” As an example, he tells the story of the defeat of Union General Joe …

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Prayers for America with Dr. Dave Butts

By Dion Elmore, Prayers for America with Dr. Dave Butts With just a few days until we observe the 66th Annual National Day of Prayer, the chairman of the board of The National Day of Prayer task Force, Dr. Dave Butts shares a few thoughts on …Prayers for America      Protection “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you …

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Q: Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

  By Darrel Geis, Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Q: Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? A:  Patrick, whom almost everyone calls “Saint Patrick,” although he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, was born to a wealthy family in AD 387 in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name …

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How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God

By Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts, How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God Growing up as an evangelical Christian, I experienced Lent as little more than a joke. “What are you giving up for Lent?” my friends would ask. “Homework,” I’d say with a smirk, or “Obeying my parents.” Lent was one of those peculiar practices demanded …

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Game Day

By Darrel Geis, Game Day With my alma mater Ohio State having recently competed in the College Football Playoff, I was reminded of a memory from my college days in the 1980s that God used to plant seeds in my heart and draw me to Christ. Before every home football game outside of Ohio Stadium, students involved with OSU Bible Studies would pass …

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The Pair of Shoes

By John Hartz, The Pair of Shoes As a small business owner I am constantly caught in the battle between the things I would like to be doing and the things my business makes me do. There have been so many books written on the struggle of the small businessman to move from working for his business to working on …

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God Desires Mercy Over Sacrifice

By Pastor Dax Welsheimer, God Desires Mercy Over Sacrifice When I introduced myself in the last blog, I mentioned I try to live my life through three different filters. I wanted to share with you in the coming weeks what each of those actually mean, starting with the first filter –“God desires mercy over sacrifice.” What does God desiring mercy over …

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