Challenge Day 30

Today’s Inspiration. Do you ever start doing something differently with every good intention to keep up with it, only to give up days or weeks later? Most people think about this around February, when all of their New Year’s Resolutions lay forgotten by the wayside and the Girl Scout Cookies they bought from their friend’s daughter sit enticingly on the kitchen counter. I’m thinking of diet/food analogies now because I recently ended a health/weight loss challenge and without that motivation and accountability, I’m floundering and my appetite is growing.


As this challenge month is drawing to a close, there is one word that keeps coming to mind as being important: continue. Because what I’ve been challenging you to do—what you may have spent the past month doing—pray, read the Bible, love God and love people and love yourself intentionally, and encourage and build each other up, is important to do beyond this month. It is important enough to continue. You may have been doing something like this already; even if you have an established, daily habit of your own, this message is for you, too. Continue.

Challenge Day 30 Continue #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Paul urged the Thessalonians to do that in the verse we’ve been using for a few days now:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV)

Did you see that? Just as in fact you are doing.

I know you’re already doing it, acknowledges Paul. Be sure to keep doing it. Continue.

Today’s Challenge. Your challenge today is to pray about what God wants you to commit to continuing to do—between you and him and with the help of his Holy Spirit. Or perhaps there’s something new you need to start and then continue. Write it down. Figure something out and start small. And then find someone to keep you accountable—without someone there to motivate and encourage you, you may end up scarfing down a box of Girl Scout Cookies.

Today’s Participation. Share what you’ve decided to commit to online (#writinglifeaugustchallenge) or in conversation with someone.

Challenge Day 29

Today’s Inspiration. In your day-to-day life, are you more often a construction worker, or a demolitionist? Someone who builds, or someone who destroys?

I’m not talking buildings—physical structures—I’m talking people.

I am ashamed to admit that I find myself tearing other people down too often. Usually—and sadly—it’s those I profess to love the most that feel the brunt of this, because they’re the ones who see me at my worst. It’s like Paul said: “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Those are often the worst times. The best times are those when I am able to follow Paul’s instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which we’re going back to for today’s inspirational verse:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)

Today’s challenge comes from the phrase build each other up.

Challenge Day 29 build up #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. Earlier, I compared someone who builds people up to a construction worker. The idea is not far off—the Greek this word is translated from gives the sense of “to be a house-builder, i.e. Construct or confirm.” Your challenge today is to think about what it takes to construct something like a house and what the implications are when you apply that to a person or people. What does, or would, it take to build up another person? Pray for understanding as you begin. You may also want to look at cross-references for this verse to help you gain a better understanding of Paul’s meaning (he used the same type of language in 2 Corinthians 12:19 and Ephesians 4:29).

The next part is the harder one—pray about who, in your own life, you should work to build up. Then pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in doing just that—it’s something that is difficult to do in our own power, but possible with God.

Today’s Participation. Try your hand at some art today! Sketch a home or another structure to help you think through what it takes to build something similar, but label parts not as physical building materials, but spiritual ones. Share your sketch online or with a friend. (For Instagram, use #writinglifeaugustchallenge and follow me so I can see it!)

Challenge Day 28

Today’s Inspiration. As I sit down to write this, I think of all of the little things that people say and do that mean so much to me—that encourage me in so many ways. It doesn’t take much—a note, a few words that tell me I notice you and my heart soars with joy and thankfulness.

I know I can’t be the only one.

Today, we’ll continue with the theme of encouraging one another, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ, but this time we’ll look at Hebrews 3:13:

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (NIV)

You may notice that this passage provides one answer to the question of why—Why should I encourage other Christians?—that you were challenged to seek out answers to yesterday. If you’re still questioning that, this passage in Hebrews is similar in context to yesterday’s passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 and may provide further insight. But our focus today is encouragement itself, and on that little word daily.

Challenge Day 28 ...daily #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. Today, pray for insight and inspiration. Then make a list or two (or three…): Think about things that encourage you to keep believing, keep going, to keep learning, keep praying, keep Bible-reading, keep trusting, … how are you encouraged? How can you then take those and turn them into encouragements for others, whether small or large? Some types of encouragement only take a few seconds, others may take sacrifice. Pray and ask God how, and who, you can encourage. Then list people you can begin with—and begin to practice daily encouragement.

Today’s Participation. Pick a person to encourage, thoughtfully consider how you can do so, and do it! If you have multiple ideas about how to encourage other believers, feel free to share them below or on Instagram using #writinglifeaugustchallenge (follow @rhondalorraine if you want me to see them!).

After yesterday’s post, so many kinds of encouragement came pouring in—to me—through different venues and from dear friends. Just as they have been over the past few weeks. Honestly, each time it was completely unexpected and deeply appreciated. I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has read, liked, shared, or commented on a post here or on Instagram since I started up this blog in January. I do notice you, and I am thankful for you and praying for you.