Challenge Day 31

Today’s Inspiration. I’m sitting in my car using my personal hotspot to write this post two days early, since once again over the weekend I’ll be out of town, this time without access to wifi or even a cell signal. The simple life. But even in pared-down, simple (technology-light) life, it is important to remember.

Today’s blog—the last day of the Writing Life Challenge posts—will be about remembering. Jesus admonished his own disciples to remember when he said “remember what I told you…” (John 15:20). Paul asked his readers to remember what he had previously told them, too. In fact, if you search for “remember” in a Bible app, you’ll see several verses that instruct us to remember.

Challenge Day 31 remember #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. Today, your challenge is to pray, to review your own notes or thoughts from the previous challenge posts—especially those you completed—and to journal for a few minutes about what God has taught you this month. Ask God to help you assess your own heart and ask him what’s next. I’ve included the previous posts to make it easier for you:

Day 1 – Thankfulness & Prayer
Day 2 – Praise & Prayer
Day 3 – Watchfulness & Prayer
Day 4 – Devotion & Prayer
Day 5 – How to Pray
Day 6 – Who to Pray For
Day 7 – What to Pray For
Day 8 – When to Pray
Day 9 – Where to Pray
Day 10 – Why to Pray
Day 11 – Fasting & Prayer
Day 12 – Why Read the Bible?
Day 13 – God-Breathed Scripture
Day 14 – The Bible is Useful
Day 15 – Bible-Trained
Day 16 – Bible-Taught Teaching
Day 17 – Bible-Rebuked
Day 18 – Bible-Corrected
Day 19 – Just Love
Day 20 – Heart Love
Day 21 – Soul Love
Day 22 – Mind Love
Day 23 – Strong Love
Day 24 – The Lord Your God
Day 25 – Self Love
Day 26 – Neighborly Love
Day 27 – Encourage One Another
Day 28 – … Daily
Day 29 – Build Up
Day 30 – Continue

Today’s Participation. For today’s participation, I’d like your feedback whether it’s in the comments or in a private message—what did you think of the challenge? If you did it, was there anything about it that stuck with you (and would you mind sharing that with me)? Would you like to see something about it again in the future?

As this challenge month draws to a close, I want to say Thank You! to all of you who took time to read (and do!) even a few of these challenge posts. It’s been a challenge keeping up with writing them! I won’t be doing a daily devotional challenge again in September—with back-to-school (for me, too, since I teach) it’s a bit too much for me to add to my daily routine. But look for regular weekly blog posts and a special, different type of challenge I’ve been thinking about coming soon.

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.

Challenge Day 27

Today’s Inspiration. Love God. Love your neighbor. That’s what we’ve been exploring since Day 19. And while your neighbor turned out to be anyone around you, the Bible also tells us to pay special attention to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. One of those verses is today’s inspiration:

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

We’ll look to the words Therefore encourage one another for the challenge today.

Old red milk jug sitting in front of a beige brick wall. Photo text: Challenge Day 27, encourage one another. #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. One thing I’ve learned from sitting under wise, Bible-loving pastors all my life: When you see the word therefore at the beginning of the verse, you need to know what came before it. Knowing that will help you put the verse into context.

Your challenge today, then, is to pray for understanding and then read through 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. You know Paul is telling his readers (and you!) to encourage one another, but why? The therefore indicates that he has just given the reason for this. In English we know this little word as a transition word, meant to connect two ideas and show the relationship between them. What Paul’s saying here is, Your brothers and sisters in Christ need you to encourage them. I’ve just given you the reasons they need this encouragement. 

Your mission? To read through and understand those reasons.

Today’s Participation. Complete the statement, “I need to encourage other Christians because ______________.” Use your understanding of the passage you read today to help you complete it. Then share the statement with someone either face to face or online.