Encourage without Wounding – Episode 1

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” Hebrews 3:13.  Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” 1 Thessalonians 5:11.  It is easy to take these scriptures with the best of intentions and hurt others with our words.

radio-mic-adJanie and Sharon discuss the importance of learning to encourage others without wounding them.  Christians have somehow gotten the reputation of being hypocrites who judge others.  Christians are not intentionally hurting others, so why has this become what people see.  Maybe it’s because in our effort to encourage we are being condemning.  It’s time we change how we encourage others and get a new perspective on encouragement.

 

 

Recorded live on KWXC 88.9 Christian Talk Radio – Grove, Ok.

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Encourage without Wounding

The biggest complaint about Christians today is that we are hypocrites.  We tell others what to do and how to live while not doing and living ourselves.  However, when Christians are asked about those accusations, we say that people use that as an excuse to stay out of church and refuse God.  Rarely do we think of ourselves as being hypocritical.

I realize that I have wounded people in my efforts to be encouraging.  My communication skills have not always been the best although I have had the best intentions.  Maybe it was due to excitement or my own adamant beliefs but unintentional wounds are still wounds that hurt.

Janie and I are going to discuss ways that we can learn to encourage others without wounding them. Sometimes our best encouragements can sound condemning and judgmental leaving others to think we are intentionally pointing a finger at them.  How do our best intentions turn into hypocritical judgmental condemnations?   We hope that you will join us in our discussion topic.

We broadcast live on KWXC 88.9 Christian Talk Radio and kwxcradio.com every Friday at noon (CST).  If that time is not convenient, you can listen to the recorded podcast which will be posted here following the live show each week.

Show dates are:

March 3rd – Episode 1

March 10th – Episode 2

March 17th – Episode 3

March 24th – The Shepherd’s Field – Part 1

March 31st – The Shepherd’s Field – Part 2

woman-to-woman-info-cards-lgWe also want to say thank you for your prayers and support.  Your feedback is encouraging.  We have enjoyed being a part of your lives each week and hope that you will continue to grow with us.

Listen to February shows that discuss “The Heart of God

Into the Deep

It is so easy to get caught up in the routines of life.  In our family, we know what our schedule is everyday.  It is nice to break away from the routine and just relax.  Recently, I had the privilege to break away from everything for five wonderful days.  I knew this opportunity was orchestrated by God, so I sought Him for weeks before my departure.  I wanted to hear His voice, see His face, and feel His presence.  I listened carefully and watched mindfully; I desired to be changed by the end of the week, so I dug in deep.

And Jesus Said…

“Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch” Luke 5:4.  Jesus instructed Peter to cast his net into the deep for a catch.  I was struck by how Jesus said “deep” as if Peter had been fishing in the shallow waters.  I thought about myself before this week; had I been sitting in shallow waters hoping to make a catch?  As Christians, it is easy to get comfortable with the depth of our knowledge, the depth of our relationship, and even the depth of our commitment and service.  Many things can attribute to our comfort.  We can be too busy with work and our kids activity schedule.  We can be set in a routine and not willing to change.  However, many times it is fear that keeps us from going deeper.  Fear of what might be required of us.  Fear of failure.  Fear of a commitment.  I know because I have let all of these fears keep me from going deeper at different seasons of my life.  But, for five wonderful days in May 2016, I sought God’s face with a desire to launch into the deep.  As a result, I found a deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  No more shallow waters and no more fears.  Take a risk to launch into the deep and let go of your fears, I promise God will not fail you.

-Sharon

Image: http://www.ebiblestories.com/stories/the_story_of_the_fishermen.shtml

I Am Tired!

I am tired!  Is anyone else tired?  It seems there is always something pulling at my time.  Just when I think I can rest I remember something that I should be doing or working on or somewhere I have to go.  There is an endless pile of laundry to be washed, not to mention the ones in the basket waiting to be folded or the folded ones camped out on the table waiting to be put away.  The dishes are never done, there is always something finding its way to the sink.  And just when I think all the beds are clean, floors are vacuumed, and bathrooms are spotless…it’s time to start all over again.

And Jesus Said…

“Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.  Now, this scripture seems a little out of context when we are talking about needing rest physically.  However, a good friend of mine, Jackie Hughes, told me one time, “Busy is Being Under Satan’s Yoke.”  Isn’t that what makes us tired…being busy?  I have used “being busy” as an excuse for many of my shortcomings.  I might forget to do something and reach for “busy” instead of forgetful.  When weeks go by without making contact with my friends, I reach for “busy” instead of neglectful.  When we get too busy things fall through the cracks, people feel neglected, and we get tired.  I sometimes think that we, women, think we have to be busy otherwise, we think we are being lazy or unproductive.  Yes, things like laundry, dishes, cleaning, errands, and other responsibilities need to be done.  Many women have jobs that add to that list, but this “busy” acronym helped remind me that being busy could be Satan’s disguise into my life.  I don’t want to give him one little place to grab a hold.  No matter how tired or busy I get, I can never allow that to distract me from God’s will or cause me to neglect Christ in my life.  So, when I find myself thinking about how busy I am, or feeling too tired to think, I remember this acronym to remind me to find rest in Jesus.

-Sharon Hoskins

He Touched Me

Think about the conversations you have throughout the day.  Some of them are necessary for information.  Some conversations are pointless; it’s just a bunch of talk.  Others are exhausting; it takes all your energy to get through it.  But then, there are those conversations that mean something; they touch your soul, and you don’t want them to end.  For me, these conversations have Jesus in the center, the focal subject.  “He touched me, yes He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul.”  It’s a beautiful old hymn that describes how we feel at the touch of Jesus.

And Jesus Said…

“Who touched Me?” Luke 8:45.  Jesus was on His way to the house of Jarius, but a multitude of people were pressed against Him, the woman with the issue of blood touched Him, and He said, “Who touched Me?”  He noticed that touch because He perceived that virtue had gone out of Him.  This story made me wonder how I could touch Jesus in a way that would make Him stop and say, “Who touched Me”.  I am not able to touch His physical body today, but can I still touch Him?  He touches me in so many ways.  Does my time with Him in prayer and reading my Bible touch Him the way it does me?  I had always thought of myself as being the beneficiary of such conversations with Him.  But, perhaps if I would look outside myself, I could see that the love He poured out on the cross was more than the sacrifice for my sins, but through that He would be able to spend time in conversations with me.  “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you” John 15:3-4.  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” Revelation 3:20.  The time we spend with Him is a touching time for both Him and us.  He loves spending time with us, just as we love spending time with Him.  Maybe I’m the only one who has not considered the idea that God wants to spend time with me.  Who am I?  Nobody.  No one special, that God, the creator of the universe, would want to spend time with me.  This is how most of us think.  We know God loves us, died for us, and wants to give us eternal life, but we don’t think that He looks forward to our conversations and never wants them to end.  We sometimes think of our prayer and Bible time as something that will benefit us, which it does, but we don’t consider what that time does for God.  What if our goal each day was to touch Him; not with our service, not with our good deeds, or special talents, but touch Him in conversation?  I think it would give us a whole new perspective to our time with God.

-Sharon Hoskins

It Is Written

We all find ourselves weak at times in our life; whether that weakness is a physical burden, financial struggle, or the pressure of making the right decision.  And it’s always during those times of weaknesses that we find our most difficult temptations.  We are almost guaranteed to hit every stop light in town when we are late for an important meeting.  Then we are tempted to speed and drive rudely.  When our paycheck is short due to illness and the electric bill is due, we are tempted to cut our tithe so we can pay it.  Temptation is guaranteed to show its ugly face right in the middle of our weakness.  The good news is that we can find comfort in the fact that Jesus experienced weakness and He was tempted too.

 

And Jesus said…

“It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4.  Jesus had been fasting 40 days and 40 nights and He was hungry.  In that weakness, Satan tried to get Him to turn stones into bread in order to take care of Himself. Whatever weakness we are facing, we often find ourselves tempted to take care of it ourselves.  We look for the answer in what we can do.  Our prayers are often a plea for God to show us what we can do.  We say things like, “I can do nothing without Christ”, but we forget how much He can do when we just trust Him.  It is very tempting to try to make thing happen, set things in motion, or do what makes sense.  It’s easy to fall into temptation, but Jesus gives us the key to overcoming; “It is written…”  His word is the answer; breathed from the mouth of God and hidden in our heart to be used when temptations come.

-Sharon Hoskins

Bread of Life

Many of the five thousand people who were fed with five loaves of bread and two fishes, searched for Jesus in the days that followed.  They took boats and traveled to Capernaum to find Him.  Jesus knew their motives in their quest: “Verily, verily, I say to you. You seek Me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled” John 6:26.  I thought it was interesting that they didn’t even notice the miracle of how they were fed, just that they were filled.  How familiar is that to some of us?  Isn’t it true that many times we don’t notice the miracles in our life?  They followed Jesus for their physical need.

 

And Jesus said…

“Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for Him has God the Father sealed” John 6:27.  They had worked so hard to find Him, laboring in their search.  He encourages them to look beyond their physical needs to a deeper spiritual need.  Jesus goes on to share with them how they can begin fulfilling that need by believing on Him, and eating the true bread of heaven; which is Christ Jesus.  Many of us have come to that place of believing on Him, but we get lost in our physical needs.  We know that we can ask Him for anything and find our prayers being a sort of “grocery list” of physical needs rather than a spiritual hunger for the Bread of Life.  What can we do to change our hunger?  That answer may be different for each of us, but we can all find the answer in the same place; on our knees.  I pray that we will all determine to find the answer and change from physically feeding to spiritually feasting on the Bread of Life.

Sharon Hoskins

Great Faith

Being at the feet of Jesus is exhilarating, comforting, peaceful, and fulfilling.  I can’t think of a better place on earth that can compare to being in His presence and neither could the man who had been delivered from the legion of demons.  He had lived for years outside the city in the tombs, naked, and full of demons.  Jesus sent the demons into a herd of swine, clothed him, put him in his right mind, and he sat at Jesus’ feet.  There was no other place this man wanted to be for the rest of his life but at Jesus’ feet.   He begged to go with Him.

 

And Jesus said…

“Return to your own house, and show how great things God has done for you” Luke 8:39.  When we are sitting in His presence, it is tempting to want to just continue sitting there; hiding our self away, basking in His goodness. When God does those great and wonderful things in our life, sometimes we think that others won’t understand or that they may make fun of us, so we hide at Jesus’ feet.  Don’t get me wrong, hiding at His feet in His presence is never a bad place to be; that is where we find peace, strength, joy, and fullness.  However, it is very important for us to get up and go share with others those great things He has done.  This man did exactly what Jesus told him to do and when Jesus came back to town there was a great multitude welcoming Him back.  The woman with the issue of blood was healed at His return.  Perhaps it was the witness of the man’s life that gave her the faith that Jesus could make her whole.  Let’s live our life as a witness.  We may never know who might be encouraged to have great faith in Jesus because of it.

-Sharon Hoskins

That Good Part

The five short verses that tell the story of Mary and Martha have had a great impact on the lives of many women throughout the years.  Jesus is at their house, and while Martha is busy serving and taking care of the physical needs, Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to His word.  Martha becomes frustrated because Mary is just sitting there, not helping her with anything.  Martha was probably thinking, “I would like to sit down too!”  So she asks Jesus to tell Mary to help.

 

And Jesus said…

“Martha, Martha, you are concerned and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” Luke 10:41-42.  There are many physical needs that require our attention each day.  Things that pull us here and there with activities, work, errands, and a list of other things that keep us busy.  We may even have trouble sleeping at night because our mind is making a list for the next day.  We may find it difficult to stay focused on the task at hand because our mind travels to the next thing on our list.  Our first thought in the morning is our list for the day.  The Mary in us wants to sit at Jesus’ feet, but the “list” invades our thoughts and steals our attention.  Then, that good part, our spiritual need, is taken away by our own frustrations and busyness.  There will always be a fight between the flesh and the spirit.  “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…” Galatians 5:17. On days like this, fight the urge to get busy on the list of physical duties and find strength spiritually by sitting a Jesus’ feet.  Leave the list, concerns, and troubles out of the conversation as you sit there.  Use praise to focus your mind on Him, “I just want to sit with You and hear your voice”, “God You are so good”, “Great are You Lord, O Most High”, “I love You, Lord, You are the love of my life”.  And there are a thousand more ways to share praise to Him.  Through it you will find peace and that good part which shall not be taken away.

-Sharon Hoskins

Our Refuge

Have you ever just felt like a tornado was let loose in your head!?  There are so many things to do that you just can’t keep up?  That you can’t even get one thought completed before you are thinking about something else?  Then you end up spending your day walking in circles without accomplishing a single thing completely?  I have had one of those weeks…oh, let’s just be completely honest, it’s been one of those months.  I’m really hoping that you can relate to this and I’m not crazy.  I did have a birthday this month so, you know what they say about getting older; you start losing things.

 

I was encouraged by Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Sometimes the storms of life are all around us, beside us, and even in our head!  We can find comfort, strength, and peace in the loving arms of the Lord.  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1.  If you are going through a storm in your life, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, you’re not crazy, and that you can find refuge in the Lord.  Just take some time to be still in His presence; taking refuge in Him during your storms, for He is the Most High.

-Sharon Hoskins

My One Thing

I heard a message this past week from Bobby Hughes. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” Psalm 27:4.

Bobby asked, “What’s your ‘one thing’?” I had to think, if it’s not God, then what is my ‘one thing’? Am I totally satisfied in Christ? David’s desire for the Lord was unquestionable; is mine?  I began to ponder this question while sitting in the pew last Sunday and today I am still examining myself to find that ‘one thing’.  I love thought-provoking questions that cause me to really look at my heart and examine my life because the process draws me closer to the Lord in the end.  We probably all have something in our lives that drive us each day.  We may have a goal we are working toward or a position we are trying to achieve but at the end of it all, we find another goal and new heights to climb.  Today is the last day of 2015 and people everywhere are making some kind of New Year resolution.  Many want to be healthier, lose weight, make a career change, get organized, and thousands of other personal goals that we are committing to changing in 2016.    My commitment (resolution) is to be sure that my ‘one thing’ is the only One Thing that matters; Christ.

Sharon Hoskins

Unsung Heroes

I appreciate the fact that I can sit in service on Sunday morning and focus all of my attention on the message taught from the pulpit.  That blessing would not be possible without the devotion of the children’s church leaders.  The time that they put into studying and preparing the lesson for my kids takes dedication and sacrifice.  They give up so much of what I get to take advantage of and enjoy.

 

My kids learn a lot from them and have grown closer to God through their teachings.  I love to visit with my kids at the dinner table and hear all that they learned in children’s church.  I always encouraged my kids to pray, but could never get them to want to pray out loud.  A few years ago they started learning to pray in children’s church, they became excited about praying, now, they love to pray.  Some people don’t really like the idea of the family being separated on Sunday morning because we are separated all through the week with school and work.  That is something to think about as an individual family.  Some families don’t go to church together.  Kids ride the church bus or get dropped off and they have a place where they can be taught because of the children’s church leaders.   We don’t have to send our kids to children’s church; many kids sit with their families on Sunday morning right beside moms and dads.  This past Sunday a father and his 11-year-old son were at the altar together; there is little more beautiful than that.  Whether you send your kids to children’s church or not, the people who devote their lives to teaching God’s word to children are still doing the job for someone’s child.  Remember to extend your appreciation to them often.

Sharon Hoskins

A Great Woman

Behind every great pastor is a great woman.  We all have different opinions about what makes a great pastor’s wife.  Some think that she should be quiet; others think she should be center-stage.

Many think of the pastor’s wife as the woman who plays the piano, sits on the front row, teaches Sunday School, takes care of the nursery, plans dinners, cleans the church, leads children’s church and ladies group, organizes community events, and anything else that needs to be done.  We have our ideas of what she is supposed to do, how she is supposed to act, and the services she is to perform.  However, a pastor’s wife can have any number of characteristics, qualities, gifts, and abilities.  She is an individual, with her own personality, and she doesn’t have to meet our expectations.  We are sometimes very critical of the woman God called to work alongside our pastor; “We love our pastor, but his wife…”.  I have been a Christian for many years and I have heard horrible things come out of the mouths of people about their pastor’s wife.  Let’s stop making snide remarks and subtle jabs.  A wise pastor’s wife once told me that the only ones she needs to please is God and her husband; they are the only ones that matter.  With so many expectations from so many different people, how could she possibly please everyone?  The truth is she can’t.   We need to remember that when God called her husband to be a pastor, He called her to be a pastor’s wife, and whatever that means is between her and God.  Let’s extend love and thankfulness to our pastor’s wife for all that she does.  Let’s accept her for who God has called her to be in our life as our pastor’s wife.  Find out if there is anything she needs help with.  Encourage her with love and acceptance.  She is the woman who stands beside the pastor, who encourages him to keep going, takes up the slack when he has to study, and forfeits time with him when we call with an emergency.  She willingly fills her position with love for God, for her husband, and for us therefore we are blessed to have her.  If you are guilty of being too critical of your pastor’s wife, I encourage you to pray to God for forgiveness, and then start helping her through prayer, encouragement, and love.

Sharon Hoskins

Pastor Appreciation

October is Pastor Appreciation month.  This is a time that we can express to our pastor how much we appreciate all that he does.  Many times we take him for granted and have unrealistic expectations, or set him on a pedestal that he is sure to fall off of.  He has a job that is his life, he takes little time off and never clock out.

He is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; in the middle of the night or right before dinner.  We may never know what our emergency has interrupted in his life because he will never tell.  No matter how he is feeling he always has a smile and an outstretched arm.  No matter how busy he is he will always say, “Come in” to a knock on the office door.  He will put on his work boots and hammer a nail.  He will climb a ladder to get the job done, even if he is afraid of heights.  He will sing, play the guitar, piano, or box drum to help the praise team if they need it.  He will join the kids for a game of kick ball even if he ends up with a cracked rib.  He allows youth boys to preach who feel called to ministry, believing in them and encouraging them to follow God.  If we go to him with our problems, he never judges, he truly wants to help us successfully overcome.  He remembers our name, our struggles, and our pain and he prays for us daily.  He studies Gods word and prays for God’s guidance to lead us in truth.  He teaches in a way that is understandable and applicable to our lives.  He has a heart that desires God; all of Him.  He is transparent about his struggles and honest about his flesh.  He has sincere, unconditional love that is felt in everything he does.  If this sounds like your pastor, you are blessed to have him.  Pray for him and his family every day and love him unconditionally in return.

Sharon Hoskins

Changing Seasons

I love this time of year, the weather changes, the leaves change, and with it, there seems to be a change in the hearts of men.

We start examining our lives for the good things and expressing thanksgiving for them. We start challenging each other to share something that you are thankful for every day in November. We start thinking about what we can give to others and making plans to spend time together. More than any other time of year, we feel the need to “put on a happy face” whether it is real or not. This is a time to be happy, joyful, and thankful, so if we’re not then we “stick out” in the crowd of happy faced people. So, is the change in the hearts of men as real as the changing of the leaves? We seem to change only for a season, just as they do, except our season ends the first of January. The leaves don’t just change colors to fit in with the crowd; they go through a transformation from the inside out. There is no doubt that every one of us want to be happy on the inside, not just putting on a face. So, where can we find happiness that brings joy and thanksgiving that will last through all seasons of our life? We will find that happiness in a complete transformation from the inside out, which is only found in Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4. Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, He rose from the dead to give us life, and He sits at the right hand of the Father as our intercessor. (Hebrews 12:2) I pray that if you don’t know Jesus that you will find Him today. You don’t have to search far, just open your heart, and share it with Him; He is right beside you waiting.

Sharon Hoskins