you are lovely...

Source: Becca Dean

Have you ever felt discouraged? Like life is tough and there’s little support around? Or perhaps you’ve felt that life is just a bit dull and ‘samey’ sometimes, but it starts to get you down. I’m sure we’ve all be there.

But have you ever been encouraged? I mean actively encouraged. Not just that something has gone well or life is good for a while and it feels good, but that someone has taken the time and effort to speak to you or do something for you to lift your spirit. Have you experienced that? Doesn’t it make a difference?!

There’s a guy in the New Testament called Joseph (a good Biblical name if ever I heard one!) but Jesus’ apostles called him Barnabas which means ‘son of encouragement’ (one who encourages others) after he sold some land and gave them the proceeds to support their work/ministry. He also encouraged the Apostle Paul whilst everyone else was still (rightly) suspicious of him, encouraged the Church in Antioch and stood up for the young disciple John Mark when Paul was critical of him. He’s the kind of guy you’d want to count among your friends; he made a huge difference to the people around him.

How much like Barnabas are you? I wonder if your friends consider you a ‘son/daughter of encouragement’… Why not take the opportunity to encourage a friend, colleague or family member and brighten someone’s day?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.1 Thessalonians 5:11

There’s a small but steady ‘movement’ on Twitter to use Mondays as a specific opportunity to encourage others. It’s called #loveMonday and it works like this. You send an encouraging message (public or private) to three other Twitter users, and invite them to encourage three of their friends/contacts/followers. Don’t forget to include #loveMonday in the message. Simple. Of course, it doesn’t have to just be via Twitter. Feel free to do the same but on Facebook, via email, or even offline (send a postcard, leave a message scrawled on a post-it note, etc.).

Imagine for a minute that I encourage three people, and they each encourage three people, and so on. That’s twelve people encouraged (and we know what Jesus was able to do with just twelve people!). If that continues for another five cycles, that would result in almost three thousand people who have been encouraged (assuming none of the encouragers were then encouraged by the encouragees – are you still with me?!). What a difference that could make!

If you want to join the revolution movement, you know what you have to do: choose three people to encourage, do it and encourage them to do the same.

If that Monday feeling has got to you, you’re feeling a bit grumpy and not in the mood to encourage others (yet!), check out some of the ways that others have been encouraged today and have your faith in humanity restored. Go on – I dare ya!

Hat tips: @martinsaunders, @stevecampion & @beccadean
Image Credit: beccaislearning.com

Twitter Digest for for 2010-12-12

  • 'For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.' 1 Corinthians 4:20 // http://ow.ly/1rPMUe #
  • Seeking testimonies about teachers who made a positive impact on you? >> http://www.easyrew.com/remembering-teachers/ #
  • Apple gained majority of their converts via products that didn’t exist 3 years ago:what if the Church operated like this? http://j.mp/ejrYHd #
  • Assembly done with MKBT, off to lunch with Oakhill STC Chaplaincy Team, then on to Biblos at High Ash Primary followed by afternoon of admin #
  • Do you have a couple of minutes to share a story about a teacher who had positive influence on you? >> http://bit.ly/b7ud8j #
  • First Christmas Cracked session a success – please pray for great developments in relationships with schools. #
  • Blog update: Issues with Tweetdeck for iPhone >> http://www.easyrew.com/tweetdeck-iphone/ #
  • 'mother-in-law just arrived for a 5 day stay' – a phrase I always thought would fill me with dread. But far from it. I'm incredibly blessed! #
  • Up early for Leon Prayer meeting & long day ahead: won't be finished until about 10:30 – then time to catch-up on The Apprentice? You bet! #
  • 'A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.' Psalm 15:1
    // Lord, may I bruise not even one soul by my harsh words! #
  • So privileged to start the day in school praying with teachers; the Lord is starting to draw threads of prayers/dreams together everywhere! #
  • I drank milk yesterday with best before date of 1st Dec thinking 'that's ages away' – realised this morning it's 8th already! Eh?! How? #
  • In Ikea Restaurant finally writing a critical reflection on Bauckham's 'Jesus & the Eyewitnesses' – only 9 months late! Deep joy! #
  • RT @peteleve: Christmas is really for the children…http://bit.ly/eRAuDD #
  • I just enjoyed a Christmas tart: make of that what you will ;0) #
  • Very late to bed, very early start & v. busy day tomorrow with a Christmas Ball in the evening. Definitely going to need an afternoon nap! #
  • Apparently there's a massive fire in Parliament Square – police believe it may be Nick Clegg's pants. #
  • RT @davidmkeen: Santa's list of who is naughty and who is nice to be published by Wikileaks later today #
  • And breathe – a whole evening off. Taking my gorgeous wife to the Christmas Ball. Bliss! Great company, food & conversation – bring it on! #
  • Fantastic rehearsal for the Junior Church Christmas Service – so excited about the real thing tomorrow. What a way to kick of the season! #
  • RT @jesus: I can't stand birthday shopping. #
  • RT @jesus: Who died and made Santa King? #
  • Junior Church Christmas Service was a huge success – lots of very positive comments. Thanks to everyone who worked hard & helped out. #
  • writing a reflection is proving tricky when my eyes won't stay open… zzzzz #
  • 15 minutes until the young people arrive for a Christmassy evening! Xfactor is Christmassy – right? #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-12-05

  • Great weekend: love what God did in our service yesterday – more Lord! Birthday lunch with family for my big Sis then an excellent Synergy! #
  • RT @ChrisBryantMP: Phoned Lib Dem HQ and asked for copy of manifesto.They said they'd sold out. I said "I know, but can I have a manifesto?" #
  • just started snowing in MK – bring it on. Just hope it doesn't stop me getting to/across London for #sm4sc tomorrow, & coffee with a friend #
  • Up very early to head to London for the Social Media for Social Change conference, but I have a poorly wife so today I'm nurse/daddy. #
  • RT @davidmkeen: LibDem snow in Yeovil: trying hard, with no discernible effect, and bound to disappoint a lot of young people. #
  • Video of Silent Monks 'Singing' the Hallelujah Chorus – absolute genius – must see… http://bit.ly/monkvideo #
  • RT @RickWarren: One key to a lasting marriage: Always kiss as if it was both your first & your last. / prob. good advice, will let you know. #
  • I'm reading Rediscovering the Christmas Season at YouVersion.com. Check it out. http://read.ly/r/Q.1.P #
  • The @Natwivity starts today! If you're not following yet, make sure you do! http://www.easyrew.com\natwivity #thetwitternativity #Christmas #
  • RT @FrDavidCloake: The Vernacular Curate: The Tunefulness of Silence http://t.co/7ZEab6m // check out the rest of his site too… #
  • Argh – I need a bigger piece if paper for my to-do list – and a longer afternoon! #
  • Argh – I need a bigger piece *of* paper for my to-do list (and a PA to check my typing) and a longer afternoon! #
  • the afternoon to-do list starts here… (eek!) #
  • I love it when families share – particularly sickness bugs. Thanks to those who confidently said it would 'get' me too. You were all right! #
  • Not surprised or disappointed England didn't win. Don't really think it matters – move along – nothing to see here… #
  • If England won it would be on the basis of merit, honesty & hard work; but apparently Russia won due to corruption. Grow up! #
  • RT @DavidinCheam: Sepp Blatter was asked who his favourite Qatar player was and he replied, 'Eric Clapton' // love it! #
  • RT @FrDavidCloake: If Uk had won World Cup bid the 'process' would have been flawless. But we didn't and so 'process' is corrupt // so true #
  • I have 3 Christmas services to prepare – tried listening to Christmassy music, but really struggling to get in the spirit – still too early! #
  • taking 'the Mrs' (@mrsrew) & 'the boy' (@babyrew ) and his new trike to @thecentremk for a spot of shopping and off-roading! Very excited! #
  • RT @babyrew: Here's a picture of me enjoying my new wheels! http://ow.ly/i/633X // think I enjoyed it more than Isaac! #
  • Easing into the Christmas spirit by listening to the new 'Songs for Christmas' album by @philwickham – sublime! Get it: http://bit.ly/f7UD48 #
  • Bed is for wimps – time to put together the Junior Church Christmas Service! #
  • Blog update: Issues with Tweetdeck for iPhone >> http://www.easyrew.com/tweetdeck-iphone/ #
  • Do you have a story to share about a great teacher? >> http://www.easyrew.com/remembering-teachers/ #
  • Tweetdeck for iPhone has areas of functionality which drive me crazy and make it almost unusable >> http://www.easyrew.com/tweetdeck-iphone/ #
  • Been up in the night with a poorly boy & a raging toothache: need pain relief and sleep, in that order! Busy 3 weeks starts today too! Joy! #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-11-28

  • RT @rhutch: Breaking News. Steve Jobs is to buy Ireland to solve the debt problem. It will be rebranded iLand #Bailout #
  • I woke up this morning as the father of a one year old son – how did that happen? Wouldn't change a single thing though! Love you Isaac x #
  • RT @babyrew: I've had 2 days of birthday celebrations already; today is actually my birthday & I'm about to open the rest of my presents. #
  • exhausted after 2+ hours in the soft play area with the birthday boy! By comparison the church meeting will seem very dull tonight ;0) #
  • RT @babyrew: Two firsts for me today: seeing piglets & eating Frazzles* – the two were not directly related {*other bacon snacks available} #
  • Day of emails/admin and service planning x2 – then Emulate meeting followed by Safeguarding Group Meeting. Then bed hopefully! #
  • Upcoming Event: Appreciating Christians in Education – http://www.easyrew.com/christians-in-education/ #
  • Have you been positively influenced by a teacher? Please share your story >> http://bit.ly/b7ud8j #
  • 16 mobile Bible reading/study apps – find one which suits you: http://www.youversion.com/free-bible-apps #
  • I love Dropbox because it's simple, quick & reliable. http://db.tt/yu35HdD #
  • Back from great early prayer meeting at Leon School – now have a morning off with Tracy & Isaac: Christmas shopping! #
  • contemplating surrender (in a positive way, of course) #
  • What a brilliant afternoon: just woken from a long nap with my boy, and confirmed some work with a Primary school. #
  • RT @missionalrev: I met Santa today – Jesus is way cooler! #
  • RT @RickWarren: You only discover your true self by surrendering your self completely to Christ. // the message of our service tomorrow. #
  • Too late to put the finishing touches to this morning's service? Of course not! #
  • The difference between 'Jesus as Saviour' & 'Jesus as Lord' is surrender… #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-11-21

  • Preparing for Chaplaincy Vetting Interview at Oakhill STC – reviewing the last 20 years of my life (gasp!) & naming up to 20 referees! #
  • Ferrari Theme Park featuring 'Formula Rossa', the worlds fastest roller coaster : http://bbc.in/crAPrm #
  • RT @ScottyWardSmith: Jesus may the New Command, to love as you love us, move us to tangible kindness, quick repentances & sacrificial caring #
  • Day off – heading to Lincoln to chill out and catch up with friends. #
  • Isaac hitting the bottle outside Lincoln Cathedral http://instagr.am/p/Raic/ #
  • Isaac opening his first 1st birthday present http://instagr.am/p/Rans/ #
  • Isaac reading his lovely new book http://instagr.am/p/Rati/ #
  • Snuggly & sleeping at the top of Steep Hill, Lincoln http://instagr.am/p/RavG/ #
  • Beautiful clear, crisp day at Lincoln Cathedral http://instagr.am/p/Rayn/ #
  • Have had a bad back for almost three weeks now – enjoying my medicinal long soaks in a hot bath – but praying it will recover very soon! #
  • Vetting interview this morning for volunteer chaplain role at Oakhill Secure Training Centre – prayers appreciated… #
  • Instead of attending @youthworkconf I will be celebrating the 1st birthday of my son, Isaac, who was born during last year's event #ywc #
  • My fantastic new #Moo contact cards have arrived – colours not quite as expected, but I won't tell if you don't ;o) @overheardatmoo #
  • Eastbourne being invaded by hundreds of youthworkers for annual Youth Work Conference @youthworkconf – average age reduced by 40+ years! #
  • off for coffee and chat with a young person who is back briefly from Uni, then heading to a funeral: RIP Ella McBurnie… #
  • Upcoming Event: Appreciating Christians in Education – http://www.easyrew.com/christians-in-education/ #
  • Do you have positive memories from school & a story to tell about a great teacher? Please get in touch and share >> http://bit.ly/b7ud8j #
  • Have you been positively influenced by a teacher? Please share your story >> http://bit.ly/b7ud8j #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-11-14

  • The Serenity Prayer in flow chart form: http://bit.ly/cQXWR8 #
  • Long busy day: exploring the Bible with Years 4 & 5, networking with partners, admin & reading, Deacons Meeting – then breathe & bed! #
  • RT @drbexl & @bigdaddywhale : "twitter hasn't replaced texting, what twitter has replaced is muttering to yourself" #quote Rich Wyld #
  • American Football – genius play: watch closely in the first few seconds, then marvel: http://youtu.be/0UIdI8khMkw #
  • Bring the Christmas Story alive for the 'internet generation' with the @Natwivity: http://www.easyrew.com/natwivity/ #thetwitternativity #
  • looking for a subtle metaphor re: skewed priorities – 'cart before horse' is the best I've got – anything better? #
  • Comic: How the Browser Works? http://j.mp/aGbMPp #
  • RT @XIANITY: THEOLOGY: God announced today that even if you spell his name G-D he & everyone else still knows there is an "O" in there. #
  • 'there's a risk of undescended testicles in women who have taken a mixture of painkillers during pregnancy' BBC Breakfast #
  • really encouraging meeting this morning (better than last night's!) followed by a lovely walk home, now for 2nd meeting with my Mentor. #
  • 'never tell a child *what* to think or believe; always encourage them to think about what *they* believe' – Rachel Foster #wisdomoftheages #
  • A child will be born! He'll rule the world. He'll be called amazing counsellor, eternal father. He will have no limits. http://bit.ly/bnyqUx #
  • '…there is no better method of introducing a generation of young people to the Christian Faith than the BB.' – Steve Dickinson // Really?! #
  • RT @bradphoria: Facebook is for friends that are now strangers. Twitter is for strangers that should be your friends. #
  • Up & out early for prayer meeting at Leon School – what time is it? It's ugly o'clock! #
  • RT @benmiz: just deleted my foursquare account… what was that all about? // praise God – hoping many follow where you have led #
  • RT @FrDavidCloake: Yad Vashem: Death by Loose Garment http://t.co/jCiKVkF #
  • great day so far: early prayer meeting, morning off(!), gas fire removed, DIY done (some of it anyway), now admin & prep for Nooma @ Amicus. #
  • observing a Primary School assembly then on to Leadership Day with Tony Morgan – looking forward to both in equal measure. #
  • RT @rhutch: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 92 years ago the First World War ended & today we remember… #
  • I'm all over it – like a tramp on chips! #
  • Great morning with @tonymorganlive: simple & common-sense, yet hugely insightful and massively challenging! Lots to ponder & chew over! #
  • 'God let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.' – David Brainerd (1718-1747) #
  • Thank Crunchy it's Friday! My favourite day of the week: prayers, Teddy Tots & Emulate! Then the bonus of X:Site tomorrow – woohoo! #
  • Have lost my headphones – will have to pay attention to the world around me on my walk instead. #
  • RT @paulkerensa: One good turn, and you get the duvet. #
  • #FollowFriday @gemmadunning @bigdaddywhale @loufunnell @markrusselluk @simonrudiger @frdavidcloake @natwivity @alicampbellyes /all worth it #
  • #FollowFriday ctnd @mjchurchill @nickbuttons @frdavidcloake @natwivity @alicampbellyes @therevbishop #
  • just ordered contact cards from Moo.com – about time, been here over a year already! [PS 30% off until midday tomorrow] @overheardatmoo #
  • 1st world problems vs. real problems: http://bit.ly/ao6U3o #
  • up obscenely early on my 'day off', Tracy is off for a treat with the girls so it's man time for me and Isaac. Love it! #
  • 'God has more than enough time – in fact, time & space is essentially just the front lawn. You should see the *back*!' #
  • RT @perrynoble: John 2:5 = the best advice in the Bible!!! // for those who won't look it up 'do whatever Jesus tells you to do'! #
  • RT @babyrew: I've just cut another tooth – that makes a grand total of two! #
  • 12 Fun Hacks for Getting More Out of YouTube: http://on.mash.to/c3vltW #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-11-07

  • Local news: Christians responsible for breakout at Oakhill Secure Training Centre http://bit.ly/oakhillstc #
  • RT @babyrew: Rookie mistake: Daddy left the stairgate open so I climbed to the top of the stairs unsupervised & went to play in my nursery. #
  • Heading out for the morning & just had the most amazing goodbye hug from Isaac – brought tears to my eyes… #
  • My lunch companions at Ikea… http://instagr.am/p/Hy-D/ #
  • iPhone 4 Alarm Bug wakes Europe an hour late – grateful for Isaac's internal alarm: http://bit.ly/bnnkMx #
  • fantastic couple of weeks, great events, amazing weekend, so blessed yesterday, such promise & potential & opportunity! More Lord, more… #
  • Local news: Christians responsible for breakout at Oakhill Secure Training Centre: http://bit.ly/oakhillstc #
  • A letter to the Editor of the MK Citizen re: Oakhill STC – http://www.easyrew.com/letter-to-the-editor/ #
  • Just booked onto the Social Media for Social Change conference, 30th Nov – looking forward to it: http://bit.ly/smfsc #
  • 'you can give without loving, but you can't love without giving' Perry Noble #
  • Children in Church, even noisy ones, are a blessing & to be celebrated! Great reflection & comment here: http://bit.ly/aXoC14 #
  • Technical Optimism: the glass is always full – http://whyismarko.com/technical-optimism/ #
  • heading off to the Youth Leader/Childrens Worker Breakfast at Ikea MK – see you there at 9:30 then back to Bridgebuilder for prayer… #
  • RT @youthblogoxford: Met someone who believed you couldn't speak to a young person if you weren't CRB cleared! #urbanCRBmyths #
  • 'the Word of God is powerful when preached: you don't chain up a pitbull – you unleash it!' – Perry Noble #
  • 'You bled your heart out, now I feel love beat in my chest: how wonderful!' You Bled – Rend Collective Experiment #
  • RT @mikecapener: "Without vision people parish" – Michael Cassidy #
  • It's Friday night and I have the whole weekend off – how sweet it is! #
  • Great comment on and examples from the updated NIV 2011 text: The Little Changes – http://bit.ly/dxWKtu #
  • Quality time with the boy this morning, wider family this afternoon, then just the three of us this evening – a great day! #
  • RT @DougieSellers: New young member at men's breakfast – welcome Isaac (@babyrew) … http://yfrog.com/jjngwaj #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-10-31

  • Huge congrats to @geoffbond & Sarah on the safe, yet early and unorthodox, delivery of Hollie – absolutely thrilled for them. Praise God! x #
  • posted my notes from Youthwork Summit; for personal reflection/free to anyone who's interested: http://bit.ly/bvTGco #yws @youthworksummit #
  • I just let the Youthwork Summit organisers know what I thought of it – and you should too if you attended: http://bit.ly/ywsfeedback #
  • You can now download my #yws notes in handy PDF format: http://bit.ly/ywspdf [huge thanks to @king_kieran] #
  • half-term Amicus Ikea breakfast this morning: now to work out if the afternoon is too short or my to-do list is too long – bit of both? #
  • RT @babyrew: Another milestone: Mummy bought my first toothbrush today, and I'm currently brushing my tooth. // it's true… #
  • Really looking forward to meeting Perry Noble (@perrynoble) this morning and hearing what he has to say to a group of UK Church leaders. #
  • RT @jammyf: "You can't blame the meat for going rotten. That's what meat does. You blame the salt for not being there to preserve it." Stott #
  • thanks to @perrynoble , @jennwoods & the @newspring team for coming to the UK to inspire & train Church leaders: awesome day, glory to God! #
  • 'absolutely no room for manouvrement' #theapprentice #
  • RT @RickWarren: Ps.46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" means sit down & shut up. You cant hear God if you're never quiet. // true dat! #
  • RT @BillHybels: Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the Church has greater capacity 4 healing & wholeness.Its potential is unlimited! #
  • RT @babyrew: Daddy has just fitted child locks to many of the kitchen cupboards: he loves to spoil my fun! #
  • Just about to start the first meeting of the Youth Minister Support Team; first task reviewing my 1st year then setting direction for yr 2. #
  • Teddy Tots first meeting on a non-school day today: really looking forward to welcoming back some of our 'graduates' and movers :0) #
  • RT @changingworship: I've got just the right amount of Take That tickets. #zero // ;o) #
  • Sleepy boy after a busy days holiday http://instagr.am/p/GR7Q/ #
  • Music practise tonight so we're ready to lead worship at Oakhill STC on Sunday evening: looking forward to some great worship. #
  • 'ooooh – you've got your pulling pants on!' – anon. #
  • 'with every breath that I am given I will sing salvations's song & I'll join the chorus of Creation giving praise to Christ alone' #
  • Classy Christmas marketing at The Olde Swan… http://yfrog.com/4ji07oj #
  • RT @babyrew: This weekend I've officially become a toddler – am now walking confidently (with occasional falls) around the lounge & kitchen. #
  • Mmmmmm – Mrs Easyrew is baking a yummy fruit crumble… #mouthwatering #
  • Argh! I can't get @Veggietales' 'God made you special' out of my head – my own fault though I guess: 'and He loves you very much…' ;o) #
  • just starting to lead worship at Oakhill Secure Training Centre – God is doing some amazing things here; join us in praying for more! #
  • Worshipped God; preached the Gospel; drunk coffee; eaten tea; played with 'the boy' (@babyrew) now he's sleeping on my chest: life is good!! #
  • Sleeping beauties! http://instagr.am/p/HcXW/ #

Twitter Digest for for 2010-10-24

  • mega pre-holiday to-do list done – now signing off and chilling out with some mindless TV watching! #
  • heading to Minehead for the week, via Westonbirt Arboretum. #
  • 'This isn't just On Yer Bike, it's On Yer Own.' – Johan Hari on the Comprehensive Spending Review: http://ind.pn/cCarVE #
  • we interrupt this holiday for the usual Thursday night viewing of Question Time & This Week (*delighted* that Diane Abbott has resigned!!) #
  • This Week is finally watchable again now the pointless & patronising Diane Abbott has resigned… Praise God! #
  • love the fact that Diane Abbott's failed leadership campaign Twitter account (@abbott4leader) auto-retweets anything which includes her name #
  • home after a great family holiday! The study door will remain firmly closed for today though… Now for a power-nap! #
  • Lovely power-nap; Indian takeaway ordered; early start tomorrow – heading to London for the Youthwork Summit #yws #
  • Ugh! Holiday properly over: up very early. But looking forward to Youthwork Summit. Hope the rain stays away for my walk across London #yws #
  • 'when I read the Bible it seems normal to not know what comes next.' – Francis Chan #
  • No idea how they'll call this many youth workers to order in a couple of minutes – about to find out #yws #
  • can't write notes, tweet and clap at the same time #yws #needmorehands #multitaskfail #
  • Lovin' the X-Factor man! #yws #
  • Free dental work at the back for those who tried the Starbucks Ginger Snaps! #godlovesdentistsevenifyoudont #yws #
  • Do you think the Rend Collective Experiment will lend me an iPhone charger? Battery on the way out… #yws #
  • 'no, the Bible isn't always interesting' – Dave Jenkins #yws #
  • Absolutely awesome day at the Youthwork Summit. Already looking forward to next year! @youthworksummit #yws #
  • 'cyberspace is increasingly coming to look like the "real" world…' http://bit.ly/9hIK9I #
  • just back from Church where (among other things) we welcomed 2 people into Church membership – one was my wife… #
  • this afternoon I will be mostly cutting the lawns… Prayers appreciated! #
  • Just consumed some mint sauce with a 'best before' date in mid 2008 – leaving this for the benefit of the Coroner, just in case. #