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Encourage One Another

God is good, even when our circumstances may not seem so.  The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions and trials for many people including myself.

A brief glimpse of a few challenges I have personally faced:  being sick with bronchitis for over a month, helping some people navigate through some major spiritual crises, to packing up and moving to another part of town –  it has indeed been a crazy time.  And in the midst of all of that, my grandmother also passed away.

Losing my grandmother was the most difficult situation of all.  When I was born she was my only surviving grandparent.  To lose such a matriarch of my family dealt a mighty blow to us indeed.  However, one blessing that came of it was the opportunity to reconnect with some relatives I had not seen in years.  No matter our distance, we were still family, and it was great to catch up with each other and support one another through a difficult time. 

This experience also made me grateful for my extended family of faith.  Throughout this time, I had many people praying for me and encouraging me along the way.  And like my relatives, no matter our distance they still were a great support to me and I appreciated that more than I can ever express.  

Many of those supportive people include our incredible ministry volunteers here at Shattered Studios.  Shattered’s new Orlando Team has done an amazing job helping us to continue to push forward on new ministry initiatives, developing new ways to reach out to hurting people, and some have even volunteered to help take new leadership roles within our ministry which is exciting!

And our Pennsylvania Team continues to be incredible.  When I realized I was not going to be able to make it back to our headquarters to attend a fundraiser we would be holding there, our PA Team took charge and did an amazing job.  The fundraiser was a great success in not only raising funds to help us continue our work, but also in facilitating a great opportunity for people to share joy in building relationships while championing our goal of sharing hope and faith through the arts.

As I have been reflecting recently on these events I continue to realize the importance of relying on others especially during our times of need.  God created us to be in relationship with one another and to support one another in good times and in difficult times.

Who in your life are you thankful to God for being a source of hope and encouragement to you?  How can you express your gratitude to them?  Who can you be a source of hope and encouragement for this week?

“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.  This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.” 

– Hebrews 10:24-25 The Passion Translation

For His Glory!

Derrick Whitmore

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