Encouraging words, right when we need them:

– North Carolina writer Derek Maul

This morning I turned on my computer to read a notice that said, essentially:

“I know you only had a few minutes to write before heading out today, but you need to finish the new operating system instal you thought you’d already done during the night. This should take approximately 58-minutes. Good luck getting your work done.”

And then, I’m not 100% sure but I think I saw it, a maniacal laughing clown emoji briefly flashed on the screen!

So here I am, with ten minutes to post something meaningful.

Philippians Chapter Two has been one of my go-to Scripture passages ever since I made my first decision as an adult to not only continue in the faith I had been taught as a child but to intentionally grow as a Follower of Jesus.

I memorized the first few verses during my first visit to Greece, in 1975. They have – time and again – been critically important touchstones in my journey as a disciple.

One translation – the one I used in the song, “Love One Another” – phrases verse five as, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…”

Don’t just read this passage. Clear your mind; pray, asking God to be present in and through your reading; then read the words aloud. If you are with someone, ask if you can read the scripture to them.

Finally, when you have heard the last of Paul’s words ring out, let them resonate in your soul. Invite the Living Word – Jesus, to inhabit the words of scripture. Then live in the power of them.

In love, and because love is true – DEREK

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

 Though he was in the form of God,
        he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
But he emptied himself
        by taking the form of a slave
        and by becoming like human beings.
When he found himself in the form of a human,
        he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
        even death on a cross.
 Therefore, God highly honored him
        and gave him a name above all names,
     so that at the name of Jesus everyone
        in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow
         and every tongue confess
            that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11

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