Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NRSV)
When Steven Spielberg signed up for a Boy Scouts merit badge in movie-making, his father bought him a Super-8 camera. According to his mother, from then on the decor in their house consisted of white walls, blue carpeting, and tripods. Their car back then was a 1950 army-surplus jeep. Steven's family would load it up and drive into the desert. And Steven would have the whole family dressed up in ridiculous costumes. He'd say, "Stand behind that cactus," and they did.

And Steven's mother was quite willing to go along with his outrageous movie-making schemes. Once when he wanted to make a horror movie with something disgusting oozing out of her kitchen cabinets, she bought thirty cans of cherries, cooked them in a pressure cooker until they exploded all over the room, and then spent years gradually cleaning cherries out of her kitchen.

Not many parents would go that far in encouraging their offspring. But such encouragement made Spielberg what he is today -- one of Hollywood's most successful directors.

Who are you encouraging today?

Dear Jesus, thank you for all the encouragement you have given to me. Help me to share it with someone who really needs it today. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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