The Power of Encouragement

Encouragement is life-giving words empowering people we journey with to step out into their goals

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)."

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).”

“in courage.”  God first encouraged us… “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thes. 2:16-17).”   God encourages us to walk “in courage” for Jesus. What has someone spoken into your life that touched you deep down, acknowledging your deepest passions and skills, and gave you a vision of how you can walk in that?

I remember I started speaking and teaching in front of small groups as a student at the University of Oklahoma. A good friend, Brad Brickell, spoke encouragement into me by saying that I was gifted at speaking. I was floored because I have a speech impediment because of cerebral palsy, and it was very prominent during that time.

In my daily quiet time, I was reading about when God gave Moses a God-size mission to be His spokesperson. Moses responded in Exodus 4:10: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’”

 I thought, “YES, that’s me!” It was so comforting to know that the great Moses who parted the Red Sea and proclaimed God’s words boldly had a speech impediment too!!! God’s response to Moses was words of life to empower him to speak “in courage”: The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'” -Exodus 4:12

I have spoken around the world from Pepperdine University to universities in other nations such as Haiti and Brazil sharing about God’s power through my weaknesses, encouraging people to live for Jesus courageously in their weaknesses! More than a speaker, I pray to be known as “an encourager”. E-mail my wife to book me at your event (

How has someone encouraged you to live out your purpose, encouraging you in your God-given gifts, talents and passions? Please share below. How are you going to encourage someone in your life this week?

Originally posted 2015-01-19 07:00:00.

How Do You See Yourself?

I rolled by a laundry mat at 11:00 p.m. and saw a hanging sign that read… “Sorry, we’re close.”  I thought, you don’t have to be sorry, it’s 11:00 at night!  What am I going to do? Come back tomorrow and say to the employee, “Hey, I walked by at 11:00 last night with my dirty laundry… you should’ve been open.”
sorry we're closed
That sign has a phrase I could’ve had around my chest because I have said that phrase most of of my life, “I’m sorry”.  This phrase was so common out of my mouth that I started repeating it for all types of situations I could not control, for things that were not my fault and for things that were, as if that is a reason to speak over my whole identity that… “I am sorry.”  
In my journey with Jesus in my 20s, I began to have older guys befriend me and disciple me.  I use to be sorry for everything, for existing, then someone started living life with me, speaking into me who I am in Christ.  The first two verses of the Navigators Topical Memory System is anchored in knowing who you are in Christ:
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
In Christ, you are a new creation!  The old is gone! The new is here! You’ve been crucified with Christ!  You no longer live. BUT, Christ lives in YOU!
The Webster’s Dictionary defines Identity as “a person’s conception and expression of their individuality.”  A secular view of Identity is how you conceive yourself; therefore, express yourself. Here is a biblical definition that is even more poignant:  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”:   (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).  One day in a quiet time, I wrote this in my journal: 
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am in Christ.  Galatians 2:20 says to me Christ is in you.  When you put your faith and trust in Christ, He becomes your identity.  Are you trying to “find yourself” or trying to answer the question “who am I?” Look to Jesus.  
Stay tuned, as we dig into more who we are in Christ.  Next, week we’ll talk about the first “P” of the series of “The 3 P’s of your identity.”  In Christ, you are pure.
  • Do you ever wonder who you are?
  • What Bible verses remind you who you are?
  • Think of someone you can meet with this week to discuss and memorize a Bible verse about who you are in Christ.

Feel free to continue the conversation and comment below the blog entry.

Originally posted 2014-07-28 01:00:10.

Life Lesson Learned Through Wheelchair Skiing

skiingI don’t necessarily like to read instructions, but you know what, there are times when it sure would be nice to receive instructions. There was one time in particular when instructions would have been very helpful for me.

The first time I ever went snow skiing was right after I got my masters. About 7 of my friends and I decided to celebrate by snow skiing at Winter Park, because they’re known for wheelchair skiing. They asked me if I wanted to ski by myself or have an instructor. Well, I’d never been skiing in my life, so I asked for an instructor.

The very first time we went up the slope, I knew this was going to be beyond me, and I knew I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My instructor tied himself to my ski sled, and then said “Okay Todd, go.”

So without instructions, I started skiing down this hill. My only experience with snow skiing was watching speed skiing on the Olympics where they go straight down the hill. So there I was, going straight down this hill, gaining speed every second. The wind was smashing into my face and my face felt like it was lagging behind me as I sped down this hill constantly picking up speed.

Suddenly, I saw a tree in front of me. A big tree. I knew I was going faster and faster and was about to slam into this tree. As if having Cerebral Palsy and being in a wheelchair wasn’t enough, I was about to have some serious issues after smashing into a tree at this speed. I was helpless and weak, and my only hope was the instructor behind me with that rope. All of the sudden I felt myself stop as the instructor pulled the rope 10 feet in front of the tree. He said “Todd, you’re supposed to take very wide turns to slow down! The straighter you ski the faster you go.” Now you tell me!

I had to totally depend on that instructor in my weakness. If it wasn’t for him, I would have slammed into the tree, and if it wasn’t for him, I also wouldn’t have been able to ski in the first place. If I hadn’t let myself be weak in order to try something new, I wouldn’t have been able to experience the next 3 days of skiing down mountains and having the time of my life.

In our weaknesses, God wants us to enjoy life and have fun. He wants to steer us away from crashing; He wants to be our strength. Even with our weaknesses, we can enjoy life, living a full life for Him as He is our power.

What weaknesses in your life could be a conduit for you to lean on God, experiencing His power through those weaknesses?

What is your first step this week toward experiencing strength beyond yourself ?

How can you encourage someone this week to live in God’s power through their weaknesses?

Originally posted 2014-05-05 08:00:40.

5 S.M.A.R.T Strategies To Achieve Goals In 2017

A blessed 2017 to YOU!

One year in seminary I set a new year’s resolution to eat not

A memory from when we launched the mobilizing mission work among 20s across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in 2014.

A memory from when we launched the mobilizing mission work among 20s across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in 2014.

one single French fry for a whole year. Now, it’s funny to think about all of my friends thinking I was accomplishing an unbelievable feat. I made it a whole year but all it did was “resolve” that I could survive without a fry. All a resolution is is a decision to or not to do something. It’s really not that inspiring. But defines a goal as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”! Wow that’s inspirational! It’s so inspirational that the Apostle Paul uses this term to describe a life purpose: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”  Goals give you purpose. In fact, in 2017, let’s not just make a goal, let’s make a s.m.a.r.t. goal.

  1. Specific – General goals are not tangible such as I’m going to work out more. But the more details you put to the goal, it’ll come alive: I’m going to work out three days a week at 5:00 a.m. and I’m going to meet and build a friendship at the gym with one person to converse the Good News of Jesus with.
  2. Measurable – You can’t measure loving your neighbor more in 2017, but you can make a goal of ringing their doorbell once a week and asking them how you may pray for them. This also allows you to evaluate whether or not your goal is on track during the year.
  3. Attainable – I’m most likely not going to have a leading role in a Hollywood film this year even though I’m convinced my wife knows I’m better looking than Channing Tatum. Sorry, Channing. But, I’m blessed to be making disciples among twenties in our growing mission work and my goal will be speaking at twelve more events, in addition to our mission work, inspiring more people with my testimony than I did last year.
  4. Readjust – Let’s not be static and legalistic.  God might open doors or reveal new insights that may lead you to readjust the goal set. Be open to this and the newness that comes into your life: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:19‬)?” Be perceptive.
  5. Timeline – In 2014, my wife and I had a goal to launch this growing mission work among twenties in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex on November 1 that year. We did it! One hundred and twenty twenties have been equipped firsthand in this ministry since then. If your only deadline is January 2018, you’re not likely to get around to doing it during the year since it’s not imminent.
I want you to accomplish everything on your heart for 2017! Comment below and share what you use to set your goals that’s different than above. What are your goals for 2017? Comment below. Let’s pray for and encourage each other in our goals. I pray 2017 will be the best ever for you glorifying Jesus!
Will you jumpstart accomplishing goals today by helping our growing mission work reach our year end goal?:

* Click here and be one of the 40 new monthly partners we are praying for. Then click: “Make this a monthly gift” under our picture.

Thank you!  You’re partnership with us in this growing mission work will be a blessing to many!!!

Originally posted 2016-12-26 05:00:46.