By Shirley Prihoda
My first child, Jerry Frank Gilcrease, who for the too-short years he lived on this side of glory, loved Glen Campbell.
He had an imagined guitar and would stand with the bravado of a shirtless 5-year-old and announce, “Hi, I’m Glen Campbell” and proceed to belt out, “I’m a rhinestone cowboy.”
As I was listening to one of Glen’s most popular songs recently, my heart was arrested.
The words to “Try a little kindness” struck me deeply, and with sharp realization as to how far the church has fallen from one of our God-given assignments, which is to encourage one another. It’s in the Bible 27 times.
There are probably innumerable reasons the Lord told us to be encouragers, but I think somewhere close to the top is because it takes the focus off of ourselves - and we need that.
Let’s simply look at the wisdom of Hebrews 3:13: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Everybody does better with encouragement. It’s not a natural behavior; it’s learned. True, some have a more natural affinity to encourage, but in the end…it’s a choice.
Traditionally, the church has not been known as an encouraging place. Our profiling has been more along the lines of patrolling the battlefields to finish off our wounded. Is it any wonder if a wounded soul needed to spill their brokenness, they found more comfort at the local bar?
Instead of following orders, we as Christians have spent most of our time trying to get the Lord to do what we want and in the timeline we want Him to do it. This has left little time to direct our lives toward the assignment of encouraging others. Our tunnel vision has closed our eyes to how the Lord chooses to bless us. In Luke 6:38, He tells us the procedure, or process, to being blessed, “Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
So, let’s awaken to the assignment of encouragement and purpose to encourage three people every day. And, in the distance somewhere, Glen will be singing with a little 5-year-old boy:
“If you see your brother standing by the road with a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed. And if you see your sister falling by the way, just stop and say ‘You’re going the wrong way.’”
“You got to try a little kindness, yes, show a little kindness. Just shine your light for everyone to see. And, if you try a little kindness, then you’ll overlook the blindness of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.”
Now, it’s time to encourage you to try this.
Old-Fashioned Peach Pudding
5 cups peaches, peeled and diced, fresh or frozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Top with ice cream, I like Butter Pecan.
Preheat oven to 400º F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together brown sugar, sugar and nutmeg, then mix in butter and water and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Whisk in milk and vanilla extract until smooth, then fold in diced peaches.
Pour filling into a greased baking dish, then pour topping on top. Place in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, covering with aluminum foil, if necessary, until cooked through.
Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
(To contact Shirley, please send emails to email@example.com or write to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)