Category Archives: Encouragement


Scripture Sunday Psalm 3:3 | #R1616

“”But You, O Lord,
are a shield for me,
My glory and the One
who lifts up my head.”

Psalm 3:3 nkjv

Scripture Sunday: Lift up Thy Head


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Proverbs 17:6 Happy Father's Day |

“Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.” Proverbs 17:6 nkjv

Scripture Sunday: Happy Father’s Day


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Brotherhood Highlights Around the Web

This Week’s Brotherhood Highlights

Brotherhood Highlights from the Web

Highlighted Study

Available at Kaio Publications

Highlighted Devotional Study | #R1616


Highlighted Recipe

by Stacy at A Delightful Home

Highlighted Recipe | #R1616

Highlighted Event

Dates: August 19-25, 2016
Location: Sevierville Convention Center, Sevierville, TN
Registration Now Open

Highlighted Event: Polishing the Pulpit | #R1616



15 Things You Can Do to Serve a Special Needs Family

15 Things You Can do to Serve a Special Needs Family | #R1616

Imagine, if you will, the joy that comes when a mom and dad find out that they are expecting a new child. Whether through pregnancy and birth or through the joy of adoption, the joy of such a blessing is overwhelming. Beyond measure, a true thrill to the heart.

Now imagine, if you will, that soon after learning of the impending child, they also learn that there may be a problem, whether physical, mental or developmental. How do you imagine, that feels? Could it be a mixture of both joy and pain? Is it perhaps sorrow and elation that joins together leaving confusion in the soul? Do you perceive that their could be worry, wonder and amazement?

Also imagine what the day of delivery might be like.

Parenting is joyous, but also challenging even for children born with no special need. Now consider the difficulties which may lie ahead for a parent with a special needs child. It will look different for each family. There most likely will be financial struggles, emotional struggles, and feelings of isolation. The realities of what the family is facing can put a strain on the marriage, a strain that far too often leads to separation or divorce.

The feelings can be overwhelming and the work that follows surely is so. From doctors appointments, special need therapies such as speech, occupational, fine and gross motor development, to vision care. Perhaps something as simple as feeding the child takes on a whole new meaning when parents are learning how to tube feed or faces a lifetime of diaper changes.

The idea that no one understands is certainly understandable. The idea that none helps, is, well, it’s sad beyond measure, especially for those who are members of the Lord’s body.

We are called to love one another, John 13:34-35.  We are called to do unto others, Luke 6:31. We are called to show compassion, kindness, and longsuffering, Colossians 3:12. We are to bear one another’s burdens thus, fulfilling the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2.

If there are those among us who are feeling isolated, cast off, and without help or care, then we are failing to uphold the body of Christ, we are failing to fulfill the law of Christ.

“…Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me.” Matthew 25:45 ASV

We must look past our own comfort and see to the needs and hearts of others. No special need parent in the Lord’s church should ever feel as if they have no help, no one to care, or that they aren’t needed, or a part of the Lord’s body.

But, often, too often, this is the case. Why? Most likely it is because we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to help or what is needed. But, that is simply an excuse because we must step outside of our own comforts and ask, show love, compassion and a listening ear, both to the parents and the child.

15 Ways to Help a Special Needs Family

  1. Offer a listening ear. It may take some time before you will find they are willing to open up. It might seem as if they don’t want your listening ear. But, it’s just because of the hurt involved. Ask, how things are going, offer to pray for, or about a specific situation. Build up a friendship over time that instills in their heart that you are offering because YOU CARE, not out of duty.
  2. Ask your sister over for coffee, or a dessert or anything that let’s her have a moment away. She may say no, but keep offering, keep asking.
  3. Call her up and say, “I’m bringing over dinner for your family tonight.” Don’t take no for an answer. Simply say, I know that you are busy and life can be extremely hectic for you. Please, let me help.
  4. Offer childcare. With all of the appointments a special needs family must undertake, sometimes it’s difficult to find childcare of the other children in the family, yet it’s hard to take them all along to appointments. Be ready, willing and able to provide for this need. Offer the option, repeat often until she trusts that you mean it.
  5. Make appropriate accommodations for the special needs child in Bible Classes. First, you need to ask the parent what IS appropriate, and you need to understand that it might not be the easiest solution. THEY know their child best and a congregation that is insistent on doing it their way is not going to go far in making the family feel welcome within the body.
  6. Organize disability Sensitivity Training within the congregation. This can go a long way in helping a family see that they are welcome, and that you want them to be surrounded by compassionate members.
  7. Offer Encouraging Words. With isolation comes the feeling of being under a microscope. A special needs mom can feel as if they are always being watched to see how they handle difficult situations. But you can be an encouragement to her. Tell her she’s doing a great job, or that you admire her ability to multitask. Let the law of kindness always be on your lips, Proverbs 3:26.
  8. Offer to do laundry. Just taking home 1 or 2 loads a week can dramatically ease the burden for these overly burdened homemakers.
  9. Invite her and the kids over for a playdate. You would be incredibly surprised to discover how few times this happens, don’t overlook this family when planning events for the children in the congregation.
  10. Invite her to Gatherings. Don’t overlook this mom when you gather with other friends. Even if she isn’t able to be there, she needs to know she is welcome, that you WANT her to join you. Be understanding if she can’t make it, and be welcoming when she makes arrangements to make it.
  11. Offer to Learn How to Take Care of Her Child. It might be scary to offer to learn how tube feed a child. But imagine what it was like for her the first time, and she had no choice. She also may NEVER have a chance to spend time alone with her husband because no one is willing to help her in this matter. Learning this task, or others like it, can then allow you to provide her with respite care, date nights, her own doctors appointments, or perhaps just the ability to sit down during a fellowship meal and eat.
  12. Surprise her! Make arrangements with her husband, or her mom, then take her out for a dinner, or pedicure, or a shopping trip to buy her a little something special, a scarf of earrings. Let it be your treat.
  13. Offer to Take the Kids for a Weekend. She needs sleep, a shower, and time alone with her husband. See #11.
  14. Simply Ask How She Is. You’d be so surprised to find that she is rarely, if ever, asked about her own needs.
  15. Last, but not least, Be Her Friend. Truly, be a friend to her. She probably doesn’t have a single one. They probably abandoned her shortly after her child came into her family. Don’t do this out of duty, but out of a heart that truly loves your sister in the Lord. Jesus Christ was compassionate, Matthew 14:14, we too should have a heart of compassion for those who are in need.

“And one of the multitude answered him, Teacher, I brought unto thee my son, who hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever it taketh him, it dasheth him down: and he foameth, and grindeth his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast it out; and they were not able. he answereth them and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him grievously; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long time is it since this hath come unto him? And he said, From a child And oft-times it hath cast him both into the fire and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth. Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. And when Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And having cried out, and torn him much, he came out: and the boy became as one dead; insomuch that the more part said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.”  Mark 9:17-27 ASV.

While we can’t offer physical healing to our brothers and sisters in Christ for their child. We can offer them compassion, love, and kindness which can heal broken hearts, thus fulfilling the law of Christ.

Resources for Families with Special Needs

This post written by Team Member: Renée


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Brotherhood Highlights from the Web 3

Brotherhood Highlights | #R1616

This Week’s Brotherhood Highlights

Highlighted Words of Encouragement

Words: The Power o Life or Death
Empowering God’s Women by Penny Kendall

Brotherhood Highlights | #R1616

Penny knows that some days are hard, and that discouragement and disappointment can surround you like a wave. She understands and wants to offer a bit of encouragement for your day.

“GOD’S WORD offers the breath of life and He admonishes our words to do the same.” — Penny J. Kendall

Join Penny on her blog and share your heart with her. She’ll offer you words of encouragment, hope and love.


Highlighted Youth Post

When Silence is Just 
by Jayla Sparks at Marvelously Modest

Brotherhood Highlights | #R1616

To say that wisdom is coming from youth seems like an oxymoron, but the reality is when one is trained up in the nurture of God’s word, wisdom is learned young. That’s what Jayla presents in this blog post about being cautious with our mouth. She uses an excellent Biblical illustration to show that it’s best to think before you speak.

“I believe that this is an issue we often justify and don’t really like to touch. How many times do we mistake going to our brothers and sisters for help, with gossiping?” – Jayla Sparks

Sisters, this is a post you don’t want to miss. You will be uplifted, nudged and gently, lovingly reminded of the importance of our words.

Highlighted Business

H&C Religious Supply

Brotherhood Highlights | #R1616

H&C Religious Supply is a Bible Book and religious supply store located in Chattanooga, TN. They provide resources for all ages, including workbooks, children’s curricula, study aids, teacher’s supplies, and much more. Since the 1970’s have served their local community by providing resources for churches and individuals seeking Bible study aids. Now, with their website they deliver to the needs of Bible students all over the world. Don’t miss, they have free shipping on all orders over $40.


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Acts of Simple Service

Acts of Simple Service

Do you ever get stuck on how to serve? Do you think, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do? This is often where we can get hung up. Stuck in the I don’t know place.

Acts of Simple Service | #R1616

But we can’t use the I don’t know place as an excuse to not do what the Lord has asked of us.

Serving can be simple acts or acts that require many hands to get the job done.

Simple Service to Bring Honor to a King

There are many people who need help. But, are we overlooking them? Or, do we think, well if they needed help, they’d ask. Too often, people are afraid to ask, or are embarrassed to admit they need help.

Remember that Christ asked us to be living sacrifices, Romans 12:1. Offering help can seem awkward, but that’s the part where we are to step outside of our comfort zone a bit.

Ideas for People to Serve

  • Elderly
  • Widows
  • Someone who is sick with an ongoing, long-term health struggle.
  • A Single Parent
  • A Child-less Couple (They may be lonelier than you can imagine, or an older couple without children, may need help but have no one to offer it.)
  • A Pregnant Mama
  • A Family with a Special Needs Child
  • Moms of Many Kids
  • The Preachers Family (the are OFTEN overlooked)
  • The Elders
  • The Deacons
  • The Teens (It’s so often that teens are expected to serve, it’s rare for them to BE served, and there is much to be learned in the act of accepting service.)
  • A member who Owns their Small Business (Small business owners, often, can’t afford to hire help for small tasks, so sometimes small tasks get left undone.)

Service doesn’t have to look like big. In fact, some of the most loving acts of service are those tiny, small, seemingly, unnoticeable acts that get overlooked. Remember the example of Christ? He washed the disciples feet, John 13:12. He saw the leper, heard the cries of the blind beggar, healed the lame, He chose to be obedient to His Father and extend love to the outcasts, the weak, the infirm.

Without His example, we may do the same. But, we are Christians, Like-Christ. We are to be like Him in all that we do, say and how we love. When we offer service to others, it isn’t to bring glory to ourselves, it brings glory to Christ Jesus our Lord.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

A simple act of kindness begins in the heart. It begins by having a heart open to seeing where need lies.

Ideas for Simple Acts of Kindness

  1. Each week make it a point to speak to someone at worship who you’ve never, or rarely spoken to before.
    Then, take extra time getting to know that person. See them. Hear them. Love them.
  2. Speak to the check out clerk wherever you may be, look at their name tag and say something like, “Hi Evelyn, are you having a good day today?” You will be quite surprised at how surprised they are, and you can almost always see a change in their demeanor. Why? Because they are often overlooked, belittled, and in a difficult job, even though perhaps the work is easy, it’s difficult to stand, for hours, and no one notice you, while you are serving the needs of the public.
  3. If you are a gardener, take extra veggies to a mom of many, a few extras to a widower, or a single parent.
    Not a gardener? Buy a few extras at the grocery store and do the same.
  4. Take Flowers If you have a flower bed that produces beautiful perennials, Cut off a small bouquet or two and spend an afternoon, driving around and tying a couple on doors around the neighborhood, or at the homes of the congregation’s elders.
  5. Drive someone to a doctor or medical appointment,
  6. Invite the single parent over for an afternoon chat.
  7. Take a meal to the preacher’s family when a member or two have a cold/flu or other illness.
  8. Send cards to a teenager encouraging them through their schooling years.
  9. Send a gift card to someone following the death of a loved one. Containers of food brought over are nice, but the reality is, too much food can be daunting during a time of grief. A gift card allows the person to get a meal at their pace, as they have need.
  10. Take the time to get to know a special needs family, especially, the child. Talk to the mom, learn what the needs are. Learn about her day and how she juggles. Then seek to determine what you can do to ease her burden. It might be prayer, it might be an offer of child-care, it might be an offer of respite care.
  11. Make a Call, Pick up the phone and the church directory and call up someone to ask how they are doing, tell them you are thinking about them, find out if they need anything.
  12. Mow the lawn of a single person, or trim the hedges for a widow, or offer to pull weeds in the flowerbeds of an elderly sister.
  13. When making dinner, double the recipe and make two. Freeze one. When you have 3-5 extras in the freezer, pull them out and take them to a single parent, an elderly couple, widow or mom of many.
  14. At the grocery store, spend an extra 15 minutes rounding up stray carts and take them to the cart coral.
  15. Buy an extra cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever their preference is) and drop by the church’s building and offer it to the preacher during his work day.
  16. Are you crafty? Do you enjoy scrap-booking, or crochet or other craft? Bless the someone whose time is limited with the gift of your creation. Offer to scrapbook for a single mom, or mom of many or special needs mom. Take an afghan to a new mom, or someone in the nursing home, or make a baby sweater and take it to the hospital and leave with the nursery nurses with a card that says “For a new mom.”

These are just a few ideas. Hopefully, they will help you to think outside of your nervousness and realize that God places you where He will for the purposes of working in His kingdom.

— Written by Team Member Renée

1 Comment

Posted by on March 30, 2016 in Christian, Encouragement, Faithfulness


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Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web 2


We’re bringing you topics of interest from the Brotherhood around the web. Whether you are searching for preacher’s notes, sermon outlines, women’s devotionals or ideas for Bible classes, we want to bring you highlights from around the web as a weekly encouragement to both you and our members.

Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web 3.28.16 | #R1616

This Week’s Brotherhood Highlights

Highlighted Bible Class Lessons

Bible Fun for Kids Lessons on Jesus

Highlighted Bible Class Lessons: Bible Fun for Kids Lessons on Jesus | #R1616

Debbie Jackson is known for her Bible Class lessons that are easy to utilize with all the free printables you need to complete a Sunday or Wednesday lesson. But when she pulls together a complete series of lessons that are based on teaching sound faith straight from the word of God, you can usually cover an entire quarters worth of lessons. This highlight is to let you know about Debbie’s latest series, Jesus, she has spanned a little over 2 months in this series, so far. But you can also search her categories for even more.

Highlighted Blog Post

Snapshots of Faith

Highlighted Blog Post: Snapshots of Faith by Donna Faughn | #R1616

Sister Donna Faughn recently shared this very encouraging post that guides us to look around our congregations at those who influence us to be faithful. Like the Pillars of Faith we see recounted in Hebrews 11 we too can look around at our brothers and sisters and be reminded to be faithful to the Lord. They can be, if we have open eyes and hearts, living testaments of the faith that we have in Christ Jesus.

We encourage you, dear sisters, to read Donna’s words and be motivated to see faith in action all around you.

Highlighted Preacher’s Sermon Outlines

Preaching Help Sermon Outlines – Steve Higginbotham

Highlighted Preacher's Sermons: by Steve Higginbotham | #R1616


Being the daughters, and wives of preachers, and one team member a preacher himself. We all are aware of the time, effort, research and study that goes into developing sermons, week after week. Which is why this week we want to feature a Preacher who shares his sermon outlines online for others to utilize. Brother Steve Higginbotham shares his weekly sermon outlines at They are categorized by year, and then each are listed and attached to a downloadable and printable pdf.

This post organized by Team Member – Renée.


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