Steve to Earth - Encouraging you the way I like to be encouraged.



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May your harvest be bountiful

Today, as you’re planting in our Father’s garden, may you be keenly aware of the qualities of the seed you bring with you. May it be firm … healthy … bursting with life … prepared to flourish and to multiply.

As you speak and interact with your world, may you find rich, receptive soil … vibrant, seeking souls … and willing minds, eager to accept the package of life that is born in your pure heart and graces your tongue and your lips.

May your words encounter no congestion and no opposition from competing thoughts and distractions in the minds of those you teach. May the seed you scatter make firm but gentle contact with deep, fertile soil.

May you see the stains and the strains of planting as rewards … souvenirs … of honest work done well.

May our Father hear your heart’s cry for His blessings on your plantings, and may He respond without delay, quickened by His deep love for you and your loyal stewardship of His abundant gifts and blessings. May your harvest be bountiful … and more beautiful than all the flowers of the earth combined.

May you find the Lord’s richest blessings in doing what you love.


May you lose yourself … and find yourself … in Jesus

Three more mini-blessings. I love to end e-mails with short blessings like these:

» May Jesus be all the Heaven you ever need or desire.

» May you lose yourself and find yourself in the ever-increasing, ever-creating Jesus.

» May your heart seek the pure heart of Jesus on Saturday … and again on Sunday … and … well … every day from now on … and may you find what you seek.


May you find your completion in Christ

Three mini-blessings from e-mails to friends:

» May you have a great … Christ-honoring … weekend.

» May you metabolize your injury into art.

» May you feel the firm but gentle grip of His hand on your shoulder … His sweet breath that gives you life … His joy that you’ve chosen to spend your life introducing others to Him. May He fill that Jesus-shaped hole in your heart, and may you find the completion you’ve always longed for … only in Him.


May you bring Christ to the party

May what you do today set the stage for many wonderful ministry opportunities in the future. May your resistance to temptation give courage to the heart of a stranger … a classmate … a friend … for many years to come.

May your “no” to Satan be an echoing “yes” to Christ in your own life and in the lives of all the people you encounter. May your daily spiritual walk be a pleasant and uplifting song to those who observe you … sweet music that is savored and joyfully sung … even when your paths are separated by great spans of time and many miles.

May you pause today to remember the importance … the beauty … the magnitude … of a moment that honors the Living God.

May the lonely find solace and friendship in your voice and in your smile. May the desperate discover hope through your consistent faith. May the outcast find acceptance in your impartial love.

May Jesus turn your weaknesses into sources of great strength. May your critics be at a loss for words. May they marvel at your relationship with your Maker … at the story He is writing through you.

Many years from now, in some unsuspecting moment, may someone remember the working faith they saw in you today. May they call you aside and request your spiritual leadership, and may you bring Christ to the party in a way that no one else can … in a way you never could have imagined.

May the spiritual seeds you sow today produce an abundant harvest at just the right point in time according to our Father’s perfect plan and His sovereign will.


Unexpected storms … unexpected beauty

I love learning how to live in relationship with Jesus. I love having my spirit uplifted and my soul encouraged. I love late-night visits and delicious meals with friends. I love road trips. I love snow. I love the fact that all of those things that I love came together this past weekend in Oklahoma.

There was homemade pizza and gentle conversation. It was snowing as we walked out the doors of the church building. I tried to catch the frozen flakes on my tongue. They collected on my eyelashes and my hair. They tickled my nose. My gracious host and good friend swept the thick snow from the windows of my pickup early the next morning and had the cab of my truck warm and ready to go for my trip to the city.

I drove through a winter wonderland. Black Angus cattle stood out in stark relief against the white countryside. The evergreens at the Christmas tree farm added a touch of the holidays to the late March snowstorm. The redbud trees, covered with blooms, reminded me of cherry layer cakes topped with thick white frosting. A jovial DJ played “Frosty the Snowman” as I headed east down the turnpike.

The cold temperatures made the warm hugs … sunny smiles … and firm handshakes even more inviting as I headed to class. Each day of learning seemed better than the one before. I listened intently to each speaker. My voice blended with thousands of others in worship and in song. I picked out books and CDs to glean from and study on my own once I arrived back home.

I lingered over delicious lunches and dinners with friends. We laughed … we talked … we listened. We strengthened our friendships with Jesus and with each other. Gifts were exchanged … gifts of time and attention … listening ears and encouraging words … shared experiences and insights about the struggles and the joys of walking with Jesus and living life abundantly in Him. On the final day, as we headed our separate ways, I was given a book … a gift made even more special by the handwritten message lovingly penned on the opening page.

I am blessed to have such good friends … to have been introduced to Jesus at such an early age … to have great opportunities to strengthen my friendship with Him and others who are being transformed daily into His image. I am blessed to have an avenue to share what I am learning with you. I plan to share some of what I learned soon.

Until then, may you see the beauty in the unexpected storms. May Jesus clear the way for you to travel safely in His love and His counsel, and may you emerge on the other side … stronger … more faithful … more thankful for the forgiving Jesus and those people who reflect Him beautifully in your world every day. May your soul live more abundantly in Him each day.


May you thrive in His immeasurable grace

May your understanding of the grace of Jesus extend far beyond any limitations or boundaries you may have previously imposed upon it. In addition to its soul-saving qualities, may the eyes of your heart be opened to its life-enhancing essence and its behavior-modifying nature.

May you be acutely aware of how our Father’s grace enriches your knowledge and how that knowledge primes you for a confident and successful launch into each new day.

May you grasp how empowering and how liberating it is to wake up each morning and have something wonderful to live for … to have a message of freedom and hope to share with the world … to be assured with each rising sun that your every thought … every word … and every action brims with purpose and deep value when its goal is to honor the Author of Grace.

May the sound of your own voice … the lyrical timbre of each carefully-chosen word … serve as a gentle reminder that His grace enriches your speech. May the faithfulness of the Living God … His sustaining power … and His steadfast love … pleasingly season your conversations … your testimonies … your reassuring words of encouragement … even your attentive, extended moments of silence as you sincerely listen to the needs … the desires … and the struggles of weary souls in search of meaning and significance in a world mesmerized by its own superficial beauty.

In each situation where you are called upon to speak and with every opportunity you are given to quietly listen, may you reflect the beauty and the serenity that flows only from a heart that has embraced the grace that emanates from the purest and deepest chambers of the heart of a just and merciful God.

May you never lack in any spiritual gift, and may you generously multiply your talents in service to others and in honor of Christ as you eagerly await His revealing on that final day.

May you thrive in the immeasurable riches of His grace, and may the lives of those you encounter along the way be equally enriched by His amazing grace … far beyond anything they have ever dreamed or imagined.

I Corinthians 1:4-9


May His Holy Spirit fall gently upon your soul

I stayed up late to watch the snow fall Friday night. I love snow! The world becomes quiet when it snows. Harsh lines are smoothed and softened. Even unattractive and commonplace things are transformed into objects of artistic beauty when dressed in a fresh coat of fluffy snow.

Every wavy branch … each twisting curve … of every mesquite tree greeted the sparkling Saturday morning sunshine with a delicate tracing of soft ribbons of purest white. May Jesus so transform your world.

May His Holy Spirit fall gently upon your soul, surrounding you with peace. May your weakest vulnerabilities … your greatest temptations … succumb to His protective blanket of goodness … patience … and faithfulness.

May even your most mundane and frustrating moments be etched with joy … kindness … and self-control. May gentleness and love accumulate softly upon your tender spirit and your healing heart.

May you feel His Spirit. May you drink deeply of His grace. May He light the fire in your soul, and may you be the sweet aroma of Christ to everyone you meet … as you follow in His footsteps each day … and as you offer warmth and peace to a cold and chaotic world.

May you be as white as snow in His eyes.


Sometimes less is more

Sometimes less is more. These three short blessings are from e-mails that I’ve sent to friends.

» May sacred rhythm in its holiest form dance its way through your words into the hearts of many hurting souls who need Jesus … His unconditional love … and His saving grace. You’re gonna be great!

» May the friendship you give return to you swiftly and in overflowing proportions.

» May you get just enough snow to make your heart happy and not mess up your travel plans.


You invented perfect forgiveness

Teacher and Great Forgiver –

I thank You … I praise You … I stand in awe of You.

You forgive perfectly. You thought of it. You created it. You invented perfect forgiveness. Only You can teach it correctly.

Instruct me, Wonderful Counselor, how to forgive and how to repent. Show me through Your Word … Your perfect Word. I want to forgive freely and generously.

Keep me from bitterness and grudges. Remind me that vengeance … all vengeance … belongs to You and You alone. Help me to hate … truly hate … all forms of sin … in my own life … and in the lives of others, but at the same time, please help me to love … deeply love … those who sin.

Grant me wisdom to see souls as You see them, and grace to treat them as You treat me … blessing those who are hostile to You, and having great compassion on those whose hearts are tender … moldable … and receptive to You and Your forgiving heart.

May the forgiveness that flows from me be all for … and only for … the glory of Your holy name.

I offer these requests through my Master and King, Jesus. Amen.


Thank You for making me

True Father –

You have created so many people, and yet You know me by name, and You are intensely interested in me and my well-being.

You’re never too busy or too tired to listen … to help … to run to my cry.

You are God. You are immense. You are everywhere, and everywhere that I can be, Your power is there.

Thank You for making everyone. Thank You for making me. Teach me to serve You and to always make time for You.

I lift this prayer only through the reconciling, saving Jesus. Amen.



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