During quail season in Georgia, an Atlanta journalist met an old farmer hunting with an ancient pointer at his side. Twice the dog ran rheumatically ahead and pointed.

    Twice his master fired into the open air. When the journalist saw no birds rise, he asked the farmer for an explanation.

    "Shucks," grinned the old man, "I knew there weren't no birds in that grass. Spot's nose ain't what it used to be but him and me have had some wonderful times together. He's still doing the best he can -- and it'd be mighty mean of me to call him a liar at this stage of the game!"

    As Christians, we are to encourage one another, despite shortcomings or hardships. There are days when each of us are like the pointer -- when the everything we try to accomplish seems to backfire on us, the "if I had any luck at all, it would all be bad" syndrome. But God has told us that regardless of what we go through, we are to be encouragers of one another, whether it is in our workplace, our schools, our churches, or our homes.

    The writer of Hebrews nails home this point when he wrote:

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess; for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV).

    Today, let us lift one another up and be Christians of encouragement, and lets' make a special effort to be encouraging toward those who have faithfully served the Lord a long time.


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