Hugs to Encourage and Inspire: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire

Hugs to Encourage and Inspire: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire

by John William Smith, LeAnn Weiss
     
 

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Something wonderful happens when a hug is shared. You express love, forgiveness, acceptance, and encouragement that flows from your heart. Hugs generate warmth and affection, and nurture lasting bonds of friendship.

Within the pages of this very special book, you'll find a hug after hug filled with inspiration and refreshment for yourself and the ones you love.

Overview

Something wonderful happens when a hug is shared. You express love, forgiveness, acceptance, and encouragement that flows from your heart. Hugs generate warmth and affection, and nurture lasting bonds of friendship.

Within the pages of this very special book, you'll find a hug after hug filled with inspiration and refreshment for yourself and the ones you love. Warm stories by the beloved storyteller John William Smith, personalized Scriptures by LeAnn Weiss, uplifting quotes by various well-known people, and inspirational messages by an "anonymous disciple" come together to form enduring hugs that warm the heart. Make something wonderful happen. Share a hug today!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781878990679
Publisher:
Howard Books
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Series:
Hugs Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hugs to Encourage and Inspire

Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire
By John Smith

Howard Books

Copyright © 1997 John Smith
All right reserved.



Chapter One

The Victorious Heart

    If I am for you, who can be against you? In all things, you

are much more than a victorious conqueror through me. Nothing can

stop me from loving you - not death or life, angels or

demons, current circumstances or anything in the future. Know

that nothing and no one in all of the entire world can separate

you from my totally awesome and indescribable love.

Love always and unconditionally,

Your God of Victory

Romans 8:31-39

Inspirational Message

    With tears staining your cheeks and pride swelling your heart,

you smile for the cheering thousands. The TV cameras pan the

audience until they finally focus on your proud family, who is

cheering encouragement to you and telling all within earshot that

you belong to them.

    Most of us will never know the exhilaration of winning a gold

medal at the Olympics. But in ourimaginations, we've all

proudly stood on that top platform . . .If only it could be true.

    Your world may be filled with challenges just as trying as

those faced by top Olympic contenders, but no roaring crowds

cheer you on, and no one offers you a gold medal for your valiant

efforts to win this game called life.

    But wait . . . if you listen closely, you might just hear the

faint sound of cheering. And as you open your heart to the

possibilities, the cheers will become louder and louder as you

discover their source. Hebrews 12 says that we have a great cloud

of witnesses surrounding us, cheering us to run with perseverance

the race marked out for us. More than spectators, these witnesses

are previous competitors, and they understand the sacrifices

you're making and the pain you've endured.

    And if you'll pan the crowd, you'll see your Father

- he's the one leading the cheer. Arms raised, index

finger extended, he's shouting to you, "You're

number one! You're number one!" Beside him is your

brother Jesus. He's turning to others in the crowd,

excitedly telling all that you belong to him.

    You are declared the winner!

 

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the

things that endure. These qualities are so much more important

than the events that occur.

--Vince Lombardi

The Winner

    I was watching some little kids play soccer. These kids were

only five or six years old, but they were playing a real game

- a serious game - two teams, complete with coaches,

uniforms, and parents. I didn't know any of them, so I was

able to enjoy the game without the distraction of being anxious

about winning or losing - I wished the parents and coaches could have done

the same.

    The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just call them

Team One and Team Two. Nobody scored in the first period. The

kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and terribly inefficient.

They fell over their own feet, they stumbled over the ball, they

kicked at the ball and missed it - but they didn't seem

to care.

    They were having fun.

    In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out what must

have been his first team and put in the scrubs, except for his

best player who now guarded the goal. The game took a dramatic

turn. I guess winning is important - even when you're

five years old - because the Team Two coach left his best

players in, and the Team One scrubs were no match for them. Team

Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the Team One

goalie. He was an outstanding athlete, but he was no match for

three or four boys who were also very good. Team Two began to

score.

    The lone goalie gave it everything he had, recklessly throwing

his body in front of incoming balls, trying valiantly to stop

them. Team Two scored two goals in quick succession. It

infuriated the young boy. He became a raging maniac -

shouting, running, diving. With all the stamina he could muster,

he covered the boy who now had the ball, but that boy kicked it

to another boy twenty feet away, and by the time he repositioned

himself, it was too late - they scored a third goal.

I soon learned who the goalie's parents were. They were

nice, decent-looking people. I could tell that his dad had just

come from the office - he still had his suit and tie on.

They yelled encouragement to their son. I became totally

absorbed, watching the boy on the field and his parents on the

sidelines.

After the third goal, the little kid changed. He could see it

was no use; he couldn't stop them. He didn't quit, but

he became quietly desperate - futility was written all over him.

    His father changed too. He had been urging his son to try

harder - yelling advice and encouragement. But then he

changed. He became anxious. He tried to say that it was okay

- to hang in there. He grieved for the pain his son was

feeling.

    After the fourth goal, I knew what was going to happen.

I've seen it before. The little boy needed help so badly,

and there was no help to be had. He retrieved the ball from the

net and handed it to the referee - and then he cried. He

just stood there while huge tears rolled down both cheeks. He

went to his knees and put his fists to his eyes - and he

cried the tears of the helpless and brokenhearted.

    When the boy went to his knees, I saw the father start onto

the field. His wife clutched his arm and said, "Jim,

don't. You'll embarrass him." But he tore loose

from her and ran onto the field. He wasn't supposed to

- the game was still in progress. Suit, tie, dress shoes,

and all - he charged onto the field, and he picked up his

son so everybody would know that this was his boy, and he hugged

him and held him and cried with him. I've never been so

proud of a man in my life.

    He carried him off the field, and when he got close to the

sidelines I heard him say, "Scotty, I'm so proud of

you. You were great out there. I want everybody to know that you

are my son."

    "Daddy," the boy sobbed, "I couldn't stop

them. I tried, Daddy, I tried and tried, and they scored on

me."

    "Scotty, it doesn't matter how many times they

scored on you. You're my son, and I'm proud of you. I

want you to go back out there and finish the game. I know you

want to quit, but you can't. And, son, you're going to

get scored on again, but it doesn't matter. Go on,

now."

    It made a difference - I could tell it did. When

you're all alone, and you're getting scored on -

and you can't stop them - it means a lot to know that

it doesn't matter to those who love you. The little guy ran

back on to the field - and they scored two more times - but it was

okay.

    I get scored on every day. I try so hard. I recklessly throw

my body in every direction. I fume and rage. I struggle with

temptation and sin with every ounce of my being - and Satan

laughs. And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my

knees - sinful, convicted, helpless. And my Father - my

Father rushes right out on the field - right in front of the

whole crowd - the whole jeering, laughing world - and

he picks me up, and he hugs me and he says, "John, I'm

so proud of you. You were great out there. I want everybody to

know that you are my son, and because I control the outcome of

this game, I declare you - The Winner."



Continues...


Excerpted from Hugs to Encourage and Inspire by John Smith Copyright © 1997 by John Smith. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

John Smith wrote five books in the Hugs series. In addition to Hugs for Mom, he authored Hugs for Dad, Hugs to Encourage and Inspire, Hugs for the Hurting, and Hugs for the Holidays. He has been a preacher and teacher for more than forty years and taught public school at the junior and senior high level; he also taught at the college and university level. He is an in-demand speaker for graduations, as well as for athletic, education, fund-raising events. He and his wife, Kila, live in Huntsville, Oklahoma, and his three adult children are scattered about the country.

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