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Tue 10/10


I surround myself with encouraging people.
Tue 10/10


I surround myself with encouraging people.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”



October 10 2023 Devotion Audio

Strengthen Your Spiritual Wings

By: Alma Barkman



Strengthen Your Spiritual Wings

By: Alma Barkman

A conservation area about four miles from our house serves as a staging ground for thousands of Canada geese getting ready for their annual migration south. Beginning about the middle of September, their V-formation flight patterns fill the sky, some flocks consisting of only six or eight birds, others made up of 50 or 60, always with a lead goose out in front.  

When the lead goose tires and slows down, it drops to the back of the flock, where the slipstream from the wings of the other geese gives it a flight advantage, and another goose gracefully takes up the lead position.  

Ornithologists calculate that the geese can fly 70 percent farther by doing this. The ever-changing formations are fascinating to watch. And even in the dark of night or when a low cloud ceiling obscures our view, we know the geese are flying because of their loud honking. It’s as if each one is so eager about the prospects of the journey that it can’t contain its enthusiasm.  

It occurred to me one fall Sunday morning that church is a kind of staging ground for heaven. As “birds of a feather,” believers flock together week by week, strengthening our spiritual wings and encouraging one another in preparation for that final flight. When one of us becomes weary, another steps in to take the weary one’s place. I fully believe that the prayer support of fellow believers has often provided the wind beneath my wings. 


October 10 2023 Story

3 Ways to Reach Your Goals with an ‘Accountability Buddy’

By: Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Goals and resolutions are notoriously difficult to reach and keep, at least for the long haul. Many of us resolve to improve our physical fitness, finish a home project like clutter-clearing or embrace better sleep or eating habits. Inspired at the start, we earnestly dive in. But within a few weeks, many of us are more likely to be lamenting our slip-ups than charging forward with confidence and commitment.  

Last year, I tried something that helped me stick with commitments I made to myself. I found an “accountability buddy” who was interested in the same pursuit but was as nervous as I was that time wouldn’t be kind to my dedication level.  

Our goal was to regularly attend a fitness class. We both have busy lives and many obligations. So, we set some ground rules that would keep both our motivation and our friendship intact in the weeks and months ahead.  

1)  Hope, Don’t Expect 

I know that if I set the expectation that I would make it to class every single week, I would quickly disappoint both myself and my accountability buddy. So we agreed early on that we were there to encourage each other, to hope we’d make it regularly—but we would not hold each other to rigid expectations or standards that would detract from the positivity of the class or our buddy arrangement.  

2)  Communicate Clearly 

It’s so helpful to have a basic text thread where one of us can simply ask, “Class tomorrow?” The response can either be a hearty, “Yeah!” or a “Bummer, I can’t.” But we know we’ll hear from each other, which not only ensures we’ll both remember the class day and time, it also keeps us connected regardless of whether we’re in class together.  

3)  Don’t Allow Apologies 

Being a positive accountability buddy means inspiring and supporting your partner in your shared journeys toward a goal. It doesn’t mean we have to explain ourselves or apologize for life that gets in the way of our best-laid plans more often than we’d like. Declaring the accountability buddy relationship to be a “sorry-free zone” encourages each of us to do our best to be accountable to each other, but to ditch the guilt when we just can’t make it happen.  

Because no matter what happened this week, there’s always next week’s class—and more importantly, I have a buddy I’m looking forward to going with. 


What guiding principle will stick with you as you consider the people around you today?

Goals are easier to accomplish with others. Even one person beside me can make all the difference.

A community of faithful people are there to support each other through good times and hard.

Building a supportive community not only helps me, but I can then be a blessing to others.

May God’s love encourage and guide your steps today. We’ll see you again soon!

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