We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 



Pressure Points: The Pressure of Partiality

As Pastor Joe was ending his sermon I was reminded of a scene in a movie.  The movie was “A Time to Kill” and the scene was of the closing argument by a lawyer in a courtroom. In order to help the jury see his point he had them walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

blog 3.4.15 sheryllHe had them close their eyes as he described for them the mile that the man on trial had just walked.  He left no detail undescribed and every experience was fully exposed.  He took them through the pain, the fears and all the tears.  He tugged at their hearts as their emotions took a ride it wouldn’t soon forget.  He brought them through the very heart of empathy and left them there to stay as they landed with their feet fully in another person’s shoes.

It was then that they could no longer deny that their actions and behaviors would match his if they were in that situation.

We see people as we walk past and we draw conclusions and make assumptions but we don’t truly know.  We see the superficial and choose not to see beyond.  But what would happen if for once we chose to look deeper?  What would happen if we took the time to go for a walk and try on their shoes?  I think we would be surprised at the fit.

Soon after the sermon ended, I was struck with these words:

Do you know what it’s like,
to be me?
To look through my eyes
and see what I see.
To know my pain
and experience my fears.
To know my joy
a midst my tears.

Do you know what it’s like,
to walk in my shoes?
To hear what I am told
and understand
how I am affected by what’s in the news.
To feel the stares,
as people look at me.
But even still, I’m not bound
I am free.

I serve a God
who does know what it’s like to be me.
He looks past daily
all that others think they see.
He looks deep within my heart
and into my soul.
He calms my fears
and makes me whole.
He holds my hand
through all the stares.
He loves me still
and I know he cares.

Do you want to know
what it’s like to be me?
All you have to do is ask
and then you will see.


It is my hope that the next time you see someone who looks different or behaves differently or speaks differently that you will not place them into a box, unless, of course,  you plan to join them.


Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her hearts desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.




Be Challenged:

  • The next time you see someone and your initial human reaction is to create your own story for them, why not ask them to share their story instead.
  • We often come across people in customer service positions with a bad attitude.  Instead of assuming that it’s his or her personality, maybe consider that something may be wrong.  You could then increase your kindness and pray for that person instead of allowing the negativity to grow.

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