We’ve called this website serve and encourage and the reason is simple. These are my dominant love languages: acts of service and words of affirmation.

Over the past year or so I’ve been trying my best as a father to instill in my children a family identity. Yes, Johnston is our family name but who are the Johnston’s? What do they stand for? If I don’t define the identity of my family, and by extension, my children, many others will gladly take my place.

So I tell them everyday: Johnston’s serve and encourage. We serve and encourage everyone. Those who deserve it and those who don’t. Those who are included and those who are left out. I ask them everyday: what do we do? They answer, sometimes just parroting but they answer: we serve and encourage.

And then I thought about it some more. Isn’t this what Jesus does, the servant king who gives his life as a ransom for many? Jesus embodied this when he was embodied! And when he taught and healed and set people free and wash people’s feet and when he died. He still serves now and in serving he leads.

And then I thought a little bit more. Isn’t this what the Holy Spirit does?  Encouraging? There’s a wide semantic range for the word parakletos. What is often translated counselor or comforter could equally be translated encourager. The Holy Spirit’s job description is to encourage!

So that’s why we called this site, Serve and Encourage, because that’s who we are and what we do and because that’s who Jesus and his Spirit are, and that’s what they do.

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