It all started four days before Christmas 2022. But it’s not what you think. It wasn’t a panic frenzy to buy last-minute gifts or prepare food for guests. On the contrary, I was calmly sitting at my kitchen table when an idea popped into my head. I heard God’s voice.
I should write a devotional on the gift of encouragement.
It was a foreign thought to me and completely caught me off guard. Even though I have worked in the marketplace for 30 years and supported numerous ministries, never have I considered undertaking such a task.
Hearing God’s Voice
When I said the idea “popped into my head,” it was more like a small voice whispering this creative but mysterious opportunity. It wasn’t a dramatic “Wizard of Oz moment” where God was behind the curtain speaking in a loud voice. I think it was closer to what Elijah experienced in the Old Testament.
In 1 Kings 19:11-13, we read: “‘Go out and stand before me on the mountain,’ the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.’
God wasn’t speaking through the windstorm, earthquake, or fire. He spoke in a gentle whisper. That’s how it sounded to me. A gentle whisper. After my husband and I discussed and prayed about the experience, we decided I should proceed and write the 30-day devotional. Over the next couple of days, I sat for hours writing on my laptop. Honestly, the experience was very emotional and cathartic. I felt as though the Lord was downloading stories, remembrances, and critical moments in my life.
Writing each of the chapters was an encouragement to me personally. I realized as I was putting these short devotional stories down on paper excitement filled the air, with the thought of encouraging others with the hope that I have received through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the word of God.
In the new year when I returned to my job working at the Timothy Plan, a Biblically responsible Investment company, I shared my devotional book idea with my bosses. Even though I would work on the book after hours, I wanted their blessing. And secretly, I wanted their approval. Both agreed and encouraged me to write it.
This was also when I asked for approval to work with one of our firm’s trustees and colleagues, Patrice Tsague, Chief Servant Officer of the Nehemiah Entrepreneurship Community and its affiliates. Patrice and his team provide publishing services as one of their many areas of expertise. Again, my bosses were some of my biggest advocates in pursuing this opportunity, and I am so grateful.
I was eager to work with Patrice. He has a reputation for being a world-changer, a mover, a shaker, and most importantly, a servant leader. His ministry is truly an international organization. I believed he would be a good mentor and that he would guide me through the publication process since I had no previous experience in this arena. Additionally, he presented networking opportunities with other experts in their field. Patrice was the right man for the job, and that became more and more evident to me after Patrice interviewed me on the Nehemiah E-Community Podcast.
What I could not know at the time was that this “gentle whisper” that I heard just days before Christmas would open up more doors of opportunity. During one of our Zoom meetings, Patrice challenged me to think beyond just one devotional book. He encouraged me to think like a Biblical Entrepreneur. I remember thinking, let me just make it through this first book!
This is a new beginning for me. The Lord has transformed my long-held insecurities and skepticism into a newfound purpose. He has whispered in my ear, “share the gift of encouragement,” and don’t despise small beginnings. I invite you to join me on this journey of encouragement by visiting my website, TheCheerfulHeart.org, as we encourage each other to realize God’s purpose and plan as Biblical Entrepreneurs.
|“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” – Zachariah 4:10 (NLT)|
The Gift of Encouragement
A life-Changing Inspirational 30-Day Devotional
Are you struggling with discouragement from the pressures of life – health issues, an unwanted divorce, a wayward child, a betrayal, or financial pressures that seem endless? Sometimes all you need is a friend who will tell you, “I’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.” You’re going to make it!
It is out of my personal experiences with trauma and a desire to encourage others that “The Gift of Encouragement” was written. This short book is a 30-day devotional that honors the life-giving benefits of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the wisdom of the Bible. The format is easy to read, thought-provoking, and provides a prompt at the end of each devotional with space to jot down your thoughts and comments. This is your journey to encouragement.
Would you give me the privilege of being your friend on this journey to the road of real encouragement and abundant living? God is for us, and His desire is for us to thrive, not just survive.
Some of the topics include:
Letter of encouragement
Run and not grow Weary
Wait for your King David
A Diamond in the Sand
Laughter is God’s Medicine
And many more
|Our faith is like a tea bag; you will not know its effectiveness, flavor, or value unless it’s in hot water. Kim has experienced many times in the hot waters of life. She shares the flavor and value of active faith in her devotional book, “The Gift of Encouragement.”|
Shaddy Soliman, Lead Pastor Lake Mary Church and Every Nation Church
|I am both pleased and honored to endorse Kim Billip’s new book – “The Gift of Encouragement”. I have known Kim and her entire family for over 30 years and am very aware of many of the struggles she shared in this very personal book. The way she weaves Scripture throughout is inspiring and incredible. The testimony of her strong faith speaks volumes about how she has survived the tough times and how she was able to thrive throughout. If you think you have problems, read this devotional to gain a fresh perspective on life. Kudos, Kim – well done!|
Art Ally, President Timothy Plan Family of Funds
Kimberly “Kim” Billips loves Jesus. She has worked in the marketplace for the past 30-plus years. For the first 25 years, she held the position of director of marketing in her family architectural firm. In 2015, she took a 2-year reprieve after a confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Kim and her husband, Don, took this time to re-prioritize and travel. Since 2017, she has served in the creative department for a Biblically Responsible Investment brokerage firm. She has traveled to 25 countries, where she participated in several short-term mission trips. Kim and her amazing husband, Don, have 5 wonderful adult children (Daniel, Elena, Gabriela, Brian, and Michael) and a sweet Maltipoo named “Bear.” They call Orlando, Florida home.
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