Shalom… “What encourages your hearts?”… I mean, REALLY, what encourages your hearts? We’re looking at what our daily readings says about that in a minute…but for now, what encourages your heart on a day-to-day basis? Fresh from this weekend…to make a very long and involved story as brief as possible…LaVon and I “inherited/adopted” an incredibly small Yorkie puppy…and she encouraged our hearts! Stella, a 1 ½ year old, 3 pound (but fully grown) pup has taken up residence in our home…here’s a pic! Would she encourage your heart? Through a neighbor of our daughter-in-law, who lives in Tulsa…Stella found her way to us from Amarrilo! Long story. She is a sweetheart who has already captured 1/3 of our house-hearts (we have 2 other tiny dogs also…the 3 dogs weigh a total of 12 pounds). She has already become our “encourager”, along with our other two. Wouldn’t it be great to be known as an “encourager”? Exactly what this little known character from Colossians 3, Tychicus, will always be known as. Why? Because Paul sent Tychicus to the Colossians to “encourage their hearts”. What does that mean? Paul tells them that Tychicus will tell them the news about Paul and all that is going on in his ministry, and that he is… “a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord.” Who encourages your heart in the Lord? Do you have a “Tychicus-type” person in your life? Are you a “Tychicus-type” person in someone else’s life? Tychicus is mentioned only a couple of times in the New Testament, but he was always sent somewhere to encourage someone somewhere. Wow! What a way to be known hundreds and hundreds of years into the future! Stella is an encourager/smiler gift to LaVon and me for now…but there’s a long list of folks in our lives who have served as “Tychicus-types” in our spiritual formation.