Encouragement from Online Communities

This blog has 22 entries.

Meet the Writer

Victoria Mininger


"I am a wife to Brian & Mom to our four girls...living in a very loud house.  Imperfect & flawed but saved by God's grace. This space is dedicated to encouraging you, our online students, as you pursue your education here at Liberty University. I look forward to connecting with you here."



Encouragement from Online Communities

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas: A Time To Ponder

Luke 2: 1-7 "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while [Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."

Luke 2:19 - "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."


It’s hard to believe that Christmas day is almost here again.  Every year it seems to arrive sooner than the year before and be just as busy. 

It's easy to get lost in the busyness.  As a mom of four children and an aunt to 8 nieces, I know that all too well.  There are decorations to put up, presents to buy and meals to get ready.  There are Christmas programs to rehearse, and kids' costumes to hunt out of closets.  There is packing for the trip to Grandma's and long hours of traveling on the road. 

With all of those things going on, it's easy to lose sight of the real reason for Christmas.  It's easy to get lost in the tinsel, the lights and the gifts.  It's easy to get lost in the gathering of family.

May we take time to pause, reflect and treasure the gift that is Christ, this Christmas.  May we learn from Mary, the mother of our Savior, to treasure those quiet moments as we gather to celebrate the birth of an extraordinary child. A child that was destined to save you and me.

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."



Merry Christmas from all of us at Online Communities,



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Monday, December 15, 2014

Encouraging One Another

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11


What an awesome privilege we have to serve one another.  Don’t' you think so? Maybe we don't always look at it that way, but maybe we should.  Each day we have the opportunity to lend a hand, give an encouraging word and speak life into another person's day.  


Have you ever had a rough day and at just the right time a friend calls or sends a message?  At that moment it's just what you need.  Some may say it's by chance, but I believe it is by God's design.


Or maybe you've had that moment when a friends name pops in your head and you think "I should call them or maybe send a note."  Often I believe that is the prompting of God's spirit because He knows intimately what each one of is going through.  Many times he sends us to deliver a message of hope or encouragement, but we must be ready to listen. 


As we draw close to the celebration of Christmas, I want to challenge you to ask God who He would have you to encourage today.  We never really know what another one is facing, but God does.   We can trust that if He is putting them on our heart, it's for a good reason. 


I leave you with these scriptures of encouragement. 


"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24


"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." 1 Peter 4:8-10


"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Ephesians 4:29


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  Romans 15:13


How have you encouraged someone this week? Share with us in the comments below. 



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Monday, December 8, 2014

Why Liberty?

"I love Liberty because I can study from home while raising my daughter and still running my nonprofit ministry and serving God in my town. I also love that I am free to talk about Christ and do not have to worry about being persecuted in different ways. I feel accepted and have been able to already meet many new friends through my online studies. I also love the online communities and the convocations that are offered! I love everything about Liberty!"  Catrina

Catrina is just one of the many online students that currently attend Liberty University Online.  Each person has their own unique story and reasons the decided to pursue their degree at Liberty University.  For many students, they are busy juggling family, work and other responsibilities. 

While it's not easy, thousands of our students are making the commitment to further their education and being trained as Champions for Christ together.  Along the way, like Catrina, they are making new friends and getting connected to their campus here at Liberty University.

As we finish up this semester I encourage you to tell us your story.  What lead you to Liberty?  What are you studying?  How have you been encouraged in your time here?

We love hearing from our students and can't wait to read your responses.  You can leave a comment here on this post or head over to our "Tell Us About Yourself" Blog Page and make your introductions there. 


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Finishing Strong

Believe it or not, but we are closing in on the final days of the fall semester here at Liberty University.  For some of you, I know it has been a rough journey and that day cannot come soon enough.  The road has been full of long nights, early mornings, juggled schedules, papers and discussion boards.

Sometimes when you are in the thick of the journey, the way ahead seems long and never ending, especially if you have been traveling the academic road for very long.

However, we just want to come beside you and encourage you to finish this semester strong.  You may feel like you are just limping over the finish line, but the truth is, you have almost made it.  I also encourage you to start out each day in prayer, thanking God for his strength and provision this far, and asking for continued strength to reach the end. 

And while you finish this final stretch of classes, we want you to know that we are standing on the sidelines cheering you forward. 

You can find some helpful resources here as you finish this semester: Liberty University Online Student Support.  And remember, you can also submit a prayer request to our Campus Pastor's office Here if you have a need for prayer.  

Blessings as you finish the fall semester strong!

Your Turn:  What suggestions do you have for finishing the semester strong?  What are you going to do with the time off? Love to hear from you in the comment section below.


"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

Photo Credit - Joel Coleman

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Guard Your Hearts with Gratitude

It's a little quieter around campus this week.  On Friday students wrapped up their classes and headed out to spend time with family during this Thanksgiving season. 

However, before everyone left, the students and staff spent time at Friday's convocation lifting up praise and prayer to our Heavenly Father.  We sang songs of thanks and we sang songs of God's goodness.  David Nassar, Liberty's Vice President of Spiritual Development, challenged us with these words. "God doesn't necessarily need our Thanksgiving, but we give thanks to Him because it helps to guard our hearts.  Guard your hearts with Gratitude."

So how will you guard your heart this week with Gratitude?  It is so easy to see all the things that are going wrong in this world and in our lives.  The washer that broke down, the car that will not start, children that won't corporate and assignments that are behind.

Instead of focusing on all the things that are not going right I challenge you to find even the smallest of reasons to give thanks.  I challenge you to take the burdens you carry, lay them down at God's feet and choose to pick up his yoke of praise and thanksgiving this week.

I'll start:  I thank the Lord for my family and for their health.  I am thankful that after 4 long years of illness, my oldest daughter is healthy and strong once again.  I am thankful for God's grace and mercy even when I fail Him, fail others and myself.  I am thankful for God's unconditional love.

I choose to speak gratitude this week and to have an attitude of praise. 

Now it's your turn.  

What do you give thanks for?  What is an area in your life that you can express gratitude for? Feel free to leave your comments below.


So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

Photo Credit: Les Schofer

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