- I am thankful to raise my children in Sweetwater, the oasis of West-Texas. A beautiful city, filled with beautiful people.
- I am thankful for the team I work with every day. A passionate, energetic, creative, and hard-working crew of Jesus-loving pastors.
- I am thankful for men and women who laid down their life to lead the Body of Christ and pioneer a path of revival. Men such as Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church are my modern day heroes.
- I am thankful for Nelson Searcy’s book “Fusion,” which has taught me how to love and appreciate the new guests at EFC. It takes courage to walk into a church for the first time, and I want to honor that courage with a warm welcome and great encounter.
- I am thankful for every unsung hero and unknown face that loves unselfishly, lives faithfully, and serves unconditionally. These are the saints I look forward to singing with someday in a Heavenly choir.
- I am thankful for my spiritual heritage, a legacy of faith of three generations of men loving the church and seeking revival in West-Texas.
- I am thankful for my kitchen table. It is so much more than warm food and sweet desserts. It is a place of joyful conversation, heartfelt prayers, and everyday discipleship.
- I am thankful for grace. It is as amazing today as it was the first day it pulled me out of darkness and into light.
- I am thankful for my wife. She inspires me every day to live fully and freely, to continually press further up and farther in to the grace of God!
- I am thankful for this year’s harvest: salvations, healings, rededications, restorations, weddings, baptisms, and freedom. It’s been a good year!
- I am thankful for the opportunity to press into next year — and the hope that 2012 will be even more alive, blessed, and fruitful than this year!
Archive for the ‘Blessing’ Category
As I made my way around the church Wednesday night, meeting people, answering questions, directing traffic, and hugging necks, I was blessed by the sounds I heard all around me. I could hear the sound of babies in the nursery, the sound of children worshipping, and the sound of teenagers gathered in small groups asking hard questions in their search to understand more about God.
Parents were coming and going, most of them on their way to Lifegroup. Doors were opening and closing. Heals were clicking and clopping down the hallways. It was the sound of life, the sound of messes getting cleaned and problems being solved, and it was beautiful.
Right in the midst of it all, rising above the clamor, I could hear voices. I could hear the voices of those who had dedicated their night to teaching all of these young, hungry, noisy hearts about the love of Jesus. I could hear the voices of love, the voices of patience. I could hear the voices of those who spoke with a hope that their words would impact the lives they were speaking into.
My friends, the sounds of ministry occur because of the vision of those who willingly give their time and energy to love others. People just like you and me who have resolved to honor God by serving others.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and I encourage you to make sure you seize an opportunity to appreciate the people in your life who minister to you and your family. Make sure you don’t let the month go by without letting them know their loving actions make a difference.
Take the time to say “Thanks!” to each of the fabulous ministers in our church (Pastor Lolo, Pastor Loran, Mrs. Denise, and Pastor Mindy)– the people who lead the way in making the ministry of Emmanuel Fellowship Church so special!
- T – Take a moment to express your appreciation. Don’t let it be a passing remark. Pause, look them in the eye, and let them know you notice the work they do. Let them know how their service has impacted your family.
- H – Honor them with your words and actions. Do not allow the consistency of their service to be taken for granted. Consider the investment they have made to minister to you and your family and remember to treat them with a spirit of gratitude.
- A – Ask if they could use a hand. When you notice a need, be quick to meet it. Take a few extra seconds to make sure they have everything they need to love and serve your family in the best way possible. Take the initiative to serve those who serve you!
- N – Nudge your children to respect and help their teachers and pastors. A short conversation on the way to church and a positive handoff into the classroom can position your child to be a great influence.
- K – Keep your pastors in your prayers! Nothing is more important than a ministry team that is prayed for by their congregation.
- S – Send them a token of your appreciation. A card or a gift can be a powerful tool to refresh a heart. Your investment into them will, no doubt, yield a rich reward of continued ministry to your family.
Follow these links for more great resources for Pastor Appreciation Month:
- Pastor Appreciation information from Focus on the Family.
- An abundance of ideas from a Pastor Appreciation website.
My birds are asleep in the nest, ready to fly away tomorrow. And it’s this hour that a Mama kneels and prays… (Discover more about how you can pray for your children as they head back to school on Mindy’s blog, “Treasure the Ordinary.”)
Have you ever dreamed about opening the mailbox and finding a check written to you for a large sum as an inheritance from some distant, never-met relative? How about a British estate left to you by a long-lost great-uncle?
Those dreams may seem far-fetched, and probably are as far as your hopes of a mailbox treasure go. But, you would be completely within reason to expect an inheritance of a different nature.
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).
While most people rightly tie this verse to the handling of personal finances, it should also be applied to spiritual inheritance. Have you ever stopped to consider what was passed down to you from previous generations in the way of Godly heritages and foundations? What did the people who came before you pray for, sow into, and work towards that you are now reaping the benefits of in your own life? Perhaps more importantly, what are you praying for, sowing into, and working towards in order to leave a Godly inheritance for your grandchildren?
Our Bible heroes weren’t perfect, but quite a few of them did a good job of modeling what this could look like for us. Abraham is known as “Father Abraham” because he sowed faith into future generations by believing God, and seeing that credited to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6). Esau sowed forgiveness of his brother into the heart of his nephew Joseph, and Joseph harvested those seeds with his own brothers a couple of decades later (Genesis 33 and 45). King David was told by God that he could not build the temple, but he didn’t let that stop him from storing up everything needed for his son, Solomon, to do so (I Chronicles 22-29).
It’s usually pretty easy to find things that are wrong with our families; after all, they’re made up of imperfect people. And it’s true that if generational baggage has been handed to you, you’d better go to the Lord and see those bags unpacked. But, it’s also just as important to recognize the beautiful and the holy that God has been building in your family and learn to cooperate with Him to see that carried on to completion. Your actions today could mean that those who follow after you get a spiritual “check in the mail.”
May the morning sun stir you from the bed.
May the winds of March move you on the road.
May the rains of April renew your strength.
May the flowers of May captivate your sight.
May summer heat inflame your zeal.
May autumn color stimulate your dreams.
May the silver moon make you wiser yet.
May you never be with yourself content.
May grace and peace keep you young,
Full of life and laughter and a glorious song.
Edited and adapted from A Blessing for Challenge by Fr. Andrew Greeley