One Important Step to Fulfilling Your Daily Purpose

By: Gail Armatys, Heartsong Life Purpose Coach

I was just a few minutes away from boarding a plane. While standing in line to get a cup of coffee, I overheard a woman speaking to a pilot waiting patiently to receive his made-to-order drink.

He is held captive as he waits (having paid in advance for his order) and she – the woman talking – adds condiments to her order stirring, stirring, stirring all while complaining and scolding very matter-of-factly about the last time she flew on his airline.

He looked as though he’d give anything to walk away or at least rip the name of the airline off of his shirt and tell her she had the wrong guy. Because oooooh, the problems she had with her last flight. Problems this young pilot most assuredly had nothing to do with and no ability to resolve.

I happened to be right behind the pilot so was not intentionally eavesdropping, really. But if I had been, I wouldn’t have had to strain one little bit to hear.  It was that kind of one-sided conversation. The pilot stood staring straight down without comment as she continued to lament.

Once she was done and walked away, I smiled and quietly thanked him for the work he does and told him, “I’m just happy when the plane lands.”  He smiled sheepishly and said, “Thank you” and told me he appreciated my words, grabbed his coffee and probably headed to a plane full of passengers he hoped to please.

Words are Sacred

I tell this story not because I think I was some kind of hero that saved his day – but I think maybe my words could have. Obviously, this doesn’t happen in my life all the time. I’ve been known to speak before thinking a time or two – I know you’re shocked!

I tell this story because as the woman reprimanded him, I could visibly see the pilot’s shoulders turn in and his posture change. His entire body reflected her words; negative, troubled, and harsh. His countenance reminded me of our sweet little puppy while being reprimanded.

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One gasp of surprise and a couple of words in a disapproving tone would cause his little head to bow and shoulders to sink (in his case, guilty as charged) until he heard a more cheerful tenor and most assuredly received a hug.

How little it took to bring light into bleak moments in both the pilot and puppy’s situations. In the event of the pilot, I probably said fewer than twelve words – two sentences – and his countenance changed. It was as though I’d put my hand under a little boy’s chin (or maybe a puppy’s) and lifted his face and told him it was all good. And that he was, too. Clearly, our words matter.

Quotation-Tom-Stoppard-respect-right-theater-order-world-Meetville-Quotes-251833

 

Bless and You’ll Be Blessed

It doesn’t cost much to bring hope and brighten someone’s day. Does it? A little time and ingenuity. Perhaps some boldness. Or…maybe even a little setting aside of our pride.

Pride?  Yes, in cases where we encourage the one who has been inflicting pain. Why would we bring hope to someone causing us discomfort? Well, that little piece of scripture in Matthew 5:44 that reminds us to love our enemies immediately comes to mind. Sorry, I didn’t write it! And then there is this…

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked…1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG

Fulfill Your Daily Purpose and Bring Joy

Bringing to life God’s call to say nothing hurtful, but to cultivate good instead, might mean that all the person delivering the pointed comments needs to hear from us are a few words that swing things in a positive direction. You know, maybe the person has a case of kick–the-dog syndrome.  (Guess I’m into dogs today.) In other words, “I hurt so I’m going to inflict pain on someone else.” I give you exhibit ‘A’ – the airport lady. She felt put out by her horrible, terrible, awful flight and she wasn’t going to rest until she let someone know and left them feeling like she felt – or worse.

But really, wouldn’t we rather go the other, better route? Speaking words aimed at encouragement, life, and good bring hope every time.  Not only that, we’ve just learned in 1Peter that doing so brings blessing.

So if you are looking to add more joy to your life, start with intention the simple and sincere motive of speaking encouragement and good into the lives of others. It is one important step to fulfilling our daily purpose.

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Purpose Steps

  1. Pay attention this week to the words you speak to others…even to yourself.
  2. Think of a person in your life who may need a few meaningful words of encouragement right now. Also, make a point to be encouraging to all who cross your path today.
  3. Note how you feel having shed a little more light…on purpose.
  4. Keep doing it!

Purpose Prayer

Father, I praise you for allowing me to bring joy to the lives of others through something as simple as my words. And I thank you for the blessing you promise to bring me as I do so. Help me to control my tongue and bring light to others all while living out your purposes for my life. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Listen to Your HeartSong Here!

Speak Life/Toby Mac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rK6O0YtBRY

Live the Song Written on Your Heart.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s an Antidote.

By: Vivian Wilson

Young pretty businesswoman juggling with white balls

I am in a season of life where I find myself overwhelmed at times because there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that cries for my attention.  I become paralyzed by the suffocating pressure of too many commitments and/or responsibilities.  Some of this is by my own hand, I said “yes” when I should have said “no”.  Some are circumstances that are out of my control, like some additions that happen after plans and schedules were already set, i.e. my sisters wedding this weekend.

Retirement is occasionally painted as lazy, carefree days spent reading for hours, on a hammock, while eating bon bons.  Or perhaps you envision LONG lunches with close friends.  You name it.  We have a picture of “paradise” for many leisurely hours.  I personally have never experienced anything like this, however, while I am inundated with never-ending “to-do” lists, I will hold on to hope.

My youngest brother, “Pastor Chip” (or should I say “Dr. Chip”), and I enjoy playing cribbage.  This is a game using a deck of cards and a board that has a bunch of little holes so that you can “peg” your way around it by counting points.  I almost always win.  Well, I win a lot.  Actually it seems to run in streaks.  During one of my very long winning streaks, there emerged a “game within a game”.  Chip started it by whining about his cards.  That I was winning was because of luck, was his complaint, and it just wasn’t fair.  His goal was for me to take pity on his unfortunate situation and somehow help him out so he could win a few games.  I told him he was whining.  He said he wasn’t whining but simply pointing out the injustice of the game.  HE WAS WHINING!  (If you have ever been around children, you’ve witnessed the scene I just described).

Whining is the method I use to invite others to attend my “pity party” when I am overwhelmed with life.  I want them to come and tell me I am a poor victim of circumstances and agree with me about everything.

I’m thinking I should start a support group for anyone who finds himself overwhelmed with the responsibilities and commitments that come with life as a spouse, parent, sibling, or you name it, any relationship.

OH, WAIT!  ONE ALREADY EXISTS.  IT IS CALLED THE C H U R C H.

So here is a better antidote for my paralyzed state.  When I feel overwhelmed, I should first take my eyes off of myself and put them on God asking Him to help me have a servant’s heart.  Then, because I know that I am not the only person in the world who feels overwhelmed, focus on the needs of others.

Maybe, unlike me, no one has come whining to you about their life.  But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t overwhelmed or that I can’t be a blessing to them.  And it is very easy to be a blessing.  I can pick up the phone and call someone.  (This is not a time to text).  Or even better, I can write a note with my own hand, using pen and paper, put a stamp on an addressed envelope, and mail it.  (I thought some of you may have forgotten the procedure for sending “snail mail”).

Proverbs 12:25  “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”.

Proverbs 16:24  “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”.

As the church we should do no less for one another.  I believe this should be an intentional act of obedience to the command to humbly consider others better than myself.  (Philippians 2:3)

I am challenging myself to bless someone every day with a note or a phone call.  The great thing is that this gives me joy and blesses me.  Join me.  Your kind words of encouragement could be the exact balm that your friend, brother or sister in Christ, or family member needs at the exact time it needs to be heard or read.  Let’s be blessings!

A work in progress,

Vivian

P.S.  There is no rule that says you can’t bless more than one person per day.

 

5 Reasons Generous People Can Freely Give.

By: Amy Dalke

5 Reasons Generous People Can Give

If there is one thing I really don’t want you to know about me, it’s that I can be stingy.

The partial upside is that I’m so all-or-nothing, that I also have a tendency to give away the farm. (Not that we have a farm.) (That might be the most unfitting idiom I’ve ever used.)

To be gut-level honest with you, though, the giving side of me only comes out when I know I will still keep plenty for myself. The giving part of me just doesn’t do sacrifice well.

It's not generosity when there is no sacrifice.

Greedy. Grasping. Grudging.

The world is hell-bent towards scarcity living. It’s constant cries are underlined with tones of hoarding and saving.

Keep all you can for yourself. After all, you need to have enough.

But I don’t want my life to be characterized by clenched fists. Because the core of the Gospel is wrapped in extravagant giving. 

Jesus’ life turns the world’s scarcity message upside down. He said crazy things like “…don’t store your treasure on earth“; and he made bold proclamations like “sell all you have because your treasure is in heaven…and follow me.”

What is it that Jesus knew that we’ve somehow missed? How can we change our own mindset to live in direct opposition to the culture at large?

I hope you find yourself in the truths listed below. If not, I’m praying God will use this to fire up a big transformation in both of us.

5 Reasons Generous People Can Freely Give

1. Generous people know they won’t go empty.

Generosity is multiplication, not subtraction. The more we give, the more we will have.  Because generous hands remain open to receive, pour out, and repeat.

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)

2. Generous people know they hold the treasure of true life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Financial wealth is here today, gone tomorrow. Placing hope in a bank account will lead to crashing disappointment every single time. You’ll either lose it here on earth and be devastated, or you’ll die and have to leave it here. Either way, it won’t last.

But when we live based on the unshakable certainty of God’s unending love, we share willingly, because we understand that we find life when we give it away.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)

3. Generous people know where they came from. 

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

We brought nothing into this world, and we can’t take anything with us when we die. Even our very next breath is a gift of grace.

Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8

4. Generous people know that healthy relationships are founded on self-sacrifice. 

Actually, I’m not sure you can have a healthy relationship without it. Because love is generous. Period.

There’s no better description than the wedding chapter (aka 1 Corinthians 13). Instead of being dulled by it’s familiarity, soak up this version:

“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”

Based on that description, it seems to me that generosity is just another word for love.

God is Love, and God is the ultimate Giver: He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32-33).

For God so loved the world…that he gave. Yes: loving and giving are synonymous.

5. Generous people know that “stress-free” begins with an outward focus. 

Giving to other people gives you benefits beyond the warm, fuzzy feeling. Scientific studies show that our mental and physical health improves in direct correlation to our generosity. A University of Michigan study tracked nearly 3,000 people for 10 years, and found that men who volunteered regularly had death rates 2.5 times lower than those who did not. The researchers concluded that generosity was a key factor in reducing their stress, and supporting their immune system.

If Jesus left the riches of heaven, to become poor, so that we could live…does it really make sense for us to hold things so tightly?

Do you need a new view?

Amy

Learn How Your Timing Affects Your Purpose

By: Gail Armatys, Heartsong Life Purpose Coach

Sunday afternoons, when the weather cooperates, I like to take a nap on my hammock. Not long, just enough time to actually feel myself relax, close my eyes, and if all goes well, rest at some level.

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One of my favorite things to do before closing my eyes includes listening to the birds sing, the breeze blow through the leaves, the deep and gentle song of the wind chimes and the sound of … (ahem) the neighbor’s blower not blowing, the weed eater no longer eating, and the power washer not washing!

I’m serious. Somehow, the announcement goes out to the neighborhood that I plan to hang out in the hammock because that’s when every man-made tool revs up to mow, blow, cut, torch, hack or saw. Not that I am against all that, it’s that the timing of this multi-mechanical chorus hits its high-note just when I’m hoping to do a slow fade. This happens so frequently that it is almost comical.

So the other day while on my hammock listening to this 3-part garage band harmony, I thought to myself, “It’s like this in life, too.” With our plans, I mean. We think we have all the details worked out for our day, week, month, quarter, year, and life. Yet, things change and our plans somehow begin singing a different tune. The timing is off. That is, our timing is off. God’s timing is not.

Let’s start at the beginning

In God’s eminent plan, timing plays a crucial role. Throughout scripture, he is not only very specific about revealing his plans for his people, he is also clear about the timing.

Take chapter one of Genesis, (I did say, ‘the beginning’). God has a precise order to his creation. There is a time for everything.

  • Verse 3: Let there be light.
  • Verse 6: Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.
  • Verse 9: Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.
  • Verse 11: Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.

Ultimately, God creates man and woman who then tend the garden he created previously. It was necessary for his creation to be made in this order so that the human race survived. But, there’s more.

In the stories of old, God tells Abraham and Joshua (to name just two) not only what to do, but when to do it. “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day” (Ex 12:3). “When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout…” (Josh 6:5).

And in the New Testament: After three days they found him in the temple courts…

(Luke 2:46) After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights…(Matt 4:2) “After three days I will rise again.” (Mt 27:63) “…and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:27)

You get the picture. Scripture, both Old and New, make it clear that timing matters.

Now let’s bring it back home. Think about the importance of timing in our lives: in music, stoplights, races, project commencement and completion, joke telling, planting, harvesting, napping :), speaking, and silence. The right timing is crucial. God, who determined the exact time and order of creation and the timing of battles, sacrifice, birth – and everything in between reveals that he cares about right timing.

So what does timing have to do with your God-ordained purpose?

There is a pattern, order, and organization to our lives. When we move forward in our own time and determination, we stray from God’s pre-determined path – the best path.

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 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”        Psalm 16:11

On our own, we often make wrong choices and we extend the time it would have otherwise taken for us to complete a certain task, goal or plan because of our self-determined (or substitute the word prideful here) detour.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

As a result, we struggle, perhaps miss some joy along the way, and get to go through training (oh, great) until we understand whatever God wants us to learn that will get us back on track…back on the path of our life’s purpose.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

Now, I have to ask,  “Are you trying to make things happen in your time and in your way?  Or, are you waiting on God?”

To which you respond, “Maybe I am – maybe I’m not. How do I know?”

Thanks for asking…

Purpose Steps

  1. Ask God if the timing is right for that new project, job, relationship, etc.
  2. Continue to worship.
  3. Review your past experiences. What direction do they point you?
  4. Seek and listen to godly wisdom.
  5. Serve others and walk in obedience while you wait.
  6. Pay attention to opportunities and closed doors.
  7. Spend time in scripture.
  8. Wait.  The answer will come.

Purpose Prayer

Lord, you know me so well that you see when I am heading the wrong direction and you love me so much that you let me make this choice. Increase my faith and open my eyes as you give me signs, encouragement, and direction.  I know that ‘there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven’*. Forgive my impatience as I draw near to you and wait for your timing.  In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Now, please excuse me while I head to my hammock and await my serenade.

*Ecclesiastes 3:1

Listen to your HeartSong Here!

In His Time/CRC Worship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo-rGzx2OZk

Live the song written on your heart.

Not a Candidate For Daughter-of-the-Year

By: Vivian Wilson 

This week the “selfish me” showed her ugly side again. My plan (yes I had another one) was to go to Galveston for a week alone.

I told Mom I would be gone but would be in town Tuesday and Wednesday, if she needed anything. I could see the sadness on her  face and I heard the longing in her voice. She hasn’t been on vacation in years.

So, motivated by guilt, grudgingly, I told her I would take her with me, but I would have to bring her home on Monday evening. I didn’t want to take her, but guilt made me do it.

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We checked into the condo on Saturday, and then I drove from Galveston to Marble Falls for my sister’s bridal shower on Sunday, leaving Mom alone (in Galveston) all day. She didn’t mind because she was happy to be on vacation.
During the five hour drive back to the condo from the bridal shower, I felt another kind of “guilt”. It was really conviction by the Holy Spirit.
My attitude needed to change. I was resentful. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a switch that controls my emotions. I can’t turn them on and off.
I can, however, control my thinking. 
So I began to pray. I asked God to change my attitude.
I engaged my mind and set it on things above.
I thought about all the good things with which God has blessed me.
I thanked Him for the opportunity to spend a week at the beach, for the opportunity to bless my mom, and for so many other things.
Monday morning, as I drank my coffee and spent time in God’s Word, my heart was at peace. Mom woke up with a smile on her
face. She hadn’t slept so well in months. I carried her coffee for her as we walked out to the balcony. (We have TWO balconies!)
When we were outside, she took a deep breath of fresh air, and with a huge smile on her face, she thanked me for taking her on  vacation.
My heart melted. I found myself asking her if she would like to stay all week with me. I felt many emotions in that moment. It gave me pure joy to be able to make her feel happy and special. I felt God’s mercy and forgiveness for my sinful attitude. I felt His grace and love because I knew I didn’t deserve anything but condemnation from a human perspective.
And I felt a deep sense of gratitude for all of the above.
Colossians 3:1-17 came to mind. Actually what came to mind were the first two verses. The last fifteen explain them.
Because of where I am positionally in Christ, my daily life should reflect that I am a child of God through my actions.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 
Set your mind on things above,
not on earthly things.”
Colossians 3:1-2
Others see what I do, but that isn’t always a reflection of what I am thinking and feeling. You might have said, “Oh, isn’t she sweet and thoughtful? She’s the best daughter because she’s taking her mother with her to Galveston with her.”
In reality, my motive was wrong. It was guilt and not love. My thoughts were totally self-centered. I wasn’t thinking about Mom, I was thinking about me.
My heart and mind were set on self. But what I must remember is that I have taken off the old self and put on the new self.
I am thankful that God didn’t waste any time in convicting me of my sin. Now I will enjoy this time with Mom and not waste a precious opportunity to love and bless her and be blessed by her.
I am not pursuing, nor do I even have an interest in gaining recognition for being the “best daughter” to Mom. What I am looking
forward to, is hearing my Heavenly Father say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I was not a good and faithful servant Friday and Saturday.But God’s marvelous grace offers me a second chance. I’m pretty sure that there is at least one of you, who like me, needs to redress. (For the rest of you, your time will come).
God tells us in Colossians 3:12-17, what we are to put on:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. 
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. 
And be thankful.  …..And whatever you do, whether in 
word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
 
A work in progress,
Vivian

It’s Time for JOY.

By: Ms. O

It is time for me to immerse myself in life’s joy again. Lately I have found myself overwhelmed by the complexities of what I feel is pulling me under…which causes me to forget the nuggets of joy…those “things” that make me smile…big…if I allow them to.

So, this week is a “bear with me” reading for you…as I list ten of the things that are so simplistic…but so much so  that I tend to miss them…if I don’t watch out. So here goes….

I love…..

1. That first cup of coffee in the morning…..pure bliss. Sure I will drink at least one more cup…maybe two….but nothing compares to that first sip. I like mine with one packet of sweetener….a dash of sugar free creamer…and two ice cubes so that it is cool enough for me to drink right away.

2. My pillow. That may sound silly….and very surface…but it’s truth. I am pretty good about sharing…but my pillow is not one that I am not willing to pass around. I will pay the money for nice, soft pillowcases…and bring my pillow with me when I travel. I am not criticizing your pillows if I come visit…it is just the fact that I love….mine.

3. The smell of a new book…but only certain kinds. This is probably the reason I won’t buy a kindle/ipad/whatever you call an electronic book. I can’t smell it. I love to open up a good hardbound book and sniff the pages.  I am nerdier that you might have imagined.

4. The feel of my Bible. Now I am sure you are questioning my mental health but give me a chance. My Bible has those tissue thin pages…and over the years I have marked…highlighted…written on the pages. Now when I turn the pages…looking up scripture…I love to “feel” the well-worn well-used pages.

5. Singing in the car…but only when I am alone. It has been awhile since I had been on a road trip by myself…so when I found myself driving solo to South Texas…I cranked up the sound…and belted it out. I apologize to anyone who could hear it…and for those who “saw” me having my own personal concert…oh well…chalk it up to no one to talk to….so I sing….loud.

6. Cotton fields…when the cotton is just about ready to be harvested. I love to see row upon row of dried up plant with the perfect tufts of cotton sitting on top. There is something so amazing about it…that I can’t help but stare…and smile. Not just for the fact that I prefer my clothes to be pure 100% cotton…but more so because it is nice to see it before it is picked…smushed into a huge bale…and trucked off to market. It is simplistic beauty.

7. Cool fronts. It is that time of the year again…..at last. It is a short season…hello, we live in South Texas…but cool fronts are so welcomed after our long summer heat. If I don’t appreciate it when it blows in…I might miss it…and that would be so sad.

8. Friends. I feel like God gives us friends that did not make the “family” cut when it comes to blood…so instead He grafted them in as my family in Him. Friends that meet me for lunch…that text me crazy messages…that make me laugh…put up with me…and still love me….at least that is what they tell me….and I chose to believe.

9. Family. I did not know what it meant to not have a full house. I grew up with a big family…and took it for granted growing up. It is only as we aged that our ties became so apparent…and treasured. Perhaps it is because I have said “farewell” to my grandparents…aunts…uncles…mother & father in law…that I realized that family cannot be taken for granted.

10. My children. I was so very blessed to be a “stay at home” home with my kids. I got to watch them take their first steps…hear their first words…along with withstanding their temper tantrums…butting heads with me…it all melts together.  I think our kids grow in stages not just because it makes sense…but more so that we  have the chance “take in” every part of it. The joys add to deep sense of being a parent…the not so great times gives us our “stripes” to know we are vested in raising our kids right…as best we can. When my son married I got the bonus of adding another “child” to my brood…my nest of thanksgiving to God. What I came to know is I can never take my kids for granted…they are only on loan…and that time passes quickly the older I get.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. “ James 1:17

The things that I love…even the silly ones…are touch points to remind me to seek joy…to be joy filled. They are God nudges for me…that sweet calling to my heart. Life will never be perfect…valleys with shadows happen…but I surrounded with so much “God” that I can’t let the darkness take over. He has instilled in me the sense of Him so that I will smile…chuckle to myself…full on laugh out loud.

God, you never cease to amaze me. I think You allow me so long to sit in “time out”…not to punish me…but allow me to brood… not for long…because You meet me full on…reminding me of….You. Never let my thoughts to wander too far from my blessings Lord…or forget that all good and perfect gifts come from You…and You are so good …to me. It’s that time Lord….where’s my pillow?…lol….Amen and amen. Ms. O

12 Awesome Ways to Thank Your Pastor

By: Amy Dalke

12 Awesome Ways to Thank Your Pastor

October is Pastor Appreciation Month.

It’s awesome to set an entire month aside to love your pastor. But I vote that we buck the system, and carry this pastor-loving stuff into the other eleven months of the year as well.

Because your pastor needs your encouragement; and he values your gifts of appreciation more than you will ever know.

Pastors are God’s extraordinary gift to us. They show up for us in countless (and often unrecognized) ways, and they love, comfort, and encourage us to become who we already are in Christ.

Our pastors speak life into our souls; and they faithfully partner with God to equip the Body of Christ (that’s you and me) to carry the Gospel into our everyday lives.

Their role is invaluable, and I dare say it’s among society’s most demanding and difficult positions; yet it’s one of the most thankless careers on the planet.

But instead of bragging about how awesome your pastor is, I’m giving you a list of ways you can tell him yourself.

[This was written with Faith UMC pastors in mind, so I used “him” to reference pastors in general throughout the post. It just makes sense to refer to them as male. Since they are.]

12 Awesome Ways to Thank Your Pastor

1) Write a personal note or letter: Your words matter to him. Personal words of encouragement, love, and support seem like a small act of appreciation, but it is a HUGE gift to your pastor.

  • Tell him how a sermon he preached affected you.
  • Write a note to let him know his visit to the hospital was a big deal to you.
  • Send him a card to tell him you prayed for him this morning.
  • Tell him how his words inspired a big change in you, or how his message moved you to live out your faith in a specific way.

Your pastor will be thrilled to hear how God used him to make a difference in you. That means lot to him!

2) Books: There is a 92% chance your pastor is, on some level, a book nerd. That’s not an official statistic, but it’s an smartly-educated guess. If you don’t know what all the cool pastors are reading these days, buy a gift card for books instead.

3) Family vacation: About right now, you’re thinking I’ve lost it. But I’m not even kidding. You could get your bible study group, or a large group of church family friends, and pool together enough money for a weekend getaway for your pastor’s family.

Your pastor will think this is unnecessary and ridiculous. And it is. Which is exactly the point, and he deserves it.

4) Take Your Pastor to Lunch: Not as expensive as the vacation idea…and by inviting him to lunch, you kill three or four birds with one stone:

  • You show you care enough to spend time with him outside of this pulpit-to-pew relationship you have going.
  • He’ll love the free lunch.
  • You’ll be giving him more to go on if he preaches your funeral. (This is clearly a selfish motive, but seriously! I want the person who eulogizes my life to know something about it. Don’t you?)

Close-up image of cashier male hands holding card

5) Car wash: Your pastor likely spends a lot of time in his vehicle, so this is an excellent gift. Because clean cars equal happy people. (Or maybe that’s just for the OCD types.) Either way it’s a great gift.

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, The Message)

6) Yard work: Mow your pastor’s lawn…or pay for someone to mow it. Trim hedges, tidy up the flowerbeds, plant new flowers, weed-eat. You get the picture.

7) A Hobby-Gift: If he loves to golf, buy him a round of golf; if he loves to fish, take him fishing. Buy his favorite golf balls, or fishing lures. Give him tickets to a professional football game, baseball game, or hockey game, etc. Set up a hiking trip, horseback riding, sailing.

Close-up Of A Golf Ball On A Green

8) Babysitting: Offer to babysit, or pay for a sitter to watch your pastor’s children while he takes his wife on a date.

9) Gift Basket of Favorites: Fill a bag or basket with his favorite coffee, tea, candy, gum, pens, chap-stick, toothpicks, etc. Get the scoop on what his “thing” is…and stock him up with it.

10) Gift cards: What does he like to do? Where does he like to shop? Buy him a gift card to the movie theater; restaurants; Target/Walmart; grocery stores; sporting goods or hunting/outdoor stores (Academy, Cabela’s); Amazon.com; or a book store.

11) Meals: Arrange to cook dinner for his family one evening, and deliver it to their doorstep. If you can’t don’t cook, order pizza or other kind of take-out instead. (It still gets delivered, and they still don’t have to cook. Mission accomplished.)

Cup Of Espresso With Coffee Beans

12) Monthly Gift Delivery: I quite love this option, because it’s the gift that keeps giving. Do some undercover work to discover what your pastor is fanatic about, and give it to him once a month. Here are a few awesome options:

Pick one of these, or make up your own…but whatever you do, please tell your pastor how grateful you are for him. You never know…he might be so thankful that he starts to pray more for you or something. (Which couldn’t hurt matters.)

Amy