Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
I know that a 50th birthday is a special birthday but I have been overwhelmed by the love, encouragement, and celebration I have received this week. I was overwhelmed by the birthday party on Sunday evening. Our church staff is so thoughtful and I was humbled by all the little details they considered for the celebration. I appreciate so many of you who came out and shared in the celebration. I was humbled by so many out of town friends who traveled all the way to Kinman Farm to celebrate with me. (I appreciate Kinman Farm’s hospitality and allowing us to use their farm and facilities.) I have also been overwhelmed with birthday cards, gifts, calls, texts, messages, and birthday wishes. Thank you so much for your kindness. I have tried to take a little extra time this week to count my blessings. I am so thankful for my family and so many dear friends. Romans 12:10 challenges us to “outdo one another in showing honor.” I feel like many of you went out of your way in honoring me this week. Not only has this been humbling, but it has challenged me to look for ways to love and honor others. I’ve had some friends over the years that seem to excel at honoring others. One couple I know regularly picks another couple to take out to dinner every year for their anniversary. Jesus was right when He said “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I know that October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. Since you have already honored me this week, I’d challenge you to find a way to honor our staff or your Bible study leader this month. Maybe you could write an encouraging note to Jeff, Jonathan, Danny, Beth, Bonnie, Joanne, Jessica, Judy and Eloise. I got to thinking about some ways we could put Romans 12:10 into practice.
- Maybe your Bible study group could surprise your Bible study leader with a card and gift card.
- Maybe you could get a Starbuck’s gift card for the praise team and sound team because they come in early on Sunday morning to rehearse.
- Maybe you could make some cookies for some deacons whom you have noticed serving well.
- Maybe you could get some flowers and give to somebody on the First Impressions Team on Sunday.
- Maybe you could get a customized apron for Elaine, Karen, Evelyn, Rhonda, JoAnn, Debbie, Susan, Connie or some of the Wednesday evening cooking crew.
- Maybe you could write some notes of appreciation for some of our older folks just acknowledging how their lives have impacted you.
- Maybe you could offer to babysit for a young couple to allow them to have a date night.
- Maybe you could do something for our children’s workers (Sunday AM and/or Wednesday PM).
- Maybe you could give an extra abundant tip to a waiter you think might be struggling.
- Maybe you could pay for the lunch of a veteran, police, fire, EMS, or healthcare worker.
- Maybe you could buy a gift card for a college student.
- Maybe you could rake the leaves for some of your elderly neighbors.
- Maybe you could make a visit to somebody who might be lonely and offer your time as a gift.
Obviously, this list could be several pages. There are so many ways that we can love and honor others. Thank you for challenging me to be more intentional about showing honor to others. If you have some stories of ways you have loved and honored others, send me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear your stories and maybe borrow some of your suggestions. Thank you again for being such a blessing to me!