Jeremy’s Blog

 
Pastor Jeremy will be posting about once a month sharing something that he hopes is helpful and encouraging in your journey with God.
 
 

November 2019

 

 No Thank You

 

What is it that determines whether to accept or reject a thank you?  Yes, I am sure you have tried to reject a thank you.  It might not have been a declaration like: “I don’t need or even want to be thanked.” Most likely it was soft and subtle saying, ‘Oh, you don’t need to thank me.  It was an honor to help.” But no matter how you say it, there are times we don’t want to be thanked.

There are some people in my life for which I would give up everything. For them, I don’t need or even want accolades or thank yous.  I don’t need gifts or even an honorable mention plaque.  I feel so blessed and honored to have them in my life, I willingly and dutifully serve them. But then there are others where if there isn’t some recognition of my service it becomes more and more difficult to help them. Why the difference? 

I believe it is based on the word blessing. Blessing, a tricky word to define but one that seems to fit so well when in the right context.  A word suggesting whatever is given benefits the one who received it. If I feel the relationship is a blessing (benefit) or gives me blessings (benefits), I am ready to give them a blessing (benefit) in return. Sometimes a simple or proper “thank you” is enough to keep this blessing balance stable. Though sometimes it feels unbalanced and I am in debt and need to “bless” that person to bring back balance.  This is why we would reject a “thank you” as it would tip the blessing scale in the wrong direction and I would feel in debt again.

But God tips the scale so much we should just throw it out. If I stop and think of the blessings I have received from God, I will always be in debt. His security of love to his promise to help is just the start of the never-ending spring of fresh blessings that flow from the throne of God, the resurrected Savior, and the ever-present Holy Spirit. I get so overwhelmed that all I can do is say what feels like an empty, light-weight thank you.

Jesus says there is more we can do than just say “thank you.” He says that we can say a heartfelt thank you through our deeds. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 NIV). The best thank you we can give to God is to show the untethered, generous love He has given to us by being a blessing with our hands, time, resources, and abilities.  When I do this, I don’t need their thank you because I am doing it as my thank you to God. Hopefully. your act of God’s love towards them might tip their scales to where they will need to throw their ‘s away too.  

 

 

 

October 2019 (First Post!)

 

The Legacy of Words

Have you ever wondered if your words make a difference daily?  Words that make such an impact that they are remembered, repeated, shaping thoughts and actions. A good friend of mine was given words that made a difference in his life by a school teacher.  They were words that he repeated and shared for the next 80 years of his life.  The words were simple, “You are dumb and you will never amount to anything!”  For the rest of his life he fought against those words trying to prove otherwise. 

Did you realize that every word that comes out of your mouth has the power to leave a legacy, positive or negative?  Every Word.  Consider the legacies of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Yes, the words were powerful and masterfully delivered but is that why they have such a great legacy?  I believe their greatness came from the timeliness of the words to the circumstances and the desire for hope and guidance for those listening. The legacy of those speeches would be diminished if they were delivered at a different place, a different time, and in front of a different audience.  The words were matches spoken into hearts filled with dried kindling that ignited emotions and passions causing a ripple effect thus leaving a legacy.

When I consider all the people that I have the privilege of talking to, there is no way I can understand their circumstances, thoughts, struggles, or fears.  I must understand that every word that comes out of my mouth has the power to leave a legacy with that person, positively or negatively.  A simple compliment might ignite hope into their bleak circumstance.  A careless word of dissatisfaction or judgement might burn down what little was left of that person’s dignity.  I don’t know all the details of each person I meet, but I do know my words have the power to ignite a legacy making their life better.

I think that is why we are taught: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

My words are more powerful than I realize. I must not risk using words carelessly but must be intentional hoping those listening will always benefit. What legacy are you leaving behind?