It started as a way to pray for my family and friends and give them a little encouragement. Along the way, the “words for the week” just kept picking up steam, growing from five family members to close to 150 friends. As I post, I continue to lift them up in silent prayer, know God knows their needs.
At the beginning of the year, I ask them if they would like me to continue. I lost one this year, and that’s because she retired and is no longer receiving e-mails at her work.
Here are some of the comments I received … and why I decided to expand the ministry.
“Some days these are just what I need. Thank you for the blessing.”
“Please continue … they are a blessing.”
“I love reading them!”
“Keep on sending. Thanks!”
You get the gist. It started as a way to spend time praying for my family, friends and faith partners and share with them some nugget of encouragement for the week. Sometimes it’s a sentence. Sometimes a paragraph. Sometimes a story. I’ve discovered each one had a special meaning to some one at some time. The message just resonated with them at just the time they needed it most. I never know who until after the fact.
The messages — while typically from Christian sources — have universal appeal. Today, for example, the message is a Lesson in Simplicity. It can be a lesson for all of us — reaching an audience with the “simple” message. So, here’s this week’s words for the week…
In Streams of Living Water, Richard Foster told of Billy Graham preaching at Cambridge in 1955. For three nights he tried to make his preaching academic and enlightened, but with no effect.
Graham finally realized that presenting the intellectual side of faith was not his gift and began preaching the simple message of Jesus rescuing us from our problem with sin. Foster wrote, “The results were astonishing: hundreds of sophisticated students responded to this clear presentation of the Gospel. It was a lesson in clarity and simplicity that he never forgot.”
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If you want the world to follow you, make sure you are walking on solid ground.