Sometimes we need to stop and thank God for the people He places in our life to bless us.  They are His messengers to protect, help, bless, and encourage us.  That is what this post is about and I hope you will think back to people God has used to bless you.  A friend is someone who says… as the song goes… “I’ll be there for you!”

  By virtue of the position I hold as a pastor there are people who from time to time affirm what I do through preaching, teaching, and visiting.  And each time I feel good that I’m having some kind of impact for God in people’s lives.  But this post is not about me being used to bless others… it’s about God using others to bless me and my family.

  I won’t use their real names because I don’t want them to lose any rewards that are being stored up in heaven (Matthew 6:2-4).  Plus, these people wouldn’t want their name to be used anyway and would be mad at me if I did.  All of them are from previous churches I’ve served.  And truth be told, I’m already finding people at WABC who are a lot like each of these people from my past.

  Bunny and Larry.  Larry was on the team that called me to the church.  This couple knew how to encourage me and Pam as we tried to learn the ropes of being a first time pastor’s family.  They were patient, loving, and faithful.  They delivered us from an invasion of mice… brought us food from their garden… and helped us in difficult times.  They wouldn’t let us get down or discouraged and always had a kind word.  They took care of my family when I was gone to class in seminary.  I miss Larry and Bunny tremendously.  Larry is waiting in heaven for us…

  Iris and Wally.  Iris was on the team that called me to the church and became a second mother to Pam.  Wally was my prayer partner.  They helped us keep perspective on life… gave us wisdom… and encouraged us when we needed it.  Iris and Wally had a knack for knowing when to call, write a note, or give us a phone call.  For all my days I will be thankful for the times they were there for us when few others were.  I still talk to Iris from time to time.

  Alfred and Nell.  Alfred was a republican Alabama fan who listened to Rush Limbaugh.  Nell was a democrat who bled orange and blue and couldn’t stand Rush Limbaugh.  Yet they exemplified love for God, each other, and the church.  They also loved me enough to tell me the truth for my good.  They both understood how to “speak the truth in love.”  Alfred was… and still is… a person I talk to for wisdom and suggestions on any number of matters.  Pam talked with Nell just this week for about an hour just because she missed her.  I wish both of them lived in Muscle Shoals because I miss my seeing my friends.

  Pastor Friends Jerry and Randy.  These guys I call on in one way or another all the time.  I ask them what they would do in a given situation… what they think about this passage of Scripture… and request their prayers for important matters.  They have been a constant source of blessing, encouragement, and correction.  Without them I would have made many more mistakes than I have.  The churches I pastor have been blessed by these guys without even knowing it!

  People who thought they were my enemies.  This one might surprise you.  I’m going to blog on this thought later.

  I thank God for all these people and many others I haven’t named.

  Who has God used in your life to bless you?

  Who can you encourage and help as others have helped you?

  Thank God for those people by name!  Then look for people you can help/encourage as people have helped/encouraged you!