Choose to be an Encourager!

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I was sharing with a dear friend of mine, Alissa, about my new blog. When she found out that one of my daily blog posts was going to be called Random Thursday she was overly excited- actually a normal reaction for her, she can’t help it, it’s how she’s wired! Sometimes on Sunday morning, I start my message with a random thought(s). Typically it is based on something that happened during the first moments of church, the greeting, the welcome, the worship or some other moment just prior to me preaching. Sometimes the were touching moments, other times it would be something struck me particularly funny; they always had one thing in common, they were random. When Alissa read the post theme: Random Thursday, you know where this is going…. She laughed and said, “Rev. your hits are going to spike on Thursdays!” She’s very sweet! So my first edition of Random Thursday is dedicated to my friend, Alissa.

Alissa is always so encouraging to me and challenges me to not give up on things that were once important to me. For instance: for Christmas a couple of years ago, she got together with Zach and they gave me a long sleeve T Shirt (they knew I liked working in them) and on the front it said, “BridgePointe Bombers” and on the back the #34 was below my name “The Rev”. Alissa loves baseball and that connection is probably one of the things that originally endeared her to me most. Although the “Bombers” part paid homage to her favorite team (the one from NY that I can’t even bring myself to say their name- call me a #H8R if you like) the name was catchy, it had a little swag to it and it served to stroke my ego! She reminded me of all the stories about “hitting the long ball” that we shared. Then it got real.

AB said, Rev- we should start a BridgePointe Softball team (I was glad Anita was not in the room during this conversation or her eyes would have got stuck in the forever rolled position…)! Suddenly I felt like that 34 on the back wasn’t just a number- it represented my age again (years old that is). Well the reality is I was 50 years old. As you might imagine, at 50 I wasn’t able to harness my inner glory, I did not hit a single ball over the fence but I did manage to hit a few balls to the warning track (WTP). Alissa would always cheer wildly, I see you mashin’ Rev as I turned several triples into doubles that summer! More importantly, I was able to play every game and not get hurt! Hey,… baby steps! Besides, Anita told me I wasn’t allowed to get hurt. Anyway we had a lot of fun and guess what? As a team, we went undefeated and claimed the league championship! I’ll never forget that summer. Admittedly, there have been far greater accomplishments individually for me and I have had the privilege to play on some outstanding teams as well but this one will always be special because Alissa was able to convince me that there still might be some tread on those old tires of mine and I got to lace them up with both of my sons (Zach and Jacob) as well! (Anita and Kelsey got into the action also! Like Sly and the Family Stone said, It’s a Family Affair!- it truly was!)

Being an encourager is a great gift. Encouragers are the heroes of our age and I am especially thankful for them! They help you see a way even when you can’t see a way yourself. And they are not afraid to walk with you through your endeavors (insert 5K here).Take some time today to encourage someone who can use a little pick me up! You never know what a difference you will make in their life!