Decades ago I read church bulletins and missionary reports as a student worker in the Missions Information Office at a Christian college. My work entailed compiling relevant notes and data into an occasional report for interested faculty, students and staff.
As might be expected, some reports and bulletins were more engaging than others. I always looked forward to what John Gipson would write.
I have never met John nor do I know much about him. I doubt he knows I exist. Yet, he impacted at least part of my life. Your influence as salt and light might be greater than you think.
After I graduated from school, my path carried me to another part of the United States and then beyond our country’s shores. While worshipping overseas, our small congregation began a church bulletin. John’s articles came to mind. I remembered how he had crafted stories to express spiritual principles. That example inspired me to attempt to encourage our members with a spiritual message.
Years later upon moving back to the States to serve with a congregation, I picked up the church’s bulletin. On the top of page 2 was “Larry’s Lookout.” I groaned. Larry’s strengths and mine were different. A “Barry’s Barometer” or any other such bulletin segment would never work well.
John’s articles came to mind. Maybe I could write a short weekly article offering the congregation a spiritual thought for reflection. For better or worse, words and ideas took on the form of mimeograph ink each week.
This past week Larry shared an article with me by John Gipson. Memories flashed. With them came the realization that throughout my life John’s articles have encouraged me to take a risk in writing some thoughts to help others.
So, in what ways does your devotion to God take form? Do you offer a hand or a tool to your neighbors in need? Do you give your neighbors baked goods? Do you encourage the downtrodden with a sympathetic ear or sit with the lonely? Do you forgive those who can’t even forgive themselves? Do you care for the weak and disadvantaged?
We seek to honor God by doing good. Our motive is to serve God. Yet, God might also use your efforts honoring him to impact another. We may never know how our service to God has influenced others. John, thanks for writing your articles.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).