For over 45 year I have been preaching and teaching … and have enjoyed being used by God to do so.  His gifts to me are many … and I pray I have used them effectively … to proclaim His name … and to extend His kingdom.

In these years the Lord has taken me from schools and churches across the oceans and around the world … each time giving me an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in a variety of settings.  As “just a dumb kid from Nebraska” it constantly amazes me that He would choose and use me.

But as someone has said … He does not always choose the qualified … but He always qualifies those He chooses.  That’s another way of saying … He gives us the gifts and the words we need when we need it!

The reason for this short note, however, is to get to this … what people have said sticks in my mind.  Certainly pastors and teachers get plenty of recognition … good and bad … like the turtle, who, only gets into trouble when he sticks out his neck.

Lots of times I get a “thank you” … sometimes it is “nice sermon” … or “you were speaking to me today,” etc.  At other times I have heard “I sure wish ‘so-and so’ were here today to hear that,” … and even “I not sure I agree with all you had to say…”

But … and there is always a but … two phrases stick out in my mind … two things that people have said that keep me keeping on ….

First … “Keep on doing what you are doing!”

Second … “Inspire them!”

Seemingly simple statements … but words that touched my heart … because I could see in their faces and in their eyes … the sincerity and a desire to want more … and to encourage me to share more … not of myself … but of Him who created us … saved us … and preserves us!

While these are not great pithy statements … they have meant … and will continue to mean a lot to me … because I can still see their faces (though one has gone on to be with the Lord) … and I can still see the passion behind what it is they said.

We all need encouragement (to have the courage put back into us) … and if this is you today … in need of some encouraging words … Keep on doing what you are doing … and inspire them … for His name’s sake!