We’re Here To Recognize…

3 12 2010

How many times do you suppose we think about doing something only to have it disappear into the busyness of the day? For me, the answer is “too often.”   As I was reading the scripture passage from I Corinthians and I sensed the Spirit underlining a couple of verses for me I decided to not allow that prompting to become buried under a pile of tasks. I’m going to act on it now.

The verses that nudged my heart are I Cor. 16: 17-18 (HCSB) “I am delighted over the presence of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus…for they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore recognize such people.” The author of this letter is the Apostle Paul and for some reason I have always pictured him as being a fairly stern sort of guy. He seems to be pretty intense most of his writing and so I think it might have been that word “delighted” that caught my eye. It’s just such a happy, joyful word. He follows up on that by saying that these three guys have “refreshed” him.  Now, if he needed RE-freshed that would seem to indicate that that there was a period of time when  he was DE-freshed, which I can certainly relate to after this past year.  He then adds the instruction for us to give recognition to the refreshing people in our lives, and that’s where this post picks up.

I started thinking about the refreshing people in my life over the past six months. The longer I thought  the longer my list got.   It was starting looking like I would need to write a book on this topic, but that’s not something that can happen within the  “right now” requirement I gave myself, so I decided to follow Paul’s example here.  He recognized three people in the referenced writing.  That seemed like a good pattern to follow.  I’m sure there were countless more he could have recognized, but he just picked three.  I also added the criteria that they couldn’t be related to me.   These are three people who I am absolutely delighted to have in my life and who have been a consistent source of refreshment to my spirit over the past, somewhat de-freshing,  six months and  I want to recognize them.

Donna Book has been an unwavering source of practical, tangible support to me.  I said to my mom the other day that I can’t mention anything that I am wanting or needing in Donna’s earshot or she will get it and/or do it for me.     She has given a shoulder to cry on in times of hurt and frustration and has made sacrifices to enable my ministry that leave me utterly humbled by her generosity.    Her gift of giving keeps me in a position of always wanting to balance the scales in our friendship, but the truly beautiful thing is that she’s never keeping score.

Ginny Reisinger has a gift of encouragement that she has selflessly poured into my life in a way that I find continually inspiring.   As I pull out of my driveway on my way in to the office, I look across the street at our church and I know that Ginny has been there for the previous hour in prayer, and I’ve been on her prayer list.  I begin each work day with a prayer she has penned especially for that day.Her weekly affirmation that she can see God working in and through me is, in the words of the commercial, priceless.

My third individual probably has no idea that he is one of my “refreshers.”  Jim Lucas is a man of quiet fortitude and faithfulness.  Obstacles  do not defeat him.  I can’t think of a single thing I have done to make his life any better, and yet every Sunday, he stops me on my way past his seat in the back row of  Highpoint’s Worship Center to tell me he loves and appreciates me.  It’s a wonderful thing to be appreciated for who you are,  not just for what you do.  When I watch Jim, I am motivated anew to persevere.  When I talk to Jim, well, let’s just say there are far worse things that have been said to and about me than being told that I am  “cuter than a speckled pup.”

So how about you?  What if you were to follow Paul’s admonission to recogonize your refreshers?  Who are three people on your list and how can you give them recognition for the way they have nurtured your spirit?  If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear about them.



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