Learning To Encourage Others

I know it’s not thanksgiving. That’s what makes what I am going to say even more significant. Today, I want to tell you about a special church who blessed our lives.

Late yesterday evening Martha and I were having a late cup of coffee (decaf unfortunately) and just enjoying being together. Somehow our conversation got around to someone we knew years ago who has gone to be with the Lord. At that point, Martha asked a penetrating question. She asked: “Who is it that has made a lasting contribution to your life?”

At that point I began naming people from our past who found ways to encourage us and help us look at ministry from a positive point of view.

You need to know this about us. We believe the church to be the hope of the world. We have loved all of our churches, and we love our current church. Serving God through First Baptist Covington is not a chore; it is a blessing for our lives.

When we came to Covington 23 years ago, people treated us with kindness, gentleness, and respect. They asked us to lead and followed when we did. That’s all we expected because it was all we knew. The people in our previous church had treated us the same way.

Many of the people we named as having made a lasting contribution to our lives worshiped and served in the Superior Avenue Baptist Church of Bogalusa, Louisiana. We moved there in our twenties, and they loved and encouraged us in spite of our youthful mistakes.

Martha has said this about the church through the years: “They believed in us and helped us believe in ourselves.” Yesterday she noted: “If they had not treated us as they did, we might have a very different view of church today.”

I want to urge you to find someone to encourage today. There is someone around you who needs it. It might be a pastor or a church member. Give them something that lasts forever–your blessing. I promise they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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4 Comments


  1. Ed Matthew
    Jul 18, 2012

    Yes, we are called to make the best of bad situations and the bad behavior of others. However, we are also called to stop bad situations before they destroy Blessings of Life. Yes, I believe many tragic events are the result of His Church and the many members individually not meeting their obligation. Of course, I include myself. As God has Blessed me with so many experiences of seeing evil overcome good (in the short term) it is evident we all share in both the evil and the good. As there is no Good apart from God, we should give pause.

    I am thankful to see so much good coming out of a Body of Believers. It is difficult to comprehend, if one should try, nevertheless FBCC is a Blessing and understanding it or not understanding it does not change the fact.
    Thank you Martha for remembering who packed your chute. More than just you depended on their faithfulness.


  2. Sandy Morris
    Jul 18, 2012

    God has blessed FBC immeasurably by sending you & Martha to us. Having been a member of FBC all my life I have grown more spiritually in the past 23 years than I did in all the years past & I feel that has been due to your direction & teaching. Thank you both for the examples you set for those you lead, especially the young people of the church. You & Martha show what a Godly marriage is all about. I am just finishing Martha’s latest book & it has been inspiring & uplifting. I have enjoyed hearing the stories of the precious Chase. We miss him but know he is growing in Christ in his new class.


  3. Cristi Knight
    Jul 18, 2012

    Thank you for today’s post. I can certainly say that my grandparents loved and encouraged “you kids” at SABC. I have printed this to share with Granny.


  4. Fran Shea
    Jul 18, 2012

    I have fond first memories of church at Superior ave. too. I’m a cradle roll kid from there and lived on the church grounds in my first home because mom was church secretary with Rev. Sollie Smith and he was kind enough to rent it for practically nothing. I knew you before I met you from my visits to that church and seeing that “kid preachers” picture on the wall! Ha!

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)