By Pastor Tommy Rush, First Baptist Church
Several weeks ago, I was asked to consider writing a weekly article for the Natchitoches Parish Journal. It was suggested to me that I write something inspirational that might provide some encouragement to the people in our Parish. How could a pastor say no to that? I’m grateful for the opportunity and I hope the articles in future weeks will be encouraging!
It’s really amazing what an encouraging word can do for us. Each of us could no doubt tell of a time when an encouraging word made a difference in our life. It can bring comfort to someone who’s weary, courage to someone who’s deeply discouraged and hope to the person about to give up. Proverbs 25:11 actually teaches, “A word timely spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” One old man said it well, “We live by encouragement and we die without it.”Goodness, gracious we all need encouragement!
Maybe I need to give some explanation about the title, “Goodness Gracious.” My family, like many southern families, has always loved “porch sitting.” There’s only a few things I enjoy more than a porch swing, a cup of coffee and a good conversation. Some of my best memories are times shared with family shelling peas, making homemade ice cream, laughing and talking together. Without a doubt, my greatest encourager has been my grandmother. She encouraged everyone and anyone who took the time to sit down on her porch! I still miss her kindness, her laugh, her awesome biscuits, but more than anything I miss the words of encouragement she spoke into my life and faith. One of the greatest blessings of life is having someone in your life who has the gift of encouragement! The two words she would repeat again and again were the words, “Goodness Gracious.” It was her special way of reminding us of the goodness and grace of God!
I look forward to sharing thoughts and stories in the weeks ahead. I pray each one will be a simple reminder that God is good and His grace is truly amazing. Again, I’m honored to have the opportunity and ready to get started.