I’m sure I’m like most. A little encouragement goes a long way. I actually perform quite well with little or no encouragement, but when it does come, it is certainly appreciated. A practice I have kept for many years is to file away encouraging emails and notes. There have been many days where I have felt discouraged and disconnected. There are times when the calling that put me where I am feels distant. In these times, reading through the encouraging notes seems to do the trick.

A few years ago, I was greatly encouraged by someone very important to me. My Children’s pastor from my childhood emailed me out of the blue. Randy Stephen was my Children’s Pastor for nearly 10 years – from the time I was a five-year-old until I was 14. After “growing” up in his Children’s Ministry, he empowered me to serve in his ministry and I vividly remember him giving me (a 12 or 13-year-old) the opportunity to lead a child to faith one weekend during ministry time. I’m not sure anyone influenced me as much as Mr. Randy.

Anyway, he sent me an email just to catch up with me. It was so good to hear about all the great things God was doing in his life and ministry. He ended his email with this:

Kenny, I am proud of you! Continue to press on man of God! There is much at stake and much to do and through HIM we can do all things!

How could that not make my week? That email re-kindled so much within me for a very long time.

What about you? How do you stay encouraged? What keeps the fire burning in your soul?