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April 21st, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

17 comments (+ Add)


istock_000003950759xsmall.jpgJesus told a story about ten lepers who were healed. Only one returned to say “thank you.” I hope I am always the one.

We are where we are because of people God has put in our lives.

I challenge you to make a list of ten people who have influenced you and write them each a personal note of gratitude.

Your list might include:

  • Your mom or dad.
  • Your grandparents.
  • Your fifth grade teacher, your eighth grade coach, or your preaching professor from seminary.
  • Your youth pastor from childhood, the speaker who came to your youth camp, or the volunteer leader who listened to you when you were hurting.
  • Your friend who prayed for you daily.
  • The author of some book that touched your life in a deep way.
  • Some pastor you’ve never met but feeds you spiritually weekly on your iPod.
  • Some person who said one thing that encouraged you when you needed it.

Who are a few of the people for whom you’re grateful? When are you going to write that letter you’ve been putting off?

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there are a total of17
  1. Apr 21, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Thanks for the reminder; I’ll be writing some this week!

  2. Apr 21, 2008 at 6:23 am


    -my parents led me to Christ when I was 5
    -Rick Rush was my SS teacher in HS (I wrote him a note 5 years ago)
    -Mike Hall discipled me (I wrote him a note 5 years ago)
    -Bob Horner gave me my 1st opportunity to preach & then called me to join his staff after seminary. (we stay in touch)
    -Larry Anderson of YFC, mentor
    -Rick Warren (I wrote him a note 5 years ago)
    -John Maxwell (I wrote him a note 5 years ago)
    -Andy Stanley (I wrote him a note 5 years ago)
    -Chuck Swindoll
    -Henry Blackaby
    - Craig Groeschel

  3. Apr 21, 2008 at 7:11 am


    I do this on a fairly regular basis but have no order to it. :) It is a great exercise and even though I do not hear back from some of the folks I know my heart was blessed by doing so. Thanks for the suggestion again.

    And Craig??? Thanks. Thanks for the “Confessions” book. Thanks for the personal notes during your blogs. Thanks for making yourself available.

  4. Apr 21, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Last week I called a guy I hadn’t spoken to in more than 15 years. He had disappointed me greatly by leaving his wife at a time when I thought I needed his wisdom about how to KEEP my wife. I wasn’t angry, but just moved on.

    I am very thankful for this man.

    Thirty years ago this month, he was instrumental in offering me my very first church ministry position. Can I tell you what an incredible blessing it was to hear his voice? To thank him for believing in a 19-year-old know-nothing (who, incidentally, got away with some pretty stupid things there)? To tell him I hadn’t forgotten the role he played in my life?

    He seemed deeply appreciative and moved that I would call.

    I was moved even more.

  5. Apr 21, 2008 at 9:20 am

    That is a great reminder.

    I recently got married and some of the influential woman in my life lined the isle and gave me flowers to make my bouquet.

    There is one in particular who is probably the most influential person in my life. She is my mentor and accountability. She knows the questions to ask and when to ask them. She encourages me and challenges me to be a better person.

    I text her and she just text me back “wow.” She is such a blessing in my life.

  6. 7Rodney
    Apr 21, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Let me make this the first of 10 notes to write. Thank you for your leadership. Your words on this blog have encouraged and inspired me over this past year. They have helped me become a better leader, and hopefully a better Christ-following man. (now 9 more to go)

  7. 8Jim
    Apr 21, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done to help take the lid off. Thanks for making me wrestle and ponder the Scriptures. Thanks for being a catalyst in helping to ignite my continued passion for Jesus!

  8. 10jon
    Apr 21, 2008 at 11:29 am

    what i like is how your challenge is to “write them each…”. to me it means so much more to get a note or card in the mail from someone…it’s more personal…it takes a little more time and effort!

    great post!

  9. Apr 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    My mentor Gail. My pastor Jason, and his wife Lori. Pastor Jason’s parents, Dr. Barry and Dr. Joyce, and my metal shop teacher, Mr. Perry. He used to call me “punky doodle” and just because of that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the torches just to impress him. He taught me that there’s nothing a girl can’t do if she puts her mind to it.

  10. 12JoAnna
    Apr 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    There are so many different people that I am grateful for but at the top of my list is my church that I grew up in. I started going there by myself when I was four years old, and my parents were far from being Christians, so the church became my spiritual parents. I would not be the person I was because of them. I am definitely going to send my pastor a letter, this week.

  11. 13D
    Apr 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    When? Tonight. It is a letter I thought even yesterday to write. Did God ask you to nudge me with this?

    My Grandfather, who’s been like a father to me since Dad died of colon cancer. Granddad is nearing the end, due to being too weak to continue fighting cancer.

    He knows the Lord and loves Him.

    The sands are of this world slipping away. So, before he meets Jesus, Granddad will know my heart of thanks.

    Maybe writing it makes the end so real. But the regret of not having said it, will hurt more.

    Thanks Craig.

  12. Apr 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I love that! I always try to have thanks and praise be on my lips (or written) …Encouraging words really do mean a lot!

  13. Apr 22, 2008 at 4:58 am

    My grandfather had his 97th birthday last Sunday. One of the best things I’ve done was write a tribute to him several years ago. One page, telling him all I was grateful for - fond memories of time with him, etc. My wife and I have done for our parents as well. Thanks for the reminder of the value of gratitude and specifically taking time to communicate that gratitude.

  14. Apr 22, 2008 at 5:57 am

    The story of the lepers speaks to me in ways words can not always write. Last Tuesday (April 15th) I turned 40. As I was recounting to the women at the beginning of the Bible study I teach - the years from 30 to 40 were the best of times and the worst. I learned more about being grateful and having real gratitude during those years compared to the others. This morning, as I prepare yet again to go to teach… I remain so incredibly grateful for the individuals whose lives intersect with mine even for only a moment in time. As I stand in my high heels or with my shoes off sitting on the ground…. may my life brush the colors of gratitude that only He can paint. I am one who was healed… in 2003. And I count it all joy to use my hands to hold His Word, to hold the hands of someone hurting, pick up a little child, and etc…

    And Craig, I am grateful for you. Thank you.

  15. Apr 22, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Sooo funny you post this. It’s been on my mind for a couple of weeks to send out notes of gratitude! You gave me the extra push to do it today.

    I’ll be writing staff, family members and was inspired by someone in the comments I just read to also write leaders whose books or model leadership has influenced me.