categories: relationships
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April 24th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

My Favorite “Thank Yous!”

I’ll share a few things others have done for my family to say “thank you”:

  • Each year, someone anonymously sends my kids one big Easter basket. They sign it from “the people of LifeChurch.tv.” My kids think the whole church is sending them an Easter basket.
  • One family sends me a birthday card every year with a gift card to Sonic. The fact that they remember every year means the world to me.
  • When someone honors Amy, it blesses me deeply. Someone from one of our network churches sent Amy a gift basket with soaps, candles, and other girly things. Amy was so touched. I was eternally grateful.
  • I received an email from a guy in China who found Christ watching our online messages. He called me a distant mentor.
  • One church member had his kids send me a note telling how Jesus had changed their dad. I cried like a baby reading that one.
  • I have one note from a friend that meant so much to me that I keep it hidden in a drawer. On hard days, I pull out his note, read it, regroup, and get back to doing what God called me to do.

I honestly feel like I owe so many a debt of gratitude. I don’t feel worthy of all the expressions of love… but a well-timed “thank you” from someone can lift me for days.

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categories: relationships
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April 23rd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Thanking Those You’ll Never Meet

Years ago, I thought I’d never have a chance to meet so many of my ministry heroes. I decided to write a handful of notes to those who influenced me from a distance.

I’m guessing that some of the people may not have even seen the notes. It didn’t matter. To me, it was right to give honor and express gratitude.

Surprisingly, some responded back. One even mentioned the note to me years later when I met him in person. (That blew me away!)

  • Whose podcast do you listen to regularly? Email to say “thanks.”
  • Whose leadership message touched you deeply? Blog about it and say “thank you.”
  • Whose book ministered to you when you were down? Send her a note to tell her how her book impacted you.
  • Whose ministry inspired you to attempt something great? Call their assistant and leave a message of gratitude.

Don’t expect anything in return. Just say “thanks” because it is right to do so! Even though you may never meet a ministry hero, you can still find a way to say “thanks.”

Who has impacted you from a distance?

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categories: recommendations, relationships
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April 22nd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Expressions of Gratitude

There are a few people I can thank of who have impacted me so deeply that words alone cannot express my gratitude.

Here are a few ideas of how to creatively say “thank you”:

  • Build a short video of yourself saying “thank you.”
  • Preach about the person and mail them the message.
  • Write down everything you have learned from the person and send it to them.
  • Design a plaque that expresses your gratitude.
  • Write the person’s kids a note to express what a difference their mom or dad made in your life.
  • Dedicate something to that person. It could be a book, a sermon, a blog post, etc.
  • Name a child after someone you admire.
  • Send them a gift of appreciation.

Get creative expressing your gratitude!

What have you done for others? What have others done for you?

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categories: recommendations
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April 21st, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Gratitude

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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