I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
Family and friends, I begin this newsletter with a passage I often quote. I do so because this is Pastor Appreciation month. I want to make public that I have great respect and admiration for the many I know who are faithful servants of Jesus Christ. You serve selflessly and courageously. I want to say “thank you” to those who represent Jesus so well by lovingly serving not only those in their local church family, but also those in their neighborhoods and communities. You are heroes! Some of you humbly serve in very public ministries in larger congregations. Some of you faithfully serve in relative anonymity in smaller settings. As Paul stated, I am so thankful for you. I pray for you with joy! I partner with you as we share the common task of making Christ known. I so love and appreciate you because of what you do in our Great Savior’s Name!
I especially want to acknowledge those who are retired from active ministry. While retired, you still are busy mentoring, encouraging, and praying for the next generation of leaders. You still reach your neighbors with the love and truth of Jesus. You do so sometimes forgotten by your denominational family and your previous congregations, whom you served faithfully. You still serve even though your energy may be lacking and your health may be declining. Friends, why not reach out to one of your past pastors to simply say, “thanks.”
I admit it is a bit unfair for clergy to have their own month to be thanked when so many in various fields of employment are never acknowledged or rewarded. If that is you, I appreciate you! Thank you for serving our Lord as you serve your employer with integrity. You may never be noticed or thanked, but if you are doing it for God and His glory, He sees you! “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17).
Our family is blessed, as always. Leah’s knee seems to be improving and may not require surgery. Please pray for her as she deals with stomach problems that greatly impact how much she can get out of the house. Our girls are doing well, busy with life and serving Jesus as they are able. Please pray that they will grow daily in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I am dealing with more pain and fatigue, but I still get out and attend Russellville High School/Arkansas Tech University football games as Maria is able to give me rides. (Russellville friends, let me know if you need someone to cheer alongside.) Please pray I will remain faithful. We are praying for those who are cleaning up after the hurricane and we are praying for rain for our very dry community. We continually pray for the glory of Christ to intervene in the terrible circumstances we see all over the world. May the church be revived and filled with the Spirit so that a lost world will turn to Jesus, our only hope.
How can I pray for you? Please let me know. We love and appreciate you!
Brian Heinen 802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765