Never assume that a person already knows you appreciate them. Never pass up an opportunity to say ‘thank you.’  G.B. Stern once said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Today, I encourage pastors, executive pastors, administrators and church leaders everywhere to pause for a moment to tell those who work with you “thank you.” Buy a card, send an e-mail, send a text or make a phone call. Just don’t forget to appreciate those who labor with you, especially the volunteers.

People don’t have to do anything for you, and a little “thank you” goes a long way.

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of all. Though I love the food, and certainly the few days off from work and the unofficial launch of the Christmas Holiday Season, what I love the most are the memories. I remember being a frilly little girl, outfitted with dresses, tights, patent leather shoes and ribbons in my ponytails anxious to head over to Nana’s house to sit at the Kid’s Table with my parents and sisters, aunts, grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, and whoever else came by. It was always such a carefree day. No chores, no curfew, no volume restrictions… just eat, watch TV, eat some more and stay out of grown folks conversation.

Nana would always make us go around the table and tell what we are thankful for. She still does that to this day. Though I won’t be with my family this year, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude. I’m always grateful to God for His many blessings: life, health, shelter, clothing, food, a job, family, my gifts, my church… But this year, I have something new to be grateful for: YOU.

I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of you who read my blog every day (or even once in a while). Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for e-mailing the link to your friends and family. Thank you for sharing it on your Facebook page and Twitter. Thank you for hitting the “like” button. As I said once before, it’s great to have a place to share my thoughts and experiences. It’s even greater to know that someone is interested in reading my thoughts and experiences. I never expected this blog to be what it has become.  With only 15 posts in two months, Order in the Church has already received over 1100 hits. And it’s all because of you. Thank you.

I owe a special thanks to the wonderful people of LGM. When I first got the bright idea to start this blog, you were the first group to whom I went. You not only gave me ideas, but encouraged me to write. Not only are you a constant source of ideas, you are a consistent source of love, support and encouragement. Thank you Daryl, Vanessa, William, Pastor Jeff, Pastor Rob, Stephen (Brudda), Chevonne, Nicole,  James, Marvin, Jerod, Joshua, Chris (you tried… lol), Betnich, TJ, Bennett, Fenix, and Jeff; and of course, anyone else who has made suggestions, read or forwarded silently. I appreciate and love you all.

I also want to thank my mommy, Suzanne Norman-Lugg, who always makes me feel like I could do anything. I’m still not sure whether that’s because she really believes it or because that’s what mothers are supposed to do. Either way, she’s the reason I believe in myself. I strive to make her and my late father proud.

I also thank my “cheering section”: Brittany Perry and Arsheki Montgomery. If I listen to these two, I might drown thinking I can walk on water. I also want to thank Pastor Gabriel Stovall for “liking” every single post (lol) and for encouraging me, praying for me, and listening to me over the past few weeks. I could go on and on sharing how much I appreciate you all, but to keep it short, I’ll say it this way: everybody needs a Britt, a Kiki, and a Pastor Stovall in their lives.

Lastly, I’m grateful for every church that has allowed me to serve you in ministry and for every pastor who gave me the opportunity to exercise my gift. If not for you, I wouldn’t have anything to say.