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*Clergy Appreciation*


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Good afternoon readers! Today I have the privilege of sharing another new writer to HeartTouchers. Be sure to give Mike Collins a warm welcome and be sure to take to heart his article and show your pastors how much you care about them!

For further reading be sure to check out another article on Pastor Appreciation on our website by clicking on the "Pastor Appreciation" button at:

From my family to yours,


Clergy Appreciation

bv Mike Collins

One of the most profound statements I remember hearing my father make while growing up was, "Son if I didn't love you I would just let you run wild." But my dad did in fact love me--so much so that he taught me right from wrong--even if I didn't agree with him at the time. Well, as I look back, I now know that dad was correct nearly 99% on everything he told me. OK, the fact of the matter is he was closer to 100% correct, but I hate to admit it.

Have you ever noticed how a pastor is so much like a father? He is constantly telling you the truth, regardless of its popularity. That is why some organizations and denominations call their pastors and leaders Father. I mean think about it; they are constantly giving you advice you feel you already know or think is totally incorrect--that is until you get a little more spiritually mature. I think the connection between a biological father and that of a spiritual father truly is LOVE.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, and maybe we should consider it Father's Day for our spiritual well being.  This special event each year presents a great opportunity to say "thank you" to our pastors and their families.  Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for their hard work, sacrificial dedication and provision of multiple blessings.  It is typically scheduled in October, but can be held at any time that is convenient for the community and church.

Although Clergy Appreciation Month celebrations are most intense during October, appreciation and affirmation of our spiritual leaders is appropriate throughout the entire year. Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move.  They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down or completely burns out. And we certainly never blame ourselves for their "failures."

That's why God has instructed us to recognize His servants. 1 Timothy 5:17 reads: "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine."

The good news is that we can make a difference. Clergy Appreciation Month is one way we can counter the negative erosion in the lives of our spiritual leaders with positive affirmation.

There are two ways to help your pastors and their families feel appreciated.  First, figure out what you can do personally to recognize and honor these leaders. A simple card, an invitation to lunch, a promise to pray for them, or an offer to baby-sit, wash a car or mow a lawn make wonderful statements.

The next way to help is to share the concept of Clergy Appreciation Month with others in your congregation and to challenge them to join you in some kind of formal planning. You might consider a special service of affirmation, a dinner, or planting a tree in their honor. The sky is the limit!

The most powerful weapon against the pressures faced by every pastor is prayer. Please stop and take just a moment and pray for your pastoral staff--pray for each pastor's family--pray for them all year long!  When you discipline yourself to pray for your pastors and their families on a regular basis, great things happen. So, pray for your pastor's sake, for your sake, for your congregation's sake--for your community's sake. What a difference you can make!

So, the next time your pastors preaching is stepping all over your toes, just remember, if he didn't love you he would simply let you run wild.

Mike Collins

Write Mike and let him know your thoughts on his article!

Mike Collins is a professional writer whose articles have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including Entertainment Weekly, Woman's Day, Radio & Retail, NRB Magazine, Radio & Production and many others. He also writes a syndicated column, which appears in many prominent newspapers such as The Dallas/Fort-Worth Heritage, the Charlotte World, the Charleston Gazette. He has three books published in the Christian market, and two more in the process. Mike's website can be found at: where visitors are able to sign up for his weekly e-column.


Thought For The Day:

"People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing."--Will Rogers

Verse for the Day:

"The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."--Proverbs 19:11

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Never trust a dog to watch your food."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation."--C. Everrett Koop

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their players and motivate"

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Write as though your pants were on fire and there's no ice cubes in the tray." --Peter Bray

Deep Thought For The Day:

The lady asked me if I wanted my pizza sliced into six or eight pieces. I told her, "You better make it six. I don't think I can eat eight!"




My sister-in-law, Mary Lee, is now in the hosital in intensive care, on a ventilator and in a drug induced coma.  She coded once in her trailer, again in the ambulance, and again when she got to her room. They had to recessitate her back each time.  She had the first of the 3 seizures on Thursday, when I took her to Roanoke to see her pain management doctor.  She received 2 shots of cortisone in her neck and came outside and collapsed, we drug her into the office and just layed her down in the waiting room floor.  She seized severly.  The ambulance took her to Lewis Gale Hospital.  She was released late that night.  Today at 3pm, her heart stopped beating and she stopped breathing and didn't seem to be having a seizure.  She had one in the rescue squad and they had to put a breathing tube in.  She came out of it and pulled the tube out.  She seemed to be doing better until they got her to her room upstairs.  That's when she started seizing again and she stopped breathing and then her heart stopped.  I stood there and watched them do CPR on her.  They are going to keep her asleep for 24 to 48 hours and then see if she can breath on her own.  I didn't mean to rattle on but this is so scarey for every one, especially since Mary Lee has been saying for a few days now that she was ready to go on.  I pray that if it's God's will for her to live, that she gets her fight back into her and doesn't give up.  And also if it's God's will for her to go on to be with Him, that all of us can accept that and rejoice for her, her suffering will have ended.  Thank you, each and everyone of you, I know God hears all our prayers. Love in Christ, Candi



"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:


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Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with! And best of all, every penny from the book sales are going to youth ministry!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions. An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other charges), as compared to $14.95 + shipping and handling for the print book. Plus you can download the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few minutes! EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that most of you already have on your computer. And if for some reason you don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the web site. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this web site to order the EBook version of Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

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