I have discovered in my 25+ years of teaching that there are three kinds of people in this world. There is the encouragement giver, the negatives only giver, and the giver of nothing. Which one are you? There is nothing sadder than the face of a child when instead of encouragement they get negatives. I was one of those. I loved my mom....but never quite made her mark. I was never quite good enough. The result....a warped adult with little to no self-esteem. It took me most of my life to overcome that.....and all it took was some encouragement. When I had children of my own I tried so hard NOT to be my mom....sometimes I would find her rearing her ugly head in me. I also tried to keep my children from ever seeing that side of my mom. I wanted them to have a grandmother they thought hung the moon. Just so you know I am a school teacher today because of encouragement. I taught a Sunday School lesson and was evaluated. The results were not that great....but after the results were in the pastor told me I had more to give than what I had offered and should try again....I did and I succeeded. I went to college to become a teacher shortly after that. Amazing...all it took was some encouragement. I find it amazing that I can stand up in front of people and speak....comfortably.....this coming from the Queen of Introverts. When I tell people I was once an introvert they cannot believe it. But I was.....and all it took was encouragement. In May....after several requests from our District Superintendent....God encouraged me to step out and become a pastor. Believe me....teaching...that was one thing...preaching.....whole new ball game. I felt the little girl I had repressed for so long rearing her ugly head. God is a strong encourager.....did you know that? Well....he is....God dropped Isaiah 6:8 in my lap during a Sunday School lesson. Talk about a message straight from God himself...I was brought to my knees with " 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and I said, “Here am I. Send me!” SEND ME? I don't think so.....a few days later....on a trip to the beach it seemed that every single church sign we passed had this verse on their sign. God was encouraging. When we got to our hotel....there....on the night stand was the Gideon bible....opened....and yes, it was opened to Isaiah 6:8. Encouragement. Three more times in the next few days that verse showed up in my life. The first week of June I told the District Superintendent about the verse and offered myself up as a pastor wherever he needed me. Today I am the pastor of Midway United Methodist Church....talk about encouragement. God's encouragement got me there and the encouragement I get from the church helps me grow. Now back to my first question...What kind of person am I? I try to be one that gives encouragement....sometimes I fall short. It hurts me when I look in a student's face and see a reflection of mine when I was young and my mother's viper tongue lashed out. I don't ever want to be the killer of someone's spirit. My goal is to be an encourager...providing encouragement! How about you?