Here we are, writing again about “Beginning,” and I just realized, after all of this time … that when I write to you … I never include a greeting to open … I don’t know if having a greeting is considered to be proper in cyberspace, but, if I was writing a hand-written letter to friend or family, or even a “business” letter, a greeting is always the mandatory way to start. So, since I really do consider everyone who honors us by “stopping by” and reading our posts a friend, as well as a tremendous blessing to us, I’ll try to always start our writing to you in the personal, “proper” way. I do try to always end with my own, personal standard “closing” of “Blessings,” or “Blessings to you, and your family.” When I am writing business correspondence to customers over at our online business, I always close with “Blessings to you, your Pastor, and your family,” or, “Blessings to you, your family, and your business.”
The reason I do this is because it reinforces our business motto, our business mantra, and our core belief, taken from Genesis 12:3, that God will bless those who bless you.
I know this to be true.
We have been so blessed, so privileged to serve customers all over the world, and to hear from readers from every land.
I have been asked why we don’t, very often, make a point to promote our business on our blog, or our Facebook page. So far, that’s the only 2 “social network” type efforts we are involved in. After all, I am questioned, isn’t that the reason a business would have a blog or Facebook page? To promote their business? A purposeful attempt to send potential customers from one place to the other? Etc.
To answer those questions, I must go back to the only reason we started the blog/Facebook page to begin with. Our business was doing well; we were receiving visits and serving customers from every part of the globe. But, the whole idea behind the business was to bless others. Our products would serve as a vehicle to bless others. Period. Our business motto, for Pastor Appreciation Gifts, was “To Honor Those Who Honor Him.” Yes, this all came about, the online business came about, really, because of “Why, Pastor, Why.” We needed an avenue to get “Why, Pastor, Why” into the hands of as many Pastors as God would allow. We had no idea how much work was involved in an online store, nor did we realize how many people the business would attract. You must also realize that, after writing “Why, Pastor, Why,” God gave me, very personally and directly, specific promises regarding the poem, and the future. I have done my best to honor those directions, and the promises behind them.
Yet … the whole idea behind the business was to bless others, to encourage, witness to, and inspire. I just didn’t want people to think we were “in the business” for the “business.” We felt strongly that, yes, a Christian business is great, but … the underlying reason for all of it was to minister to others. How best to do that? So, this is where the blog originated. Then, we decided to “mirror” the blog over to Facebook, because some people like blogs, others liked Facebook. It gave us the opportunity do what the whole idea was to begin with … To encourage, witness to, and inspire. We are able to do more on the blog, with photos, history, and so forth, but we have been blessed by our contacts on Facebook, as well.
That is really the reason we started the blog, and our Facebook ministry. I pray every day, and that’s how I describe them as I pray, as a “ministry,” asking God to bless them both, and to help us minister to, encourage, bless, inspire, and to lead people to Jesus.
Well … yet again, it looks like we’re not going to be able to get to that artwork of “Begin a New Day” which was the whole idea, and of which I began the first paragraph of what would become “Part One” with the intention of describing … But, that’s ok. I started this writing with the sole intention of going directly to the artwork, but, as is often the case, God led me in a totally different direction. If I can “Begin” everything I do, including each and every day, being totally open to His guidance and direction, I’ll be ok with that.
It also takes a lot of time to fulfill my self-made commitment to write every third day (I do love that “3rd day” idea, though). It really is a commitment which I try to stick to. It is difficult, but a real joy. We are so blessed to have friends all over the world, and we are “blown away” so often by the reach of these online ministries. I could give a story each week, of how faithful God has been to our writing, and reaching out, as we used to call it in radio, “across the airwaves.” Here’s one from just this week: Recently, we shared a video of a commercial that centered on “Friendship,” and featured players involved in Wheelchair Basketball. I just heard from a Wheelchair Basketball League team in Great Britain, south of London, who liked the write-up about the video. What an honor to have made so many friends in England! Great Britain has been so good to us, and we are so grateful!
We have featured stories about the author of certain hymns, which is a favorite subject. Shortly after sharing the history/author of a famous hymn, I heard from the grandson of the author, who, himself, was thrilled by the story about his beloved Grandfather … which someone had shown him, while at church that Sunday morning. There have been so many stories like that.
We also have a “YouTube channel,” where we feature the videos from the blog/Facebook pages, and we are constantly blessed by those who write to us about that. Just this morning, one of my favorite people from the entertainment world, from a very famous “acting family,” wrote to say they enjoyed one of the videos. You just never know … you just keep on … keeping on …
Every letter which we send out will always have the two “by-words” of our ministry:
“Honor” and “Privilege.”
It’s because it is such an honor, and a privilege, to be allowed to serve you, and to share our writing with you.
The “Begin a New Day” was started to go with what we had shared about the “Beginning” of the New Year. In a couple of weeks, it’ll be February … I’ll try to end the series before then …
I hope this explains why we don’t often promote Pastor Appreciation Gifts via this source. It’s not because we’re not proud of what we do over there, but, the ministry must always be first. It must never be about “us.” We are really excited about the future of the business, and what direction it will be taking in the near future. We can’t escape the fact that the business is as much a part of us as the writing, etc. I also notice I haven’t mentioned the book yet. I have also had people ask me why I don’t go all-out to promote the book over here. Well, I do mention it on occasion, only when a particular work from the book is shared. The book is also something, like the future, which is not in my hands.
We will try to write more about the business in the future, perhaps. And, the artwork we feature at Pastor Appreciation Gifts. Especially as we do more. We have been so blessed to hear that some friends visit the website just to read the messages on the artwork, as it blesses and encourages them. Well … that’s what we’re “in business” for.
I will include a direct link to our YouTube Channel, as we will be doing more with videos in the future, as well.