How to have an impact in 2015

Impact. It’s defined as coming into forcible contact with another object.  Like a car hitting a tree.  It’s also defined as having a strong effect on someone or something.

It’s the focus at our church for 2015:  Impacting people with the Gospel.   Many times we think we have to do something big or far-reaching to have impact.  Yet, really, sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest effect on someone else.

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In my life, words have great meaning.  Spoken and written.  I remember the time a co-worker casually said to me, “I think you’d make a great teacher.”  When I responded with the excuse that I could never go to college, she retorted with, “Of course you can! Apply for a scholarship.  Get a loan!”  Those simple words prompted a major change in my life.

When I finally did get my first teaching job, the words of my colleagues encouraged me.  After a particularly difficult week (I think I cried every day after school for the first month), my colleague, Elizabeth, handed me a file folder entitled “Happy Thoughts at Head”  (Head Middle was the name of our school).  She put an encouraging article in there about teaching and told me this was intended to keep any note or letter from student or parent that made me happy or encouraged me.  Then, when I was having a bad day, I needed to pull out my “Happy Thoughts” file and read those words.

This simple act had a huge impact on me.  Each school I worked at, I created a new folder.  It worked wonderfully.  I pulled out  those “Happy Thoughts” folders often on hard days.  But, this not only impacted me, but also the student teachers that I was blessed to mentor.  Each one that left my room also left with a “Happy Thoughts” folder.    My hope is that they received the same encouragement that I did from it.

I have another “Happy Thoughts” folder.  It is called the Bible.  The Holy Word of God.  When I am down, depressed, angry or frustrated, I can turn open the pages of this book and find encouragement in its pages.  I have even been known to copy certain words and tape them to my wall, so that I can see them first thing in the morning.

You want to have an impact in 2015?  Read the Word.  Then, encourage someone with your words. You might be a catalyst for change in their life.

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