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Keith Burden

one to one

Don't Put It Off



One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and grandkids!


I received the following e-mail Tuesday, June 30, 2009:

Bro. Keith,

Too often people don’t pass on compliments or comments, and then wish later that they had. So I decided to pass mine on this morning. I look forward to each issue of ONE Magazine, and do what I always did when I got Contact. I always read Bro. Jack’s article first, then the rest of the magazine. Now, I read your article first, then the rest of the magazine. I’d like to say I read it from front to back, but I might as well go ahead and read your article first, because if I don’t there’s always this little thought in the back of my head—“What’s it about this time?” Thanks for all you and Sister Debbie do for all of us.


That message probably took less than two minutes to write, however, its impact lasted for months. All too often those in ministry wonder if anyone notices or appreciates their efforts in the kingdom. Most Christian workers I know don’t serve the Lord out of desire for human recognition. But everyone can use a kind word or a pat on the back every once in a while.

They say confession is good for the soul. If that’s the case, I should feel better after I finish telling you this. Occasionally…well, actually more often than that, I think about someone to whom I should write a note of encouragement or appreciation. It wouldn’t take much time. Postage isn’t all that expensive. Email is quick and simple. I have good intentions. I would like to say I’m just too busy. The truth is, I simply procrastinate.


Don't Put If Off

As you read this, you may be thinking of someone who could use a word of encouragement. A telephone call, a note, or an email could lift the spirits of a person who feels unappreciated or taken for granted. It wouldn’t take much of your time, but it would mean a lot to the recipient.
I don’t make many New Year’s resolutions, but this is one area where I’ve resolved to do better in 2010. It doesn’t take that much to make a big difference in someone’s life.


I received another e-mail Thursday, November 12, 2009:

We received word early this afternoon of the passing of Jennye. She fought her cancer until the very end. She went to sleep last night, and they were unable to wake her this morning. But we know that our loss is Heaven’s gain, and she is no longer sick and suffering.

The kind words written 139 days earlier now mean more to me than ever. I am glad Jennye didn’t put off sending that encouraging e-mail in June. If you are contemplating sending a message to someone today, take my advice—don’t put it off!





©2010 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists