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Faith Moment
October 7, 2013
Influence

In his autobiography, Breaking Barriers, syndicated columnist Carl Rowan tells about a teacher who greatly influenced his life. Rowan relates:
 
Miss Thompson reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a piece of paper containing a quote attributed to Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. I listened intently as she read: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us."

More than 30 years later, I gave a speech in which I said that Frances Thompson had given me a desperately needed belief in myself. A newspaper printed the story, and someone mailed the clipping to my beloved teacher. She wrote me: "You have no idea what that newspaper story meant to me. For years, I endured my brother's arguments that I had wasted my life; that I should have married and had a family. When I read that you gave me credit for helping to launch a marvelous career, I put the clipping in front of my brother. After he'd read it, I said, 'You see, I didn't really waste my life, did I?'"

We do not know what a blessing we can be to others by simply saying, “Thanks.” However, we also receive a blessing when we give thanks. Our hearts are made glad and our outlook on life turns a bit sweeter. Giving thanks changes us.

Take time to thank God today for all He has done for you, and then take a moment to consider the people of influence in your life. There is scarcely a person alive whose life has not been changed or made richer by another individual – someone who cared. Have you expressed your gratitude to the person who made a difference for you? You never know the value of a simple “thank you”. It may be of inestimable worth.

With love,
Mike

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