The Value of Influence

Welcome to another week!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, February 20. Many schools will be in session make up for the snow day on January 7. I’m so glad the school boards called off school on that -15 degree day. That’s dangerously cold.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s political and social achievements often obscure his identity as a godly man. I did a little research online and found two facts I’d never known.

First, Martin Luther King, Sr. taught his children that segregation was an insult to God’s will, and opposed the concept of class superiority. So King, Jr. learned from childhood that God doesn’t care about the color of your skin, and that those who held to racial prejudice resisted Christ’s teachings.

Secondly, King, Jr. doubted religion during college. But after taking a Bible class during his junior year, King, Jr.’s faith took a strong hold on him. He met one of his father’s friends, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr became a spiritual mentor to King, Jr. and strongly influenced him to hold to conservative Christian beliefs. Niebuhr is one of the writers to whom the “Serenity Prayer” is credited. Certainly a man who asked God for the wisdom to discern the things he could not change from those he could change greatly influenced King, Jr.’s future as a civil rights leader.

Influence and encouragement changes lives. Without his father, King, Jr., may have seen racism purely as a social injustice, rather than a religious and social crime against humanity. Without Niebuhr King, Jr. might have held to his former liberal Christian views.

Friday, January 24 is National Compliment Day. Encouragement is sorely lacking in our culture. Paying someone a compliment can show your appreciation for that person’s abilities, appearance, personality traits, or uniqueness. A kind word can turn a person’s whole day around.

Kennard United Methodist Church held its monthly breakfast on January 11. John and Jane McCurdy cooked. Next month’s breakfast is scheduled for February 8 at 8 a.m. Why not stop by for a delicious, hot breakfast?

Fallowfield United Methodist Church will make and sell chicken pies on February 8 and February 22. This annual United Methodist Women fund raiser benefits missions.

Fallowfield United Methodist is holding its annual Souper Sunday on February 2 after Sunday school. There will be several homemade soups to choose from and there will be ice cream and different sundae toppings for dessert.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!