Papa, you’re da best!
Recently, I was on a flight from Texas to California. The airline had published a magazine about their company and the business itself and had placed copies in many of the seats onboard. I pulled one from the seat pocket in front of me to look at the airline’s flight map, but a phrase from the editor’s article seemed to jump from the page—“You are the best!” Those words instantly reminded me of my granddaughter Ashlyn. Around the age of three, she began to say, “Papa, you’re da best!” Since then, I have tried to echo that sentiment to the people in my life and in my ministry. Those words are also the heart of my article today.
I wonder if we realize how much comments like “You’re da best!” affect others and how much more meaningful they are when expressed in a sincere way. When Ashlyn would talk to me as a little girl (and she still does), she would have a twinkle in her eyes and a smile on her face. I could sense the respect in her heart and voice and feel the love she had for her Papa. She encourages me so much with her radiant little face. It meant the world to me to hear those three words, and it still does even now. God has blessed my life and your lives with family and friends. Let us not allow the opportunity to express our gratitude for them pass. However, as Ashlyn has taught me, saying it is one thing; revealing it through a loving countenance is another. I challenge each of you to use “You are the best!” or a statement similar to it in your relationships with other people this upcoming year. May our family and friends not only hear but also see how much we love and appreciate them.
I hope that, as Ashlyn grows older, she will always feel a closeness to and carry a love for her Papa and Nana. We love her so much. I realize that her life will become only more busy in the years ahead, but I trust she will always have a love for us. Therefore, as God brings people into your lives, do not take for granted when they are a blessing to your heart.
God’s people at the North Valley Baptist Church and our fellow laborers around the world have been my dear friends. You are kind, considerate, thoughtful, and encouraging; and you have been faithful friends to my wife and me, to our family, and to this ministry. As one year closes and another begins, we trust you know how grateful we are for each of you. I love you folks dearly. God bless each of you.
Please remember—you’re da best!