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By Dr. Larry F. Palmer, Clinical Psychologist

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . .pure . . . lovely . . . of good report . . . think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

I don’t normally take the time to read the comics in the newspaper. But this morning, our secretary at the Blackfeet Community Hospital handed me today’s Great Falls Tribune, so I took a few moments to scan the paper.

In today’s Peanuts comic strip, Linus and Charlie Brown are having a discussion about Linus’ new-found calling – patting birds on the head!

Linus asks, “What’s wrong with patting birds on the head?”

Charlie Brown replies, “It humiliates your sister to have people go up to her and say, ‘Your brother pats birds on the head!’”

Linus then says, “I can understand that, but what’s wrong with it?  It makes the birds happy, and it makes me happy . . . So what’ really wrong with it?”

Charlie Brown answers, “No one else does it!”

And when I read that, I thought of the many gifts and talents God has ordained in His church. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation; he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:4-8).

We have many gifts and talents at Harpeth Baptist Church. Not everyone can preach a sermon. Not everyone can teach a class. Not everyone can sing a special selection or play an instrument in praise to God.

But everyone, no matter one’s age or talent, can be an encourager of others. Maybe there is some member sitting close to you – or absent for a while – who simply may need a warm handshake, or a caring hug, or a sincere word of encouragement.

Linus encouraged birds with a pat on the head. Can you encourage another in some small way?

Think on these things!