The people's voice of reason

The Four Things That Matter Most

Dr. Karl Stegall is a great friend and mentor to me and to many other United Methodist Pastors in Alabama and West Florida! Karl served as the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery for 25 years before his retirement. He now focuses most of his time, energy and effort on the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation which has raised millions of dollars for seminary student scholarships.

Many of us United Methodist Pastors benefitted from the scholarship monies that his foundation provided over all these years. These scholarships empowered hundreds of us to attend seminary and gain the training we needed for ministry. I am so thankful for his faithfulness to this cause to which he has been dedicated for many years! One of his great legacies is and will always be raising up and training new leaders to advance the Cause of Christ!

Karl and I served together on the Episcopal Committee for our Annual Conference several years ago, and, at one of our meetings some time back he shared a devotion that I have never forgotten. His devotional thoughts derived from a book he had just read entitled, The Four Things that Matter Most. The book was written by Ira Byock, MD, who worked with hospice patients for 30 years. These patients and their families were facing life and death issues daily.

Karl shared with us that the primary focus of the book is about four key things that people often share with each other when facing death. You can probably guess what these four things are.

Please forgive me.

I forgive you.

I love you.

Thank you.

I was moved to reflection and action from Karl's devotional thoughts regarding these four things. As we venture into this new year and consider our priorities and resolutions for 2019, I believe these four statements can be a wonderful reminder about what's most important in our relationships.

The good news is this: you don't have to wait till someone is on a deathbed to communicate these beautiful and freeing statements to one another.

In 2019, why don't you and I make a commitment to start communicating to those we love (and those we need to love) these four things that matter most?

We can start right now and look for opportunities to tell the people we need to tell ... Please forgive me, I forgive you, I love you, Thank you!!

I am going to try and put these “Four Things That Matter Most” into action in this New Year!

Will you join me?


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