I celebrate my 47th birthday today.  How thankful I am for God’s goodness to me.  Specifically the people God has brought into my life.  My dear wife of almost 23 years, Dawn and her consistent love, friendship and support; without which I would not be pastoring today. Our sons Dylan, Nathan and Ben, the great joy of my life is being a father.  My parents Dale and Kathy Lemmons; my siblings Andy, Tracy and Dennis.  My Pastors Dallas Dobson, John Paisley, Ken Griffin and Dean Noonan.  Countless friends in the ministry who if I began to name would take an entire year’s worth of articles. The people of Lighthouse Baptist Church who I have had the joy of serving with for the past 17 years plus.

Over and over again the Bible states that we are influenced by the people we associate with, therefore it is essential that we choose the people we will allow tho influence us carefully.  I believe who we allow into our inner circle of influence defines us and, to great measure, determines whether or not we will reach our God-given potential.  Most of our mistakes and much of our success is decided by our influence.

Choose wisely church member.  Be a friend to all, help many, socialize with some, and seek counsel only with the wise. I sense today a reluctance among God’s people to take stewardship of those who influence them.  So often the results are staggering!!! Without intending to we walk in ungodly counsel because we don’t want to offend, we stand with those who willfully live in sin and call it friendship, and we sit with the scorner whose life is lived diametrically opposed to God’s eternal principles. Many seem afraid to let down those that pull them down spiritually and in so doing lose contact with those who can help encourage them in their walk with God.  The end result is a life driven by the winds of influence, consistently unstable and without firm foundation.

I am often reminded in my choice of those who influence me some words of wisdom…

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Today, I thank my God upon every remembrance of those who have influenced me in my journey with the Lord.  And I take this opportunity to challenge each of us to “stand fast” in choosing those who influence us and our families.  The end result is a life that pleases the Lord and and lived without regret .

Pastor Tom Lemmons