Say­ing thank you for al­low­ing me to share col­umn

The Weekly Vista - - Church - JAN BURGESS Jan Burgess moved to Bella Vista in 1995. She con­sid­ers each day a gift — al­though some are more fun to open than oth­ers. Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

As the hol­i­day sea­son ap­proaches, it is a time when we think of gifts — gifts we give and those we re­ceive. Not all gifts are ex­changed at Christ­mas or for spe­cial events such as birth­days or wed­dings. How many times have we ex­changed a hug, a smile or a “think­ing of you” dur­ing the year just be­cause it was needed at the time? And, hope­fully, the days of say­ing “thank you” are not gone and lost for­ever.

I have been re­tired for over a year, and the time has come for me to say “thank you” to The Weekly

Vista for al­low­ing me to share my Sim­ple Faith col­umn since 2009. When I be­gan work­ing there, Jenny Deshields needed some­one to write a cook­ing col­umn af­ter the per­son who had been writ­ing it moved away. I said I didn’t think that would be my thing, and she asked me to write it the way I would if it were mine. They were pretty des­per­ate, and I think I could have writ­ten it in hi­ero­glyph­ics and they would have loved it. How­ever, with time, she be­came aware that I had been writ­ing about my faith jour­ney and sev­eral pas­tors had sug­gested I should be published. I gave her sam­ples of what I had done, and she said she could make it hap­pen.

Gifts, like bless­ings, come in many forms and fash­ions, and it has been a gift for me to be in­cluded in the monthly col­umns of the Vista for all these many years. When I would sit in church on Sun­day morn­ings and lis­ten to the mes­sage from the pul­pit that we should reach out and share God’s love for us with oth­ers, I have of­ten thought … I do that when I write my col­umn. And, over the years, I have had many friends who have been gen­er­ous in their pos­i­tive re­sponse. They have told me how it has meant some­thing to them to be able to read them. And also, over the years, I have been for­tu­nate to win sev­eral awards for free­lance writ­ing in a weekly news­pa­per. To be able to share my thoughts with mem­bers of Bella Vista has been a gift be­yond mea­sure for me. To know what I have writ­ten might have meant some­thing to some­one else has been one of the great­est gifts in my life.

How­ever, all good things must come to an end and this will be my last col­umn. There is no way I can ever ex­press my full grat­i­tude, but it has truly been a gift. I could never have imag­ined — es­pe­cially when I never thought — I could be­come a writer.

Now, when I sit in church and think about how I can share my faith with oth­ers, I have de­cided to give them a hug and tell them, “God loves you, and so do I.” I will be for­ever grate­ful to the Vista staff for their gift of in­clud­ing my col­umns in their weekly news­pa­per.


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