Editor’s Note: From now until Jan 1, 2013, I plan to write a piece here daily on DaddyClaxton.com to say thank you to someone I know for the recognized or unrecognized contributions they have made to my life, that of my family, friends or the general public.

Thank You, Joe Beam

During my high school days, mom and dad took us to Carriage Hills Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL where Joe Beam, now of Nashville and considerable preaching/marriage consulting fame, was the pulpit minister.

Joe Beam, my former minister in Montgomery, AL circa 1982-1984.

There were so many times he would speak, which he would do very eloquently and intelligently, that I felt like he was probably speaking directly to me and the confusion I had in my mind at the time as a teenager.

He instilled a great faith in me, though I kept wanting to be baptized at the time, but never could bring myself to step out of the pew and go forward with it.

We lived on Buckboard Road and the Beams lived a block over from us.  When I would walk around the block, I often hoped for a chance to bump into Joe and strike up the conversation about how I couldn’t get my feet to move at the end of a sermon.

When the church put in new playground equipment one night, I remember being there and wound up working with Joe et al to put in some of the upright poles for a swing set or slide or something. We talked briefly then and that’s about all I remember of that.

It wasn’t too long after that, Joe took a spiral of sorts in his marriage, and before too long, he no longer was our pulpit minister. Unrelated allegations came out about other things going on with the music minister and after that, I took a break from church for several years. I had felt betrayed in many ways, coupled with an excuse just not to go, and so it was not until years later that I wound up at Vaughn Park Church in Montgomery.

I’ve reconnected with Joe on Facebook in the past few years and have written him a time or two about my feelings.  Of course, that was 30 or so years ago now and so I’m sure I’m just a haze in the fog, but he did make a difference in my life. Like I’m sure they are today, his messages were most inspiring and moving.  He did draw me closer to God in my spiritual walk while he was at Carriage Hills and for that, I forever will remain grateful.

It comes to me that most of us probably don’t realize the influence we’re having on the lives of others. Who are you influencing in your life right now? Is it positive or negative?  That has me really thinking about some of the things I need to stop doing this very instant. What are some things you need to stop doing? What are some of the things you are doing well that you could be doing more of?  Should be doing more of? What’s stopping you?

If you have a chance to go to one of his seminars, I hear they are very good.  And after two very bad marriages now, I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t have done so when I was married. But as the days and time have passed and I’ve healed from such, it’s clear, the work shouldn’t have been done in the marriage, it should have been done long before they came to be.

Thanks for everything, Joe. I’m glad to say you’ve been a positive influence on my life.

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