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Simplest way of doing this

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I wrote a function that checks to make sure fields are not empty.

Case: i have 3 input fields. im making sure they are not empty. function:
[code]
$message = null;
$num = 0;
function validate($field, $error_message) {
    global $message;
    global $num;    
    if(empty($_POST[$field])) {
        $message .= $error_message. '<br />';
    } else {
        #print "<b>$field</b>";
        $field = $_POST[$field];
            $num++;
    }
}
[/code]

Then i call the function 3 times:
[code]
        validate('name', 'Please enter your name.');
    validate('email', 'Please enter your e-mail.');
    validate('text', 'Please enter a message.');
[/code]

when the user clicks submit, for each field that is NOT empty, $num is incremented by 1 ($num++).
Since i have 3 fields, i check with this:

[code]
    if($num == 3) {
        // email me the form.
    }
[/code]

So that's how i have it. But i'd like to make it more extensible/simpler. So does anyone know anyway to improve this?

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Unfortunately, empty() will accept spaces as being valid,

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