Pastor’s 25th Anniversary

            Last weekend our church celebrated the 25th anniversary of our pastor’s service at our church.  Wow! That’s right I said 25 years, a feat almost unheard of these days.  I’m so thankful for him and for his wife.  They have provided such a blessed atmosphere in which to serve. 

            Pastor, what can I say?  He’s one of the most even keeled people I’ve ever met.  His feathers never seem to ruffle, which, quite frankly can be frustrating when playing a game with him, but is encouraging when trouble comes knocking    His humor is contagious and his balance has been a great example to the 2nd man and I.  We came from a church initially where the pastor once jumped the 2nd man on a decision he made.  Totally, making 2nd man not only feel bad, but also exaggerating the situation making it appear hopeless and ruined.  When we came to this church, what a breath of fresh air to find such a godly, logical, wise and kind man serving as pastor.  I regret that I don’t express my respect to him often enough.  I am in awe at how much work he can handle and even worry about him with his load sometimes. 

       Pastors wife – oh I love that woman.  When 2nd man and I first came here we were newlyweds struggling through that first year of marriage and the battle of expectations.

I remember the first time I went to her for advice with a frustration I had.  She took me out on her front porch and listened quietly and then matter-of-factly stated that I was wrong in my thinking.  She wasn’t unkind in the least, but rather a true friend by letting me know exactly what my godly role as a wife was and what I should be expecting or rather not expecting from my husband.  Some might think it harsh or not want to hear this information, but I so cherish a friend who can be honest with me.  Honestly, I’m sure she saved us years of heartache and turmoil by setting me straight.  She does not actually like to counsel people and I think feels unsure about her ability, but she definitely came through on that day.  She and I are opposites in many ways, I’m melancholy, she’s choleric, I’m constantly battling worry, and she just doesn’t care about nonsense.  She’s bolder and even braver than I in many ways and I love her for it.

        They both have taken to our children as surrogate grandparents type figures even though they’re not old enough to be their grandparents.  They take my kids when we have youth activities in which they cannot go.  They’ve even gone on vacation with us.  When the church sent us to Disney world for our 10th anniversary, they went along and we couldn’t have had a more enjoyable time. Did I mention that preacher is the best travel companion – the man eats fun stuff all the time.  While at Epcot we split up for a while and when we met back up he had an entire box of pastries from France that we noshed on all day.   We’ve even spent holidays and special events with them. 

 We are totally able to relax and be ourselves in their presence and I don’t take that for granted since I know many church staff relations are not like this.  We eat lunch at their house every Sunday.  Each family brings something to the table, but let’s face it, they are dishing out the most.  For a year or so we didn’t do these lunches because of the job she had, made it too stressful.  I missed those Sundays and am so glad to have them back.  It’s nice to just go relax after church and unwind.  Their hospitality is unmatched in my book.  They even have started having staff retreats over the past few years.  We all go to Branson or somewhere and relax and have fun together.  They use this time to have a yearly planning meeting as well, but the relationship building is even more profound. 

Truly, I mean every word I’ve said here and that’s a good feeling.  I’m hoping they are able to relax this month, as part of the gift for pastor was a one-month sabbatical.  They took a week or two of vacation to Florida and we have some special speakers filling the pulpit for the entire month.  I’m taking over her Ladies Sunday School class for the month and 2nd man is preaching a few times and taking on the extra responsibility of having our pastor gone.  Already the enemy has tried to derail us a bit with stressful situations, but we’re adamant that he won’t succeed.  Still, I hope the month goes fast for us and we have a quick return of our pastor. 

I truly love them, they are great friends and mentors and I thank God for their influence and love.
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