by Brotherpaul | Wednesday, November 18, 2015
A Pastor’s Gratitude
Where do I begin? On Sunday, November 8, 2015 the Calvary Baptist Church celebrated my 30 years of ministry service with them. I knew it was going to happen – but honestly I didn’t know what to expect. As I began to see the parking lot filling up, I realized just how much hard work and planning had gone into this special day.
My heart was full as Tammy and I stood in the vestibule to greet the long line of folks coming into the building. In that line were young faces, older faces, new faces, and even some unfamiliar faces; friends from long ago – immediate family members – extended family members and of course, the faithful Calvary family. Some guests had traveled from other states.
Everything was done with such taste and style. From the roses handed to my wife, mother and daughter to the kind words shared by friends. From the video with all my silly pictures of when I had dark hair to the presentation of the plaque and the amazingly generous love offering – it was a day never to be forgotten. It was just another reminder of the richness of God’s grace and the love of God’s family; a family that has become my family.
The list is far too long for me to risk leaving someone out in my acknowledgements. But I am so grateful for each of you and your part in making that day unforgettable. Some cleaned and organized the buildings. Others – worked on pictures and videos and music selections. There were those who moved tables and chairs – put up tents – collected money – picked up flowers – made calls and sent invitations. Several had to prepare words to be said and books to be signed. I know there were multitudes of little things that had to be remembered. And the catered meal was excellent. The cake was perfect.
Gosh – I’m spoiled rotten. The ladies of Calvary often say that – “they helped raise me.” It’s true and they also helped spoil me.
My family and I thank you. And that seems so inadequate. We love you and feel so blessed to have had three decades to serve with you. I believe that our best days are yet to come. The rest of our days will be the best of our days.
I close with Philippians 1:7-8 (NLT) – “So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.”
With A Shepherd’s Heart,