I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
Family and friends, I begin this newsletter with a passage I often quote. I do so because this is Pastor Appreciation month. I want to make public that I have great respect and admiration for the many I know who are faithful servants of Jesus Christ. You serve selflessly and courageously. I want to say “thank you” to those who represent Jesus so well by lovingly serving not only those in their local church family, but also those in their neighborhoods and communities. You are heroes! Some of you humbly serve in very public ministries in larger congregations. Some of you faithfully serve in relative anonymity in smaller settings. As Paul stated, I am so thankful for you! I pray for you with joy! I partner with you as we share the common task of making Christ known! I so love and appreciate you because of what you do in our Great Savior’s Name!
My heart also is deeply burdened for the growing number I know who have shepherds’ hearts who for various reasons are no longer in the ministry positions they once held. This month is hard for you. Many of you did not receive much appreciation as you lovingly shepherded a people who maybe didn’t even want you around. You were a threat to someone’s power, but now that you are removed, they remain in power and you stand on the sidelines. You left with a damaged heart but are more concerned for your family members who have deeper wounds than you. I am praying for you today. I love you and appreciate you and am here for you if you ever want to talk.
I praise the Lord for His faithful love to my family. My girls and their families are all doing well. Maria takes an important test this weekend that is necessary for her to begin her student teaching. She is so excited! God is good. I am so thankful for my girls and their families.
Leah continues to be a model of faithfulness as she exhibits for our family what a godly woman looks like. Her prayer life is amazing! While she often has trouble sleeping at night, she spends her restless evenings lifting you before God’s throne of grace. I am so thankful for her.
I continue to preach on Sundays to a wonderfully receptive congregation. I am excited about possible ways to reach out to my neighborhood as the holidays approach. I pray often for the needs of my friends and family. I am burdened by the trials and tribulations we see in this world, but am so thankful for our Sovereign Lord who remains in complete control. I also thank God that while my disability continues to slowly progress, the work of healing and sanctification that is taking place in my life greatly offsets any physical decline. Maria chauffeurs me to our local college and high school football games as she is able. I still love sports and have been spoiled with the success of the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers.
I close with a powerful word from the passage above: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This is true for you. You may be active in a current ministry. You may be one who no longer carries a title. But a truth I rest upon for my family and I is also true for you. God begins the work in us. He continues that work until completion. God is still working in all of you to fulfill His plans and His purposes. For that I am thankful.
If you get a chance, send me an email letting me know you read these updates. Sometimes I wonder if I should continue to write them as I don’t know if anyone actually reads these words.
How can I pray for you today? Please let me know.
802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765