Fourteen years ago today, I stood in the pulpit of Sparwood Fellowship Baptist church for the first ‘official’ Sunday as Pastor. To this day I remember the thoughts going through my head…”even if I can somehow make it through this sermon, I have no idea how I will ever think of something to say Sunday after Sunday.” Well, over 1000 sermons later I honestly marvel that God has never failed me, has always been true to His Word, and has mercies that are new every morning (particularly on Sundays!).
Our years in Sparwood are a time that we continue to look back upon with fondness. Not that those years were all easy, but they were times of great joy, and great friends. We were saddened to hear that the day had come when it was decided that it was necessary to close the church. Our hope is that the gospel continues to advance and that lives continued to be changed through our life giving God who continues to be able to do more than we think or imagine.
Our family is doing well. Isaac, who was one of the last babies born in the Sparwood hospital is weeks away from his 13th birthday, and Marissa who was not even one when we arrived in Sparwood will soon be 15. Both our kids love Jesus, and are actively involved in church life and ministry. Linda and I are more deeply in love than ever, and having just celebrated our 18th anniversary this spring, we are amazed at how quickly time passes.
To this day, the Sparwood church family continues to amaze us for their willingness to take a chance on an unproven couple of kids with a newborn who knew so little about life and ministry. But, we are thankful for Sparwood Fellowship’s patience with us, love for us, encouragement of us, and willingness to step out in faith alongside us.
As a family we have been meditating on the book of Jude this spring. It’s a short yet powerful reminder of the greatness and necessity of Jesus. If I had to sum it up I would put it this way…
We are so loved by God that He calls us to himself and keeps us safe for Jesus. Yet
there are many dangers in life…faith killing…joy robbing…hope dimming sins that
threaten us from every side, and left to our own devices and decisions we would
surely be destroyed. BUT, we have one who is able and willing to keep us from
stumbling. He will bring us safely home. So all glory and majesty belongs to Him, our
Savior and Lord. The one who still thrills our soul, Jesus.
So Sparwood Fellowship, keep yourself in the love of God, trust Him, draw your joy from Him, and look to Him who will keep you from stumbling so that one day we will stand together in His presence with great joy!
Yours in Christ
June 12, 2012