Twenty-five years ago today…

Life is filled with defining moments.  Twenty-five years ago today, we left our little house in the orchard fields of Adams county, PA and headed for Greenville, SC.  Twenty-five years!  It doesn’t seem possible.  We packed up our belongings and left our house of dreams with our two little tykes – Tom was three and a half and Jennifer was almost two.

I still can see that little tow-head as he stood watching the Century-21 man drive the ‘for sale’ sign into the front lawn.  He came to Mommy and asked what he was doing.  I’m not sure how I explained that one!

We had been in Latimore for four years, brought our two babies home from the hospital there, and planted our first true garden. We walked the ‘block’ – passing cows and fruit trees, made home improvements and strawberry jelly together.  But Tom was sensing the call to preach, and after taking a Bible course at the local Bible institute as suggested by a visiting evangelist, he knew he needed to heed the call. Life has never been the same!

Twenty-five years, and four different ministries later…

It’s been quite a ride!  For those of you who will read this and are sitting on the other side of the pulpit, your thoughts about the pastorate may vary according to your experiences.  For me, I always held the pastor in high regard and can’t recall ever having a ‘bad’ pastor.  (Well, maybe one was a bit undesirable, but I wouldn’t call him ‘bad,’ and only my dear mother would know who I’m talking about!)  For the most part, they were all faithful men who served their Lord with a servant’s heart.  I never really thought about their struggles or heartaches, never understood the burdens they carried – every parishioner’s burdens.

Someone (Spurgeon?) once said, “Of all the things that I’ve had to sacrifice for my Lord, my reputation has been the most difficult.”  Slander has no place in God’s family. The ministry is not for wimps.  It often requires “standing in the gap,” and I have found that that is the place where the battle is the thickest. Sadly, too often the bullets are coming from fellow soldiers and not from the enemy.

I don’t think I had any idea of what we were getting into when we pulled out of that driveway. Certainly, I knew life would be different, but had we known the awesome weight of responsibility, I wonder if we would have taken that step.  I recall thinking that God had pulled the curtain close on my emotions or I never would have been able to let go and trust Him.  I’m so glad I did!

It may sound as though the ministry is a bad thing – not in your life!  I cannot praise Him enough for allowing us to serve Him in this way!  Yes, it has been a bit rough at times, but then there are those joyous moments when someone has gained the victory, understood the Gospel or taken the next step that God has for them, and then all the trials vanish like the verse says:

“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child,     she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” John 16:21

Defining moments – those times when you stand at the crossroads weighing your decision. It may be at a crucial point in your life or just a simple step of faith, but each decision needs to be made with prayer – lots of it.  We may never know the outcome, but we can trust the One who knows the future!  He sees it all, dear friend!  Trust Him!  The whole world may think that you are mad, but if God is in it, it will be the best thing you ever did.

What tho’ the way be lonely
And dark shadows fall;
I know where’er it leadeth,
My Father planned it all.

I sing thru the shade and the sunshine,
I’ll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent –
My Father planned it all.

There may be sunshine tomorrow,
Shadows may break and flee;
‘Twill be the way He chooses,
The Father’s plan for me.

He guides my faltering footsteps

Along the weary way,
For well He knows the pathway
Will lead to endless day.

A day of light and gladness
On which no shade will fall;
‘Tis this at last awaits me –
My Father planned it all.

I sing thru the shade and the sunshine,
I’ll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent –
My Father planned it all.

HH Pierson

4 thoughts on “Twenty-five years ago today…

  1. I remember your home in Adams County. It was off Latimore Road? Anyway, we were at your home for dinner and you both were contemplating service for the Lord even then. 25 years. Also, a memory of our kids singing the “Tommy” Baby Pants song. Thrilled the Lord is using you and seeing decisions made in others lives. May He continue to give you more blessings and service for Him. Love you all, Kay


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