Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 23, 2012

"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name." Psalm 103:1

I don't often take personal privileges on this blog, but today is a very special day for me so I have to take time to praise the Lord.

Forty years ago today I moved into the huge parsonage next to the tiny church on Pleasant Street in Princeton, IL. I officially assumed the great privilege of becoming Pastor at Princeton Wesleyan Church.
Fresh out of Indiana Wesleyan University and all of 22 years-old I was very excited and a little scared. Looking back on it from where I sit now, I should have been A LOT scared! I am forever indebted to those patient people at PWC who put up with immaturity and crude sermons from a kid who was in over his head .
Youthful energy and idealism goes a long way toward compensating for knowledge and experience, especially when God graciously blesses the efforts! Over the next 10 years I grew significantly and the church grew significantly we were all amazed at the goodness of God!
When I think of what God did through a punk kid with a big dream and a good heart I cry, "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name."
In June, I was honored by The Wesleyan Church for my 40 years of service to that great Denomination. And in July, I was honored by the Shenandoah District of The Wesleyan Church for 40 years of service. Both were humbling, gratifying and quite sobering! It is hard to believe that it has been forty years since that August day in a beautiful little town in Northern Illinois! Most days I don't even feel 40 years old!
However, the greatest honor has been serving an amazing God by serving some incredible people in seven different churches in two states and two outstanding Districts! I have had the joy of serving with several of the most effective pastors in our Denomination!
And now, after all these years I find myself with the unbelievable privilege of leading a dynamic church in a significant city with unlimited potential! I have never been happier with the group of people I presently serve! I am a blessed man! My heart says, "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name!"

It has been such a great joy to be used in leading people to Christ, to baptize them, marry them, watch them grow in love and maturity, and to help them find the thrill of serving in ministry themselves!

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name!"

I can't wait for the next 40 years!