I don’t often post much on the personal side, but today I am making an exception.
My wife and I have four children (three sons and our daughter). Our oldest (son) will turn thirty next month. Our youngest (son) is twenty-two and plans to graduate from Millersville University this spring. Three of our children are married and I had the privilege of officiating at each wedding. Our three married children all have wonderful mates for whom we are very grateful! They also are all home owners (which means that I’ve painted many of rooms).
Our oldest son and son-in-law work in construction and our other son is a computer technician. Our two daughter-n-laws also work, one as an elementary school teacher and the other as a Xray technician. Our daughter is a stay-at-home mom who also always looks for ways to help earn some extra income for the family. Our youngest son is a senior at the State University in our town and also on the coaching staff of the university basketball team (D II).
Along with our children, my wife and I are proud grandparents to four grandchildren and one on the way. Our daughter and her husband have two daughters and our son and his wife have two sons. Our daughter is expecting number three in June!
All of our children live close by to us (which means grandma (aka Mi Mi) watches her grand babies often). Her daughter and daughter-n-law highly value her loving commitment to their little ones! She does such a great job! And she blesses other families in her job as a teacher’s aid for children with multiple disabilities.
As for me, I am in my now in my 30th year as founding and senior pastor of Millersville Bible Church (where have the years gone?). I serve with a constant tension between two strong feelings. One the one hand, I feel greatly blessed and honored for the amazing opportunity to serve my Lord and Savior. One the other hand, I feel an unrelenting sense of inadequacy.
You wouldn’t pick up on the inadequacy side when you first meet me. I tend to walk with confidence. This is partly due to my Philadelphia background and because I was raised by a cop. My dad was a police officer for the first seven years of my life and although he left the force, he never really stopped being a cop. In fact, I am often mistaken for a cop and just the other day, I had a cop tell me he thought I was a cop when he looked over at me!
But back to the part about inadequacy. The size of the calling to pastoral ministry is so much more than any human could adequately fill. The task of leading God’s people can be daunting.The opportunities seem to always outweigh the resources. Even the apostle Paul asked, “Who is equal to such a task?”I often echo these words in my heart to God.
One of my favorite authors suggested that, “Few people grasp the preacher’s challenge. Where else in life does a person have to stand weekly before a mixed audience and speak to them engagingly on the mightiest topics known to humankind: God, life, death, sin, grace, love, hatred, hope, despair and the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Who is even close to being adequate for this challenge?” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr).
I don’t write any of this for pity but to help you see a very real side of someone who mostly appears to be strong. If you think about it and find occasion, please pray for me.
Finally, I absolutely love the thought that some of what I’ve written on this blog serves others in the body of Christ in both near and distant places! What an honor for which I am not worthy! I hope you have been blessed in some small way.
with a grateful heart,