This past week also marked 8 years that I have served the people of Ridgecrest Baptist Church as pastor. I was reminded of how significant a mark that is in my life as I also had to, last week, renew my driver’s license. This is the first time, since gaining the privilege of driving, that I have lived anywhere long enough to have 3 copies of a license from the same state. The good news is that in 8 years I have stayed fairly consistent with my weight (wink, wink). 8 years ago I weighed 207. At my first renewal I reported 208. Yet, if I were honest that day it was probably more like 220 - 225. The second pic in the sequence would bear this out! This past week, on the morning of my second renewal, I weighed in at 207 once again. The lady at the DMV acknowledged my weight loss. I told her that it was the most difficult pound I have ever lost, as I had worked on it diligently everyday for the last four years.
These past 8 years have been a metamorphosis for so many of us. To commemorate my appreciation for the people of RBC, I will dedicate this week to sharing a few of my favorite memories of the journey thus far. I also want to acknowledge another group of people who occupy a very special place in my family’s life; the people of Lantana Road Baptist Church in Crossville, TN. I began my shepherding journey there in October of 1996. Perhaps one day I will share more fully my memories of that wonderful God filled ride. Those years were milestone moments in my life as I witnessed some incredible movements of God. LRBC is the place where God showed me what it means that He is faithful. Every young pastor desperately needs that lesson. LRBC also taught me another vital early lesson; the church is not mine. A more experienced pastor once said to me, “Never forget, God has more invested in this than you ever will.” I have been parsing that word of wisdom now for 14 years. The longer I pastor, study Jesus, and meet the people of God the more I understand what he meant.
Thank you Jesus for your church. Thank you church(es) RBC and LRBC for being such a meaningful part of my life.