Remembering the Past, Leaning into the Future

Every May 24, Kelly and I take time to remember our past together. This year will be 32 years since we tied the knot, and we have a host of great memories that we savor and enjoy. Not once have we reflected on those and thought, “Our best years are behind us.” We are leaning into the future, but we do so with more joy because we have so much that’s satisfying and encouraging about our past.

I was shocked on Sunday when one of my dearest mentors walked into the Chapel to help celebrate our 15th anniversary here at FBC Midlothian. (I was also fearful because this mentor has plenty of dirt on me!) So can I take just a few lines to remember?

I remember meeting 6 wonderful representatives of this church who helped me pray through decisions and catch a dream for this community and church. I lost my mom to cancer just 4 days after I preached my first sermon here, and this church cared for me and my family in our grief. It was so odd and yet so comforting that this pastor had to be “pastored” just after I arrived. I will always be grateful.

This church family has taken the risk to launch 5 different efforts to provide empty seats for the people who were moving to our town.  You embraced that challenge and welcomed other people into our family.  You adopted a healthy culture that allowed the church to be the “Bride of Christ” but not the “Pastor’s Mistress.”  You encouraged my family life to flourish, treating my sons like children, not as pint-sized adults.  You have served the poor, reached out to the world, welcomed staff, refused to be one-generational, extended grace to each other, and opened both your doors and your arms to our community.  You have worked to honor the Lord.

But in 15 years, I have never doubted your concern for my SOUL, not just my WORK.  That, my friends, is the greatest gift of all.  THAT is why a guy like me can last for 15, 20, or 25 years.  That’s why it’s exciting to lean into the future!  I love you all and am so grateful to be your pastor!

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