This June marks two important anniversaries for me. First is the ten-year anniversary of my marriage to Emily. These ten years have been the most amazing time of my life. When I see this woman God has given me, I am overwhelmed in thankful praise at God’s good gift! She is far beyond what I deserve. She is a wonderful mother to our two children, often teaching me lessons about grace and service when she thought she was teaching them. When those precious girls are old enough to realize who their mother is, they will no doubt “rise to call her blessed.” Her husband already does.
Her influence has truly made me a better man than I would be without her by my side. Her love has demonstrated unconditional acceptance. Her support has given me confidence to pursue the big dreams God has placed in my heart. Her belief in me has encouraged me even when I have had my low points. God has used her to sanctify me! Believe me when I tell you she has had her hands full. For ten years of faithful and loving companionship, I thank God for Emily! She has been a helper more suitable for me than I could have ever hoped for.
The second anniversary is my three-year anniversary as senior pastor of The Capital Church. If you had asked me 20 years ago when I was a teenager listening to the mighty Roland Harrell preach if I would ever be the pastor of The Capital, I would have probably laughed. If you had asked me 10 years ago while I was pursuing higher education if I would live in the USA ever again, I would not at all have been certain. But, God has an interesting way of directing our steps. The Bible promises us that the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord (Ps 37:23). Although I am not at all certain whether I can be classified as a “good man,” I can say with absolute certainty that God has been faithful to guide and direct me when I would have been hopelessly lost without him.
I have seen God do a great work in us in these past three years. Some of it may not be perceptible to the casual observer, but that’s often how a move of God begins. I am thankful for his patience with us, and I am thankful for your acceptance and support of me as your pastor. Some pastors have to deal with congregations and leaders who are opposed to what God is doing, but that is not the case with you. I believe our people have a genuine hunger for God’s Spirit and a genuine desire to obey his call upon us as a community. There are many other places where my family and I could be; but we know that God called us here, and we are very thankful for that.
So, thank you for your love for God! Thank you for a heart to love others and to demonstrate that love in ways the world can understand it. Thank you for your hunger for God’s word and your appreciation of the calling on my life to preach it faithfully. Thank you for your support for the direction and vision God has given me for this church. It is a direction and vision that is not just mine. It is ours, and I feel privileged to serve the Lord alongside people like you. May we continue to seek God’s best for this family of faith, and may our most powerful ministry still lie ahead of us!