20 years ago today Jill and I started on a journey together. We had been married a whole 5 months at that point and had no idea what we were doing or getting ourselves into. We packed a moving truck and a couple of vehicles and with the help of some friends made the 60 mile journey from Oskaloosa to Indianola. A dozen or so people were waiting to help move us into the parsonage and the journey began. We had no idea how long we would be here or what would happen over this time. 10 months later came the birth of Stephen and the rest as they say is history.
If you would have pulled me aside 20 years ago I am not sure I would have thought much about how long we would be here. I do know I had no clue it would be this long. I wanted to survive the first few months. I do remember the day I sat in my living room reading the Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren and wondering if God’s will included what Rick Warren had desired as well – a lifelong pastorate in one church. It is not very common.
These 20 years have been filled with lots of laughter, memories, and tears. Some of you have been here for the entire journey so far. Thank you. Your commitment to our church has made a big difference. Some of you are new to the journey and we are just getting to know each other. And I look forward to getting to know you.
We know one thing for certain and that is we never know how long the journey will last. There is still much to be done. Our culture moves farther away from God every day. Warren County is one of the more unchurched counties in the state of Iowa. Our city is a great place to live and a place in great need of Good News.
So before I get too sentimental here, let me say thank you. Thank you to those who are sharing this journey with us. Thank you for all who give of your time, energy and finances to the work of Jesus’ church here in Indianola. Thank you to those who take time and pray for me and my family. Thank you for the kindness you show us throughout the year and especially at Christmas. Thank you for calling me your pastor.
May God continue this journey 20 more years,
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....