LOOKING BACK – TWO YEARS LATER

This week marks the second anniversary of my stepping down after 30 years as the founding and senior pastor of Discovery Christian Church. The last two years have been interesting and challenging; and I thought it would be good for me, and hopefully interesting to you, to share some of the things I have learned.

It’s not the same for everyone, but change is hard for me.

Being the pastor of a local church has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.

I love to preach and teach the Bible.

There is a lot about being a pastor that I miss; and also a few things I don’t miss. In some respects guest preaching is the best of both.

When you have been preaching for 40 years at first it is hard to sit and listen; but with time it gets easier and becomes to you what you hope your preaching was and is to others.

Churches, pastors, and people are different—and that’s a good thing. No one should insist that people, pastors, or churches all be the same.

Teaching at the university level is not as easy as it may appear; teaching is great privilege, but grading papers and tests is tedious.

Some university students don’t really care to learn, some want to learn, and some care too much about their grades.

Some friendships endure, some fade over time.

Even after all these years I am not finished learning the Bible or growing as a Christian.

Some sins are really persistent.

The respect that comes to a pastor/professor from so many is gratifying but also humbling—and I’m not saying that just to sound good.

Getting older is not as bad as some people suggest; but neither is it a piece of cake.

I love to play golf (even though I’m not very good).

Writing books is difficult but fulfilling; selling them is not one of my favorite things to do.

Posting a weekly blog is a good discipline that does a lot more for the writer than the readers.

Speaking of discipline, healthy eating and regularly exercising—as a diabetic—is a real challenge.

It’s a lot better for others and yourself to be patient, kind, pleasant, and understanding. Why be a complainer, a grouch, or a critic?

Being easily angered is nothing to be proud of—look it up in the book of Proverbs.

I am pleased with and proud of my two children—Audrey and Rob.

I love being a father; but being a grandfather is also wonderful.

I have made many mistakes as a pastor, husband, and father; unfortunately, I can’t do any of it over.

My wife Jan is the most generous, selfless, and loving person I know or have ever known.

Looking back, I’m confident the timing as well as the process we followed in my stepping down after 30 years as pastor of Discovery Christian Church was right.

To conclude on a seasonal note, 15 m & m’s are not even half of what ought to be in any packets we pass out for Halloween!

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Photo courtesy of Jan.

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