I had woken up that morning to a glowing iPhone screen with a text message that read, “I am praying that you will glorify God in all you do today!” It was from one of you. Amazingly, even before I was awake, you were awake remembering me before the Lord.
After the morning routine, I met with one of you for a sweet time of counsel and prayer before I hurried off to the She Reads Truth offices where I got the privilege of “preaching” an impromptu mini-sermon on the three uses of the law and how it applies to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. It was, as always, such an encouraging time!
Arriving back at the office, I ran into another one of you on the sidewalk outside the church. We stole 5 minutes to catch up on life, revel in the grace of God, and pray before I dashed inside to finish my (overdue) article for He Reads Truth and return some phone calls.
At 11:30 a.m., I met my parents and my Uncle Gary and Aunt Debra at the church to give them the grand tour of the chapel before eating lunch together. As we were walking to 55 South, I ran into one of you. After a few introductions (and some very important baseball talk), you insisted on buying our lunch and provided the means to do so. Astonished by your great kindness to us, we ate together giving thanks to God for your generosity.
I walked back from lunch on the phone with one of you. You were calling for counsel on a difficult situation in your life. Despite the challenge of what you’re facing, I was moved by the gospel resolve and patience God has given you. In more ways than I articulate, you ministered to me in that conversation.
Well, I could go on, but I’ll pause here. The hour is late and Christy’s already in bed. (Plus, I’m running out of real estate.) Let me wind this down by asking a question that’s probably lodged away in your head right now, “Why did I mention all this?” For only one reason: to give thanks.
Many pastors struggle to say a positive word about their congregations. I’m happy to say that’s never been my problem. In fact, I sometimes temper my praise and thanksgiving for Cornerstone in the presence of other pastors so as not to overly discourage them. The truth is this: it’s a joy to be your pastor. Thank you for giving me the privilege and suffering me so well. You have no idea how much it means.
Borrowing from the Apostle Paul, I say to you in closing: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).