The Last Post of 2011

Pam has already thrown her hat into the ring with her post on “Looking Back.”  As I mentioned before, one of my favorite movies of all time is “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  In this movie, George Bailey is given the opportunity that we – in most cases – don’t get and that is to see what life would be like without him around.  I think that I could easily theme this year as It’s A Wonderful Life.  This doesn’t meant that I look back at the past year with rose-colored glasses.  There have been many speed-bumps this year – a wrong turn taken here – another one taken there.  But as I look over the entire year, it has been an amazing year.

As the Worship Arts Pastor at Parkway, we have accomplished some great things, especially for a church our size.  It was only a few weeks ago, that we celebrated our church’s 90th Anniversary.  As part of that celebration, our choir sang and our worship band played.  About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a concert at a church in town and realized what a hard working choir that I have the opportunity to work with.  This choir had twice or three times the amount of singers and yet I think our choir sounds better — great diction — great spirit — we cut off and enter at the same time.  I feel privileged to work with the Parkway choir.  We also have some great praise teams that work with me from week to week in leading worship.  This past year, we added a drummer to the team and that has been a great addition.  I love standing on the platform leading worship and listening to our congregation sing — we have a wonderful singing congregation and they sing the old and the new and everything in between with enthusiasm.  It is an honor to be the worship arts pastor here. In addition, I have a small but committed group of teens.  They are wonderful and we have great discussions from week to week as we discuss God’s Word.  We also have a lot of fun.  As if all that were not enough, we have a wonderful man who is our lead pastor.  I am truly blessed to be on staff at Parkway.  This is a place where God is working in the hearts and lives of His people.

I have also been blessed by my wife Pam – she is a wonderful helpmate in the ministry and a great children’s pastor.  She completed all the educational requirements for ordination.  I love the ideas that she has.  She has a heart for the forgotten and the invisible – the people that many Christians don’t see.  If that weren’t enough – she makes awesome cookies.  And then gives them away to people as a ministry.  I am thankful to her for all of her love and our many years together.  I don’t know what I would do without her.

This past year, we saw our oldest daughter get married and move away – which is always a bitter-sweet time.  I love that she found a Christian man who loves the Lord as much as she does, but they have also moved a long way from home.  Pam and I also have two still at home/college and they are a blessing to us as we watch them grow up before our very eyes.  I am so thankful for my family.

This year was a big year for me and Pam fitness-wise.  I never thought I would see the day that I would enjoy running/walking/working out on fitness equipment, but here I am.  Pam completed over 830 miles on foot this year.  I completed 1,124 miles through running and walking this year and spend 217 hours doing it.  Last year I was 245 pounds, today I am 210 pounds, so I am 35 pounds lighter with at least that much more to go.  Hopefully I can knock off another 35 pounds this year.

Most importantly God has worked in our lives — he continues to transform both Pam and I into the people that He wants us to be.  We had the opportunity to read through the Bible again this year and as happened last time – I learned things that I never knew.  I am looking forward to see how God works this year.

I hope you have a blessed 2012!


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