Well, here we are. While I am technically no longer the discipleship pastor at Solid Rock, I have asked Rod if it would be okay to write one more ministerial reflection. The Bible tells us, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I would like to share with you what is on my heart regarding these three commands. To rejoice is to “experience joy and gladness in a high degree.” Over the past two years, my wife, Lyndsey, and I have been able to rejoice with the community of Chappell. We were able to rejoice when our daughter Cora was born and our church family (and several in the community) blessed us beyond measure with gifts, love, support, and prayers. We rejoiced when new folks came to church on Sunday and we were invited to be part of their story. Chappell, we rejoice with you because there are people here who genuinely love the Lord.
The second command is to pray continually. Chappell, we will always pray for you. We pray for spiritual revival in this community. We pray for the love of Christ to take over every person, every business, every relationship, every marriage, every child, every aspect of this town. We pray for a spirit of repentance on the part of the pastors who have neglected their duty to share the truth of the gospel. We pray for unity among the churches. We pray for forgiveness from those we may have un-intentionally harmed while we were here. We pray for Solid Rock Bible Church and the ministry there. We pray for Rod and Bev Wright and the vision God gave them for this community. We pray for the faith family of SRBC, may you continue to seek the Lord and be obedient to the Great Commission. Most importantly, we pray for the citizens of Chappell who don’t know Christ or have rejected Him; may you see Christ clearly and come to a saving faith in His free grace and work on the cross.
Finally, we are to give thanks. Thank you Chappell for the wonderful memories. Thank you to everyone we have gotten to know. Thank you for taking time out of your day to say hi. Thank you to the EMS crew who helped when Cora had her accident. Thank you to the other pastors in town for making me feel welcome. Thank you to everyone who has ever said anything nice to me or about me and actually meant it. Thank you Solid Rock for being patient with me, for loving me, and for humbly helping me see my many flaws. Thank you to those who stuck beside me when others didn’t. Thank you Rod and Bev for inviting us to come here and help shepherd the flock God entrusted to you. Thank you for your heart for people and reminding me why I am called to be a pastor. Thank you for teaching me life is all about “Loving God, Loving others, and teaching people how to do the same.” Thank you. We are going to miss you.
I leave you with Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:18-23).
This was originally published in The Chappell Register on July 29, 2015. I have included it here in its entirety with no edits made. Thank you!