Today, Lord willing, I will graduate from Regent College with a Master of Divinity degree. It is the end of a long and difficult journey. Today is truly a testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness. Yes, I did a lot of hard work. Yes, my wife made huge sacrifices. Yes, my kids were flexible beyond belief. But, ultimately, this is God's day and I am exceedingly thankful.
On February 19th, I was ordained as a Teaching Elder (also known as a Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (USA). We were surrounded by friends and family and I was once again amazed by God's faithfulness. It was the end of a long and difficult journey.
I am so thankful to Kathy Hastings. She gave me the gift of the encaustic painting you see here. It is entitled, "The End The Beginning." It is truly the moment I am living in right now.
In the midst of celebrating God's goodness in what has been, we are also thankful to God for what is becoming.
I am currently working as the Associate Pastor at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church in Maple Valley, WA. I am thankful (do you sense a theme here?) to have been called to a position so quickly. I have had the opportunity to preach and lead worship on a number of occasions. I regularly find myself doing pastor stuff, because, hey, that's my job now. The staff and congregation have been gracious to us.
So, what can I say? Not much other than God is good. All the time. I leave you with the first ten verses of Psalm 86, which were read at my ordination service.
Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.