This will be a bit different from my usual...well I am not even sure what the usual or normal even is. Anyway I am going to spend some time here talking about someone else...my wife Barb. She turns 60 in a couple of days and I thought I would reminisce about our life together. We will have been married for 40 years this coming June...40 YEARS!!! Most of my church was not even born yet! OK I am over that...When we began dating I was not a believer...in fact I was very lost...and her dad was a pastor...a Baptist pastor at that. He was a hell fire and brimstone preacher...a screamer...a sweater(not clothing, he sweat a lot)...and I had never even been to church before. Talk about jumping from the fire to the pan..or the pan to the fire, however that goes. (I am 60 you know) Anyway to shorten that part of the story, I gave my life to Jesus in that little church and things have never been the same. The kind of cool thing is it was right in the middle if the Jesus Movement and God was doing cool stuff all over the place... we came to Jesus in a country, blue grass, singing church filled with people from Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, and other parts south. Not really hip or cool...but it was good.
The thing is this was the real beginning of our journey with God together...we did every job known to man and, hopefully God, in the church. Ran a bus ministry, taught Sunday school, lead youth group and so much more. I even led a choir at one time in our lives...I could not read music..was just beginning to sing myself...but we did it. That is the thing...we did it. Many times I got the recognition but we did it...you know the old saying, “Behind every good man is a great woman” but for us it has always been side by side...well when I could keep up! I can remember one time sleeping on the couch and waking up with her hand on my chest praying for me...to be open to the things of the Spirit of God. She was hungry for all that God had and would never leave me behind...and wanted me to lead our family in these things.
Another funny but also sad thing was on a couple of occasions I had pastors of churches we were in, come to me in secret and ask me what was I going to about her? Could I control her? I asked what was the problem? They both said something to the effect that she was just so passionate and kind of vocal. She was not or did not appear to be the quiet, submissive woman who only spoke when I gave her permission. Well, they were right about that I guess...but I always wondered how you could not want a passionate, fully in love with Jesus person in your church body? She was not a gossiper or complainer...she was not trying to be in charge...she just wanted Jesus and everything He wanted for her. Now was she perfect? Of course not but believe me she was never a problem...unless you were intimidated by someone who wanted Jesus over religion or going through the motions. If that intimidated you...then it was a problem...but honestly she was not the problem.
So we have walked together doing Jesus stuff for 40 years...I would like to say it has been easy...well it has been pretty easy really. She is an extrovert...I am an introvert. She processes out loud...really loud with her hearing loss...and I process inside..to myself...quietly. So we have the normal, you married someone opposite of you things going on, but the one thing we have had in common from the beginning is our love for Jesus and His Church...serving His Church...serving together...for 40 years. The last 17, well almost 18, have been in the roles of being pastors and while there have been some difficult times it also has been the most fun we have ever had in the Church. I can honestly say today...though I have not always felt this way but through some healing I have received recently, we were made to do this...together. Being pastors was never really on our radar...well I suppose on a couple of occasions we felt the twinge of a call...but it was not a goal out there to be grasped, it was just a call we surrendered to together. And really we surrendered to this call as a family...I can remember asking the kids how they felt about it...us planting a church...they had been through enough church stuff in their lives without us adding more stuff to them. They both said yes and I can remember Stacy saying, “What else are we going to do?” (great kids too)
Anyway lots more could be said...but I was right when I questioned what the other pastors were thinking...why wouldn’t you want someone like Barb in your church? The passion and the love for Jesus is bigger than ever...I am still trying to keep up on many occasions...but we do this thing together...and it is fun!
Happy Birthday Barb...you will love being 60! Many great discounts...and naps are expected!