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Still Preaching


cffblog6.jpgDecember 31, 2017 (Sunday)

Today is the last day of the month and the last day of the year. I plan to preach today at the Bethel Baptist Church. I like the idea of winding up the year by preaching.

When I retired, in February, 1996 (about 22 years ago), we had plans for retirement: a art-of-preaching.jpgcottage we hoped to build at Lake Limestone in Central Texas, where Wanda had inherited some property. Because of illness in our family, we put everything about retirement on hold for a year. The next year, after the loss of our loved one, we felt like our lives were more or less on hold for a while, I guess, although in March, 1997, I became interim pastor at Refugio until mid-summer. Later, in the fall, we took a trip to the northeast to view the foliage. We then returned to Rockport and resumed our plans for that house on the lake, but the Bethel Baptist Church of Ingleside asked us to beome their interim pastor in August, 1998, and that lasted until the end of the following year (1999). One thing had become clear to me by that time, I loved to preach rather than travel.

The Refugio church had become pastorless again and I was asked to come back and become their interim pastor again in the summer of 2001. The motor home we had purchased for trips we didn't make became our home in Refugio when I was interim pastor there. Five months later, Wanda passed away. The churches I had been serving all rallied around me, providing great comfort. At the end of 2002, the interim was over and I began attending FBC Rockport again, occasionally supplying for pastors here and there. Because the new pastor and I became close friends, I no longer felt that my presence could cause any problems in the Rockport church, so I continued living in Rockport until the summer of 2004, when I became pastor of Timbergrove Baptist Church in Houston. In the summer of 2006, I became interim pastor at Rockport until January 2008, when I again became pastor at Timbergrove in Houston until September 2010, when I returned to Rockport. Again, the pastor at Rockport and I have become close friends, and my presence in the church is not an issue between us. After my return to Rockport from Houston, in 2010, the Bethel Baptist Church of Ingleside asked me to supply their pulpit for a while, then called me again as interim. And again in 2013. And once more in 2014. That's where I've been preaching for three years.

At 86 years of age, I feel very fortunate to be chosen by churches to provide leadership. When I retired in 1996, I hoped I would still be asked to preach from time to time, but my hopes have been exceeded by reality, as door after door of service has opened to me. I have no long range plans; I'm just taking life as it comes.

I'm pretty sure I've written all this before, probably more than once, but when I get to thinking about God's leading me and blessing me, and using me, I just want to tell it again. I never counted on living this long, and I've been pleasantly surprised that a wonderful church still wants to hear me preach.

As I enter the year 2018, I have developed a few health problems, but I plan to continue preaching. Thank you for your prayers.

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