Monday, October 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 4: "Pulpit Supply"

One of my greatest privileges over the past couple of years has been accompanying my Dad as he goes to different churches preaching on Sunday mornings. I see firsthand how his words bring comfort and healing and encouragement and sometimes even rebuke. I personally have received all of those things as I listen and learn.

And then I remember: these are not only his words; these are the messages that God lays on his heart for each of the places and the people and the situations for that specific time.

Dad picks me up somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30, depending on where we have to drive. And always, without fail, before we pull away from the TH he humbly prays that God will use him and that he will be a blessing.

The picture is of Dad at Penhold church this morning. This struggling little church has had no pastor or pianist for 17 months; and yet people are coming -- this morning there were three new families. Dad and I have gone to Penhold quite a few times in the past months. We both love visiting here because at this church you can feel the love the people have, for God, for their community (the food on the platform is the youth group collecting for the Food Bank for Thanksgiving) and for each other.

And so today, I am grateful that with the exception of just two Sunday mornings, I have been so blessed to hear my Dad speak every week this summer. As he journeys to India for the next three weeks, I am going to miss the rich spiritual teachings of a truly godly man.

And I am also going to miss the conversations we have driving to and from the places; Thomas R. Wyatt and Let the Bible Speak, two radio programs we listen to in the car; and the mug of hot tea and the sandwiches filled with homemade jam between slices of homemade bread Dad has baked for me -- the rich earthly provisions of a truly loving father.

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