Thursday, July 23

Bishop and Pastor

Bishop and Pastor
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

A week from tomorrow our Pastor, Spiritual Father and Founder of our church body transitioned from his natural body into his spiritual body. He was 80 years old and the picture of health. He was often heard to say "I do not want to live one minute longer than God's plan for me." He passed away after a day that he often described as his perfect kind of day...a walk in the morning with friends, a game of golf on a perfect weather day, swimming with family and friends and a nap with his wife of 60 years. He went to sleep and awoke in the Presence of the Lord.
Today, we celebrated the life of our pastor, a life that brought many people to a deep and true understanding of who we are in Christ. During the memorial service it was repeated over and over again about how he changed lives and helped others.
For Rob and I, we came to the church the very first Sunday after we were married. We knew that this man was speaking things we had never heard before, things that had the potential to change us for the good. Things like:
1. We are the righteousness of God in Christ. Because of this, we can live a righteous life and have security in knowing that God will help us to live that way.
2. We can have freedom from sin. Freedom from sin meant that we could ask God to change us in ways that we thought were destined to plague us for life.
3. We have been given all we need for life and godliness. With His Spirit we could walk by faith into the life He has planned for us.

For 18 years we grew and learned and continued to mature, watching Bishop (the name the church called him...Bishop means "Shepard") and imitating him as he imitated Christ. We watched him walk in forgiveness towards those who wronged him, Learned how to love those we don't really like, began to practice the joy of speaking words of love and encouragement to others. He was truly a great and godly man. He will be missed deeply, but oh how wonderful to know that he is in the continual presence of the King!
"He who is joined to the Spirit is One with Him!"