This past year has been one great adventure! I feel exhilarated by all the ways I’ve been honored to witness God at work.
My responsibilities with Christian Union came to an end in June after serving for almost 8 years as their pastor-to-pastors. I was honored to serve God by serving pastors. There’s a great deal of pain and confusion as to what the national organization of C.U. will look like in the future. A group of 11 churches in Missouri have asked me to continue to pastor their pastors and are providing a small honorarium. Our Pastors Conference in March will be the first time together since August and I’m looking forward to that weekend.
Every week I travel to the Cedar Rapids Alliance Church where I serve as a part-time interim pastor; speaking on Sundays and spending time in the office on Thursday mornings. What a privilege to come alongside and help them in searching for their next pastor. We are in serious, prayer-saturated conversations with a candidate and I anticipate he will be called to Cedar Rapids in the next few months.
One of the great things about helping the churches in Missouri and the church in Cedar Rapids is that I can live in the house at Doolittle Acres. Yes, it’s a 90 mile one-way commute to Cedar Rapids but that gives me time to make phone calls and pray and listen to God.
It also means I see Joy and Kari and my two sons-in-love and all six grandkids at least weekly because they’re just five miles away. Peter is still in West Des Moines and we get together about once a month. Of course, email, texting, phone calls . . . all help keep us connected.
My Mom, Clarice Eschenbrenner, is still at the Manor House just 20 minutes away and will turn 90 on January 16. She loves to get cards and it would thrill me to read your notes to her. Her mailing address is 1212 S Stuart Sigourney, Iowa 52591.
At 59 years young, I feel primed for whatever God brings along next! What will the next year hold? I don’t know. I’m trying to resist having any expectations beyond watching God continue to work. I love Margaret Clarkson’s great hymn, God of the Ages:
God of the ages, history’s Maker,
planning our pathway, holding us fast,
shaping in mercy all that concerns us:
Father, we praise you, Lord of the past.
God of this morning, gladly your children
worship before you, trustingly bow;
teach us to know you always among us,
quietly sovereign Lord of our now.
God of tomorrow, strong overcomer,
princes of darkness own your command:
what then can harm us? We are your people,
now and forever kept by your hand.
Lord of past ages, Lord of this morning,
Lord of the future, help us, we pray:
teach us to trust you, love and obey you,
crown you each moment Lord of today!
May the God of tomorrow give you confidence in His abiding presence!