I had big plans the summer of my 16th birthday. I was going to work construction along with my buddies and build my college fund. It paid $1.75 an hour! But, to my disappointment, my friends got hired, I did not. Frustrated, I took a job as a lifeguard, making $1.25.
It was a very hot summer. While my friends struggled digging trenches and blacktopping streets, I sat in the sun, watching the girls. I quickly figured out that I could teach swimming classes in the morning before the pools opened and made up that 50 cents an hour and a lot more. Years later, I read the famous quote of Confucius, “If you love the job you do, you will never work a day in your life.” I have never worked a day in my life!
Three years later, I attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting where my knowledge of Jesus Christ was challenged. Did I really know God personally? I asked God to show me if what the speaker said was accurate… He was! I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior!
Through Christ, I have had an exceptional journey of work experiences: a teacher and swimming coach for 10 years, a full-time pastor for 12 years and I’ve had my own consulting business for nearly 30 years.
In every job, I have learned and grown in my skills and my faith. From jock to student, from author to building a publishing house, Christ has led me to learn, test and think. I discovered “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
In my first pastorate, I was called to the hospital. A critical accident on I80 had taken the lives of 2 children and their father. Mom was in intensive care. I had never attended a funeral. Counseling people through devastating loss was completely foreign to me. Christ not only saw me through but, led me into counseling courses. As a pastoral counselor, Christ has used those skills to work with drug addiction, suicide, deep depression and the frustrations of change in people’s lives. “I do all things through Christ…”
I met Jacki the summer of 1967; we got married 2 years later and have done all things through Christ, for 50 years. God gave me a patient partner, one who tolerates my whims and career changes. God continues to hammer on the edges of my personality and remind me of how much I miss the mark as a helpmate, but, I keep learning. I am not sure I can tell you what makes a marriage last. I know God has redeemed, and I can share a lot about what I should not have done. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
I have facilitated mergers between corporate giants, led the conflict management efforts during a major union bargaining agreement and worked through church splits. I‘ve facilitated key initiatives that impacted thousands of people and influenced significant growth. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
I share this to say, Wellsville Baptist Church is filled with promise. Christ is alive in us! We share the knowledge and good news that Jesus Christ is alive. Please, let me know where we can learn together. Something we can discover together. Something we can test. Wellsville Baptist Church, a place where we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.