The Monday Morning Message got hi-jacked this week as my church family held a celebration of 10 years of ministry together in my honor. To say I was surprised falls far short. To say I was humbled doesn't even scratch the surface. To say I am still processing all the events would be correct.
My Sunday began as Sunday's normally do with an early arrival to make a short pot of coffee (currently grinding some Venezuelan beans - yummy!) and meet with a group of men with whom I share life. Alas, the coffee was wasted and never tasted as I was unknowingly kidnapped by these friendly hoodlums for breakfast. I say unknowingly because we had enough time to enjoy the meal together and still return for the 8:30 service. Around 8:05 I became a little agitated and began suggesting that we should be making our way back. The only reply I got was, "Have another cup of coffee." It quickly became evident that more than breakfast was afoot here.
After plying me with generous amounts of coffee they loaded me back into the truck for an hour long tour of back roads with nary a bathroom in sight. They thought it to be great fun. My bladder had other opinions of the situation but the time was passed in pleasant company and good stories, not to mention some beautiful sights. (All my tree-hugging readers should come and visit sometime. I assure you there's no shortage of quality forest land around these parts.)
Upon returning to the church I was placed in my office with instructions not to wander without a chaperone. This is highly unusual for me as I normally stick my head into every Sunday School class to say hello and visit for a moment. So, there I sat while preparations for who knows what were being made. Just before 11 a.m. our minister of music simply said, "Make the announcements like you usually do." and walked away. Yeah, right. How am I to make announcements when it's obvious I have no clue as to what is happening!
To make this long story short, the church had arranged an edition of "This Is Your Life" for me complete with friends and family that I have not seen for quite some time. Letters from others who could not be in attendance were read and every word was gratefully received. It was an overwhelming exhibition of a church family's appreciation and love. Gifts were given and prayers offered even as humility settled upon me like a morning dew. I, and many others, left that time of worship refreshed and renewed by God's presence.
I am thoroughly thanked.