Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Growing A Little Older...

Where does the time go? Was I really that young? Was I really that thin once?

On Labor Day morning 1994 I received a phone call at 7:30AM from Mrs Marian Krehbiel asking me to candidate at the Fords Bush Bible Church of Fort Plain, New York. She was the wife of the founding pastor, David Krehbiel. For twenty eight years they watched over this rural congregation. Within a month I would speak three times at the church, attend a public question & answer session, attend a private question & answer session, and have my references and resume checked and rechecked until finally it came to a Wednesday night vote. I'll never forget sitting in my apartment waiting for the call. Shari was a nurse and on duty at the local hospital as I sat alone. When the phone rang I remember the shear terror that ran through me as I picked up the receiver. Pastor K said, "Is this Martin?" I answered in the affirmative. "It is my duty and my honor to extend a congratulations to you as you have been unanimously voted in as the new pastor of the Fords Bush Bible Church. Do you accept this call?" Are you kidding? I had been waiting for this since leaving Bible college. It didn't bother me that the salary was small. Hey, I would have paid them to have this opportunity.

Through the years God blessed us with incredible growth. When I wrote the book This Too Shall Pass I made the comment that I had the Midas touch BUT not everything that glitters is gold. Pride has a way of dethroning you from your own self importance after you fall, crash, and burn.

Many people have come through our doors. Some I appreciated and others who went unnoticed and slipped through the cracks. As the years become the second decade of service here I have paused this week to think about what was gained and what has been lost. Yes, there have been people who have left. Some of those moved away or simply moved on to other ministries or perhaps out of church all together. Then there are those bitter sweet departures from people who were once side-by-side companions. I have my share of regrets and wishes of being able to certain things over again the right way.

As time passes and as we get older hopefully we also get a little wiser along the way, too.


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