Sunday was an emotional rollercoaster.
A dear friend of ours named Danielle passed away last week at the age of 49. You have to read her obituary to understand the amazing woman she was and the incredible family she leaves behind. A celebration of her life was planned for Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis so we chose to travel to Indiana on Saturday to spend the night at my parents' house so that it would be a closer drive on Sunday. We planned on attending church over at Northview Church in Carmel on Sunday morning until...
... Saturday over dinner my dad causally mentioned that he was preaching at Cambridge City Christian Church. That changed our plan immediately. My dad served as the Senior Minister at CCCC from 1980-1985. He led the church during its strongest years in its 175 years but then exited because he wanted to help pastors prepare for their retirement years (something pastors are notoriously ill-prepared for). Many of my earliest memories of being in worship services are of my dad on stage teaching. He was then; and is now, my hero. In 30 years, he has never been asked to come back to preach at CCCC. I was 9 years old the last time.
Danny Berry, the current Lead Pastor graciously asked my dad to come back and preach to celebrate this important milestone in the church. What an awesome move, sir. Thank you.
As I sat with my boys watching Grandpa teach on the same stage where I had watched him so many times when I was their age, I couldn't help but think of the countless ways my parents modeled Jesus to me and my brother and sisters and how they passed the baton of faith to us and how God has now given the same awesome responsibility to Janie and me to train up Chase and Jackson.
If you are a parent, you are a pastor.
Afterwards we made the trip to Indy for Danielle's service. Mike (Danielle's husband) is one of my favorite people in the world. I've tapped him for wisdom more times than I can remember and he has talked me off the ledge many, many times. He shared an amazing tribute about Danielle by listing out 50 Reasons He Celebrates Her.
The entire Tooley family is beyond special and we are more like Jesus because of knowing them. I hope people will one day say the same of me and my family.
Sunday was one of those days where everywhere I looked I was deeply reminded of the past, made fully aware of the present and urged to live like we aren't guaranteed another tomorrow.
#MMOC is a weekly blog recapping the action that occurred in my life as the Lead Minister at North Terrace Church in Zanesville, OH. If you live in the Zanesville area we invite you to be part of the epic story God is writing through NT.