Yesterday marked Terry’s and my 54th wedding anniversary. Our marriage was solemnized on Saturday, January 29, 1966, my 23rd birthday. You can do the math.
The past 54 years have been exciting and challenging, full of a mixture of joy and sorrow, blessing and difficulty, victory and defeat, laughter and tears.
Through it all, faith in God, dependence on God’s providence, love for each other, and marital commitment, all under the umbrella of God’s grace, have sustained us through the valleys and taken us up the mountains. Suffice it to say that I am blessed and thankful.
Here are just some of the people by whom I’ve been blessed and for whom I’m thankful:
- My wonderful, loving, talented, forgiving, patient wife Terry
- Our dearest favorite daughter Angie and her gifted husband Todd
- Our special favorite son Andrew and his four legged menagerie
- Our beautiful favorite granddaughter Kayla and her special friend we call Super Trooper
- Our handsome favorite grandson Kolby and his life of faith, service, and leadership
- Sainted parents Martin and Elda Kieschnick and their legacy of love and hard work
- Sainted grandparents Walter and Martha Kieschnick, Fred and Bertha Hellman
- Sisters Carol, Karen, Debbie and their husbands Jerry, Mel, Curtis
- Aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins
- Sainted in-laws Emil and Dorothy Roos and brother-in-law David
- Lutheran congregations served in my career: St. Paul Austin, Trinity Nokomis, Ascension Charlotte, Good Shepherd Biloxi, Redeemer Beaumont, Hope Winnie, Faith Georgetown
- Lutheran organizations served in my career: Lutheran Foundation of Texas, Texas District LCMS, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Concordia University Texas, Legacy Deo
- Parachurch organizations and boards served: LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, LCMS Council of Presidents, International Lutheran Council, Mission of Christ Network, Pastor360, Ministry Focus, Driving Hope of Texas, B. M. Woltman Foundation, Lutheran Social Services of the South
In compiling and reviewing that list, it’s obvious that my life has been and continues to be a combination of being served to serve. I see life as the Jordan River, not the Dead Sea.
In my Legacy Deo presentations I explain it this way: Our legacy from God is who we are and what we have. Our legacy to God is what we do with who we are and what we have.
For 77 years I’ve been loved and served by God, my family, and many friends. For most of those years, I’ve endeavored to love and serve people and organizations I’ve been blessed to know. It’s pretty easy to sum it up in two words: Blessed! Thankful!