Though the nation continues to see and hear news reports of the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, this week I’m taking a break from that story. Maybe more about that next week.
Today marks the last edition of the 11th year of my weekly Perspectives articles. That’s a total of 572 articles, not counting a number of special editions.
Some of you have read every single one of those articles. Others are new to Perspectives. Whether you’re a veteran or a rookie in my audience, it’s good to have you along for the ride.
During those 11 years I’ve often questioned the value of spending the time and energy required each week to identify and address topics of interest about life and love, faith and family.
Just about the time I consider throwing in the towel, I hear from someone, often a stranger I’ve never met, who expresses words of affirmation and appreciation. That’s why I haven’t stopped.
This week my thoughts are focused not only on 11 years of Perspectives articles but also on the 50th anniversary of my ordination to the pastoral ministry last Sunday, June 7. That’s a long time! Much water has gone under the bridge in 50 years.
In 1970, I was 27 years old, new to pastoral ministry, still wet behind the ears. Terry was a few years younger and a brand new mother to our daughter Angela Lynn. Baptizing Angie in the same worship service during which I was ordained was my first official ministry act.
In 1970, our first home cost $14,500. A gallon of gas cost 36 cents. The Dow Jones Industrial average was 838. The world’s population was 3.63 billion. Today it’s 7.8 billion. The U.S. population was 205 million. Today it’s 328 million.
In 1970, the world’s first jumbo jet, Pan-Am’s Boeing 747, had its first commercial flight from New York to London. The Concorde made its first supersonic flight, at 700 mph. The Apollo 13 mission to the moon was abbreviated by an oxygen tank explosion, leading to the popular statement: “Houston, we have a problem!”
Liquid crystal display (LCD) was invented. The Beatles sang “Let it Be” and broke up that year. The U.S. lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Damages were awarded to Thalidomide victims.
In the 50 years since 1970, my ministry and our lives have been seasoned with a roller coaster of joy and sorrow, bane and blessing, success and failure, victory and defeat. My life has been guided by the words of Jesus, who said, “I have come not to be served but to serve.”
Our faith in Christ and the blessing of his grace have sustained us, through good times and bad, happy times and sad. I would imagine your testimony, at least in part, is quite similar.
Through it all, Terry has stood faithfully and tirelessly by my side. Our children, son-in-love, and grandchildren have been and continue to be genuine blessings, adding great joy to our lives.
Thank you for the many cards, emails, text messages, phone calls, Facebook postings, and personal greetings I’ve received in observance of the past 50 years. It’s safe to say I won’t have another 50 years of ministry and it’s not likely that 11 more years of Perspectives lie ahead.
That being said, I’m thankful for every day of life and love, faith and family. All are abundant blessings from the hand of God. I love all of you and thank God for each of you!