We had a very enjoyable evening tonight as the four of us (well, five including the baby in Mommy's belly) plus Grandpa and Grandma Noble went out to eat in Overland Park, Kansas, and then we went over to see the rock climbing wall at Dick's Sporting Goods. Not only did we see it, but Katie, you actually got to climb it!!! You were doing so good climbing it, but then you got scared--not realizing that if you fell back you would be safe. After we encouraged you, you did fall backwards and for a brief moment, through your tears, there was a smile that said, "This is kind of fun." You wanted down after that, but you told me as we were leaving the store that you thought you would like to try it again sometime (and for only $3, it's a great deal). Luke, you were quite unhappy that you didn't get to try to climb the wall, but once you rode the escalator, and played with all of the different kinds of balls, you were very happy.
Tomorrow night is a special night in many ways for me. I will officially be set apart as one of the pastors of Christ Fellowship of Kansas City. We've been here since the end of April of last year, but I'm thankful that the process for appointing elders in our church isn't quick. There has been a period of "testing" and observation that is so often neglected in the church today. Your mother and I praise God for the time spent at First Baptist Church of Athens, but ever since we arrived here we've been convinced that we are right where we are supposed to be.
The other pastors of the church are gifts from the Lord to me. I first met Mr. Elliff in Athens (he came and preached for a few days), and since that time I've grown to truly appreciate his pastoral heart, wisdom about the local church and the Christian life, humility, and great sense of humor. He is also the most evangelistic person I have ever known. Mr. Elliff's life inspires me to "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4:5).
Then I met Mr. Wingerd at a conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We hit it off from the beginning. His mind is full of Scripture, but so is his heart, and it shows in his pastoring and fathering. Mr. Wingerd's life inspires me to be a pastor who "accurately handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
Finally, I met Mr. Chrisman. He is just plain faithful--nothing flashy, he just loves the Lord and God's people. I hope people will say that about me someday. Mr. Chrisman's life inspires me to "flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).
How gracious of the Lord to make me an overseer with men like these!
Sleep tight, and I love you.