I simply cannot put into words what this morning meant to me as I started my new ministry as Senior/Lead Pastor here at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan. You would have to see deep inside of my heart to really understand what a special day this was for Laura and me. We feel so blessed to be here and we are very excited about what God is going to do.
Pastor Jim did an outstanding job in the first 20 minutes of the preaching time to review the history of GEFC and to masterfully set up the turning of the page for a new chapter. It's not a new book - just a new chapter as "The Story Continues!"
In my part of the preaching time I shared my thoughts and my heart on this story continuing as well. Like Elisha in 2 Kings chapter two who took on the mantle of leadership from Elijah and asked for a double portion of Elisha's spirit to be upon him, I too desire to see God take what He has done here at GEFC over the past 74 years, especially the past 24 years under Pastor Jim's leadership, and to do it all again - only more this time. After all, DL Moody said, "If God be your partner, make your plans large!" That is why we opened and closed the service with that outstanding worship song, "Do It Again, Lord! Do It Again!"
The day was also bittersweet, however, as we said good-bye to our very close friends, Randy and Brenda Eshleman, who helped us drive all of our stuff up here to Michigan from Pennsylvania and then spent the weekend with us. We look forward to the new friends we will make here at GEFC but our hearts ache already as we miss our old friends. "Randy and Brenda, we love you both and your kids in a very deep way. Thank you for being true friends to us and walking with us through both the valleys and the victories of life?
So today the new chapter of our lives and the life of GEFC has begun. I can't wait to see what God does!