Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Thursday begins my 6th year Pastoral Anniversary as the pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church of South Bend, Indiana. During this time I usually reflect on the past year of ministry as well as family events and other things.
The thought that permeates my mind the most is the passing of my grandfather, Alston Witherspoon. My grandfather was an impeccable individual. He grew up in the depression, served in World War 2, and worked in the mill for 37 years while working other jobs as well. He was married to my grandmother for 64 years and raised 3 children. If that wasn't enough, he also raised his grandsons like they were his own children. I grew up without my biological father, but did not miss a beat because Granddad was always right there. I am the man that I am today because of him. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall one major life experience that he was not there to guide me, scold me, encourage me, congratulate me, and love me through. This anniversary celebration will be the first major event that he will not be present for other than the birth of our new daughter Elyssa, who was born minutes after his burial. Words cannot express how much I miss him. Now more than ever I proudly carry the name "Spoon". I only hope and pray that I can be half of the man that "Spoon" was.
We have a new addition to our family, Elyssa Nicole Witherspoon. She's truly a blessing from the Lord! Her whole journey here to us has been nothing but a testimony to how good God is. She had to overcome so much just to be born healthy and now 2 months later she is very healthy and doing well. She has brought youthful joy to our hearts that we thought was long gone. Pray for me as I have to raise another beautiful little girl.
Our oldest son, Derryll has graduated high school and is now in college. Praise God! There were times that Nicole and I didn't believe that he was going to make it. It seemed as though he wanted to travel down the wrong road, but the Bible is true, if you train them in the way that they should go, when they are older they will not depart from it! To God be the Glory! Deonne is now in high school and that brings on another set of issues. Erynne is in 7th grade and is growing into a young lady at a rate that is way too fast for me! As she is growing i have made sure that my NRA dues is paid and everything is in well working order if you know what i mean, lol.
As far as ministry goes, there is so much that I can say. I have seen growth and development, I have also wrestled with thoughts of my effectiveness and relevance. As I toss between the two, several things have gone through my mind that have pushed, stretched, and tested my faith beyond where I thought it could go. I can gladly and truthfully say that God has been faithful through it all. I believe that I'm better as a result of what I have experienced. I guess I can say like the songwriter, "After all I've been through, I still have joy!"
Well I believe that enough for now. I won't make any grand promises on blogging on a regular basis, but I will say that this won"t be the last time that you hear from me!