Last week Natasha, our middle daughter, passed away. I was at Fort Toulouse getting camp set up for Alabama Frontier Days and Glenna was on a cruise when I received the call Tuesday morning. While we had expected that call for many years it came as a shock when I finally received it. I had a hard choice to make; to deliberately not tell you, our church family, about Tasha’s death. Please forgive me. I did not tell the congregation for two reasons. First, I needed to tell Glenna and I could not do that until she arrived back in port on Sunday morning. The second reason (and I am no martyr here), Sunday was about Billy Bob and Will, and I was not about to let Satan steal that joy.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, even in the midst of Tasha’s passing, Glenna and I have so much to be thankful for. We are, and have been, surrounded by such an abundance of love that it seems almost unfathomable. Speaking for myself I can only wish that I love each of you as hard as you love us. The Gospel of John (13:34-35 NIV) records Jesus saying: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” As a denomination we call ourselves Disciples of Christ. Over the last six months as your pastor I have seen that love first hand on many occasions. You are truly Disciples as Jesus our Lord and Savior has commanded.
Glenna and I are blessed beyond measure to be able to serve with each of you.