Embracing the Journey

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imageThe journey has been amazing,…difficult at times and filled with twists and turns.  There have been wise decisions and there has been just plain ‘ole stupid decisions.  There has been laughter and tears.  There has been times of “more than enough” and times of lack.  There have been ministry successes and ministry failures.  Through it all God has been full of grace and mercy in this journey of life and ministry … and the journey continues.

At this juncture in the journey we are celebrating my husband!  This month he celebrates 55 years of living!  What a ride!  From a child growing up in a small SC town God has promoted him and positioned him and taken him places beyond our wildest imaginations in those 55 years.  From the days of hair halfway down his back and playing in rock bands to a man who has built his life on the rock.  From a man who pledged his love to a shy, quiet small town girl to the husband of a woman who can still be quiet and shy but also strong and not so quiet.  From a single man to a man with a wife, 3 children, 3 children by marriage and 14 grandchildren.  He is one BLESSED man…and he is a man who is a BLESSING to so many.   And the journey goes on…

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This month he also celebrates 40 years of ministry.  40 years of impacting lives.  He stepped into his calling at 15 years of age and preached his first sermon in August of 1973.  For real!  And he has been at it ever since.  He started working in ministry with no pay while working a secular job to support his family.  He has cleaned the toilets, served as worship pastor, children’s pastor, youth pastor, public relations/administrative pastor, sound man, associate pastor, administrator/principle of Christian schools, seminary professor and senior pastor.  Many of those rolls he served simutaneously!  And the key word here is SERVED.  He definitely has the heart of a servant.  Continuing the journey…

The journey was also educational.  He received his bachelor’simage degree from Souteastern University in Lakeland, Florida;  and his Master’s and Doctorate from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio.  And tons of education and training as he served over the past 40 years…much through experience and mistakes made.  He is a FOREVER student!  And the journey never gets boring…

He has impacted children and youth so effectively that his impact will continue reach future generations.  They have been his heart and his passion.  This week I had the honor of meeting up with one of our former youth at the inner-city church where she serves as the Office Manager and Children’s Pastor.  I LOVE those moments when you get a glimpse of the fruit of your ministry.  Dawn shared these words, “You helped stir the passion in me for what I’m doing for The Lord.  Appreciate all you guys poured into me.  Besides Jesus, you guys were a pivotal part of my Christian walk.  Laying some great foundations in me.” -Dawn Biery. So proud of Dawn and who she is and the impact she is making for Jesus.  It has been so rewarding through the years as we have watched how God has used us to impact generations that are impacting generations.  His journey has impacted lives and continues to impact lives.

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Today he is an adjunct professor with Ashland Theological Seminary and the founder/pastor of Oasis.  Oasis is never meant to be a church on a corner.  It is meant to be a living organism that is knitted into the very fabric of our community being the flavor and influence of Jesus.  He has a heart and passion to bring healing and wholeness to those who are disenfranchised with the church, to equip the church to BE the church and not just GO to church, to train and mentor the next generation and to equip, restore and encourage pastors and leaders all over the world.

imageIt is a HUGE vision…MUCH bigger than him or the two of us together.  It s a God-sized vision because without Him it is impossible.  So, we embrace the journey…

Sweetheart, God is preparing and positioning you for GREATER!  So let’s celebrate BIG because God has plans for us…plans to impact generations!

Journeying to GREATER with you…loving the journey…loving you…

Cheri

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