Jody Lynne

Intersecting Life and Faith

Summer Present #2

In the continuing saga of As The Parsonage Turns I left off with gazing at my navel. Before I move on from that post, I was reminded today how we came to the great state of New York.  The man, along with his wife Debbie, who would not let us say no to considering pastoring in Kingston New York came to worship at Lafayette today, a great surprise to us when Rob tapped my shoulder calling me out of the service to see they were waiting for us in the foyer. We have known Allen and Debbie and their five, yes, five boys since 1996. He was on the search committee that ultimately called Rob to come candidate at Kingston Alliance sixteen years ago this month. Rob had sent his resume earlier that year but turned down a request to come visit because we believed God still wanted us to stay in Indiana. That summer we returned from vacation to a message from Allen asking us if we would reconsider their offer. A message on our answering machine that had been turned off when we left. Long story short, we pastored in Kingston for seven years with Allen and Debbie becoming like family. If it weren't for Allen's determination to listen to what God wanted, who knows where the Gates family would be today. Our sovereign God was at work. After church we ate at the Gates diner, then Debbie had to see my mom cave. We caught up on all our family exploits, grandkids(I don't have any), and life in general. The conversation turned to our mutual love for our Great God and His Word. We were stunned at God's working in our life the same way...less reading of books and more meditation/focus on God's Word. We also agreed we love books, love to read, but we are both at a stage in our life where they are taking a back seat/shelf. In recent months we have both been thinking about the book, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. Weird, huh? Check back this week for a new project regarding this book. As Debbie got into her car she yelled to me,
'Am I going to be a blog post tomorrow?'
Here you go friend. A word to the wise if you don't want to end up on my blog, don't share your secrets with Jody. Today I received God's second present to me this summer. You can read about #1 here. Part of my journey in moving from place to place...praying that's done for awhile...is making friends. Thanking God today for EACH AND EVERYONE of you God has placed in my life. Words fail me as to how rich I really am. I don't need a fancy house or two cars in the garage and a closet full of clothes (none of those things bad) because I have you!!! Done with naval gazing, I was finally able to enjoy being the wife, mother, friend and pastor's wife God had called me to be, ultimately I had found my treasure in loving Jesus making him my joy rather than trying to find joy in my surroundings.
No one can be your Jesus, except Jesus. Only One saves us. Only One defines us. Only One completes us. Only One truly lays down His life for us. --Marian Jordan
With God calling us to central New York, we loaded the biggest truck U-Haul rents out pointing our car west on the thruway. Another adventure on the horizon. Read all of As The Parsonage Turns

1 Comment

  1. Allen commented on just how comfortable our friendship is with you & Rob. It was like time had taken us back to those days in Kingston of sharing the joys (watching our families grow & change) and the tears (same reason!!). I, too, have been challenged and encouraged by our conversation regarding the love of our Great God and how how He works to make us more like His Son. Scripture says, “There is a friend who sticks closer that a brother (Proverbs 18:24)”. Allow me to paraphrase as neither one of us have brothers— You are a friend who sticks closer than a sister. We both love our families, but we recognize the gift of friendship that God has given to us. God has used both you and Rob in Allen’s and my life to grow in His grace.

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