Saturday, April 17, 2004

April 17, 2004

10:45 AM I got up early and took a two-hour through Whittier (where Rick and Joanne Hale live). I made it all the way to Whittier Boulevard, then turned back and headed for home. When I got to Colima Blvd., it started sprinkling. By the time I got to Broadway the rain was falling steadily. I was soaking wet when I got back to the house. 10:33 AM At the moment I’m alone because Rick Hale is at work at Knott’s Berry Farm, and Joanne, Marlene and Jeff Hale are going to an open house at the parsonage where we lived for five years. Later we’re having lunch with Ellen Hale, Kevin and Luann Budd (Kevin followed me as pastor at Redeemer), and a few others. The big event of the weekend is the banquet tonight at 6 PM. Last night we enjoyed seeing many old friends for the first time in over 20 years. Lots of laughter and funny stories, then a time of singing in the sanctuary and an update on how the church is doing today. It’s good to see that things have moved forward in many areas. The church is stronger today than it has been in many years. That’s very gratifying to me as one of the former pastors. Twenty-six years ago God sent us here at a time when the church was very low and needed an infusion of hope and enthusiasm. Back then I had lots of big dreams—a few that came true, others that never came to pass. But I see now that we were able to lay down a few stones that became the foundation that others were able to build upon. Coming to an event like this reminds you that God’s work is a relay race—no one runs the whole race. We each run our assigned portion and then hand off the baton to those who follow us. 10:29 AM Meanwhile back in Oak Park, Boaz Johnson from North Park University will speak in all the services tomorrow morning. It just hit me that this is a bit of serendipity since Redeemer Covenant Church is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church, which sponsors North Park University.

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