February 3, 2019
Dear Grace Family and Friends,
By the time you read this, I hope we’ve found warmer temperatures in “sunny Florida.” I can’t tell you how mixed my emotions are about this sabbatical. God has led me in this direction for a specific purpose. I’m expecting much greater clarity as regards the future for Leila and me as well as for Grace Baptist Church. For that reason I’m very excited. However, I would be less than honest if I didn’t acknowledge a great deal of “angst.” In 28 years, I’ve never been away from Grace Baptist for more than 2 weeks at a time. If my memory serves me correctly, that’s only happened twice for personal reasons. That’s why I’ve struggled so. I’m going thru “withdrawals!” I think you know that this Church is our life. We love it like we do our own children and grandchildren. It grieves me to think I’m creating doubts and fears in some of you. I never want to do that. Since not everyone was present when I addressed the Congregation about this, please know that, regardless of what you may be hearing, I am not considering retirement. My plan is to be the Pastor here as long as I am mentally, physically and spiritually able. This time away isn’t a “trial run” on retirement. If God lets me live, I intend to be your Pastor for at least 5 more years. I just want clarity on how to position God’s Church for continued success for generations to come. So please don’t worry. I look forward with great anticipation being back with you on Sunday morning, March 24th, 2019, to share how God has worked in our hearts and lives. I love you deeply and pray God reveals Himself to you all as well during our time away. God bless you! You are great blessings to me!