Pastor’s Desk November 18th

Scripture Passage:  “Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:2-3
Dear Friends,
     The day of this writing is a day of broken records.  We have the record snowfall, the record cold temperature, and my sister turned sixty.  Whoops.  How did that get in there?  The snow is lingering and makes post card perfect scenery.  It is very cold, but the sun is shining and has the potential to be a beautiful day.  My sister, who was my childhood playmate, has reached the big 6-0 and her little brother is not far behind.  Judy is a beautiful lady who has lived long enough to retire.  She has a heart of gold and takes very good care of our mom and dad.  She has been a successful business women, but she has also had her fair share of bumps in the road of life.  In my opinion she has faced those challenges well and passed the test with flying colors.  I wish her many more happy, peaceful years filled with joy and good health.  I introduce her as my older sister, and she introduces me as her older brother.  This is true because I am seven years older than our baby brother Bobby, but I will never be as old as she is.
     It is interesting how much alike we three are and at the same time distinctly different.  We each one have long tenures in our places of employment.  Judy had 41 years of service at the time of her retirement from Tennessee Eastman Company.  Bobby has 30 years of service with Dodge Reliance/Balfour bearing company in Rogersville.  I had 21 years of service with the Hawkins County Board of Education before moving to Sweetwater. I also had tenures of 7, 14, and now 16 years in ministry at three different churches.  The average tenure for Pastors is less than 5 years.  We each are faithful, loyal, and committed employees who take our responsibilities seriously.  We each are committed to the care and well-being of our parents and each do our part to share the responsibility.  We all are musicians even though neither of our parents are.  Daddy says that Judy “keeps the roads hot.”  I drive so much that when I have a free day, I would rather just stay at home.  Bobby is very much a home body.  I am an avid reader.  Bobby does not read anything he does not have to except for the newspaper.  Judy loves to play games and work puzzles, whereas I care nothing for them.  Judy is a business lady. Bobby is a machinist, I am a school teacher and preacher/pastor.  The common denominator that keeps us together is momma and daddy.
     It is interesting that Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”  The respect and honor my parents receive from their children is a testimony to the faithfulness of God’s promise.  In speaking with mom the other day we came to the realization that all three of us children have already outlived one of our grandparents.  Judy has now outlived my mom’s mother who died at 59.  I have outlived my mom’s father who died at 57.  My brother has outlived my dad’s mom who died at 52.  I would be the first to say that my brother, sister, and I have flaws and failures that keep us from living a sinless life.  We have “little foxes that spoil the vine,” and “sins that doth so easily beset us,” however God has given us longevity to this point.  I attribute that to God’s promise that if we would honor our parents, He would make our days long upon the earth.  I do not know how much longer I will have my parents.  My prayer is that my brother, sister and I can continue to care for them and that their last days can be filled with joy and peace.  I pray they will always know how much their children love them and the deep respect we have for them to be evident by our actions.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny