Written by cycleguy on April 8th, 2019

This past Sunday the church I have pastored since November of 2005 surprised me and Jo. The picture which follows will tell the story.

Yeah…you’re seeing that right. It has been a bucket list of mine for a long time. Jo’s bucket list got lighter almost two years ago when someone gifted us with a week’s stay at a Timeshare in Daytona Beach. She has always wanted to go to the beach. They felt after my two bike accidents and major back surgery as a result that time away was a good thing. We agreed. 🙂 🙂

The back story to this trip is several months ago I asked Jo what she thought about a a cruise to Alaska. We contacted an old friend who had renewed her travel agent license (and whom I also think was in on this “deception”)  but after getting prices to the cruise and flights to Seattle we decided to back off and save for another year. We were okay with that. We would just take little junkets to Ohio and other places to get away which didn’t require a lot of money.  Combine that with the need for a new roof this summer and a new driveway and some needed house repairs and you have a recipe for waiting.

Fast forward to yesterday. It has been a really emotional week and weekend (see my other blog for April 8), even several months, so this could not have come at a better time. We were both stunned when Ryan put two chairs down where I stand to preach and asked us to come to the front. He started by asking me how long I have been doing this (being a pastor) and I said 45+ years. He then asked Kris, a lady whose family is going to Alaska this summer and close friends to the agent in Florida, to come forward. Kris presented us with the bucket and an all-expenses paid trip to Alaska, including air fare.  Can someone say, “Knock me over with a feather?” Jo & I were both so stunned we didn’t even cry.  In all my years as a pastor I have NEVER been treated by a church to something this magnanimous.  It looks like we are going to shoot for the first of September when they have an opening rather than wait until next year.

I thought I would share my/our surprise with you. We are blessed. And this is just a small part of the heart of these people. I have never felt so loved as I have here.  This is just a minor reason why. And I can honestly say that even without something this generous, I love these people.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Lisa notes says:

    Congratulations, Bill! I’m so excited for you and Jo! I have Alaska on my bucket list as well. It speaks highly of your heart as a minister (and of the people you pastor) that they wanted to bless you with this trip.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Lisa. I’m humbled and honored by their gesture. And thanks for your kind words. Maybe you and Jeff will get that bucket list reduced.

  2. Andy says:

    And we love you both so very much! I try to articulate to you at times just how special you guys are to everyone, but sometimes humble folks just don’t get it:). So happy for you.

    • cycleguy says:

      I can’t even being to express how much I love you, Stacy and your kids. You know I do and am so grateful for your involvement in my life. Thanks for the kinds words my friend.

  3. What a generous and loving church you serve, Bill! I know you and Jo will make wonderful, lasting memories on this trip to Alaska; so happy for you both!

  4. cycleguy says:

    From Betty: Bill, that is a great surprise, what a way to show their appreciation for a pastor and his wife who walk the talk. We had a pastor and wife visiting and he shared a similar story. The house they rented is being sold which put them in need of a place to live. Their church folks furnished a large gift for them to buy a small mobile home on five acres, fits their needs exactly for they have several dogs, chickens, etc. He said the same as you, he has never had a church do that for them. We are blessed to know them and their story and encouraged by what God is doing for them. I will thank the Lord on yours and Jo’s behalf for this blessing. Enjoy

    • cycleguy says:

      What a wonderful story to hear Betty. I love it when churches show a tangible expression of their love for their pastor. My girls (even though adults) were so excited for us. I’m sure, if they have children, they were as well.

  5. Linda says:

    And we love you. So deserved. You and Jo are such a blessing to my family and so many others.

  6. Kris says:

    As said when the gift was presented, this is just a small gesture of the great love and appreciation we have for you and Jo! I’m so excited for you both! Have a wonderful time! 🙂

    • cycleguy says:

      I was and still am speechless for the gift Kris. I deeply appreciate your efforts in all of this (with your cohort Wendy). But the love the church has shown goes beyond words. Thanks so much.