Written by cycleguy on April 20th, 2020

I took a break last week from posting on this blog except for the sermon. After posting on two blogs for over a month, a break was needed. Something happened yesterday that I wanted to share.

April 13th is a day that has significance to me.  On April 13, 1932 my mother was born. She went to be with Jesus in March of 2004. So when April 13th came this year, I thanked God for her influence in my life and then moved on. I am not a real sentimental person on things like that.

But something else happened on April 13th. To honor her in one of the biggest ways I could think of, April 13, 1975 was the day I chose for my ordination into the ministry. I had been preaching since I was a Sophomore in college (1972) but that was my official day of being licensed as a pastor. I had heard of it while in college but I didn’t like the reasons some of them did it: to be an official pastor which basically gave them a free ride on Vietnam. I can also remember my mom telling me not to become a pastor because of the respect and “fame” and honor given to clergy. Back then, pastors were seen as upright and worthy of respect. (My how times have changed!)  Anyway, when I saw how some acted and talked and chased woman, I didn’t want to move too fast on this idea of being ordained (not that I did those things). I wanted it to be an occasion where I knew what I was doing and was serious about my calling.  As I reflect on those ideas today, I’m not sure I knew either! What I did know is that it was a big step for me.

So on April 13, 1975 I chose to honor my mother, whose influence on my faith is unquestioned, by being ordained on her birthday. Besides, as I got older I figured it would be easier to remember one date instead of two. Remembering Jo’s birthday and my two daughters was hard enough.  I’ve never made a big deal about special days in my life, except for my wedding date (which I am trying to remember…oh yeah, June 16, 1973) and the birth of my girls (June 3, 1975 and August 23, 1979).  Let’s see…mine is…oh yeah, October 9, 1952.  And I hereby refuse to publish Jo’s birthday since I value my life.  But trust me when I say she is a tad bit older than me, like from January 30, 1951 compared to mine. (But please don’t tell her I said anything! I love my life!!)

But I digress. Yesterday during the virtual morning worship, I welcomed people to the worship and moved away from the pulpit to let the first song play. It wasn’t the one I picked and looked up and it was a slide show Tami had put together honoring my 45th anniversary of ordination. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. To say I walked away to gather my emotions before standing before the people again might (not) be a lie. Anyway, I was honored and humbled she put this together. And I was especially honored folks responded.  It was hard to see via the FB worship so she has posted it on YouTube. It was public at first but she is taking it private. You have the extreme privilege (I’m humble too) to be given the link to watch it.  Here is the link. Hope you enjoy it. And yes, you will notice two people missing from it: Jo and Janna (my youngest).  Least Tami still loves me. 🙂

I have so many people to thank for 45+ years.  But most of all, I want to give praise, glory and honor to the ONE who called me into this high calling. He has been a beautiful picture of grace, forgiveness, patience, and transformation through all of this. And thank you Tami for doing this (she was last one).


14 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Tami did a great job putting that together, I watched it last night.
    Congratulations Bill, I hope you have many more years to add to that 45.

  2. Bill, I will check out that link to YouTube as it was difficult to see the slideshow on Facebook. Also disappointing was it was very difficult to hear (don’t know if it was because I was using speakers instead of headphones), so I couldn’t make it through your sermon. 🙁 I’ll try again next week, and once more, Happy Anniversary!

    • cycleguy says:

      I know it was hard to see Martha. That’s why I asked her for the link. Makes me sad about not being able to hear. Maybe try it again with headphones to see?

  3. Congratulations on 45 years of good service for our Lord; and best wishes for many more years to come.

    God bless you and your family always. (And thanx).

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    I love how you honored the Lord and your mother in that major decision, Bill.

    I’m sending you my deepest congrats on this huge milestone.

    You’ll never know til heaven how many people you’ve influenced for Christ.

    Bless you, friend …

  5. cycleguy says:

    From friends: Congratulations Bill! Awesome achievement for our Lord. Many times you could have walked away but you stayed the course!! A couple of times your biking 🚴‍♀️ accidents could have taken your life but our Father wasn’t finished with you yet. Blessed even though it’s been years since we’ve seen you we still call you And Jo friend. Love y’all 🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️ David and Pearline

  6. cycleguy says:

    My brother, Rob: Why that was certainly touching! I wish she had contacted me so I could have added my words of gratitude, but it was great that she cared enough to put all of that together. Congratulations brother. You have been a solid example of your commitments in pastoring, marriage, parenting through the ups and downs, ins and outs, overs and under (and every other adjective combination). Love you!

    • cycleguy says:

      I’ll tell her she messed up according to her uncle Rob. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words Rob. I love you and am so glad you are on the mend. Wish there was room to say how vital Jo has been to all of this.

  7. cycleguy says:

    From Pam: What a beautiful act of kindness from your daughter! Joyful Anniversary if your ordination, Bill! Ministry is far deeper than merely “Happy”

    • cycleguy says:

      She does things like that a lot Pam. I am so proud of her. And yes, it is a joyful time. Thanks. Hope you and Dick are doing well.