Wanda and I enjoyed having long-time friends from Bartow, FL, in our home this past weekend. Les and Jill Barr are members of the Bartow Assembly where I pastored in the '80's. We have great memories of fun and fellowship with them. Wanda especially has been close to them for many years after I left the pastorate there.
Les and I have played some serious tennis matches as he has a hard booming serve. He is very competitive and so am I. So our tennis games were serious and intent. Yes, we had fun, but fun includes bragging rights. I don't know who won the most, but I know we burned tons of calories. Jill played also but in doubles.
They brought friends, Wayne and Debbie Elliott, with them. All four came up to help plan a conference that will be hosted by our church this June for Royal Rangers. Royal Rangers is a christian outreach and discipleship ministry to boys that centers on camping and other activities that young boys love.
Wayne and Les are both highly committed and skilled in this area. Les serves the Assemblies of God as the Southeast Regional Commander to oversee training and development of leaders. When I was his pastor in Bartow, I asked him to become the commander of our local Royal Rangers Post, and he has used his gifts and talents to touch countless boys lives. Wayne has similar gifting.
Wanda is a fantastic host. She could manage a bed and breakfast with style. In fact, I think she does. I am so proud and thankful for her and the many ways she blesses our home and family. She makes me look good.
Having fun with friends and making new friends is special. People make life worthwhile. Yes, there are risks and there is work, but life is a risk and work is part of life.
We had fun times talking and sharing and eating Wanda's comfort foods. Oh my, that was a delicious pound cake. Wow! Hospitality is a great gift. It is part of the qualifying of the calling for ministry. Paul wrote that if a man isn't hospital then he doesn't qualify to be a pastor. Well, Wanda qualifies me to be a pastor, and she blesses others. Greg and Becky Riley from our church here joined us for Sunday lunch to help plan the conference. They are key leaders of our Royal Ranger Post here at Southside.
People tell us that they feel peace in our home. I know where that comes from. It comes from the Lord, and it comes from the peace of God in our hearts. People feel that peace. I am thankful.