Is it really possible to be in love for over 50 years? If you wonder, maybe you should sit down and have a cup of coffee with Bill and Gigi Longyear. They could tell you the ups and downs of married life. Likely they would tell you to suck it up, and to get over yourself. They would probably tell you that it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. So worth it.
We spent Thanksgiving with them in Florida. They couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. Sure, on one hand I was highly uncomfortable – after all, these are my parents. On the other hand, I was proud of them – after all, these are my parents. They have stayed in love for 50 years. Some of us can’t stay in love for 50 days.
When I talked to my Dad today I reminded him that most people don’t make it to 50 years. I reminded him that it was rare to be married that long. He responded, “Well, it shouldn’t be.” Indeed. It should not be.
So, raise a glass. Here’s to Mom and Dad. 50 years ago today the said “I do.” For five decades they never said “I don’t.” Thanks for being a great example to all of us.
In the back of your mind you know it is going to happen. You know they will grow up. You know they will move out. Some days you pray that it comes soon. But when the day comes you wonder what happened.
We put her on the bus in elemetary school, took a nap, and woke up at her High School graduation.
Today Mariah starts her next chapter. We move her in to her new dorm, and new life. She is an honor student at Indiana State University, studying Dietetics. I am beyond proud of this girl. I have seen her grow, travel the world, lead others, work hard, enjoy life, laugh hard, and love God. I’m the luckiest Dad in the world.
Riah, Thanks for letting me spend the last 18 years with you under the same roof. I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe the best is yet to come.
As part of the Pastor’s Discipleship Network leadership team, I have seen first-hand the impact on training African Pastors. Paul Bertsch, Mariah Longyear, Bruce Smith, and myself will be joining PDN for 2 conferences this summer. We want to get as many Pastors to the conference as possible, and supply them with study Bibles. Will you help?
To purchase a bible for an African Pastor ($30) or pay for a pastor to attend the conference ($20), click here.
Join Mariah and I for a Night of Worship at Maryland Community Church. Thursday, April 26 at 7PM. We have a fantastic band and will be playing some new worship tunes and dusting off some older ones.
This is a fundraiser to help cover the cost of Mariah’s trip to Uganda Africa. While there she will be serving with a small team (me included), handling communication for the Pastor’s Discipleship Network conferences.
Most of you know I am a huge fan of Compassion International. One of my good friends, Richmond Wandera is a former Compassion child. On a recent trip to Australia, Richmond was able to meet the woman who sponsored his sister.
Next week I will be taking the MCC Pastors away on a Pastor’s Advance. Some may call it a retreat, but we don’t retreat; we advance! On Monday, the team will kiss their families good-bye for a few days and will vacate to a condo that has been donated to us for the week. We have six main goals for the Advance, many of them focusing around firming up our mission and vision as well as establishing our strategic plan. Each Pastor will leave the Advance knowing where MCC is going as well as their role in getting us there. Our Pastors have done tons of preparation for this week and we are eager to do more hard work.
As you know, prayer is a huge value at MCC. To that end, each of our seven Pastors are taking a different day this week to fast and pray. We are asking God to met us in a great way while we are at the Advance.
Last Sunday I challenged the people of MCC to fast one meal this week and use the time to pray for the Pastor’s Advance. You guys are stepping up! As a matter of fact, my daughter Mariah fasted lunch yesterday (you make Dad proud).
If you have not already, would you join us in prayer and fasting? Maybe you could fast from a meal this week or next and pray? Maybe you are not able to fast; we still invite you in joining us by praying. Here is a list of your Pastors and when they are fasting.
Pastor’s Fasting Week: Jan 8-14: Sunday: Justin Hoeppner. Monday: Jason McLeod. Tuesday: Rob Ball. Wednesday: Scott Telle. Thursday: Scot Longyear. Friday: Dan Gisel. Saturday: Vince McFarland
The Advance will take place Monday – Friday, January 16-20. I will be doing some updating along the way. Follow me on facebook or twitter for real-time updates.
A tenacity for the kingdom that I have seen out of few men.
An ability to be led by the spirit of God.
A willingness to take risks.
An ability to let his staff dream, experiment, succeed, and sometimes fail.
Exceptional leadership of his family (props to Sandy in that department as well).
Compassion displayed toward me on the golf course.
An unending pursuing what God puts in his heart.
A love for the local AND global church.
The list could go on. Vince has led Maryland Church as Sr Pastor for the past two decades. He has taken the hits and has advanced the kingdom. But what makes him beyond exceptional in my book is this: He is giving me his job.