On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 18, 2016:

pastor-appreciationPastor Appreciation Day was the second Sunday in this month, and we honored Pastor Jason with cards, notes, and hugs. We didn’t have a big celebration, but I hope we let him know throughout the year how much we appreciate him.

David and I first met Pastor Jason in early 2011 when we moved to Emory and began our search for a church home. We visited several local churches, and while all of them were wonderful places to worship, we were drawn to Believers’ Baptist and returned there several times. One Sunday morning, Jason and his wife Stacy invited us to join them for lunch after church, and we realized how gracious and friendly they were and how deeply committed to his family he is.

We soon learned how genuine their friendship was. Renters and a multitude of unauthorized move-furniturepets had left our home uninhabitable, so while we repaired the damage, we lived in our motor home. Several times, Jason said that he and other church members were available to help if they were needed. We made it through the painting, the installation of new flooring, and the delivery of new appliances on our own – and even when the POD containing our furniture was delivered, the two of us managed by taking our time and using the ramps and dollies that came with the POD. We even managed a couple of loaded file cabinets and a queen-sized mattress. Finally, the container was empty except for a sofa and a triple dresser, and I balked. I am 5’3” tall and not particularly strong. I looked at those long, bulky items, and I looked at the corners that would need to be negotiated, and I said, “Really?”

David took pity on me and called Jason. “Were you serious when you offered to help?” He was, and within the hour, he showed up with two other men. They made short work of bringing in the rest of our belongings, and we really appreciated the man who soon became our pastor.

During the time when we first began attending Believers’, Pastor Jason was preaching a series on living out your faith. The series led up to a program that has come to be known as “Living Outside the Building.” The program offers many opportunities for members to serve, not only the church, but also the community in a variety of ways, and we appreciate Pastor Jason’s leadership in walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

Pastor Jason preaches and teaches in a way that makes the Bible come alive, and he connects the dots of seemingly disconnected Scriptures in a way that explains the unified story of the Bible. Along with his teaching, he also encourages his congregation to grow and use their gifts in God’s service. In addition, since I have been the part-time secretary at the church, I have come to know Pastor Jason on a more personal basis. I have seen a work ethic that would put the Puritans to shame, but I have also seen a genuine concern for people that never lets him put his own schedule before the needs of others.

In the almost six years we have been members of his flock, we have come to appreciate Pastor Jason in too many ways to write about. He will probably be embarrassed by this column, but I just hope he knows how very much we love and appreciate him.

Blessings,

Linda

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A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available in paperback and digital versions.

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