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A thought to ponder-past and future

This weekend marks the end of my time as the pastor of a church. Having reached a time in my life where God has chosen to take us from the pastorate of a local church to now travel a new and exciting path in serving Him.

We have never loved anything more than being in service to the Lord and the privilege of being a pastor has been unbelievable. For us, there has been no greater joy than to walk, cry and laugh with God’s people in the local church.

The 29 years in pastoral ministry and the last 18 years serving as the pastor of the church which I am leaving this weekend has been all the things any pastor will describe to you. There have been great moments of euphoria and joy in being in the epicenter of something God was doing at the time. Yet to the extreme of those times were the very times when it seemed we were alone without any feeling except loss. It was those times although few, real and far between was when God was there and we knew it. The peace that His Word reminds us all of was there.

Someone asked us about what we were going to do in retirement. Honestly, that is the word I have a hard time with because of what people so often think of when the word retirement is used. A member and friend said when I told them of the struggle I had with the word said to use the word repurpose. It was a great thought and that is exactly what God is doing, repurposing our service unto Him. For us, I call it our Colossians 3:23 thing. I guess you could call it Version 2.0 of our life in service to the Lord.

God has already begun to open the doors for what He plans to use us for, which will be to His glory. Interim pastor, pulpit supply, consultant, encourager and more will be the repurposed life that Elaine and I will lead from this time forward.

We could have never imagined the joy and more importantly the privilege of serving God in His church. When we were graduating from high school we were two young kids in love. We knew God wanted us together and we even talked about going into ministry. I spoke to our pastor and he gave the advice that I needed. A longer story about all that may be at another time.

So I went to college and got a degree. Stayed in the family business and eventually, God in His perfect will brought us out of the business world into ministry. Of course in those years we were active in the local church as teachers, a deacon, committee members, as it were we did it all. We had great pastors who encouraged and taught us and then one day God called us to full-time ministry. A daughter going into college, a son in middle school, a wife working as a substitute teacher. As I think about it that was another time God repurposed our life for His glory.

Looking back now at all those years reminds me that God is good all the time and that all the time God is good. He has never failed us, He has never failed us yet.

As Frank Sinatra sang about life he noted that, “regrets, I have few, but then again to few to mention”. I guess we are all that way and I remember a dear friend once said he wanted to finish strong when talking about his repurposing. I really like that and we are looking forward to God’s repurposing and “finishing strong”.

I know that when I share this weekly blog entitled, A thought to ponder, it usually speaks from a different direction. However, I wanted to share this with you so you could understand where we are and where we are headed. For us, it is all a thought to ponder as God repurposes our lives.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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