Today is the day that I add a year to the twenty year mark achieved last year. Twenty-one years pastoring. The same church, my first church. I am a bit heavier, my beard much grayer and my hair much thinner. My skin has been toughened and my heart softened. Which is probably a good combination! I know more and feel like I know less! My weaknesses (some real and some fabricated) have been chronicled and "crowed" about, my strengths have been admired and emulated. My goals have been simplified. My voice has deteriorated and my stamina has somewhat decreased. (My dad always says, "A man that says he can do at forty what he did at twenty, didn't do much at twenty.) I have a little harder time keeping track of everything and most of the time can't even remember to write down what I am suppose to remember. I am not as easily dissapointed but am more easily saddened. I have some people who don't like me and others who do. I don't fully understand either. I am more appreciative of good times and thankful for those who help create them. I have been liberated by the understanding that ultimately, when all is said and done, I am responsible for me. That accounting will not be given before friend or foe but a just God who will reward the faithful labors of his servants. I can only hope to be deserving of a few of those rewards by His grace! When I consider that I am but a weak and needy man who has only pastored a weak and needy people I have learned to rejoice in the smallest of victories. For the smallest of victories is a testimony to the grandure of His grace.