October has been designated Clergy Appreciation Month. While, of course, we should appreciate our pastors and other ministers at all times, and frequently tell them we do, it is admirable that a particular time has been set aside to especially honor these people.
Two have been most influential in my life: My husband and my father.
Farrell E. Forrest, pictured here on his 80th birthday, was a dynamic preacher of the Gospel who loved the Word and who studied it at length. He baptized me in Jesus name, and from my earliest days taught me the ways of God. How thankful I am, how very thankful . . .He’s in Heaven tonight.
I looked across the room a few minutes ago where my husband is sitting in his favorite lounge chair and remembered how grateful I am for his ministry, for his spiritual guiding of me through most of my adult years, and for his godly ways. To love God with all their hearts and to put God first in their lives were dynamic lessons Jerry taught our four children. I honor him for all the sacrifices he has made for the Kingdom of God. I honor him for his consistency, his strength, his loyalty. I honor him for every prayer he has prayed, every sermon he has preached, every saint he has tended, every tear he has shed, every sacrificial dollar he has given, every long hour of counseling in which he engaged, and every song he sang with his magnificent voice.
I know he’s really a Christian for I live with him, and although he no longer is active in the ministry every week, I know that’s where his heart is. When one of his sons said, “You’ll always be my pastor, Dad,” it touched him deeply, for that is who he is. His heart is that of a caring man, a pastor, a minister. Within the last few days he made arrangements to drive hundreds of miles to insure that one of his elderly friends will have a happy Thanksgiving. Appreciate? How could I not?
Scores of preachers have significantly influenced my life, and while I will not name any, I truly am thankful. Thank you for preaching to me, to my husband, to my children, to my grandchildren. You mean a lot to me, you who now pastor my children and grandchildren. You who give counsel.
Clergy Appreciation Month: How grateful I am.