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Farewell Eric

My dear brother has been called to the pastorate in the great land of Texas leaving many of his close friends behind.
It has been the joy of my heart to know this scholar and gentleman.
  Eric and I were hired at the same time at GTY and we have even had some classes together at TMS. More recently we moved up to Palmdale and we would ride together on most days with some exceptions.
  It was fun to listen to music together and talk about life and ministry. It is easy to love the man. In honor of him, I will try to listen to more country music, fix myself a pour over coffee, and enjoy the beauty of friends that God in His wisdom and kindness bestows.  My life is richer and I have laughed a bit more having spent time with my brother, whether in the car, at the office, or at church. I will miss him dearly but I promised myself I wouldn’t get too emotional.
  As is my custom in farewells, I leave him with the words of Numbers 6:24-26
24 The Lord bless you, and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’

Farewell Gabe

“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
  We can “friend” just about anyone in social media. You can even “unfriend” them if the relationship becomes non-existent or even sour. It is likely that you have experienced both. Finding a friend liken to this proverb is a whole other matter. It goes beyond a push of a button. Here, the Bible describes a friend as one who even surpasses the biological relationship of a brother. Such a friend is said to “stick” closer to you than a brother. This term is commonly used to express a state of loyalty, affection, and close proximity.
  Today I may lose the close proximity [in miles] to my brother in Christ, Gabriel Powell, but I will always enjoy the affection and loyalty his friendship has afforded me in this season of my life. I entered this particular season of my life in April of 2014 when I left the pastorate and re-joined my home church and began working at Grace to You.
  Those beginning weeks I was becoming acquainted with so many new people as well as reconnecting with some old friends. It was there in the break room that Gabe and I began sharing about each other’s lives including the seminary years of old and the experiences of being a pastor. I had no idea how much our lives would be intertwined in the coming months and years. Besides working at GTY, we enjoyed being a part of the same fellowship group at our church and began co-laboring in the same Bible Study. He would lead in music while I would teach and vice-versa. We road together to our monthly leadership meetings and would car-pool for classes at TMS.
  We would wonder about the future and talk about the past, all the while enjoying God’s goodness in the present. We would pray together and share the hard providences of life that only a few people get to know. All along, I had riding in my car (or sometimes in his), a tangible snapshot of this glorious verse in Scripture. Only in the wisdom and kindness of God would a friendship like this be born. God is most gracious to have given me Gabe as a friend. He is to be praised for such care and lovingkindness. How benevolent is the God of Heaven and earth.
 So today, I bid farewell to my good friend Gabe. Praise be to God that the affection and loyalty remains beyond today. The close proximity in this season of life was truly an undeserved gift of God. Even now I smile thinking about the future occurrences of when our paths will cross. Such days and moments will be a welcomed delight. They will be like a homecoming to the soul. What can I say to my beloved friend but to speak the words of Numbers 6:24-26
24 The Lord bless you, and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
Thank you Gabe for being a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Happy Anniversary my dear Angie

For 18 years I have been married to a selfless woman, a loving woman, a caring woman, a prudent woman, a beautiful woman. 18 years, wow! My dear bride has given birth to our precious 6 children with one more on the way any time now. I mean wow!

She has been my side as a student, as a pastor, and back again as a student (some of us are in the school of Christ for life and need instruction more than others). She has followed my lead and has scaled the mountain top experiences of life’s journey with me as well as been there by my side in the dark valleys God has sovereignly placed. Who am I to obtain such favor from God? In His wisdom and faithful care over my live, the creator and sustainer of this universe has blessed me with the wife of my youth and I REJOICE! I REJOICE! I had no clue what kind of a woman God had entrusted me with in Angie when I married her 18 years ago, especially when I said the words, “I DO.” I thought I did. She is an excellent wife and her worth is far above jewels. May the Lord be praised for His lovingkindness to us these years and may He be pleased as we walk in His light for the years to come. So today, I think back and reflect to that wonderful day when I was asked, “Do you take this woman to be your wedded wife?” A thousand times with a thousand more do I say, “I DO!” I love you mi amor, happy anniversary.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22).