We pray that this letter finds you all prospering in every way in Jesus Christ. 2015 is winding down, and like previous years, the time just seems to fly away rapidly. Here's what's going on in our lives:
CHURCH: If I am the pastor of Liberty Baptist in January, 2016, I will have completed 24 years at the helm. My how time flies! I thank God that He put me into the ministry. I am so blessed to have the privilege of knowing Him, serving Him, studying His Word, and proclaiming His Name. It is a wonderful life.
FAMILY: Steve--besides pastoring the church--I am working for the USPS. I have almost 11 years now as a part-time rural carrier substitute. I learned 18 routes and worked in a 9 different cities. It is a good job, and one that helps provide for our family. I enjoy meeting all the folks. Since we witness door to door in town, this job gives me the opportunity to meet many of the folks that live in the countryside that I might not have had the opportunity to meet. It is a great job for the ministry, and has resulted in many opportunities to witness and invite folks to church.
Christy is homeschooling our children. Micah, 6, is in first grade, while Matthew, 9, is in 4th grade. Joshua is in 8th grade, and John is a sophomore in high school. And of course she is an excellent pastor's wife. She has a meek and quiet spirit, is always upbeat and smiling, and loves to help her husband in any way she can. She keeps a clean testimony and a clean house, and she has been a great wife and helper to me in every way. She is a wonderful teammate and my best friend.
Heather, 22, will graduate from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor's in Nursing in Spring, 2016. We are not exactly sure what will come next, only that she'll be looking for a nursing job.
Caleb, 20, is taller than his dad now, and for me, it's embarrassing. LOL He has done well in college. He is studying to be an electrical engineer at Northern Illinois University. He graduated from Highland Community College this past spring Summa Cum Laude with an associates degree in Electrical Engineering. He landed a job working for Jo-Carroll Energies, an electrical and natural gas provider in Northern Illinois. He had a blast all summer long working for them. Every day was something new and exciting. From monitoring the electrical grid to ensure that the system did not overload and cause blackouts, to moving 68,000 lbs transformers, to working with the natural gas system, he gained lots of new experiences.
Melissa, 18, has just started her college career at Highland Community College. She is studying to be a High School Math teacher, and is currently taking physics and calculus and English and Speech. She is doing well in her studies, and she enjoys the college experience. Our home is filled with her friends that are girls and boys that come around. There is a lot of laughter around our home at nights. Melissa worked all summer in a bakery, and is quite a good cook. Ask her sometime to make you some of "Melissa's Memphis Bar-be-que."
John, 16, is working for a nearby farmer. He will be taking a welding course with his father starting in January. It should be a great time. John helps his father work on cars, and the various other projects that we have to do. Every night the boys come down to sit with dad as we look on Craig's List for the next car or truck that we want to buy. We had had a blast all summer buying vehicles for Melissa to drive to college. I'd buy one, and as soon as the title came back, Joshua, 13, would say, "Dad, can I put it on Craig's List to see if I can sell it?" Melissa had a van, a Buick LeSabre, a hot shot Grand Prix, and a pickup truck in her first five weeks of college. As soon as I would buy one, Joshua would sell it and I'd have to buy another one. He loves cars and trucks, and I have to say that it is a great joy for me to be laying underneath a car, working on it, and there are five boys laying under it as well, trying to learn how to fix a car. Matthew, 9, like his brothers, is trying to learn as well. Every boy has his own 7' high tool box, and they are collecting their tools to fill up their boxes. Matthew says, "Dad, all I want for Christmas is some tools. I don't want anything else." Micah, 6, is trying to keep up with the rest of his siblings. He has his tool box, and helps with the cars and trucks, and is working to learn his school lessons.
One final word: stay faithful to Jesus Christ. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know, your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Co. 15:58) "But thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place" (2 Co. 2:14).