Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remembering a Friend and Mentor

I found out yesterday that a good friend who I served with in Kincardine ON passed away last week and it took me back to that particular time in my life. Back in 1998, my family and I moved to a little town on the banks of Lake Huron to work with a small church work meeting in a school gym.

It was there in Kincardine I met a man by the name of Jim Lawrence who was the chairman of our Deacon's Board. Jim and his wife Eileen were an elderly couple that had retired from Cambridge ON to this little town to enjoy a quiet and modest lifestyle in a scenic little trailer park on a small lake a few miles away from town. As I think about his passing into glory where he now has seen his Savior, here are a few memories that stick out most to me.
  • Jim had a fire in his belly that protected this young pastor with a passion to see me succeed in the ministry. More than once he dealt with situations on my behalf to save me from some of the battle scars that come with pastoral ministry.
  • When our daughter Emma was born, this tough yet gentle man with a fire in his belly melted into tears as he held her for the first time in the hospital. With our kids not having grandparents in the town with us, he quickly became Grandpa Jim to our children and little Emma always held a special place in his heart as we had him lead us as parents in the dedication of Emma unto the Lord.
  • Jim and I along with others worked hand in hand through our building program and made many last minute trips to various engineers and lawyers to secure papers and permits as we moved into our building campaign which was a great success.
  • Grandpa Jim would have my kids fish off the end of his dock where they ALWAYS caught tiny sunfish as soon as they put their line into the water. They loved it!
  • Because the church was so small and we were in the midst of a building program, the church could not always pay us much, but Jim always made sure the Deacons board worked towards taking great care of this pastor.
  • I always knew Jim prayed faithfully for this pastor and would have defended me to the death because together we were committed to the Word of God. Opinions and preferences didn't matter to this guy because he wanted to see people come to know Christ as their Savior no matter what!

There are many other fond memories I have of Jim and I look forward to the day when I'll see this friend and mentor again in glory. I'm thankful that Jim is one of the men who has forever left an imprint upon my life as a pastor.

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