Going Home

This blog post is a little late today--I've been away leading a funeral for a family friend from our very first church that we served.

I was called on Saturday while on vacation and informed this friend who was only 58 just collapsed at a food establishment after visiting his dying brother in another city.  Ironically only 12 hours after this friend passed away, his brother joined him in heaven.  That family is experiencing 2 funerals within a 24 hour period.  Pray for them.

Coming back to this place was so filled with memories.  This was my first full-time ministry position and I was one of those MINISTERS OF MUSIC AND YOUTH (they're extinct these days--but these used to exist).  We didn't know where this little town was when they called me almost 16 years ago.  My wife and I snuck down there one night to check it out without them knowing.  It was the beginning of a great ministry there.

Most of the kids that were in that youth group are now in their mid-30's to their mid-20's right now.  It was so fun to see so many of them and their children.  I laughed at them at the funeral home last night chasing all of those little rug rats around because I used to have to chase mine that age while I was taking care of these parents as youth.  Time certainly marches on and revenge is sweet!  I see so much of their fathers and mothers in these little ones.

I was honored  to go back to do this service  where relationships and friendships still run deep.  I was greeted this morning with a note on the door of the place I stayed with "Welcome Home!--You Are Home".
  • This was the place where 2 of my children were born and I blame much of their "spoiledness" on those wonderful folks who stayed up with us until the wee hours of the morning awaiting their arrival.  
  • This was the place where we walked through crisis upon crisis with teens in our town and where I was called upon to counsel at the school whenever some tragedy arose. 
  •  This was the place where SEE YOU AT THE POLE was larger than any other thing I had ever seen.  
  • This was the place where we took 125 students to Youth Camp because someone dared us to bring that many (we usually ran 25-30 kids).   
  • This is the place where I added an orchestra to an Easter Cantata (that's what they're called) and you would have thought I brought in the Dallas Symphony.
  • This was the place where I was ordained.  So many memories.  Good ones--I've completely forgotten the bad ones!
Do you ever go back to where you served?  What's it like?