Lee Harder here, senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde, the Red Roof Church, greeting you with some more thoughts to brighten your day, give you a chuckle, or make you think about your relationship with God. Before I get into this week’s blog, I want to invite you to join us for worship this and every Sunday at 8:30 or 10:45AM. We celebrate Christ and I assure you that our community of believers is one Where God’s Word Is Heard from the pages of Scripture and not the latest social trends.
If you have visited this blog last week you heard about my exploits in flying. Well, on a more serious note, all that flying and its mishaps came as a result of going to perform the marriage celebration of my oldest daughter, Dawn, and her now husband, Dan. It was a beautiful site for the wedding in the State Park near Two Harbors, Minnesota by the lake. The service was a little shorter than normal since there was not music (It seems no one wanted to haul an organ or piano down to the lake. Can’t understand why not.) However, pastor/dad still gave a sermon to remind all present that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, but also between a loving couple and the God who cherishes and cares for them. As long as we live in that understanding, the bond of marriage will be a blessing.
This special day was also the chance to meet Dan’s parents and extended family. They are wonderful people. As it turns out, they might be responsible for getting me to read and record the stories that I made a part of a cookbook that I wrote a few years ago. It could be fun. It might also be a way to have our grandchildren get to know more about their grandparents. We’ll see.
Speaking of grandchildren, it was a joy to see some of the grandkids again. Its been a while. They’re growing so fast. In fact, at the end of this school year, three of them, Austin, Madison and Summer, will graduate from high school. I remember when they were small and would sit on Papa’s lap and I read to them or snuggled with them and fell asleep. They are young adults now, but it was nice to know they miss us, too, and were so happy that we came.
That’s the one draw back to our move to Texas from Minnesota. All the kids and grandkids are there and we are here. The apostle Paul was right when he said that having a family (getting marriage) means that either God is getting short changed or the family is. Grandma and I have missed a lot, which I say with a touch of sadness. The grandchildren have missed out, too, and they know it. Well, maybe not grandma or especially Papa saying things like “Do you really want to wear your hair that way.” or “When we were your age.” or “That’s not the way we did it.” You know the stuff I mean.
Mind you, I would not trade the people of St. Paul for any. God was very generous in giving me a call to these disciples of Christ. Actually, if I am to be honest, it was Karen they wanted to come down here and be a part of the congregation. I was just lucky enough that they were willing to have me tag along as their pastor.
Karen and I have been blessed many times over. There is the love we share, 48 years and still going strong, three beautiful kids and the families who miss us as we miss being with them, wonderful friends in many states, and a community of believers in St. Paul that God has given me the privilege to serve and guide in a loving relationship with our Lord. It doesn’t get any better than that. Still, there are things we missed.
My prayer and desire for my children and grandchildren is that they find a spiritual home that lifts them up in a relationship with the Lord. I can’t be there as their pastor and saying that the preachers they have heard are, “Well, they’re not like you, Dad or Papa.” sounds nice, but it’s not enough. They need to grow in their own journey with Christ. I love them all dearly and want only the best for them. I look forward to the day I can see them again. Until then, I will serve the Lord to the best of my ability with the gifts He has given and pray that He watches over my families — all of them.
God bless and have a great week. Make a special moment with your kids or grandkids soon.
Pastor Lee R. Harder