Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Praying for Oak Ridge Baptist

As you might have seen lately, I have shared different blog posts on Facebook regarding Jeremy and my former pastor in TN. He was only our pastor for one year, but during that one year he made a big impact. I had just graduated from college and Jer was finishing his. I had visited Oak Ridge Baptist Church quite a few times over the years so it wasn't hard to figure out that that is where we wanted to attend the last year we were in TN.

My sister and her family have attended there for about 10 years and my parents for about 5. During that one year, they encouraged our excitement in the ministry and gave us many different opportunities to serve. They also personally came along side us and gave us wisdom and counsel for our future ministry. 

The thing that jumps out to you most about that pastor and staff is that they care! Whether it be through hospital visits or personal discipleship the pastoral team and their families invest in your life.They are super down-to-earth people who take a real interest in your life.  I remember the night that Pastor and his family took us out to eat, just to get to know us. Another time before I left to get married and start out my life as a pastor's wife, Pastor's Tom's wife, Kim, took me out and we talked about the duties, pressures and so on of a pastor's wife. She answered my questions and gave me some great advice! These are some really sweet people. 

Recently this pastor received the news that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This was his powerful response: orbc4u.org. This is the response of some of his people: Cancer Has Spread Through the Whole Church and I Ride For Tom. Take the time to read these powerful posts.

As you can see, the church got shell-shocked but it's amazing to see how they have responded to him. They are praying for him, loving him and coming around to take care of him, after all the years he has taken care of everyone else. 

All that brings me to today. My husband and I had the awesome opportunity to fellowship with these believers. T was a bit fussy and I was in the cry room. The service was at the end and I was in the foyer talking to a former friend from that area. I noticed Kim (the Pastor's wife) but didn't want to bother her as she was talking to some friends that had come out of town to love on them. She was leaving when she noticed me. With her usual sweet smile she gave me a hug and asked how I was doing. We only had about  a minute as her family was leaving, but she took the time to ask how I was doing. We didn't even get to talk about her. I didn't even really get to tell her that I was praying for her  and that we loved her. No, she was concerned about how I was doing with my new baby. What a heart for the ministry, what a love for people! What a testimony!

You know God gives us two commandments in the New Testament: love God and love people. It's so encouraging to see this pastor, his wife and their church following that command. Tom and Kim are sweet Christ followers and they are such givers. They care for a lot for people and have impacted even more. Would you pray for them? They are and will be going through some major trials. 

Also please pray for this church in their journey, as well. May they grow in Christ, in love, in ministry. May God get the glory. Amen - Rejoicing in the Present

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