Yesterday was the third Sunday I’ve preached at the relatively new church that’s just a quarter-mile from our house here. How this came about involves a series of small "coincidences" that began with us buying this place. As of July last year, the grass had not been mowed in the yard or the pasture for the entire season. I spoke to two or three different people who were in the business of cutting hay and none of them could be reasonably enticed.
When I saw an older fellow cutting the open area by the New Life Church, I stopped and talked to him about mowing our place. After some discussion that including me agreeing to pay him "a little for his gas" and agreeing to visit at their church after we moved, he agreed to trim up our small fields. Turns out the fellow is one of the elders at the church. The second detail involves insurance, a detail in regard to which my banker was quite persistent.
State Farm, my insurance company for nearly forty years, wrote the policy and then cancelled it later because the small back porch has wooden shingles underneath the new composition shingles. None of the first three new agents I called bothered to return my calls or follow up on my request. My banker gave me the name of a guy who did return my call. We now are part of the American Family Insurance family. So to speak. Turns out our new agent is another elder at the church.
A few months of living here and remembering from time to time that I’d said I’d visit New Life church, I decided it was high time I kept my word. So, after a long day of work, I took a quick shower and drove over for their Wednesday night service. Fred and Mark both seemed glad to see me there.
After class dismissed, Fred told me, "Well, our pastor retired Sunday. We don’t have a preacher."
And thus, I have become the interim speaker at New Life Church in Blair, Kansas. Whether that interim is three months, three years or three decades remains to be seen. What continues to be clear is that God is always at work in the lives of those who trust in him.