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Praise God for a lifetime of blessings

From Thanksgiving until early January, America enjoys a great time of family celebration and connection.
These wondrous times should be marked by personal thanksgiving for all that life brings. God’s care and guidance make all of our lives possible, and these are days to enjoy the relationships and thank God for all his blessings.
When I start considering what I am most thankful for, I have to begin with family. Joyce and I have had 55 years of growing closer and experiencing the very best of life. Her parents and mine accepted us and our relationship with support and love.
Some of the most memorable times in our lives were those years when our children, Melissa, Lynette, and Michael, were growing up. All too soon all three were grown, blessed with a Christian education and ready to start their own families. Phil Roe, Pat Brown and Karen Cloud came into our family and helped us learn to open our hearts and lives to new views and traditions. From 1984 to 2003 Jennifer, Luke and Savanna Roe, Kailey and Ashlyn Brown, and Brady, Connor and Garrett McBride enriched our lives and further extended our capacity to love and share. Since 2007 the oldest three have married — Jennifer to Joe Thurman, Luke to Rachel Varno, and Savanna to James Millikan. God has blessed us with an amazing family.
Through all the years of our marriage we have been supported by wonderful church families. We have been challenged to grow and lead. Since 1966 we have been part of great church — a place where children are valued and trained. For more than 40 years Joyce has taught the pre-kindergarten class on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.
Almost from our first day with this church I have had a chance to teach and lead in different ways. We have been nourished with biblical sermons, and our shepherds know us and pray for us. Few blessings are greater than the spiritual nurture of a great church: a vital force in our lives and the lives of our children when they were growing up. The church has given us a foundation of faith and service.
I can only vaguely trace the powerful impact of my college students on my life. In 1958 I was invited back to Central Christian College (now Oklahoma Christian University) to teach English. I have taught at three different institutions and always had students who challenged me to become more compassionate or a better communicator.
I have worked with people who later would be a colleague at OC. I have had a role in the lives of university presidents and administrators. I have known students who possessed spirituality far beyond their years, and they have gone on to reach multitudes with the Gospel.
I have had the opportunity to know great thinkers and leaders, and I resist the idea of retiring because I can hardly imagine life without the inspiration of college students who will become church ministers, scholars, leaders in business and industry, medical professionals, social workers, engineers, military leaders and educators.
The energy and vision of each new generation gives me optimism about the future of the church and the nation.
God has been in my life since my early childhood. My mother read the entire Bible to me before I started school. She taught me about Jesus throughout my childhood, encouraging me to read the Bible every day.
My aunt Faye taught me how to study the Bible seriously when I was 13, and I have sensed the Holy Spirit working on my heart and helping change me into a person somewhat more like Jesus.
My life has been blessed by people with deep spiritual insight and understanding. Many of the people I work with at OC have sacrificed to be at a place where they can influence the lives of young men and women. Most are serious students of the Word and seek to let their faith reflect in whatever secular subjects they teach.
Integrity is central to the lives of the people where I worship and where I work. Furthermore, my profession has allowed me opportunities to read the great spiritual thinkers of the world. Those thinkers along with the work of the Holy Spirit through the word have blessed me.   
Thank God! Hallelujah!
CONTACT [email protected].

Filed under: Insight

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