As a teenager I dreamed of being a Navy chaplain and seeing the world. I never dreamed that God in His infinite wisdom had a different plan for me where I would minister and still see more than I ever thought possible. Which I must conclude I could have never improved on what He had chosen for me.
Not only have I had a good life, I have had a wonder helpmate who gave us sons that brought joy to our lives. She cared for them so much in our early marriage while I was away before we could travel together.
Now our children have children, and we are together again to share, as we did then, each others joy, along with illness or displeasure that might affect us. But we do it together.
The last two years have been rough years for us. I spend a total of 143 days in St. Louis hospitals and Parkland in Farmington . This year my wife was operated on in Nashville, Tennessee and later air vac back there for another five week stay. When I saw the helicopter lift into the sky from the hospital pad I felt so alone. No wonder Benjamin Disraeli said, “Teenage is a mistake, middle age a struggle, but old age a regret.” These were days when we thought our togetherness would end, but due to God’s provision we continue to share each other.
I am so thankful for the many doctors, nurses, and staff members that I now call close friends. Some even visit us in our home or meet us for a meal. Due to my long stays in the hospitals in St. Louis, I became like a resident pastor to so many who sought my prayer or advice. Some were foreign born working in various roles. Many were Hindu, Buddhists, Oriental, Black, or people totally unreligious, that became my friends and I theirs. God did me a great favor in allowing me to meet such wonderful people. Perhaps, my travels to so many lands had prepared me because I understood the cultures and sometimes the languages. I can honestly say, “God is an awesome One.” What an opportunity to share the abundant life of Christ to seekers and hurting ones.
Farmington and friends everywhere shared during both our times of crisis and we are so grateful for you. Over 450 cards from around the world came to us. Phone calls from pastors or friends came daily. Over 10,000 emails came before I could respond or delete then while in rehab where I had access to the Internet. Even the CEO of that hospital became my daily coffee partner and friend. Visits to the hospital helped us know you cared. We have not forgotten--nor has our precious Lord.
Recently, friends from Ohio called and asked us to go with them to Branson. They knew I was unable to drive at that point. They detoured just for us. What a time we had. This was the first time we have really enjoyed ourselves in a vacation setting for over two years.
Travel has really changed since I was a lad. The driver pushed a button and a voice replied, “Where do you want directions to?”
“Branson , Missouri to the so and so motel,” she stated.
“I am downloading your directions. Have a good day!”
What was so disconcerting I couldn’t even backseat drive, because someone out on some star did all the directing. It was truly interesting to a boy who remembers when there was no TV, jet airplanes; and when electricity came to our home for the first time.
Likewise, two weeks ago we visited one of our sons in Ohio , and then spent a week in Gatlinburg before going to Nashville to see my wife’s doctor for a checkup. Even there, friends prepared a resting place and special dinner at a friend’s home for four families that have been longtime friends.
Friends! That is what life is all about. It is even said of Christ that he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. What a fact!
You know a lot about us, so we want to know more about you. Therefore, my wife and I, want to invite you to join us as we celebrate our 50 years of marriage together, at the First Free Will Baptist Church, 305 W. Columbia, Farmington, this Saturday, October 4th at 2 p.m. as our son, Steven Loveless from Tulsa, Oklahoma, will officiate as we renew our wedding vows in the church sanctuary. Afterwards, meet with us for the reception provided in the church fellowship until 4 p.m.
Leviticus 25:11, “A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you…”