Friday, December 9, 2011

Smelling like the sheep

Our good friend and pastor recently went from preaching into full time missions work.  Bob has been in the ministry for 40 + years and I have no doubt will be working for the Lord until he goes to be with Him, many, many years from now.

This is the reception honoring of both Bob and Betsy....cause we all know that he couldn't have done what he's done without her!

Here is one of the things I love so much about their family.  Bob and Betsy have five children who are all Christians....married to Christians.....raising children to know Christ and become Christians.  All five have completed college degrees.  If that were the end of their testimony I would say AMEN.....but it isn't.  They managed to teach their children the most important things in life while ministering and showing Christ to many others.


Here they are before the reception 

Some pictures from the reception

About two hundred people attended.....a testament to the love and care he has shown to all who know him.

He and Betsy even had an official day set aside by the county commission.

Several others talked about Bob and Betsy, giving testimony of what they have meant to them over the years.

But the moment that touched my heart most was when this son spoke about his father and his pastor

The thing that stood out in his speech was when he referred to his dad being a shepherd who smells like his sheep. Everyone laughed a little at the remark, but as I thought about it, it is so true!  Bob is a shepherd who smells like his sheep.  The more that phrase went through my mind, I came to understand it to be a huge compliment and a tribute to his dad.

We first got to know Bob when our almost 26 year old was in the 4th grade.  That's the year Russell and I married and I started going to Matt's school for various things.  Matt went to the school associated with Bob's church and I noticed some things about Bob......he did whatever needed doing.  If something needed wiring, he wired it....if something needed moving, he moved it....if the church needed to borrow chairs or bleachers from another church, he took his truck and got them...... never noticed anyone he couldn't work along side.  Like a good shepherd he did come along side any time he was needed.  The point is, he spent a lot of time with his flock and nothing that needed doing was beneath him.  When the school needed a headmaster, he stepped in and took the position......... more than once during the years....... along with preaching and pastoring (which in my mind are two distinctly different things).  He was headmaster when I started attending school functions.  He smelled like his sheep.

Now I don't know much about sheep, but I do know that all we like sheep have gone astray.....Isaiah 53:6.  I don't know much about shepherds, but I do know Jesus said I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me....John 10:14   Jesus came and lived among His people.....He put his arms around His flock...he was THE Shepherd.  Our pastors are also shepherds who work under THE Shepherd.

A shepherd who smells like his sheep is one who is right there in the trenches of life with his congregation. Who is there and cares and knows when any one of his flock is hurting or celebrating.  

When Matt was in high school, we moved our church membership to the church Bob pastored and got to know Bob as our pastor and preacher, shepherd and friend.  We grew to love not only him, but his family.  Family man..... that label can just be tacked on with the rest.....along with chaplain for the Sheriff's department and work with the local rescue mission and probably lots of other things that I don't know about.

Long before we came to be members, Bob had started missions work in Uganda.   Over the years, it was evident that his heart was in Uganda and with the people there.  The Ugandan's became his sheep, part of his flock.  He will be spending more time there now as he goes into full time missions work.

And just as he always has, I'm sure there...thousands of miles away from home......Bob will continue to smell like his sheep, as he leads people to know THE SHEPHERD.


After note......

After I wrote this blog our local news paper had this article on the front page.


Justabeachkat said...

Looks like a wonderful reception. I'm sure they were thrilled and could feel the love.

Merry Christmas hugs sweet friend,

Dawn said...

I love that concept so much.

Much of what you said about him and his family reminds me of ours.

I also love that he's going overseas after so many years of ministry - not a young man to begin such a new adventure.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a wonderful receiption they were given and with good reason. I am always in awe of people who give their entire life to Christ.
I am sure your life has been blessed by knowing them.

Needled Mom said...

It looks like a wonderful reception for him. I, too, thought the "smells like his sheep" was a bit strange, but after reading the post I completely understand what was meant.

Stella said...

What a lovely testament to a man who just lives life the way the Lord intend4ed us to live it. Doing what we do best with the gifts he has given us. Your talent obviously is writing this loving story. Thank you for sharing.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

what a great tribute to this man....

Tonja said...

What a neat analogy. Sheep and shepherds are something I particularly am fond of. I have collected sheep and shepherds for years. I heard lots of comparisons...but never this one.

I know they are excited about their new venture into the Lord's work. He leads us daily, even in our middle years, He can take us somewhere new!

Hope you are to the resting stage of this busy season. I'm not...and won't be until January, I'm afraid!

Merry Christmas!

Your blog looks terrific!

Stella said...

Just popped by to wish you the most blessed of Christmas. Have a wonderful time with family and friends. Stella