Advent Week 3: Joy

Advent Week 3: Joy

Tell us about your family. Barbara and I have been happily married for twenty-one years. We each have two children and one grandchild by previous marriages. Barbara is a state employee, and I am a retired CPA. Barbara has two sons who work in the construction industry. I have two daughters. They both have earned a Master of Education degree, are married, and live in North Little Rock. Melissa, the older daughter, teaches English at Bryant High School, and Beth, the younger daughter, teaches art at Sheridan Junior High School. Rosemary, our granddaughter, is eighteen months old and has been a bright spot in our lives. We see her every time we get a chance, at least once a week.

What initially drew you to the Lake Valley family?
After attending a Methodist church for approximately twenty years, Barbara
and I decided we wanted more from our church experience. Three years ago we made a list of three churches to visit, and the first church we visited was Lake Valley Community Church. We never made it to the second church. At Lake Valley, the warm welcome made us immediately feel at home and part of a community. We have found many friends in Christ and support in our times of need, and we have gained a deeper understanding of God’s word through education and example. At Lake Valley we have learned it isn’t about what you receive from a church, but about what you contribute to a church. We are learning to look for ways to not only contribute to church but to the larger community. We are learning to not look to receive, but to give.

Today you are lighting the candle that represents “Joy.” What does that mean
to you?
Joy comes from many places, but only one source, the Lord God. Over the past several years, Barbara has suffered with three different forms of cancer. Facing these medical issues, we have learned a new meaning to the word “Joy.” We have been shown the love of Christ through the support of our home group and the Lake Valley community. Barbara and I have grown closer to each other and closer to the Lord. We are learning joy comes from releasing all our worries and cares to Him. Joy comes from knowing He loves us and can always be trusted to work in our best interest, even if we don’t understand how or why. These medical issues are teaching us the meaning of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

How can Lake Valley pray for your family? Over the past several years, we have received many prayers for Barbara’s health. We ask for prayers for her continued recovery and that she will remain cancer free, that the third time really is a charm. We ask for prayers that we stay strong in our faith during these trying times. We ask for prayers that we will be given the opportunity to repay at least some part of all of the love and support we have received from our Lake Valley Community Church family, that we will be used by God as a channel to share His joy with others.