The Next Chapter

January 4, 2009

I serve an exciting God.  Who ever imagined that he would take a goofball like me, bless me with a great family (Including four kids), and then call me to launch a church back in my hometown?  Bon Jovi was right!  “Who says you can’t go home? There’s only one place that calls you one of their own.”

For fifteen years I was a full time pastor (8 yrs. as a Youth Monster and 7 as Associate Pastor) and then God rocked my world in 2005.  My dad called, who was not a Christ follower, and told me that he was dying.  After the shock, talking to my family, and much prayer, I knew that I had to go back home to Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.  My family and I closed the “Tallahassee Chapter” of our lives and left  with heavy hearts.  We had invested 7 years of relationships in our friends there, but we knew that we were following God’s will for our lives.

My dad only lived for 9 months after we arrived, but I would not take anything for the time that we were blessed with.  He went to just about every baseball game that my boys played and saw more ballet than he cared to see, other than the fact that it was his beautiful granddaughter performing it.  He did get a kick out of the men in tights, but that’s another story….

My Dad got sick and his health went downhill very quickly.  I spent the first night with him in Vanderbilt Hospital and then went home to attend church and get some rest.  As I was coming back into the parking garage the next night at the hospital, my cell phone rang.  It was my dad’s brother, Toney.  Toney had a serious tone about his words and he said, “Eddie, you have to share with your dad tonight.”  I assured Toney that I had been praying for the opportunity to share and would look for the right time to talk to Daddy.  Toney’s tone intensified and he said, “No Eddie.  Don’t look for the right time.  Share with your dad TONIGHT.”  I could tell by his words that God was speaking to me through my uncle.

When I got back upstairs, I didn’t realize that Daddy’s breathing had become even more labored.  The doctors were about to take him to ICU and I told them to stop.  I asked for a few moments alone and then asked Daddy, “Where are you with the Lord?”  Daddy responded, “I’m just not sure that I believe 100%.”

I could see in his face that he was surprised when I responded, “Daddy, I don’t think I believe 100% either.”  I’m sure he was confused because I was the pastor and pastors are supposed to believe in God.  I went on to explain to him that if it was 100%, you wouldn’t need faith.  I told him that if you believe 65%, 90%, or 80%,   God will make up the difference if you trust Him.  I explained that faith works like that.  You trust God to make up where you fall short.  We talked more about what following Jesus meant until I asked him, “Daddy, why don’t you accept Christ right now and trust Him to save you?”  Long story a bit shorter, my dad did accept Christ and died only 4 hours later.  It really eases the sting of death and missing my dad a bit knowing that he is with Jesus right now.

I thought that was my primary mission for coming back home.  Mission Accomplished!  My prayers since I was 12 were answered and my dad is in heaven.  That wasn’t all that God had planned.  I am now convinced that He actually has a plan.  Imagine that!  God having a plan for my life.

God led me back home to get me in the right geographical place, my hometown, to launch a new church.  It is exciting to see how the pieces begin to fit together.  I can’t wait to see what else He is up to and the lives that well be reached through the Next Chapter in my journey with Him.

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8 Responses to “The Next Chapter”

  1. Rebecca said

    Hey Daddy!
    Its really cool that you have this now. haha I like the part about men in tights. 😉 love you!

    Becca

  2. Michelle said

    I’m so glad you’re blogging, Eddie!
    We of the Tallahassee Chapter of your life miss y’all dearly, but we know you are right in the middle of where you are supposed to be.

  3. Lisa said

    No doubt that God has wonderful plans for you and your beautiful family. And, no doubt, you will be a blessing to any church that serves our Lord and Savior. We miss you guys!

  4. Nate and Kelly said

    Being a part of your “Tallahassee Chapter” changed our lives for eternity! You are an inspiration to us! And now that we are a part of your “Mt. Juliet Chapter,” we are even more blessed and more inspired! We have seen the gifts God has given you in action! We know that you will make a difference for His kingdom in Mt. Juliet! We are looking forward to the next chapter with you!

  5. Donna said

    Praise God Eddie:
    I am so glad to hear the great and awesome news Eddie! We, too, have started a new church here in Antioch. A spanish church. We had 3 visitors last Sunday! Yeah!!! It is a big responsibility, but when God calls you to serve-you just follow those directions. Remember-no matter what when it’s Him calling we can’t run away. He catches up with us eventually! Thanks for letting me know. We will be praying for you and your family.

  6. Matt said

    As you know, I’m excited about this new chapter in ministry for you. I believe God will use you in a great way to start this new church and impact lives in Mt. Juliet like you did in Tallahassee. God sure did some cool stuff through you here! The early days of the plant will be a big challenge but I’ve already seen that you are willing to do “whatever it takes” to reach lost people. GO FOR IT!

  7. Toney said

    Eddie,

    What a Great Testimony on how God has a plan for each of our lives!
    I am so glad to hear that you are going back into the ministry.
    We both know that we will see your dad again someday, I just praise God for answered prayers.

    I know your church will be blessed.

    Love you
    Toney

  8. Andy Depuy said

    Eddie
    Man that was awsome that were able to save your dad before he died. Now you have two dads in heaven, You have your earthly dad and then you have your Heavenly Dad. I will be praying for you that Dad leads in saving people and as you follow the direction that He has you going. keep looking up.

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