[featured_image]A few years ago, Deanne and I took a few weeks vacation during the summer with our kids. When we came back to our church the next Sunday, I got up to preach and was interrupted in my sermon. Our church family took over the service (literally) and expressed their appreciation for our ministry at Lake Hills. I cried. It was quite moving.

I don’t remember all that was said, however I knew that I was loved. They gave us gifts and cards and affirmed us. They even wrote this song that I came across the other day (sung to the tune of “Gilligan’s Island”):

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale a tale of a fateful search that started by this man of God to start a local church
His mate was a little bit unnerved,
but Dave was brave and sure
For the congregants that came that day for a two hour service…a two hour service
The school board started getting tough,
the tiny church was tossed if not for the courage of the fearless few,
Lake Hills Church would be lost…

Lake Hills Church would be lost
The church set down at the door of this Live Oak School
With Pastor Dave, our leader true
Deanne his wife
Douglas, and don’t forget Maddie too
Here at Lake Hills Church
So this is a tale of our Pastor Dave
He’s here fore a long, long time
He’ll have to make the best of things it’s an uphill climb
His first mate and his elder board will do their very best to help the others grow in Christ,
that’s their heartfelt quest
No land, no rooms, no padded pews not a single luxury like Robinson Crusoe,
it’s primitive as can be
So Dave, Deanne, we love you guys you sure deserve some smiles so accept our little song of love
Here in Lake Hills wilds

Okay – so the song is a little bit corny, but it was filled with love and I still feel that love and support from those that were part of the Lake Hills’ family! It’s hard to believe that the Lord allowed us to serve there for 16 years! There were joys and there were challenges – but that’s what being family is about.

I can’t say “I love you” enough to the people of Lake Hills! As we prepare to move to Seattle in August, we are leaving part of us behind in Castaic in these wonderful brothers and sisters!

One last thought – church planting is hard work! It requires sacrifice and perseverance through difficult times. If you are part of a new church – take time to appreciate your pastor! It won’t just make his day – it may make his week (or even his month).

1 Thessalonians 5:12 “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction.”