“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-16
A close, long-time friend of mine who did not marry until the age of forty, once (in a self-admitted bout of couple-envy) declared that Bryan and I came across as Ken and Barbie. When I bristled at this comment, she quickly clarified by saying, “Well, maybe more of a special edition ‘End Times’ Ken and Barbie.” This, I took as a great compliment as I envisioned the sleek packaging with the words, “Bryan and Kerrie: here to remind you not to tarry!” What child wouldn’t want to play with dolls like that? 😊
In all seriousness, one of our major goals as parents has been to instill in our children the fact that this present world is not our true home. Peter reminds us that we are strangers and aliens on this earth, and in Hebrews the author refers to the great people of faith as those who desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Along with this sense of foreignness, the Bible also conveys many reminders of life’s brevity. Psalm 39:4 is just one example: “O Lord, make me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” And to quote a famous bard (who knew his Bible well), “The time of life is short! / To spend that shortness basely were too long.” While Bryan and I try to live intentionally as we keep these two truths in mind, it does not prevent us from appreciating the saints on Earth that currently surround us.
Next month, we will leave behind our amazing church family as we retire from active duty and move to Houghton, NY. Naturally, this leaves us feeling very nostalgic since Peninsula Community Chapel has long ministered to our entire family. Lord willing, as of June 13th, all four of our children will have been baptized here, publicly committing their lives to Christ in front of fellow PCCers. Although no place is perfect, the Christian community in this church has been deep and genuine.
For those of you who may be newer to our church body, I want to encourage you to jump right in from the very start. We have moved enough to know that it can be easy to think that you must take a backseat to members who have been attending for a long time. Not true! So many opportunities to serve are available, and serving is always the best way to connect deeply with others. That, and joining a home group! Your home group will challenge you to grow in your faith, will be your lifeline in times of crisis, and will join with you in celebrations in a way that the larger church cannot.
Before COVID-19 disrupted life as we knew it, one of the things we loved the most at PCC (besides the youth group!) were the CD classes. Bryan and I had the privilege to lead several sessions over the years, but I always enjoyed the parenting classes the most. I doubt there is a message that I want to share with young parents more than this: make the church the center of your family’s life. Obviously, I am not encouraging anyone to make an idol out of the pastors or the building. But I do believe that if you make things like Sunday services, home group, service-projects, youth group, and global ministry trips a priority (instead of putting that time and money towards things of this world), you will not be disappointed. Impress upon the hearts of your children this basic truth from the great man of faith, George Muller, “Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord’s work. Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service.”
Thanks to each and every person who has loved us even though we were a military family that planned to move away. We will always carry you in our hearts as we continue to seek to live lives worthy of our Savior.
Here you can read perspectives on life, ministry and God's Word from a variety of PCC's female leaders.