Monday, June 23, 2008

Thank You for 10 Wonderful Years – June 23, 2008

Yesterday was my final day at Northview as “The Senior Pastor”. It was a day filled with huge memories as people spoke about what had taken place in their own lives over these past 10 years together.

What a blessing to hear what has happened to them.
10 years ago this past weekend….actually YESTERDAY….I was sitting behind a rustic cabin in Northern Saskatchewan. The weather was bad and the water was far too rough for us to go out fishing. So we stayed on shore and waited out the rough weather.

I was reading and writing – sorting out my thoughts. The last few years of ministry in Saskatchewan had been so full…but it had also been exhausting. I was leading not only my own church and its outreach to the community – but also encouraging other smaller churches in our province.

Around me on the ground were tracks of bears and deer that had walked through the area. Along with these tracks were the tracks of the wolves. This was the wilderness…so clean and so clear.

There was no telephone or radio phone. No communication that far north. We had driven four hours north of Lac LaRonge – this was the wilderness big time!

One of the guys needed to call home. So we drove to a hunting lodge that was 45 minutes south of where we were. After he used the phone I called Alida to see if she was okay and to tell her of the wonderful fishing experience we were having.

It was at that moment that she told me of the call from Peterborough, Ontario…from Northview’s Interim Pastor Mulligan… asking me to call him. I did and the rest is history. We came to Ontario in about two weeks time…started the process of interviews…met most of the congregation….then preached on Sunday AM…and were voted in after 12 Noon that day….we moved to Peterborough two months later to take up the new responsibilities as “The Senior Pastor” of Northview.

God’s call for me to come to Peterborough could not have been in a more beautiful place…calling me to a most beautiful place… to a most beautiful 10 years of ministry.

Reflecting back over this last week and in preparation for what was to happen yesterday… I saw lives paraded before me over and over again. God has done so much in these last 10 years. Programs have been started and well established that have changed hundreds of lives...and kept our community safe. Lives have been restored and set free. Sick people have been healed. And more than 33 have passed away – with their families letting us take part in their funeral services….comfort came over and over again through God’s Peace…

As people rose to tell their stories over and over again… then approached us individually Alida and I were surrounded by an Amazing Love…. WOW!

If you ever want to retire – Northview is the place that it is done so well! But you may have to give 10 years of your life to see it happen so well.

Today I say – “THANK YOU” – to a host of leaders and friends at the Northview church and in the Community. They are simply amazing! Thank you also for your part in our lives! God bless you richly…where ever you are today!!!!

I have to run now… you wouldn’t believe what I have to do today… retirement is going to be very busy from the look of it….

Day One begins….!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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