Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mark & Jess Schmerse

I’ve walked more miles with Mark Schmerse than anyone else--including my wife or Burt Webb. We've hiked from a few days on Indiana’s 40 mile Knobstone Trail all the way to several months hiking together 1100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mt Shasta in California. Mark is a great friend and fellow backpacker.

But what makes me rejoice the most about Mark is not the miles we’ve logged together but Mark’s more important trek as pastor of the Mountain View Wesleyan Church in Aumsville, Oregon.

It’s a nice twist that the church he now pastors is called “Mountain View.” Mark preaches there every week and sometimes I ask him what he preached about. I love hearing about sermons my former students preached. When I read them they minister to me and I am strengthened spiritually. Mark’s church is a solid congregation committed to love God and reach others and I love hearing about his church—maybe because it reminds me of the happy years when Sharon and I were pastor of “ordinary churches” in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I’m so proud of Mark & Jess! Nothing brings me greater joy than to hear of former students slugging it out on the Long Trail of pastoring a church. Mark & Jess are my joy and crown.

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NIV)

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