Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfulness Day #22....R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I am thankful that other people respect my husband as much as I do. I got this little email that is sent out to people in our area, and there was a special piece about Eddie in there. Apparently, the author of this little newsletter asked a few people from our church to write some thoughts on Eddie for this edition. Here's what they had to say:

a. I Have known Pastor Eddie for little over a year.  I’m old enough to be his “young-looking mother” and yet he is my PASTOR! 

Eddie came here and immediately captured our hearts but most important, he is a man after God’s own heart. His testimony is one that echoes humility and sincerity about his struggles and victories in his Christian journey—which makes it  even easier to relate to this mighty man of God.

The Holy Spirit continues to move in First Baptist Church and Dr. Eddie has been used as a key to open the door for greater things. There is a fresh excitement and  joy in the atmosphere under his leadership. We are seeing souls added to the Body of Christ daily. Eddie makes me laugh!!!!   Eddie makes me cry!!!!  As long as Ole Miss continues to rank low in the poles and LSU continues to be on top, I believe Eddie will continue to walk in humility all the days of his life.  

Seriously, we love our pastor and are so grateful that God sent him to us. 

b. I first met Brother Eddie at a deacon’s supper on a Thursday night before the weekend when he came in view of a call to our church.  This was a supper for the deacons to be able to get to know him and Stacy, before he preached that Sunday morning. 

I was supposed to leave for a mission trip in two days, but my grandmother had become very ill, and I was struggling with a decision about what to do.  I talked to him about it, and he gave me some very sound, wise advice.  He then asked me if he could pray for me, and at that moment, I knew he was for real. 

He called me the next day to check on me and see if I had made a decision.  Some people try to impress you spiritually, but some people just do what the Lord leads them to do.  He is in the latter group.  He was not trying to impress me or obtain my vote when he gave me advice,  prayed for me and checked on me.  That began a friendship that has deepened since then.  I followed his advice, and was very glad that I did so.

However, he doesn’t just give advice.  He also receives it, because he is a man that walks in humility.  It seems to me that so many spiritual leaders think that they are always correct, and refuse to seek advice from “ordinary” people.  Dr. W does not hesitate to ask for advice from members in his congregation, because he recognizes that the Lord speaks through other people at times, and he wants to hear from the Lord.

He is also a man of integrity.  What you see in the pulpit is what you see behind closed doors.  I know because he and I went on a mission trip to Haiti in May of 2011, and I lived in close quarters with him for a week.

Finally,  I don’t know if I have ever met any other preacher/pastor who is as down to earth and likeable as Dr. W.  Yet at the same time, he does not back down, but stands firm on principles and the Word. 

Our church has been greatly blessed by him and his family, and we have all grown to love him deeply.

c.One of the biggest challenges of faith for all of us is to trust God as we wait on a clear response to our prayers.
At First Baptist, our long-time and beloved pastor retired in June, 2009. and we set out to find God’s man to “shepherd our flock” for the years ahead.  Our body of believers benefitted in a deeply spiritual way in the following days and months, as we all agreed that we would not set our own expectations in the “search,” but that we would genuinely seek and patiently wait for God to clearly reveal His servant to us. 

After 15 months of continual prayer and diligent attention to this holy process, He led us to Dr. Eddie in Georgia.  He became pastor of our church on October 31, 2010.  I am positive that the Lord brought us together. 

Eddie, as he is affectionately known by our folks, has responded to this call with a heart for people and a passion for the preaching of God’s Word.  Not long after Eddie got here, I overheard several people saying, “What a great pastor!  He’s just a regular guy!” 

Later I went to Eddie, and voiced a slightly different sentiment.  I said to him,  “I am so thankful for you and your relationship skills, and even more so for your love for the Lord.  But I must tell you, I really don’t want you to  be ‘just a regular guy.’ I want you to be the best example of Christ that you can possibly be.” 

Eddie’s life experiences, especially as a child and teenager, allow him to effectively relate to so many that are hurting.  He is transparent: a quality that I greatly admire in any person, but especially in men, since we tend to keep our masks strapped on pretty tight!    

God has blessed Eddie beyond measure with relationship skills, and with a brilliant ability in the pulpit.  My prayer is that every day, for many, many years to come, Eddie will channel those magnificent gifts into actions that draw the response: “That’s Eddie W. He’s like a regular guy, but this guy is Jesus’ man. A man after God’s own heart.”  

 And here's what the editor added in: 
(Talking about the first time he met Eddie) -
Also there was DR. EDDIE W, pastor of the First Baptist Church. Eddie, who is one of the most humble, decent, and down to earth men I encounter in my faith walk, was asked to give the closing prayer. Thereafter followed one of the most heart-felt and inspirational prayers I have heard in some time.

Those residents who attend First Baptist Church are truly blessed to have Pastor Eddie in their midst and in their presence. He is truly a great ambassador for Christ and a role model for us all.

The first time I met and talked with Pastor Eddie I could sense he was a very special person and a very special pastor. We in Louisiana are blessed to have this man of God in our midst. We lift you up, pastor, and thank the Lord for blessing us with your presence.

  How cool is that?! I'm so thankful for a Godly, respectable husband!!

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