So long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Goodbye,

8 03 2012

Goodbye,
Goodbye,
Goodbye!

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.  ~Richard Bach

One thing that I like about the movie, The Sound of Music, is the scene where the children sing this song before bed.  The scene is full of whimsy which sets up the contrast when the family sings during their escape from the NAZIs at the end of the movie.  As I have been thinking of saying goodbye to Texas, friends, and family, I think the best thing is to share some of the blessings enjoyed and lessons learned from my nearly twelve years in Central Texas. (Has it really been that long?)  People usually do these sort of things chronologically, but I am going to approach this memoir with a stream of concious thoughts following a loose chronology.

I begin with the blessings of the men who have impacted my life in this place.  When I first moved to Belton/Temple, the LORD led me to a wonderful church.  It was there that I met Bob Weber, Steven Hurtle, and Emory Cheek.  These three helped shape a deep desire for God knowledge in me.  Without their friendship, experience, and skills, I would not be able to (or want to) study scripture as I do.  With a foundation in truth, God’s character (i.e. Love) was revealed me without distinction or blemish by these men.  To you three, I say farewell!

Also, another man who God brought into/out of/into of my life was Stephen Cheung.  Here is a man who took the foundation established through the work of the previous men and built a desire to apply it.  Stephen’s knowledge, relaxed demeanor, and encouraging heart let me discover my passion for teaching (while letting me fail at it along the way).  As a pre- and post-marital counselor, Stephen has helped break off some of the rough edges of my character.  I cannot thank him enough for the encouragement, advice, and accountability that he has provided over the past several years.  Cheers, my good man!

Some other gentlemen who have impacted my family and I are David Copple, Stephen Burke, Stephen Bishop, Eddie Notgrass, Gary Sargeant, and Kyle Pierce.  Either by your teaching, by your examples, or by your friendship, each of you has invested care, wisdom, or crazy Holy Spirit/supernatural stuff (you know who you are) into my life.  You are men who live for the LORD, follow His leading, and love his people.  I wish that I could take you guys with me just to listen to you teach, speak, prophecy, sing, or pray, but the LORD is pulling us in different directions and to Him be the glory.  Blessings, my friends!

Finally in this bon voyage bonanza, I want to offer a teary, heartfelt farewell to the Edler and Shahan Families.  First, Ryan and Ashley, your friendship to Jennifer and I has travailed many difficult waters.  However, because of those dark times, the fun and frivilous times have been just that much brighter.  I love watching our kiddos run around together, sit through class with their “teacher” or bounce around in a tent until 3 in the morning. David and Collin, your constant search for truth, for a deeper insight into God’s Word, and heart for hospitality brought our three families together.  So much so, that sleepovers, camping (or glamping), and extravagant birthday parties became “normal” for us.  To both families, I offer a heart full of love see ya later (because you guys will be in Hawaii soon enough)!

If we spent the next 30 years in Central Texas, it would not be enough time with all of you. So, I will not be sad anymore, because it is not time to be. Just as the quote said, “meeting again…is certain for those who are friends.”

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4 responses

8 03 2012
Jim Hedderly

God’s speed and blessings to you and your family Greg. Jim

8 03 2012
stephen Bishop

Love you Bro! We will see each other again!

9 03 2012
collin

Greg, that was very sweet! Thanks for all the great memories and for keeping us all chuckling along the way! You will be missed!

11 03 2012
David

We will miss you man! See you soon.

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