I'm in a bit of a funk today. I'm in the process of saying "goodbye" to a dear friend who has been with me through some deep waters. There was a time when my heart was immune to such emotion and I could leave friends or see them leave and I would just suppress the emptiness that is a part of the separating process. I'm much healthier now and I feel the full impact of the loss. I don't like it much but I'm learning to see the painful feelings as legitimate. Better to feel loss, then to never feel at all. One of the lines that I often share with those who are grieving is that the pain that it is felt is simply a measure of their love. That being said, I love this friend a bunch!
I'm saying goodbye to a good friend, a coworker, and a pastor, who has helped me carry the burden of our new church plant--Grace River. Steve Ramsey is the friend who has talked me out of quitting multiple times. He is the guy that I shared lunches with once a week for almost two years. He has helped to clarify my weaknesses and he has encouraged my strengths. I have laughed with him until I've cried, and I have cried with him until...I didn't need to cry anymore. Steve is, what must be the definition of, a good friend. And I will miss him greatly.
Steve is headed back home to Arkansas where his parents are in need of his care and assistance as they face the challenges of growing older and weaker. It appears that in God's timing, they now need him more than I do. I am so very grateful for the times that we shared together. I've been blessed! I love you Steve!
I am the Pastor of Tolar Baptist Church, Tolar, Texas. I am the author of, "Messed Up Men of the Bible: Seeing the Men in Your Life Through God's Eyes" (Kregel, 2016). The book received the Golden Scroll: Non-fiction Merit Award. I am the founding pastor of Grace River Church in Severance, Colorado. Previously I pastored Cornerstone Baptist Church, Windsor, Colorado (9 yrs) and FBC, Lipan, Texas (6 yrs). My first church to pastor was the Cliffside Baptist Church of Amarillo, Texas. I have served on staff of the FBC, Monterey, Tennessee, Olsen Park Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas, and FBC, Camden, Tennessee. I have served the Colorado Baptist General Convention as the Chairman of the Executive Board and as a Vice President. I have served as a Trustee for the North American Mission Board of the SBC. I have been blessed to walk alongside the love of my life, Tina, for the past 32 years. She is a talented author, teacher, singer, and song writer. Tina writes at www.tinasamples.blogspot.com and is the author of, Wounded Women of the Bible, 2013 by Kregel Publications. I have two amazing sons, Jaren and Zach, and one extraordinary granddaughter, Abigail.