There's not a time in my daily prayers that I don't think about all the Lord has done and is doing in and through The Church of the Cross and that the words "thank you" are not voiced . . . always my initial thanksgiving is for the God-given privilege of serving Him alongside Becky and the great and growing number of faithful folks who call this parish home . . . then follows the offering of thanks for ministry groups (i.e. ushers, nursery workers, parking lot attendants, etc.) . . . and lastly I praise the Lord for individuals who seem to be radiating His light with a particularly warm glow at the moment. The details of my prayers are seldom shared; I deem them to be private conversations with the One who knows my heart and most intimate thoughts. But in my devotional time this morning I was led to reveal the subject of one of my thanksgiving petitions: Howard Duff.
He moves among us with no desire to attract attention to himself, such is his servant nature; in fact, were it not for this picture, many on the Historic Campus would never connect his face and name. But for years he has blessed our worship with his music ministry; initially in the CrossPoint service and for the past eighteen months in leading the Gracetime service and sharing with Mike Cole in the musical leadership of our Sunday morning services. The flexibility and adaptability Howard evidences when facing new challenges is a testimony to a degree of humility found only among those who walk closely with the Lord. Though I am thankful for what he does, I am more thankful for who he is as a man of God.
Under Howard's guidance, the Gracetime service has grown and become a comfortable entry point for those seeking to find their way into fellowship with the Lord and us. Pam Redman's joining us as Director of Sunday Morning Worship promises to open the way to even greater fruitfulness from Howard's Saturday evening ministry. Lest I give the wrong impression, Howard's is a team ministry; and as I thank him, I am thanking those who serve with him, pray for him, encourage him, and inspire him to continue to pursue God-honoring excellence, spiritually and in his ministry. In a less Spiritually mature congregation I might be concerned that by lifting someone up others might feel put down, overlooked or unappreciated; if I have misjudged you, I thank you for your forgiveness and grace.
In His service and for His Glory,