Archive for August, 2009
Posted on August 21, 2009 - by admin
Our hearts are broken in the passing of Brent Schoening. What a Winner both on & off the field. As a teenager he began attending our church while pitching for Columbus Highs School Baseball team and helping lead them to several State Championships. He led his family to church, then led many of his friends to church. On the field we saw his competitive spirit rise to challenge anyone standing at the plate daring to hit off him. Off the field he was a class act in humility. Good looking, million dollar smile, yet gentle, gracious & approachable. When drafted out of high school to the pros, he chose college and at Auburn University he was a stand out leader. The record books show a 3 year span when he was pitching to be documented as their best ever. Brent Schoening “brought it” wherever he was. He’d be selected to a pro team and lived life to the fullest. In church one day he noticed a beautiful blonde he knew at a distance only as Lauren. He had friends Josh Hudson and Amber Authement play cupid & soon he and Lauren were dating. I conducted their beautiful wedding and saw two people deeply in love. None of us imagined that just a few years later leukemia would attack his athletic body and he’d be in for his greatest challenge ever. For over a year he fought with bone marrow treatments, white cell replacements, and every possible cure man has to offer. He never complained, never blamed. He battled with that same determined, courageous, humble spirit he always had. I watched Lauren, Elizabeth & his family stand by him every single day of his pain and they did all they could to help him pull through. Even in suffering he expressed to me his concern that some of his friends know Jesus as He knew Him. That was Brent, it was always about others. There was an outpouring of love, care and kindness for Brent during that time and he deserved it too. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to know him as a friend and to be his pastor. When Lauren said to me yesterday, “Brother Bill, he loved you like you never imagined” I can honestly say the feeling is mutual. Pray for Lauren. Pray for Elizabeth, Ed, his sisters Julia and Jennifer and all of those who grieve. A man of character passed our way, a young man of integrity, passion and humility has been our gift from God in Brent. We were blessed, I know when he stepped on heavens field he heard the words of Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Posted on August 6, 2009 - by admin
The new buzz word is Ethics. For over a year now I’ve heard that word casually tossed around, often from people who could use a dictionary for Christmas. Today I heard it again from an angry man who was fired for the lack of it and he’s going out to start a new ministry with the word “Integrity” in it. Seriously, he is. Some people just don’t get it. Ethics are your character. It is who you are and how you do life, business, family, or whatever without much thought to defining it, it’s just your DNA. When I began as pastor of our church we only had 32 people that first day. One of the decisions I made then and have kept to this day is that I would not try to grow a church by going after members of other churches. That wasn’t a hard decision, it was easy. What I didn’t see at that time was that I was in a culture that was totally contrary to that mindset. That value was foreign to those around me. Yet it was my value. If after 26 years we still had 32 people, I would still hold to it. Fortunately God has blessed us with 26 years in a row of consistent growth, so it has some rewards, but regardless of the outcome, the decision is unchanged. You see, ethics are values deep within you. When we raised our children we discussed ethics that I felt mattered. Like (1) Always pay your debts on time (2) Never take Communion (The Lords Supper) with unresolved issues,sin, or unforgiveness toward another. (3) Never speak disrespectfully about one in authority (4) Be thankful for all God has given you and always rejoice in the blessings of others. There is something about building your life on those things that frees you to live a life of blessings. My hope is that you will experience the inner peace and the life of fulfillment that follows good “ethical” choices. We have only one life to live and I know you want to extract the most from it.