"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15
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"But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
There were many days in which this "trooper" for the Lord and his young family longed to turn back and "go back to Egypt", just like the Israelites did when things got tough and there was not enough meat to eat and money to pay the bills and people were reviling and ridiculing us for our choice of the "narrow way". When our children were injured both physically by accident and even in some ways emotionally by cruel and thoughtless people we longed to scoop them up and carry them away to a place of safety and security and yes, even prosperity so they wouldn't have to suffer. I admit it, we are human. We felt the pain of frustration, anger, hurt, and even pride. But for some reason, God would not let us go back. He said,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." II Corinthians 12:9
Please don't misunderstand me...I am not saying that all of our thirty-some years of ministry were awful and terrible...no, quite the contrary. There were many, many years of joy and blessing and honor and peace. They were the best years and the worst years...but they were exactly where we belonged. Yes, God did give us the grace that was sufficient for us. He did help us to grow stronger in the process. He took us through some deep valleys, but also placed us on some high mountaintops. Sometimes the road was rough and perilous, sometimes it was smooth and pleasant. Whichever the case, I can honestly say, God was always with us. He has never left us nor forsaken us."No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
I go back to the book of Joshua again, this time to the first chapter and the ninth verse...and this verse became my life verse throughout those years of journeying through what seemed like the wilderness in many ways...
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
|Rev. and Mrs. John Steiner, 1977|
At our first church pastoral position
|2013: John and Pam (front row)|
2 of our sons: Benton and Scott (back row)
|Our extended family in Maine:|
Our son Matthew and his wife Nicole and our grandson Noah