The Lambert family consisted of Ricky (a high school student) and his father, ever revered by me as “Mr. Lambert”; Betty (Mr. Lambert’s mother), Lorraine (Mr. Lambert’s sister), her daughter, Kelly, and her fiance, Adam. Others in their family would also become dear to our heart’s as well, but this group of Lamberts began attending my adult Sunday school class every week. Soon I began holding a Thursday night prayer meeting where they were faithful attendees, and it was in those meetings that we began to nurture a close friendship which would define my ministry over the next decade.
Several months later, I was asked by the interim pastor to meet with him after my Sunday school class. In that meeting he asked if I was still teaching thru the book of Job. I explained that we had finished Job a few months ago, and had since been thru Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, and were currently in the middle of Amos. Though he appeared surprised, nigh astonished at my progress as a teacher, he nevertheless continued to announce that I was no longer needed, and that a friend of his would take the class effective immediately. I was truly heartbroken. I had never enjoyed anything more than I had enjoyed teaching the Bible for those months which now seemed all too short. As I left that day, I tried to encourage myself that it was all in God’s hands and that I could trust His will for me; but it still stuck like a lump in my throat. I would miss teaching those precious people: the sweet old ladies and the Lambert’s.
As I walked to my car, my head was spinning with the morning’s events, and I hardly noticed a car pulling up to greet me. It was Mr. Lambert and his son, Ricky. They had been waiting for me. They called me over to ask me the most wonderful and unexpected question: “Have you ever considered starting your own Bible study?” A wiser man than I once said, that coincidence is when God wishes to remain anonymous. How could it be that they would ask me that question on that day? I immediately knew it was the Lord’s will. Suddenly my heavy heart was alight with joy! That was the beginning of Calvary Christian Fellowship, a ministry defined by the very term, FELLOWSHIP, for we have truly shared our lives and faith together. Our first “Church Service” took place at La Mirada Regional Park in June of 2002, on the 50th anniversary of my grandfather’s ministry.
Serving the Lambert family has been incredibly rewarding, for it was they who first knew me as “their Pastor”. I have laughed with them, cried with them, and prayed with them. I have shared the Scriptures with them, counseled them, encouraged them, celebrated marriages with them, and mourned their losses with them. I have worried about them, prayed for them, and I have sincerely and deeply loved them. My heart is full because they have filled it. The Lord may have called me, but it was they who embraced and adopted me. They gave me an audience where I could teach the Bible, and through their sacrificial giving I was able to keep going even when I was broke. How many times was there no money for groceries, but Sunday morning found the Lambert’s with their offering in hand? How often were the bills late with nothing in the bank to cover them, but Sunday morning found Mr. Lambert coming through the door with his tithe? How often was I discouraged, but Sunday morning brought the Lambert’s to brighten my faith? How many times did I only persist in faith because the Lambert’s would soon be there expecting to hear from the Word of God? Certainly, more than they could ever know.
I can hardly write without choking up a bit, but that won’t be difficult for them to imagine because they were there when I cried during Facing The Giants. I just want everyone to know that the Lamberts are very special to me, and I love them very much. It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve them as their pastor.
Thank you: Mr. Richard and Brenda Lambert, Ricky & Hannah, Betty, Lorraine, Kelly & Adam, Naomi, Jordan, Kristal and her family.
I am forever grateful for your friendship and love.
In : Meditations
Tags: the lamberts calvary christian fellowship pastor love friendship ministry
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