Today was Patty’s birthday. A number of the kids and grandkids came over and we had a party, it was a lot of fun. Birthdays are a nice time to reminisce about people in our lives, and I did that a bit tonight while we were sitting around chatting. Patty is and has been an unbelievably good wife, and especially a pastors wife. In the early days of pastoring being a pastors wife was a significant pressure in her life as she worried that she would not measure up, and not act the way she was supposed to act and My ministry would suffer because of her. It didn’t take her long to adjust, and establish her priorities in life, and in the church. She would regularly say to me, “you are my first and most important ministry, to make sure that you are the happiest man on the earth, and my children are next, and then the church. That didn’t mean she wasn’t involved much in the ministry at JBC, she was very committed and involved especially in the children’s ministry. She has loved JBC as the “Body of Christ” just as much as I have, so it has been a great partnership in ministry. It is said that woman are emotional so they are up and down depending on the circumstances of life, but it was Patty who kept me thinking right when everything was going unbelievably well so that I didn’t get a big head, and she is the one who kept me from quitting when everything was falling apart around me. A key ingredient in my managing the pressure of ministry so well over the last 42 years is that Patty made it easy to leave everything at the office so when I got home it was rejuvenation time and renewal time. She didn’t quiz me about my day, but was very open to listening if I needed to talk. I have pastored for 42 years at Jbc, and been married for almost 50 years, and one thing I know for sure is that if the Lord hadn’t given me Patty I would be shoveling cow poop today.