Celebrating Gospel Storytellers – A Day of Contrast

Sunday was a day of celebrating for us. Celebrating two families we love and do life with in ministry. It was lots of fun — and yet VERY different in almost every way!

Meet the Parsley and Kresge families. Larry & Jaletta Parsley have been friends for 26 years. We raised our families together. We’ve served together as Pastors representing the same churches for all but five of those years. Larry is a pastor/writer and Jaletta is a psychologist. They have four young adult children, an “almost here” first grandchild and a dog named Humphrey. 

Brad & Lauren Kresge have been friends for the past five years. Brad is a physical therapist and Lauren an occupational therapist. We know them in the context of being missionaries together via our common connection of Forge Dallas www.forgedallas.org and their work in South Oak Cliff. They are in the process of parenting three young children and have two really BIG dogs Gunner & Lilly.

So factoring out age and stage of life they are very similar. Love God, love their family, professionally trained, serving others. HOWEVER here’s the fork in the road. And let me put it in the form of a question: 

Which is better, being in one place for twenty years or being in twenty places in one year?

We celebrated with the Parsley’s at Valley Ranch Baptist Church www.vrbc.net in the morning, the place they have pastored for the past twenty years. And then in the evening we celebrated and had a commissioning send off for the Kresge’s as they sell and leave their home, move into a travel trailer and will have some twenty homes over the next year.  https://prodigaloverland.com

One place for twenty years or twenty places in one year, which is better? Or perhaps I should say which would you choose? Same familiar faces and settings every day or different places and settings almost every day? Is there a right or wrong?

The short answer I think is NO. I think BOTH these families are living into their God given calling and design. The Parsley’s are pastors and shepherds at heart. And in the sheep business, well sheep need green pastures and still waters. On the other hand, the Kresge’s are more evangelist and pioneers at heart. And in the pioneering business (more like ranchers) they need to hit the trail, meet new people, and live adventurously. 

BOTH pioneers and settlers do God’s Kingdom work, just differently. 

As I celebrated with my friends the Parsley’s and the Kresge’s, one in an air conditioned and well appointed sanctuary, the other in a warm outdoor covered patio, I was reminded that in BOTH God is well pleased!

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” ~ Romans 10:14-15 NLT

God’s speed and best to both as you live into your God calling!

Jim

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