the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


It really doesn't seem that long ago, and yet I can't remember life without her. We have grown to be so much apart of each other. I remember when it all started.

It was actually 41 years ago, I was a sophomore in college, home for spring break. My sophomore year in college was one of the toughest years I had spent to date. Since I was a freshman in high school, I had always had a girlfriend. I broke up with my high school girlfriend just before graduation, but during my freshman year in college I quickly found another, and this time I bought a ring and asked the question. The answer was yes, but before the year was over, the answer had turned to no. I spent my whole sophomore year without a girlfriend. What's worse, I couldn't even get a kiss on a date.

Being one of the few college guys in our church, of course I was invited to all the high school parties when I was home. But the high school kids were so far beneath me. I merely showed up because it made me feel big to have them fall all over the big college guy.

There was a new girl there. I had never seen her before, but she looked pretty good. The dance was a square dance called the Virginia Reel. It's a group dance where you change partners several times durng the course of the dance. I started the dance with a girl I knew and who was just a buddy. Mid way through the dance, I changed partners and found myself face to face with the new girl. She had never danced the Virginia Reel so she spent most of our time together stepping all over my feet.

After the dance, we sat down on opposite sides of the room. We both pretended that we weren't looking at the other. But some how we managed to cross legs at the same time. She caught me looking at her and I caught her looking at me and we laughed. Then she went out of the room. I followed but could not find her. When I asked my friend about her, she told me that she had gone home and that she was a sophomore in high school.

Okay. Too young for me. A baby. Tenth grade. I put her out of my mind and went back to school to finish my sophomore year. When I came home for the summer, I went to work, as I usually did, at a construction site. I worked hard in the summer, saving money to go back to school in the fall. I was tired in the evenings, so I didn't date much that summer. About mid summer, my sister who was a sophomore in high school, approached me with an insistant command. "When are you going to call her?" "Who!" "You have to call her so she'll leave me alone!" It was the new girl from the spring break party. She had found out that I was the brother of a classmate and had been pestering my sister to get a date with me.

"She's too young." I protested. But then I have never been very forceful with the womenfolk, so I agreed to ONE date to get her off of my sister's back.
"Skyrockets in sight!!" Wow! We hit it off from the start. We dated the remainder of the summer. When the fall came and I had to go back to school, we continued to write each other. The next summer, I asked the question for the second time. The answer was yes. A year later on May 28, 1967, Sandra Lunsford became my wife.

In 1973 she gave birth to our one and only child, a son. We have had many ups and downs over the years. I suppose we have had difficulties that cause others to get a divorce, yet we hung in there. We hung in there with each other because, no matter what, we loved one another. We still do. As time goes by I love her more and more. Our relationship gets stronger and deeper with each storm.

Sandra, I love you, Dear. I always will.


Blogger HeyJules said...

Tentman! You sentimental fool. I really love when people love each other. May the next 39 years be just as blessed.

Way to hang in there!

5/29/2006 8:13 AM  
Blogger Pilot Mom said...

Happy Anniversary!

We, too, had only one child, a son. We've been married 30 years.

It is such a joy to hear of marriages that have survived and thrived, even through the hard/difficult times. What a testimony to the grace of God!

5/29/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...

Pilot Mom,

Our son, Kevin was never place in a position of having to enter the military or go to war. I can't imagine the fear and the anxiety you go through every day. Sandra remembers what it was like when I was in Vietnam. We both feel for you. And you are in our prayers, daily.


5/29/2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

congrats. what an example for one who's just coming up on a 10 year mark.

5/29/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger revabi said...

Blessings to you both. Wow 39 years. That is great, and I hope the next 39 are just as great. Glad you were able to hang in there, when others chose to divorce.

5/30/2006 4:15 PM  
Blogger SingingOwl said...

She chased you down till you caught her, huh? ;-)

Lovely picture. You both look so warm and friendly, like you are about to ask me to have a seat near that fireplace behind you.

6/06/2006 11:12 PM  

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