Thank you!

Go ahead, grab a latte, hot chocolate, or hot beverage of your choice and settle in. I’ll wait. This month I want to give a much – deserved “shout out” to Mercy, Fran, Robert, Yewedi, and Mary Beth… Kenny, Nicky, and Yvette…Robin and Michele…and Anna (to name a few). No, this is not a replacement line – up for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, but  the gift(s) these  folks delivered to my wife and me were more valuable than any Christmas gift we could receive from Santa. These folks are part of the medical, physical therapy, and support team at Wilmington Hospital’s “Joint Replacement Center,” where my wife has received two new knees in the past nine weeks! Having spent the better part of twelve hours a day by my wife’s bed,
trying to earn my place in her life as “Coach of the Year,” I marvel at the professionalism and care provided by these wonderful folks – the RNs, the Patient Care Technicians, the Physical Therapists, and Anna – who delivered each meal right on time and exactly as ordered, always with a cheery hello. I am convinced these are some of the most under-appreciated heroes of everyday life. I watched each of them carry out their responsibilities with tenderness, kindness, patience, and excellence. Words like tireless, professional, caring, knowledgeable, and gifted come to mind. Are they perfect? Of course not. Are there a few “bad apples” along the way? Surely (though we did not have any). But they are there when you need them!!
So, a HUGE THANK YOU to these and others of you who are a part of these professions. Be encouraged, knowing that you make a significant difference in peoples’ lives every day. We know!!

Also, as part of my pursuit of “Coach of the Year,” I have merely gotten my toes wet in the ocean of personal care, tending to my wife’s needs at home during her recuperation and rehab. While I have counted it a joy and privilege to be on the giving end for a change to the woman who spoils me every day, I also realize there are many who are primary caregivers to loved ones every day for months and even years. I salute you as well as unsung heroes of our day. May all of us be more sensitive to those around us who daily and relentlessly give of themselves so sacrificially in the care of loved ones.  The One Whose birth we celebrate this month – as the most selfless sacrificial gift in all of history – said even a simple act of kindness (a cup of cold water) to one of His own would not go unnoticed by the greatest Gift-giver. One of the most significant ways we can demonstrate a grateful heart to the God of grace and kindness Who provides the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ to all who believe is to GIVE to others the gift of the Gospel and along with it the gifts of grace – that is – kindness, patience, love, mercy, and forgiveness. There is blessing in the giving of such gifts and in the receiving as well. We know!!

Pat and I wish each of you a blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year in God’s goodness and grace. May we grow together into the likeness of His glorious Son–our Savior–Jesus Christ.
The twenty-eight year journey of shepherding this flock has been joyous because you God’s flock have been examples of the grace-giving described in
this article.  Now, if you excuse me, my“patient” is calling…and the “Coach of the Year” competition is stiff!
About the Author

Christian. Senior Pastor of Bible Fellowship Church of Newark. Husband. Father of 4 daughters. Grandfather.