Pastor Dave Betzner
““Gifts That Keep Giving!”
My 75th birthday came and went even, if it was extended from June 10th to July 5th by necessity. I shared the celebration with Anna, whose graduation from Catoctin High School was in early June. She’s off to Shepherd University in the fall and makes us proud every day.
It, my 75th, was highlighted by a party which included blue grass music by Hezekiah Swamp Cats, an 80-pound roasted pig, and a bunch of good friends. Many of those friends honored me with gifts including gift cards, books, shirts, food items, cards, and even a bank that pays off with sounds of flatulence when money is deposited.
The best gift I received, however, arrived the day after my birthday on July 6th. It was the creative idea of Bob Rudolph, who suggested to Jeannie Berger and Debbie Harman that they present me with a book of their artfully created, beautifully drawn, and faithfully illustrated presentations of many of my sermons preached over the last 18 months.
I was overwhelmed as I sat with tears rolling down my cheeks, filled with the emotions of thanksgiving, joy, love, and humility at what they had done with the proclaimed word. Wow! I remember commenting, “This is my passion. This is my life.”
Perhaps you will even remember some of them: “Unbelievable;” “Good Grief;” “Unbreakable;” “Peace;” “Anger;” “Mission-Vision;” “Saints;” “Winsomeness;” “Justice;” “You Can Go Home Again;” “Living Water;” and “Collateral Beauty, Collateral Damage.”
And I wonder? Might these drawings be used as an unthreatening way to give witness? How will the illustrations be a resource for future preaching? Would this visual method of communication provided during the sermon enhance its’ value?
I decided they are worth sharing with all of you. So, with thanks to Debbie and Jeannie, I will place the book on a table in the narthex during the month of August and encourage you to take a look and celebrate them with me. Their presentation is “good news” because it draws attention to and celebrates the relationship we have with Christ and the relationships we have and celebrate with each other in him.
The book is aptly titled, Relationship – Relationships! Peace and love,