Bledsoe Baptist Association
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Strengthening churches as they execute the Great Commission



 Dr. Mike Pennington, Director of Missions

More Important: The

Journey or the Destination?

How do you pay tribute and say thanks to the one, the wonderful woman, who began a journey with me 40 years ago?  It’s amazing to think about. On June 25, Kristi and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage.  Proverbs 31 beautifully describes my feelings for Kristi:

“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; She does him good and not evil.  She girds herself with strength. She extends her hand to the poor. Strength and honor are her clothing. She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her. A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Our journey together has led to many places and destinations. I remember her saying one time during our engagement, “I don’t know all that our life will bring—but I’m sure it won’t be dull.” It hasn’t! In our journey we pastored in Texas and Missouri. We spent 12 ½  years as your missionaries in Venezuela and, now, over 21 years joyfully serving you, the wonderful brothers and sisters of the Bledsoe Baptist Association.  It just dawned on me today that over ½  our married life has been spent here in Bledsoe. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey!

A few lessons we’ve learned from the journey: 1) That marriage is work, but it’s worth the effort to grow and change to have a marriage that glorifies the Lord.  2) That having Jesus as Lord in the relationship is essential. “A threefold cord is not easily broken.” (Eccl 4).  3) That honest communication and mental, emotional and spiritual intimacy are indispensable to a growing flourishing relationship. 4) That forgiveness must be practiced early, often and freely. Someone has said the 8 most important words in a relationship are “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” 5) Never, never, never give up! We decided to never give up and 40 years later, we are happier than we’ve ever been! Thank you, Kristi, for being the most wonderful gift God could ever have given me! Thank you for the journey!  

So which is most important the journey or destination. Both are crucial!  We grow, learn, love and rejoice in the journey. We smell the roses and stand in awe of the sunsets as the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. But the right destination is imperative! Ours will end in the arms of Jesus where we hope to hear, “Well done good and faithful servants.” Where will yours end?

Pray for our Gatlinburg Mission Team!  14 of us will go to help build a home for a family devastated by the fires. Many families were vastly underinsured. We will serve such a family. We will mainly do drywall. Pray for our safety in travel and work. Pray that we will truly be a blessing to families who need a touch from the Master. Thanks!   

It’s a Joy to be on this Journey with You!     Mike