Again.

It’s my granddaughter’s favorite new word.

Again.

Chase her around the house. “Again!” Read her favorite book. “Again!” Watch an ‘Elmo’s World’ video. “Again!” Sing a song with the ukulele. “Again!” Talk like Donald Duck. (I’m really not very good at that one…but…) “Again!” Play hide-and-seek. “Again!” Stack her blocks and knock them down. “Again!” Do a series of cartwheels and hand springs in the back yard. (Uhhh…that’s her mom, not me.) “Again!” Spin her on the merry-go-round. “Again!” Make flatulent noises with two hands cupped together. (Yeah…probably never should have started that one.) “Again!” Well… you get the picture. Most mere mortals would tire under the repetitive rigor. But when you are a grandparent… when you are Pop…

This week marks my third anniversary at First Baptist Greenville. At the encouragement of several, I decided to write an article about this moment in our journey. It’s hard to know what to say. In a way, the first, second and third anniversaries have all felt the same. For some strange reason, I feel I’ve only been here one year. It didn’t feel like two at two, and it doesn’t feel like three at three. In a graced way, it all still feels new. The years have been packed with some wonderful memories, however: Blessing of Our Pets, Christmas Eve Services, Ash Wednesday Services, Pilgrimages to Israel, Livingston Taylor, Victor Wooten, Morten Lauridsen, Avi and Laura, street musicians, Staff Christmas parties, welcoming new members, home visits, hospital visits, Lulapalooza Poker Tournaments, discernment sessions, Church Retreats (complete with Luau and Square Dancing), baby dedications, Mission Backpack Races, Sunday School parties, Candlelight Services, baptisms, staff meetings, committee meetings, meetings to plan meetings, coffees, lunches, breakfasts, Leviticus, Ruth, Youth Gib Game parties, hayrides with the children, Sunday School lessons, Rustling articles, snow days, and… well, you get the picture. Most mere mortals would tire under the repetitive rigor. (Okay, that’s hyperbole intended to reflect a similar line in paragraph one. It’s a writer’s technique. You know I’m just a mere mortal.) But when you’ve got the best job in the world… all I can think to say is…

Again!

— Jim