(I told La Moyne that she could add to this article...
but that she was NOT to delete anything I wrote about her :)
God knew before I was even born, the plans He had for my life...AND
whom He had chosen for my 'help-mate', but He waited to reveal it on His time-table.
Last Saturday (Sept. 13) was our 55 wedding anniversary.
Here is some of what we've learned about:
~ God's Timing is always best. He invented time, so why not let Him control it?
The important thing to remember is that:
'We are in the Hands of God, so we need to let Him lead as the Great Shepherd'.
From 1946-50 I was a student at the University of Oklahoma. I've wished that I could've met La Moyne during that period of time, but she says,
"Oh sure! My being 5 yrs. younger, you wouldn't have given me a 2nd look!"
I don't know about that, as I took a 1st (and 2nd) look when I first saw her....
and ever since!
I was a Cpl. in the Army stationed at Fort Carson Base, 8 miles south of Colorado Springs.
La Moyne graduated from Colorado Springs High School in June of 1951....
and we met on Nov. 2nd of that year.
(Our daughter Kristin was born on Nov. 2, 1965, so God has blessed us TWICE....
on Nov. 2nd!)
The youth from different churches in Colorado Springs met each Sat. eve. for choir practice.
When I entered the room, I spotted La Moyne....
with long brown hair and big brown eyes!
'The rest is history....and WOW, what a history' we've had!
La Moyne's family had moved from Hobart, Okla. to Colorado Springs in 1948...
to help her little brother's asthma problems.
Hobart is only about 30 miles from my hometown,
but we never met....as it wasn't in God's Timing yet.
Her Dad did not have a job, but God opened doors for him.
Jim was a great 'road builder' and I later had the privilege of working with him 2 summers.
(we lived with her parents during the summers while we were in Seminary).
When their family left Oklahoma, La Moyne's Gr'father told her:
"When you start dating and begin to get serious about some guy, make sure that he is:
~ a Christian
~ a farm boy
~ from Oklahoma
~ and preferably a Democrat"
(Back in those days, President F.D. Roosevelt was a great help to the farmers...
so that was very important to her Gr'Dad Frederick).
God sees beyond and knows the end from the beginning....
including the high and low spots and all the in-betweens.
I was teaching and coaching during our 1st year of marriage...
but I began to feel God's call to the Pastoral Ministry.
I made my commitment @ Hess Baptist Church, a small, warm country church located near where I was teaching.
La Moyne was with me then and has been with me 'all the way' for 55 years.
We moved to Ft. Worth where I enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Our son, Craig was born our 1st year of Seminary...
then our son, Kevin, was born our last year there.
We were living on the G.I. bill (plus I made 75 cents an hr. at a laundry where I worked when I wasn't in classes) as I tried to provide for my little family.
Then while we were serving as missionaries to Korea, she gave birth to our 3rd son,
Kyle in 1961 (on a HOT July 4th) and the only form of cooling...was me standing at the foot of her bed, fanning her.
In 1976, she opened up her heart to 2 teenagers who came to live with us....
so knowing how much shes gives, I put a sign on our refrigerator door that I found:
"She gave and gave and gave....until she had nothing left to give"
But that was not true with my 'Moyne!
La Moyne was right beside me when I served as 'supply pastor' for churches...
then later as I pastored a church while finishing Seminary.
I remember one summer when La Moyne:
~ taught Vacation Bible School in the mornings (for 2 wks. back then)
~ played the piano for revival services held in the evenings (of the same 2 wks. of VBS!)
I was leading the singing and could see her as she played the piano....
while rocking Kevin's baby crib with her right foot and Craig sitting beside her.
(Looking back, I guess we didn't have a Nursery) :(
We would go up to the church on weekends and since they didn't have a parsonage...
we stayed in a little house next to a barn.
One night, a 'Northerner' blew in, so we just went on to bed and tho't we'd be ok.
During the night, the electricity went out and having no way to keep warm...
we put both of our little boys in bed with us and snuggled the rest of the night.
After that experience we decided it might be best if we drove home each Sun. evening...
to our little apartment in Ft. Worth (120 miles away)
On our way home each Sunday evening, we listened to the radio
and I remember one song in particular: "Be Still My Soul" (Finlandia tune).
"Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine."
Words: Katharina A. von Schlegel,1752
(Translated from German to English by
Jane L. Borthwick in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855)
God was sufficient then...and is sufficient now!
Though at 75 and 80 we may falter some, but He does not fail.
La Moyne does an effective ministry via the computer as well as by phone.
She ministers well as she listens to our 6 children, gr'children....
as well as other family members and friends.
Someone told her in High School, "You're one of the best listeners I've ever known!"
That quality has been one of her biggest assets as we've served the Lord.
When I was gone from home in revivals or while serving 8 yrs. on the Home Mission Board in Atlanta (later serving as Ch. of the 85 member Board)
I had a 'peace', knowing I could count on La Moyne to 'hold down the fort'.....
while I was gone.
As a pastor's wife, she was beloved by the members of each church we pastored.
These ranged from:
We still receive letters of gratitude even though my last full-time pastorate ended in 1991 after my bout with cancer of the vocal chords.
I've been 'clean' for 17 yrs. PTL and have had the privilege of serving as Interim Pastor for 10 churches.
Though we have retired from 'active' full-time ministries, it has been a joy to see how adaptable La Moyne has been.
While serving 5 churches in Hawaii, a church member said,
"La Moyne is more Hawaiian than some Hawaiians!"
Kona Baptist Church on the Big Island gave her a gold Hawaiian Heirloom necklace....
with her Hawaiian name 'Leimomi' engraved on it.
There is not a 'prejudiced bone in her body!
Much of that was due to her parents (Jim and Mary Harris) who led by example!
Bottom line is...La Moyne loves the Lord, her family and people in general~
(She used to love to just 'watch people' while we waited in airports :)
La Moyne has been a great traveler with me on this 'journey of joy'.
God (Who sees the end from the beginning) knew 'whom' I was going to need...
for all that He had for me to 'do and be' on my life's journey!
Someone has well said:
"Joy is the flag flown from the castle of your heart...when the King is in residence".
What a joy it has been to feel the Hand of God.....
and to hold the hand of La Moyne as we serve together!
I would appreciate your prayers for her as she continues to recover from that fall on our front porch last month.
The Orthopedic Dr. gave her an injection in her left shoulder this a.m.
He said that though she didn't break anything (just the fracture to her right hand) there's indication of major strain of the rotator cuff and surrounding ligaments in both shoulders.
So....she's been 'icing her shoulders' all afternoon....
so that she could type up this paper for me.
How great it has been:
to follow Jesus as my Lord and King.....
and to have the companionship of 'My Moyne' on this journey!
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