Farewell Mark Jr.! Our Love and Best Wishes Go With You!
In the next few weeks, we’ll have two farewells together. The second farewell will be from me next month as Lynn and I move to Orange UMC in Canton, Georgia. But the first farewell we have together is today. As a church family, we say goodbye to Mark Outlaw, Jr., who will be leaving after church this very afternoon to begin serving his country in the United States Army. Mark asked me some time ago if he could speak on Pentecost Sunday, his last Sunday as a civilian. With high pride and honor for Mark’s new direction and his passion to share the life of Christ with us all, I of course said, “Yes!”
As parents, we’re proud of our children, at least most of the time! We’re proud when they’re born, when they take their first step, when they say “Da Da” or “Ma Ma” for the first time, when we drop them off for their first day of school, for school accomplishments and activities, when they graduate, when they go to college, and especially when they make good decisions. As parents, we all share the experience of being proud of our children.
I hope you, the Redwine Church family, join me in being proud of Mark, Jr. for his decision to join the United States Army. Surely this is, by far, the biggest decision he has made thus far in his life. But what an outstanding decision it is! I know he will benefit in many, many ways from being in the Army. Join me in thanking Mark, in advance, for serving his country in the US Army.
He chose as his MOS (military job) 35Q, which is Cryptologic Network Warfare Specialist. I asked Mark, “What is that?” He said, “I’m not exactly sure, but it sure is going to be interesting!” I’m proud of Mark for taking this step and I hope you are, too.
But I’m just as proud that Mark wants to give witness and testimony on his last Sunday as a civilian, which also happens to be Pentecost. How appropriate it is! On that first Pentecost, ALL the apostles were together (apparently at least 120 of them), ALL of them received the Holy Spirit, ALL of them spoke in tongues, ALL of them gave witness and testimony to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, in the great apostolic line, Mark Jr. is going to give witness and testimony to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Mark, we thank you, we love you, we honor you, and we ask God's blessing and safe-keeping rest on you through basic training and beyond into your service in the United States Army. Farewell and God bless you, young man. And come home soon. We’ll leave a light on for you.
Your Proud Dad, Pastor, and Friend, Mark, Sr.