Rev. Forrest Stroup

I was sitting in a room at a Baseball school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hoping to sign a professional baseball contract when my heart did a stewardship review about my life. I was surrounded by players who had been the best of the best, had signed a big contract, got seriously injured and were trying to get signed again. I realized then the fragility of a sports’ career. With the gifts God had given to me, how should I respond with my life?

Believe me when I say had I been offered a contract then or later, I would have signed in a blink of an eye! But I would have reflected on that stewardship question many times and perhaps changed professions. I didn’t get that baseball opportunity but I did start planning to attend Seminary and I thank God for the joy received over and over again as a flawed but forgiven pastor for nearly 36 years.

I did not come from a family of pastors. My Pentecostal Uncle and myself became the first pastors of the last three or four generations of our family. I have learned a lot and have been humbled many times. I have had the absolute joy of bringing God’s Word to so many people in various contexts and being overwhelmed at God’s power to change lives when nothing else, absolutely nothing else has the power to do anything but destroy or deceive people lives.

I have been brokenhearted as well as I have observed how God’s people have attacked and “politiked”¬†fellow Christians for selfish or expedient reasons. Sometimes the joy of the Gospel has healed those wounds, sometimes not.

Would I exchange my life as a pastor for another life? Though tempted, I cannot think of a better and blessed way to serve the Lord. The only other Calling that I would hold higher is that of husband and father. As I look back on my life I thank the Lord for his love and patience with me, all centered in my Savior Jesus.

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