Retired again… or, ready for new challenges?

(Photo credit: Maynard Embree)

My husband amazes me. Okay, I know I’m likely to be a little biased, but I honestly believe he’s something special. Today he has retired for the fourth time! After forty-five years in ministry, serving in four different churches plus seven years as a ‘Superintendent of Missions’ for BC, Alberta and the Yukon, his official retirement was in 2003. Since then, however, he has continued in unofficial ministry.

Our Presbytery — the local governing body for Presbyterian churches in our geographical area — appointed him to look after a vacant congregation, to do some pastoral care, preach occasionally, but mainly to help the people find a new minister. Not just once, mind you, but in three different churches. The first two appointments took eighteen months each; this last one has been a thirty-four month endeavour, interrupted by a year in the middle. Sunday it reached a happy conclusion with the induction of their new minister.

He’s doing what he loves, but with way more energy than I put into doing anything I love! He knows he’s doing what God intends, and often likes to say, “God grant me days for my work, and work for my days.”

He says he’s truly retired this time, but he likes to keep busy, so I suspect he’ll just turn his attention to new challenges.

Did I mention he had open heart surgery fifteen years ago?

Happy fourth retirement, Hon! You’re amazing!


“And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.” [I Samuel 2:35]


“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” [Ephesians 4:1a-6]


18 thoughts on “Retired again… or, ready for new challenges?

  1. Judith Robl says:

    What a beautiful couple! Both of them. Dedicated to the Lord’s work.

    You understand there is no word about retirement in the scriptures. Your wonderful husband may be retired from “formal” work, but the Lord will be using him to the last breath. He wouldn’t be happy any other way. Nor would you.

    Happy new challenges to you both. I can hardly wait to see what assignment God has for you next. Grace and peace to you both.

  2. Norma McGuire says:

    I’m sure it’s “Ready for new assignments!” Congratulations, Bob. Not everyone gets to retire 4 times!

  3. Heather says:

    You both amaze me! How blessed I am. 🙂

  4. I’m so glad I was able to meet Bob and see just how special he is. It makes your tribute even more endearing. You sure can pick ’em, Carol. Happy Retirement Living.

  5. Congratulations to you both – until the next time. It’s a joy to continue to find niches where the Lord can work through us for the service of his kingdom, even after we retire. Many blessings in the next round!

  6. Katt says:

    I may be a bit biased, but I think you are BOTH amazing. What a beautiful picture of both of you! Congratulations—-“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:21
    Love you both

  7. I am guessing he’ll never retire from his connection with God. And to pass that on to his people must have often felt not like work but a joy. I can also imagine the frustrations that occurred when outcomes were not what he or his disciples preferred, or during those times when demand was high but he felt empty. But how else can we become convinced that God is the creator and we are the created? My own spiritual life has been/is different than I could ever have imagined. To your husband, may God’s arms and heart continue to sustain him and emanate God’s love, keeping that river of joy flowing.

  8. Good morning and thanks to each of you for your responses. His first “task” today was to arrange to take his computer in for some minor servicing. Until now he couldn’t part with his files! And he says he’s also taking me out for lunch. Now that’s a side benefit of retirement I’ll enjoy. 🙂

  9. Some people will do this kind of thing over and over, because they love the cake with their name on it and all the gifts and well wishes. Ahahahaa–only joking!!!

    I think it’s wonderful that he has such a heart for people and the Lord. God has strengthened his physical heart so He could pour His heart of love into and through him.

    Have a bite of cake for me!

  10. Darlene says:

    Your husband sounds amazing. My Dad didn’t really retire from farming/ranching until he was 75. Some people just do better when they are busy doing what they love.

  11. Keli Gwyn says:

    Some people have such a servant heart that they can’t help but reach out to others. Sounds like your hubby is one of that special breed of humble hero. I hope you enjoy his fourth retirement and aren’t too surprised if the Lord places another call on your hubby’s heart.

  12. A minister’s work is never done. Your hubby is amazing! Blessings to you, Carol…

  13. karen evans says:

    Happy retirement. Again. 🙂 God bless on this new adventure.

  14. elderfox says:

    May Happiness touch
    Your lives in all your days
    as you have touched
    the lives of others.

    Much love, mE

  15. Not having a “demomination” I have nurtured an abiding love for those with great passion for good works. It is always those among us who are the busiest, who can do more, those who have so little to spare who will give you more than you expect to receive and those who do the work of our Higher Power who keep the lines straight to guide the rest of us … you know … people like me 🙂

    Don’t think twice Carol, his work and his passion will never end.

  16. Best wishes to both of you. 🙂

  17. You’re all very sweet and encouraging. I don’t often post something personal on the blog, but this was significant enough that I wanted to share it.

  18. Thanks for sharing this special occasion and lovely picture. Now, hopefully you two will have more lunches out 🙂

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