The next ten years piled up with wonder and work. Two events from this decade which I will add to the narrative are part of the focus on authority. However, I need to describe the period briefly as a whole and provide the story with a few markers in our overall journey.
My wife and I met in 1980. I had spent a year in the church as a single man; she had attended the church during her college years, then spent that same year away in another city teaching in the public schools. The church hired her in August to teach in the private school they launched in fall of 1980. We began dating in November, were engaged in December and married in March of 1981. Yeah, it was a bit fast; but that is another story beginning as we tell one another on our second date, we believed God had marriage in our future.
The first of five children born during the 80's came on July 1, 1982. In 1983, I went to work teaching in the Christian school. In that same year my wife left teaching in order to mother our children.
I finished college and was ordained an elder of GCC in 1985. I was thirty years old.
The pace of those years feels almost surreal now when looking back: Marriage, building our first and only home, five children in seven years; I taught in and was principal of a small Christian school and part of the leadership team of a growing fellowship. Those twenty-five families and multiples of college students grew ten-fold in that time.
My wife and I grew in love for God, for one another; and oh, how we loved (and still love) our kids! We grew in love, also, for a wonderful community of believers, many of whom still seek out and spend time with one another today. Our organized gathering waned piece-meal over the second and third decades since, but in hind-sight these folks note something wonderful took place between us in those years.
That our strong community faltered is the rest of the story coming up.