Our daughter, Stephanie, was a big sister to Jodi when I was pastor of Tarkenton Memorial Church, and her father, Wayne Butler, was my associate pastor. Wayne and June, Wayne's wife, are dear friends of ours.
At the time of my invitation Jodi informed me that she was scheduled to work this Sunday, but she would make a request to her boss to work at another time. Well, she called Friday morning with good news. Her boss was amenable to her request, and she will be able to work later in the afternoon this Sunday. As we were rejoicing and praising the Lord for His favor and success she reminded me about Chad Bellamy who had been youth pastor at Christian Life Worship Center prior to his entering the Air Force Chaplaincy. She was impressed with his teaching on how to pray and she continues to use the method today. She said that at the close of each session Chad would have them repeat one of my favorite Scriptures which I used as a benediction in Friday's Hugh's News. Was that coincidental, or was that by divine providence? At any rate it was confirming what I felt God had directed me to use our Friday's Benediction.
It goes like this:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
When good things happen in our family, we immediately stop and lift our arms and hands toward heaven and say "Thank You Jesus for Your Favor." We call these often repeated experiences the favor of God.
It was most interesting that the very same Scripture I had used in Friday's Benediction, Jodi quoted to me. I told Jodi, "I believe you are called to preach." She is a wonderful speaker and her speech is filled with life and wonderful experiences. I have told her many times she needs to be an after dinner speaker. She needs no training. All she has to do is to tell every day happenings in her life. They are all so interesting and entertaining as well as humorous. She makes me laugh every time I talk with her. I need people like Jodi to help me laugh.
Recently, I received a call from Chaplain Chad Bellamy. He informed me that he and Jeri, his wife, made a decision to move their family to Montgomery, Alabama, where he is enrolled in a year of residence as a student in the Air Force Command and Staff College on the campus of the University of the Air Force. It is a course that prepares officers for the next level of leadership, in his case, a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. In October of this year, it is my understanding that Chad will be consider for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel below the zone. Chad is considered a fast burner. If he were in the Navy, we would say, "He walks on water."
I am happy that the Bellamys will all be together as a family for the coming year. Professional Military Education is a vital process of developing top leaders in the Air Force who will serve at higher levels of command. There is no doubt about it in my mind about Chad Bellamy's promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and later to full Colonel. It is my opinion, Chad will one day put on a star and become the Deputy Chief of Air Force Chaplains. His leadership in military matters and spiritual life are key factors and the top leaders in the Air Force recognize Chad's God given gifts and talents. He is diligent, and has earned the Doctor of Ministry, D. M. degree from Erskine Theological Seminary. He is an excellent preacher and teacher as well as a role model for younger Airmen. I am very proud of Chad, Jeri, and their children: the Mighty Parker, Sweet Daisy, and Amiable and Adorable Asher. By the way, Jeri calls me the Right Reverend Doc--a term of endearment. I hope you will get a chance to meet Jeri, as well as Chad and their amazing children.