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Looking Up: A Farewell Message

by / 0 Comments / 303 View / May 8, 2015

Joe Baisden

My family and I began our sojourn in Belton January 1, 1971.  Dr. Will Long said of me that I came to be the preacher for the Church of Christ, but in time, became minister to the whole community.

I have tried to walk in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ, who said of himself that he “did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

One of my greatest joys serving the Lord in Belton has been in writing a weekly column for The Belton Journal.  The opportunity for this came when Dr. Leroy Kemp was approaching retirement after many years as pastor of First Baptist . The editor of the Journal told me that he wanted me to take the inspirational column that Leroy had been writing.  Thus, “Looking Up” was born 28 years ago.

My first column appeared in the Thursday, September 10, 1987 edition of the Journal.

There have been many changes in the staff, through the years, but all have been helpful and supportive.  The readers have continued to be encouraging, and for this I am most grateful…

Why am I choosing to end this work that has brought me so much joy?  I want to tell you why.  On the first of January a year and a half ago, my electrolytes plunged, and Janelle had to put me in the hospital.  Since that time, the excellent health I had previously enjoyed for years took a turn and we have been in quite a battle trying to get it restored.

In the new circumstances, I maintained my column while under a great deal of stress by revisiting articles of the past and in some cases updated them.  Last week’s article on the challenge to walk by faith was one of those.  I expected to rework it, but discovered that it was extremely timely as a lead into this week’s message.

In the last couple of weeks a brand new battery of medical tests appeared.  A fresh MRI has been added to the mix and has brought about some new considerations. Arrangements have been made to consult a neurosurgeon for some possible surgery.

Doctors’ appointments are ever increasing.  I need to devote my full attention to these efforts, so I must bid you farewell.

As I write this, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude for the privilege of contributing a column, liberally laced with the Word of God, for the Belton Journal for twenty-eight years.

My faith has not weakened.  I am still “looking up,” and I still “trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not upon my own understanding.”  I do ask that you pray for me and my family as we undergo these trials.