A New Day Dawns

retirementretirement: noun re·tire·ment \ri-ˈtī(-ə)r-mənt\: the act of ending your working or professional career : the act of retiring; the state of being retired; the period after you have permanently stopped your job or profession.

I was one who never thought that I would retire. I had planned to be the “Eveready Battery Bunny” and keep going, and going, and going…but it was not to be. Full disclosure: One never really retires from ministry. I am sure that I will continue to preach, minister, etc. until the day I die, but yesterday was my last day as Associate Pastor at Reformed Presbyterian Church. Since the day when I first became a youth minister (that’s a Baptist word that means “purgatory”) back in 1975 and then entering the full time pastorate after seminary in 1981, I have been an under shepherd of God’s sheep. I can’t say that I have enjoyed every minute of it (I will save some of the more horrendous moments for my book), but I believe that I have been the “blessee” much more often than the “blesser.”

I have enjoyed every place where I have served the Lord but the last nine plus years have been especially good. The people of RPC have been ever so gracious to Dixie, the boys, and me, and I could not have worked with a better group of men on the session. They truly care about the needs of God’s people, and do their best to think not just of the short-term event, but of the long-term good of the church. Mark Gibson has been a faithful fellow elder, pastor, friend, and confidant during those years, and I could never thank him enough for all that he has done for me. I hope RPC realizes what a good thing they have in him.

Of course, all that I am and have, I owe to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now I will rely upon Him as I start this new adventure called retirement, and look forward to spending some quality time with my wife of 25 years, and my boys as they prepare to enter the world of adulthood.



  1. Byron & Jenean said,

    June 1, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Congratulations, Cliff as you begin your new life. You deserve to relax a bit.

    • cliftonr said,

      June 1, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      Thanks. I have cooked breakfast, done laundry, and paid bills so far this morning. And, if I get another dry day or two, I will mow grass.

  2. belindaplsek said,

    June 1, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Congratulations, Clifton! Hope this new chapter of your life is filled with many blessings! By the way, I laughed out loud at your definition of ‘youth minister’. =)

  3. cliftonr said,

    June 1, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Thanks, Belinda. Is it okay to make you laugh before Beldar III arrives?

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