Christmastime is Family Time

December 4, 2009 by Paul Chappell

Chappell Family '09

Because of the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the privilege of enjoying special times of remembrance, worship, and celebration with our families this month. Today, more than ever, I am so grateful for my family and recognize each member as a gift from the Lord. Terrie and I will celebrate twenty-nine years of marriage this month. She has been a constant source of encouragement, counsel, and help in my life. She is such a wonderful help meet and a fantastic pastor’s wife!

Five weeks ago our oldest daughter Danielle and her husband Peter gave us our first grandchild—Camden Matthew! Although we have not been able to spend as much time with Camden as we would have liked during his first few weeks on this planet, we are already enamored with him and are so thankful for him. Peter and Danielle serve God with such zeal and love, and I am so thankful for their testimonies.

Our daughter Kristine and her husband Jon are also specially used of the Lord in my heart and in the lives of our family. Kristine has a giving love for people and an enthusiastic joy in serving the Lord. Jon is an excellent teacher, coach, and an encourager of young people in our ministry. It is a joy to watch them serve.

Our son Matthew is finishing his junior year here at West Coast Baptist College. Matthew’s growth in the Lord, interest in the ministry, and expository preaching have been such a tremendous blessing in my life over the last several months.

Then, of course, today I am so thankful for our son Larry and his dear wife Ashley. We look forward to every moment with them during the coming Christmas season. Larry is our oldest son, and, although he is only twenty-five, I am constantly learning from him and being challenged by his insightful comments. I have especially been humbled by Larry and the way he has been teaching me through the course of this battle with cancer. There are three things in particular that I admire about Larry:

  1. The grace of God in his life. Larry has an even temperament, and it is the result of the Spirit’s control and work in his life.
  2. Love. Larry has always been a loving and kind person. He does not seek out friendships based upon what they provide for him, but he is often delighted in finding people who simply need an expression of God’s love through him. I remember several Christmases ago when, as a bus captain, Larry spent his entire Christmas bonus to buy pumpkin pies for his bus kids. Just a few weeks ago, I recall Larry bringing kids from his public school Bible club to a West Coast Baptist College basketball game and treating them to dinner. Some of Larry’s closest friends are people who come from difficult and broken backgrounds, yet he delights in loving them and encouraging them. I admire Larry for his Christ-like compassion.
  3. Wisdom. When I am facing tough decisions or handling difficult church matters, I am amazed at how Larry often sheds wisdom on the subject. One of Larry’s closest friends is our Lancaster city mayor, who often tried to keep Larry in his law firm during Larry’s college years. He has said to me many times that Larry has the ability to see situations from various angles that help in making wise decisions. I value this in our family and in the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church.

Yesterday, as Dr. David Gibbs was with Larry and me, he commented, “Larry, you are in God’s graduate school. I truly believe God has a plan through all of this.” I agree with Dr. Gibbs that He is working even now in Larry’s life.

This month will be somewhat different for our family, as we await a very serious and needful surgery for Larry. On behalf of our family, we ask you to remember Larry in your prayers throughout the day, many times in the coming weeks. We have received a diagnosis from the doctor, and we are thankful that Larry’s prognosis for recovery is very good. The pathway, medically, will be difficult, yet we are trusting in the Lord and humbly asking for the prayers of God’s people. Thank you for your prayers and concern for our family.

We wish you and yours the very best as we walk with our Saviour who was born in Bethlehem as God’s gift to the World.


25 Comments »

  1. Praise the Lord for the encouraging news about your entire family. Glad (relieved actually) to read the good update regarding Larry and Ashley. I can only imagine the difficulty they are facing. God’s peace is amazing.

    Cindy and I, along with our children, and Moab Baptist are earnestly praying for you and yours. I sure appreciate your faithfulness and influence.

    Your friend,
    Cole Howe
    Pastor, Moab Baptist Church, Moab, Utah

    Comment by Cole Howe — December 4, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  2. Dear Pastor,

    We have been made aware of the recent trials you have been facing in your family and have been praying for you often. I just want you to know that we both stand by you in prayer for Larry and we are available to you for any help we can give. I know these things weigh heavy on your heart, but I am confident that the Lord will give you grace to glorify Him throught it all.

    We love you and your family so much! God bless you in a miraculous way this Christmas!

    Tim and Debra Tyler
    BIMI Missionaries to Romania, sent by Lancaster Baptist Church

    Comment by Tim Tyler - Missionary to Romania — December 4, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  3. Pastor,

    I wanted to let you know that i am praying for you and your family. The staff had a time of prayer for you this afternoon before door knocking. I will be in prayer often for Larry during this period. I have learned much from him in this as well. Thank you for your testimony through all of this. Please tell Larry I said hello, and that I am praying for him. I have not had the opportunity to talk with him often, but enjoyed small conversations we have had.

    Sincerely,
    Isaac Morin

    Comment by Isaac Morin — December 4, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  4. Pastor,

    I am praying. The Lord seems to draw us to his plan for His ways. I think of a Turkish proverb that says drop by drop a lake is formed. It seems that the process is part of the journey to know Him. James 1, I will keep praying.

    Mathew
    conrad’s son in law

    Comment by Mathew, missionary to Turkey — December 5, 2009 @ 12:53 am

  5. Dear Pastor and Mrs. Chappell,
    We have been praying for you in these difficult days and just wanted to let you know what a blessing you have been to us through your testimony and ministry. We always counted it a special blessing and privilege for our children to come to WCBC. We are confident that God has allowed these recent trials for His purpose and that He will see you through with His grace and sufficient strength. We will continue to pray for each of you.

    Comment by Ralph and Janet Burchell — December 5, 2009 @ 3:31 am

  6. Pastor Chappell,

    You and your ministry have been a constant source of encouragement to us here in Kingman. We will be in prayer for your family during this difficult time. God bless your family.

    Pastor George Gilbert and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Kingman, AZ

    Comment by Pastor George Gilbert — December 5, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  7. Pastor, You’ll never know how encouraging your words are… no one is perfect… i mean we all know that… but i want you to know that the way you’re taking this trial is …amazing … ive never seen anyone be so positive in such a intense time.

    Comment by britt smyles — December 5, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

  8. Dear Pastor ~

    Our oldest son, Jonathan, is a student at WCBC. Our youngest, Timothy, hopes to complete his education there one day also.

    My wife, Caroline and I have visited the school and LBC. We feel very much a part of your ministry and watch you on Live Stream Sunday & Wednesday evenings.

    You have been much in our prayers lately. God has laid you on our hearts and we have taken your needs before the Throne of Grace on numerous occasions. I can think of no greater trial than to have ones you love being in such sore affliction. And I know of only One Who can give you the Grace needed to come through it victoriously.

    May God Bless You as you continue to serve Him and may you and your dear family know that extra measure of His Grace through these trials.

    Roy & Caroline Payne
    Clinton, Missouri

    Comment by Roy Payne — December 6, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  9. Pastor Chappell and Family,
    We heard about the news about Larry and wanted to let you know how much we love you and your family and will be praying for you.
    God Bless you,
    Andy & Becky Wolters

    Comment by Andy Wolters — December 7, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  10. Pastor,

    You and your family are such a source of encouragement even during your trials! Larry and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this season.

    Comment by Melodie Shaw — December 9, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

  11. Praying for Larry, you, and your family.
    Thanks for being there for my family, please let me know if I can be a blessing in anyway.
    God Bless,
    Linne’

    Comment by Linne Lane — December 9, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  12. Praying for Larry, you, and your family.
    Thanks for being there for my family, please let me know if I can be a blessing in anyway.
    God Bless,
    Linne’

    Comment by Linne Lane — December 9, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  13. Praying for Larry, you, and your family.
    Thanks for being there for my family, please let me know if I can be a blessing in anyway.
    God Bless,
    Linne’

    Comment by Linne Lane — December 9, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  14. We continued to pray daily for Larry and Ashley as well as for all your family. Thanks for always being there for us now is our turn to be there for you.

    God Bless,

    Keith and Vivian Cone

    Comment by Keith and Vivian Cone — December 9, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

  15. Dear Pastor, As I have come to know you more and more I am convinced that God has his hand on your shoulder. You have shown me what doing things by faith can do. You have built the church and campus by faith. You have furnished them with first class furnishings worth of the glory of GOD. Never before have I seen any man do such things.
    I am proud to call you my Pastor. I am praying for your entire family because I know the power of prayer. I have faith that prayer works. When I had cancer our church family prayed for me. Here I am ten years later cancer free. I have faith that your family will be made well from these trails that you have been going through.
    You Brother In Christ …Robert E. West

    Comment by Robert West — December 10, 2009 @ 11:15 am

  16. Dear Pastor, As I have come to know you more and more I am convinced that God has his hand on your shoulder. You have shown me what doing things by faith can do. You have built the church and campus by faith. You have furnished them with first class furnishings worth of the glory of GOD. Never before have I seen any man do such things.
    I am proud to call you my Pastor. I am praying for your entire family because I know the power of prayer. I have faith that prayer works. When I had cancer our church family prayed for me. Here I am ten years later cancer free. I have faith that your family will be made well from these trails that you have been going through.
    You Brother In Christ …Robert E. West

    Comment by Robert West — December 10, 2009 @ 11:15 am

  17. Dear Pastor, As I have come to know you more and more I am convinced that God has his hand on your shoulder. You have shown me what doing things by faith can do. You have built the church and campus by faith. You have furnished them with first class furnishings worth of the glory of GOD. Never before have I seen any man do such things.
    I am proud to call you my Pastor. I am praying for your entire family because I know the power of prayer. I have faith that prayer works. When I had cancer our church family prayed for me. Here I am ten years later cancer free. I have faith that your family will be made well from these trails that you have been going through.
    You Brother In Christ …Robert E. West

    Comment by Robert West — December 10, 2009 @ 11:15 am

  18. Dear Pastor,
    My class and I are praying for Larry, Ashley, and your family everyday!!!! I love you Pastor and Mrs Chappell!

    Comment by Jessica Lake — December 10, 2009 @ 11:54 am

  19. We are praying daily for Br.lary and Ashley. We know God will lift him up and restore. As we know all things are possible with God. This is what we are beleiving for.
    Luis, Sandy Martinez

    Comment by Luis, Sandy Martinez — December 10, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  20. Dear Pastor,

    Thank you for your faithfulness and testimony during this trial; it has encouraged me abundantly. I am praying daily for your family, especially Larry.

    Comment by Rosa Escalante — December 10, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  21. Dear Pastor,
    I am encouraged by your words daily and as I think of you I will pray for you and your family, and especially for Larry, during these trying times.
    God bless you all,
    Dave Payne

    Comment by David Payne — December 11, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  22. Dear Pastor,

    Please know that we are praying for Larry and Ashley as well as you and your family! Our Sunday School class is praying for you all as well! Thank you for your testimony to the Lord through all of this!

    Austin and Jessica Rumbaugh

    Comment by Austin and Jessica Rumbaugh — December 11, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  23. Pastor,
    Mike and I are praying daily for Larry and Ashley and your family. We know that God is able, and we are praying He will show Larry his healing hand.
    Love and Prayers,
    Mike and Michelle (Downey) Reis

    Comment by Michelle — December 14, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  24. Pastor Chappell,

    I have been listening to your podcast regularly and am encouraged by them. I heard you mention your son but was unsure what was wrong, I have to let you know as you already do we serve a GREAT God.

    I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer May 2009 and was told by 3 doctors I had 5 to 12 months to live and to prepare. My faith told me this could not be, I did not believe God was through with either me or my family.

    My family, friends and I went to God and begged him for His will in mine and my families life.

    Today I am cancer free, the Doctor said the Tumor looked very malignant and to the best of his ability and with other Doctors believes it was, but said “It looks like it just died and stopped growing.” I praise the Lord for that comment and am praying for your family and as you are for God’s will.

    That for being a blessing and allowing us to pray with you~

    Comment by Douglas Burton — December 21, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  25. Pastor Chappell,We serve a wonderful Savior,and I know He is watching over your son.Our church family is praying for him and your family! Pastor Rick Moore and Fountain City Baptist Church, Prattville,Alabama

    Comment by Pastor Rick Moore — December 28, 2009 @ 6:41 am

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