[et_pb_section fullwidth="off" specialty="off" background_image="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/goldbackground.jpg" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_cta admin_label="Call To Action" title="One Man's Journey Here" button_url="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/connect" url_new_window="off" button_text="Back" use_background_color="off" background_color="#2EA3F2" background_layout="dark" text_orientation="left" body_line_height="2em" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" header_font_size="42" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f4f4f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" text_line_height="2em" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] By: Bill O'Connor
Have you ever wondered, “How in the world did I get here, this place, this situation, right at this particular time?” If you’re at all like me, I’m sure you have. For me, I find myself in Aurora, CO, attending Wellspring with my wife Sue along with my daughter Melissa, son-in-law Tom and their two blond boys, Ben and Blake. It is hard to believe that it will be five years in June we have been in Colorado. Retirement is coming this June and the Lord has been asking me, “Then what, Bill?”
Sure, there will be more travel, golf, hiking, camping, watching grandkids, but I believe that God has more in mind for me. He wants me to build some strong relationships with other men of Wellspring. I have sensed he wants me to be part of forming and leading a men’s group and men’s ministry.
Like most journeys, mine has been full of great joy, some sharp pain, God’s rich blessings, and difficult loss. But here I am, right where God wants me. I was born in New York City, raised in a 3-bedroom apartment with two sisters and a brother, which seemed normal at the time. I met my wife at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. I majored in business and psychology, played varsity baseball and worked part time. In my senior year, Sue and I were engaged and we were married 10/9/71, at the mature age of 22. Our life together began in Albany, NY where I began a sales career. The great joy of the birth of our first daughter Melissa was followed by the loss of Sue’s mom to cancer at age 49. Marital stress brought us near divorce and created lots of pain. Then entered Jesus Christ.
I was saved in Philadelphia at a business lunch in 1976. My spiritual growth was slow. There were a lot of doubters, but in 1979 we made a business move to Syracuse, NY and began attending Redeemer Evangelical Covenant Church. The men at Redeemer had a huge impact on my life. We were discipled, memorized scripture and learned how to pray. It was great and God blessed! In 1985, we moved for our 5th time to Buffalo, NY as I was promoted to General Manager of Caremark, Inc. We found Bethel Baptist Church and the Lord used both Sue and I in leadership roles over the next 9 years.
With two more daughters, long hours of work, and meetings at church, I pushed Jesus away. Business success became mediocre; loss of several close friendships caused a mid-life correction, but during a few weeks of unemployment, Christ became Lord again in my life.
In June 2010, I pulled a big rental truck into our driveway at our new home in Murphy Creek, Aurora. Our first grandson, Connor, was born a few days before my arrival and two weeks later our second grandson, Ben, was born to Melissa and Tom. From June 2010 to August 2014 we have grown to 5 grandsons and our most recent granddaughter, Olivia. Praise the Lord!
For the past five years I have traveled back and forth to Buffalo, NY every month. This is coming to an end this June. So now I’m saying to the Lord “here I am Lord, use me!” I believe he wants to use me in and with men’s fellowship and ministry. Paul says to the Ephesians, “A final word; be strong in the Lord and his great power” (Eph. 6:10). My translation is “Don’t try to do it all yourself and don’t try to be strong on your own.” I see a group of men hungry to find a place where they can be real, be safe, grow in Christ, encourage one another, share joy and sorrow, see God working and serve with him.
So now you know some of my journey to here. I would love to know many of your journeys to here. This weekend at all three services, I will announce the formation of a Men’s Life Group and plans for a year round men’s fellowship. There is a group of five men of Wellspring already eager to begin. I would love you to be part of it.
If you are interested in learning more about this new Men's Life Group, contact Bill O'Connor.
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