Vandalia United Methodist Church

From the Pastor's Study

The Blessings of Joy

One of the greatest blessings of my life came through the love of Helma Koslofski, the late organist of Maroa United Methodist Church. Helma had a heart for caring for others; and when she discovered that I usually spent Sunday dinner alone, she invited me to join her and her daughter’s family for the weekly meal. Helma always said that she adopted me into her family; and I in turn, have come to consider them my family. Karla, her husband Scott, and their two sons, Craig and Patrick, have become a very important part of my life.

Craig was always the social child, the pack animal. He has always been surrounded by a group of friends. Having survived his turbulent teenage years, he has matured into a caring, young man. He is an outdoorsman who likes to hunt and fish. Craig owns a boat and every hunting device known to man. A gift card to Bass Pro Shop is the perfect gift for him. He recently purchased a home twenty miles from where he grew up. It’s spacious with lots of room for a family.

Craig graduated from Illinois State University. I think he majored in having a good time and Agri-business. He is working his way up the ladder at ADM, and presently supervises within the trucking division.

Craig and Maggie have been together for a while. She is a speech therapist who makes frequent in-home visits. Maggie is warm and caring, beautiful in and out. She is very patient. When Craig proposed to Maggie, he invited his family and friends to be witnesses, as he led a blind-folded Maggie to a large sign that asked if she would marry him. She removed the blindfold to see Craig on bended knee with ring in hand. Although Maggie thought she was getting a puppy, she said yes to Craig’s proposal. The wedding is planned for October 5, and I am to officiate.

Patrick always kept to himself, the lone wolf. While Craig was out socializing, Patrick was in his man cave, studying or reading a book. Inspired by countless episodes of Law and Order, Patrick set his sights on law. He graduated from Millikin University in three years and then received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Illinois Law School. He graduated as valedictorian of his class. Patrick is a corporate lawyer for ADM.

We were having a family dinner at a restaurant when both “boys” were telling how they were each about three steps away from the CEO at ADM. Not to be out-done, I pointed out that I work for Jesus. Neither one offered a retort, a rarity.

Patrick met Meg online. She, too, is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. She has a sweet personality that perfectly complements Patrick. She has been the one individual who has been able to help navigate his ship. Meg is a speech therapist who has accepted a position in the Maroa-Forsyth School District. Patrick and Meg have settled into Patrick’s grandmother’s house in Maroa. They are active in the Maroa United Methodist Church, the church of Patrick’s youth. Patrick proposed to Meg while the two of them were on a trip. They are being married on June 1, and I will participate in the wedding ceremony.

I pray God will watch over Craig, Maggie, Patrick, and Meg throughout their lives. I hope they will know good health, be safe in all their endeavors, and have much happiness in the memories they make. Most of all, I desire their hearts be filled with the joy that comes in having a vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness comes and goes, but joy is eternal. A marriage built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ will stand against any obstacle they face, and joy will reside in their hearts.



9:30 AM Worship Service
10:40 AM Sunday School

First United Methodist Church of Vandalia :: 618.283.3684