Richard. Vincent. Rose.: Story Behind “Letter to Assistant/Associate Pastor”

It had been several years since I had held the pen for “Why, Pastor, Why.”

God had given me the idea for something just as significant for the Assistant Pastor, and I had kept the first words tucked away in a drawer. In the back of my mind, for years and years, I knew that, after writing “Why, Pastor, Why,” the natural next step would be to write something for the Assistant Pastor. I just didn’t get all of the words until sixteen years later. Yes, sixteen years. “Why, Pastor, Why” had kept us so busy, that I didn’t have the time, or inclination, to get back to something for the Assistant Pastor.

God gave me the words to “Letter to Assistant Pastor” in a variety of different locations, over those sixteen years, so I wrote the words on just as varied types of paper. I had some notes written on note cards, “sticky notes,” memo pads, and note pads. Yes, it took sixteen years to sit down and put them all together. Then, it was time.

What God gave me was not a poem, as with “Why, Pastor, Why.” I didn’t know “why” until the very end. The work to honor Assistant Pastors was not even a poem. It was a letter. I wrote the letter, written from the Pastor to the Assistant Pastor, and then … I got the ending. The ending that surprised even me! All these years, I just didn’t know. You’ll have to read the “Letter” to find out what I am talking about.

Haven’t we all known such wonderful Assistant Pastors? The words fit those I have been so blessed to have known. And, I hope those you have known.

Here’s a new quote God gave me, just for the Assistant Pastor:

“Jesus needs an Assistant Pastor. And, so does the Pastor.”

Blessings to you, your family, your Pastor …
d, your Assistant Pastor

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Letter To Assistant Pastor Words

Banner-White Marble-White Plate


Update On Carol: Vision Almost Completely Restored

Hi All:
Thank you so much for your prayers for Carol’s vision.
We can say that her vision is at least 80% restored.
Still a little bit of a blur, but no more round circle. Keep in mind, that just a few short weeks ago, she was completely blind in her right eye …

I will never forget, just a few nights ago, as we were doing our “how many fingers am I holding up” test … she got them all right …
And, today … she spent most of the day proof-reading a manuscript for me!

Please continue to pray for her complete healing. 

She still can’t see the color red, but that will come. 
We are waiting for the results of her latest MRI.

We’ll keep you posted. 
I know that so many of you have been praying for her, and we just wanted to say thank you … and, bless you.

Please, always remember that God can do anything … there is nothing too hard for Him …



New From Pastor Appreciation Gifts and Richard. Vincent. Rose.: “Letter to Assistant/Associate Pastor”

How do you say “Thank You” for the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice which the Assistant or Associate Pastor has given in service to you, and to your church body?

How do you put into words your appreciation for their unselfish service?

For the first time, there is now a definitive work to honor the Assistant/ Associate Pastor … from the author of “Why, Pastor, Why” comes “Letter to Assistant/Associate Pastor,” capturing the depth of emotion to explain why the Assistant/Associate Pastor means so much …

And … that their work and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed-or unappreciated.

Written by Richard. Vincent. Rose., taking over 15 years to write, the words say exactly what you want to say … and then … be stunned by Who actually wrote the letter! It begins as an intimate thank you letter which appears to be written by the Pastor … then, as you continue to read, you realize just Who is writing the words!!!

Then, realize that the entire letter is written in the form of a chalice, representing the “pouring out” of one’s life in service to others.


Here is a look at the “Plaque Version” of “Letter to Assistant/Associate Pastor,” only available from Pastor Appreciation Gifts. In our next post, we’ll hear directly from the author, with the story behind the letter … and, share with you the original, full-length version of the letter …

For now, here is a look at the six different plaque designs, and then the words:

Letter To Assistant Pastor
Plaque/Print Presentation Version

My Dear, Faithful, and Beloved Assistant Pastor:

You have faithfully served me, while staying under my shadow,
making sure that I got all the praise, even for work you had done.
You have worked all hours to make sure my goals were met. Your faith in me never faltered. Often, you’ve cried, wondering why I haven’t done more. Then, you realized that, many times, my plan was not to change the church-it was to change you.
You have made many personal sacrifices, to serve me, and my family.
You never lost faith in me. You were never afraid to come to me for help or advice. Even if you did not always agree, you always followed, trusting that my plan was best for you.
Many times, you have spoken in my place. Often, this was difficult, because you were going through trials of your own. It took great courage and faith to deliver a message that you would find out, later, was really meant for you.
I know my shadow is large. But, you have been careful to stay underneath it.
You, and your dreams, haven’t been smothered.
They’ve been covered. By me.
When life was toughest, you felt like a shadow had overtaken you.
It had. It was my shadow.
I haven’t held you back. I’ve held you up.
Yes, you have been living in someone’s shadow. My shadow.
Remember that you are not his assistant. You are my assistant.
You are not working for him. You are working for me.
Thank you for your dedication, faithfulness, patience, and your life.
Signed, with eternal love,

Pastor Appreciation Gifts



Hut On Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had
happened-everything was lost! He was stunned with grief and anger.
“God, how could you do this to me?” he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.
“How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers.
“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.

We say, “It’s impossible.”
God says: “All things are possible” (Luke 18:27).

We say, “I’m too tired.”
God says: “I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28-20).

We say, “Nobody really loves me.”
God says: “I love you” (John 3:16 – John 13:34).

We say, “I can’t go on.”
God says: “My grace is sufficient” (II Cor. 12:9 – Psalm 91:15).

We say, “I can’t figure things out.”
God says: “I will direct your steps” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

We say, “I can’t do it.”
God says: “You can do all things” (Phil 4:13).

We say, “It’s not worth it.”
God says: “It will be worth it” (Romans 8:28).

We say, “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says: “I forgive you” (I John 1:9 – Romans 8:1).

We say, “I can’t manage.”
God says: “I will supply all your needs” (Phil 4:19).

We say, “I’m afraid.”
God says: “I have not given you a spirit of fear” (II Tim. 1:7).

We say, “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God says: “Cast all your cares on ME”(I Peter 5:7).

We say, “I don’t have enough faith.”
God says: “I’ve given everyone a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).

We say, “I’m not smart enough.”
God says: “I give you wisdom” (I Cor. 1:30).

We say, “I feel all alone.”
God says: “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Pastor Appreciation Gifts



Success: Message From Gregory Dickow: You CAN Change

“Change is not something that happens BY you. It is something that happens TO you.”

We wanted to share this short message with you from Gregory Dickow, founder and pastor of Life Changers International Church.

“Do you need something to change in your life? Maybe in your finances, your family, your emotions or your health? Well it’s easier than you think and easier than what most people will tell you.

Yet how often do we feel that changing our lives is a difficult and almost insurmountable challenge? We tell ourselves: “It’s too hard. I’m too old. It’s too late. I don’t have the background or resources, the right education or experience.”
But the truth is: the power to change doesn’t come from anything on the outside. The only pathway to true transformation is from the inside out.

Every day we make the choice to accept whatever thoughts come to our mind, or to fill our mind with God’s thoughts through His Word. Proverbs 23:7 says, as a man thinks, so is he. Therefore what we fill our mind with shapes our entire life.

Real change begins by simply filling your mind with God’s Word. Then it is the power of God’s Word that transforms you from the inside out. Romans 12:2 says “…BE TRANSFORMED…” This is not something that happens BY you. It is something that happens TO you. As you renew your mind to God’s Word, your life begins to supernaturally change. Before you know it, you begin to think differently, see yourself different and treat others different. Before you know it, success and prosperity begin to cling to you, simply because of the way you think.

You might ask, “How long is all this going to take?” Not long. Remember, though it took the children of Israel forty years to get from the wilderness to the Promised Land, it was only meant to be an eleven-day journey! Are you ready to turn your “forty-year” delay into an eleven-day journey?”

To Visit Gregory Dickow Ministries, click here:
Gregory Dickow Ministries

Here is a short video message from Pastor Dickow that we really enjoyed: If we want our lives to change, our thinking has to change:
Remember, “Think right. Act right.”



The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.
Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind: he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.”

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.”

He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.”

And that’s when he began to explain his theory of  “A Thousand Marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.”

“Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail.”

He went on, “And by that time I had lived through over 2,800 Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the basement next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focus more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to meet you, Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 Year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, Good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off.

I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.

“C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”
“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile.
“Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles …”



On the outskirts of town, there was a big old pecan tree by the cemetery fence. One day two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

“One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,” said one boy. Some were dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.” He knew what it was. “Oh my,” he shuddered, “it’s Satan and the Lord dividing the souls at the cemetery.”
He jumped back on his bike and rode off.

Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. “Come here quick,” said the boy, “you won’t believe what I heard. Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.”

Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me. . .”

The old man whispered, “Boy, you’ve been tellin’ the truth. Let’s see if we can see the devil himself.”

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, but were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of Satan.
At last they heard, “One for you, one for me. That’s all. Now let’s get those nuts by the fence, and we’ll be done.”

Quicker than you can bat an eye, the old man was gone, made it back to town a full 5 minutes before the boy!




Today, we begin a new series, in which we share those “e-mail stories,” which we have all received … from friends and co-workers …
These are stories I have personally received over the years, which we have saved, and wish to begin sharing with you now.
These are stories which have made us laugh, cry … or, just think …

We all get them … I think of all those times when, from “out of the blue,” I would get an email that seemed to address just what I needed … If … only what I needed was a smile or a laugh …