by Bob Russell, ©2018

(Dec. 12, 2018) — On  Saturday, December 8, 2018 the CedarPoint Church chapter of The Priesthood Motorcycle Ministry hosted a tailgate party in the auditorium of the Claremore Veterans Center, providing pizza, soda pop, and cookies for residents, staff, and family.  There were about 25 or so members of the ministry serving food and drinks to the approximately 50 residents who attended the event.

This is only the latest of several events they have held to honor our veterans.  I know most of the members of the group as I have the honor of attending church with them and was present at the establishment ceremony at CedarPoint Church in Claremore, Oklahoma.  Many were members of the Owasso chapter until becoming numerous enough to form their own chapter.  I know some of them quite well but some I barely know.

CedarPoint is a church of about 1,000 with three services every Sunday.  I attend only the third service that starts at 12:02 p.m., as I attend Lifechanger Church earlier in the day.  Many of the club members serve at the Celebrate Recovery service at CedarPoint on Mondays at 7 p.m.  The chapter was spun off from the Owasso chapter during the summer and has grown steadily under the leadership of chapter president John Cash and his wife Teresa.

I am very impressed with the personal quality and the attitude of service to others of the group.  They don’t recruit but accept requests to join after the prospect meets their membership criteria.  Every prospect goes through a program to ensure they can meet the standards for membership and demonstrate their willingness to serve others.  The Priesthood is definitely a ministry dedicated to showing the love of Jesus to people they encounter.  They take their mission very seriously and demand a very high code of conduct and service at all times.  Members are not allowed to drink alcohol or use drugs at any time, including a ban on wine with a meal.

One of the members, Aaron Collier, works at the CVC and I see him almost every day.  He is a fine young man in his early 20’s with a wife who is also part of the Priesthood.  They have a son about 3 and an infant daughter.  Both Aaron and Erin are fine people with a heart for serving others.  The members range in age from their 20’s to 50’s, and all are high-caliber Christian people who put the needs of others before their own.  Some of them, Like the Cashes, Mark and Lynn Rapella, and Tyson Kloberdanz I have known for quite a while.

Members of The Priesthood also serve in various capacities at CedarPoint Church.  Tyson manages the sound booth, overseeing the lighting, sound, and IT needs of various functions throughout the week.  Erin Collier also helps in the sound booth on Monday CR meetings and probably other events as well.  CR is the only event I attend through the week so I don’t know who does what at other events that occur almost nightly at the church.  The “motto,” if I can call it that, is that CedarPoint is a “Story Changing” place with a goal of being “relentlessly good to the community we live in.”

Pastor Rick Burke is an honorary member of the Priesthood even though he doesn’t ride a motorcycle.  Rick has been very instrumental in the formation of the chapter, being both a mentor and avid sponsor of its formation.  I would like to get involved with them but my current schedule and disabilities from a stroke prevent me from doing so.  When I see the manifestation of the recovery from the stroke and have more strength, stamina, and ability I will check in to becoming at least a fringe member of the group.  I will soon be 69 years old and haven’t been on a motorcycle in 40 years so I won’t be riding but may be able to help in some capacity when I am more able to function normally.  I don’t know what designation I would have as a non-rider but I believe I could be an asset in some capacity, as I have the same desire to serve others to the best of my ability.  Right now my left arm and hand are paralyzed and I walk with a very noticeable limp due to partial paralysis in my left leg.

As I stated, I am currently quite impaired but God is going to restore me to full health at some point.  I had a dream in May of 2016 that I would wake up one morning fully restored.  I believe that day is on the way.  God told me He would restore me but not when it would be.  I do now, and will continue to stand on that dream as long as it take because I see it as a promise from God to fix me and what He says He will do.  My wife had a similar dream a few months ago, that I came in from church one evening waving my paralyzed arm over my head and walking normally.  Then last month at Vision, Friday night church, a young lady saw my physical struggles and as she prayed for me God told her, “Be patient, I am going to fix him.”  I take both of those episodes as confirmation of my dream and will continue to stand on it until it comes to pass.

Until my day of restoration comes I will help others when and where I can and try to be a help to The Priesthood if and when I can.  I have seen their hearts for service and both admire and appreciate their ideals.  If we had more groups like them and more people involved in them this nation would be a much better place.  I am often dismayed at the selfishness and “me first” attitude I see from some of our society, so being able to witness the “others first” attitude of the members of The Priesthood in person is very refreshing and gives me hope for the future of our nation and the human race in general.  Seeing their selflessness and dedication to others is very encouraging.

I submit this in the name of The Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

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