Give to everyone what you owe them ... give respect and honor to all to whom it is due. (Romans 13:7 NLT)
Ten years is a long time. It's longer than many marriages last. We call it a decade. For a web ministry, it is considered forever. Yet for the last ten years — really it's closer to eleven years — Paul Lee and I have worked together on a ministry birthed by God's prodding. Heartlight began during the Thanksgiving season of 1995 when Paul and I heard the call to web ministry, but did not yet know each other. A mission trip report about Guyana brought us together and the rest has been Heartlight history.
Heartlight has been a joint effort for Paul and me. At first, he was the graphics guy and I was the content guy. But over the years, I've written devotionals and articles as well as learned graphics, editing, fund raising, HTML coding, and a host of other management skills. Paul has acquired a multitude of programming skills, written our content management software, designed the web site, written articles, done great graphics, managed advertising, and a host of other things. For two guys from way on the other side of the tech world, we've spent untold hours with our friend Adobe Photoshop and useful server based VI Editor. We've been a team — partners who depended upon each other without having to think about it or to ever have to work in the same location.
Now, however, Paul sets sail on another mission. For several years, Paul has been worship minister for a growing church on the northwest side of Austin. First, he was a volunteer. Then he led worship part time. Now, Paul is leaving Heartlight to be a full time worship minister. I will miss him terribly. His contributions will be missed as well. We will call on him from time to time for special help, but his day-to-day involvement will be focused on his worship ministry.
Paul and I have shared dreams, argued over important and unimportant stuff because we were so stinking tired working on several jobs at the same time, and have rejoiced at having been called to make this journey together. God has blessed us, inspired us, sustained us, and amazed us. We offered him two loaves and five fishes and he has fed 5,000 x 100 — the best we can tell, more than 500,000 different folks in over 175 countries are directly touched by Heartlight's ministries each month, with 200,000 daily devotional emails, 4.1-5.2 million monthly page views, and thousands of churches using our graphics. We would have never believed such a thing was possible for a couple of guys whose first server was an old IBM XT in Paul's spare bedroom.
I want to thank Paul for his friendship, partnership, and commitment. I especially want to thank Paul for working so hard to leave us in good shape as he moves on. I want to thank God for leading me to Paul. I also want to encourage you to thank Paul by leaving him a good bye message on my blog. Paul, we will miss you ... but hope to see you around on the web as well as in worship.
Say thanks to Paul on Phil's Blog: