My good friend Jennie! She is a “former student” of mine. I hate that phrase but you know what I mean. We ate at Blueberry Hill and guess who was playing tonight? Chuck Berry. That’s right – that Chuck Berry and he looks great with his newly outfitted wheelchair.

We ate, Rowland tried to get juicy stories on me but only got one. Here it is…

When I was the youth pastor in Emporia, our secretary’s husband was the local florist. Which meant she was normally the first or second person to know about deaths. One day she tells me that Jennie’s Grandmother had died and they couldn’t get a hold of any of the family.

After school, Jennie comes by my office and I just hug her, telling her I am so sorry. They were very close and it was such a shock. The whole time, she is looking at me like I’ve completely lost my mind. She asks me what is going on.

Then it hit me. She doesn’t know. Now, I am in deep weeds because I am going to have to tell her what is going on. So I tell her. And we cry. She leaves to find her parents, she wants some alone time.

She tries calling her mom and dad – but can’t get them.

After she leaves – our secretary calls down. “It wasn’t her grandmother.”


It was her great-Aunt. She died three days ago.

You think you could have found out that detail BEFORE I talked with her!!!!!!!!!

So now I am calling her house, there is no answer. I can’t get her mom and dad on the phone. So I jump in the truck, head to her house hoping that she is there just not answering the phone.

As I pull up in the driveway, she is pulling out – her face extremely red. “I’m heading to the nursing home to get her stuff.”

“Jennie, I’ve made a terrible mistake. Your grandmother didn’t die – your great-aunt did.”

“Well of course she did, she’s been battling (something, I don’t remember) for years. She died Tuesday.”

Just thought you should know.

Another highlight for my Great Moments In Student Ministry book I’m writing.


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