Let me introduce you to Mike Oliver. No, he doesn’t always wear this hat. Just for Jimmy Buffet concerts.
Mike has labored in ministry with my dad for twenty-two years. This Monday, Mike, his wife Shari, and their son, Bo, will say goodbye to friends and begin a new chapter in their lives. Mike will be starting Coastal Community Church in the Fort Walton beach area. While I am excited and anticipate good things to come from his ministry on the coast, I am also sad to him leave. He is my pastor, and he is my dear friend.
Mike has taught me many things. Here are a few.
– No matter what you are going through in life, Bear Bryant has the best quotes to get you through.
– If he says ALA, I say BAMA.
– Always smile, and laugh hard.
– Repeating the same jokes over and over, when said well, is always funny. A personal favorite: “What’s going down? Your leg?” Ridiculous. And, I laugh every time.
– A friend sticks closer than a brother.
– When things aren’t right for a friend, do all you can to help make them right.
– Always faithful. Always.
– When in despair, turn to Jesus and some Jimmy Buffet tunes.
– When happy, turn to Jesus and some Jimmy Buffet tunes.
– Speak ill of no one.
– Appreciate the small things. Life is short.
– Never waste a moment. Live out loud.
– God is good. His love never fails.
– Whatever you do, do it well. And, there is no substitute for passion.
There are three men that I hold dearest to my heart – my husband, my father, and Mike Oliver. I’m not sure what Eagles Way Church is going to look like without him. And, I’m not sure what everyday life will look like without his insane humor and unrelenting loyalty. But, if he has taught me one thing, it is this: Come Monday, it’ll be all right. I’m holding him to that. I love that man.