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I was ecstatic. I never thought I'd become a senior pastor so soon. I was a youth pastor who had just been asked to be a candidate for senior pastor at the church I was serving.

The news of the congregational vote bowled my wife, Jan, and me over. Who would have thought our dreams would arrive so soon?

But the dream was reality. Jan and I were given the keys to a huge, old, two-story, red-brick parsonage right in the center of the church parking lot. The main floor had tons of space for entertaining, and upstairs were four bedrooms, including a nursery all decked out, with baby-specific wallpaper and miniature hangers waiting for infant outfits.

We looked around and said to each other, "Great! We'll fill this place up with kids." The same thought was on other people's minds. They dropped little hints: "Isn't it wonderful—you're a young couple, you've got this big parsonage, all these rooms … "

Translation: "Okay, get going, you two."

A year went by, then two, then three. ...

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