Friday, August 22, 2008

Who Am I?

Over time God has taught me many lessons, not that I get them on the first go around. I am always telling people that in ministry you should never be the only one that makes the ministry go because then it becomes more about the individual instead of about God himself. If this "I'm the only one who do it behavior" doesn't lead to emotional breakdown it will lead to a loss of ministry opportunities because you will no longer grow in God. We lose our effectiveness by not taking time off, even Christ did. Obviously Billy Graham is a large part of what "Billy Graham Ministries" is, however God has people that are just as capable to step into his shoes when he is not there. These things are obvious, but what about the times when you think you are the only one serving God, or the only one who could have made a difference in someones life? Recently I attended the wake of a friend of mine whom I have recently had the privilege of getting to know but never out and out asked if he knew the Lord in a personal way. From the day I found out about his death I was grieving over not telling him. As my wife and I pulled up to the house I was still concerned that I had only lived my life in front of him. He knew of our plans for the chaplaincy,but these things come up in regular conversation. From the minute I walked into the house it was as if God was trying to teach me a thing or two about just who I was in the whole scheme of things. One lady mentioned that he had attended a church often because he enjoyed the music, at another conversation someone I knew from another church talked about my friend working for him. As soon as he said that I heard a voice say to me Who do you think you are that you would be the only opportunity for this man to know me? I was stunned and humbled at the same time. I am still heartbroken that I never broached the issue of salvation, but I am heartened that God had others to step into the gap that I had left open. I learned yet another lesson there and that was that God always has people to fill roles, be it so that someone can take time off from running the camera for church, or to show someone the plan of salvation when we drop the ball ourselves. Looking into scripture we find yet another who had the question of who am I answered that of Elijah. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah was feeling like he was the only one who was still serving God and he was at his wits end so to speak. But God came to him and lovingly persuaded him that there were at least 7000 others who had never bowed to Baal. Now you might think that this is stretching it but let me elaborate. If there are 7000 people who have never bowed a knee to Baal then don't you think there is at least one or two others who can do what you do in the kingdom? Ask yourself the question Who am I?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Beginnings

With the beginning of the school year my family has three students that call themselves full time now. My wife(who is pregnant), and my daughter(who just started Kindergarten) have joined me in the educational endeavors. My wife is going through the same thought process I went through a little over a year ago. As I was trying to motivate her it dawned on me how close this chapter of our life is to closing and just how close the next one is to starting. Obviously my daughter has just started her educational chapter but my wife and I are in our final year of undergrad education! My wife having just reached her 29th plus 1 birthday was worried about fitting into a room full of fresh faces who haven't had near the time out of school that she has, while my daughter was worried about passing test(how she knew about test is beyond me) Their worries were much the same. The scripture that comes to mind is found in Jeremiah 29:11 . In this verse God tells us he already knows what we are doing even when we think the chapter just started, amazingly he didn't have to read the last page and knowing the end doesn't ruin the story for him he stays with us every step of the way. My thought process after my last year of Lee is that I can do it with God in control ! And my words to those people starting new things trust God and know he was there when you started hes there already at the finish and he is in the middle of your walk already waiting to guide you.