January 23, 2011

Upon Finding a Church

About a year ago my wife and I began to feel the Lord moving us to a new location of ministry.  You might wonder how we knew it was the Lord.  We knew through His revelations to us in the words and deeds of others, especially those of the His body - our local church.  Little by little we began to hear what He was saying.  We opened our hearts more and more to His leading and guidance in our lives.  Prayer upon prayer was said by us and others.  Then, when we were as certain of His will for us as we could be, we stepped out on faith and simply showed up - seeking Jesus. Our new congregation, we have found, is full of assurances that we have made the right move. 

We are where the Lord wants us to be now, and that's a mighty good feeling.  Finding our new church is such a blessing.  We are glad to be a new part of God's church in our home town.  We have methodically visited Sunday School classes, enthusiastically participated in worship services, genuinely fellowshipped in both men's and women's groups, and have expectantly scheduled a visit with the senior minister.  Of all the moves we have made in ministry, this is the best because we have patiently waited upon the Lord - maybe better than we ever have done before.  It sure feels that way now. 

So, upon finding a church I simply give God all the glory for His grace and mercy in our lives.  As we enter into this new part of life's journey and phase in the ministry to which He has called us, we go with confidence that we are walking in His paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  We're looking forward to what He has in store for us.  It just doesn't get much better!

January 20, 2011

Wait and See

Sitting down with my wife at breakfast this morning doing what I have a lot more time to do since retirement - meaningful conversation.  Of course we talked about how to get through the early stages of this new adventure, but we spent the best part of our time discussing what makes for meaningful ministry and trying to answer the question - Now What?  We've come quite a ways since our beginnings in our walk with the Lord Jesus.  As we face the challenges that lay ahead for us, the wonder is naturally in what way are we best going to be able to serve Him.

Looking back over the years of ministry that I've had - both personally and professionally - it was impressed upon my mind today that it's always been about others in need and finding and doing what I can to meet the need in Jesus' name.  God hasn't called me to a life of preparation and thinking about what to do.  He has called me to action by His grace through faith in what I can do for Him to help others.  I've helped native Americans, soldiers, church congregations and foster parents through the years.  They were groups of people that had needs that I was enabled by God's Spirit to help meet in various ways.  It was always about the people.  It's never been about me.

Now I'm entering a new phase of life and ministry.  As I do so, I know that the Lord Jesus will lead me in the right way to utilize the gifts that He has given for the work ahead.  Like before, I believe that all of a sudden I will end up in the midst of doing that work with the people He has led me to help and later realize that it was His hand that guided me there.  Like never before, though, it will be about ... well, I'll just have to wait and see.