Today we had my ordination and farewell ceremony at New Life Authentic Christian Community Church (yes I was ordained a year ago by WCICC, but today was a special occasion as my church laid their hands of approval upon me). For those who have never seen an ordination; it is a reflection of Acts 13 where Barnabas and Saul are set apart from the church by the Holy Spirit - called to leave them do go and do God's work. The people prayed and laid hands upon Barnabas and Saul and sent them away. During the service today the elders, deacons and members of the church laid their hands upon me and my family to pray for us as they sent us away to serve in the Army Chaplaincy.
It was 6 years ago this month that God called us to this new plan in our life. I can still remember it clearly, we were seated in the third row back on the right side of the church. Pastor Steve was preaching on answering God's call, according to Denise - I do not remember this as I was overcome with emotion. I remember feeling God's presence and there were no words but I knew he was calling me to ministry and at that time I was sure it was to the Army Chaplaincy. Denise told me later she saw the tears coming down my face and felt nervous, but when we got out to our truck I just broke down and cried, I told her and the kids what was going on and that began it all.
A few days later Steve came by the house and we spoke, he agreed that this was truly a calling from God. Three weeks more I was in school -an example of God's incredible ability.
It has been a long 6 years - a BS in Religion and two Masters Degrees. Many lessons learned and the experience of discipling our next generation of leaders in a Christian High School. I have seen the good and the bad of American Christianity and I have seen the love that can only be from God present in friends and family as we have endured the trials and tribulations that have molded us and prepared us for this incredible ministry we are about to enter.
We will miss Catawba County NC and all the friends we leave behind, thank you for being there for us and for allowing us to grow as we have over these years.
I read a quote this week by Charles Spurgeon: "The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction" What a blessing to read such words and reflect upon where we have been and where we are going. I pray and ask you to pray that God will continue to lead our lives and we will be able to serve Him as faithfully as He has been with us through these years.