Providence Before Academics – My Personal Journey

I could recount all the miraculous times the Lord rescued me from danger over my brief military career. However, let me conclude that it doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to discover that there was purpose on my life. So in Anchorage, AL in 1969, my spiritual journey got a boost from a little red cover book I was introduced to titled “The Spiritual Man” by Watchman Nee. The impact of the insights I gained from this series revolutionized my thinking for years to come.

By the time I returned from the military I was a changed man. I had developed from the boy preacher, I left as, into a developing teacher with some life experience. Somehow I managed to maintain the nick name “rev” throughout my military career. However, various bible schools and self-study materials was now answering questions for me, while my prayer life was blooming.

When I returned to Baltimore I also returned to my Dad’s church as an organist and later assistant pastor of the church. I knew by then that “Bible-Teaching” was going to be my passion. The church atmosphere I found myself in though was more conducive to preaching instead of teaching. It didn’t take me long to figure out people were more interested in having their emotions stirred than their minds caressed. I was often branded “dry” and “slow” in my presentations, so I retreated to my music while secretly increasing my personal bible study.

This is Part 8 of the series “My Personal Journey”

To start at the beginning click here – http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/24/how-it-all-began/

Or continue on to Part 9 here – http://dmgolphin.me/2013/08/05/ministry-confusion-my-personal-journey/

The Hunger – My Personal Journey

Even though I was only fifteen, going to church for me meant a lot more than the music, the preaching, the devotions, and the activities. I wanted so much to gain an understanding of what I believed and why. I had no mentors or spiritual fathers to guide me, so with a hunger that was eating at my insides and a poem that filled my mind, my spiritual journey began. It wasn’t so much the peer pressure that made me leave school as the need to not socialize and be alone that was consuming me.

Learning to navigate around the bible was instilled in me early. I learned the books of the bible, the divisions, the authors, and any basic bible knowledge I could retain. My mother taught me the importance of prayer and that it was those private times with God that were more important than the information I was trying to ingest.

I haven’t spoken much about my spiritual encounters that I guess began as early as when I was 8 years old. I would have strange dreams of the future and see ghostly figures come to my room at night. It was not the normal nightmares of children because with most of these I was fully awake. They didn’t frighten me just disturbed me. For the next few years I got used to nightly visitors to my room. But by the time I was twelve, they suddenly stopped. Now before you think I am crazy, let me interject that my childhood development sat the stage for my later spiritual maturity.

This is Part 4 of a series. Part 1 can be found at –

http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/24/how-it-all-began/

Or you can move on to Part 5 at

http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/28/the-development-my-personal-journey/

Turning Point – My Personal Journey

These are only reflections and I must get back to the task at hand. My mother was a strong and wise woman, Alice Mae Golphin. Although we spent all day on Sunday at church, most Sundays it was at least three services, she allowed my brother and I to go the movies on Saturday, even though it was against church rules.  My dad had long since moved out and was living at a parsonage at his church. We only got to see him one weekend a month at his church which we visited and was now an “Apostolic” church also. By the time I was twelve, it seemed like all the young people had disappeared from my Mom’s church and my brother and I started going to my Dad’s church every weekend.

School was hell for me. I didn’t fit in with the school gangs and I was constantly in fights. I was constantly teased for my handwriting and the way I dressed. You see, we were very poor and my mom brought us second hand clothes from the Veteran warehouse to wear to school. In elementary school, I was left handed and was talented in art and numbers. I taught myself to write right handed to fit in and studied martial arts to protect myself. I didn’t make many friends but no one pushed me around.

By the Fall of 1963, I was headed back to school with my new found religion and was being teased daily for “being saved” and called “rev” as a negative nick name because the word got around that I was preaching too. Before the school year was out I had made the decision to leave school and get a job to help support my mother. But not before my ninth grade English teacher made me learn a poem that changed my life.

This is Part 3. If you started here, you need to start at the beginning

http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/24/how-it-all-began/

Or follow Part 4 at http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/27/the-hunger-my-personal-journey/

More Reflections – My Personal Journey

I was raised in church, the older of two sons my parents had at the time. My dad, Bishop Milledge Golphin, now deceased, was a memorial preacher in Baltimore and was known as “the preacher’s preacher.” My mother, also deceased, sang in the choir and played the piano. My brother, Gregory and I were raised singing duets in the church. So it was not that unusual that I gravitated toward ministry early. What was unusual was how my childhood developed. My parents separated over “church experiences.”

You see in those days, my dad founded a Baptist church in 1947, having migrated from South Carolina with only a sixth grade education. He taught himself to read studying the bible and following a reader as he preached. His personal insights in the scripture were legendary. We grew up on the Westside of Baltimore and somehow, my mother and a few of her friends at my dad’s church, were attracted to an “Apostolic Church” in south Baltimore. They received the “Holy Ghost” and came back speaking in tongues in my dad’s conservative Baptist church. I vaguely remember the church meeting that voted my mother and her friends out of my dad’s church, but from then on we (my brother and I) were going to the “store front apostolic church” in south Baltimore with my mother.

This is Part 2 of My Journey. If you started here, you need to read Part 1 –

http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/24/how-it-all-began/

Or continue on to Part 3 here:

http://dmgolphin.me/2013/07/26/turning-point-my-personal-journey/

The Place of Praise

I am convinced that the greatest singular act of personal worship that you can render the Lord is to have a thankful heart.  I believe that the Lord desires for us to worship Him with the fruit of our lips as we receive blessing after blessing.  When we are thankful, it ultimately crucifies self-interest and motivations.  Being thankful helps us recognize God for who He really is, as the source of everything.  Thanksgiving is always able to reach God  in the midst of difficult circumstances. God is to praised, and sees beyond the pain to the plan for now.  If you are a thankless person, you have missed the point because the whole of our Christian life is to finally come to the place of thanksgiving.

The Diverse Cultural Church

The church of Jesus Christ has progressed from a small group of Jewish believers in Palestine over 2,000 years ago to a diverse world-wide body of Christians (totaling 2.1. billion) echoing the message of the kingdom of God to a lost world. The diversity of language, culture, and geographical expansion has only served to confuse not clarify the issue. Prophetically speaking we can never forget our Jewish roots, but we must not become slaves or worshipers of Judaism at the expense of short changing Christianity and making it one dimensional. I am not sure we are on the right track when we try to duplicate culture instead of grasping the emphasis and purpose behind various Jewish customs.

Lost Focus

We have become hosts to the emotional and mental gratification of people’s needs without the change of lifestyles required to be holy. Oh, did I mention holy? What an archaic term. We don’t address what it means to be acceptable to God anymore, just what is acceptable to us. It’s not the style of worship we should be concerned with; it’s the goal of worship that should motivate us to love, trust, and obey the Lord.