This month I celebrate an important milestone in the history of my ministry. It was in July, 1963 in Baltimore, MD that I preached my first public sermon and began both a spiritual and intellectual journey in discovering the God of Christianity. I am not clear now on what exactly brought me to this discussion to embrace ministry in my teens.
I do recall several events that may have influenced me. My dad was a pastor; we were having an explosion of youth receiving the Holy Ghost, as we termed it in those days; and my quest for biblical knowledge was consuming me. There were several sign gifts that helped build my confidence as I started out. I discovered I had a phenomenal ability to memorize scripture and I started playing the piano without any pervious lessons.
By now, I was used to hearing people call me strange, different, odd, and a loner. But it was my sixth grade teacher who made the biggest impression on me early in school. She kept telling me “You are an intelligent young man.” Not sure I even knew what that meant, but it resonated with me for years. While reflecting on my 50 year journey so far, I discovered that 2013 and 1963 are identical calendars. What does all this mean? A long history that has come full circle and accomplished very little.
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I believe the Holy Spirit is preparing us for more than just having endless conferences, seminars, and workshops that inform, but seldom change us. Yes, we are the enlightened age-the technological geniuses of the 21st century; this new high tech church world. Where does our fight with the forces of darkness fit into of this new illumination? Somehow, I sense the Holy Spirit wanting to do more than present the church with easy options in which to research information via the internet.
The absence of a moral compass will produce moral chaos until we return to biblical standards of ethics in our families, church, government, and mainly in ourselves. Wesley was right to point us to personal responsibility in salvation and not corporate mandates that imprison us instead of liberating us.
In a “Glory-seeking” society, I wonder how often we think about what it cost to be redeemed? ^DG
In recent years, I believe we have lost the meaning for all the divisions in the church and the war has emerged as just fighting without a cause. ^DG
The Church in essence, has been called to create its’ own society of Faith, while living in the corruption of the world. Jesus prayed to the Father, regarding the disciples, not to take them out of the world, but to keep them in the world. ^DG
The Church today is full of contradictions. We don’t want to be salt & light. We want to be the light, without changing the darkness. ^DG
Most people today are so far removed from worship that we define it as entertainment and fun. On the other hand, some are so stiff in ritualism that they miss the essence of worship for the pattern of structure and order. ^DG