Denomination: Baptist (All)
|Synopsis: At the age of 41 you would think that it is too late to get into the ministry. Well, I am here to tell you that what I think or feel does not matter when it comes to God's purpose.|
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You would think while being in prison I would have hit the lowest possible point in my life, not so. After getting out I remarried to a very wonderful woman that I dearly love and hope to spend the remainder of my life. She has been an earthly rock for me and always has a bright outlook on dark spots in our life.
I had a job interview and the interviewer gave me a break and hired me, even after I explained my past, I moved up fast in this company and became a manager. I was on top of the world, Look what I had done! Two years and doing great, I thought. Then it happened, others in the company found out about my past, the interviewer had never turned in the documentation about my past and I was soon forced to quit. I was devastated to say the least.
I found another job managing a store, with the owner knowing all about me. I was back on top again. Not even a year into the job and I found out that the owner was dealing in stolen merchandise and I had to quit to keep from going pack to prison.
OK, I will start my own business then, and did. It was doing great, I even had a newspaper article written about my business and how good I was. I was back again, you can't keep me down! Then the "fun" truly began, I started having terrible headaches, family problems, everyone turning against me. I had to close the business due to my health, break ties with my family, and my marriage was faltering, it didn't look too good. Guess what, I finally hit bottom.
My wife and I talked and we decided that I needed help, God's help. I was Catholic so we went to five (5) different churches but I couldn't speak to a priest without an appointment. Things have changed since I was younger, this is not to say that there is anything wrong with the Catholic faith, God just had other plans for me. I was totally discouraged and we decided to go home. On the way back, like a flash of light I remembered a Baptist ministers name that had buried my father. My father was not a religious person, but before he died he had spoken with this minister many times and had a great respect for him. If he was good enough for Dad maybe he could help me. We got home and I called him, he said sure he could come over right now if I wanted, or we could talk on the phone. We talked for about an half hour and it was a great relief for me. He started coming over and the next thing I knew I was going to church. I was baptized into the church and the Baptist faith. I became a very active member in the church, even a Sunday school teacher and Youth director. I even got a job as a carpenter, nice touch huh. Every thing was OK now, wrong again!
You see, I was getting closer to God, but I still was not doing His will. A little over a year into the job I started having pain in my right shoulder. I had started missing the prayer meetings, evening Sunday services and just not paying the attention to God that I should. This went on for about three months before I went to the Doctor about the pain and as you can guess the outcome was surgery of course. Now things really started to pick up, as far as God getting my attention. During the surgery I died, it seems that I am one of those few people who are allergic to general anesthesia, my blood pressure dropped and my heart went erratic and stopped. It took three doctors to revive me, very close call (see note #1). I started talking about needing to get into the ministry again, but still did not make the move to do it and I had had some not so pure thoughts about other women lately. Two weeks after the surgery, I was driving my car (sports car and I had done some serious customizing done to it!) to a garage to order new tires. After ordering them I started down the road, just as I shifted into fifth gear I had a sever pain in my right shoulder and the arm went numb. I jerked the steering wheel to the right with my left hand while trying to grab my right shoulder and I immediately had an off the road sports vehicle. All I could think of was, get it back on the road easy, slowly, you see I had gone off the right side of the road and it was about a 55 degree incline. I got the car back on the road and just as the passenger rear tire caught the shoulder of the road the car turned sideways and continued down the road that way. I closed my eyes and let go of the steering wheel, I Knew I was a dead man. Of course God made a liar out of me again, the car swung around backwards and went back off the right side of the road over the bank and backwards into a tree. When the car hit the tree, the front of the car jumped into the air and it started to fall over the hill sideways. The drivers side door came up against a little fir tree no more than an inch and a half in diameter. That little tree stopped a 2,600 pound car from going on over the hill (about a 35 foot drop). The police officer said He didn't know how in God's name I could have gotten the car back on the road. By all rights it should have rolled over when I first went off the road. When he said that, it hit me, how it could happen, how I could die on the operation table, how every thing that I wanted to do could fail, how my health could go bad so fast and easily, and how all my problems were because I was not doing what God wanted of me. At that Point I gave a testimony to the officer, "You said it, God is how".
That was just a week and a half ago and I started praying for guidance as to what I am to do. Our minister called me on a Thursday, one day short of a week since the accident. He asked me if I would be an usher at an associational revival, I said yes (I needed some serious reviving too!). That is where I got my answer, God wants me to be a minister to his children and the lost and now "WE" will do it. (see note #2)
You see my whole life has been "I" and I cannot do anything. Only with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our life is anything and everything possible. As He stated in Matthew 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." So now it will be "WE" instead of me in this life.
Note #1: God used my death on the operating table to teach my Doctor and the operating room staff a lesson at the same time He was giving me a wake up call. That is another story for another day.
Note #2: I contacted Dr. Robert Shigley at the Trinity College & Seminary and spoke with him about my plight and need to serve God. Dr.. Shigley said that they could help me get the education needed to become a minister. So, here We go!
A Brother in Christ,
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