"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Lent Day 30 - Thursday

“Make my life a prayer to You, I want to do what You want me to.
No empty words and no white lies; No token prayers no compromise.
I want to shine the light You gave through Your Son You sent to save us.
From ourselves and our despair, It comforts me to know You're really there.” ~ Keith Green

  Once upon a time there was a young boy, a junior in high school, who felt a call of God on his life. At the time, he was sitting in a circle with a group of friends from church on the top of a mountain in northeast Alabama where they had enjoyed a day of worship, sharing and fellowship. At first, he didn’t quite understand the feelings or the changes it would cause in coming years, but the boy simply said, “Sure, God.”

  As years passed, and the boy grew to be a man, he tried to be what he thought God wanted for him. He entered the ministry, served in local churches and (possibly, hopefully) made a difference in the lives of a few people. Along the way, he seemed to continually be just short of the calling on his life. Not quite there. Just beyond the grasp of his hand. “Something seems to be a little out of kilter, Lord,” he would pray. “I’m serving you, trying to do Your Work, but something is just not right.”

  For many years, the man was active in his church, serving as a Deacon, a Minister, a Sunday School Teacher, a musician, a student chaperone and so many other areas….however, just when “things” began to settle into a comfortable place, the unsettled feelings would come. Anxiety. Searching. Wanting, feeling, needing something more.

  And then one day the man realized that the answers had been right under his nose all the time. God gave him gifts. Music. Piano. Keyboards. Guitar. Leading worship. Writing. Sharing my story. And, no pride intended, but the ability to do these well. That God is there in the tiny details of our life, just as in the big and major events. However, as so often happens, the ways and means of life came in and clouded over these simple gifts that the man needed….needed so desperately… to use for his ministry. The love of service through music, and through writing, became harmed and became second place in his life. He was no longer stepping out on faith.

  During the past 30 days, I (yeah, you knew I was talking about me, didn’t you?) have rediscovered so many things about myself, my walk and my ministry for God. I’ve started to make changes in my life to get back to what I need to be doing. I’ve started to think outside the box of my “normal” walk with God. I’ve started to examine new avenues for ministry and worship with a sense of cautious excitement. And today, for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say I am happy and full of God’s joy. I am content in my spirit and my soul.

  In a way, I’ve come full circle back to that young 17 year old boy who just wanted to serve God and simply answered the call….”Sure, God.” That’s what I’ve said again these past weeks, and then simply stepped back and watched God work. And He Did! Just jumped out at me and said, “Surprise! I’ve been here waiting for you all this time!”  For the first time, in a long time, I’m where I need to be, doing what I need to do. And God gets all the glory and the thanks.

  That’s where my Lenten journey has led me so far and, to be honest, I didn’t expect it. Every year as I make this journey, I learn and experience something new. God is amazing. So, now I ask……where are you in your journey?

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!


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