Monday, June 25, 2012

A Call in Texas

I have so many things I want to write this morning!  It is Monday and I missed writing last week while I was out of town!  I will spare you all the craziness and just share with you what God reminded me of as I sat in the auditorium of Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC) on the campus of Ouachita Baptist University this past week.  It was a sweet remembrance of just what God has done in our family.  I think it's important to reflect where the stones are laid in our lives and the promises God has kept.  A time to remember how he has rescued us.   Loved us.  Taught us.  Provided for us. 

Super Summer Arkansas (SSAR) was GREAT this year!  (SSAR is a camp held in Arkadelphia, AR for students)  God did some amazing things in many students lives this past week.  Everytime we go to SSAR, it feels like we are at a BIG family reunion. Current students, college students, families of student minister's, all traveling to the same place, with the same purpose.   Kind of makes me think of what the Festivals in the Bible probably felt like.  An opportunity to meet with the people who you have crossed paths with at some point in your life, meeting together to worship.

"For these things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival." Psalm 42:4

This year was extra special because it was Warren's turn at being the Super Summer Chair.  He had the privilege of choosing the theme, scripture, and having the responsibility to lead the camp this year.  When he first told me his theme idea, I wasn't too sold on it.  But as the year progressed and I learned what and how important the feasts/festivals were, I was passionately sold on the theme.  It was at the festival of Booths that Jesus stood and said,

"If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink." John 7:37

(This verse has much meaning when you are at rec at SSAR!)

Seeing Warren on stage leading at different times caused me to think back to where all God has taken us as a couple and as a family.  As I sat in the front row seat on Tuesday night, all around me sat former students that are now in college serving the Lord.  We have known most of them before they could even tie their shoes.  Several rows behind me sat current students, yelling with excitement .  In that section sat our Tyler.  Loving the Lord.  I just can't tell you what it does to a person when you are sitting in an invitation and you see students you once led to Christ or discipled, now leading others to Christ/discipling.  Very humbling.  A sweet taste of God's grace and love.

When Tyler was 6 months old, Warren and I were living in Huntington, Arkansas on his parents homeplace.  Warren was working for KHBS Channel 40 in Fort Smith in the promotions department.  He had been working at this job ever since he graduated the University of Arkansas with a degree in English.  During the Summer of 1997, KTEN in Denison/Sherman, Texas called Warren and offered him the director position for promotions/production at the station.  After much prayer, we took the job.

Warren liked his job pretty well.  But God used this job to make us uncomfortable.  Warren lost his passion for television.  It began to really bother him.  He would come home unfulfilled every day.  No passion.  The only thing keeping him going at work was the ministry opportunties he saw and was trying to take advantage of.
The building in Denison, Texas where KTEN was housed

Warren and I would search the scriptures over the next year we were in Texas.  We studied a Precept study together, I Timothy.  God used this book of the Bible as well as  the youth minister and yourthworkers at Parkside Baptist Church to work in our lives.  He also used a 12th grade Sunday School class that we taught to help us discern God's will for our lives.  We knew God was doing something.  We just had to seek Him for the answers.  We lived in Denison for 18 short months.  God brought us to this place to do a new work in our lives.
Parkside Baptist Church (Denison, Texas)

"And you will seek Me and find Me,
when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11

After sensing a calling in our lives to the ministry, Tyler, Warren, and I knelt down on the rose-colored carpet in our apartment.  I will never forget the spot and those tiny knees of Tyler kneeling on that floor.  We confessed, committed, and gave our lives to full-time minstry, 
Whatever that would mean.  We were ready to go.

Tyler and Warren at our apartment in Denison
That was 14 years ago. God would lead us to youth ministry where Warren has served in 2 churches as youth and associate pastor/youth and family minister. 

Blessings.  Growth.  Joy.  Struggles.  Passion.  Fulfillment.  Humbled.  Purpose.  Ministry has been this and so much more for our family since we surrendered to the calling He put on our lives.

Calling.  God calls each of us to different tasks to complete His will on this earth.  He doesn't call everyone to full-time ministry like our family, but he calls all of us to minister to people.

What does the ministry in your life look like? 
How about your family's life?

I know for me, one of the greatest blessings on this whole entire earth is serving with Warren, Tyler, Ethan, and Elise. I love mission trips with them.  Camps.  I love having dinner with them and the friends we are trying to reach.  I love ministry at ballgames with my family. There is nothing better than having a vision together as a family about a person or another family that you would like to reach for Christ. 

So I encourage you, find a family that needs Jesus.  Sit at the dinner table and pray for them.  As you drive down the road, talk about ways to build a relationship with them.  Intentionally cross paths with them as a family.  It's our calling to always be doing this.  Always to be sharing Christ.  It's important enough that Christ's last words to us was just this.

" shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria,
and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8

You won't regret it for a minute.  Ministry. 

"...walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
showing forbearance to one another in love,
 be dilligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

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