redeemed copy 
St. James Chapel was buzzing with excitement. The vibe was so tangible, so powerful; I could feel it through the thick doors separating the fellowship hall from the sanctuary. I walked through a side entrance and did a quick scan around the small sanctuary, what seemed empty moments before, was now packed. As I sat down next to my wife, I caught the smiles of family and friends, and immediately felt my eyes tear up.

“Hold it together Jay” I thought

Tears and laughter flowed throughout the ordination service. I could sense the joy of the Father in the room; His presence was thick and intent on expressing His love. My pastor talked about the miracle of my story, the power of redemption in a life almost destroyed.

My daughter Sarah, along with my son Matt, signed along with Big Daddy’s song “Redeemed”. Through all theses displays of love towards me, the theme of the day was loud and compelling.

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
Wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed

This was the town I almost died in. This is where a lost, abused kid; tried to throw his life away with drinking and drugs. I wasn’t supposed to survive or become somebody of value. I was becoming a statistic, a reminder of failed promises and dreams.

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet

This is also the town I found redemption.

I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
Cause his day is long dead and gone
I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

My ordination was more than a day to celebrate my step into ministry. It was a Holy moment to rejoice over my deliverance. My past, present and future are wrapped up in redemptive power. It is a force to dispel shame, rejection and reminders of failure. The fragrance of freedom is released, drawing others to the Father’s heart.

I am redeemed…that my friend…is something to celebrate!

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:11


Bill (cycleguy) said…
I love this Jay! God's amazing love never ceases to amaze me. congrats on the ordination.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks was a very humbling day for me.
Dusty Rayburn said…
I'm with Bill. I love this! We are redeemed! We are set free!

The chains of our broken past have been broken and we have been wholly mended in His loving embrace.

Praying for you as you journey.
Jay Cookingham said…
Amen Dusty...thanks so much!
marthaorlando said…
Such a beautiful and touching story, Jay! Oh, how strong is the redemptive love of the Father - yours is a journey which reflects just how powerful it is.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Martha...our Father is good!
jasonS said…
I love how God does things like this. We are taking a step into something new and He faithfully reminds and presses upon us His amazing love and grace that brought us to that point. So good! Thanks Jay. Beautifully told and still so excited for you!
Jay Cookingham said…
Reminders of His grace and redemptive power are always good bro'. Thanks
TCAvey said…
Praise God!
This post gave me chills!
God bless.
Jay Cookingham said…
Praise God indeed TC! Bless ya!
floyd said…
Awesome reminder of the redemption we all have from our Father through His son Jesus Christ.

I love the heart of God in your words, Jay. He speaks through you in so many ways. The future belongs to our Father. God bless, my friend.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Floyd...the Father loves us so much and its great that He reminds us everyday!
Michael said…
You "stepped into ministry" a long time ago, Jay, as testified to by the words of many as they speak and give witness to your impact on their lives. In actuality, your ordination didn't change a thing in this regard but rather provided an acknowledgement of what was already true.

You are a blessing my brother and the Spirit often brings you to mind that I might join with countless others who love you and your family in praying for you all.
Jay Cookingham said…
As one who personally knows my heart, I appreciate those words Michael, I truly do. Bless you...I value our friendship deeply.

Popular Posts