If you were to ask me about my core Scriptures, ones that rocked my world at an early age and embedded themselves deep into my faith, I would give you two.
First Psalm 68:6
“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
In the Aramaic Bible in Plain English Translation it reads.
“God sets the only child in a house and he sends out prisoners into prosperity and the rebels will dwell in the tombs.”
Number two is Psalm 27:10.
“For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.”
The Aramaic Bible in Plain English Translation reads.
“Because my father and mother abandoned me, and Lord Jehovah took me up.”
These two passages provided needed strength to not just endure the abusive home I was raised in but to triumph over the wounds that cruelty caused in my life. Father God took me, raised me, set my lonely heart in a family…His family. The prosperity that flowed was relational, the richness of my healing was overwhelming and the songs we sang together totally freeing.
I am a free man
Since becoming (tri-vocational) pastor 4 years ago these verses have fueled my shepherding vision, mostly without me knowing they were. During the past weekend of a leadership summit, a questioned was asked twice by our oversight team (individually and then when the whole team was together), a question that showed me how deeply embedded these Scriptures were in my heart.
The question was:
“How do you see you shepherding now in comparison to when you started 4 years ago…what has changed?”
Trying to answer that question (both times) brought tears to my eyes…all I could get out (at first) was…
“I just love them…more.”
When I first answered the call, it was from a sense that Father wanted me to serve Him in this way, for this season and there was no way I was not going to answer that call! Now, 4 years later God has embedded my heart deeply in the people I serve and I want obey Him more than ever.
I want to see the forsaken taken in; the lonely set in a family and hear former spiritual POW’s sing for joy as they walk in freedom…I hunger to be in the freedom business, just like my Abba Father.
So a tri-vocational pastor, after much prayer and counsel, (at age 61) heads off to a different promised land and quits his job of 30 years to become a full-time shepherd of the hearts he’s called to serve.
And I am crying again…
Steps are challenging but they take us places and when we follow the Master, they take us places beyond what we can imagine.
“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. (11) I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths. (12) When you go, your steps shall not be narrowed, and when you run, you shall not stumble.” Proverbs 4:10-12
Will you join me in this…will you take the steps the Father is asking you to take and to follow His Son Jesus…wherever He leads? How can I pray for you?
Serving Him together!