Sometimes I'm surprised at where my work leads me. Serendipity, encouragement, affirmation - all beyond my expectation. Fact is, it's impossible to even begin to guess at the creative ways God works for the good when it comes to using us when we "Love God and have been called according to God's purposes." (Romans 8:28)
THE STORY: Yesterday, Rebekah fielded a call from an old friend (from our Pensacola days) who now lives in California. Long story short her family had been attending a large, thriving Presbyterian Church, but realized, "They don't need me here." So they joined a Methodist congregation that could very much use the help.
Note: Rebekah and I often tell people the last thing they should do is to try to replicate their experience in our church when they move to another town. What God is most likely calling them to do is help make a struggling congregation strong...
Well... our friend talked to the pastor and offered to get involved with the education program. The pastor was thrilled and asked her to launch an adult Christian Education class. She asked around about materials and was directed to a "well-recommened" Advent study. When she got the book home and started to read ahead she realized she knew the author! She was so excited that she tracked down Rebekah and shared the story. Now a Sunday-school class of Monterey Methodists is reading "In My Heart I Carry A Star" together.
TODAY: Then, this morning, I was invited to speak at the stated meeting of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay . The new moderator, Rev. Carl Vom Eigen, decided to kick off his term with an initiative for all 75 churches to study my new book "Reaching Toward Easter" together.
Wow! What a thrill to be able to stand up in front of 300 ministers and elders, and to share an invitation to take a spiritual journey together. What an opportunity to - potentially - lead several thousands of people through a time of preparation for Easter that could well set the spiritual tone for the next leg of their pilgrimage as disciples of Jesus....
AWESOME GOD! I really do stand amazed at the way God directs my paths. God is always full with surprises, but always equal to the surprise with resources and encouragement and the gift of faith to walk into the possibility of promise.
Peace, Hope, love & Joy - DEREK