You see, all I ever longed for was to do the will of the Lord. My early dreams were to marry, have a family, and serve God with the talents and skills he equipped me with. And somewhere along the way God began to make it clear that he had plans for me to pursue the calling of a pastor.
It began in my early 20's as a college freshmen at Grace College, then onto my early years of marriage after college. One night while pouring into some precious teens at the Hagerstown Teen Center I rolled my ankle and was forced to take some time off work. I had never missed a day of work in my life up to that point, but it was exactly what God would use to get my attention.
Prior to that I had people tell me that I should consider the full-time ministry path, but I never felt the full urge from God to do so. I had invested hours in the local church as an elder, teacher, leader, and supporter of my pastors. Yet, I never felt the call to be a pastor until after this moment when I tore a ligament in my ankle.
Fast forward... my wife and I made a trip to Grace Seminary and met with an advisor about the potential for me enrolling at Grace. I will never forget that moment as we left the office and I was holding my 6 month old son Josh in my hands, when we both looked at each other and knew this is where God wanted us.
It was clearer then it had ever been that God has placed a call on my life to be a pastor. In a few weeks we moved from a 4 bedroom dream house in the country, said goodbye to family, packed everything we owned, and made the trek to Grace College and Seminary, and moved into a 2-bedroom upstairs apartment in Winona Lake Indiana in the summer of 1992.
As I looked at the above photo of my pastoral staff from Christmas Eve, I marvel at the ways God has moved sinced I said yes to the call of ministry. I am blown away that he has given me such an incredible Church family to pastor . I am humbled by the way God wanted to call me when so many others were more talented, gifted, and spirit-led.
I love my calling. The moment it becomes a job then it no longer is a calling in my mind. Thanking God today for my wife and children who have given so much to make this calling real!