The first time I was caught heading this way was when I was 5 years old. I had rounded up all my toys, set them in rows and was giving them a fire and brimstone sermon.
Periodically as I was growing up my grandmother kept telling me that God had a plan for me, but I couldnít see myself being like Brother John our pastor.
Years passed and I kept telling myself that there was no way I would ever be a preacher. Man, what a dull life that must be. After all, what could a preacher do for fun?
So I tried a few things on for size. I have been a Sailor, an Electronics Technician, a Biological Technician, a Forest Ranger and a Corporate Director to name a few.
Then the day came when I really started digging in the Word of God and I began feeling the call stronger than ever. So I enrolled in Seminary to learn at a faster pace. I couldnít get enough of the Word fast enough at church and this was great.
Then in the summer of 1990 I was asked if I would fill in at the church summer camp while the couple that was directing it took a week off. This was my first hands on ministry experience. I hesitated at first but was assured that it would be no problem as there were only 7 kids enrolled. So I said sure. Well, the coupleís car broke down out of town and they didnít make it back until the last week of camp. So I had it all summer long. If there was one thing I knew for certain it was that I had no idea of what I was doing. I prayed a lot, trusted God, did as I felt I was being lead and at the time the couple returned there were 38 kids in the camp and over 20 of them saved for sure. When asked how I did it I told them that all I did was pray a lot and hope I was doing a fair job. The Lord did all the work and my pay for being there was a simple, thank you.
Next up I ran the Sunday School for the first through sixth graders Ė a rather lively bunch To this I was added the Wednesday night Kids Club, or Junior prayer meeting. Then I was made the Senior Chaplain for the churchís Christian Academy. Pay for all this Ė itís all in heaven, none from this world.
After three years I left this church and joined a Southern Baptist church where I preached on Sunday and Wednesday nights, ran the young adult (21-35) Sunday School and Ushered on Sunday mornings. The Senior Pastor made $650,000.00 a year. I asked not one dime. My pay Ė itís in Heaven too.
From there I moved out of state and being a little disturbed at how much money some of these preacher ask for and get, I just did free lance evangelism and weddings here and there. I never asked a single cent from any one. However, between two weddings I did one weekend I was given $50.00 and three Bud Lites, which I tried to refuse, but ended up with any way.
Then in February 2004 I nearly hemorrhaged to death and was taken to the ICU at a local hospital where, when I asked what was wrong, the nurse told me I would be dead in the next 15 to 20 minutes. They sent a priest in to give me Last Rights, which he did and then when he to hear my confession I told him I wasnít a Catholic and had already talked with the Lord.
Well I didnít die as you can see. I made a remarkable recovery and signed myself out 3 days after being told I had just minutes of life left, walked out of the ICU and went home. I had started to give up on everything including ministry and I believe this was my wake up call.
I started seeking Christians to talk to and got back into the Word again. A couple of months later the Lord sent my a wonderful Christian woman and we were married. That would be Marie and she is Canadian. We havenít seen each other in almost a year and thatís about how long weíve been married. We are still waiting for the immigration process to complete.
In the mean time we started building a web site with information on Christian topics. We paid for this web site with our own money and if you check the site you will find no click to donate buttons Ė just information and Christian reading.
Now you may think we must have money to do these things. The answer is no. In fact we are pretty poor people. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet and I live on that little pension that comes once a month. So why do these things to date with no monetary compensation? Simple: I love the Lord.
There are a couple of things I believe make for a good attitude towards ministry: