My goal is to have the blog back on a regular time line beginning in January. I’ve been helping out at an art Centre for the last number of months and I had no idea that my involvement would absorb so much of my time. This has been a very enjoyable experience and I have learned a great deal about art galleries and how they operate. It has also been a great opportunity to meet many great artists, collectors, and dedicated people who love art and the process of creating art. But, the work has gotten in the way of this blog and the growth of Ruth and my spiritual life.
So, this month Ruth and I are officially finished and after a short break for the Christmas holidays, to be with our family, we will be back hard at work on putting this blog out every two days. I want to thank all of you who had continued to follow this blog for doing so even though I have been very sporadic in posting lately.
With that all said I would like to bring you up to date in regards to Puji, our minister friend from Mongolia. Our friends Paul and Carolyn suggested that we just leave an envelope on the table at our last Bible study and whoever would like to contribute towards helping Puji’s ministry could place their offering in it. We raised a nice amount and that money has been sent on to Puji.
Now here is what is really exciting about this. Puji and his congregation were praying that God would provide the funding for the rent of the building they use in the winter to hold services. While they were praying God was using a group of Christians gathered in a front room in a small town in Canada to meet that request.
This started me thinking about the little things in life that we are often prompted to do by the working of the Holy Spirit. In our busy life we can skip over those directives of the Spirit because we don’t have time to follow up, or we simply don’t have the inclination to respond. I know how easy it is to ignore those promptings and excuse myself from responding to the Spirit’s leading because I’m not paying attention to the Holy Spirit’s work.
Many years ago when I was pastoring I went through a time when I was very discouraged. The church was growing, but spiritually I felt like everything was not grounded in the Spirit’s will. I don’t know if I’m explaining how I felt well, but there was just this longing and need for the congregation to grow spiritually. It wasn’t long until I understood that what I really was longing for was my own spiritual growth. I had become so busy “doing church “hat I wasn’t hearing God’s voice like I had earlier.
To make a long story short, I found myself discouraged and one day I came home and lay down on the floor of the family room totally exhausted and defeated. I remember that day as if it was just moments ago. Ruth was ironing and I looked up at her and said, “I can’t do this any more. I can’t fight the system, I’m worn out, I’m quitting and going to go back to University and get a doctorate in Theology.”
I don’t think this was a total shock to Ruth as she had seen my struggling over the last number of weeks. I believed that if I could just get a break everything would be fine. As I lay there trying to convince Ruth and myself that quitting was the best thing to do the phone rang.
Reluctantly I answered the phone and it was a minister that I knew in a very casual way. He pastored a church of a different denomination from the one I belonged to, and we meet with a group of other pastors once a week to pray together. We, however, had almost no contact outside that group so it was a complete surprise to hear his voice on the phone.
He said, “I’ve been studying here at the office and the Holy Spirit spoke to me concerning you.” That caught my attention. He went on, “I don’t know what is happening in your life, but I have a message for you.” That really caught my attention. He then said something that would change my life, “The impression on my was so strong that I had to pick the phone up and phone you right away. The message I heard was, ‘I am in your work and you are not to give up. You are to continue and God is in the work and I am with you.”
He paused and then asked me, “Are you alright, is something going on that has you discouraged and you plan to quit the ministry?” How could he have known that that was the exact thing going through my head when he phoned? He knew because the Holy Spirit told him and then gave him a message for me.
So, why do I tell you all this? It is because this pastor responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When he received this impression, and he later told me it was one of the strongest impressions that he ever received, he acted upon it. Because of his faithfulness my ministry was saved because if left to my own desires I would have quit that very day.
My goal for 2016 is to become more open to the leading of the Spirit. I am convinced in my heart that I must stop helping out at the Centre because I need to grow again as a Christian. I need time to study, pray, visit, and share my faith. I believe this is the first step in listening to the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Ruth has been under the same impression lately and as we talk about it we sense God’s leading.
When Paul and Carolyn said “let’s put an envelope out for Puji,” they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit because Puji and his friends were praying for help. It’s the little things that seem so unimportant that are actually what is really important in the big scheme of things.
* Please take the time to read some of the stories of Christians who are experiencing persecution for their total commitment to Christ. They need our support and prayers.. http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…