My Ordination Words

On July 17, 2004 I was asked to say a few words at my own service of ordination.  This what I said then.  I pray it is always increasingly true in my life:

When God poured his grace out on me in the year of 1988, it did not occur to me that the call to salvation and the call to preach could be any way different from each other.   So I began immediately.  I had already reached the part about “going into all the world and telling the gospel to every creature.” I figured that one at a time was good, but telling groups was better.  So I began to address every group I could find, revival tents, street corners, anywhere.

Talking to my own family was also a challenge. Telling my family, of a largely Jewish and atheistic heritage that I had become a Christian raised objections, challenges, and even some tempers.  For me to follow Jesus meant to be prepared to surrender to Him my family, my friends, and my professional associations.  There was not one relationship in my life that was not altered, and for a while, strained, by His coming into my life.

God brought a wonderful woman into my life and after He confirmed to us that we could be married and serve Him both, we were married.  As we settled into a church home, God began to confirm through our church that He had a particular calling for me, to lead worship, to teach the Bible, and to encourage people to live the Christian life.  While it was clear that the call was as a Pastor, there was just no time for the formalities involved.  There were just too many people who needed to know about Jesus.  Our house was always filled with people for prayer, study, and fellowship. 

Our church sent us out to do evangelism, back on my home island of St John, USVI.  Then we returned to the states where we worked with the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities in Birmingham.  Here God has grown our family with two wonderful children, and countless brothers and sister in Christ that we love deeply.

I come tonight, not seeking a title, a position, or a career path.  I come seeking the answer to the question that has haunted me night and day for fifteen years.  The question, I pray, haunts you as well, that is, “How can God better use my life to tell people about Jesus.”  I am grateful to all of you how have been part of His answer to me, and even more grateful for those of you who will join me in continually asking that same question, as long as God gives us breathe.

Amen.

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