Monday, June 9, 2008


Yesterday we got together with Dave and Geri Parker. As a background reference, they are the special people we are connected to at the Worship Center in Lancaster, PA.
How wonderful it is to talk to people who understand and know what you’re going through. From ministry to parenting, they knew what we were talking about.
In so many ways, they related to our feelings and frustrations. This was indeed a great moment of settling some issues in my heart and mind.

As we sat and talked at the restaurant table, I was reflecting back on our first years in Harrisburg when “mom” as we like to call her said to me, “It was not a mistake and it was not a failure. You had to find out and see what would not work here.”

All I could was just say, “Yes, ma’am…you’re right. I receive that.”
With just those few words of encouragement, the past two years of feeling like a failure and fraud, were wiped away. It was like the final page of a chapter in a book was turned for me. I cannot put it in words right now, which is unusual, but it was as if though God used her to turn the page for me. I had become so trapped by the outcome of all that happened, that deep inside, that page of the story was still open.
Even though a lot more has been written, and a lot more has been said and done since that time, it’s been like having a bookmark set in that one place, so that every time I come to the book, the story always opens up to that page.

God used mom Geri to remove the bookmark and turn the page. That chapter is closed. I told her, Carol has always told me the same thing to which she said, “God has sent confirmation.” Then Dave told me a couple of stories of his own both concluding with, “lesson learned.”

I feel like I’ve been set free from a heavy steel ball that had been chained to my leg. Over the past few months, some of my blogs have been filled with venting, ranting and crying. It was basically because this page had never been turned.

God is doing something special in Fruitful Life right now. Carol and I are ministering to an expressed need in this community. People are actually asking for help regarding relationships and marriage. When it happened and we realized God had literally placed a legitimate ministry in our hands, it was like the V-8 commercial where the person is popped on the head because they should have realized what was available to them.

For us, this is our V-8 moment. But before I could venture too far down that path, Dave told me, “But you weren’t ready to receive this ministry at that time.” And he was so right. I was so focused on ministering to the community from the church and the pulpit that I was not ready to address the real need that God was going to bring before Carol and me.

So God took us totally out of the church world, gave us secular jobs, and let us live a typical life and lifestyle of a citizen of Pennsylvania. He let us experience their frustrations, disappointments and pain.

Now that we KNOW AND UNDERSTAND, God has suddenly released people to come and receive what He has for them, through us.

Everything is new. Everything is fresh. I’m writing again and the text is flowing like never before. I’m literally writing four books at the same time. There is not as much music coming, as in times past. I feel some songs stirring within me, but they will come forth as we get into the flow of ministering to those that come on our Friday night sessions. O’ how we look forward to that.

Carol and I are video taping teaching sessions and re-writing materials. All I can say is that by the grace of God, “WE’RE BACK!”

God has just been so faithful to us. Everything is not what we’d like to be, but we’re so thankful that it’s not what it used to be and certainly not as bad as it could be.

In every way, we can just sense that the new thing has already begun. Our main focus is to stay in the place of rest. God is doing this, so we’re just staying out of His way. As mom Geri told us yesterday, we just need to be available to Him.
She said, “Now God has your ear.”

When she said it I thought to myself, “You got that right, mom. I don’t want to make a move unless I hear from Him.” Then I also thought about making sure I don’t get too busy. Even though we’re writing, and teaching, the point is for us to stay open and available to the Lord. We have to minister from hearts and lives that are connected to a fresh resource and supply of His spirit.

I just thank God for yesterday. It was such a closure that when I woke up this morning, it was the beginning of not just a whole new chapter, but a whole new story. This is the beginning of a new book in this on going journey with the Lord.

Purpose will be enough

This has been a very emotional time for Carol and me. Our youngest sons just graduated from high school and we’re filled with mixed feelings as we transition through this summer and go through the process of preparing them for life after high school.

Now it’s their turn to enter the most difficult season of one’s life and we find ourselves praying and hoping they can get through it without too many distractions and detours.

It was the time of life that knocked me off course for over ten years and our oldest son is in the midst of his detour recovery. It’s just a real difficult transition to make in life. That was the reason I wrote the What Now book. Now my sons are in it. I hope they can pick up some of the words of wisdom that I have passed on to others.

I look back over the past four years and I realize that they have been a part of shaping who my sons are today. They are stronger and full of purpose. They are not wavering from that point of view. As parents, our concern is for the people and ideas that will now be bombarding their lives. The promise we have from God is that we would give them purpose, and that would be enough.

Okay Lord, we hold on to Your promise.