Weekly Blog – September 24, 2019
The first time it happened was in 1996. Kathy and I were living in Loxahatchee, FL., with my then eight-year-old daughter Heather. The year before, 1995, I had begun my schooling for certification as a Lay Minister (Now Director of Church Ministries), with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
I spent many evenings back then doing homework and a lot of reading. At that time, there was no internet to speak of or online courses. My classmates and I met once a month at a church in Hialeah, FL, and later in Boca Raton, FL., for an all-day Saturday session of courses taught in the morning and afternoon.
I’m sorry I digress. One evening I was sitting at my desk in my home office doing homework for my classes. As I was typing, something extraordinary happened. I felt like I was no longer typing but rather someone was guiding my hands, my thoughts and the information that was being put on the page. It was an odd feeling as I saw the words appearing on the page as I typed, saying to myself, “Where did that come from, I didn’t even know I knew that?”
This began to happen more and more as I did my homework for my classes. I talked to my wife, Kathy, and told her that I felt like the Holy Spirit was guiding my hand, my thoughts, and my writing.
This has continued for many years, even now as I write this blog. Soon after I completed my classes in 1999/2000, I began writing an occasional devotion that I would post on the internet, and as the years progressed, I did this more and more. Each time I wrote one I could feel the Spirit guiding me, even saying, “No,” on many occasions as I would rework a sentence or paragraph.
Please don’t get me wrong, I read many books during my classes and after to gain theological and church history knowledge. I read my bible every day, I also read several devotionals each day, and now I post devotionals several times a week on my church webpage as well as my own. For years the Holy Spirit worked and continues to work on me and my writing.
During my last six years before I retired, I preached at my church 3-5 times a year. Again, I always felt the Spirit guiding my hands, my thoughts, and my heart as I prepared my sermons. It was a humbling experience each time, knowing that I was being led to say certain things by someone other than myself.
Earlier this year, I published my first book, “Adventured in Youth Ministry,” Perspective of a Second Career Youth Minister.
I had been attempting to write this book for at least eight years, but God always has His way and a plan. I’m now 2 ½ years into retirement from full-time youth ministry, and this is when He wanted it written. The book is Spirit-filled that being He led me to write about certain things, certain people, particular circumstances, and allowing me to share my stories and youth interactions with fellow youth workers and laypeople alike.
I thought this is it. This book is the culmination of what God’s Spirit has been doing with me all these years, guiding me, cajoling me, correcting me, and even giving me a swift kick once in a while.
I was wrong. You see the Spirit of God is never done with you, and He told me we have more to do. So now here I am, writing this weekly blog, and sharing years of collected Children’s messages, Youth devotions, and Youth Bible studies on my very own webpage that I would never have imagined I’d have a year ago. (joegministries.com)
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12, verse 12, Jesus says, “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Jesus was telling His disciples that the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say when they were brought before the religious leaders of the day. I believe the same thing holds true today.
“Human inarticulateness will give way to the strength and eloquence that comes from God’s Spirit. Here is the final encouragement to speak up for Jesus despite opposition and persecution.” (The People’s Commentary, Luke, Victor H. Prange.)
God’s Holy Spirit will never stop working on me, nor you. He is relentless. He has been guiding and directing me in my writing for years.
He Guides us, encouraging us (to use our God-given gifts), and yes at times even gives us the swift kick we need to stay on track. Be still, listen, and know that He is our God. Know that He loves you, that he wants you to continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, and He will be with you till the very end of time.
Let God’s Spirit fill you with a knowing hope for the good future He has planned for you. Follow His lead on the path that was created for you before you were born.