Friday, July 23, 2010

The Journey July 24th - Part 7

It’s been some time since my last entry on The Journey. As many of you know, I have written a book, A Media Culture, Crisis or Opportunity, The Rise of the Media Missionary. Part of my journey is to reconnect with how God is at work in the world as well as in my life.

For the last two months, I have been in a holding pattern waiting for God. This is always a difficult place to be. God always requires our patience as well as our obedience to his will. So I am waiting to get the book published. I know God is moving and doing things I cannot see. Perhaps, someone I do not know in a distant city will be moved by the Holy Spirit to release the resources needed to publish this book. So I will continue to hold steadfast and wait for God to move.

In some ways this is also a very difficult time for me. July 24th was my last day at the ministry that I founded back in 1987. It is a bittersweet moment. I am thrilled to be doing what God has called me to do. I have an enormous passion for the work of Flannelgraph Ministries and Media Missionary School. And I am convinced that if I was still at my old ministry, I would not have written this book. But it is also difficult to no longer be at a ministry that came out of the vision God had planted in my heart back in the 1980s. In some ways, it is as if I was never there. That’s difficult to accept even in the best of circumstances. In life, people change and ministries also can evolve and change over time.

So what has God taught me over this past year? These experiences are not unusual. We all face them at some time. They can either make us stronger or destroy us. God has revealed three important things that have helped me get through these challenging times.

(1) We will all face some type of challenge in our lives, whether we lose a job, a ministry or a business, it’s bound to happen. It’s how we handle these situations that will define our character and our relationship to God. In fact, how can we grow spiritually without trials and tribulations?. The Bible makes it clear that we are not to remain static. We are challenged to grow into the fullness of Christ’s grace and image. That can’t happen without a few bumps in the road.

(2) You have to believe in yourself and what God has called you to do. When you start doubting yourself or what God is saying to you, then you’re in trouble. In the past year, God has reignited my passion for his calling. He has put people in my life who believe in the vision God has given me. I can’t tell you how important that is. Doubt will destroy you.

(3) You must be willing to forgive even if the people don’t believe they need to be forgiven. The point is, it’s not for their welfare, it’s for yours. Unforgiveness only hurts you not the person that you believe has wronged you. Here’s something I learned a long time ago but is difficult to put into practice. You must make a decision every day to forgive, and it cannot be based on your emotions. Forgiveness must be a decision. Don’t trust your emotions. They are usually the last thing that lines up. So make the decision to forgive and move on.

The bottom line is I am in a much better spiritual place today than a year ago. And for that I am grateful. I welcome God in my life and what he is doing. So I will continue the journey out on the old road where I know God resides.

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