I’m reminded of a story in the scriptures of a young boy by the name of David, who would grow up to be king. But before he was king, young David would work in the field tending sheep. It wasn’t until his father called him out of the field that the prophet Samuel would look at him at say, “That’s the one,” (emphasis added). After David was called out of the field by his father, fast forward a little bit and you see David in the palace of king Saul, Playing the Harp. David’s job wasn’t just to play the Harp, but to also pay attention to the king so that when Davids opportunity came he would be ready. I like to tell people today I am playing the harp. God, my Father, has called me out of the field and put me in the palace to pay attention so that when my opportunity comes, I will be ready. My first week at the church was amazing. The pastor and I went to a leadership conference called significant church about 3 hours away from home. We had to leave bright and early but it was well worth it. The conference primarily taught on how to increase maturity in the congregational body by reaching the three groups that make up the church. The unchurched, the undeveloped Christian, and the mature Christian. Filled with tons of information, I was thankful to be apart of that and look forward to using the material in the future.
Finishing up my second week, last week was filled with ministerial hands on opportunities. I was fortunate enough to travel to Birmingham, Alabama where not to long ago the tornado devastated many a families. I have to say the scene was very overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start because debris was everywhere. I honestly had a hard time digesting what happened in Alabama. in my own self examination I realized how I take for granted those warnings that pop up on the television about tornados not believing that one could affect me. I have a new appreciation for them now. What messed me up the most is hearing about the stories of some of the families who suffered fatally in the tornado, seeing houses that were marked with a number indicating how many were killed. I believe the one thing that remained on my mind while serving in Alabama was how our planet is in birth pains and she is desperately groaning for a savior.
Arriving from Alabama, my family and I headed to Charlotte, N.C., or should I say, “Our place of origin. Prior to our trip to Charlotte, my wife and I have had many a discussions on the topic of vision. We realize God has us in a season of preparation, I spoke with my mother-in-law who stated, “To the Christian, nothing happens by coincidence,” wise words mom. The fact that I’m fortunate to receive an education, serve an internship in the church, I will oversee a portion of campus ministry in the fall, doing ministry in a rural area but we live in Charlotte, N.C., what does all this mean? To the Christian, nothing is by coincidence, only time will tell. How awesome it was to see our beloved church family back in Charlotte. We were invited to a wedding and oh how I love weddings, my wife will like that last sentence. I had the privilege to meet with two leaders who have had a big impact on my life and after meeting with them, I feel I can say the vision has been casted. If this is what the Lord wills for my family and I, than everything mentioned above would all make since, perfect since. I won’t go into specific detail, not to keep you in suspicion, but for you to pray, pray that Gods will be done in our lives, pray how the Father might have an opportunity to use you in laboring with us in the kingdom of God as we plan accordingly now and in the future. God is so awesome, and I am truly, truly humbled by His goodness and your prayers. Greater things are yet to come.
As I conclude, I want to encourage you. the bible says that God has a plan for YOU. A plan to give you a future and a hope and not to harm you. I believe that true joy and purpose is found in doing Gods will and nothing will substitute. God knows your every need, heck He knows your request even before you ask Him. If your afraid to fully trust Him, or don’t know how, He says to seek first His kingdom and everything else will be added to you. Is He calling you to something better? Something that you may have missed years ago? Some say that the world has yet to see a fully devoted man or woman of God, is that YOU?
I am so grateful that you took the time to read, thank you! May the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace.
I love you!
I have finally come to conclusion not to long ago, that God called me to preach. It was after I accepted the calling, though still uncertain, He would confirm through encounters with various people and preaching opportunities. Till this day, I wonder, “how can we,” and “why would people want to hear what I have to say,” and “where would we launch our ministry,” and it is in the midst of my uncertainty I remember, “What God originates, He orchestrates.”
A brief history of myself, I can remember a day when playing with peers between the ages of seven and ten, I had to be the youngest at my babysitters house at this time when we all decided to play church. My close friend was the minister of music, he played drums, we had a congregation of two who were close relatives of his also in the same age bracket. And I played the pastor. I wore my babysitters silk purple robe and carried a bible as big as myself at the time and preached a sermon that afterwards I received one comment from our two membered congregation who stated, “Cornell, that was good.” I look back and wonder if God was working in my life. Fast forward some years later, I find myself in high school playing sports and trying to impress everybody I ran into because it appeared as though nobody was interested in me. Home life was ok other than the fact my mother tried to raise a boy into a man on her own with no help which in and of itself can be a difficult task. We were what’s labeled today, “holiday Christians,” only going to church a few times a year, so Jesus Christ was not relational in our house. Back to my high school days, I put all hope in sports only to later realize that sports had no hope in me. I did not set out to accomplish what everybody else was doing or what the Father wanted me to do and it landed me, after going to a smaller college after graduation, right back home with my mother because I could not handle the balance of college life. After a year, I would try it again and enrolled in a junior college in Ely, MN where I would spend two years of my life, playing basketball, and this is where I would meet my beautiful wife. I went into this college with one thing on my mind and that was play sports and earn an athletic scholarship to a big school and go pro. Someone once said you want to hear God laugh try telling Him what your going to do, because that first year I was benched, second year my head was bigger than before filled with pride and I got benched again playing football, leaving my only hope of accomplishing my goal in the basketball world, which is something I wasn’t to thrilled about. I would like to point out that in this era of my life I was rebellious but God was faithful. One day,there was a man from the twin cities who drove a few hours to Ely whose a preacher. For some reason I felt as if I was supposed to go. I went, and at the end of the service, he laid hands and prayed over people but when he came to me he paused, fixed his gaze intently on me and stated, “you are going to be a man of God.” Not knowing what this meant I left and told my wife about it and thought nothing of it.
It was after I accepted a basketball scholarship to a school in Charlotte, NC, this prophecy would come to pass in my life. Jamie, my wife, and I moved to the city known best as, “first in flight,” and God wrecked us. We attended a solid church there that exuberated the Gospel and most importantly love. We finally understood what it meant to have Jesus, Lord over our lives. To make a long story short, we wanted to settle there, after numerous failed attempts to play for a school whose mascot was a golden bull, so we purchased our first home; I was content with giving up playing ball and just working towards getting my degree because I fell in such a love with Christ that He was and is all I wanted and still want to pursue. After coming to this conclusion or should I say contentment, because godliness with contentment is great gain, God called us to move to Columbia, Ky. Coming to Ky, God has blessed us tremendously by opening the womb of my wife and blessing us with our first child, Makayla Grace Thomas, countless relationships, an opportunity to glorify Him by finishing my athletic career, coming here I was able to finish my AA dgree, I graduated with a BA in Christian Ministry last December and I am actively pursuing a Masters in Christian Leadership, with hopes of seminary, God is awesome. So we are here for now, as God is preparing us for ministry.
So I am back where I started, He’s called me to preach. You have to forgive me if I am writing to much, this is my first time blogging, I had to get help on starting from my wife who is the queen of blogging, thanks babe for your help! This second year at Lindsey, the college I attend, have been geared more towards growth, victory, and vision, and I have done just that realizing His calling over my life. I have grown close with a pastor here in town who has taken time out of his schedule to mentor me and has even allowed me to serve at his church for the next four months as an intern to get a feel for ministry and leadership, which is the sole purpose for this blog. I wanted to share with those who have invested and believe in what God is doing in our lives, what I am learning, and what God is showing me. I just finished up my first week today at the church and later today I will post how that went. We are trusting the Lord with all our hearts and we will not try to understand on our own what God is trying to do. We will acknowledge Him in everything we do, and the promise is that He will direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Let us run the race as if to win the prize, that prize being Jesus Christ!!! Be encouraged He loves you unconditionally. Thank you for taking the time. CT