Yesterday afternoon I went to the city of Norwich, CT. The business I had there was preparing a rental
apartment to be rented through a turnover. Yesterday was the third time we have been there working.
Like many north east cities in America, Norwich was once upon a time very affluent. What remains is a struggling community
with great pockets of impoverished people desperate for opportunity. These people are a growing population in our country today.
Several years ago I lived in a similar city in Rhode Island. A city known as Woonsocket. I lived in the darkness of the place that lacked hope,
so I am very knowledgeable of these people and their motivations. Wickedness is about the only currency around.
After a few hours of explosive work the job closed down. We were loading the truck to return home.
At such times there are those that congregate around workers if nothing more than to receive a cigarette, or a beer,
or any spare money for the asking. As we loaded the truck a young woman named Amanda inquired of me for anything I might be
willing to give her. Our boss had already promised her a ride to a place she wanted to get to, and as it was on the way out of the city
we'd be driving directly by the place on the way out. His nature is to be generous with folks in general, but in this place it is a sort of insurance
policy against future trouble the denizens easily and purposefully deliver if they feel as they have been disrespected.
There is a protocol of progression in the manner of the way folks ask, such as Amanda was asking.
It is much like a telemarketers list of inquiry once they engage you on the phone.
Ultimately the negotiation ends up in revealing a willingness to provide anything for something.
Such are the transactions of prostitution, or illegal drug transactions.
Now as Kevin heard the same pitch I already knew to come, he interrupted Amanda telling her that I was a righteous man.
She didn't really understand what he meant but his interruption prohibited her inquiries.
At that point I revealed my identity as a minister of God's word and repeated it twice in a very gentle manner.
Amanda ceased her inquiry as she took notice of my meaning.
We entered the truck and began the journey home intending to drop Amanda off at her destination.
I made obvious inquiry that any minister would wanting to know if she went to church.
She said she had and hated church and the people who went to church. Unfortunately Amanda's point is valid in many
places. I asked her if she knew what the purpose of church was and for her answers it became apparent to me
that she didn't have a grasp of who Jesus was or even the salvation He gave us through the work at the cross.
By that time we arrived to where she wanted to be and the discussion came to and end.
As we drove away I meditated on the circumstance for the hour drive home. Tracy and I discussed it briefly.
I had a quick bit to eat Tracy began cooking before my return. Last night was particularly late for me in that Tracy arrived home first.
After dinner I showered and prepared to go to sleep. I prayed for Amanda as I told her I would and rested.
Through this morning I thought on this more. I studied the word for my hour with God and began this blog.
Shortly after Tracy visited me in the office to say good morning.
We have just shared time together and have agreed on our ministry at hand.
Religion Free Ministries isn't any longer a plan.
How many folks are there in this world like Amanda? Why does her experience of church result in her hating Christians?
Why hadn't Christians delivered to her the GOSPEL? None of these questions are important in answering for me.
The point is this: if Amanda hasn't heard about Jesus or His work on the cross she has No Chance
for making a choice on whether or not to serve God.
In scripture and in witness of the Holy Spirit blowing through the upper room that the Apostles waited; the gift of tongues
was distributed to the Apostles. That is to say, they then immediately possessed the words that others would understand
for conversion of pagans and those in ignorance of the GOSPEL. Peter spoke and thousands converted that day.
Yesterday I didn't know my calling. I explained it to Tracy as best I could.
I also told her that if she said to me that ministry was our calling I'd take it on faith.
Yesterday my boss who had no interest in religion whatsoever, advocated the Kingdom of God in my presence to a complete stranger
in the work of our day. Amanda ceased for a brief moment of her wicked inclinations with a physical response as a seed was planted.
It is revealed to me my calling in God's service.
It is true I am a hard case, It is true my sinful nature from the past is mighty in wickedness.
These are the the character traits and words of tongue which will allow me to be a fisher of these poor and desperate souls.
These are the hard cases that are regularly written off before they know the GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL.
Holiness and the appearance of being Godly has failed to reach these folks.
I have heard a great manner intentions on changing conditions of our realities. If the realities we wish to change are not made aware to those ignorant
of the choice God offers, how do we implement the change? Man can do nothing for himself without God. With God all things are possible.
The parable of the Lost Sheep is the operational ministry working here. It isn't evangelism.
Next week when we go back to Norwich to continue the work we've begun, we may very well complete the work so as to rent that apartment
out. As my boss owns property there I'm sure more of the same work will happen. What I am convinced of is that the first work of my ministry
in partnership with Tracy in Religion Free Ministries has been anointed by God. I am also convinced Amanda might also be back while we are doing the work of the day for whatever the boss needs doing. I am also quite certain she is mentioning the fact that a pastor is on that crew doing the work
at my bosses property. Not just any Pastor, but one she recognized if only for that one brief flash of light that overcame her.
I am truly blessed this day. In all my years I have never known purpose as I know it this day.
It was only yesterday morning through emails with another brother, Pastor Todd in which I wrestled with what ministry was. His prayers for me
were answered. He is the very type of Pastor of a church (brick and morter) that I shall guide lost souls towards.
I am thankful to My God and all of those working for Him that have brought me to this place of God's service.
That work wasn't easy. My stubbornness makes a mule look cooperative.
Peace upon you.