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I’ve spent most of my journey with Jesus with a go-until-you-get-a-no philosophy.  The last six years of my life were well planned ahead and have more or less worked out accordingly.  I believe in the sovereignty of God, but I also believe in doing my part, and being diligent with the mind and creativity God has given me.

However, at this particular juncture, I’ve been feeling the need to hear afresh from God.  I’ve been spending dedicated time in prayer, meditation, fasting, all of that… and no booming voice from the sky.  Now, it’s highly likely I’m in denial with the way God’s been speaking in terms of people and opportunities before me, but c’mon God, you’re capable of direct calls…

I’m also conflicted because I barely believe in what I’ve been trained in the last while.  Seminary, ‘professional’ ministry, and the church as it is, bothers me to be honest.  Great for many, but I really don’t know about my place in it all.

Having said that, I love Jesus, being a part of what He’s doing, and the possibilities of His church, more than ever.

I also really need to start finding a way to pay the bills!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Jake Belder May 14, 2008, 10:03 am

    Thanks for these honest reflections, Lon. Seminary is difficult, and even though I’m only wrapping up my first year there, I resonate with the things you are struggling with (including paying the bills!). In some ways it is easy to romanticize our time at seminary–we’re surrounded by people passionate about serving God in a lifetime of ministry, our minds are constantly engaged, but when it’s over, it’s hard to put our feet on the ground, so to speak. Where do we go next? Anyway, I hope that the path is illuminated for you soon. Uncertainty is a difficult feeling to deal with.

  • Lacey May 14, 2008, 3:47 pm

    Hey Lon- just saw that you commented on my post about a day with Erwin McManus. Saw that you like his books, too– awesome. Hope and pray that your journey is taking you amazing places. Thanks for your support!

  • Just a Guy May 14, 2008, 7:07 pm


    Just know you’re not alone. I’ve been in vocational ministry for 8 years and have never made enough to pay the bills. Before I read your post I was replying to a job offer that comes no where near what I need to provide for my family. In these moments of difficulty I have to remind myself that this is part of being formed into the image of Christ. If it weren’t for the call in heart I would have given up years ago… but there is nothing I’d rather do than serve Jesus’ church. For me, it is more than just a desire… I believe I’m called. Hebrews 13:5-6 has been comforting lately:

    5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

    As I look at our dwindling savings and no clear solution in sight, I hold fast (or at least try) to God’s word. Though it feels less true than my situation I have to remind myself that it is far more true.

    Also, for what it is worth, I’ve been meditating on when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter hops out of the boat. It seems that you, like myself, have stepped out of the boat and now we realize that there is a pretty bad storm going on… and the sinking begins.

    But have faith friend… though you think you’re sinking, your redeemer will grab your hand at just the right time.

  • Al May 15, 2008, 1:53 am

    If your seminary training has taught you to have a better understanding of God’s word–what it meant, what it means today–then it will be useful in any aspect of ministry. As I read some of the unorthodox non-traditional Christian writing lately, I am blessed by the depth of understanding of God’s truth from His word. In other words, there are many well-trained theologians who do not necessarily subscribe to ‘church as we know it’. They are able to put the years of training to good use, and still hold to their new wineskins.
    I’m sure there are parts of your training that weren’t so useful (kind of like high school algebra!). Mat 13:52 He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.” (Msg) Just like high school algebra, there may be a time you need to draw on something you learned that you thought was pointless.
    And finally, a thought for both you and Just a Guy. When Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water, He said: “It is I, don’t be afraid.” As you look for God’s direction, perhaps something will come right out of left field. Let God speak to you: “This may look totally impossible or inappropriate, but it is Me. Don’t be afraid.” God used that verse to give me peace several years ago, and He lived up to His word.

  • Lon May 15, 2008, 7:58 am

    Thanks for the comments and encouragement all! It’s definitely a challenge… seminary tends to be a bubble that I’ve tried to stay out of… but somehow it’s very much still an incubator for what’s to come.

    Just a guy – thanks for sharing your struggles… I imagine it’ll be an ongoing one for most of us… I do trust that the whole money thing is a big way in which God helps shapes our souls in this life…

    Al – definitely… seminary’s been a great foundation for the most part… I’m very much a self-learner though, so I found that it was a lot of what I was learning on the side,that has really shaped me to think critically with all that’s out there…

    You’re right with the algebra analogy – i guess no curriculum is perfect for everyone!

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