Monday, April 21, 2008

Well, I've always said that I wanted to use this blog to share my ministry with people who care to read about it. I guess in a way, what I'm about to share is also part of my ministry. As a real young boy, even before I accepted Christ as Savior, I just knew that God was calling me into ministry. However, all I knew about ministry was Pastors and I knew they were poor and didn't make much money. I didn't want to be poor so I just continued to say "no" to God and continued to be as bad as I could, believing He would eventually leave me alone. When I say bad, I mean bad, but I will leave that to your imagination. Some 40 years later, God never left me alone, He continued to call me. I answered that call as Director of Stewardship at my church. It's been a great ride and I wish I had never said no back there when I was young. That's another story and maybe tell it sometime. The first year was more than I could have imagined and I needed help within that first year. I was finally given the OK to hire a secretary. Now knowing me better than most, I decided I wanted to find someone at least in their mid to late 50's, way past the child bearing age, I wanted someone who was homely and unattractive but someone who knew computers because I was as dumb as a coal bucket when it came to computers. I had applications and was almost ready to hire that person and believe me she fit all the above and move especially when I speak of unattractive. A friend of mine, suggested that I talk to someone that he knows prior to hiring this unattractive lady that I was sure was the right person. I only agreed to interview this person in respect to my friend. The appointment was set up and she came into my office for the interview. Good grief! Here before my eyes was a young 25 year old girl, good looking, married but separated, two young children, struggling to make ends meet, shy enough to not speak unless you beat it out of her, but she knew computers. Almost everything, I didn't want. I had already made my mind up, but I had to interview her because I agreed to. We had our interview and I was glad it was over. Now I could move on to bigger and better things, besides, I had a ministry to run. Well, when I started to call the older, unattractive lady to offer her the job, it was if God said, "NO" I called, and I got the wrong number, I called again and I got a recording, I called again and I got a recording that said the phone had been disconnected. I had just talked to this lady the day before. What was going on, why was I having problems getting back in touch with this lady, I wanted to offer her the job. It was if God were saying to me, "NO' this is not what I want. I want you to hire this young lady, you know the one with all the issues. I didn't need issues in a new ministry. I created enough issues without hiring one. God would not allow me to hire anyone but this young lady. It was clear, it was not what I wanted, yet it was what God wanted. I argued with God, OK God, when I hire her and she has a divorce and she gone all the time and she needs to take her children to the doctor and she calls in and says she has to stay home with a sick child, then you just remember, I didn't want to hire her , you did. So I called this young lady back and offered her the job reluctantly. I was hoping she had found something that she liked better but she agreed and there I was. HOOKED. By the way, this young ladies name is Shelley. Shelley was shy, so I thought, but I quickly found out that Shelley could outtalk the best of us. Surprisingly, she knew scripture, she knew more than I did. It was obvious, that this young lady was more inside than what the outside showed. She spoke of faith, she was willing to take back her sorry old husband who had cheated on her. She really would. I quickly found out that the outside package of Shelley was very different than the apparent inside package. 1 Samuel 16:7 is very correct. I could only see the outside, but God was looking on the inside and was doing a great work. I would have never immagined Shelley being the beautiful young lady she is today. You see, God was protecting Shelley by bringing her to the Stewardship Ministry. I beleive that she was vulnerable during those days and God was protecting her by keeping her close to His people, His work, and His Word. Fast forward, Shelley found a drug addict at church whom God had radically changed and they soon were married. He loved Shelley's girls like they were his. They have since had a son of their own and he is a "hoot". He's not to fond of me right now, but hopefully that will change someday. Shelley has begun her own ministry and you can read about it at God is using Shelley today speaking into the lives of women. She is real in everyway and she is a great influence on those she comes in contact with. I really love Shelley in a special way because I believe God has His hand on her and I blelieve that our time together was God appointed. Today she calls me "Pops" and I am privledged to call her daughter. Oh yes, I know that her real parents are proud of her but I am too. God bless you Mrs. Shelley.


Mommyluann said...

Bethanne speaks highly of Shelley and we so enjoyed her at our Ladies event in East Tennessee at Tri Cities. Thanks for Sharing.

BethAnne said...

The part where you said she can out-talk anyone........maybe she really is my sister........ya think?

Shelley said...

Hey Pops! I finally feel like I've arrived and am part of the family now that you've declared me as your daughter publicly. :-) I am delighted and honored.

I, too, can see the hand of God all over the fact that you took a chance on me back then. I'll always be so grateful that you gave me a safe place in a very dark time in my life.

God is good, and there simply is nothing like being a part of His family.

James 5:10-11