Update for September 27, 2016

The Lord’s call on my life

update trackerAn update? Until this morning I had not even thought about the importance of having a section of this site that would serve as an update to what was happening in my life, in the ministry I’ve been called to serve Him, and in my preparations of that ministry.

God wants me to be a healthy and responsible steward

Before I explain what the Lord has laid on my heart, there are times when health issues are out of our control. I think of the apostle Paul when he asked the Lord to heal him: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9). So if you’re reading this, the Lord knows you cannot do anything about certain health conditions you may have.

For me, I can’t do much about the problems I have with my left knee or the migraine headaches. However, in my case, I am a Type 2 Diabetic and there was a lot I can do to improve my overall health. The Lord began to work in my heart, showing me through the Bible, that I was responsible for what I could change. So, earlier this month, I decided to use MyFitnessPal.com and its smart phone app correctly, to exercise more, and to continue to change my diet to a more healthier one. As a part of that, I became convinced to give up diet sodas because of the health risks they can cause. According to my own research and what my doctor has said, my total weight loss goal is 146 pounds; I would like to be under 200 pounds by the end of the year.

The specific ministry I’ve been called to serve by the Lord

salvation-army-logoFor over the past three years, the Lord has been working on me in some amazing ways. Since my emotional experience in 1988 up through November of 2015, I have attended Independent Baptist churches. But in 2014, I began to feel the Lord leading me out of the local Baptist church I was attending. He was leading me to move into the Salvation Army. The only exposure I’ve had to the Salvation Army was the normal bell-ringers at Christmas time and since 2008, my wife and parents-in-law who are now retired after 30 years of ministry within the Salvation Army.

They never tried to talk me out of my Baptist faith or into serving the Lord through the Salvation Army. After much prayer, I asked him for proof of what He was calling me to do. In October of 2016 He gave me that proof. While at Major Bruce and Vicki Stefanik’s retirement ceremony, Colonel Faulkner walked up to me with his hand extended. What I heard him ask me completely caught me off guard: “Hi, Alan. How are you doing? When are you going to quit running?” For the next two hours, he and I talked about the burden God had placed on my heart.

The ministry the Lord has called me to is the small and struggling congregations within the Salvation Army. As I have shared with all who will listen, I want to work with the ones where no one else wants to go. It breaks my heart when I read stories on the Internet where the Salvation Army is closing corps (what they call a church) in smaller towns. This is my specific ministerial calling. This is where the Lord has called me to serve for His glory and honor. 

Where I am now…

not perfectCurrently I am serving in the Henderson corps of the Salvation Army. I’m in the process of gathering college transcripts, divorce paperwork, and all the other stages of the application process. We also just attended what’s known as 730 Weekend, an event hosted by the Salvation Army for prospective officers (what they call the full-time, ordained ministers).  It’s a long process; it is difficult not to become disillusioned or impatient during this time of simply waiting. But in the meantime, locally, there’s work for me to do. Right now, I do a pre-Sunday school opening, teach music theory to our beginning band students, and various odds and ends for our corps’ ministry team.