Not My Will, But Yours – Day 40

 
The theme of the devotionals has been calling; many have found and are living out their calling, but many of us don’t feel one or aren’t in the position yet to live it out (incidentally, I’m in this third group). What do we do about that?
 
One answer is to pray about it, and trust in the Lord to reveal it to you. This is good advice, but we don’t dictate the Lord’s timing. It may be years before you feel a calling. It may be never. So what do we do in the meantime?
 
This is a question that faces all of us. The church is living in the meantime between the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus and His return, when all will be put to rights, when at the name of the Lord, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. But that hasn’t happened yet. It may not in our lifetimes. So, again, what do we do in the meantime?
 
This question looms large in the background of the epistles. Then as now, there’s an inherent tension between waiting, as when the scriptures repeatedly instruct us to wait on the Lord, and doing, as when Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. This is a tension that has to be worked out, prayerfully, in each of our lives; there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. And yet the scriptures and the Church provide guidance to us. Each Sunday, Fr. Alex or Fr. James dismisses us with the exhortation to go into the world “to do the work You have given us to do, to love and serve You as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.”
 
This would be a difficult thing even if we weren’t sinful creatures. Calling or no, discerning the work He has given us to do is no easy task. I believe wisdom consists in knowing how to apply what we know to what we do in the world. It is both God-given and hard-earned. So what are we to do if we don’t have enough wisdom for a given situation? We cannot simply “follow our heart,” because we know that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) We often don’t even desire what the Lord desires, let alone know how to bring it about.
 
I think the answer must be to pray for wisdom and to act, trusting that the Lord will transform our desires, guide our paths, and bring us to our calling, even if we don’t yet know what it is.
 
For now, we pray along with Jesus in Gethsemane, “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
 
 
 
Justin Shoemaker
 
 
 
Justin came to Servants three years ago. He’s a scribe in an emergency room in Palatka, FL and volunteers at youth group each Wednesday. He enjoys readings and playing soccer, and would usually rather be skiing.


When There’s No Calling – Day 39

 
The question of calling has always been a difficult one for me. I have often struggled with the desire for a specific mission in life – a primary focus that would unite the various aspects of life. But I don't feel that I have that clear calling. At times, I assume that it must be my own fault, that I don’t have the proper relationship with God and am not seeking to hear Him fervently. At other times, I assume that different people need different things, and God hasn’t seen fit to provide me with that focused mission that others seem to have. There is probably truth in both.
 
It was somewhat ironic to me a few weeks ago when Fr. Alex mentioned me in his sermon on calling. Among the list of people who have a clear calling – such as David to leading music and Mary to intercessory prayer – he included me, listing several places of service. (I would contend that my actual service is less impressive than he would have my "resume" sound, but I digress.) The irony to me was that I don't feel like a very good example of calling. Some might say I have the spiritual gift of helps, which I would describe as "doing the job that's needed." I don't know whether this can or should be considered a calling. It certainly does not meet my traditional definition.
 
So what do I do with that? I serve where I can. I work with several people to lead a community group that gathers monthly to strengthen relationships and serve together. This last fall, I had the opportunity to lead a financial class with Adrienne. I play music on Sunday with the music team. And other odds and ends such as organizing the AV team.
 
What do all of these things have in common? Nothing, as far as I know, except that they are opportunities to serve. I continue to wrestle with the question of calling. I continue to pray for clarity and direction. And I continue to serve.
 
Perhaps this is a question with which you also wrestle. I would encourage you to step out and do something. Be intentional, seek the Lord's direction, but then go. Don't let your uncertainty keep you from the opportunities that God has placed in front of you.
 
 
Jose Boada
 
 
Jose joined Servants in 2006 and has served in various capacities over the years. Outside of Servants he enjoys Gator sports with his wife Adrienne and their daughter Audrey.


An Interview with Alan – Day 38

 
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:13-14
 
Q. You have a ministry of working with children one Sunday a month. How did you get involved in that?
 
A. Well I don’t think you can say what I do is really a ministry. At least that’s not how I see it. For me it is just a really fun thing to do and I wouldn’t call it work either. But to answer your question it started when Deb Daquila who was working in the toddler room suggested that I give it a try.
 
Q. Why do you think she did that?
 
A. I don’t know but probably because one of my jobs as an usher is to count everybody in attendance at the service and that includes the children and adults that take care of them in their classrooms. I would usually have something to say to the kids like “How is everybody? Are you having fun?” etc. before I left with my count.
 
Q. What did Deb do?
 
A. She suggested that I might be good with the kids and I should volunteer in the toddler room. For some reason I said yes. That was several years ago. Now I am with the pre-k kids.
 
Q. What background do you have that might have led you to want to be in children’s ministry?
 
A. I’ve always liked little kids. I like being with them and seeing how they operate, how their minds work, stuff like that. Dawn and I were never blessed to have children. Maybe being with little children one Sunday a month helps make up for this. Maybe being a school teacher was a way of compensating for this. But those were high school kids, a totally different animal. (Dawn taught high school math for 35 years. I came to teaching as a second career and taught high school social studies for 22 years.)
 
Q. What else would you like to say about your ministry?
 
A. As I said before I don’t really consider being with little kids a ministry. That implies work, and to me it is not work. It is really a fulfilling time for me, so much so I often prefer to be in the pre-k room than in the adult service. I really truly have fun with the kids. I draw and color right along with them. There are pictures I colored with them on my refrigerator. Also, Marissa their teacher (remember I am just a helper), does a great job with the kids. For me it is a great blessing to be recognized as Mr. Alan and to see these little ones grow and develop. Often I must say I am somewhat envious of the parents of the children in our church. I am blessed, truly blessed, to be able to help the parents have a few moments to enjoy their church experience. Wait, maybe that’s the whole point of ministry: that it is NOT work, that it can be fun and it is certainly a blessing. The blessing is in the giving.
 
Alan Cox
 
 
Alan is retired, but spends most of his days working on repairing his home that was damaged during Hurricane Irma last year. He and Dawn have been blessed by the many people at Servants who helped with clean up and have prayed for them through this time. Alan is an usher and recently stepped up to help with the sound ministry.


Flashing Neon Signs – Day 37

 
“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
 
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me.  Don’t stop them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people who are like these children.’” Matthew 19:14 (Holy Bible- Easy-to-Read Version)
 
Having Littlewood Elementary school right next door to our campus is just too obvious of a sign. To me, it represents an invitation to be salt and light in the world of those who are heavy laden (teachers) and give time in the name of Christ to our community. I mean, do we need flashing neon directions from God? But I was past the elementary years with my children and didn’t quite know how to engage. When Justin Smith did the initial work of setting up a pathway over there, it again became obvious to me that my sign didn’t need to include a 2x4 over the head. And volunteering is encouraged by my employer, even allowing paid time up to an hour a week. It was what people refer to as a “no brainer.”
 
Nevertheless, there were hoops to jump through. Application, scheduling, permissions, assignments... You know nothing comes easy, even if it seems it should be. But now, I am engaging with 4th grade children during Monday morning math lessons, learning their names, their strengths and helping overcome some roadblocks with them. I was dragging last Monday, there was a traffic jam, too much to do at work, and it was raining. Trying to fool myself, I made a promise to myself to just show up, and I can bail out after an hour instead of doing the whole hour and a half. But when I arrived, I realized that the teacher was now counting on me and had me included as part of her lesson plan! The entire hour and a half flew by doing fraction task cards with 3 or 4 children at a time. I learn this repeatedly, that His yoke is easy and burden is light. I was refreshed afterwards, and nothing was missed at work after all. Bill and I are doing this together. It gives us a common experience and something simple and easy to do, something outside ourselves and our family. It gives us a peek into the current situations in public elementary schools and the lives of children of all races and abilities. We are connected to children again, and maybe we can learn from them, how to be like them to receive Gods kingdom.
 
 
Emily Wilson
 
 
 
Emily, married to Bill McCrea, has 3 sons all grown up. We did our best to bring them up in the way of the Lord, having been part of this community of believers since 1990. I have learned way too many lessons with a proverbial 2x4 over the head and hope that those days are behind me. It would be nice to have flashing neon signs from God more often!


The God of Endurance – Day 36

 
The idea of a calling to a specific ministry has been hard for me for a couple reasons. On one hand, there are so many momentary, daily, weekly opportunities to serve those around me as I go about life. Being available to my neighbors, helping my aging parents, encouraging my children after a hard day at school, these are all worthy and necessary. God already has me in these roles. Does taking on additional ministry mean I might be neglecting the roles He has already clearly put me in? My other struggle with the idea of a calling to ministry is my fear that it will bring more attention to me than glory to God.
 
Last fall, Ethan and I became licensed for foster care. We are trained and equipped (as much as one can be) to temporarily care for a child who has been removed from their family of origin. One of the most common responses I hear when people learn of our endeavor is, “I don’t know how you do that,” or even, “Wow! You guys are amazing!” While I know the intentions behind the comments are sincere, they make me cringe with embarrassment. I want to say, “I am actually a complete mess. I am just putting one foot in front of the other, and my only real strength comes from Jesus.” The problem is that conversation usually happens when I run into an old friend at the grocery store, or an acquaintance at our kid’s basketball game is politely trying to tally up the number or children we have in tow. I guess I need to develop a concise way to explain this calling our family has taken up is not us trying to save the world, but a really incredible way God is bringing healing and restoration to our community.
 
I just wanted to be honest about my own personal reservations with recently taking up a new ministry in hopes that I might address fears or hesitations my brothers and sisters might share. Now I will try and give a little background on our road to become a foster family.
 
I have always loved children. My degree from UF is in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. All my favorite jobs involved working with children. We are in the midst of raising a family. I think when we are wondering about a call to ministry beyond our immediate family and vocation; we usually don’t have to look too far. (“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” 1 Corinthians 7:17) What are your gifts? What have people told you you’re good at? What are you already doing that could be expanded to include more of God’s kingdom locally? Live the life that is unfolding before you.
 
Ethan and I started to learn of more and more friends who were fostering. We learned more about the need for people to step into the role and saw what it looked like firsthand through friends. All of a sudden it seemed like an actual possibility for our lives. Then, for me, the experience that solidified the desire to foster was visiting an orphanage in Haiti, specifically the orphanage where my niece spent the first two years of her life before she was adopted by my sister and her family. I was struck, knowing these children were in limbo – somewhere between the family they were born into and permanency. I thought of my niece and longed for each of the children in her orphanage there to have the “bridge” they deserved during that time of limbo. That these image-bearers would be comforted when they cried, fed when they were hungry. I felt the weight and importance of that role, even if for just one child.
 
A few months after that trip to Haiti, Ethan and I started the training for foster care. We agreed to go into the training with an open mind, but still not fully sure if God was calling us. To be honest, I never felt any intense moments of clarity, just a steady nudge toward the direction we had started heading. I knew that foster care would be difficult in a variety of ways, but I’ve also learned that in challenging seasons God is near. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
 
Since becoming licensed, we have had three short term foster placements. It has been a privilege to get to know these children, even in the short amount of time they were with us. God has taught me so much about His character through the challenges that came with welcoming them into our home. There were moments when I was very aware of my shortcomings and God gently reminded me that He is the God of endurance (Romans 15:5). I don’t have to meet all the needs because He is enough. Do you have a desire to serve in a certain area, but you just don’t know if you have it in you? Certainly, your strength and character are limited, but God is unshakable. Our hope is in His perseverance, not ours.
 
 
Valerie Stonerook
 
 
 
Valerie is a wife, a mother of four biological children, and a foster mother. She’s an active participant in The Share women’s Bible study, loves college students (and children, as she mentioned), and volunteers with Young Life.


This Isn’t My Calling – Day 35

 
My venture into youth ministry was far from glamorous. I received a call in desperation from Adrienne Boada asking if I’d be willing to sit in as an adult chaperone one week for youth group. No long-term commitment, no lesson to plan, just sit and listen. I agreed to it.
 
But as I sat watching those three awkward middle schoolers, I realized that I could do this. These kids needed a place to meet and an adult to supervise, and they only needed it once a week. I knew I could do that much, so I volunteered. Those kids quickly became “mine” and I’ve held on ever since.
 
The tricky thing, though, is that in some ways I needed them as much (or more) than they needed me. I was a new mom and I was floundering. They forget to tell new moms that, as cute as your baby is and as much work as he is, your life will quickly feel meaningless. Your previous life in which you accomplished much suddenly comes down to one objective: keep the baby alive. And though it’s practically a miracle that your baby is alive at day’s end considering how sleep deprived you are, it feels very less-than-miraculous. It feels like failure though it really, really isn’t. But I digress a bit. I felt useless and having something to do outside the home made me feel alive again in some ways.
 
Youth group was uncomfortable, especially as we first tried to get to know each other. But as time went on, we found a rhythm and relationships grew. As I’m coming to the end of my fifth year of youth ministry, I can look back at how God has grown the youth and myself. It’s satisfying.
 
I always knew my time in youth ministry would be temporary. Some may not think that five years is temporary, but I knew and still know this isn’t my calling. I am there to keep things going until the Lord brings along someone who is called to it.
 
Kim is called, but she can’t do it alone, and as I know that my time with the youth is slowly drawing to a close, I know Kim needs another person called to youth ministry to walk beside her. The Lord has released me – at least He will release me at the end of the 2020 school year. I’ll “graduate” with the last of my first youth groupers.
 
In hearing that I’d be released, I also heard the Lord quite clearly tell me I have to train a replacement. I was dropped into youth ministry the hard way – I felt thrown in the deep end, not knowing if I’d sink or swim. There’s no need for anyone else to feel that. Two years to transition from novice to leader is a good amount of preparation. This, too, is part of ministry – preparing for the day you won’t be in the ministry anymore.
 
Youth ministry helped save my sanity as a young mother. It has given me leadership skills I never thought I’d need or have. I’ve had to rely on the Lord for so much and my heart has grown two sizes as I’ve learned to love on these kids. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. It’s been full of discomfort, struggle, and duty, but it’s been joyful and life-giving, too.
 
I don’t know where you are in your search for ministry. Maybe like me you’re filling in a place you know isn’t really yours, or maybe you aren’t even looking. No matter where you are, trust the Lord. He knows His Kingdom and where He needs you. He also knows what you need. “And he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT 1996).
 
 
Nikki Smith
 
 
Nikki joined Servants in 2012. She's in love with her husband, her kids, the written word, and Big Mama (her minivan/wagon, as named by Zac Kitchens).


Of War and Weapons – Day 34

 
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5a
 
I thought of Ravi Zacharias when I read this passage, because he has dedicated his life to demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. According to this scripture, we are the ones on the offensive who carry out this war against the one who places himself between us and the knowledge of God.
 
So how do we prepare ourselves for this war and what are our weapons that demolish strongholds? I have found that the more that I read and meditate on scripture, the more I am inspired, informed, and ready to draw upon God’s power to deal with whatever stronghold I encounter in myself and others. I have the faith to pray for people I may meet in the course of my day who are sick, addicted, and hopeless; and I am delighted to see the power of God at work, healing, comforting, and encouraging those He loves.
 
My favorite times of day are when I can take scriptures that have inspired me, that I’ve written down on a ring of index cards, and meditate on them as I walk. God shows us amazing things when we meditate on His word, and it draws us close to Him and equips us for our future ministries within His Church. Take hold of His word that is living and active and listen to what amazing things He will reveal to you this year!
 
 
 
Marianne Manasterski
 
 
 
Marianne is a member of the prayer team and enjoys studying and teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Through her study and practice of these gifts, she has experienced God’s power at work in bringing healing and wholeness to many that she encounters during her day. If you are interested in learning more about the gifts of the Spirit as demonstrated in the scriptures we invite you to come to become part of the prayer team.


Pursue Holiness and Be Made a Saint – Day 33

 

“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” Leon Bloy, French Poet

A central doctrine held by many of the Church Fathers is that the essence of our lives is not in trying to make ourselves worthy of God; it is not primarily about moral excellence or any sort of human achievement. Rather, the essence of our lives is to live out the implications of being drawn, in Christ, into a dignity infinitely beyond our merits or expectations, drawn into the very life of God, made children of God, rendered holy. Living out the implications of that life means we seek and celebrate holiness as we are being made saints (beyond canonized saints or any personal recognition).
 
Lent is a rich season in our pursuit of holiness. Its history as a 40-day season traces to the 4th century as a preparation for and renewal of our baptismal commitment. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three historical pillars of Lent and are essentially practical means by which to pursue what Bishop Robert Barron identifies as three paths to holiness: 1) find the center; 2) know you are a sinner; and 3) realize and embody the truth that your life is not about you – mission.
 
Find the center. A saint is someone whose life, at the heart, is about one thing – Christ. When we allow ourselves to be invaded and rearranged by a relationship with God, all the energies, aspirations, and powers of our heart, mind, and soul fall into a beautiful and satisfying order. This is what C.S. Lewis means when he says: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” In addition to receiving the Eucharist/Holy Communion and studying scripture, prayer is a powerful way to center our lives on Christ. Meaning simply that we take the time to lift our minds and hearts to God, it could be a few quiet moments in our daily commute or a prepared time: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” Matthew 6:33
 
Know you are a sinner. G.K. Chesterton said the saint is the one who knows he’s a sinner. It is by the light of Christ that we become acutely aware of our blemishes, and this is not denigrating but liberating because it enables us to break through our self-illusions and deceptions that stand in the way of joy. Fasting is a Lenten act of penance that seeks to “put to death” our sinful nature as part of the beautiful gift of sanctification. “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13
 
Realize and embody the truth that your life is not about you – mission. A saint is someone who in their bones perceives that there is a gracious Providence at work in the universe, that we are participating in something and Someone infinitely greater than ourselves, that every moment and every creature is an ingredient in the divine plan…and by this, the saint lives in joyful surrender and with a sense of wonder. Hans Urs von Balthasar describes this as rejecting the “ego-drama” – which is life as written, directed, produced, and starring me – and surrendering joyfully to the “theo-drama” – which is life as written, directed, and produced by God, and starring Christ living in me. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,” Galatians 2:20. When we realize and embody that our lives are not about us but are about Christ’s love in us, we may then live out the implications of being rendered holy. We may live a life grounded in the two greatest commandments. We may live a life set apart for mission. As Christians, mission or ministry is not something we do; rather, it is inseparable from our lives, it is who we are. Almsgiving (taking care of the poor) is a traditional Lenten practice, but mission can take a billion forms depending on your life’s circumstances, your personality, etc. One commonality we always share is that every day we have an opportunity to do some simple act of love.
 
In my life presently, as a married man with a beautiful wife and three young children and a career as an attorney, the vast majority of my finite time and energy is naturally and rightly spent in those capacities. Accordingly, these responsibilities should not be deemphasized in the pursuit of a formal ministry or program, but should correspondingly be the greatest outflow and focus of my life as mission. Beyond these responsibilities, mission may include for me anything from secretly praying for fellow city bus passengers to serving in some capacity with the ministry of Young Life (YL). YL powerfully shares the Gospel beyond the doors of the Church by going to and developing relationships with middle and high school kids. YL is special to me for many reasons, and through it I’ve had the incredible privilege of helping kids feel known and loved. Presently I serve with YL as a member of the Board for the Gainesville area and, beginning this semester, as a host family together with Caline for a local YL team of college leaders.
 
As we move through Lent, I encourage us to pursue holiness together. Let us be centered on Christ, let us do away with any self-illusions, and let us live for and love others wholly in our lives of mission. Let us celebrate those that have gone before us, and let us follow as saints.
 
 
 
Sean McDermott
 
 
 
 
Sean grew up in North Palm Beach, enjoying family, friends, sports, the ocean, and music. He moved to Gainesville for UF, met his wife, joined the Navy, moved to San Diego, went back to school at UF, a couple times, got a job and had three kids. He started attending Servants of Christ in 2012. He loves new experiences and excitement, but also tradition and truth, and he enjoys at least (feebly) attempting to delve into the richness of Christian theology and ecclesiology. (btw, I wrote this, this was me talking in the 3rd person.)


Hope: Lost and Found – Day 32

 
In the beginning, I have to say, that there was a time I felt like God had abandoned me. So I decided to do things my own way and I ended up hopelessly addicted to any and all outside influences. I put my wants ahead of everything else in my life: my wife, my children, job and responsibilities. HOPELESS!!  Little did I know that God was leading me back to Him.
 
I found recovery and in that process, Hope, unconditional love, and God. So, today I work alongside other addicts who have lost hope. I share with them the hope and love I have found; that there is recovery. In the program that I participate in, we complete exercises called, “working the steps.” Often addicts pour out their hearts to me, confessing their shortcomings. Part of recovery is helping them to see their participation in their resentments. It is powerful to see addicts going from feeling abandoned, used, and hurt, to feeling loved and worthy.
 
I feel thankful to God for allowing me to be in such an intimate relationship with others. They trust me with their deepest, darkest secrets. I am able to help them realize that God loves them unconditionally.  This is the verse that I call on often:
 
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Luke 9:23
 
I feel this is my cross: to help other addicts with my own story and belief, to lead them back to Jesus. In January we began exploring the idea of an alternative service at Servants of Christ, directed toward those struggling with addiction in the hope of bringing people to the cross. It is in the planning stages. Basically this will be a service utilizing Evening Prayer. This service will be open to people seeking spirituality, but not ready to come to our normal Sunday services. In what brokenness has God healed you? This may answer the question of the ministry you are called to do.
 
 
 
Mike Bey
 
 
 
Mike came to Servants in 2007. In addition to working with addicts toward recovery, he’s always been a passionate voice for renewal weekends like Anglican 4th Day.


Never Alone – Day 31

 
For the last four years, I have been working as one of the adults who help behind the scenes at Dynamos, the diocesan wide high-school retreat, as well as working with the teenage leaders at Camp Araminta in the summer. For those unfamiliar with Dynamos, it is a renewal weekend run for teenagers by other teenagers. The adults, like myself, are there as a support to the team, helping them grow into young leaders, but it is the teenage team that actually runs the weekend.
 
I have long had a passion for diocesan-wide Anglican events. One of the things that fascinates me is being part of something on a bigger scale than my individual church. In fact, a youth minister from Redeemer Jacksonville first asked me to be a part of a Dynamos weekend in the spring of 2014, a semester before any of my children would be old enough to go to the weekend. Dynamos has two weekends a year, and on March 2-4 of this year, I attended my ninth straight Dynamos, on which my son Kieran Caspian Kirby led as Rector in his eighth straight Dynamos.
 
I also am passionate about working with high schoolers. I teach high school and relate strongly to that age group. One of the things that I have learned through the years of teaching is that you learn a subject so much more when you teach it than when you are just studying it. For me, that is even truer when offering spiritual guidance to teenagers.
 
These teenagers in leadership never cease to surprise me with their ability to take on a weekend like Dynamos and really connect with other students and guide them along the path to the Lord. I have seen teens bring other teens to Christ and lift each other up in their deepening spiritual relationship. They also challenge me to deepen my relationship with Christ, and that is especially true of working so many teams with my son.
 
Kieran has grown from a young high schooler unsure of his leadership skills into an individual that the entire high school Dynamos community turns to for leadership. Obviously, as his papa, I get to see behind that curtain complete with all his insecurities about leadership. However, his consistent willingness to listen and pray to the Lord about what he is supposed to do far supersedes mine. I sometimes move with too much confidence in my own decisions without fully keeping myself grounded in the Lord. Watching my son has helped me become a better follower of Christ.
 
Finding the right ministry for yourself is not always easy. In fact, there is a force consistently working to keep people from God. Through the years, not just with Dynamos, my wife and I have often found that other side tends to come with spiritual attacks in and around times of renewal weekends and summer camps, because that side wants to shake from their purpose those who are trying to work for God. Recently, I read a verse that really helped me with this. It comes from 2 Kings 6, and it is Elijah explaining to his servant that though the king is sending an army his way, the Lord’s army, though usually unseen to the human eye, is bigger.
 
“’Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’”
2 Kings 6:16
 
Directly after this Elijah asked for his servant’s eyes to be opened, and suddenly he could see they were surrounded by horses and chariots of fire. Though they could not see them, and all seemed lost, they were never in the minority. That is how the tough part of ministry always seems to me, like the enemy is out in force and I am all alone. It is never true. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Always.
 
 
 
Jamey Kirby
 
 
 
Jamey teaches history and geography courses at Columbia High School. He is a part of youth events at Servants as often as he can manage. He is married to Beth and together they have three children: Kieran, Kaiti, and Aidan. And since he didn’t write this bio it’s ok to say that he’s also a pretty fantastic trivia game writer.