A Shadow of an Introduction

I’m not really sure how long I have had this blog account set up, but it doesn’t really matter, as it has gone totally unused all that time.  I hope to change that with this post.

For those who don’t know me, I am Michael.  I am married to a wonderful wife (Diana), and have two daughters that I love so very much.  I spent 14 years as a public school band director, where I worked with students from grades 4 – 12.  It was during this time as a band director that I found Jesus Christ. 

It isn’t as if Jesus was lost or anything – but while I had a lot of “head knowledge” about who Jesus was – in fact, I really never doubted that Jesus was the Son of God, that He was born of a virgin, that He lived, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.  I never doubted any of that.  The unfortunate reality is – while I never doubted any of it – I never realized that He did all of that…for ME!  I never really identified with being part of that “whoever” or “sins of the world” group.

Yet one day, while reading the second book in the Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins “Left Behind” series, the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, touched my heart as it had never before been touched.  I have grown to understand that some of the eschatology espoused in that series may not be totally scriptural, the book accomplished the purpose God saw fit to put it in my hands for – it softened my heart and helped open my eyes.  It was that lonely February day, what seems like so many years ago, that I responded to God’s call to trust in Jesus completely.  And my life has never been the same since!

While I continued to work in the band world, I also began studying in earnest.  I quickly became involved in church ministry, eventually being responsible for bringing devotionals, and teaching a men’s class.  But none of that satisfied the deeper calling the Lord had placed on my heart.  So in March of 2006, after a convicting message brought by Brother Grady Higgs, consultations with my pastor at the time, Brother Andy Schalchilin, and literally hours of prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, I chose to cooperate with the Lord’s call to enter the ministry.  

On the advice of Bro. Schalchilin, I applied and enrolled at the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, TX.  The seminary had established an extension campus at Central Baptist College in Conway, Arkansas – a much more convenient venue.  I began my studies in earnest, taking one or two courses per semester, finally completing my degree (Master of Arts in Religion) in the Spring of 2011.

In the midst of my studies, after completing my 14th year of teaching, the Lord opened my eyes to His desire – that I walk away from the band world, and trust Him to lead me in and through the Pastoral ministry realm.  So in the Summer of 2008, I handed in my resignation at the school I had served in for 13 years, and trusted God to lead.  After preaching nearly every Sunday that Summer, all over the state of Arkansas, He finally led me to Park View Baptist Church in North Little Rock, AR.  It was in my time at Park View that I completed my seminary work.  It was both an exciting time and a challenging time.  I learned a great deal, saw my faith grow, and witnessed many mighty works of God.  

But in the fall of 20012, the Lord again began stirring my heart – though at the time, I had no idea what He was preparing me for.  Over the course of the next several months, it became clear that God was getting me ready to take on a whole new challenge, and in June of 2013, I began serving in a newly-organized church in Clinton, AR – Clinton Missionary Baptist Church.  This church had been severely traumatized by a series of events that I will not go into in this context.  Even today, having served here for nearly 6 months, I am still learning the depths of hurt, and yet see how God miraculously protected this small congregation.

And this brings me to what will likely, at least for the time, be one of the primary subjects that this blog will address.  Please note – I am not known for biting my tongue.  I believe in speaking (writing) the truth, though I do understand the need for expressing it in Love.  I will also endeavor, when appropriate, to use scripture in my posts.  I do not expect this blog to be strictly about my current ministry, as I believe all of God’s people should be willing to stand in our culture for Truth – there fore some posts may touch on the realm of moral issues, political issues, current events, and other trials that impact our Christian walk.

So now you, the reader, have a bit of background into “The Lonely Pastor Contending for Christ”.  I pray this page will be a blessing, maybe good for a laugh, and possibly a source of encouragement both for Christians struggling in their walk, as well as other pastors who also experience the same trials as this “Lonely Pastor”.

And may all that I say and do be to the Honor and Glory of God, who by His grace alone, chose to redeem my poor and sinful soul – for HIS purposes.

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