Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Spiritual Meme

What's a spiritual meme? I have no idea, but I've been tagged by Pastor Henry to do one, so here goes.

1. What is your life verse?
I guess my life verse would be Psalm 27:4, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple." I picked this verse because I believe that as followers of Christ, we just aren't adherants to a religion, but part of a life-giving relationship with our our Creator. If you want to cultivate any relationship, whether it's a marriage, or simply a good friendship, you must spend time together. To me, there is nothing greater than to spend time in God's presence, in prayer with just his Word and his Spirit.

2. Give a bit of your testimony
I grew up in a traditional Lutheran Church. That is where I heard the Gospel first preached, and I believed. I believe that I was called initially to ministry on the pews of that church. Then I ran from God. I don't know why, youthful rebellion, maybe. But I ran until I was almost 22 years old. I did some stuff I am not proud of during that time, which included a lot of alcohol. The funny thing is, even though I was far from God, I almost could hear his voice calling me back to him. Even when I was drunk, I knew that God had so much more for me. Finally, after being jolted by the loss of my grandmother that made sure I was in church as a kid (she often took me to church), I came back to the Lord Jesus. I also answered that call on my life as a minister of the Gospel of Christ.

3. Do you have a favorite preacher?
I'd have to say that first of all, I have a great pastor. He has poured into me personally, and I don't just mean from the pulpit. He has mentored me. He is a great preacher, as well. Another favorite of mine is an Assembly of God pastor from the Detroit area, Pastor Tim Dilena, founder and Senior Pastor of Revival Tabernacle Church. I don't know him personally,but he has a wonderful inner-city church and great ministries that operate within the church. He is a great preacher, too.

4. What is the best bible study you have ever done?
Recently, I did a study in John 12, the account of some Greek worshippers of God coming to Jesus to see him. They would have heard of his powerful miracles, which most recently was raising Lazarus from the dead. What I studied out was the phrase in the passage, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit" (vs.24). In this study, it is clear that only the person that dies to themselves, their desires, their ambitions and their comforts, and lives for God, will be most fruitful. I want to die to myself so I can make the biggest impact possible for the Kindom of God.

5. What do you feel God's calling is on your life?
I feel that God has called me to reach those unwanted by society at large, and even by many churches. I have a heart for the homeless, the addict, those in poverty. I feel that God has called me to the inner-city to be a shepherd to those who have no one. I believe that the Gospel of Christ changes lives. Through Christ, those in hopeless situations like I mentioned can find the hope and strength they need to make it. God has given me a big vision, and I believe that he will bring it to pass as I step out and get busy.

Well, that is my spiritual meme. I will now tag another blogger. I'd tag more, but Henry tagged them all first. I will tag Pastor Neil, who is in Kenya right now.

Well, I hope eveyone enjoyed my little story. God bless!

3 comments:

Henry Haney said...

Thanks for participating Pastor Jeff. I enjoyed reading your spiritual "meme" (we really need to find out what that means don't we??? it may be greek for "bologna"-LOL)

And thanks for turning me on to pastor Dilena- I've enjoyed listening to his sermons when I get a chance.

Good testimony Bro- God is going to use you in a wonderful way and he's given you a big heart to reach people- be blessed!

-Henry

michigan preacher said...

Amen, he sure has. Glad Pastor Dilena has been a blessing. I was tempted to go to his midweek service last night, but the mrs wanted me home.

Anyway, thanks for being such a good friend and encourager. God bless!
~Jeff

Neil said...

My Spiritual Meme

1. My life verse: Job 19:28
"For I know my redeemer lives..."

2. A bit of my testimony

I was raised in Aurora, IL which is a suburb of Chicago. My grandmother was a Church of God minister, I am fourth generation in that denomination. My mother raised me in church, my father didn't attend church until after I was married. As a youth I was rebellious, had a plan to get saved later in life, just before the rapture, so I could do what I wanted and then get right. When I was 15 the Lord caught my attention and my life has never been the same. When I was sixteen I was called and began preaching, this Tuesday begins my 27th year in ministry.
3. Favorite Preacher

I love preaching, doing it and hearing others do it. I've been affected by many, Ernest Brown is my mentor, Mike Sloan is my senior pastor and phenomenal, Larry Timmerman and Bryan Cutshall inspire me...Don Fulton makes me roll on the floor...I'm getting hooked up with Tim Dilema...I'm not giving a good answer here am I?
4. The Book of James
It is absolutely the most practical book in the Bible.
5. What is God's call on my life?

To preach the gospel to every nation. That sounds religious I'm sure, but God has simply called me to speak the prophetic truth to people...whenever and wherever. I long to be a prophet to the nations, may the Lord grant that prayer before I die or He comes!

Thanks for the tag Jeff...I'm honored! Sorry it has taken me so long to respond! Please remain my friend!

Neil