In the summer of 1997, my life fell apart. Rather I blew up my life and ministry with my sinful actions. Periods of ups and downs followed.
Fast forward to one year ago. That is when we began our journey with First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach in Florida. During the past year, we have grown in our relationship with the Lord and with his people.
At the beginning of the worship service this morning, I stepped front and center to welcome the congregation and read the biblical text for the day. This day it happened to be Psalm 116.
As I looked out over the congregation, the emotions welled up inside of me as I reflected on what my church life had been prior to my fall and on the 15 year time frame that followed. I felt like a bird about to take off from the nest for the first time. A cold sweat erupted from my pores and the words from the psalm ministered to my soul.
I know I forgot to say a few things in my welcoming comments, but I think the Scripture reading was clear with all of the words in proper order.
I’m not one who normally has any difficulties speaking in front of a group. During my days of preaching ministry, I guess I preached a couple thousand sermons to all sizes of crowds. I have since taught classes in the business world. I do not ever remember cold sweats. Today was something different.
I hope to do the welcome and reading some more in the days ahead. If so, I am sure that the emotions will be a bit different.
Why share this personal account? For two reasons. One, to express my gratitude to the Lord and to our church for much needed grace into my life. Two, to encourage those in the ministry to fall deeper in love with Jesus and avoid anything that could disqualify you from your ministry.