Ministry-wise, I have been seeking direction on what my life and ministry will look like in the days ahead. For some time, I have prayed a simple prayer. “Father, is this the end of a thirty-three-year career in ministry, or is this the beginning of a new season of ministry?” Over the past few years, God has been winding down the itinerant ministry. Then the pandemic halted the live events. Behind the scenes, I was weary from living on the road for over thirty years. I was tired and ready for a break. I poured my heart into the new book, sharing my story of failing my way into an intimate relationship with God. But the question remained. Is this the end or the beginning?
I sought counsel from the Ministry Board and other Godly friends. I looked into the lives of characters within the story of the Bible. I spent countless time in conversations with the Father.
Recently, I felt the Father clearly answer me. And his answer was, “Yes!” Yes, it is the end of a thirty-three-year career in ministry, and yes, it is the beginning of a new season of ministry. Yes, God is suspending the itinerant ministry as I know it. God reminded me of the story in the Bible of the Father leading Abraham to sacrifice his son, a laying down of something beloved, a surrender. The story spoke to me about laying on the altar the ministry as I’ve known it for the past thirty-some years.
Then the Father reminded me of the passage in the Bible where Jesus states that you do not put new wine into old wineskins, a principle that looks forward to the ministry the Father is preparing for me in the days ahead, a new thing. God will likely build the new season of ministry on a new foundation. I suspect it will be a new season of trust and reliance upon him. I imagine it will be a new type of ministry focus. So yes, God is beginning a new season of ministry for me, as yet not revealed, somewhere over the horizon.
So where does that leave me today in the in-between? For now, I am resting on the lap of God. I enjoy the presence of the Father with me day to day as I let go of the past and look forward to the future. He is giving me a grand adventure in Antarctica to fill the gap between the past and the future ministry. I am grateful for his care. And for me, ministry is not a career. It is a lifestyle. I continue to build relationships with those who do not know the Father, loving people, meeting needs, a ministry unaffected by my career or where I live, whether at home or in Antarctica.
I continue to focus on the simplicity of my intimate relationship with the Father. In quiet moments alone with him, I hear him whisper, “Do you trust me?” It is a consistent refrain, echoing through the halls of my life. Over and over, he whispers it to me as I go about my day. I smile when I consider his words, for often I trust him fully, resting in his care, confident of his love and grace. Yet, at other times, I find myself wrestling with him, not fully trusting, squirming away from his embrace, wishing I were better at the simple act of trust.
I find it easiest to trust him in areas of finance, for I have decades of experience of his miraculous provision for me. You simply cannot explain my life apart from the idea that God loves me and has provided all I have needed as I have waited on him. In fact, his provision for me is far above what I have needed.
However, I struggle to trust him with career plans or how to market the book. I want to be in control. I think I have it all figured out. I bring my clever strategies to him for his approval. Then he stops me, takes me by the shoulders, and turns me toward himself. He looks me in the eye and says, “Do you trust me?”
It has been a constant refrain as I have worked through the process of deploying to Antarctica. It is a constant as I consider the future of my life and ministry. Over and over again, I hear his voice asking me to yield to him. At the heart of each dilemma is a yielding of an expectation that I know what is best, a surrender to the wisdom and care of the Father. But submission is not easy! After all these years, I still wrestle with giving up control.
Now, I am grateful for clarity and the answer to the question I have posed to him. I am excited about the grand adventure that awaits in the Antarctic. And I rest in his care for me as I wait to see what lies in the distance. I will certainly keep you posted as together we yield to his embrace.
I am excited to see the new book, Sitting on the Lap of God: Discover the Father You’ve Always Longed For, impacting many lives. I am so excited about the feedback I have received. There are about two hundred copies in circulation so far. In many ways, the book is the culmination of thirty-three years of ministry. In the story, I detail my journey to discovering an intimate relationship with the Father God. It is a journey of highs and lows, of faults and failings, and most importantly, of a Father who pursues us no matter what we have done.
Sitting on the Lap of God is available anywhere books are sold. Click here to see the book on Amazon.
Everything is on track to deploy to McMurdo, Antarctica the beginning of October. I am currently waiting for an Elevated Background Investigation (EBI), required for anyone with access to Government systems and computers. And I am expecting travel documents from the Travel Department in the next few days. I have a Primary contract to work in the Lodging Department as a Steward for the Austral Summer, October through February. Austral Summer is the season where most of the research takes place. My role provides lodging for the researchers. In addition, I have a second Alternate contract to be part of the skeleton crew that stays for the winter. This “Winter Over” crew cares for the facilities over the long, dark, cold winter season, February through August. At this time, I am planning to stay for the winter, but I do not have to make the final decision until I am on base. Once I get settled on base, I can decide if I want to take the second contract. If I choose to winter over, I will be in Antarctica for almost a full year.