Bless This Mess
Monday, November 18, 2019
"From Him all my fruit must be found, for no fruit can ever come from me." – C.H. Spurgeon
It was December 1993 and my 11-year employment at the Wiley Christian Retirement Community in Marlton, New Jersey was coming to an end. I began as a part-time Activities Assistant in February 1983, and within a month I was promoted to department head. Now, I was saying goodbye to the hundreds of residents I had served as Recreation Director and to my many co-workers as well.
The reason for my leaving was simple: God was calling me into full-time ministry. Prison ministry, to be exact. After serving as a volunteer and then as the part-time director of The Saints Prison Ministry, it was time to “jump into the deep end of the pool”. Gone would be my financial safety net of a guaranteed paycheck with full benefits and a 401k retirement plan. Replacing them would be a lifetime of financial uncertainty and spiritual warfare the likes of which I had never experienced before.
After a number of residents said some kind words about me and my boss presented me with a clock to commemorate my decade of service, I rose from my chair to say a few words. I thanked everyone for their kindness and asked for their prayers as my family and I took a major step of faith. I closed with the following words…
“Anything I did wrong during my 11 years here was me. And anything I did right during those same 11 years was Jesus.”
That was 26 years ago… and I still believe the same thing as it pertains to my life, my family, and my ministry. Ironically, I am in good company, because it appears that the Apostle Paul felt the same way.
//“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…” Romans 7:18a
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”// Galatians 6:14a
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President