Greetings, Grace and Shalom to all.
We are currently in the closing days of Passover 2012. Recognizing that, perhaps no other event rings so close to the heart of believers than Passover. This is because we believe that Jesus was betrayed and offered himself as the sacrificial lamb during this high holy time, just to come back three days later demonstrating his status becoming the first fruits from the dead. Truly Amazing.
Knowing that it is Passover, this timing has not escaped my gaze or awareness. As such, I feel a spiritual beauty to this time frame and my desire to return to full time ministry. In late 2010, I stepped away from full time ministry for several reasons. But that timing was so closely associated with my desire for a sabbatical that I can only believe it was God’s providence, and a true blessing from the Creator.
That year-long sabbatical was prompted either during or following my study of the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament. At some point near that study, two passages (one from Exodus, the other from Leviticus) set heavy in my heart.
And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. (Exodus 23.10-11 KJV)
Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat. (Leviticus 25.3-7 KJV)
There are many lessons in those verses, but it could not have been clearer to me. I had studied and labored six years, and was convinced that I needed to rest the seventh. Little did I realize that my rest from study would turn into a full rest. My full time ministry literally stopped. God permitted the field around me to provide for my needs.
During that time, I applied for work in various locations, but the only job that came through was driving a school bus. At first, I was ungrateful, but as the year progressed, I came to learn that God was teaching me to trust His care. He provided me opportunity to learn different things about life, but especially to trust Him to provide the income, and only the income needed. Take the sabbatical, rest, allow it to be “a sabbath for the LORD”. I must admit, doing so was more difficult than I first thought, but I am truly grateful. Yet, God did not allow me to become lethargic.
God brought people into my life he wanted me to work with. There was a time that I was growing too comfortable with resting, and God sent people to me to encourage and provide occasions for ministry. Yet, during my sabbatical, I was able to write a couple of manuscripts about things I have learned. But many many days were spent in prayer, Bible reading, meditation and reflection about ministry.
My sabbatical lasted literally one year. Because when 2012 arrived, I returned to ministry, just in a different manner than previously. At the close of 2011, faithandconviction.org was established and video production began January 2012, and has been a focus of my ministry.
Even though I am giving efforts to Faith and Conviction, I am rested, I am ready, and I am confident that God wants me to also engage in pulpit ministry. My heart is in sharing the Gospel and God’s Word; teaching others about the faith, and encouraging them to have their own faith and conviction in Jehovah, Jesus, the Spirit, and the Scriptures.
I am actively Seeking a Spirit lead church that also is asking, seeking, and knocking to better understand and embody God’s truth and the Greatest Commandment, and an encouraging church that asks big questions; yet is compassionate, merciful, and forgiving. But I am also actively seeking a Church that is desirous to learn more about her Ancient roots of Hebrew, Israelite and Jewish Culture. I have seen how an awareness and knowledge about the Ancient church impacts both the disciple and the assembly; it is profound and powerful for the faith.
God has helped me in many ways through my life, and He helped me learn even more during that sabbatical, as such I am confident that He will provide.
In all things:
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee shalom (peace).
Thank you; Grace and Shalom,
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