Testimony, Tears, Transition, Joy!
March 16, 2009, 16:49
Filed under: Uncategorized

dayspring-color-poster2 Have you ever had a day so packed with  emotions that there was not time enough to express or cherish them?   We are more Baptist than Pentecostal,  not prone to have emotion sway us, but to follow Paul”s exhortation, “Come, let us reason together.”   Today church was much different.   

We have started  service for  almost five years with the other elder in the church [ there were only two of us] reading a passage of  scripture I would give him ,  prayer and announcements.   Normally elder Ed would do this with out a hitch,  but words came hard, it was his last time with us.  God has called him to another ministry.  Ed is the strongest man I know.  Ed  is our local Chuck Norris,  and Chuck Norris is famous because he never met Ed on the mat.   He is so self disciplined!  It shows in his skills as a drummer, in his devotion to the Lord,  and in his ability to have victory over the donuts in the cafe’ after worship.  He has preached the Truth with conviction and force of purpose from our pulpit,  taught in our classes,  and dug into his own pocket to help some one who is down and out.  Today was the first time I saw this great public speaker struggle, not only with words but with his composure.  

I saw the strongest man I ever met cry.  His features contorted, his eyes filled with tears, and the same mental concentration that allows his 6th degree  body to break wood and stone was just not enough to break the emotions that filled him.  He made his announcement that he and his wife were moving on in love. 

 It was unexpected,  his desire was for our little body to understand that there was no conflict, no problems,  but the man who was instrumental in Ed finding salvation was offering a different ministry.  Dayspring is a mission field.  We are not your church on the corner with an established history filled with established Christians, most of us are works in progress,  and at the beginning stages at best.  We are a group saved only by the Grace of God.   We have no programs,  no set classes,  we are but two years old  this Good Friday and have seen lives change.  

Oh how I will miss my brother!  He paid all the bills,  collected the offerings, wrote checks to help people every time I asked him to with never a question.  He filled in for me when my weaker health would fail,  balanced me when I went too far ,  actually, really was my right hand man.  He moderated our meetings , and brought peace to conflicts with the skill of a Judge of Israel.   He was in fact at one point my fleece.  When the flood of change came at Wyoming Valley Baptist, and a decision was needed to be made I prayed to God for guidance and direction, and asked that if it were His will for me to be the Pastor he would bring Ed into the fold as I  was not prepared at that time to go it alone.   God sent Ed,  I never asked him to come, and lives have been changed in the name of Christ.

Another wave of emotion followed.  I preached some uplifting scripture of  hope and then asked  a couple to come up and share the hope that God had given them.  They testified to lives lost in years of addiction and gave glory to God for bringing them through, finishing by saying they were going to get married after living together for years, as that was the right thing to do before God. They were moving and real and so down to earth.  When they mentioned that on the day of my daughters wedding I was with them at 4 am praying to keep them straight and sober, I lost it.  I can not believe that my God is so merciful as to allow a sinner like  me to be a part of His plan , and be used by Him as an agent of change in the lives of His people.  Thank you Jesus. 

God can top anything, and did.  When I returned to the pulpit a guy in the back said,  “You got a guitar?  ”  I handed him my guitar and this song he had written  about God bringing him to sobriety rang out with the skill of a Nashville musician.  He had people singing along to a song they had never heard before.  It was very different, and very right for the moment.  

The level of emotion brought out some confession and established anew  closeness with some of the guys I have been ministering to opening the door to a bi-weekly men’s prayer group.  I hope the intensity did not blow the mind of our first time visitor,  he had never seen anything like this before, and neither had I.  

So transition, testimony , tears ,  joy, isn’t that life?  Ed paid me a great complement, the greatest I have ever heard, he said no one should doubt I preach the Gospel,  it shows in my life and in the the church.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to live up to those words, and will honor them only with the power of the Holy Spirit.   Isn’t God great in His mercy to be part of our lives?  Pray for Ed to prosper,  and for the men and women of Dayspring to step up.  It will take a crew to fill those shoes.

11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What an awesome, beautiful and painful day.

Like the cross itself.

I pray that the Lord will bless Ed, and Dayspring and all that you minister to.

And you as well, Willohroots.

Comment by theoldadam

This post speaks for itself….there is “nothing” I can say…

Comment by Ike

Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

Comment by watcat

Tears can be, and very often are, staged for effect and manipulation. First time visitors can be taken in by this, but it doesn’t last long.

Real emotion, brought on by the Holy Spirit, is sensed as truly authentic. While the service sounds somewhat chaotic, praise God, I would bet that your visitor was drawn into the emotion of the day by God. I am almost willing to bet (actually, I don’t bet – but I almost would) that this person got fed in a way that only this day could have done.

BTW, I will keep your anniversary in my prayers. May God continue to bless your efforts and church.

Comment by Rev Andy Little

may the road rise to meet ed and may the son continue to shine behind him.

Comment by graceshaker

Rev.Andy Little
Thanks for allowing me to share with you, thanks for your prayers, your wishes. Chaotic, yes, a little, but so real. God bless you for caring.

Comment by willohroots

Ed, you, and your church family will be in my prayers.

Those shoes Ed vacates will give others in your fellowship “investment” room. That’s a powerful thing in a young church.

And now that Ed has “flown” keep a softly feathered space for him to land occasionally.

Comment by Shawn W

Your heart for your church and the ministry God has planted you in is encouraging and uplifting. May He continue to bless you all. My prayers and thoughts have me with you in Spirit even though I have never been with you in person. I love you as a brother in the Lord and appreciate you more than I can say.

Comment by jeofurry

Shawn, we told Ed & Leigh that this (our church) is their home, be it for a week or a season, they are always welcome.
Jeofurry, Ditto to you. Thanks for watering the roots over here with your care and love.

Comment by willohroots


I can remember the one time that God called me out of one Church and into another. The church we were leaving had a time of commissioning prayer for us, and it gave us the freedom to go back and visit several times without any awkwardness.

Changing the topic a bit… One issue that many churches face today is that the service is so structured that it doesn’t give the Holy Spirit room to move. I am glad that the Spirit had the freedom in the service that you mention.

Comment by Eclectic Christian

I love you.
I love that you are so authentic.
I love that the giant building and the baubles of worshitainemnt do not control your life.
God will fill this void either within you or with someone else. I am sure of it.

Comment by Rob

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