The Road that We Did Take

I constantly wonder about the journey that I have taken concerning my life.  Should I have stayed in the music business a little longer?  How far would I have gone if I tried harder?  Am I on the right path for me?  These are the questions that whirl in my head on a consistent basis.

Of course, the answers are muddled.  I mean, do we really know that one road would have brought more joy, or one choice would have brought a deeper sense of being?  Who knows?  The joys, hopes, and dreams that are present are a result of the choices that we did make, the road that we choose to travel each and every day.

As I search for the answers to the questions that I bring to the table, I am confident that my journey was led and directed by the amazing God of All.  I am here in this moment as a result of following the One, who guides me and shows me the path on which I am called to walk and serve.  Other dreams are reserved for another life, but not my life.  The hopes and joys that are available to me now are a result of the gentle guidance of the Divine, loving me through the difficult way and into the waters of comfort.

And as for the joy meter in my life today, this day as a result of the choices that I did make.  I am happy to say that I have a loving wife, who continues to walk this path with me.  Two amazing men who call me their father.  A congregation that every week, teaches me about the greatness of God, and who holy love transforms us all.  All of these blessings are as a result of listening to the presence of the Most-High God, eagerly being transformed into the person that the Holy One created.

Today, I am grateful for my path, and grateful for the many people that surround me, encouraging me to become better, become holier, become more passionate.  Praise be to the One, who gives us the victory in Christ, His son.  My hope is that we take the journey to which we are called.  I hope that we walk boldly, holy, and passionately.  I hope that as we journey, we are surrounded by the light of Christ.

When Souls Collide

This week I had the amazing privilege and honor to be one of ten people in a discussion group with theologian Glaucia Vasconcelos Wilkey.  I walked away from this wonderful experience feeling honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to hear her teach and share her journey.  She is an incredibly powerful woman filled with God’s presence and light.

As our incredible scholar left the seminary, she turned to me and offered me an amazing blessing acknowledging and reaffirming the full authority that God has given me to preach and teach.  She spoke straight into my soul, and I left feeling blessed and renewed.  Here was this scholar sharing a special blessing with me.  Grateful could not begin to describe how I felt when leaving her presence.

There are people that we encounter that leave us feeling better about who and whose we are, simply by being present.  There are no magic words, just a keen awareness of the Holy Spirit.  We are left knowing that the Truth is within us, eager to be free.  Our joy is renewed and invited to be released into a world that needs to know the source of our happiness.

As I reflect on my encounter with the blessed theologian, I hope that I may be like her with everyone that I encounter.  People may be renewed in the presence of divine hope as the Spirit of Truth dances between us all, encouraging us to be the light of Christ for the world.  Praise be to God, who constantly reminds us that we are chosen to share the message of the Gospel. 

The Big Interview is Here

This week I have been flooded with emotions.  My interview for ordination is coming up on Tuesday.  It will end a journey that began about nine years ago in Houston.  I remember telling my wife about a burden that had been placed on my heart.  I remember being nervous as I told her that, “I believe that I had been called, set apart by God, for ordained ministry.”
I expected her to laugh and say, “Yeah, right!”  Instead she agreed with me.  I was floored as I went to the pastor of the church that I had been serving as a music director and shared with him my thoughts about ministry.  He acknowledged my calling and gave me a book to read about ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.  He then encouraged me to contact the District Superintendent to begin the process towards candidacy.
While I had many ups with a few downs thrown in, I have appreciated the journey.  My life has changed with or without ordination.  During this time of discernment my family took a big risk and moved to New Mexico.  We left all that we knew feeling that we were being called to our places of service.  I also flew once a week for three years to Denver to complete my seminary training.  Many of the obstacles I faced seemed insurmountable, but with God’s help, all challenges were met head on. 
Through it all my spirit still stayed true to the calling that was placed on my heart.  It has served me well and I am grateful that God has been my guide from the beginning.  Perhaps this is the most important lesson that I learned by taking this path towards my passion.  I discovered that following the road that leads to my own joy is the one that leads to God.  At the center of my own spirit is the fountainhead of God’s love in my life.  To continue along its waters is to live in the Spirit of God.  I hope to continue to share the radical presence of the Divine that has brought me to this moment.  Today, I am very grateful for the journey.
christopherjoiner

Some Thoughts Along the Way

Cazandra Campos-MacDonald

We take our journey with love and hope.

Perseverance Runner

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

strugglewell

That marriages in crisis will find Biblical solutions and reconciliation

jefflust

Reflections on leadership and what it means to be the church God intends for the 21st century.