I’ve been wanting to post this here for a while now, but I wanted my Brother In Law to type it up so the facts were straight. He recently put it on our family website. It’s an amazing story, here it is …
2007 brought a lot of change in our lives. I have told parts of this story to several of [the family] and it has been requested that I post the whole story. So I will.
When I graduated high school, I went to one job interview. I got the job. That was June 15, 1995. Between then and mid 2007, I had been in four different positions for the company. In 2006, I had reached the top of the ladder. I was the supervisor over all the areas that I had worked during my career there. I had several good employees under me. I was making good money, which would have only gotten better over the next several years. I was put in charge of a 3 million dollar project to build a new facility. I had arrived. I thought.
Our faith and church have always been very important to us. We had changed churches in 2006 and feeling very comfortable in the new church. We were given the opportunity to run the youth department. That had been something we had done at our old church, so we were pleased that the ministry JUST HAPPENED to become open at the right time. By the way, I don’t believe in accidents, coincidence, or just happened. The Bible says “All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose” It did not just happen, it was God’s Will.
In August 2007, our church held their annual preacher’s meeting called “Fishers Of Men Fellowship” Pastors from all over the state and surrounding states come to our church to hold three days of meetings. A day consists of breakfast, four different pastors preaching, lunch, four different pastors preaching, a two-hour break, supper, and a revival type service in the evening where two more pastors preach. It is a marathon of preaching, but one that I will never miss. On Thursday of the week, a preacher named Ray Ditch was asked to preach. He had recently had a stroke and was still suffering from some of the effects of that, but when he started any and all aliments were gone and he was able to preach. The sermon was 21 minutes long. In those 20 minutes, my life was forever changed. He preached on James 1:22. It says, “Be ye doer of the work and not hearers only” He said that standing idle was not acceptable. God has a will and a purpose for each of our lives and that if God is calling you to do something then you should just do it. He kept saying that just do it, just do it. He was not finished but after about 20 minutes he said the Lord was telling him to sit down and that was what he was going to do. He sat down and over the next 2 1/2 hours three other preachers spoke about “something”. I don’t know what they spoke about because Just Do It, Just Do It kept ringing in my mind. When the meeting broke for lunch, I went down to the altar at the front of the church and asked God a question. “Just Do What, LORD??” Over course he didn’t answer but while I was still kneeling there I told the LORD something that I meant then and that I still mean now. “Whatever it is LORD that you would have me to do LORD I will do it. Whatever it is, I’m in.” I literally felt something, a weight, lifted off of my shoulders. The day continued. I went to lunch and then we had four more preachers speak.
After the second session, I went home and talked with Hannah. She had no knowledge of what had gone on. I walked in and asked her a question. I said, ” If the LORD calls me anywhere, are you with me?” She had the “deer in the headlight” look. Her look told me to ask the question again so I did. She said after the second attempt, Yes, she would follow wherever the LORD would call us. Then, she asked, “Why?” I feel this was important because I had committed to God without knowing what I was committing to. Hannah also had to blindly commit to me, her husband, before knowing the circumstances or “the what”. God wants us to blindly commit to His calling. That is the faith the Lord wants us to have. I told Hannah what had transpired throughout the day. She asked me, ” Do you know what it is?” I told that I did not but when I did I would let her know.
Early the next week I had a feeling, I guess you would call it. I felt the LORD had showed me what was going to happen. As I had promised, I went to Hannah and told her that I thought I knew what was going to happen. This is what I told her. In our church, there are three full time paid positions. One is the pastor. One is the printer at our printing ministry, and one is the principal of our Christian School. All three positions were filled and had been for years. I told Hannah that Ron would step down as printer, Mike would move from Principal to Printer, and I was going to become Principal of the school. My wife, full of faith and spiritually minded said, “Yeah Right!” I thanked her for her support and told her that was what God had showed me. Her response this time was more open-minded. She said, “We’ll See.”
Two days later, on Wed, Ron stood up and announced that for personal reasons he would be stepping down as printer after many years of service. Hannah looked at me dumbfounded. COINCIDENCE. Over the next month, three men of the church applied for the job of printer. Mike was not one of them.
At work, we were just finishing the building project. The hectic time was beginning to turn into a more normal routine. My job had become easier. The workload was lighter. BUT I was not happy. I had always enjoyed going to work. I took pride in my job. My philosophy was I had to be there so I might as well enjoy it. I could not explain it. I was not happy.
Through the interview process, all of the men who had applied for the printer job had decided that the job was not for them and they were not interested in the position. At the September business meeting, Mike stood up and said that he felt that God was pushing him toward taking the job as the printer. It was a push he was willing to take if the church would allow him to make the move. The church voted then that Mike would become the new printer and now the position of principal was now vacant. COINCIDENCE. Hannah was shocked. After the meeting, I immediately went to the pastor and told him that I was interested in the job of principal. His response shook me. He said, “I know.”
After that conversation, I left it in God’s hands. I did not ask any questions. I just waited. In November, I was called in to have a meeting with the pastor and the deacons. It was then that I realized that another man had applied for the job. I never considered not getting the job. I figured that God would work it out. At the December business meeting, the deacons recommended that I be voted into the position. The church agreed and I was to start in Jan. The next day, I done something I never thought I would do. I gave my two-week notice to take a job that paid 1/3 less and I was not only happy about it, I was elated. The unhappiness that I had felt since August had also been lifted. It was then that I remembered something that Brother Ray had said. When you are not in God’s Will, you are just not happy. I realized that for 12 years, God’s will had been for me to work at Orscheln and I loved it. In August 2007, His Will for me changed and I could not be happy again until I was back in His Will.
I started the job of principal on Jan 1, 2008 and I have not had a bad day at work. I love it. It has now been 5 months and the school year is winding down and I still love it. We still run the youth department and love it also. Through the summer I will work at our camps and help Mike in the print work. I will also work on the next year of school. We are remodeling a building that we will use next year for our school. The LORD is going to grow the school and we need to be prepared for that. I will also go to some training during the summer to help better equip me in the new position. Everyday the Lord gives me the strength that I need for that day. He has blessed my family and I in so many ways there is not time to type it all.
The LORD is real and wants us to help Him. We do this by committing ourselves to God before he shows us where or what He would have us to do. If you commit, God will show you things and do things in your life that you would not seem possible.
I DON’T BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCES!!
One thing I’ll add that he shared with me, but didn’t include here. When me met with the church leaders, they asked him if he’d been praying about this decision. His reply was “No, not at all. God told me this was what was going to happen, there didn’t seem to be a point in praying about it.”