I’m very excited about the seven men being installed as deacons at WCC, but there’s something that makes their installation even more special for me. I would go so far as to say this is the best example in my life of Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ever ask or even imagine. It was about seven years ago that I remember being on the phone with my mom, finally learning the terrible news that her and Dad were going to move to Texas to get away from me…something I never thought would happen. Mom said, “All we do anymore is fight about religion.” It was true. I had ruined our relationship trying to play the Holy Spirit in their lives and make them become Christians. I asked them to forgive me and give me one more chance: I begged them to come for just one visit. I could hear the reluctance and concern in Mom’s voice when I asked, but after talking to Dad they said they would come under one condition: “Tell us you won’t talk about religion at all.” Since it seemed to be the only way to maintain a relationship with them, I agreed.
I shut my mouth and started praying. Since becoming a Christian the strongest desire of my life had been seeing my parents become Christians; now that desire had to come to fruition without me doing anything but praying. I prayed for their salvation more than I’ve ever prayed for anything in my life including even finding a wife…and that’s something I prayed for A LOT! Skipping five years of the story, and leaving out lots of details about the progress that at times seemed almost nonexistent, my parents finally became Christians. In one of the happiest moments of my life I was able to listen to them share their testimonies and then I was able to baptize them. The church was full of people who knew our story and had been praying for their salvation (as well as praying for me to keep my mouth shut and not mess things up). I might have been able to imagine my parents becoming Christians. I might have been able to imagine baptizing them someday. I might have even been able to imagine being a pastor and having them visit the church and see me preach. Here’s what was exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ever ask or even imagine: I never would’ve imagined my parents giving up everything to come and be with me, my wife and our children, and that I’d be their pastor and one day lay hands on my dad and pray for him to join me in leadership. But that’s what God did.
Here’s a link to the installation.